I have not visited an old town as charming and beautiful as Dubrovnik. Sure, it was crowded even in early June. But even with people thronging the old town, the King’s Landing was a fantastic end to our two-week trip to Croatia. Touristy, crowded, yet my favorite city in Croatia.
I want to showcase the points of interest and sights of Dubrovnik via these photos. I hope the orange roofs of the old town and the blue colours of the Adriatic Sea lure you to book a trip!
If you are a Game of Thrones fan like me, you would immediately note the King’s Landing in the old town of Dubrovnik. The outer walls of Dubrovnik look as if they were built for this TV series. The only other place I can think of with such recognisable GoT filming locations is Northern Ireland.
Walking the walls tops the list of what to do in Dubrovnik
Walking the old town walls has to be the highlight amongst what to do in Dubrovnik’s old town. The entrance to the old town walls is on the side of Pile Gate. The views of the Adriatic Sea, the islands glimmering like green jewels and the old town itself are quite breathtaking.
Built in the 10th century and later modified, these walls – as high as 6 meters and up to 6 meters thick – provided a formidable defense against invaders. The walk is about 2 kilometers. Here you see the Lokrum island in the distance and the Revelin Fortress. And of course, the old town spread out.
We were staying in the old town itself, so easy to get up early and not have to jostle with the crowds. It was sunny in the morning but the crowds were less than they would be in the evening. You come upon gems like these from the wall fortifications!
This is the classic view of Fort Lovrijenac or St. Lawrence Fortress, that you come upon while walking the walls.
This fortress – also called Dubrovnik’s Gibraltar – is outside the western wall of the old town. It now stages world-class theatre and summer festivals.
This is a top shot of Buza Bar. It would make for a great location to spend your 21st birthday in Europe. With such a location, is it any wonder that its nearly impossible to get a table after 5 pm each evening. With a child in tow, we didn’t bother haggling for a table. The old town has a great vibe as the evening progresses and there are so many cafes/bars to have a good time.
So you go walk the walls of an old town expecting good views. And sometimes your high expectations get beaten! Despite it feeling like noon at 830 in the morning, walking the walls offered incredible panorama shots.
Dubrovnik points of interest sans tourists
I woke up at 6 am one morning to see the streets and buildings sans tourists. Walk with me along the main street and sights of Dubrovnik’s old town.
The Stradun or Placa is the main artery of the old town, always bustling with tourists and locals. It connects the Pile Gate and the Ploce Gate and is 292 meters in length. What you are seeing ahead is the Ploce Gate.
The Cathedral currently standing dates from 1673 to replace the original 12th-century cathedral which was destroyed by the earthquake.
You can see the Orlando’s Column on the right – a favorite meeting place of the locals.
Nearby is Rector’s Palace, built-in 1441, which is now a city museum packed with valuable and historical exhibits. The museum also holds interesting music concerts.
Sponza Palace was constructed in 1522. It houses interesting city archives on the first floor. It also houses a permanent exhibition named “Memorial Room of the Dubrovnik Defenders” for citizens who lost their lives during the war between 1991-1995.
Franciscan Monastery is one of the oldest functioning pharmacies in Europe, in operation since 1391.
You can go inside and see their plethora of old medicines and exhibits.
You come upon the Onofrio’s Fountain as you look for the side entrance at one corner of Pile Gate. This large fountain was built in 1438 as part of a water-supply system that involved bringing water from a well 12 km away. Only 16 carved masks remain, with water dribbling from their mouths into a drainage pool.
You will never find Pile Gate this empty during the day! The gate contains a statue of St Blaise, Dubrovnik’s patron saint.
I was randomly pointing my iPhone up here when I realized what street this is. I didn’t take the Game of Thrones tour in Dubrovnik but did read a lot about the locations for most of the filming. This was the street where Cersei’s ‘walk of shame‘ was partly filmed.
Going up the Srd Hill
Take the cable car up the Srd Hill for some spectacular views of the old town and the Adriatic Sea.
There is enough and more time to take good photos so you needn’t hurry up taking photos from the cable car.
At the top is Fort Imperijal, which was built in the early 19th century when Dubrovnik was controlled by the French (and Napoleon) as a means of defending Dubrovnik. Go to the rooftop of the Fort for lovely sunset views.
To the east, you can see hills stretching all the way to Montenegro.
This fun activity should be on the list of what to do in Dubrovnik for the adventurous. We took a 2-hour sea kayaking tour in the evening. There are at least 7 or 8 companies outside Pile Gate, that run kayaking tours around Dubrovnik, and we were very happy with our choice of Adventure Dalmatia.
Whether you are a GoT fan like me or not, you have a fab time in Dubrovnik!
We stayed in the old town of Dubrovnik so these points of interest were close by. But there are many areas where you can stay in Dubrovnik. If you are looking for a resort stay outside Dubrovnik’s city center, Sun Gardens is a good choice. This is a great family resort in Croatia.
We explored Dubrovnik on our own except for the kayaking tour, but there are some great Dubrovnik tours that you can consider.
If you have more time to spend in Dubrovnik and want to get away from the summer crowds in Dubrovnik, the coastal town of Cavtat is a good option.
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Which old town has fascinated you? I would love to know.
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