Unspoiled lands, charming old towns and friendly locals.
Really, whats not to love?
Croatia is one of those countries that you’ll want to return to over and over. Bordering the Istrian Sea, Croatia is known for its Venetian style structures and lush greenery that tumbles down the hillsides towards cobalt blue waters.
Located at the Southern tip is the city of Dubrovnik. If you are visiting for a short time you’ll want to maximize your time to see the best things that this medieval city has to offer. Follow this one day guide to Dubrovnik to make sure that you don’t miss a thing!
Dubrovnik, described as ‘The Pearl of the Adriatic’, on the Dalmatian Coast is encircled by an intact medieval wall that encloses a maze of narrow streets filled with medieval, Baroque and Renaissance monuments.
Once you arrive, you’ll walk across the drawbridge and enter through the Pile Gate to see what is hidden behind Dubrovnik’s impressive wall. You’ll even be surprised to see that even with all the hustle and bustle of the daily cruise crowds, Dubrovnik’s old world authenticity still remains intact.
To make the most out of your day in Dubrovnik get an early start and spend your time exploring this beautiful and historically rich city!
Wander Around the Old Town
Upon entering through Pile Gate, you are immediately met by Dubrovnik’s main city street, the 300-yard-long Stradun or Placa, that extends from one end of the wall to the other. This wide promenade, made out of smooth limestone, is lined with inviting cafes, gift shops and many gelato shops!
Once a canal, Stradun was filled in during the 11th century merging the Slavs and Romans creating the Old City of Dubrovnik that exists today. Standing tall at the end of Stradun is the town’s Bell Tower, originally built in 1444 but had to be reconstructed in the 1920’s when it started to lean.
The Sponza Palace, with Renaissance and Venetian influences, still remains in its original form even after the 1667 earthquake that struck Dubrovnik.
After you round the corner to the right you will come upon St. Blaise’s Church, which is dedicated to the patron saint of Dubrovnik.
Relax with a Drink at One of the Hidden Bars
Meander through the narrow, side streets which will offer a pleasant reprieve from the busy, overcrowded Stradun.
Many of the side streets that line the wall contain hidden bars, called Buža, that provide gorgeous seaside views. There will be signs out front that say “Cold Drinks” so make sure you take a peak and spend some time relaxing with a cold beverage in these cliff-hugging cafe bars while enjoying the incredible views–we sure did!
Climb the Old City Wall
After a refreshing Ožujsko beer, continue on to the Old City Wall climb. Heading back towards the Pile Gate you can start the wall climb at the steep stairs that lead up towards Minčeta Tower above the Pile Gate entrance.
You can walk the entire length of the wall which takes about an hour or so. Just be sure to bring water with you to stay hydrated and apply sunscreen!
Take a Ride on the Dubrovnik Cable Car
After walking the wall you can increase your altitude for a birds-eye view over the walled city.
The Dubrovnik cable car is the perfect way to do just that!
Exiting through the Buža Gate you’ll find the shop to purchase your cable car tickets. From there, head up the street and to the right towards the entrance.
The cable car, which reaches the summit of Mount Srd, was built in 1969 and has been giving its’ visitors a stunning view of the Old Town, turquoise waters and surrounding islands since.
At the top cable car station, make your way to the panoramic lookout points from which you can see up to 60km (37 miles) on a clear day. We decided to relax and sip a beer at the Restaurant/Snack Bar Panorama, which inarguably offers one of the best views in town while still maintaining reasonable prices.
Visit the Fort of St. Lawrence (Tvrdava Lovrijenac)
Following your cable car adventure, return back inside the wall. Exit through the Pile Gate, take a left at Restaurant Nautika and follow the street along the water towards the Fort of St. Lawrence (Tvrdava Lovrijenac).
There are a few stairs that lead you up the top and you can freely wander around the entire area. At the time of our visit there were no entry fees.
The top of the Fort gives more incredible views of the city, just from a different angle.
At the end of your day, sit back and enjoy a nice dinner at one of the many restaurants in Dubrovnik’s Old Town.
Spending the day exploring Dubrovnik, from walking the Old City walls to traveling all the way up to Mount Srd, it was clear that this city exudes beauty and charm from any angle.
Tips Before Your Trip:
Your ticket for the Old Town Wall climb also includes entrance to the Fort of St. Lawrence (located right outside of Old Town on the north west side). If you’ve already purchased the ticket to the Fort, show it to the ticket counter at the Wall and you will only pay the difference. Ticket prices: 100 kuna for adults; children 7 & under are free.
The Dubrovnik Cable Car costs 100 kuna for adults and 50 kuna for children (kuna or credit card only; sorry, no euro). The cable car runs every 30 min or more depending on demand.
Make sure to wear comfy and slip-resistant shoes since you will be doing a lot of walking and the limestone streets can sometimes be slippery.
Where to Eat:
There are loads of delicious restaurants located in the heart of the city center so you shouldn’t have any problem finding a delicious and fresh meal! We did have one place that we really enjoyed called Cafe Festival.
Situated directly off Stradun, Cafe Festival is a welcoming restaurant with delicious food. We really enjoyed our meal of a tuna steak salad and a club sandwich, while people-watching from our cozy side-street seating.