Dubrovnik Travel Guide – Exploring The Treasures of the Adriatic Medieval City

Posted on Feb 23 2014 - 11:28am by Josip Ivanovic

Popularly described as ‘The Pearl of the Adriatic, Dubrovnik is one of the top tourist destinations in Croatia. Millions of visitors flock to the medieval city annually to enjoy its various attractions which include historical treasures, pristine nature, exciting culture, sumptuous cuisine and a glitzy nightlife. However, to enjoy the best of what the city has to offer, there are a few basics which any visitor should know.

Dubrovnik travel guide

When to Visit?

Dubrovnik is an all year destination. However, most people prefer to visit in the summer season, which stretches from May to October. The peak of season is July to August. During these months, the city is overrun with tourists, and hotel prices spike. The advantage of visiting during these months is that you’ll get to witness the famous Dubrovnik Summer Festival.

From May to June, or September and October you can enjoy Dubrovnik, at lower prices and without the crowds of the peak season.

Getting There

There are direct flights to Dubrovnik from some major European cities. You can take a flight to Split, which is the second largest city in Croatia and well connected with all the major cities in Europe. From Split there is a possibility to take a bus to Dubrovnik, or for more convenience you can rent a car or take an airport taxi directly to the Dubrovnik.

There are also international bus lines from cities Trieste in Italy, Sarajevo in Bosnia and Novi in Montenegro, as well as from all Croatian cities.

There are also a number of international cruise ships which dock in Dubrovnik.

What to See?

Any visit to Dubrovnik has to begin in the Old Town. It is a medieval city with cobbled streets, no cars and a wealth of history which caused it to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its main attraction are the city walls, built in the 14th and 15th Centuries. A walk along the walls can offer a glimpse into the city’s ancient fortifications. You can climb on the defense towers and enjoy spectacular views of the city.

Dubrovnik old town

The Old Town houses a number of magnificent Baroque and Romanesque architectural masterpieces. These include ancient palaces such as the 15th Century Sponza Palace and Rector’s palace. There are also a number of cathedrals, built between the 14th and 19th Centuries. These include Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, Church of St. Ignatius (a Jesuit cathedral modeled after the Spanish Steps in Rome), Church of Saint Blaise, Dominican Monastery (with a Romanesque church) and Franciscan Monastery (with a Baroque church). There are also a number of museums, monuments and even the iconic Fort Lovrijenac.

The Old Town is also home to the oldest working pharmacy in Europe. It was founded in the 1317. and has been issuing prescriptions for over 700 years. Sitting in the Franciscan Monastery, it not only still sells prescriptions, its ancient medical books, stone bowls and lab equipment can still be viewed in a museum right next to it.

One of the truly unique experiences in Dubrovnik is the Teatum 5D. This is a virtual tour of the city featuring videos, holograms and lasers. It highlights the best parts of the city and gives visitors a quick snapshot of the city in just 35 minutes. This high-tech experience is relished by almost every visitor to Dubrovnik.

Fun and Adventure

Dubrovnik is famous for spectacularly beautiful sunny beaches. The most popular beaches are the Lapad, Banje and Copacabana. Here, you can enjoy a number of activities such as swimming, sunbathing or just chilling out. Those who want a little vigor can engage in mini-soccer, beach volleyball and water polo.

dubrovnik beach

The waters surrounding Dubrovnik are some of the most spectacular in the Adriatic Sea. They are endowed with colorful plants, boisterous aquatic life and wonderful cliffs. As such, scuba diving is one of the star attractions in Dubrovnik. There are a number of scuba diving locations dotted all over the Dubrovnik Riviera. Popular ones include the idyllic village of Mini and the luxurious Hotel Dubrovnik Palace.

Sailing expeditions to the surrounding areas is a popular activity among visitors in Dubrovnik. One of the closest destinations is the Lokrum Island, located a mere 10 minutes by boat off the cost of Dubrovnik. Visitors go there to enjoy its idyllic beaches, sumptuous dishes and sea kayaking. Other destinations are the iconic island of Mljet as well as Cavtat and the Elafitti Islands. The sailing expeditions are typically carried out by boat, yacht or cruise ships.

Dubrovnik hosts a number of festivals. The most famous is the Dubrovnik Summer Festival. This 47-day event features over 2,000 performers from different parts of the world. It includes extravagant performances of classical music, dance, opera, poetry and theater. There are both open air and in-house performances in various places around Dubrovnik.

Where to Eat?

Dubrovnik is a truly cosmopolitan city, with restaurants and cafes serving most international dishes. However, the local cuisine is Dalmatian, with influences of Italian, French and Russian Cuisine. One of the places to sample some local dishes is the Nautika. Here, you can savor Dalmatian delicacies like Lopud brodet. Other popular restaurants are the Porat Restaurant & Terrace, Gils Cuisine & Pop Lounge, Domino Steak House, Taj Mahal and Dubravka 1836.

Dubrovnik food

Where to Sleep?

There are a number of hotels which offer 4 and 5 star accommodation and facilities. Some of the oldest (and most popular) are the iconic Grand Hotel and Grand Imperial Hotel which were built in the 1890s. Some recent additions include the luxurious Villa Dubrovnik and Hotel Dubrovnik Palace. These hotels pamper guests with luxurious accommodations, spa treatments, well stocked bars and multi-course meals. Also, there is a wide choice of apartments for any budget and everyone can find the best possible accommodation.

More Information

Those are some of the basics recommendations on how to get the best out of The Pearl of the Adriatic for any traveler planing to visit Dubrovnik. For more information you can visit or contact the Dubrovnik Tourist Office.

Josip Ivanovic

Related Posts

About the Author

World traveler and a writer from a little Croatian town. When I am not working or traveling I like drinking beer with my friends in my favorite cafe, or doing some sport stuff like riding a bike, skiing, or simply just walking.