While other Balkans destinations are trying hard to attract more tourists, Dubrovnik has almost too many. This restored medieval city perched on a peninsula that juts out to the shimmering greens and blues of the Adriatic Sea lives up to its nickname – Pearl of the Adriatic.
Dubrovnik remains a feast for the senses, boasting of an old town with head-turning red-tiled roofs, marbled narrow passageways, complex old city walls, Game of Thrones filming locations and restaurants with seafood galore. Here’s why you should visit Dubrovnik:
Old Town Dubrovnik
Join a walking tour and get a sense of Dubrovnik’s beginning in the old town, a walled city since the 13th century. Dubrovnik was one of the wealthiest cities in Europe and a treat to Venice during the Middle Ages. Inside this walled city are well-preserved stone monasteries, churches, palaces, homes, marble-paved squares, and steep and narrow cobbled alleys.
Locals still live in the walled city. Most of the buildings are converted and house restaurants, cafes, bars, shops, and guesthouses. Dubrovnik’s old town is a car-free zone and the main street, Stradun is where you’ll find the most tourists.
Not only will you have the best views of Dubrovnik old town, but you’ll also discover more about the history of Dubrovnik when you walk the city walls. The wall is 6365 feet in length, and the highest point is 83 feet tall. The first wall, on the eastern side, was built in the 9th and 10th centuries. And the whole wall was made by the 13th century.
There are two round towers, 12 quadrilateral forts, five bastions, two corner towers, one large semi-circular bastion, and nine small semi-circular bastions. The city walls have four gates – Ploce Gate (main entrance) and Pile Gate at the eastern side, Porta Gate (leads to Old Port of Dubrovnik) and Buza Gate.
It takes about two hours to walk the city walls. We recommend you join a walking tour with Walls of Dubrovnik where you’ll learn about the history and check out magnificent views of the old town and the Adriatic Sea.
Game of Thrones and other movie sites
Game of Thrones, Star Wars: Episode VIII, Robin Hood: Origins and Knightfall were some of the movies filmed in Dubrovnik.
Game of Thrones fans will have lots of fun joining the Game of Thrones walking tour, where you can see King’s Landing (the capital of the Seven Kingdoms), Lovrijenac Fortress and more. Get detailed descriptions, take a photo on the Throne, and enjoy the many historical places of old town Dubrovnik. This tour also includes Lokrum Island, another a Game of Throne movie site. It’s a 15-minute ferry ride from the old town’s main port.
Seafood dishes and local snacks
Dubrovnik is the place to get Crni rižot or black risotto – a traditional Dalmatian dish of rice made with squid’s ink. In the rice is an assortment of seafood like mussels and clams. This dish pairs well with the local Croatian white wine. Stewed mussels is another favorite dish in Dubrovnik, and it pairs well with local red wine.
We recommend trying out Dubrovnik’s traditional snack called arancini or orancini. You can find these candied orange peels in the markets, supermarkets and souvenir shops.
The beaches for sunbathing and sea kayaking
Since Dubrovnik is set in the Adriatic Sea, visitors won’t be far from the beach. Banje Beach is the closest beach to old town, by Ploce Gate. Sv Jakov Beach is about a 20-minute walk from Banje Beach. These are not sandy beaches as they are mainly filled with pebbles. For a sandy beach, go to Sunj Beach on Lopud Island.
Part of the appeal of the sea surrounding Dubrovnik and the Lokrum Island is sea kayaking. Guided sea kayaking tours are available where guests paddle from Banje Beach to Lokrum Island. This tour gives you enough time to snorkel, swim and sunbathe.
Dubrovnik travel tips
- Use Travelmath to find out major airlines flying to Dubrovnik.
- Dubrovnik uses Croatian kuna, but the Euro is widely used in major hotels and restaurants. Use the currency converter to find out the rates today.
- Dubrovnik is 374 miles from Zagreb, the capital of Croatia.
- Dubrovnik is only 57 miles from Kotor, Montenegro.
- Find the best rates for hotels in Dubrovnik before you leave.