Dubrovnik, Croatia, is a historical and cultural hub located on the Adriatic Sea. Known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” Dubrovnik offers visitors a wealth of activities and attractions.
Dubrovnik is a beautiful and historic city that’s full of interesting facts and trivia. Here are just a few:
- Dubrovnik was once an independent republic known as the Republic of Ragusa. It was a maritime power that controlled much of the Adriatic Sea.
- Dubrovnik’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known for its well-preserved Baroque architecture.
- Dubrovnik’s city walls, which date back to the 14th century, run for 2 kilometers and feature towers, fortresses, and gates.
- Dubrovnik was a filming location for the hit TV show Game of Thrones, and several of the city’s landmarks were used as sets, including the Lovrijenac Fortress and the Pile Gate.
- Dubrovnik is home to one of the oldest pharmacies in Europe, which dates back to the 14th century. The pharmacy is located in the Franciscan Monastery.
- Dubrovnik was heavily damaged during the Croatian War of Independence in the 1990s, but has since been restored to its former glory.
- Dubrovnik is known for its crystal-clear waters and beautiful beaches, including Banje Beach, which is one of the most popular in the city.
- Dubrovnik’s cuisine features a mix of Mediterranean and Balkan influences, with dishes like grilled seafood, octopus salad, and cevapi, a type of grilled sausage.
- Dubrovnik is located on the Adriatic Sea and is surrounded by several picturesque islands, including Lokrum, Mljet, and Korcula.
- Dubrovnik has a vibrant nightlife scene, with plenty of bars and clubs to choose from, as well as music and cultural festivals throughout the year.
Here are the 20 best things to do in Dubrovnik:
Explore Dubrovnik Old Town
Dubrovnik Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s home to a wealth of historical and cultural attractions. Take a stroll through the limestone streets and marvel at the Baroque architecture. Visit the Onofrio Fountain, which was built in the 15th century to supply the city with water. The Pile Gate, the entrance to the Old Town, is another must-visit attraction. The gate was built in the 16th century and features a drawbridge and a statue of St. Blaise, the city’s patron saint. The Stradun, the city’s main thoroughfare, is lined with shops, restaurants, and cafes, and is a great place to people-watch.
Walk the City Walls
The Dubrovnik city walls are a must-visit attraction when in the city. Built in the 14th century, the walls run for 2 kilometers and offer stunning views of the Adriatic Sea. The walls are up to 6 meters thick in some places and feature towers, fortresses, and gates. Be sure to bring comfortable shoes and plenty of water, as the walk can be challenging in the heat.
Visit the Lovrijenac Fortress
The Lovrijenac Fortress is a must-visit for Game of Thrones fans, as it was used as a filming location for the show’s Red Keep. Located just outside the city walls, the fortress dates back to the 11th century and was built to protect Dubrovnik from invaders. Visitors can explore the fortress’s interior and climb to the top for stunning views of the sea and the city.
See the Sponza Palace
The Sponza Palace is a Gothic-Renaissance building located in Dubrovnik’s Old Town. It was built in the 16th century and now serves as the city’s archives. The palace features a beautiful courtyard, a Renaissance loggia, and a statue of St. Blaise, the city’s patron saint. Visitors can explore the palace’s interior and learn about Dubrovnik’s history.
Visit the Rector’s Palace
The Rector’s Palace was the residence of the Rector of the Republic of Ragusa, the city-state that Dubrovnik was a part of in the past. It now houses a museum that showcases the city’s cultural heritage. The palace features a beautiful atrium, a ceremonial hall, and a collection of paintings and artifacts.
Take a Cable Car Ride
For panoramic views of Dubrovnik and the surrounding area, take a cable car ride up to the top of Mount Srd. The ride takes just a few minutes and offers stunning views of the Old Town, the sea, and the surrounding islands. At the top, there’s a restaurant and a museum dedicated to the Croatian War of Independence.
Swim at Banje Beach
Banje Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Dubrovnik. Located just outside the city walls, it offers crystal-clear waters and stunning views of the Old Town. The beach features loungers and umbrellas for rent, as well as a beach bar and a restaurant.
Visit Lokrum Island
Take a short ferry ride from Dubrovnik’s Old Port to Lokrum Island. The island is a nature reserve and home to peacocks, rabbits, and a botanical garden. Visitors can hike through the island’s forests, swim in the sea, and explore the ruins of a Benedictine monastery.
Tour Dubrovnik Cathedral
The Dubrovnik Cathedral is a Baroque-style church located in the heart of the Old Town. Its impressive interior includes works by Italian and Croatian artists, as well as relics of St. Blaise, the city’s patron saint. Visitors can climb to the top of the bell tower for stunning views of the city.
Visit the Franciscan Monastery
The Franciscan Monastery is located near the Pile Gate and is home to one of the oldest pharmacies in Europe. The pharmacy dates back to the 14th century and features an impressive collection of ceramics, vases, and old bottles. The monastery’s cloisters are a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Enjoy Sea Kayaking
Explore the Adriatic Sea by taking a sea kayaking tour. You can paddle along the Dubrovnik coastline, explore hidden caves and beaches, and get a unique perspective of the city’s walls. The tours are suitable for all ages and skill levels, and usually include a guide and equipment rental.
Take a Boat Tour
Another great way to see Dubrovnik from the sea is to take a boat tour. You can choose from a variety of options, including sunset cruises, island hopping tours, and fishing trips. Many of the tours include stops at secluded beaches and coves, where you can swim in the crystal-clear waters and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
Visit the Dubrovnik Aquarium
Located in Fort St. John, the Dubrovnik Aquarium is home to a variety of marine life, including fish, sea turtles, and even sharks. The aquarium is a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages, with interactive exhibits and informative displays. You can also learn about Dubrovnik’s maritime history and the importance of conservation efforts.
Enjoy the Nightlife
Dubrovnik has a vibrant nightlife scene, with plenty of bars and clubs to choose from. You can enjoy cocktails with a view at Buza Bar, which is located on a cliff overlooking the sea, dance the night away at Revelin Club, or enjoy live music at Troubadour Jazz Cafe. The city also hosts several music and cultural festivals throughout the year, which are worth checking out.
Visit the War Photo Limited Gallery
The War Photo Limited Gallery is a powerful and moving exhibition that showcases the work of photojournalists who have covered conflicts around the world. The gallery is located in Dubrovnik’s Old Town and features rotating exhibits that focus on different conflicts and themes. The gallery is a thought-provoking experience that challenges visitors to think critically about the impact of war and violence.
Explore the Dubrovnik Art Gallery
The Dubrovnik Art Gallery is home to a collection of Croatian art from the 19th and 20th centuries. The gallery is located in the Baroque-style mansion of the Lazareti complex and features works by some of Croatia’s most famous artists. The collection includes paintings, sculptures, and drawings, as well as temporary exhibits.
Discover the Dubrovnik Synagogue
The Dubrovnik Synagogue is one of the oldest Sephardic synagogues in the world. It was built in the 15th century and is located in Dubrovnik’s Old Town. The synagogue features a beautiful interior with intricate carvings and decorations, as well as a collection of artifacts and documents related to Jewish history in Dubrovnik.
Visit the Maritime Museum
The Maritime Museum is located in St. John’s Fortress and explores Dubrovnik’s maritime history. The museum has a collection of ship models, maps, and artifacts, as well as exhibits on navigation, trade, and shipbuilding. The museum also hosts workshops and educational programs for visitors of all ages.
Take a Day Trip to Montenegro
If you have extra time, consider taking a day trip to Montenegro. The country is just a short drive from Dubrovnik and offers stunning scenery, including the Bay of Kotor and the Durmitor National Park. You can also visit the historic towns of Kotor and Budva, which are known for their beautiful architecture and picturesque coastal settings. Many tour companies offer day trips from Dubrovnik to Montenegro, which include transportation, guided tours, and meals.
Visit the Trsteno Arboretum
Located just outside Dubrovnik, the Trsteno Arboretum is a botanical garden that dates back to the 15th century. The garden is home to over 300 species of trees and plants, including exotic species from all over the world. The garden also features a beautiful Renaissance-style fountain, a pavilion, and several walking paths. The arboretum is a peaceful retreat from the city and a great place to enjoy nature.
Attend a Traditional Croatian Folklore Show
Experience Croatian culture by attending a traditional folklore show. The shows feature music, dance, and costumes from different regions of Croatia, and are a fun and lively experience. Some shows also include dinner and drinks, and are a great way to sample traditional Croatian cuisine.
Visit the Dubrovnik Natural History Museum
The Dubrovnik Natural History Museum is located in the former palace of a Dubrovnik nobleman. The museum features exhibits on the flora and fauna of the Dubrovnik region, as well as the geology and paleontology of the area. The museum also has a collection of fossils and dinosaur skeletons, which are sure to fascinate visitors of all ages.
Take a Cooking Class
Learn how to cook traditional Croatian dishes by taking a cooking class. Many restaurants and hotels offer cooking classes, which include a visit to the local market to buy ingredients, a cooking lesson, and a meal. You can learn how to make dishes like peka, a traditional Croatian dish that’s cooked in a covered pot over an open fire.
Visit the Dubrovnik Summer Festival
The Dubrovnik Summer Festival is a cultural event that takes place every year in July and August. The festival features music, theater, dance, and art performances, as well as open-air concerts and film screenings. The festival takes place in various locations throughout the city, including the Old Town and the Fort of St. Lawrence.
Go Scuba Diving
Explore the underwater world of the Adriatic Sea by going scuba diving. Dubrovnik has several diving centers that offer courses and guided dives for all levels of experience. You can explore shipwrecks, underwater caves, and reefs, and see a variety of marine life up close.
Take a Wine Tour
Discover the wines of Croatia by taking a wine tour. The Dubrovnik region is home to several wineries that produce high-quality wines, including Plavac Mali, a red wine that’s unique to Croatia. The tours usually include a visit to the winery, a wine tasting, and a meal of local specialties.
Enjoy a Game of Thrones Tour
Dubrovnik was a filming location for the hit TV show Game of Thrones, and fans of the show can take a tour to see the locations used in the show. The tours include a visit to the Lovrijenac Fortress, which was used as the Red Keep, as well as the Pile Gate and the Dubrovnik City Walls. The tours are a fun way to see the city and relive some of the show’s iconic moments.
Dubrovnik offers visitors a wealth of activities and attractions, from exploring the Old Town to taking a boat tour or a sea kayaking tour. The city’s rich history and culture, stunning scenery, and vibrant nightlife make it a must-visit destination for travelers to Croatia. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or simply soaking up the sun on the beach, Dubrovnik has something for everyone.
What is Dubrovnik famous for?
Dubrovnik is famous for its well-preserved Old Town, its city walls, and its stunning location on the Adriatic Sea.
Is Dubrovnik expensive to visit?
Dubrovnik can be expensive, particularly during the peak tourist season. However, there are ways to save money, such as staying in a hostel or budget hotel and eating at local restaurants.
How do I get to Dubrovnik?
Dubrovnik has an international airport and is also accessible by bus, ferry, and car.
What is the best time of year to visit Dubrovnik?
The best time of year to visit Dubrovnik is in the shoulder season, from April to June or September to November, when the weather is mild and there are fewer tourists.
Can I swim in the sea in Dubrovnik?
Yes, Dubrovnik has several beaches where you can swim in the sea.