With its complete city walls and beautiful location overlooking the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik is worthy of its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For nearly five centuries it was the capital of the Republic of Ragusa and its port once boasted one of the largest naval fleets in the world. Maritime trade made the city rich, with its aristocracy leading sophisticated and cultured lives. After the troubles of the 20th century, Dubrovnik is finding its way again and draws in visitors with its historic heart, mediaeval fortifications and Baroque buildings.
Things to Do
Alongside its historical attractions, Dubrovnik has a wealth of family-friendly beaches and plentiful restaurants serving the day's fresh catch of seafood as well as outdoor activities and stunning countryside on the doorstep. It is also a popular filming spot, so pop into the tourist office and pick up some Game of Thrones, Robin Hood or Star Wars location information.
Surrounded by history
A walk around the 2 kilometres of the city walls is a must for any visitor. The main entrance is on the street of Stradun and this pleasant walk rewards with views of the crystal clear Adriatic waters as well as a sight of ancient fortresses such as Bokar and Lovrijenac.
The city's industrial past
Excavations are on show at the Gornji Ugao Tower, part of the city walls. These reveal a rare example of early city industry. It was a foundry that produced armaments until the Great Earthquake of 1667 devastated the city.
A welcome retreat
Just a short ferry ride from the Old Town Harbour is Lokrum Island, a popular retreat from the city for both locals and visitors. Subtropical species of trees and plants provide a welcome shade on hot Summer days, while viewing the city from the island gives you a different perspective.
Calendar of Events
If you're lucky enough to be in Dubrovnik for one of its annual festivals, you really get to see how the locals party and celebrate. Music, dancing and a calendar of religious events bring everyone out onto the streets.
St Blaise's Day. February sees the city celebrate the feast of its patron saint and protector St Blaise. An open-air service is followed by his skull, held in an ornate reliquary, being paraded through the town. The few days leading up to the festival are marked with special concerts.
Dubrovnik Summer Festival. Lasting from mid-July to the end of August, this is a cultural extravaganza that sees more than 80 concerts, plays, dance performances and film screenings taking place at open-air locations throughout the Old Town.
FestiWine. Archaeology shows that winemaking has taken place in the region for more than 2,500 years. Today, local vintners are trying to give Croatian wine a strong presence once more, helped by events such as FestiWine held in April. Taking place in the newly restored Lazareti Palace, the event showcases local wines with exhibitions and tastings.