Dubrovnik (Croatia) – the most detailed information about the city with photos. The main sights of Dubrovnik with descriptions, travel guides and maps.
City of Dubrovnik (Croatia)
Dubrovnik is a city in southern Croatia in the historical region of Dalmatia. It is located on the Adriatic Sea and is the center of the Dubrovnik-Neretva county. Dubrovnik is one of the most beautiful cities in southern Europe, which is often called the “Pearl of the Adriatic” or “Slavic Athens. Its most interesting feature is the stunning old town, surrounded by a ring of castle walls with a maze of atmospheric narrow streets and old buildings with red tiled roofs. The historic center of Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is widely known for the TV series “Game of Thrones”.
Dubrovnik is one of the oldest and most important cities in Croatia. It was founded in the 7th century and throughout its history has been a major commercial and cultural center, a seaport. In the Middle Ages, Dubrovnik was the only city that competed with Venice for supremacy in the Adriatic. In addition, the city was one of the centers for the development of the Croatian language and literature. Today, Dubrovnik is a popular resort and seaport, a city with a rich history and stunning architecture, impressive churches, monasteries, museums and fountains.
Old Town of Dubrovnik
Things to do (Dubrovnik):
€80 per tour.
Dubrovnik on the palm of your hand!
See Croatia’s most cinematic city from the best angles on a sightseeing tour
€65 for the tour
Jewish Community of Dubrovnik
Learn about the history and daily life of the Jewish Ghetto on a walking tour of the old town
Geography and Climate
Dubrovnik is located in the far south of Croatia on the Adriatic Sea. The climate is warm subtropical. The average annual temperature is more than 16 degrees. The coldest month (January) is about 9 degrees plus. Summer actually lasts from May to October.
Panorama of the old city
Information for tourists
- The population is more than 42 thousand people.
- The area is 143.35 square kilometers.
- Language – Croatian.
- Currency – kuna.
- Visa – Schengen.
- Time – Central European UTC +1, in summer +2.
- Dubrovnik is quite a safe city. You need to observe the basic safety precautions. Also, when walking around the city you should wear comfortable shoes, as the cobblestone streets can be quite slippery.
The most famous beaches in Dubrovnik:
- Lapad is one of the most famous beaches of the Adriatic. This sandy beach is located 3.5 km from the old town.
- Banje – a pebble beach near the historic center with a picturesque view of Dubrovnik.
- Buza – a small beach on the stony slopes in the southern part of Dubrovnik (just under the ancient walls). You can get there through a small door behind the cathedral.
- St. Jacob’s Beach – located in a secluded spot 1.5 km from Dubrovnik.
- The beaches of the island of Lokrum – relatively quiet, wild beaches. You can get there by ferry or boat.
The best time to visit
The best time to visit Dubrovnik depends on your goals. If the main thing is a desire to touch its sights and culture, it is better to choose the off-season. The beach season here lasts from May to October. Summer (especially July and August) is the peak tourist season. Therefore for a beach holiday, in terms of economy and comfort, May-June and September-October would be better.
The first settlement was founded on a small island in the 7th century on a rocky shore. Quite quickly it grew into a town inhabited by Slavs and Romans. The mixed population most likely spoke Dalmatian. The ancient settlement existed as a Greek polis. In the 10th century there was formed a Catholic diocese. Around the same time a fortress was built to protect access to the island.
At that time, the settlement was called Ragusa. Until the 10th century, the city was under Byzantine influence, maintaining a certain autonomy. In 1000, the ancient Ragusa swore allegiance to Venice. In the 12th century, the bay separating the island from the mainland was filled in. In its place was formed the street Stradun. The city was enclosed by fortress walls, which were rebuilt until the 17th century.
Streets of the Old City
From the 12th century, Dubrovnik became one of the main trading centers on the Adriatic, gaining greater independence. In 1205, it was occupied by Venice again. The city remained under the Venetians’ rule for 150 years. In 1358 the Dubrovnik Republic was formed, which was under the certain influence of Hungary. Despite the claims of Venice and the threat of the Turks, the republic maintained its independence, achieving great prosperity in the 15th and 16th centuries.
In 1667 a major earthquake greatly damaged Dubrovnik. From the late 16th century the gradual decline of the republic began. It is interesting that since the 13th century Dubrovnik was never taken by storm. In 1806 Napoleon’s troops entered the city and Dubrovnik’s independence ended. After a short period of French domination, Dubrovnik became part of the Habsburg Empire. The city remained under Austrian rule until the end of World War I.
The panorama of Dubrovnik
After 1918, Dubrovnik became part of the future Yugoslavia. The historic center of the city was damaged during the 1991-1995 war in Croatia after its declaration of independence.
How to get there
The Dubrovnik Airport is located 20 km south of the historic center. Most airlines operate seasonal flights. In season, Dubrovnik receives flights from Moscow, Dublin, Stuttgart, Munich, London, Milan, Dusseldorf, Rome, Vienna, Madrid, Berlin, Hamburg, Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, Prague, Istanbul and Barcelona. There are buses and cabs to the city from the airport.
Dubrovnik does not have access to the railroad. The nearest major train station is in Split. The main bus station is 2.5 km from the old town. Direct bus routes connect Dubrovnik with Zagreb, Sarajevo, Split and Rijeka.
In the old town there are many stores selling both local handicrafts and traditional products, as well as clothes and shoes of famous brands. Mostly, in Dubrovnik people buy wine and other local products, textiles (handmade tablecloths, linens), ties (which as Croats believe were invented in their country).
In the historic center of Dubrovnik there are many cafes and restaurants which offer about the same menu with a lot of fish and seafood dishes. Although the cuisine here is not very diverse, it is of good quality, tasty, using only fresh ingredients. You can also find good pizzerias with wood-fired ovens here, where the pizza is as good as in Italy.
Panorama of the city
The most popular strong alcoholic drink in Croatia is rakija. Very good tasting Croatian wine. There is also a good beer. Bars and clubs are concentrated around Stradun Street.
The main attraction of Dubrovnik is the charming old town, surrounded by ramparts and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The historical center is mainly from the 13th century and is a labyrinth of narrow atmospheric streets, where numerous historical and cultural monuments, museums and galleries are scattered among the old houses.
The most interesting feature of the historical center are the fortification walls, which are nearly 2 km long and completely surround the old city. The construction of the first city walls began in the 10th century and lasted until the 17th century.
These formidable walls are 6 meters high and stand on a picturesque rocky shore. For a fee, you can climb the walls and enjoy magnificent views of Dubrovnik and the Adriatic. The entrances are located on the side of Stradun Street and near the Fort of St. John. Also the Dubrovnik city walls include several fortified forts and towers.
Stradun, the central street of Dubrovnik, is considered to be one of the most picturesque pedestrian streets in Europe. The history of this white sidewalk dates back to 1468, although many of the surrounding buildings were built in the 17th century after the devastating earthquake of 1667.
The Loge Square is one of the central Venetian-style squares in Dubrovnik. It is located in the northeastern part of the old city. On the square is the Column of Roland (Orlando), carved in 1417. Here is also the famous Loggia of Bells, dating back to 1480 and used as an early warning system for residents.
On the square is the beautiful Baroque Church of St. Vlach, dedicated to the patron saint of the city. It was built in the 18th century on the site of an ancient Romanesque church that survived the 1667 earthquake, but was later destroyed by fire. The building was designed by a Venetian architect and has an ornate Baroque facade.
There is also a 15th century tower and a small fountain in the square of the Lodge. At the top of the tower are the famous bronze statues that strike a large bell every hour.
Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a grandiose Baroque cathedral of the 18th century designed by the Roman architect Andrea Buffalini. It is the third religious building to be built on this site. Already in the 7th century the first basilica was built here, rebuilt in the 14th century and destroyed by an earthquake in 1667. The remains of both early churches can still be seen in the structure of the current cathedral. The temple is known for its three portals, three apses and magnificent interior decoration, which includes paintings by Italian and Dalmatian artists from the 16th and 17th centuries, including a masterpiece by Raphael. The treasury contains precious Christian relics such as part of the cross on which Christ was crucified and the relics of St. Blaise.
The Pile Gates are a famous Renaissance style city gate which was built in 1537 and served as the main entrance to the city. The gate used to have an access bridge and was protected by a moat. In the niche is a sculpture carved by the famous Croatian artist Ivan Meštrović. There is a door in the fortification walls, which dates back to 1460.
The Ploce Gate is a 14th-century city gate designed as a double defence system.
The Great Fountain
The Great Fountain is one of the most famous sights in Dubrovnik, built between 1438 and 1444. It was decorated with many sculptures, damaged by the earthquake in 1667. Sixteen carved masks remain, from which water flows.
Next to the beautiful Gothic and Renaissance mansions is the small Church of the Redeemer, built in the 16th century and which survived this earthquake.
Rector’s Palace is a magnificent old late Gothic and early Renaissance palace built in 1435. It now houses a museum detailing life in Ragusa in medieval times.
Fort of St. John
The Fort of St. John is a fortification on the eastern edge of the old town, one of its most important defensive structures. Within its walls is a maritime museum. It was fortified in the 14th century, and in the 16th century it was included in the Dubrovnik defence system. Also nearby is the fort of Bokar.
Lovrijenac is an impregnable medieval fortress situated on a 37-meter cliff near the western wall. It is one of the most important strongholds in Croatia, which was completed in the 11th century. The fortress is known for its unusual triangular layout, powerful walls and the fact that it proved impregnable during many sieges. Two drawbridges lead to the fortress.
Synagogue is one of the oldest synagogues in Europe.
Sponza Palace is a Gothic Renaissance palace.
Church of St. Ignatius
The Church of St. Ignatius is an exquisite Jesuit church built between 1667 and 1725 by the architect Ignazzio Pozzo. Nearby is a beautiful Baroque staircase modeled after the famous Spanish one in Rome.
The Dominican Monastery was founded in 1315 and is located near the Ploce Gate. Inside there is a beautiful Gothic cloister and valuable works of art (including works by Titian and Raphael).
The Franciscan monastery is a 14th-century abbey that includes Europe’s oldest apothecary (opened in 1317).
€96 per tour
Conquer the Walls of Dubrovnik
Getting to know the city, the spirit of the Middle Ages and the postcard views
€105 per tour
Sea voyage to the fairytale island of Lokrum
Visit an idyllic place near Dubrovnik and discover its rich history