Attractions in Dubrovnik
The old town of Dubrovnik is an attraction in itself. When you arrive at the western gate and look up at the Minceta Tower, and continue towards Placa with the Onofrio fountain on the right and the Franciscan monastery on the left, it is almost a magical moment for even the most blasé traveler.
- See DigoPaul for dictionary definitions of Dubrovnik, Croatia. Includes geographical map and city sightseeing photos.
The city walls of Dubrovnik
The almost two kilometer long city wall that surrounds the old town was built as a defense force in the period 1200–1500. The walls are up to 6 meters at the highest and 25 meters at the highest. It’s nice to walk along the walls. You have a great view of the city, and along the way you can take a break with refreshments.
Sponza Palace in Dubrovnik
This 16th-century palace is built in a mixture of Renaissance and Gothic style. It is located on the eastern end of Placa and is the most dominant building on Luzatorget. The address is Stradun 2.
Also on the square is the Town Hall, the National Theater, and the 31-meter-high bell tower where two bronze figures at the top every hour of the hour hammer on the clock.
Knezev dvor (Rector’s Palace)
In this Gothic Renaissance palace, just below the Sponza Palace, the city governor stayed. The governor was elected for one month at a time to avoid corruption and to maximize efficiency. Here also were the courtrooms and the prison.
The Rector’s Palace has a great atrium with a stage for classical concerts, which are still in use. Today, the building is a museum depicting Dubrovnik’s period of independence as an independent republic. The address is Ul Pred Why 3.
The onofrio fountain in Dubrovnik
The onofrio font, located just inside the western city gate, was seen as a technological marvel when it was constructed in 1438. [See image first in article]. Water was transported in aqueducts from a well 12 kilometers away, and dropped out of the mouths of the fountain reliefs to the delight of the town’s inhabitants.
The fountain was destroyed during the great earthquake in 1667, and during the 1991-92 war, but has been restored and remains a popular meeting place. Nearby cafes and street musicians make this a very pleasant place, where you can sit in the sun with a refreshment.
The Jewish quarter in Dubrovnik
Two of the side streets northeast of Placa constitute Dubrovnik’s Jewish quarter. Here you will also find Europe’s second oldest working synagogue (the oldest one in Prague).
The Jewish quarter has been here since the 1300s. During the Spanish Inquisition, many Jews sought refuge in Dubrovnik. Today, not many of the Jewish population remain in this quarter. Also, take with you the War Photo Gallery. It is a very strong exhibition. Opening hours are at 1000–1600 every day. It’s free admission.
The Franciscan Monastery of Dubrovnik
Just inside the western city gate is the entrance to this monastery monastery which was built in the 1300s. Here you will also find a museum, and Europe’s third oldest functioning pharmacy. It opened its doors for the first time around 1320. get herbal medicine purchased from the monks’ own garden.
Dominican Monastery in Dubrovnik
At the end of the Place lies the city’s other great monastery, which was built in the 1300s, along with the city walls. Both the Franciscan Monastery and the Dominican Monastery had the task of guarding each of their city gates as a thank you for being allowed inside the walls.
The Dominican Monastery is more shady than its neighbor, with its green groves, columns and arches. Here, too, you will find a museum and a library that was one of the largest in the world.
Tourist in Dubrovnik
If you only have two days available in Dubrovnik, you will probably spend the first day making yourself famous in the old town, which is, after all, the most unique Croatia has to offer.
If you have several days available, it is definitely worth taking day trips to some of the beautiful islands, such as the Miljet, which according to legend was the place where Odysseus stranded for seven years.
Day 1 in Dubrovnik
After a hearty breakfast, you start the day’s program right inside the western city gate and go up the stairs to the left, up the city walls. It costs money and gets in, and if you are a little historically interested you can also hire walkman and headphones that continuously give you information on all the points you pass. It will guide you south towards the coastline, where you look almost vertically at the sea far below you. The city wall is built at the extreme end of the cliff and follows it all the way.
Along the way you pass several fortresses, watchtowers, gunshots and cannons. At most, the city had over 120 cannons pointing outwards, protecting the threat from Venice and Constantinople. The views of the Adriatic Sea and the islands outside are brilliant, and so are the city.
After the Serbs bombed Dubrovnik from the mountain tops in 1991, 68% of the city’s 825 buildings had been hit. Several historic palaces were completely rebuilt, and the city wall was hit by grenades over 100 times.
With the help of UNESCO, the city was painstakingly rebuilt as it was originally, using the same materials. The Old Town is once again magnificent. Admittedly, you can see some color differences on the roof tiles, but a regular tourist will hardly notice.
Towards the end of the tour, which you will probably spend at least an hour on, you reach the round Minceta tower in the northwest corner of the city wall. The view from here will certainly be one of the highlights of the trip.
When you have completed the round, you are back where you started, thirty meters from the entrance to the Franciscan Monastery. Spend some time at the museum, buy some herbs at Europe’s third oldest pharmacy and enjoy the tranquility a few minutes before heading out to Placa (Stradun ), which is now swarming with rows of tourists from cruise ships. Sit down at the nearby Festival Café with a cup of coffee and take in the atmosphere and atmosphere of one of Europe’s most beautiful streets. Festival has the address Stradun 28. Inside the city walls, there are almost no cars, and the neighboring houses are so low that they do not shade the sun.
Placa (Stradun) has lots of side streets, but there are signs at the entrance on each street that tell you which stores are there, so you don’t have to stroll up and down every street if you are looking for a special store. If you continue east along this marble street, you will reach Luzatorget, where all the city’s public events took place. Here are several buildings that are well worth a visit.
We suggest you take a closer look at Sponza Palace, St Blaise Church, Dominican Monastery, Knezev Dvor and the cathedral, which is a few meters further to the south.
There is no problem doing this sightseeing tour on your own, but you can also hire a guide or hang out on a guided tour; Feel free to check with a local tour operator.
Maybe it’s time for food? You’ll find one of the city’s most popular seafood restaurants in the square, right behind the cathedral. It is also reasonably priced. The restaurant is called Kamenice and is located on a terrace with a pleasant atmosphere and great views. The address is Gundulićeva poljana 8. One specialty is large portions of clams.
You may want to go back to Placa. In the side street Siruka ul. 1 you will find one of the city’s oldest and best restaurants. It’s called Proto. visited by Edward VIII and Mrs. Simpson. If the usual pavement tables are not tempted, there is also a roof terrace.
In the evenings, there are plenty of lively pubs in the side streets north of Placa. Otherwise you have the Latino Club Fuego just outside the western city gate, or the jazz club Troubador just behind the cathedral.
Day 2 in Dubrovnik
The next morning, depending on where you live, you can stroll down to the Gruz marina, where you will soon see Karaka, a sailboat that is an exact replica of a 16th-century karack, the type of boat most used in the Dubrovnik fleet in the Republic era. The boat has both a bar and a restaurant and has daily sailings in the waters around Dubrovnik with short stops on some of the nearby islands. A boat trip is a good choice if you want to see some of the beautiful Croatian coastline.
From the marina it is quite possible to walk to the beaches of Lapad Bay on the Lapad Peninsula in around 20 minutes. Here are several of the city’s more affordable hotels with many beach restaurants and bars. You can optionally continue a mile to the quieter Copacabana Beach which is opposite Babin Kuk. Here you can soak up the sun and swim for a few hours.
For lunch, Konavoka restaurant, just off Hotel Sumratin in Lapad Bay, is an excellent choice. Here you can sit on a green roof terrace with great views. From the menu you can choose anything from cheap pizzas to better seafood.
If you choose to take the bus back to the Old Town, you will be dropped off at Brsaljetorget, just outside the western city gate of Pile. On a 37-meter high cliff just below you will find the St Lawrence Fortress, which with its dramatic appearance each year has set-up by Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The fortress was originally intended to protect the first port, which lay in the small bay within. If you have the ticket from the tour on the city walls, there is free admission.
Inside the city gates and just to the right behind the O nofrio fountain you will find the old nunnery of St. Claire. In the atrium is the popular restaurant Jadran, which serves good and affordable food in very pleasant surroundings. The menu, which contains both fish, meat, pizza and pasta, is suitable for both lunch and dinner.