Where tradition and fun combine

Whatever region of Montenegro you visit, be it the majestic mountainous interior or the stunning, sunny coastline, you can find fun tailored to your wishes, including recreation, active tours, and cultural events. Among other forms of artistic expression, Montenegro proudly hosts a variety of music festivals and concerts of traditional and other genres of music, attracting musicians from all around the world. Where to start? Begin perhaps in the fortified city of Kotor, on the Adriatic coast, with the most iconic Montenegrin event. 

Legend says that in the 18th century, Kotor residents wanted to evoke and even surpass the splendor of Venetian evenings with canals full of illuminated gondolas carrying musicians playing the mandolin. The people of Kotor decorated their boats with garlands and colorful lanterns, accompanied by music and torches. Despite wars and conquerors, the ingenious inhabitants of Kotor managed to celebrate this day even in the most challenging times.  

Bokeljska Night, registered as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, is now one of Kotor’s biggest tourist events. Held around August 20th, it features a parade of decorated boats and illuminations in the surrounding hills and along the entire coast. Each year, ideas for boat decoration push the boundaries and imaginative creations faithfully depict current and historical events. The parade concludes with the festival’s anthem and the announcement of a winning entry.  

For the award ceremony, everyone heads to Sea Gate, the main entrance to Kotor. Spilling into the old town squares and piazzas, festival-goers find the kind of music they want to enjoy until the early hours of the morning. Bokeljska Night event is.  

Apart from the “festival of all festivals”, the other name for Bokeljska Night, Kotor hosts the international festival KotorArt in July and August. This festival, founded in 2002, had the clear ambition to promote artistic music; since 2009, it has also promoted other artistic disciplines and cooperated with important art institutions. For over twenty years, KotorArt has proven to be the most important art festival in the region, with over 200 programs throughout numerous locations along Boka Bay. KotorArt is a part of the Kotor and Montenegrin cultural identity and enjoys an international reputation and attracts top artists such as Krzysztof Penderecki, Yuja Wang, Denis Matsuev, Leonidas Kavakos and Nemanja Radulović.  

Just as Montenegro is a combination of contrasts, a place where the sea and mountains embrace, the musical offer is also diverse and worth a listen. The musical paths of Montenegro are a beautiful way to get to know a beautiful country. 

Things to consider before traveling

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