Dubrovnik - The City of Stone and Light
Dubrovnik is a fantastic city break destination and is considered unique due to its preserved city walls, historic red-tiled buildings, streets and alleyways which are all set against the backdrop of greenery and the Adriatic Sea. Located in southern Croatia, the city has become increasingly popular for its culture, history, architecture and flight time of just 2hrs 40mins from London.
It became a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1979 and there was renewed interest after it became the set for King’s Landing in the popular TV series Game of Thrones.
08.00 set off on foot around the city walls
Dubrovnik’s historic walls are 2kms long, encircling the whole city – they are extremely well preserved. If you’re visiting in peak season, we’d recommend walking early in the morning when it’s cooler and less crowded. The walls can be up to 6 metres thick and 22 metres high. As you walk the walls you will come across corner towers, rectangular towers, bastions and a fortress. Constructed in the 8th century, more work was done to make them bigger in the 14th and 17th centuries.
Our tips -The full walk can take a couple of hours and there is little shade so remember to carry water and sunscreen. The walls are open between 08:00 and 19:00 in the peak months. Cost - 150 Croatian Kuna payable at the Pile Gate entrance.
10.00 - Discover the Old Town
It is easy to spend a good couple of hours in the old town. Start with the Onofrio’s Great Fountain located by the Pile Gate wall entrance, this fountain has been the supplier of water to the city dating back to the 15th century. The old town’s main street is called Stradun and as you walk along it you will come across the Franciscan monastery with its twin columns and 14th-century cloister. Towards the end of Stradun and turning right you will come upon Rector’s Palace which features a courtyard – look out for concerts here in the summer. You can then walk up towards the cathedral and take in the rest of the old town’s, buildings, shops and cafes.
Our tips - try going slightly off the main street of Stradun for a greater variety of shops, café and restaurant options.
12.00 Lunch is served
There is plenty of choice! If you would like a quick sandwich pitstop, Buffet Škola is a tiny, old-fashioned shop selling traditional homemade bread with local cheese and prosciutto as well as tasty apple strudel. Pink Shrimp Street food is terrific if you like small tapas-style shrimp dishes - try its signature tempura shrimp on shredded courgette with a creamy soy sauce. For a real Croatian experience with a modern twist try Kopun and wash it down with Dalmatian wine. Dubrovnik is known for its fresh seafood, especially shrimp and sushi, so for seafood lovers, this city is perfect.
13.30 Time for a museum
Arguably one of the city’s best attractions, The Museum of Modern Art features modern works of by Croatian artists and it is only a short walk from the old town.
15.30 Visit the island of Lokrum
During peak season there are ferries every half an hour from Porporela, the old port pier, to Lokrum. It only takes ten minutes to get there! The island has plenty of small beaches, a 19th-century botanical gardens, church with a monastery and you will probably spot a peacock or two! There are walking trails and a central path named The Path of Paradise, due to it being bordered by pyramidal cypresses.
Our tip - The island is accessible between April and November so bear that in mind when planning your trip.
18.00 Cable-car ride
The best thing about the cable cars are the stunning views across the old town as they travel towards the top of Srd Hill. At the summit you will find The Panorama Restaurant and Bar – well worth a visit to marvel at the panorama.
20.00 Time for dinner
One of the best-known restaurants in the old town is Proto which opened in 1886 – it’s well-known for its seafood and its six-course tasting menu – the roof-terrace is the seat of choice in our opinion! Also extremely popular is Nautika Restaurant at Pile Gate with its sea views, seafood and Croatian /European cuisine. Both can get busy so best book ahead.
23.00 Watch the sunset
Before returning to your hotel, you must take in some stunning views of the sunset and one of the best places to see the view is at Buza which is next to the sea just outside the city walls.
Midnight - Sleep tight
We’ve gathered the best of old town of Dubrovnik accommodation from well-positioned hotels to intimate villas. Ocean-facing properties have private beaches and rock-carved terraces hovering over the Adriatic. You’ll find water sports of most kinds here as well as scenic walks and horse-riding trails.
If you are considering a city break with culture, history, entertainment and fascinating architecture – plus amazing seafood – and a short flight – take a closer look at Dubrovnik!