Dubrovnik is a classy, sophisticated and romantic destination that has plenty to offer the discerning traveller. Affectionately known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic” the designated UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts a prime seafront location, an ancient and historic walled city centre and a plethora of cultural and artistic attractions to tempt you. To fully enjoy Dubrovnik’s extensive delights, plan an itinerary that combines traditional sightseeing with relaxation excursions and shopping opportunities.
The Old Town
Circumnavigate the ancient city walls to experience and admire Dubrovnik’s 10thcentury history and original medieval architecture. The full circuit is over a mile in length and takes in views of the Lovrjenacand Revelin Forts,and the 15thcentury towers that were later added to keep the marauding Ottoman Turks out. If you adjust your gaze you can also enjoy spectacular views of the sparkling Adriatic Sea from your six metres high vantage point. It’s best to check the arrival times of the cruise ships, in order to visit when the popular attraction is less crowded.
Explore the pedestrian-only Old Town and visit the open-air market, situated close to Gruž port, to experience authentic Croatian life. Browse the colourful stalls that are heaped high with fresh seasonal produce, and buy the popular tourist treats of arancini candied orange peel or lavender products to take back home.
Don’t forget to return to the Old Town in the evening for the 3-minute cable car ride to the city’s highest peak. Magnificent sunset vistas await you at the summit of Mount Sr?.
The Old Town is truly one of the best places to visit in Dubrovnik and is therefore number one on this list.
The Roman Catholic Dubrovnik Cathedral is locally known as the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Designed by Italian architect Andrea Buffalini, the Baroque style cathedral sits on the site of a 7thcentury basilica, and was structurally expanded in the 12thcentury. The cathedral boasts ornate and elaborate interior décor that includes 16thand 18thcentury paintings by Dalmatian and Italian artists. The cathedral’s treasury is home to many of Dubrovnik’s historically important relics. You can view gold and silver reliquaries, a piece of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion cross, and various body parts of St. Blaise.
The Rector’s Palace
Dubrovnik’s Gothic-Renaissance Rector’s Palace was originally built in the 15thcentury for the elected rector, but was heavily damaged by a gunpowder explosion. It was rebuilt and was again damaged, first by fire and later by an earthquake in 1667. Today, the remodelled structure boasts an elegant courtyard that hosts classical music performances during the summer season, and many stunning interesting architectural features that are inspired by the original 1435 designs in by Onofrio de la Cava. Browse inside and explore the Cultural Historical Museum. The museum’s impressive 15,000-piece collection includes Republic of Ragusa exhibits, a bust of Miho Pracat, a former merchant of the island of Lopud, and fine art paintings by Dalmatian and Venetian artists.
Being a coastal city Dubrovnik enjoys breathtaking ocean views and an easily accessible beach. The golden sandy Banje Beach is situated a short distance from the heart of the Old Town. Due to its city centre location it’s not possible to reach by car. Take a leisurely stroll and reward yourself with a refreshing swim in the sea. You can also water-ski and parasail. To sunbathe in A-list celebrity style, hire a baldachin (a four poster sun bed draped with chiffon shades). Refreshments are available from the nearby lounge bar or seafood restaurant.
To fully immerse yourself in the culture of Dubrovnik it’s essential that you spend some time in the Stradun (officially known as Placa), watching the world go by. The picturesque limestone pedestrianised Stradun promenade is the city’s main street and runs for 300 metres, separating the Old Town to the north and south. As all roads lead to the Stradun, this is where locals and tourists gather to reflect on the events of the day. In the evening, you can enjoy a drink in one of the cafes or bars whilst you admire the views of the 17thcentury buildings that line the pedestrian thoroughfare. You can also shop for souvenirs here. From a seat on the steps of Sveti Vlaho Church you can relax and completely lose yourself in the enchantment of Dubrovnik.
For ease of getting around you may want to autobook a rental car in Dubrovnik.