Dubrovnik Travel Guide

Dubrovnik, with its red-tiled roofs and iconic Old Town wall, is a prominent destination in Croatia that has been attracting visitors for centuries. The city often called the Pearl of the Adriatic, is a charming walled town located on the far south of the Dalmatian coast. It is a popular tourist destination year-round, although we…

Town History

Dubrovnik was established in ancient times by Greek sailors travelling between their settlements on the Dalmatian coast. Soon it became a significant trading outpost and in the 15th Century developed into a Republic – a sovereign state that rivalled the Venetians in both trade and wealth. It’s important to note that Dubrovnik was among the most progressive states of that era, abolishing slavery as early as 1418. It became a beacon of civil liberties and the home of tolerant, inclusive people and it remains much the same to this day.

Best way to get to Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is conveniently located near many other cities, with various transportation options available. The city has its own international airport, with both domestic and foreign flights arriving daily. Additionally, there is a reliable bus system that runs throughout Dubrovnik and to other Dalmatian cities like Split, as well as Rijeka and Zagreb. There are also international bus routes to Dubrovnik from Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Furthermore, Dubrovnik can be reached by catamaran or ferry from most Dalmatian locations; the most popular routes depart from Split, Hvar and Korcula.

What to do while I am in Dubrovnik?

Dubrovnik Promenade – The Stradun

The main street in Dubrovnik, called Stradun, is lined with beautiful old buildings and is the home to the city’s most magnificent churches. Saint Blaise Church and Dubrovnik Cathedral are two of the most iconic structures on Stradun, but beneath the street lies an even more amazing 600-year-old water supply system. Be sure to also visit the Franciscan Monastery and see the oldest operating pharmacy in Europe! In between all your sightseeing, take a break in one of the many side alleys off of Stradun. These areas are full of authentic restaurants, bars, and cafes, and make for a great coffee break.

Take a Ryde by Cable Car

If you want to get the most out of your Dubrovnik experience, be sure to visit Mount Srđ. You can take a cable car from outside the city walls straight to the top, where you’ll find an old fort. Once you’re there, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the cityscape, including its red-tiled rooftops. You can also enjoy food and drink at the on-site restaurant while enjoying in panorama view. In the distance, you’ll be able to see the Lokrum and Elafit islands; two locations you shouldn’t miss during your stay in Dubrovnik!

Explore the City Walls

A visit to the city walls is a must-do when in Dubrovnik. The fortifications, built from white limestone dating back to the 600s, protected the city and its inhabitants for centuries. What we see of the walls today is from the 15th century. UNESCO has recognized the city walls as a World Heritage site. Imagine what life was like during its protective reign by taking a stroll around the ledge of the walls. The walk will take 1-2 hours and tickets can be purchased at the entrance.

Visit Game of Thrones Filming Spots

Although the series has come to an end, Croatia’s association with Game of Thrones is far from over! On a book signing visit to Dubrovnik (before filming began), George RR Martin said that the city was exactly what he had imagined Kings Landing would be. Not long after, this vision became reality when the capital of the 7 kingdoms was brought to life on screen! The series was filmed in various locations throughout Croatia, many of which were in Dubrovnik. Walk down the ‘shame’ steps famously performed by Cersei and make sure to commemorate your time with a photo on the Iron Throne!

Explore Lokrum Island

A short ferry ride from Old Town will take you to the small island of Lokrum, where you can explore the lush greenery and subtropical vegetation. The 11th-century Benedictine Monastery is the largest and main attraction on the island, and there are also 19th-century Botanical Gardens to stroll through. In the centre of Lokrum is Fort Royal, where you can climb to the top for views of both Lokrum and Dubrovnik. You may even spot some of the resident peacocks along your journey!

See the Oldest Pharmacy in Europe

Hidden away in the 14th-century Dominican monastery is an apothecary that dates back 700 years. Many travellers are unaware of its existence. If you go through the Pile Gate and take a walk to the side, you’ll come across the third oldest pharmacy in the world, which was built in 1317. It was used by medical professionals during the Ragusa era and not much has changed since then. You’ll be able to see ancient pharmaceutical equipment and medical books on display, and it’s still operational today. The monastery also has a Pharmacy Museum where you can find 15th-century artefacts.

What about accommodation in Dubrovnik?

In Dubrovnik, you can find accommodation to suit all budgets and travel styles. Whether you would prefer to be in the heart of Old Town or in a quieter location outside of the City Walls, there are many options available that vary in price and style. If you are looking for a luxury boutique hotel or a hostel inspired by Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik has it all.

Locationas near Dubrovnik

Mlini

Mlini is a small town situated on Župa Bay along the Dubrovnik Riviera. The town gets its name from the mills that powered the water supply, which were known as ‘mlin’. Mlini has a long history dating back to ancient times and is now a hub of culture and activity. The town is a popular destination for its serene wellsprings and lush landscapes. There are numerous beaches available for visitors to enjoy, including a fine sand beach which is relatively uncommon throughout Croatia! Evidence of ancient Greek and Roman settlers can be found throughout the town.

Cavtat

If you have made your way to Dubrovnik, Cavtat is the most southern island past town that is worth the journey. Just 20 kilometres away, and a 10-minute bus ride from the town centre, Cavtat sits in between Dubrovnik and Montenegro and has a more subdued atmosphere compared to its neighbours. Cavtat is encircled by its harbour town, relatively sheltered from the busyness and adorned with views of terracotta roofs and vibrant blue and teal waters from the edge of town. This small town holds a number of ancient sites, hosts a summer festival from June to September and eagerly showcases its heritage through folk costumes, traditional crafts and dances throughout the town.

Plat

Plat is a hidden gem situated a 15-minute drive southeast of Dubrovnik. Although it does not have many attractions, its tranquil atmosphere makes it the perfect place to relax. The coastline is wrapped in lush Mediterranean vegetation and there are several restaurants and bars to enjoy after spending the day lounging on one of the many beaches.