Welcome to Dubrovnik, the charismatic city in the heart of Adriatic sea that will take your breath away. Or, can we rather say “keep your breath strong because the city will blow your mind”? See for yourself and form whatever word formation you like. We are giving you the top 10 locations you have to visit while sightseeing Dubrovnik. One of the notable activities in Dubrovnik is surely a sunset kayaking. This itinerary page is presenting an exciting part of Croatia in form of adrenaline activities. See if there is something you like and extend your Dubrovnik visitation with other locations for a wholesome vacation.
Dubrovnik Cathedral and treasury
This cathedral is standing on a place where the older building was. The old cathedral (from 6th century) was mostly destroyed in an earthquake in 1667 so the new facility was erected in the same place. The process of reconstruction lasted over three decades- The new facility was designed by Andrea Buffalini of Rome and represents one of the finest examples of 17th century baroque architecture. The interior is famous for its decorations. Many artists that were active from 16th to 18th century made their contribution to this cathedral. Tourists who come here can enjoy in glorious sights of the interior, especially the painting “Virgin of the chair” by Italian master Raphael. While there, also visit the famous Cathedral treasury to see many interesting historic relics and preserved artifacts. Among other things. Treasury is keeping a piece of the cross that Jesus is thought to have been crucified upon.
This square is one of the meeting point for all the locals and even tourists who stumble across this charming square while sightseeing. Found in the northeast of the city center, it holds some of the most prominent and famous buildings in Dubrovnik. Among excellently preserved monuments, you can find Orlando’s column which was designed by famous sculptor Antonio Ragustino. Here, you can also find one precious form of archaic equipment – Loggia of the Bells, which was used as an early warning system for the citizens in the unpredicted occasions. The Church of St. Blaise is also unavoidable because of its magnificent pieces of art. Tourists are also observing the façade of the building with interest. While there, make a visit to Sponza Palace, one of the few buildings that survived the 1667 earthquake. Although the whole building is not opened for public, there is a permanent exhibition on the ground floor.
Dubbed as a “Dubrovnik’s Gibralatar because of its location above the cluster of rocks, for long time it has been one of the Croatia’s most important fortresses. The whole fortress was notorious in 11th century onwards because it was so unbeatable and unconquerable that even Venetians couldn’t do anything about beating Dubrovnik’s people. In fact, the position of the fortress was so attractive to Venetians that they planned to build their own fort here, but didn’t make it because of the industrious city folk. But, that’s just a legend. Many tourists are greeted with a particular sign while entering Lovrijenac fortress: Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro which means “Freedom is not sold for all the gold in the world”. Today, Lovrijenac is a very popular tourist attraction and it is used as a venue for Dubrovnik’s famous summer festival and also theatrical performances.
The city gates
In the old times, city gates were the main entrance for those who were coming from the outside. Formerly, the gate was surrounded by a moat completed with a drawbridge built in 1537. Tourists can find several monuments in the vicinity including the statue of St. Blaise which was carved by famous Croatian artist and sculptor Ivan Meštrović. Within city walls, there is a door dating back to 1460. There is also another gate which is worth seeing because of its shape and structure. The Ploće gate, located just behind the Asimov Tower, proved to be useful defense system in the times of need. Since it was “double defense”, it proved hardly beatable for the conquerors outside. Near Ploće gate, Revelin fortress can be found. The fortress was proved to be useful and worthy for defense of the eastern city gate. Today, it is used as a night club for those who wants to indulge in Dubrovnik party scene.
The famous Stradun
The most famous social place in Dubrovnik. Also known as Placa, it is a place where locals and visitors are gathering every day to mingle and discuss daily topics. Many people come here in search for a good restaurant or wanting to do some shopping. Dubrovnik sightseeing can be challenging because of the numerous locations. But, one thing is for sure, tourist can always find a relaxation point while walking in Stradun. From a historic point of view, the street dates back in 1468. Although, most of the buildings were built in 17th century after the famous Dubrovnik earthquake of 1667. But, it is not just a tourist location, many of the city locals live on the first floors on the both sides of Stradun, just above the bars restaurants and other facilities. It is interesting to say that the most of the streets in the old town are leading to Stradun. So, you will find yourself on a promenade sooner or later.
The large fountain of Onorfio and St. Saviour Church
One of the historic monuments that was stricken by the devastating earthquake of 1667. Today’s version of the square is somewhat smaller than the original version because of the event. But, anyhow, the fountain of Ontario and The St. Saviour Church remained preserved and in good condition. The fountain itself was essential part of the city’s water supply system (designed by Onorfio De La Cava) It was an only connection of the city and Dubrovačka river and citizens of Dubrovnik had many benefits from it. It is worth noting that the Church of St. Saviour was one of the few buildings which were spared in the 1667 earthquake. Today, it is worth visiting a church for its gothic and renaissance features.
Dubrovnik Cable car
Dubrovnik is a magnificent city, and people say it is even more magnificent when you see it from the mount of Srđ. In a clear, cloudless day, you can see Dubrovnik in its flawless glory. Some people think that you can see the surroundings up to 50 kilometers on sunny days. The sight around is better and better as you climb the mount Srđ and you can see all the facilities you visited or you are planning to visit. The mount of Srđ is always fun to explore and you can freely roam the area after you arrive with a cable car to the top. While there, spend some time in the local restaurants which offers fascinating view on the old city. There are also numerous thematic Dubrovnik shops in which you can buy some original souvenirs from the area. We recommend a traditional coin minting blacksmith shop.
The Fort of St. John
The Fort was once an important part of Dubrovnik defenses. Today, its appearance is enhanced with couple of contemporary features like Aquarium of Dubrovnik and Maritime Museum of Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik’s past was full of big war boats and nautical vehicles and the Maritime museum shows the city’s republic in its full glory. Aquarium of Dubrovnik is worth visiting because of the numerous displays of exotic and local fish. If you are interested in seahorses, you will spend a lot of time here because the museum holds an exquisite collection of them. Although tickets can be expensive, your children will love to see the colorful sea world and visual effects in the museum. In the vicinity, there is also Bokar Fort from which you can lay your eyes on beautiful Adriatic and the old city walls on the other side of the horizon.
The palace was built in the late 15th century for the rector who guarded and governed Dubrovnik. It consists of a dungeon, some public halls, administrative offices and the rector’s offices. The palace was turned into the cultural history museum which shows the fascinating fragments of Dubrovnik’s history, including portraits, coats of arms and coins. Although the building was severely damaged through the history, every time was reconstructed and every time a new architectural style was added. So, if you look carefully, you can see baroque additions on a façade, although the whole complex is a combination of renaissance and gothic styles.
The museum of modern art Dubrovnik
The Dubrovnik is a work of art in its own right. But, what about other, contemporary artistic movements that can be found inside the city. MOMAD maybe has an answer. It is a classy, gallant place which holds the artworks of local, national and international prominent artists. If you have been to the Museum of modern art in Zagreb, you will greatly enjoy in this modern exhibitions. The museum’s building was once the lodge and home of the prominent families of Dubrovnik and is juxtaposed with other buildings of same/similar style. You can see exhibits from the end of 19th century to more modern epoch (The end of Second World War)
The city walls
While visiting Dubrovnik, you just have to spend some time walking on those marvelous city walls. Located in the heart of Dubrovnik, it offers a spectacular view on the rest of the city and shiny Adriatic Sea. The entire set of walls was upgraded heavily during history due to never-ending threats from the outside. The first set of the walls was built in 9th century but the need for strong walls forced the people of Dubrovnik to build another set from 14th to 15th century. Depending on your position, you can enter the walls near the Pile Gate, Ploče Gate and the Maritime museum.
Located on the eastern part of the city, Revelin fort stands as a symbol of strength and resistance. Built in 1463, its purpose was to make sure that the eastern part of the city is safe and protected. The name comes from the name rivelino which is a term in fortification architecture that refers to ports built opposite to the weakest points in the city’s defense system. In 1538, Dubrovnik began to build a new structure. The whole project was so important that every other building process in Dubrovnik was halted so that Revelin fortress can be done on time. After it was finished in 1549, it became the strongest fortress in Dubrovnik.
Memorial room of Dubrovnik defenders
In this emotional sightseeing, you will see many photographs of Dubrovnik defenders and many other people who went to war and never came back. You will see the epoch from 1991 to 1995 when the battle for Dubrovnik was held.
Homeland war museum
Another museum dedicated to the homeland war is situated on the top of mount Srđ. The purpose of the facility is to show memorial content of the fall of The Republic of Dubrovnik, the Serbian aggression in 1991 and the victory of the Croatian forces in 1991. There is also a tribute to all fallen fighters from war and also showing of the war consequences (Damage to the locals and destroyed cultural heritages)
Elafiti islands are an archipelago of islands slightly northwest of Dubrovnik. If you wish to recover your body and soul far away from the noisy crowds of Dubrovnik, you have to visit Elafiti islands at least once. There are three islands to stay on and Koločep and Lopud are completely car free so you can relax without unnecessary engine sounds. On Koločep you can roam around freely and enjoy the pine forests that are surrounding you. It is a great place for lounging on the shore because the beaches are simply sublime. Those who are keen on sightseeing can visit few little churches that are situated there. On Lopud, you can rent a bike so you can go around more easily. Among other monuments, there are remains of the rector’s palace and remains of the fortress. Make sure that the island of Šipan is the last island you visit so you can have delicious dinner at restaurant Bowa. They offer a five course menus with farm to table food so make sure you have enough room in your stomach.