Beautifully located, overlooking the deep blue Adriatic Sea, historic Dubrovnik is one of the world’s most magnificent walled cities. Doubling for ‘King’s Landing’ in the epic fantasy series ‘Game of Thrones’, Croatia’s jewel is an absolute delight to explore on foot.
Old City Walls
The best way to see Dubrovnik is to get up high… onto the City Walls. Dating back to the 13th century, the walls are 24 metres (79 feet) high and up to 6 metres (20 feet) thick. A full-circuit, 2 km (1.2 miles) walk along the battlements provides ever changing views out to sea and over the old town, with excellent photo opportunities.
This elegant, polished, pedestrianised main thoroughfare has a wealth of churches, palaces, restaurants and cafes, including a wide selection of gelateries that offer delicious Italian-style ice creams and sorbets.
Sandy Banje Beach is the closest beach to the Old Town, making it the beach with the best view of the old city walls. Lounge chairs and umbrellas can be rented (200 Kn [~£23/$28] for two chairs and an umbrella) from the nearby Banje Beach Club.
The Square of the Loggia
Featuring some of Dubrovnik’s most famous buildings and public monuments, including the Church of St Blaise and Orlando’s Column, the square of the Loggia is in the north east section of the old city centre.
Located on a rocky promontory just outside the city’s western wall, Fort Lovrijenac has long been one of Croatia’s most important fortresses, proving impregnable during the many sieges undertaken by the Venetians from the 11th century onwards.
The Rector’s Palace
Built in the late 15th century for the elected rector who governed Dubrovnik, the Rector’s Palace is now home to the city’s Cultural Historical Museum.
The Big Fountain of Onofrio
Built between 1438 and 1444, the Big Fountain of Onofrio was an important part of Dubrovnik’s original water supply system that carried water from the Dubrovacka river.
The summit of Mount Srdj (412 metres/1,352 ft) offers excellent views of the city and the old harbour below. At the top sits Fort Imperial, built from 1806 to 1816, during the Napoleonic Wars.
There’s plenty of opportunity for day trips from the harbour to nearby islands, including the Elafiti islands.
Travel Log and Tips
- I travelled to Dubrovnik for a 3-night city break in June 2012, flying from London Gatwick on Monarch Airlines and staying at The Grand Villa Argentina.
- Built into a steep hillside, the Grand Villa Argentina is a downhill 10-minute walk along the coast from Ploče Gate, the eastern entrance into Dubrovnik’s Old Town.
- Tips for walking the Dubrovnik walls:
- Buy tickets just outside the main gate to the Old Town. Tickets cost 100 Kn (~£11.60/$14.50).
- Go early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the hottest part of the day, and bring bottles of water — there are a few kiosks and cafes on the walls, but they’re expensive.
- For more information, see here.
- If you’re a ‘Game of Thrones’ fan, the Game of Thrones Walking Tour is a fun way to see some of Dubrovnik’s top historical attractions that also appear in the famous television series.
- There are three ways to access the summit of Mount Srd:
- The easiest and quickest is by taking the cable car at Petra Kresimira Street (price 60 Kn and 100 Kn for a single and a return journey, respectively).
- It is also possible to drive up via the village of Bosanka.
- For those feeling a bit more energetic, a 90-minute hike to the top is possible along a footpath which starts from Jadranska Cesta above the old town and goes all the way up to the Fort Imperial.
- Various boat tour companies tout for day-trips to the Elafiti islands, down by the Old Harbour; most include a fish barbeque and soft drinks in their package. A word of caution though – if you’re prone to seasickness, you may want to take prophylactic meds or skip the idea of a day spent island hopping altogether. A lot of people on our trip did not find their sea legs and had a very uncomfortable couple of hours on the choppy waters!
- The more adventurous amongst you can also take day-trips to the neighbouring countries of Montenegro and Bosnia and Hercegovina.
- Dubrovnik tends to get very crowded during the summer months, especially with cruise ship passengers, so visiting outside the busiest of months – May and June or September and October – is ideal.