Photo journal and best things to do when you visit Dubrovnik

views of Dubrovnik from walls

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Dubrovnik is a dream.

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.

Croatian food in Dubrovnik

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

Beaches near Dubrovnik old town

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 and Croatia

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

If you prefer traditional guides I like The Lonely Planet guide book for Croatia – click to buy it on Amazon

Want to explore beyond Dubrovnik? Check out this one week Croatia itinerary full of architecture and adventure

Find more Dubrovnik photo spots like these in this article

Details on the best places to stay in Dubrovnik here

More posts about Croatia from Untold Morsels

Photo journal – Zadar, Croatia | Romantic Rovinj old town

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49 thoughts on “Photo journal and best things to do when you visit Dubrovnik

  1. Ruth says:

    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.

    • Katy says:

      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

  2. Rhonda says:

    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.

  3. Patricia says:

    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!

  4. jess says:

    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!!!

  5. Nina says:

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

    • Katy says:

      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?

  6. Travel Pockets says:

    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!

    • Katy says:

      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!

  7. Lolo says:

    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

    • Katy says:

      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

    • Katy says:

      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 🙂

  8. Elizabeth (Wander Mum) says:

    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

  9. Clare Thomson says:

    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.

  10. Anita says:

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

    • Katy says:

      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

  11. Cathy (MummyTravels) says:

    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

  12. Nell (the Pigeon Pair and Me) says:

    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

  13. Brooke of Passport Couture says:

    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.

  14. Noemi of Pinay Flying High says:

    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.

  15. Claire at Tin Box Traveller says:

    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

    • Katy says:

      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. ?

    • Katy says:

      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

  16. Dan says:

    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

    • Katy says:

      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

  17. Enola of Game of Hodor says:

    Dubrovnik is truly breathtaking! I would love to visit this very old but beautiful city. I also am looking forward to the cable car ride to have an amazing view of the city below. And those beaches are also very tempting that it makes me want to dive in.

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