Dubrovnik is an amazing city with a stunning Old Town, which became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. The city is considered as the “Pearl of the Adriatic” due to its spectacular architectural heritage.
In the past, Dubrovnik rivalled Venice in wealth and power. In the 15th century, it attracted the best architects and sculptors in order to embellish the city in a Renaissance style. In 1667, Dubrovnik was devastated by an earthquake that destroyed most of its Renaissance architecture and art. After the earthquake, the city was rebuilt in a baroque style.
Dubrovnik was bombarded in 1991.
Years after and with help from the international community, the damage was repaired.
Nowadays, Dubrovnik is once again a charming city with beautiful buildings, fountains and full of life.
Walk along the 2km loop of the well-preserved city walls and enjoy the stunning views of the city with its reddish roofs and the Adriatic Sea. The walls are 22 meters high in certain places. We recommend you go either late in the afternoon or early morning to avoid the crowds and the heat. The admission is 120 kn and it takes roughly one hour and a half to make the loop. There are three entrances to the City walls: the main entrance by Inner Pile Gate, the entrance by St John´s Fortress and the entrance by St Lucas Fortress.
PLACA / STRADUN
This beautiful pedestrian street full of souvenir shops, fountains, monasteries, restaurants and baroque buildings is the main street in Dubrovnik. It is nearly 300 meters long, which go from the Pile Gate up to Luza Square. We recommend you get lost in the charming narrow streets surrounding Stradun. You will love the atmosphere with its restaurants, stairs and decorations.
Visit the nearby serbian orthodox church Blagovijest (Church of the Holy Annunciation).
CATHEDRAL OF THE ASSUMPTION OF THE VIRGIN
The Cathedral is one of the most important buildings in Dubrovnik. Its dome stands out from the rest of the reddish roofs in the city.
It was one of the most affected buildings during the earthquake in 1667. It was first constructed in a Byzantine style, and reconstructed in Romanesque during the XII century. After the earthquake, it was rebuilt in a new style, Baroque. Several important paintings and treasures are kept inside, such as St Blaise´s relics.
This fountain, which is the main fountain of the city center, dates to the XV century and stands out due to its large size and circular shape. It used to receive the water from an aqueduct located outside the city walls. It has 16 mask shaped water taps, and it is said that you will have good luck by touching the heads of the figures on the fountain.
LUZA SQUARE AND SURROUNDINGS
This was the former market square, and it is surrounded by the most important monuments of Dubrovnik: the Bell Tower, the Sponza Palace and the Church of Saint Blaise. In the middle of the square, you will see Orlando´s Column (1418).
- The Bell Tower. It was built in 1444 but it has been restored in several occasions, the last time being in 1929. The bell is the only original bit. Visitors go every hour in order to hear the bell strike.
- The Sponza Palace. This is the former customs building and one of the main economic buildings of the former Ragusa Republic. Nowadays the State Archives are kept inside, with more than 7,000 volumes and 100,000 papers of more than 900 years.
- Church of Saint Blaise (XVIII). Baroque church dedicated in memory of the patron saint of Dubrovnik.
Before falling into the hands of the troops of Napoleon, it used to be the headquarters of the Rector of the independent Republic of Ragusa. The Palace was constructed in the XV century and restored in the XVII century, after the earthquake.
The engraved capitals of the pillars that lead you to the entrance of the palace stand out.
Certain days the Dubrovnik Symphony performs at the Rector´s Palace. If you are lucky and they are performing when you are around, we recommend you get tickets for the cheap seats upstairs.
Dubrovnik’s Dominican Friary was founded in 1315. It has a Gothic Renaissance cloister, a 14th-century well in the center of the cloister garden, the bell tower and the Dominican Museum with fine religious art.
This monastery was built in 1317. The complex consists of a monastery, a church, a library and a pharmacy. The library, the cloisters and the bell tower were heavily damaged in the attacks during the 1991 war. The pharmacy is one of the oldest in Europe, which has been functioning since 1391.
TAKE THE CABLE CAR UP MOUNT SRD
Take the cable car and go up to the top of Mount Srd to enjoy the breathtaking and panoramic views of Dubrovnik, its old town and the surrounding islands. If you can, go just before dusk to see the sunset.
There is a fort at the top that was built in the Napoleonic era and used during the Siege of Dubrovnik in 1991 by the Yugoslav-Montenegro-Serb army. Nowadays the fort houses the Museum of the Croatian War of Independence.
Banje Beach. Pebble beach located about a 10 minute walk east of Ploce gate. It offers superb views of the old town and Lokrum island, and it is a great place to see the sunset. Although it is not the best beach in the world, it is a nice beach to sunbathe and refresh yourself.
Lapad Beach. Sandy beach located around 3.5 km from the old town, at the end of a pedestrian street full of bars and restaurants.
Buža I (Ilije Sarake) and Buža II (Crijevićeva 9) are two cliff side cafes located on the south side of the Old Town and outside the city walls where you can watch the sunset while you have a drink. Both bars are accessed by holes in the castle walls that leads out to the sea. It is very easy to miss the entrance, but there is a wooden sign with an arrow saying “Cold drinks with the most beautiful view“, so keep an eye for it. Buza I is larger and has little tables and chairs on different levels. Buza 2 is smaller with some stairs that lead you to the sea.
In the evenings, four ceremonial guards march through the main street Stradun. Until 9h30 pm, they keep guard over the two main city gates in full period costume and then they march back down the Stradun.
WAR PHOTO MUSEUM
Exhibition of photographs of the war. Although it is not pleasant to see these images, they really capture the damage of the reality, so we suggest you visit this museum if you want to learn and understand more about the war.
In summer, Folklor Lindo performs traditional dances and songs in an outdoor theatre near Banje Beach. So if it happens that you are around in summer, we recommend you attend to a performance.