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A Dubrovnik Guide

Updated: May 30

About the Author: Stefanie Lambert - I have spent years traveling around Europe and now I want to share my first hand knowledge and expertise to help others fall in love with it as well.


Dubrovnik, Croatia

Nestled on the stunning Dalmatian Coast of Croatia, this ancient city, often referred to as the "Pearl of the Adriatic," is a harmonious blend of medieval charm, architectural wonders, and gorgeous scenery. In 1979, the city of Dubrovnik was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in recognition of its outstanding medieval architecture and fortified old town. Jutting out to the sea with its red tiled roofs, bright blue sea, rugged limestone mountains and stone walls, Dubrovnik really is a sight to behold. Add the charm of old town, the unique culture and the amazing day trips and Dubrovnik is a city that will steal your heart. 

This Dubrovnik guide will give you a good overview of the city and all it has to offer.


Location and History:


Dubrovnik, Croatia

Croatia is a long, skinny country directly across the Adriatic sea from Italy. Dubrovnik is situated in the very southern part of the country. Its strategic location has played a crucial role in its rich history, making it a significant maritime city. Founded in the 7th century, the city grew to become a major power in the Mediterranean trade during the Middle Ages. It has been ruled by the Byzantines, Venice, self ruled as a free state, ruled by the French during the Napoleonic wars, and the Austrian Empire. Dubrovnik later became part of Yugoslavia. In 199, during the Croatian War of Independence, Dubrovnik was besieged by the Yugoslav People's Army for seven months and suffered significant damage from shelling (all the bright red tiled roofs are the ones that needed to be repaired). After undergoing repair and restoration works in the 1990's and early 2000's, it re-emerged as one of the Mediterranean's top tourist destinations.


Getting there:


Dubrovnik, Croatia

By Air: Dubrovnik has an airport. You can get direct flights to the city from most major cities in Europe such as Paris, London, Amsterdam, Munich, Rome and more. From North America you can get direct flights from Newark on United Airlines. There are also many flights to other cities in the country. This is a great option as drive times can be long and you can usually find good deals on flights within the country. 

By Train: There is no train station in Dubrovnik. You can take a bus to a city nearby, such as Split and catch a train there. 

By Bus: Dubrovnik is connected to many major cities in the country by bus but beware that some of the driving distances will be long. Try taking a bus to a closer city, like Split and catching a train from there. The city’s main bus station is about 2 miles north of old town. 

By Car: Croatia has an excellent highway and road system. If you are driving from the north you will have to pass through Bosnia and Herzegovina. Be ready to show your passport as you cross the border.  

By Boat: Split and the neighboring islands have many sea links to Dubrovnik. This can be an especially scenic way to arrive in the city.


Time of year to visit


Dubrovnik, Croatia

Tourists have discovered how absolutely amazing Dubrovnik is. This means it can be busy, especially during the summer months. Consider traveling during the shoulder season (April, May, September, October) for a more enjoyable and relaxing time. It can also get pretty warm in the summer with average temperatures in the high 80’s F. Spring and Autumn are delightful with temperatures averaging mid 70’s. Even Winter is nice with average temperatures in the mid 50’s.

Every year between July 10th and August 25th there is the Dubrovnik summer festival. This festival sees the city using both indoor and outdoor venues for theater, dance, and all different forms of live music. 




Things to See:


Srd Hill:

Srd Hill, cable car, Dubrovnik, Croatia

For a fabulous view of Dubrovnik head to Srd Hill. From this viewpoint you can see the whole town and its surrounding walls with the bright blue sea. The view is absolutely stunning. You can drive to Srd Hill if you have a car or take the cable car up.


Old Town (Stari Grad)


Old town, Stari grad, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The heart of Dubrovnik, the Old Town, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enclosed by impressive stone walls, the maze of narrow streets is home to historical landmarks, cute shops and delicious restaurants.  Explore beautiful monasteries, palaces and fountains. Gleaming marble paved squares are juxtaposed against steep cobblestone streets to create a unique vibe. This traffic free area is a delight to walk around but be aware that some of the streets have steep stairs so bring your walking shoes. Most of the buildings in this area are built in the Baroque style. The reason for this is that in 1667 Dubrovnik suffered a huge earthquake. Only a few buildings survived.


Rector's palace, Old town, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The Rector's Palace was one of the buildings that survived the earthquake. Often hosting concerts in the evening,  this is a wonderful building to explore.



Concert at Rector's palace Dubrovnik, Croatia

One of my favorite memories of Dubrovnik is attending a Gypsy Jazz concert in this palace. It was an unforgettable experience. Sponza Palace, and the  Onofrio's Fountain are other iconic landmarks. If churches are what you are interested in, there are a few to choose from.  Make sure to check out the Dubrovnik cathedral with its beautiful altarpiece. St. Ignatius with its impressive staircase on one side and gorgeous baroque artwork is also worth some time. The church of St. Blaise, the church of St. Dominic and the church of St. Francis are other options to consider.  


City Walls: 



City walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The walls of Dubrovnik, along with its forts, bastions, towers and city gates are a magnificent way to see the city. Don't miss this experience. Take a leisurely stroll along the ancient city walls for breathtaking panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea and the terracotta rooftops of Dubrovnik. The walls also offer a unique perspective of the historic architecture within. Mostly built from the 13th to 16th  century these walls almost entirely surround the city. They run uninterrupted for over 6000 feet and at their highest reach 85 feet. It will take you about 2 hours to walk the walls but there are a few exits if you get tired. They are not flat. There are ups and downs so be prepared. 


City walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Babin Kuk/Lapad: Babin Kuk is a delightful area on the Lapad peninsula. It is an easy bus ride or 5 min. car ride from old town but is much quieter and has a chic feel to it. There is a gorgeous paved promenade that is well worth your time as well as cafes, restaurants, and rocky beaches. It is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon away from the crowds of old town. 


Adventurers:


Kayak, Dubrovnik, Croatia

If you enjoy getting out and having an adventure Dubrovnik will give you lots to choose from. For water sports some of the options are kayaking, snorkeling, jet skiing, sailing, cliff jumping and swimming.  If land is more your thing there are segway tours, atv tours, hiking trails, biking  and zip lining. 


What to Eat:

Croatian cuisine is a delightful blend of Mediterranean and Balkan flavors, and Dubrovnik offers a range of delectable dishes. Here are a few examples you might want to try.


  • Pasticada: A slow-cooked beef stew marinated in red wine and often served with gnocchi or pasta

  • Black Risotto: A coastal specialty, black risotto is made with cuttlefish or squid ink, giving it a rich, distinctive flavor. It's a must-try for seafood enthusiasts.

  • Dalmatian Prosciutto and Cheese: Sample the local cured ham and cheeses, often served as appetizers or in platters with olives and fresh bread.

  • Dubrovnik Rožata: End your culinary journey with a sweet treat. Rožata is a traditional Dubrovnik dessert, a creamy caramel custard with a hint of rose liqueur.


Day Trips:


Mostar, Bosnia, day trip from Dubrovnik, Croatia

While Dubrovnik itself is a treasure trove of history and culture, it is worth it to stay a few extra days and enjoy the many enticing day trips that await. Lokrum Islands, Kotor, Mostar, Korcula, Kravice, and Cavtat are just a few of the wonderful options for day trips.


Dubrovnik, Croatia

A visit to Dubrovnik is a step back in time, an exploration of stunning landscapes, and a feast for the senses. Whether you're walking the ancient walls, indulging in local delicacies, or embarking on day trips to nearby gems, Dubrovnik promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you enchanted with its history, culture, and exquisite scenery. You will not soon forget your time spent in this magical city. 


Need more reasons to visit Croatia? Check out my 5 reasons to visit Croatia blog post at www.eurotravelsbydesign.com/post/5-reasons-to-visit-croatia


Ready to travel to Dubrovnik? Contact us at www.eurotravelsbydesign.com and let us plan the perfect itinerary tailored just for you.

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