Top Things To Do In Perast Montenegro

Perast, an idyllic seaside village on Montenegro’s beautiful Bay of Kotor is nestled below scenic rugged mountains, providing a stunning setting that should not be missed. Unlike Montenegro’s more popular cities of Kotor and Budva, which have ancient walls surrounding them, Perast sits on the edge of the sea with no obstructed views. Although often only visited only as a day trip from Kotor, I recommend staying in Perast for a day or two for its jaw-dropping views from its waterfront restaurants and possibly your accommodation, as well as to explore its churches, see its medieval mansions, and eat at its seaside restaurants. Being less touristy, Perast has a more authentic feel in addition to its stellar views, making it extra special. This post covers the top things to see and do in stunning Perast.


Admire The Views of Perast

The best thing to do in Perast is to admire the amazing views. And there’s no shortage of places to do this.

Walk The Promenade of Perast

Perast has a charming promenade that follows the sea. Walking it is the best way to explore this little village. What it lacks in length, as it’s only about 1 mile (1.5 km), it makes up for in beauty. The views of the bay here, surrounded by mountains, are beyond breathtaking. Most visitors walk west to east to see its old palaces, many of which now serve as hotels, restaurants, and a museum, as well as its churches.

Walking the Promenade is one of the top things to do in Perast

Make sure to stop at one of the lovely restaurants on the promenade like; Konoba Otok Bronza, near Bronza Palace, Bocalibre, a pizzeria by Balovic Palace, Locanda, another seaside pizzeria, or Konoba Skolji and Šijavoga, which serve a variety of foods including seafood, salads, and desserts. There’s also Moritz Eis, for an ice cream break, or the Red & White Wine Bar to chill with a glass of wine.

The atmosphere, service, and food is usually nothing short of excellent.

Admire Perast’s Ancient Stone Palaces

There are 19 palaces in Perast, most built of stone in the baroque style in the 17th and 18th centuries. They’re called palaces, yet they’re really old family mansions of prominent citizens. Some have been renovated into new purposes, like the Bujović Palace, which is now the Perast Museum, and the Smekja mansion, the largest palace which has been converted into a hotel.

Others stand as proud reminders of history like the Bronza family palace, which once was the customs station, and Viscovic Palace, which once formed part of the defense system of Perast. There’s also, sadly, a few that have fallen into disrepair.

Saint Nicholas Cathedral & Museum

Consecrated in the 17th century, but never completed, St. Nicholas Cathedral is Perast’s most recognizable landmark.

Climb Saint Nicholas Bell tower
Saint Nicholas

It’s popular to climb its 180’ (55 m) bell tower for panoramic views of the bay. There’s also a small museum with historical artifacts inside the church. There’s a small fee for entry to both.

The Perast Museum

Housed in what was once Bujović Palace, the Perast Museum, or Muzej Grada Perasta, showcases the history of Perast and its maritime feats from the 15th to 20th century. It also offers beautiful views of the bay from its balcony. The museum is small, taking only about a half an hour to visit.

Our Lady Of The Rocks Church

One of the most popular things to do in Perast (and something you absolutely cannot miss) is to take a boat to the charming Roman Catholic church, Our Lady of the Rocks, or Gospa od Skrpjela, that appears to be floating in the bay. A place seafarers have stopped at for centuries to pray for safe passage on their journeys.

This church is on a man-made island that was created from sunken invader boats and lots of rocks. Interesting, right?

The legend is that two sailors found a painting of the Madonna and Child on a rock here in the 15th century and took it as a sign to build a church here. Almost 100 years later, Our Lady Of The Rocks was built on the site. Although the original church was built in the 15th century, the current version dates to the 18th century.

Our Lady of the Rocks Church is one of the top things to do in Perast.
Our Lady Of The Rocks

When visiting this church, make sure to notice one of its most treasured creations, an embroidery by Hijacinta Mijović-Kunić. She embroidered it while waiting 25 years for her husband to return from the sea. The embroidery is created with silver and gold threads as well as her own hair! There is also a small museum here.

The legacy of dropping rocks here lives on in an event called fašinada. This festival has been held every year on July 22 since 138. In this event, a parade of decorated boats, loaded with rocks, sail to the islet at sunset and cast the rocks into the sea.

How To Get To Our Lady of the Rocks

If you’re staying in Perast, a water taxi from the harbor takes just a few minutes. You can also rent a kayak and paddle here. Expect to spend 45-minutes to an hour on the islet to explore the church and museum.

If you’re staying in Kotor, the ride will take about a 1/2 hour each way. If you are coming from Kotor, I recommend taking a boat tour like this one that stops at Our Lady of the Rocks, Mamula Island, and the Blue Cave (which are both below).

The Islet Of Saint George

Our Lady of the Rocks is just one of two islets off the coast of Perast. In the image below you can see Our Lady Of The Rocks on the left and Saint George, or Sveti Djordje, nearby, on the right. Saint George is a natural islet (rather than man-made) with a 12th century Benedictine monastery.

Our Lady of the Rocks and Saint George Islets are top things to do in Perast.
Our Lady Of The Rocks and Saint George

There’s a legend associated with the islet of Saint George too, although it’s a tragic one. The story is of two lovers, Ante and Katica. Ante, a soldier in the army and betrothed to Katica, fired a cannonball from the islet to the mainland. It missed its target, but mortally wounded her. She was laid to rest at the cemetery on this islet. Devastated, Ante became a monk at the monastery here, eventually dying on her grave.

Saint George islet is not open to tourists, but it’s poignant to pass and acknowledge its sad story (which most boat tours do).

The Blue Cave

The Blue Cave is a beautiful natural phenomenon, tucked along the coast of the Luštica Peninsula. You can only approach it by boat, as it’s surrounded by the rocky cliffs here. Once inside, the glow from the light hitting the blue water is amazing to swim in.

I could not find any tours to the cave from Perast, but you may be able to negotiate with a boat operator or taxi boat to take you on the short ride. If doing the tour from from Kotor, I recommend this one: Our Lady of the Rocks, Mamula and Blue Cave Boat Tour.

Tip: If you visit the Blue Cave, ask your tour guide in advance about timing. Reviews often mention too many boats and people, as well as fumes in the cave. My ride was late afternoon in July. As we were the only boat there, we were able to swim with no issues.

Mamula Island

Mamula island is the home of Mamula Fortress, or Campo Mamula, built by the Austro-Hungarian general, Lazar Mamula in the mid 19th century for political prisoners. It was later converted into a concentration camp by fascists.

Many tours cruise by and point out this uninhabited island along the the other main sites here like the Our Lady of the Rocks and the Blue Cave tour above, which also cruises by Mamula. Mamula fortress, however, has now been converted into a luxury 5-star hotel, Mamula Island Hotel.

The hotel takes up most of this small island and offers sumptuous rooms with a spa, fitness center, multiple restaurants and bars, and a private beach area.

Staying here depends on if you connect with this hotel as being part of a renovated fortress or as an ex-concentration camp, which it is technically both. I personally could not stay here.

Mamula is located between the Luštica and Prevlaka Pennisula, a short boat ride northeast of the Blue Cave.

Tiny, Beautiful, Perast Beach

The little sandy beach of Perast is called, Peskovita plaža Perast (which literally translates to sandy beach of Perast). This small beach has both pebbles and sand, as well as stunning views of the bay and mountains. The beach is very small, only large enough for a few towels, so make sure to arrive early.

Pirates Beach Bar

If the beach above is full, head over to Pirate’s Beach Bar. They have sunbeds for rent on their beach and serve cocktails. They also usually have live music or DJ’s.

The views are one of the best things to do in Perast,

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Where To Stay In Perast

Perast is such a charming location, it’s ideal to spend a night or two here and enjoy its panoramic beauty. I did not stay in Perast, but selected some of the highest rated places with amazing views of the bay for you to choose from.


  • The charming guesthouse of BellaVistaZmucik sits a little higher on the hillside and is all about the views. It offers sea and mountain views from the property and the rooms and is a 5-minute walk to the beach.
  • Bluemarine Rooms And Apartments offers 4-star accommodation in a renovated 400 year old building. It’s a 2-minute walk from Perast Beach. Some rooms have city views, while some have ocean views. Some rooms also offer a fridge and stove. 

Affordable to Moderate

  • Guest House Dragutinovic is a 4-star guesthouse with sea and mountains views from its terrace and is a 4-minute walk to the beach. Rooms also have sea and mountain views.
  • Perfetto Perasto Residence offers 1 bedroom, 1 bath apartments with a fully equipped kitchen and a terrace with city views.


  • The 300 year old building at Monte Bay Retreat has been artfully renovated with modern touches. Sitting near the sea it offers stunning views and a pool. Rooms have mountain and ocean views. It’s 1500’ to the beach.
  • Heritage Grand Perast by Rixos offers a spa and wellness center with a hammam and a sauna in a renovated 18th century palace. It also has a fitness center.

Where To Stay In Kotor

If you prefer to visit Perast as a day trip from Kotor, here are some suggested places to stay in Kotor. Except for the beachfront locations (the splurges), these rooms are all centrally located, just a few steps or a short walk to the clock tower of Kotor.


  • I stayed in Centrum Hostel, which offers dorms for a budget price and is a great place to meet other travelers.
  • Guesthouse Nikoleta gets great reviews for location, but some complaints on the budget decor of this inexpensive option.


  • La Rocca Apartment Old Town Kotor is a 1 bedroom apartment with a kitchen. It has a queen bed and sofa bed so can sleep up to 4.
  • Old Town Heart is offers 2 bedroom apartments with a kitchen in an old stone building with mountain and city views. It sleeps up to 4.
  • Apartment Palata Bizanti is an apartment with a kitchenette in the heart of old town that gets high reviews. It has a queen bed and sofa bed, so can sleep up to 4.


  • Fig Apartments are 2-bedroom apartments with a kitchen that offer city and mountain views


  • Hyatt Regency Kotor Bay Resort is a beachfront resort with a spa and wellness center, and a private beach with views of Kotor Bay. There is also a restaurant and a lounge.
  • Located a 10-minute walk from Virtu Beach, Corso Levante Luxury Suites Dobrota offers a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, a private beach area and air-conditioned accommodations with a patio. Corso is in one of the renovated palaces.

Best Time To Visit Perast

The best time to visit Perast is from May to October, although temperatures can get very hot in the months of July and August. This is also when most tourists visit, so it’s best to visit during the shoulder seasons of late spring and early autumn.

If you want to see an amazing festival, visit during Fascinada on July 22, when the dropping of rocks at Our Lady Of The Rocks is celebrated.

Want More of Montenegro?

Montenegro, just south of hot-spot Croatia, has several must-see villages along its 183 miles (294 km) of rugged mountain-lined Adriatic coastline.

About an hour south of Dubrovnik, on the northern side of the Bay of Kotor, is Herceg Novi. This charming medieval fortified town has lovely bay views, old churches, pebbled beaches and two fortresses atop its mountain.

An hour south of that, or less than 2 hours from renowned Dubrovnik, lies the USESCO listed, fairytale-esque city of Kotor, enclosed by its well-preserved medieval walls.

Climb the hill behind the city for unbelievable views of the Bay of Kotor at the ruins of Saint John’s fortress and explore the cobbled streets and sites of its Old Town and the bay.

Montenegro Travel Guide
Bay of Kotor

If you’re looking for sandy beaches and lively nightlife, visit Budva, about 30-minutes south of Kotor. Or just explore its Old Town, with remnants of medieval walls and a citadel.

Lovćen National Park lies about an hour inland of Kotor. Topped with the Mausoleum of Njegoš, a famous Prince-Bishop of Montenegro, and laced with hiking trails, it offers stunning views.

Two other National Parks worth visiting include UNESCO listed Dormitor, noted for its variety of majestic terrain, and Lake Skadar, the biggest lake in the Balkans.

For more details on all the places to explore here, as well as information on safety, scams, logistics, and more, see my Montenegro Travel Guide.

Hello! I resigned from a corporate career in product development to explore the world. Although my goal was to travel for a year, 8 years later, I’ve been honored to have explored more than 60 gorgeous countries and met some unbelievably amazing people. Our world truly is a beautiful place! Follow me into the gorgeous unknown by subscribing below. You’ll receive details on fabulous destinations, comprehensive travel guides, travel tips and tidbits, and information on travel trends, like experiential, sustainable, and transformational travel. Where is your next gorgeous unknown? Julie

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