Built as a fortress in the 7th century, Dubrovnik's Old Town is a wandering maze of narrow marble streets, terracotta rooftops and imposing baroque architecture surrounded by thick walls. A walk along the ramparts provides excellent views over the city and its surroundings.
An earthquake in 1667 destroyed much of the city's original medieval architecture, but the city was quick to return to its former glory, both after this event and after the continued shelling it received during the siege of 1991. Nowadays, peace and culture reign.
Outside the city walls, the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic Sea are one of Dubrovnik's main attractions, providing great opportunities to enjoy swimming, sailing, snorkeling and delicious fresh seafood.Things to do in Dubrovnik
Getting around Dubrovnik
- • Placa Also known as Stradun, Placa is the main pedestrian thoroughfare through Dubrovnik's Old Town, and the first place you should go to get a feel of the place. Lined with shops and cafés, it runs from the imposing Gate of Pila to the Gate of Ploča.
• Franciscan Monastery Set just inside the Gate of Pila, Dubrovnik's beautiful Franciscan Monastery was first constructed in 1337, although it had to be rebuilt after the earthquake of 1667. As well as a splendid cloister with ornate columns, the Romanesque monastery is home to one of the oldest pharmacies in Europe, dating back to 1317.
Dubrovnik's Jesuit and Dominican monasteries are also worth a visit, as are the numerous medieval churches dotted throughout the Old Town.
• Onofrio's Fountain Also just by the Gate of Pila, this 16-sided drinking fountain was built in 1438. It brings water from a well 20km away, an engineering masterpiece at its time.
• Rector's Palace This Gothic palace offers some interesting information about the history of the city, with collections of antique furniture and historical exhibits.
Sponza Palace is also a pleasant place to visit, a fine example of renaissance architecture with a peaceful atmosphere, and an important building which was in public use up until the 19th century.
• Minčeta Fortress The largest tower on the city walls, Minčeta Fortress was finished in 1464 and provides wonderful views over Dubrovnik. For an insight into the city's military history, other fortresses in Dubrovnik include St Ivan, Revelin, Bokar and Lovrijenac.
• Lokrum A ferry runs every half hour during summer to the little green island of Lokrum, just 700m offshore. Making a great place for a day out, the whole island is a national park with beaches, botanical gardens and the ruins of a Benedictine monastery.
• Dubrovnik Beaches The closest beach to the Old Town is located just outside Ploče Gate, popular for sunbathing, swimming and kayaking. Another popular option is the wide, sandy beach at Lapad - an uncommon sight along the Croatian coastline. Alternatively take a boat out to Lokrum to visit its nudist beach.
- • Feast of St Blaise (February)
- • Dubrovnik Carnival (February - March)
- • Dubrovnik International Film Festival (May)
- • Dubrovnik Summer Festival (July - August)
- • Le Petit Festival du Théâtre (August - September)
Tucked away in Dubrovnik's Old Town, Roko House is a charming boutique B&B offering stylish accommodation in six individually designed guestrooms. Original design features such as wooden beams and exposed brickwork are complemented by elegant chandeliers and antique furniture, while fully equipped bathrooms, LCD TVs and air conditioning provide all the modern comforts. Enjoy a sunny breakfast on the roof terrace with great views out over the beautiful city.House Tereza
Surrounded by centuries of history and culture at the heart of the Old Town, House Tereza has been carefully renovated to provide modern and comfortable rooms while still preserving the age and character of the original building. Accommodation comprises one well-appointed en-suite double and a two-bedroom apartment with kitchen and bathroom - perfect for self-catering. Museums, churches, restaurants and bars are all within easy reach.
Dubrovnik's Čilipi International Airport (DBV) is around 20km from the city centre, with public and private buses running to the main bus station.
The Old Town itself is just a few hundred metres across and easily walkable, as long as you have a map to guide you round all those narrow, winding lanes.
Local buses are regular and reasonably priced. Those wishing to explore further afield can do so by bus or ferry - advance booking is advisable.
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By Eleanor Brown