A Day in Dubrovnik - Our Top 7 Things to Do
Dubrovnik’s baroque architecture and antique limestone streets set the pace for what is easily one of the world’s most picturesque walled cities. You’ll find it easy to explore on foot by following its historic streets from the marina through to the old town and its maze of densely cobbled streets. Stop for a coffee or an al fresco dinner under the stars to take in the laid-back Dalmatian lifestyle, or ascend to the summit of Srd Hill to see the Pearl of the Adriatic from the perspective of the Gods. Perfect for whiling away the first day of your sailing holiday if you have time to kill before boarding your yacht.
Here’s our guide to 7 of the best things to experience in Dubrovnik:
1. Walk The City Walls
To fully appreciate the staggering scale of Dubrovnik’s city walls, take a scenic stroll along the top of them. Start at the city gates and pass along the Bokar tower and the Minceta tower (the highest spot in Dubrovnik’s old town), stopping for regular views of the shimmering blues of the Adriatic to the south and the iconic terracotta red rooftops of Dubrovnik’s old town to the north.
2. Sail To Lokrum
Just off the coast of Dubrovnik you’ll notice an emerald-like island jutting from the sea. Quiet and untouched, home to free-roaming peacocks and myriad Mediterranean flora, that island is Lokrum. There are a few attractions to take note of including the 11th century Benedictine monastery, the Fort Royal Castle and the wonderfully serene Botanical Gardens. The island is just as perfect for lazy beach days but beware when choosing as one is naturist!
3. Admire The Architecture
One of the city’s most prominent buildings, the Sponza Palace is a delightful mishmash of architectural styles. This trend carries on throughout Dubrovnik, with medieval alleyways opening up on to Baroque piazzas with towering Renaissance church spires, and medieval city walls towering above the stunning harbour. One of Dubrovnik’s most intriguing buildings is the 700 year old Franciscan monastery, which hides one of the world’s oldest working pharmacies within its walls as well as an idyllic Romanesque cloister filled with trees, bushes and shrubs.
4. The Views From Above
If you prefer your views from afar, then take a cable car trip up to the summit of Srd hill for sweeping vistas of the entire Dubrovnik area, including the terracotta rooftops of the old town, the pretty marina and the arresting expanse of the Adriatic that stretches far beyond the city walls and blurs into a heavenly horizon. Romantics should head up the mountain in the early evening to see the city cast in an idyllic orange glow as it’s lit for the evening, though the morning offers better views of the nearby Elafiti Islands.
5. A Day At The Beach
There’s something very special about the beaches that surround Dubrovnik. One perspective offers seemingly never-ending views of the sea, while the other boasts staggering vistas of Dubrovnik’s city walls and the green peaks of the hillsides that form a striking contrast to the red rooftops of the city. The easiest beach for a quick dip into the water is Banje Beach, just a stone’s throw from Ploče Gate but one of our favourites is the rocky Šulići beach which sits directly below Pile Gate.
6. Croatian Food & Wine
A glass of Plavac Mali from a local vineyard paired with a traditional dish of rustic Dalmation fare is for many, the highlight of any trip into the heart of Dalmatian country. We suggest a walk along the cobbled backstreets of the old town to find a delightful dimly lit restaurant such as Zuzori which spills out onto the cobbles and serves old favourites such as šporki makaruli alongside modern mediterranean dishes. Alternatively, stick to the chic harbour area if you want something with a view and plenty of charm.
7. Dubrovnik’s Maritime Museum
Set in St John’s Fortress, which guards the entrance to the old harbour, the museum includes exhibits such as model ships, sailors’ uniforms, navigational equipment, flags and maps. It’s a great place to learn about the republic’s vast naval power. There's also an aquarium on the ground floor of the fortress which is home to a wonderful display of Adriatic underwater life including turtles, conger eels and octopuses.