8 Reasons to Visit Dubrovnik

The southern city of Dubrovnik in Croatia is the most visited city in the country, and with good reason. As one of the last remaining walled towns in the world, a walk through town is a walk through time and along with the views and weather, Dubrovnik is truly an amazing travel destination.

Ul. od Sigurate 7, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
A city of red-tiled rooftops, pine- and cypress-shaded hills, and sparkling turquoise waters, the Old Town of Dubrovnik stuns with both its architecture and scenery. Its surrounding stone walls, built between the 11th and 13th centuries to protect the city from war and epidemics, stretch for a full 1.3 miles, comprising an immense system of forts, bastions, and walkways that offer breathtaking views. Hike along them, then be sure to check out the Lovrijenac Fortress, built atop a 100-foot rock looking out toward Venice (Dubrovnik’s historic rival). The Old Town’s main street of Stradun, known locally as Placa, is also worth exploring. It’s especially nice in the late afternoon, when the sun shines off the historic buildings and swallows soar in the blue sky above.
Though it’s a stunner in its own right, the Adriatic gem of Dubrovnik achieved recent fame as a backdrop for HBO’s hugely popular series Game of Thrones, where it doubled as King’s Landing. Climb the 175 stairs up to Lovrijenac Fortress to see the site of the tournament honoring the fictional King Joffrey. A beautiful spot just outside Pile Gate played Blackwater Bay in the series. The lush 15th-century Trsteno Arboretum, 20 minutes from Dubrovnik, was used to film all the palace garden scenes. While you can do a self-guided walk (there’s a map mounted on an Old Town wall to help), the Game of Thrones tour from Calvados Club is worth the splurge. Guide Lucija Podić, who worked as a makeup artist on the show, will share insider intel you’d never get otherwise.
4A Palmotićeva ulica
Wine is an integral part of life on the Dalmatian Coast, a region with many indigenous varietals; a visit to Dubrovnik shouldn’t go by without a glass of local wine. Tucked away on Palmotićeva Street off the main Stradun, D’Vino offers cozy interiors as well as atmospheric seating at tables set on the narrow thoroughfare outside. Try a glass of something new from the impressive selection of local producers—the knowledgeable staff can help guide you in choosing one. D’Vino features several tasting experiences that highlight the region’s star wines: the Konavle Valley’s refreshing Malvazija, potent Plavac Mali reds from the Pelješac Peninsula, and Korčula Island’s fruity Pošip whites. Pair the wines with a platter of prosciutto and Croatian cheeses for a wonderful welcome to Dubrovnik and its wine region.
9 Crijevićeva ulica
Climb the grand baroque staircase and pass the Jesuit church, cross Gundulić Square, and follow the COLD DRINKS WITH THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VIEW signs. Then, yes, walk through the walls. Buža translates to “a hole-in-the-wall,” and a hole-in-the-wall it is, one that leads to a cliffside ledge with a bar on it. From the moment you order a cool beverage off a simple menu, you begin to unwind. The backdrop to your drink is stunning: a sky-high stone parapet on one side and nothing but the blue sea between you and the horizon. This is the ideal spot for swooning over Adriatic sunsets.
Ulica kralja Petra Krešimira IV, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
In a swift four minutes, the Dubrovnik cable car will deliver you to the top of Mount Srdi for awe-inspiring views of the Old Town and Elaphite Islands. On clear days, you can even see Italy far out on the horizon. Next to the cable-car station is Napoleon’s Fort Royal, an immense stone fortress that played a strategic role in the 1992 Siege of Dubrovnik during the Croatian War of Independence. Today, the fort houses the Museum of Contemporary History, which showcases artifacts from the Dubrovnik battlefields as well as a BBC film that vividly illustrates the events of 1991 and 1992.
Lokrum, Dubrovnik, Croatia
If you’re looking to escape the tourist hubbub in Dubrovnik’s historic core, follow the locals to Lokrum. Just a 15-minute ferry ride from the Old Town, the island offers magnificent nature walks through botanical gardens and olive groves. Paths climb up to sites like the oldest Benedictine monastery in the region and Napoleon’s Fort Royal at the very top, passing native peacocks along the way. Come for a relaxing stroll, a picnic in the shade, or a refreshing dip in the sparkling Adriatic.
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