Dubrovnik photo journal and best things to do

Dubrovnik photo journal and best things to doThis article may contain compensated links. Please read disclaimer for more info

After an amazing few weeks discovering Croatia our journey ended in Dubrovnik. Nothing can prepare you for the breathtaking beauty of this walled Renaissance city. Not even the daily swarm of thousands of passengers from cruise ships lurking off its shores can deter you from falling in love with romantic Dubrovnik.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Listed on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites, Dubrovnik is a small city on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast. The city has a fascinating and sometimes tragic past due to its strategic position on the Adriatic Sea.

Dubrovnik had its heyday in the 15th and 16th century as capital of the progressive trading nation known as the Republic of Ragusa. Built on the profits of its merchant and aristocratic elite its power rivalled that of the Venetian Republic. Despite a devastating earthquake in 1667 and subsequent invasions by the Napoleonic armies and Habsburg Empire the city prospered. The city’s regal marble streets were enhanced by pretty baroque buildings under Austro-Hungarian rule.

harbour views Dubrovnik

In more recent times, the world was shocked by the 1991 siege of the city that lasted 7 months. Caught up in the collapse of the of former Yugoslavia and long running tensions among the Croatian, Bosnian and Serbian people, the city and its people suffered devastating losses. It is hard to imagine that this was scene of such tragedy as you enjoy strolling the charming streets of Dubrovnik.

Scenes from a city break in Dubrovnik

1. Your visit to Dubrovnik must start with a walk along the city walls

Dubrovnik city walls

2. You will stop every few minutes to gasp at the view

magical sunset in Dubrovnik

3. Relax at the buža or hole in the wall bars that perch on the cliffs outside the walls

best bars Dubrovnik

4. Take a stroll down the Stradun or main street of Dubrovnik’s old town

main street Dubrovnik

5. Get lost in Dubrovnik’s alleys and laneways

behind the scenes in Dubrovnik

6. Catch some sun at the local beaches

best beach Dubrovnik

7. Stroll around the pretty harbour

Visit Dubrovnik old town and harbour

8. Admire the Renaissance and Baroque architecture

European city break - Dubrovnik

9. Watch the sun set over the Adriatic Sea

sunset views Dubrovnik

 10. Escape the city and visit Montenegro and the neighbouring islands

Kotor Montenegro - day trip from Dubrovnik

Why visit Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is a city of legends and of course its walls have now been immortalised in scenes from popular TV series Game of Thrones. If you are a fan of the series you can even do a Game of Thrones walking tour taking in locations from the show. Apart from its beauty the city has many activities for visitors of all types.

You must not miss a gentle stroll along the 2 kilometre wall surrounding the city. It is from here that you will see the most spectacular views of Dubrovnik and its surrounds. We loved it so much we walked the walls twice over a 3 day visit. The light and shadows on the terracotta roofs vary so differently depending on the time of day.

visit Dubrovnik - rooftops of Dubrovnik

Within the city walls stroll the length of the Stradun or Placa, the marbled thoroughfare that links the main gates of the city. Then venture into the alleys and labyrinth of Dubrovnik – a treasure trove of boutiques, restaurants and cafes. If you enjoy history and cultural experiences you can explore the renaissance and baroque architecture including the 17th century cathedral and the Rector’s Palace. Notice the damage due to shelling during the 1991 siege.

Lovers of seafood and eating in general will enjoy Dubrovnik’s Italian inspired cuisine. You can spend a few leisurely hours over a delicious seafood feast or enjoy a quick tapas style bite to eat over a glass of wine in one of the many local bars. A great way to discover Dubrovnik’s food and wine traditions is joining a culinary walking tour where you can discover the best black risotto and local Posip wine.

best restaurant Dubrovnik - seafood

There are several beaches close to the old town. We stayed near Danče beach just outside the Pile gate entrance to the city. It is a rocky beach not suitable for children but fun to watch the locals jump from the rocks into the water. Near the city’s eastern gate you will find popular Banje Beach overlooking the old town. If you feel the need to find your sea legs you can take advantage of many day trips to the surrounding islands such as Korcula and nearby Montenegro.

My favourite experience in Dubrovnik was enjoying watching the parade of yachts sail into the harbour as we sipped our wine overlooking the sparkling Adriatic Sea.

Tip – sunrise and sunset are unsurprisingly spectacular in Dubrovnik but they are also the best time to avoid the cruise ship crowds.

Resources to help you plan your trip to Dubrovnik

Get your Guide is a great resource for finding unique local tours such as the Game of Thrones walking tour and foodie walking tour

Chasing the Donkey  is a travel blog by fellow Australians living in Croatia. It is jam-packed full of tips and ideas for discovering Dubrovnik

For family travel ideas in Dubrovnik visit Where’s Sharon blog

If you prefer traditional guides I like The Lonely Planet guide book for Croatia

More posts on Croatia from Untold Morsels

Photo journal – Zadar, Croatia

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  1. 8th July 2016 / 6:24 AM

    Great photos, my friends are there now and I keep seeing lots of amazing pics on facebook. Makes me want to go!

    • 8th July 2016 / 6:57 PM

      Thanks Anne! It is a wonderful place to visit. Hope you make it there soon

  2. 9th July 2016 / 6:32 PM

    Almost, almost made plans to visit this year. At the end, we decided for other cities. But, I hope Croatia and its fabulous cities are in our near future.

    • 10th July 2016 / 8:47 AM

      It’s so hard to choose isn’t it? Croatia is amazing and I’m trying to fit a visit there into our family travel schedule too

  3. 10th July 2016 / 3:48 AM

    We made it to Italy, Greece, and Turkey but just missed getting to Dubrovnik in Croatia. Perhaps someday I’ll get there as it looks awesome.

  4. 11th July 2016 / 6:08 PM

    That looks like such a cool place!! I visited Croatia, but only visited The Istrian peninsula and Plitvice Lakes. I ran out of time. Next time!!!

    • 11th July 2016 / 10:18 PM

      Sigh, I know, how to fit it all in?!.. I missed Istria when we visited but Plitvice was amazing, wasn’t it?

  5. 11th July 2016 / 7:13 PM

    I’ve been in love the idea of Dubrovnik since first seeing the travel ads on the walls of the tube when I was in school in England (so very many years ago). It’s on my top 10 “must see” list, and from your photos, I think it needs to happen sooner rather than later! I love the idea of walking along the city walls, soaking in the history, and take in more than a couple of sunsets. Thanks for sharing!

    • 11th July 2016 / 10:17 PM

      Ooh I hope you manage to get there soon Patricia. It’s a very romantic place in every sense of the word.

  6. 12th July 2016 / 7:48 AM

    Beautiful photo essay, in case you plan to visit Ljubljana let me know, am home and have time to meet up or show around!

    • 12th July 2016 / 9:20 AM

      Thanks so much Nina. I would love to catch up with you one day. Really appreciate the offer. Ljubljana sounds so beautiful and I’ve been longing to visit. Do you think 3 days is enough?

  7. 12th July 2016 / 12:10 PM

    Dubrovnik is just stunning! You took some wonderful photos Katy. I love the architecture 🙂

    • 12th July 2016 / 8:29 PM

      Thank you so much Marteen! Dubrovnik is an insanely beautiful place

  8. 12th July 2016 / 6:57 PM

    I’ve never had Durbrovnik on my list of places to visit, but after viewing your post I really want to go. I love the photos along the city walls. It’s just breathtaking!

    • 12th July 2016 / 8:31 PM

      Thanks for your lovely words. I was very lucky with the subject of my post. Dubrovnik is a natural model. Croatia is a very beautiful place with surprises around every corner. I can’t recommend that you visit enough!

    • 18th July 2016 / 9:54 PM

      Yes, you must! Thank you for the compliments 🙂

  9. 19th July 2016 / 7:35 AM

    I loooved Dubrovnik but we went last year the week after they had extreme heat so it was still verrrry hot! I wanted to enjoy the Buza but it was too early in the morning when we walked the walls and found it so it wasn’t open yet and by 10am we were dying of heat and had to get out the sun so we left and found a small watering hole outside of Dubrovnik to get away from the crowds and the heat. Next time! #CityTripping

    • 19th July 2016 / 9:01 AM

      Indeed, Dubrovnik certainly warrants a next time. Hope you can experience the Buza – so much fun

  10. 19th July 2016 / 9:42 AM

    so when did you visit? great photos!I’d add visit the monastery’s pharmacy and do the cable car ride and go to Lokrum island across Dubrovnik:) for your next visit:) #city tripping

    • 19th July 2016 / 11:57 AM

      Hi Tanja, we were there in July 2008. The memories keep popping up on my Facebook feed. Thanks for the tips – I have made note as we are definitely going back 🙂

  11. 19th July 2016 / 2:38 PM

    I have long wanted to visit Dubrovnik and you’ve sold it to be even more. I can imagine a walk around the city walls isn’t quite so easy with a pushchair. Sounds like a lovely trio away pre children. Hard to believe it has such a brutal history – within our life times. Thanks for sharung your post & beautiful photos on #citytripping

  12. 19th July 2016 / 2:56 PM

    Stunning photos, Katy! Dubrovnik has been on my travel wishlist for ages – the beauty, the architecture, the food, the sea location, the history, the climate… I love your list of the best things to do. It will be the perfect guide for when I do finally make it.

  13. 19th July 2016 / 5:23 PM

    Romantic indeed! Those views are incredible.

    • 19th July 2016 / 7:16 PM

      Aren’t they amazing? Thank you! I was there with some friends while my husband was doing some training so we will return together someday and then it really will be romantic

  14. 19th July 2016 / 6:48 PM

    Dubrovnik is on my bucket list. Your post just makes my wish stronger. Nice pictures and useful story. Thanks for sharing Katy!

    • 19th July 2016 / 7:18 PM

      I’m surprised you haven’t been there yet Anita but when you do I will be looking forward to your photos and insights. Thanks for the lovely comment

  15. 19th July 2016 / 7:43 PM

    Dubrovnik is such a wonderful city – I went about 15 years ago and you could still see the scars of the war in the bright red replacement tiles on the buildings against the faded originals and holes in stonework. I would love to go back though and your photos have tempted me even more. Thanks for linking up to #citytripping

  16. 19th July 2016 / 8:40 PM

    I was reading a feature the other day about all the cruise ship tourists swamping small places like this. I do hope they don’t suffer for it. There’s such a beautiful, soft light in your pictures – and I’m partial to a bit of Game of Thrones tourism! I’d love to visit this fascinating city at some point

  17. 20th July 2016 / 3:28 AM

    Incredible photos of the city walls, beaches, cliffs and architecture! I admired your insights into Dubrovnik’s history and thinking about what it might have looked like during its difficult and complicated history.

  18. 20th July 2016 / 9:52 AM

    Wow! These photos are amazing. Really makes me want to visit there. Seems like there’s breathtaking views everywhere you look!

  19. 20th July 2016 / 9:59 AM

    I think Dubrovnik is one of those places which would drive me crazy! I’ll have my gopro, camera and phone all working together and in the end I’d still be very disappointed for not being able to take enough photos. Lol.

  20. 20th July 2016 / 1:29 PM

    Beautiful photos of Dubrovnik! Thanks for sharing this at #CityTripping

    • 21st July 2016 / 9:06 AM

      Thanks Ahila. Such an easy subject to get good photos from ?

  21. 20th July 2016 / 4:02 PM

    This is somewhere I’m desperate to go. My husband visited several years ago while on deployment with the Royal Navy. He has always spoken so highly of the times he was ashore in Croatia and the islands. Your photos are beautiful! #citytripping

    • 21st July 2016 / 9:08 AM

      Ooh you must convince him to go back. Croatia is fabulous for families. Thanks for your lovely comment Claire

  22. 20th July 2016 / 9:04 PM

    I would love to visit Dubrovnik and Croatia in general! This post only makes that desire stronger!

    • 21st July 2016 / 9:13 AM

      Hope you make it there soon Tom. Croatia is one of my favourite destinations

  23. 21st July 2016 / 7:18 AM

    Aah, we are planning our travels to South East Europe, and we were going to leave Croatia off the list, but this looks amazing! #citytripping

    • 21st July 2016 / 8:56 AM

      Ooh Verena. I haven’t been further east than Dubrovnik but Croatia is amazing. The coastline is simply spectacular. Very family friendly too. Like Italy but not as expensive. ?

  24. 21st July 2016 / 4:54 PM

    On my travel to do list! Looks gorgeous and those shrimp look amazing. What time of year did you visit?

    • 21st July 2016 / 5:01 PM

      It was exactly this time 8 years ago. It was quite busy and hot so if you don’t like crowds and too much heat I’d go in the shoulder seasons

  25. 22nd July 2016 / 11:53 PM

    So pretty, and great photos! Cannot wait to get there and see for ourselves. Thanks for sharing!

    • 23rd July 2016 / 2:27 PM

      Thanks so much, I do hope you manage a visit soon. Its even better in person

  26. Dan
    23rd October 2016 / 8:13 AM

    I have travelled Europe 8 times and let me tell you, everything combined ie nature, history, islands, mountains, quaint villages, beaches,crystal clear sea and historical cities Croatia would probably be the most beautiful country in Europe. Everyone knows Dubrovnik, Split, Plitvice Lakes & Hvar but Google Image these beautiful hidden treasures: Island Murter & kornati archipelago, City of Sibenik & the Krka waterfalls, Rovinj, Motovun, Groznjan, Varazdin. Pucisca & Bol on island Brac, Makarska Riviera, Rastoke waterfall village and island of Vis. JUST WOW

    • 23rd October 2016 / 8:33 AM

      Thanks Dan. I agree, Croatia is an amazing part of the world. I spent a few weeks there and only scratched the surface. Looking forward to visiting again soon. Thanks so much for dropping by

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