The Croatian city of Dubrovnik is one of the best places to visit in Europe. It boasts stunning architecture, spectacular views, beautiful weather and fantastic food; it’s no wonder Lord Byron referred to it as the “Pearl of the Adriatic.” There is so much to uncover in this historic part of Croatia.
In partnership with Travel Department, a leading provider of guided group holidays from Ireland, check out our recommendations for the top things to do when you visit Dubrovnik.
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Eight must-do activities for your trip to Dubrovnik:
1. Discover Dubrovnik Old Town
Visitors are always amazed by the bright limestone streets of the Old Town, which are dazzling in the sunshine and magical at night. Off the main thoroughfares, smaller streets lead you to galleries, shops and residential buildings. The more you explore, the more interesting the souvenirs you can find, including crocheted items, paintings, hand-painted ceramics, oils and jams. The Old Town has a lot to offer, including museums and a local green market. Even just having a coffee in one of the cafés on the squares is a beautiful experience. For TV fans, you can easily book a Game of Thrones tour and discover the King’s Landing filming locations.
2. Walk Dubrovnik Old City Walls
The Old Town is entirely enclosed by the city walls, built between the 13th and 16th century. The walls are over 2km long and 25m high with 17 towers. We would highly recommend taking the time to walk the 2km circumference to get a bird’s eye view over the orange rooftops of the town. If it’s a hot day, don’t worry, there are a couple of small cafes along the wall if you need to buy refreshments and a bar to rest with a cool beer! We suggest you start your walk at the Pile Gate, tickets for the wall are approximately 200 Kunas or just over €25. The whole route around the wall can take about three hours; it may be quicker, but you’ll probably spend a lot of time taking photos of the fantastic scenery. From the top of the wall you can get amazing views of the Old Town, as well as the coast.
3. Enjoy an Elaphiti Islands boat tour
We highly recommend that you take a full day boat trip around the Elaphiti Islands. On our Discover Dubrovnik holiday, we’ll visit two islands for a short sightseeing tour with free time to explore and relax on a sandy beach. We will also enjoy a delicious lunch on the boat, made from fresh local ingredients and served with Dalmatian wines. A local group entertains us with traditional Dalmatian music and familiar favourite tunes!
4. Experience Croatian food
Croatians are very proud of their delicious seafood in Dubrovnik. In the evenings you can see large displays of freshly caught fish and shellfish outside restaurants. There is some Italian influence on Croatian food, too, so you will find pasta, risotto and pizza on many menus. They also have some of the best ice cream shops in the world – perfect to enjoy on a sunny day! The vast majority of restaurants in Dubrovnik only serve Croatian wine. It makes sense as a wide variety is produced locally, so there is no need to import foreign wine. The wine they produce is excellent, but quantities are limited so unfortunately they cannot export much.
5. Visit Lokrum Island
A Lokrum boat trip is a very short journey from Dubrovnik. There is much to be discovered on the island including the Botanic Gardens, a deserted Benedictine Monastery and a small salt lake. Take a picnic and spend one of the free days of your Croatia trip exploring the secluded coves and inlets, swimming or snorkelling, and taking in the sunshine.
6. Take the Dubrovnik Cable Car
When you take a cable car to the top of the Srd hill, prepare to be amazed by the breathtaking views of the Old Town, the crystal clear Adriatic Sea and the numerous islets. It is one of the most memorable sights you will ever see. It’s very hard to decide what is more beautiful, the panoramic view during the day that can reach up to 60 km (37miles), the lights of Dubrovnik you can see during the night, or enjoying the sunset while having a drink or a snack on the terrace of the restaurant overlooking the Old Town. For those interested in history, there is a museum of the last Balkan war in the Imperial Fortress which was built in the 19th century.
7. Check out the museums in Dubrovnik
There are a variety of museums to discover in the Old Town. The Maritime Museum, located in St John’s Fort, appropriately beside the old port, gives an interesting insight into the naval history of Dubrovnik. The Rupe Museum showcases daily life in Dubrovnik throughout history. The War Photo Limited, just off the Stradun, has a permanent display of photographs taken during the breakup of Yugoslavia. Although the images are upsetting, the centre is incredibly moving and poignant; it really highlights the horror of the Yugoslavian war.
8. Go on a day trip from Dubrovnik
If you have some free time, there are various excursions from Dubrovnik to suit a number of interests. Just outside of Dubrovnik you can visit Ston, which has the longest wall in the world after the Great Wall of China and it’s world renowned for its oysters. Take a day trip to Mostar, a historical city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Although the majority of the buildings in the old part of Mostar were destroyed during the Bosnian war, it is an interesting place to explore and they have since been rebuilt as replicas of the original designs. The destruction of the Ottoman bridge in Mostar, the ‘Stari Most’, became an infamous image of the Bosnian war. The bridge was rebuilt and today it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a symbol for peace and reconciliation. You may even spot a few people diving from Mostar bridge into the very cold waters of Neretva, it’s very dangerous and requires a lot of training and skill to do this!
Explore the highlights of Dubrovnik; a wonderful setting for a Croatia holiday that offers the perfect combination of sun-kissed coasts, stunning views, chic boutiques, great restaurants and beautiful medieval buildings. If you want to go beyond Dubrovnik, then check out our 10 things to do in Croatia blog post.
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