Kotor’s City Walls Only 1350 Steps To The Top
Welcome to the breathtaking city of Kotor, nestled in the heart of Montenegro’s Adriatic coast. As you wander through its narrow cobblestone streets and soak in the rich history that permeates every corner, one sight stands tall and beckons adventure seekers from all around – the magnificent City Walls.
With only 1350 steps separating you from a view that will leave you awe-inspired, join us as we explore the journey to the top and discover why this ancient fortification is an absolute must-see for any traveller visiting Kotor.
Kotor’s City Walls – only 1350 steps to the fort that overlooks the Bay of Kotor. Sounded easy! On arrival into Kotor Montenegro by bus a few days prior, the imposing wall, church and fort towered over the city and the Bay of Kotor. We knew that we would climb the Kotor City Walls of 1200 metres and that the 1350 steps would not deter us.
Are you ready to climb the 1350 steps with us?
Maybe the crowds would, but if we started when the gate opened at 8 am in the morning, hopefully, we would beat them and also beat the high temperatures at that time of the year. You don’t need to hire a local Kotor guide to climb Kotor walls.
Montenegro was always on our minds to visit but when Lonely Planet announced that Montenegro was one of its top destinations in 2016 we just had to visit.
Take A Tour or DIY
You can climb to the top on your or take a guided 2-hour walking tour that includes the climb.
The tour includes:
“Get an insider’s view of the historic town of Kotor on this guided walking tour with a local expert guide. Explore the charming old neighbourhoods and listen to entertaining commentary, woven throughout with fascinating facts and legends.
Learn about the Venetian Empire and climb the 1,355 steps to the San Giovanni Fortress, from where you’ll see views of Kotor bay far below. Discover the town’s hidden streets and learn what life is like for the locals.”
FAQs for Visiting Kotor’s City Walls
What are the opening times to visit Kotor Walls?
From May through to September the walls are open from 8.00 am to 8.00 pm.
What are the best months to visit?
The best months to visit are April, May and September. You may experience some rain and the stone path could be slippery during these months.
How long will it take to visit?
On average around 2 hours – 3 hours.
Where is Montenegro
Montenegro is part of the Balkans and is one of the oldest European states. Montenegro has over 290km of coastline and is classified as part of southern Europe and the Mediterranean. Montenegro borders the countries of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Albania and the Adriatic Sea.
Kotor City Walls Map
Kotor City Walls Walk Only 1350 Steps To The Top Are You Ready?
Starting at the North Gate in Kotor Old Town (which dates from 1540) at 8.15 am we paid our entrance fee of 8 euros and started the long ascent. It is always wise not to count the steps, I tend to do that, but chatting and stopping for the many photographic opportunities took my mind off it.
Anyway, it was 520 steps to the small church on the hill of St John – Our Lady of the Health. (no I did not count them, promotional material gave me the information)
Our Lady of the Health Church was constructed as a votive church during the 15th century in baroque style but with a Gothic arch. The Church tower with 3 bells was an added addition during the 18th century, the bells are famous, they were made in the bell foundry De Poli in Vittorio Veneto (Italy).
The crypt inside the small church relates to the Kotor family – Bolic. In the front of the church lies the tomb of Count Anton Lukovic, a citizen of Kotor.
Kotor experienced the effects of the plague in 1435 which wiped out most of the town including the Canons of the church. Fears abounded that the powerful walls and the soldiers were not enough to protect the town, they needed God’s protection as well – our Lady of the Health Church was constructed to provide God’s protection over the city and its people.
At this point of the climb, you can stop and sit down on the concrete benches and enjoy the view of Kotor Bay glistening below. Believe me, take the time to rest at this point, you are only a little over one-third of the way there.
The walls date back to medieval times and were gradually built over quite a lengthy period between the 9th and 19th centuries. The walls form an arch over the sheer cliffs of the Hill of St John and are 4.5 kilometres in length, the breadth ranges from 2 and 16 metres and the height varies up to 20 metres in certain sections. At night it is a spectacular sight, at intervals, there are lights creating a magical archway around the mountain.
1200 metres later you reach the Castle of St John (260 metres above sea level). The Castle is a crumbled ruin, but you can still climb over some of the ramparts for awesome views over the Port of Kotor. The earthquakes of 1563, 1667 and the most recent one in April 1979 caused damage to the fort. The 1979 earthquake caused quite a lot of damage in Kotor and to the fort. Kotor has listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as well as the List in Danger during 1979 just after the earthquake.
Back down the stairs, we head, facing hundreds of visitors coming up. Alongside the steps, there is a very slippery rocky pathway that we had to use many times to allow those coming up to pass by.
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To Travel Too Tips for Kotor’s City Walls Only 1350 Steps
- Start early, the sun will be behind you as you climb up
- Bring plenty of water, there is water for sale but at a price
- Be prepared for the whole climb to take about 2 hours
- Wear hiking shoes
- Be prepared to take lots of photos
Where to Stay in Kotor
Our recommendation: (Psst this was our favourite accommodation in Montenegro by far!)
We stayed at the Old Mariner Guest House Kotor
The Old Mariner Guest House in Kotor is located on the other side of the Bay in a quiet area called Prcanj. It is only a 7 euro taxi to the old town. We would certainly recommend the accommodation for couples, families and solos.
So comfortable, with great views and the owners were amazing. We would be lying on the sunbeds out front and the owners would come out with tea and fruit any time of the day.
Address Prcanj, Kotor
Guest review: Wonderful and fantastic room with a thousand-year-old history!!! With a view of the bay of Kotor and a fabulous owner with a story to tell of the mansion!!
More Kotor Hotels
For a list of the recommended restaurants and travellers reviews in Kotor Click here
Things To Do in Kotor
More articles to inspire you to visit Montenegro:
You may like to read our post on what to do in Kotor.
You can also catch our Youtube video on Kotor and our North Montenegro Tour.
Read our review of our North Montenegro Day Tour to Durmitor National Park, Tara Canyon and Ostrog Monastery
The Old Town Kotor is a great town to wander through, enjoy a meal or just a coffee. It can be noisy to stay in that is why we chose the suburb of Prcanj on the other side of the harbour.
Essential Information When You Visit Kotor
How To Get To Kotor
There are 3 airports:
Cheap Flight Deals to Kotor Montenegro
Find the cheapest flights with Skyscanner our ‘go-to’ when it comes to researching and booking flights.
Car Rental in Montenegro
Visa Information for Montenegro
Do you need a Visa for Montenegro – you can check below.
In conclusion, the city walls of Kotor offer a truly remarkable experience for visitors. With only 1350 steps to reach the top, this UNESCO World Heritage Site provides breathtaking panoramic views of the town and its surrounding landscapes. The journey up the walls is an adventure in itself, as each step reveals new historical landmarks and architectural wonders. The walls not only serve as a testament to Kotor’s rich history and culture but also provide an opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in its beauty. Whether you are a history enthusiast or simply seeking awe-inspiring vistas, climbing Kotor’s city walls is an experience that should not be missed.
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