Dubrovnik is an old city on the Adriatic Sea coast in the extreme south of Croatia. It is one of the most prominent tourist resorts of the Mediterranean, a seaport and the center of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. Dubrovnik is nicknamed “Pearl of the Adriatic” and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979.
The city of Dubrovnik was built on maritime trade. In the Middle Ages it became the only city-state in the Adriatic to rival Venice. Supported by its wealth and skilled diplomacy, the city achieved a remarkable level of development during the 15th and 16th centuries. Furthermore, Dubrovnik was one of the centers of the development of the Croatian language and literature, home to many notable poets, playwrights, painters, mathematicians, physicists and other scholars.
Today Dubrovnik is the proudest feather in Croatia’s tourist cap, an elite destination and one of the most beautiful towns in the Mediterranean. Dubrovnik used to be an independent republic, surviving mostly on trade.
Dubrovnik is steeped in stunning architecture and sculptural detail, and boasts spectacular churches, monasteries, museums, and fountains.
How to get there?
Dubrovnik airport is located about 20 km to the south of the city.
..by car rental
The trip from Split along the coastal road (Jadranska magistrala or D8) is a beautiful scenic journey through small, quaint villages and other tourist destinations
Walk on the walls around the old town, great views. It is highly recommended to visit the walls during the early morning hours or the late afternoon hours during mid-summer months as it can become hot.
Dubrovnik is surrounded by City Walls which are 2 km long and for which it is famous all around the world. Through the history City Walls were protection from the enemy, today Dubrovnik City Walls brings the visitors from the whole world who want to see this city- museum. There are 3 entrances to the City Walls: on Stradun by the Pile gate, by fort Saint John’s and at the Custom’s House gate.
Within the City Walls you will see Fort Minceta and Fort St. John’s on the south-eastern side. Also, within the City Walls are Fort Lawrence at Pile and Fort Revelin at Ploce. The main entrance to the City Walls is by the Inner Pile Gates.
Minceta Fort is one of the most beautiful cultural attractions in Dubrovnik. It was built according to the design of Renaissance builder Juraj Dalmatinac. St. Luke’s Tower you can see walking along the landward side of City Walls up to Ploce Gate. St. Luke’s Tower has protected the entrance to the Dubrovnik harbour throughout the history of the city.
St. John’s Fort was constructed in 16th century and it is really worth of visiting- on its ground floor you can visit the Aquarium, and on first and second floor you can visit Maritime Museum. (more about it at the end of the page).
Bokar Fort is situated on the seaward of City Walls. It was designed by Florentine architect Michelozzi in the 15th century.
(in front of the Bell Tower). A slender stone flag staff of the legendary knight. Also known as Orlando’s Column. Ever since its foundation in 1950, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival is officially opened by raising a flag carrying the city’s motto Libertus on Orlando’s staff.
(after the Ploče entrance to the city). On top of the tower are the famous ‘Zelenci’ (The Green Ones), bronze statues which strike the gigantic bell every hour. They have been recently replaced with copies and the originals are in the atrium of the Sponza Palace.
(West of the Bell Tower). Gothic Renaissance palace, one of the few buildings that has maintained its form from before the catastrophic 1667 earthquake. Hosts historic archives. Memorial room of defenders.
Pred dvorom 1, Formerly the palace of the Major Council, now houses a museum dedicated to the city’s history.
War Photo Limited
Antuninska 6. An exhibition center of war and conflict photography. Exhibits change during the season. Stunning images by world renowned photo journalists.
at the western end of the Placa Thoroughfare (Stradun) (Old town). A convenient starting place for your stroll through the Old Town is the Pile Gate. Before entering the Old Town, Fort Lovrjenac, the first among many sites worth seeing in Dubrovnik, provides a good view of the Old Town and its wall.
Stradun (Placa) is the central street of the city of Dubrovnik and is the place where the old city comes to life. During the day, explore the shades of the peripendicular streets and alleys on its sides, and during the night, take walks up and down the Stradun with an ice-cream in hand. The uniform Baroque architecture of the houses in Placa, with shops on the street level and their ‘knee-like’ entrances, got its present-day form in the restoration of the City taking place after the disastrous earthquake in 1667, when a large number of luxurious Gothic and Renaissance palaces had been destroyed. The architectural design of Placa reveals effective solutions and the business sense of the Dubrovnik Republic in those difficult times. Today, Placa is still the shopping centre and venue of major events.
Big Onofrio´s Fountain
In the western (Pile) entrance of the old town, The fountain stairs are nowadays a favourite meeting place for local youth and where both the tourists and pigeons take rest and refresh themselves with cool water.
The eastern part of the Old Town of Dubrovnik; some cruise ship passengers are tendered to the Old Port.
The monumental fort rises above 37 m high rock. It changed roles in the course of history. The main purpose of its construction was defense, and the main idea was to protect the freedom of Dubrovnik.
The sea aquarium is situated within the walls of the medieval fortress St. Ivan (St. John’s). After passing through the stupendous atrium, one enters the fascinating world of silence and tranquil atmosphere. Diverse and affluent Adriatic Sea flora and fauna can be discerned in 31 aquarium tanks.
Lapad beach (Lapad Peninsula) A car free, sandy beach area on the Lapad Peninsula, approximately 3.5 km from the old town, where you can relax in the shade of the numerous trees. At the end of a long pedestrianised street full of cafe bars and restaurants you will see many popular pebble beaches known as Lapad beaches. These beaches are really beautiful and well used. Lapad is definitely one of the most beautiful parts of Dubrovnik and you really must visit it. If you take the headland path to the right hand side of Lapad beach, as you look at the Adriatic, you can walk along a charming little coast path with small concrete ‘beaches’ and ladders into the sea. These were put in during the Tito era and are ideal for one or two sunbathers. Walking further along is an excellent local fish restaurant – ideal for ending the day. The walk back is not particularly well lit, but perfectly safe.
Banje Beach (Near the Old Town). A well located pebble beach. There’s a concessioned part with an entrance fee, but also a public part which is always livelier and more relaxed. Great way to beat the heat in the middle of the town. Amazing view to city walls, Old Town Dubrovnik and the island of Lokrum. Beach volleyball, mini football or water polo. You can also enjoy lying on deck chair and having a drink.
Restaurants & Cafées
There is a wide range of restaurants in the Old Town, mostly offering a very similar menu of local seafood and some meat dishes. The cuisine may not be very imaginative, but it is usually of good quality and very fresh.
Dubrovnik cuisine is characteristically not very spicy and is famous for traditionalism. Many popular meals are characteristic, such as zelena menestra (it is the name for many sorts of cabbages and other vegetables with meat), pasticada and the famous delicacy dubrovacka rozata. Dubrovnik fish restaurants are very popular.
Restaurants can be crudely separated into slightly cheaper places, and more expensive but first class gastronomic restaurants. There are a few pizzerias, mostly wood-fired and quite acceptable.
There are numerous cafes throughout the Old Town and the entire city with prices varying according to the location (particularly, those located on the Stradun are by far the most expensive but you are paying for the ambiance and people-watching as well). Most cafes serve a wide variety of drinks all day.
Revelin Night Club
This club in the Revelin Fortress at the wall attracts a younger crowd and it’s always packed. Revelin’s location in the 16th century fortress affords views of the old harbor and even the sunrise if you stay that long. There is a terrace where you can catch a breather from the always-jammed dance floor.
Pile. Various kinds of music from studio 54 to Croatian music.
Frana Supila bb (At the Banje beach at the Ploce gate) Beach club and night club. In the day you can have drinks in the lounge chairs, at night you can party in the nightclub. Amazing view, various kinds of music, popular Djs and beautiful atmosphere. Free entrance until midnight..
Put Republike (Gruz, 1 km from the center. Bus station is situated just 20 m from the Club.) Various kinds of music, many popular singers and DJs.
Branitelja Dubrovnika 41 (5 min walk along Branitelja Dubrovnika from the old town’s Pile Gate. At number 41, on the left, there is a dark car park, belonging to the old hospital . Walk into it, turn right, pass a small building, then ascend a lot of steps.), Dingy club, predominantly metal but seems to cater for anything deemed alternative. Cheap drink prices with occassional international touring acts, definitely in the minority as a tourist here.
Latino Club Fuego
Brsalje b.b., Pile (just outside the Pile gate). Usually younger population, and the music is commercial rnb, house, dance, pop and techno.
(on the eastern entrance of the Old Town, by the Ploce gate). House and techno music.
Most rental houses and apartments in the Dubrovnik area are located on the east side (Pile-/Lapad area), and on the west side (Ploče area) of Dubrovnik’s Old Town. The Lapad side extends beyond the Lapad peninsula and has more beaches than the Ploče area. The landscape on the Lapad side is less hilly and often preferred by families with children and older people.
The Ploče area on the Old Town’s east side is located on rising terrain towards the Biokovo mountain range behind the coastline. Houses and apartments on this side are located close to Dubrovnik’s center and often offers a fantastic views of the Old Town and the sea, but the access is often by stairs and steeper than on the Lapad peninsula. The Ploče area is therefore less suitable for families with small children, disabled persons and very old people.