Sightseeing in Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is a beautiful sparkling city in the far south of Croatia with a coast often referred to as the new Riviera. It is also attracting some of the rich and beautiful jet-set crowd from the Cote d'Azur as a great place to see and be seen. Consequently there is now a mixture of medieval charm and hip new bars, restaurant and luxury hotels.
Dubrovnik is steeped in culture so there is plenty of history to satisfy any sightseer to the city. Start in the Old Town, so beautiful it is hard to believe it is not a film set. The area is a car-free zone and can be crossed in a mere 10 minutes, if you don't get distracted by the many cafes and views, that is. Perhaps the best way to see the Old Town is by taking an hour long ramble along the fortified city walls built between 13-16th centuries, some of which reach 80ft high. You will pass through turrets and fortresses as you go and have fantastic elevated views of white houses, red tiled roofs, hidden courtyards and expensive yachts moored out in the deep blue water of the Adriatic. Tickets to access the walls can be bought from either the Pile Gate or the entrance below the Church of St Nicholas.
Located near Pile Gate are Big Onofrio's Fountain and Small Onofrio's Fountain which are popular sights to visit. St Blaise, the patron saint of Dubrovnik, stands guard over the Pile Gates through which most people enter the city. The church of St Blaise was originally built in the 14th century but was destroyed by the earthquake of 1667 and a subsequent fire. It was rebuilt in 1706 and contains many of the artefacts saved from the original church.
Dubrovnik has many grand fortresses around the city to visit. For fantastic views head to the Fortress Minceta to the north of the city walls and to the south you will find the Fortress Bokar and Fortress St Ivan. Also worth a visit is the Rectors Palace modelled on the Roman Imperial Palace and was built in the 15th century. The combination of Gothic and Renaissance styles makes it a beautiful place to explore. Don't miss the somewhat spooky hand coming out of the wall to hold up the railing. The courtyard is also a beautiful place to sit and bask in the sun.
Dubrovnik has a good range of museums to suit all tastes; one of the most popular is the Franciscan Monastery and Museum. This 14th century monastery and cloisters houses a world-famous collection of ancient manuscripts which can be viewed in a beautiful reading room. There is also one of the oldest pharmacies in the world dating back to 1317. The War Photo Limited Gallery is also an interesting place to visit exhibiting poignant photos on the Balkan wars.
Fun Seekers in Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik offers a fantastic mix of hot weather, spectacular scenery and entertainment day and night. With opportunities for hiking, climbing and watersports such as sailing and diving, it makes the perfect destination for the active holidaymaker. Those looking for something a little more extreme can find paintballing in the Zupa woods and, not for the faint-hearted, bungee jumping from the Dubrovnik bridge!
Go diving in the Adriatic sea, often considered one of the best diving areas in the world, with plenty of wrecks to explore, such as the German S57 torpedo boat which the British attacked and sunk in 1944 and lies on its side in a well preserved condition. Take a day trip to the nearby island of Mljet where the National Park has plenty to do, especially for fans of watersports. Snorkeling is really popular in the lakes or if your prefer to stay above water then why not rent a kayak? Boats depart regularly from Dubrovnik's harbour.
There is always plenty going on in the city and a great time to visit is during the summer when Dubrovnik’s Libertas Summer Festival is held. This popular festival runs throughout July and August and all genres of music, theatre and dance are played out on open-air stages with indoor shows going on too. Shopping in Dubrovnik is also good with everything from locally handcrafted goods like jewellery, lacework and souvenirs (the best of which are found along Place) to antiques and boutiques with original clothing for sale.
Dubrovnik’s nightlife is buzzing and the city is even being hailed as the new Ibiza with trendy bars and nightclubs regularly featuring top dance DJs. Arsenal is a fashionable wine bar and restaurant with great views over the harbour.The huge wooden tables are great for groups of friends to sit round and it also serves food such as traditional seafood until late. The buzzing Capitano bar is also popular with young people looking for DJs playing commercial dance and is open well into the night. If you like to party where the people dress to impress then try Orlandinjo club, a hip hangout where you can enjoy a pricey cocktail in sumptuous surroundings. To dance till dawn with the locals then head to Latino club Fuego.
The nightlife in the city also has a more laid back side with chic bars and restaurants where you can enjoy a few drinks and live music then spill out onto the cobbled squares. Here you can people watch to your heart's content and perhaps even spot a celebrity!
Family Fun in Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik offers families plenty of sightseeing opportunities, beaches and activities to do that are fun for all. Get your camera at the ready for all the beautiful sights to see in the Old Town, from the Pile Gate to the Church of St Blaise and the many fortresses which are fascinating to explore. Dubrovnik also holds a number of festivals during the year such as the Feast of St Blaise. Starting on February 3rd and lasting for a week, it includes colourful processions, food and festivities. Dubrovnik Carnival which also involves loud processions and fancy dress costumes sees jousting competitions take places at various points across the town.
Start the day with a visit to the Aquarium at St Johns Fort where you can see various underwater species. Then catch a boat to one of the nearby islands of Koločep or Šipan where you can enjoy a walk in the scenic countryside, a perfect setting to stop for a picnic then stroll along the coastline while the kids paddle in the sea. There is a regular boat service so make sure you don't miss out on a trip to these stunning islands which make for a fantastic day out for all the family.
If you fancy a day at the beach then small shingle beaches can be found at Lapad or you can catch a boat to the delightful seaside town of Cavtat, where you can enjoy a fun day exploring the lively promenade and the winding cobbled streets. The town is also lined with shops and plenty of places to go to grab a snack or an ice cream. Boats go to Cavtat twice an hour from the Old Harbour.
Romantic Breaks in Dubrovnik
With rich culture and history, spectacular scenery and plenty of places to enjoy romantic meals, Dubrovnik is the ideal place to spend a break with your loved one. Dubrovnik is a beautiful city to explore so to get the best panoramic views it's worth taking a stroll along the city's walls. You can stop to rest your feet for a coffee at one of the many cafes dotted about. Sample Dubrovnik's many art galleries and museums for the best of culture in Croatia, then meander down to the quaint Old Square for shops, markets and delicious eateries.
As the sun goes down there's nowhere more romantic than the Old Square, where you can find a cosy table for two and enjoy a delicious meal under the stars on one of the restaurant terraces. There are some fantastic places to eat if you want to spoil yourself and your partner such as the Atlas Club Nautica, where you can indulge in fine dining and look out at the beautiful views. Stay at the exclusive award-winning hotel The Pucic Palace where you can experience the elegant atmosphere to make the most of your romantic getaway.
In the evening the square of the Old Town is bustling with revellers and there's a variety of sophisticated bars where you can enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail. Then take a stroll down to the old harbour which, lit up beautifully at night, looks magical.
The area surrounding Dubrovnik is also not to be missed. Take a boat to the beautiful island of Mljet where you will find yourself surrounded by stunning scenery, lush forestry and salt water lakes. Here you can spend some quality time with your partner and enjoy a romantic stroll along the warm sands of Saplunara beach. Decide between the relaxing 3 hour ferry trip where you can really take in all the scenery on your way to Mljet, or hop on a much faster catamaran that gets you there in an hour and a half leaving more time to spend on the picturesque island.
Top Tips for Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik airport is situated around 20km from the city. Buses outside will take you straight to the centre of the town for around 30 Kuna or 5 Euros. Taxis are more expensive and there are also several car hire companies at the airport. Once in the city the best way to get around is by foot as the centre is pedestrianised.
- Where is...? - Gdje je...?
- Is there...? - Ima...?
- There isn't... - Nema...
- I would like... - zelim...
- Entrance - Ulaz
- Exit - Izlaz
- Open - Otvoreno
- Closed - Zatvoreno
- WC - Zahodi
- Men - Muskarci
- Women - zene
Cost of a pint of beer: £2.00