Travel

Top Things To Experience When Visiting Dubrovnik

23/07/2021

The historic city of Dubrovnik on the southern coast of Croatia is one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the Mediterranean Sea. And rightly so! You will understand why after your visit. Here are three things to experience when visiting Dubrovnik.

Dubrovnik, the pearl of the Adriatic, Croatia

3 Unique Things to Do in Dubrovnik

In the past decade, Croatia has been Europe’s fastest-rising holiday destination, becoming a favourite country to go in summer thanks to its stunning coastline and unspoiled Mediterranean islands. Croatia is much more than just a beach holiday destination.

A few years ago, I included Croatia in my list of five favourite places to visit in the world, because it offers a variety of landscapes and experiences, historic towns and natural parks, great weather and food, and is generally very good value too!

Croatia’s crown jewel is Dubrovnik, an enchanting medieval city that boasts a rich history and beautiful views. There are countless reasons why you should visit Dubrovnik, and one of them is definitely to taste the amazing Croatian dishes, extra virgin olive oil and wines. From grilled fish to black risotto, local white wine to the famous dessert rožata, Dubrovnik’s cuisine is there for you to experience.

Dubrovnik can be easily reached by air (the city airport is around 25 minutes’ drive to the old town), by car from other locations in Croatia or Montenegro, or by ferry from Bari in Italy. Another way to visit Dubrovnik is on a cruise voyage of the Mediterranean; you’ll sail overnight on a beautiful ship such as Silversea Silver Spirit or Royal Caribbean and wake up in the bay of Dubrovnik with a full day ahead of you to explore the old town.

If you are looking to take a trip to the Pearl of the Adriatic, here are a few activities – in and outside the city – you will want to try and experience during your stay.

The medieval old town of Dubrovnik, Croatia

1. Get lost in the Old Town

Let’s be honest, the walled city of Dubrovnik – a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979 – is the main reason why you came here. So let’s start our visit by wandering in the ancient streets, where it can feel as though you have stepped onto a movie set. With alleyways that can capture the attention of the most curious, it is easy to get lost in this unique area of the city.

The medieval old town of Dubrovnik, Croatia

Take a stroll through the walled-in old town to discover a wealth of well-preserved landmarks like the Rector’s Palace, Onofrio’s Fountain, baroque St. Blaise’s Church, named after the city’s patron saint, and Pile Gate’s drawbridge.

The medieval old town of Dubrovnik, Croatia

2. Walk the city walls

Dubrovnik is one of the best kept medieval cities in the world and walking on the centuries-old city walls is an unmissable experience. Once used to protect the city from invaders, you can take a walk along the city walls where you will be gifted with stunning views of Dubrovnik. They are higher than most of the rooftops in the old town, hence providing striking views as you take the two-hour-long walk. Along the way, admire the panoramic views, and inspect the walls‘ medieval battlements, towers, and forts to delve deeper into their history. Whilst you can walk alone, a guided tour will provide a little bit of history, allowing you to learn something new as you take in the beautiful views of the city.

Dubrovnik's old town seen from the stone city walls

As experiences go, this one is a bit expensive. To keep down the number of visitors and make the experience more enjoyable for everyone (while safeguarding the historic walls), the entry fee was raised to 200 kuna, around £25, a few years ago. Not cheap, but it is definitely worth it! You can buy the ticket directly at the entrance, by cash or card. Keep the ticket, as it includes entry to Fort Lovrijenac and Fort Revelin as well.

Dubrovnik's old town, Croatia

Stradun, the limestone-paved pedestrian main street of Dubrovnik’s old town

3. Look at the city from above

Get out of Dubrovnik to get a birds’ eye view of the walled city from the crest of Mount Srđ. At the top of the 412 metres high hill, you will find a fortress, a cross, a war museum and a restaurant. This remarkable view can make Dubrovnik’s old town appear even more surreal. There are different ways to get up there, the easiest being by car (parking is free at the top), while the hardest is a hik – this is only for the fittest travellers. For the most scenic way up and down Mount Srđ, book a trip in a cable car which will provide you with fantastic views of Dubrovnik and Lokrum, as well as the Elafiti Islands visible on the horizon.

A view of Dubrovnik from the top of Mount Srđ - Croatia

You won’t forget this view of Dubrovnik’s towers and walls, the tiles of the city’s houses and the offshore islands in the distance. Also, you can take the cable car in the daytime or choose to enjoy a trip in a cable car at night and gaze out to the west as you watch the sunset behind the city.

A view from above of Dubrovnik and the Mediterranean Sea, Dalmatian coast, Croatia

Dubrovnik old town and Mount Srd

4. Explore the coast on kayak or speedboat

Taking a cable car will provide you with an overview of the city and walking will offer you the chance to find hidden gems undetectable in the sky view. However, kayaking or sailing on a boat will allow you to see the city from its coasts, showcasing parts that you would not have seen walking around the city or travelling over it.

You will find many tour companies at the harbour and , if you’re visiting in low season, there is no need to pre-book. The most popular one is the half day speedboat boat tours to the beautiful Elafiti Islands, an archipelago of 13 larger and smaller islands, situated slightly northwest of Dubrovnik.

If you’re up to a fitness challenge, you may choose a sea kayak tour in the crystal blue waters from Dubrovnik to Lokrum island (approx 7 km away). The car-free island of Lokrum with its rocky shoreline and beautiful swimming spots makes a peaceful escape from the city. At its centre is a medieval Benedictine monastery complex that’s surrounded by botanical gardens planted with exotic trees, flowers, and bushes. spending a day or just a half-day there can be a really refreshing experience, as the island has plenty of pine, cypress and olive trees as well as some other subtropical vegetation which offers tranquillity and shade, especially during the hot summer days.

Drone image of the old town of Dubrovnik, Croatia

Photo by Spencer Davis

There are boat tours available but why not make it a little special and rent a catamaran to explore the coastal views Dubrovnik has to offer. Investing in a Dubrovnik catamaran charter means that you can see the coastal views of the city, but you also have a chance to go island hopping on some of the islands close by. Renting a catamaran to explore will provide you with another unforgettable experience of what will already be a memorable trip.Dubrovnik's harbour, Croatia

Ultimately, Dubrovnik is a city brimming with opportunities and areas to explore. Regardless of whether you stay in the city for two days or ten days, there will always be something to do during your visit that you will enjoy.

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