San Giovanni Castle

Kotor, Montenegro

San Giovanni, also called St. John’s Castle, is perched 1200m high on the hill of St. John. The fortifications date back as far as 532 when Byzantine Emperor Justinian I had the fort built. Since it’s creation, the fort has under seen plenty of changes and battles under Venetian, Russian, and French rule. It’s been bombed by British Naval armies, occupied during World War II, and even survived three separate earthquakes.

The walking path to San Giovanni castle has 1,350 steps and needs good shoes. The view over the Kotor bay is breathtaking from the top.

San Giovanni is part of the fortifications of Kotor which are an integrated historical fortification system that protected the medieval town of Kotor containing ramparts, towers, citadels, gates, bastions, forts, cisterns, a castle, and ancillary buildings and structures. They incorporate military architecture of Illyria, Byzantium, Venice, and Austria. Together with the old town and its natural surroundings the fortifications were inscribed in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1979 labelled Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor.


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Founded: 532 AD
Category: Castles and fortifications in Montenegro

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Coco Namure (5 months ago)
The views are stunning, I recommend taking the hike. It takes some time and is almost all stairs so take a bottle of water with you (it took us approximately 25 minutes with breaks to get to the top). The only thing we didn't like was the price, 8 euro per person seemed a little overpiced.
Wioleta Morańska (6 months ago)
Amazing view from the top. Totally recommend to climb there, however be prepared, it’s tiring and sweaty (get sturdy shoes, cap for the sun and loads of water). To avoid the cost of 8€ per person, we climbed up Ladder of Kotor and squeezed through the fortress wall inside and then for free went down by stairs. I would recommend it to everyone, as I actually believe Ladder is an easier climb up than just using slipper steps. And yes, the view is worth it!
Brad Kosar (8 months ago)
Amazing view. Completely worth the walk uphill. I speed walked and made it to the top in 35 minutes. For a more casual pace plan on an hour. The view is completely worth the effort. There are a few vendors selling water on the way up in case you don't bring your own. You should also plan on sturdy shows as the stairs can be quite uneven in spots.
ilhan karasakal (9 months ago)
YOU SHOULD DEFİNİTELY VISIT! ?️ The ticket is 8 Euro, when you climb all the stairs and see the view you'll see it's worth it. ? I highly suggest you to bring some snacks,food etc to eat at the top point. ?️ İt's not so easy to climb to the top, you need to put some effort. İt's better if you carry 1-2 liter water with you. ? And there are cats on the way you can feed them bring some food for them too. Enjoy ?
Agnieszka Jaśkowiak (10 months ago)
A very rewarding walk. The views on the bay are spectacular, and the ruins themselves are also quite interesting. Don't forget to bring something to drink (though your can buy cold drinks from the locals on the trail, but price can be a little bit high). Entry fee is 8 euros. Round trip took us about 2 hrs.
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