The small Croatian city of Dubrovnik sits near the southern tip of Croatia on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. While the city may be small, you can find endless things to do in this historical, beautiful city that can keep you occupied your entire trip. It has the historical beauty of ancient churches and palaces, stunning beaches and surrounding islands as well as a cultural side in Old Town. Dubrovnik has always been a top-notch city for tourism and its popularity continues to go as one of the best destinations in Europe. Here are some of the best things to do during your Dubrovnik vacation.
Best Things To Do On Your Visit To Dubrovnik
1. Explore the Ancient City Walls
The Ancient City Walls that used to protect Dubrovnik in times of war are the most iconic part of the city. The fortifications that were first built in the 9th century and then rebuilt and fortified throughout history are very interesting to see for tourists. The walls around the city that enclose the entirety of Old Town reach 82 feet high and 20 feet wide in some areas. You can walk along these walls and on top of them and get great views of the city and the Adriatic Sea from high up. In the summertime, it’s especially popular because there will often be performances along the walls and in some of the forts on the wall, which makes it a very energizing, fun atmosphere. The walls are open to be explored from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. and it does cost around $10 USD to explore them, but it’s definitely worth the money.
2. Tour Old Town
Inside of the city walls, you can find the cultural epicenter of Dubrovnik in the Old Town district of the city. Here you can find a lot of the historical relevance of the city in cathedrals and palaces from medieval times and experience the history and culture that Dubrovnik has to offer. There’s a market and other shops and restaurants in Old Town you shop and dine at. Also, check out Luza Square and Onofrio’s Fountain in Old Town.
3. Take a fun ride on the Dubrovnik Cable Car
The cable car in Dubrovnik takes to from the north side of the city walls to Mount Srd in just four minutes. The cable car ride takes you up really fast and is totally worth the money spent. Once you get to the top of Mt. Srd, you get to see a beautiful view of the city and the tiled rooftops of the buildings as well as the Adriatic City from over 1,300 feet up in the sky. You can use telescopes to see down below as well and there is a snack café and restaurant at the top as well.
4. Go Kayaking or Snorkeling
Dubrovnik has great kayaking and snorkeling options with instruction in the Adriatic Sea, which can spice up your trip and cool you off if you’re visiting in the hot summer months. You can paddle in the sea and get an interesting view of the city and the walls around it and there’s great snorkeling at the cave beach of Betina and you can get instruction and help even if it’s your first time snorkeling or kayaking. You can check out the beautiful marine life under the sea when you snorkel and then head back to the city in your kayak and make a full day out of an unforgettable experience.
5. Visit and Explore the Island of Lokrum
A 10-minute ferryboat ride from the city takes you out to the beautiful, lush Lokrum Island. If you want to get away from somewhat crowded beaches in the city or just the urban life in general, definitely check out the Island of Lokrum where you can explore this forested island with plenty of beauty and rich history. The small island has a Benedictine Monastery that was built there in 1023 and also the 19th century Napoleonic Fort Royale. Take a day to explore the island, swim in the sea shop in the small island shops for tourists and just soak up the sun. It’ll be a day well spent.
6. Visit the Cathedral of the assumption
The Cathedral of the Assumption, or Dubrovnik Cathedral, was built long ago in the 7th century but has been rebuilt two times since then after expansions and then an earthquake destroyed it in 1667 causing another rebuild. The cathedral has beautiful marble altars and stunning religious paintings including a polyptych of Titian’s painting “Assumption of the Virgin.” The treasury in the cathedral holds many relics from the 11th-17th centuries, which are very interesting and historic to view. The cathedral holds a lot of beauty and rich history to be observed.
7. Visit War Photo Limited
The War Photo Limited gallery in Dubrovnik is one of the best collections of war photography in Europe and is a very unique, humbling and educational experience. Some of the photography can be graphic, so it’s not best for children. But, here you can see war as it really is and view exhibits that show the harshness and unfairness of war on all sides and the toll it takes on humans. There are many different conflicts the gallery covers, and there’s a permanent exhibition on the top floor that shows photos from the wars in Yugoslavia.
8. Rector’s Palace
Rector’s Palace was built in the late 15th century and this palace is absolutely beautiful and very interesting to explore. The palace was for the elected rector who governed the city and inside the palace you can find the rector’s office, private chambers, offices and even a dungeon. The palace is now the Cultural History Museum and the rooms, portraits and halls of the palace are now restored. The palace is located on the water between Dubrovnik Cathedral and St. Blaise Church in Old Town.
9. Soak up the sun at Banje Beach
Banje Beach is one of the main beaches in Dubrovnik and it’s very close to Old Town, making it a very popular beach for tourists. You can just put your own towel down and enjoy a day at the beach and maybe go for a swim in the warmer waters of the Adriatic Sea.
This article was written by Cameron Lafontaine.