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 colors of the Adriatic Sea lure you to book a trip!
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. 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.
I wish we had some more time, I would have loved to spend one day in Kotor.
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 explored Dubrovnik on our own except for the kayaking tour, but there are some great Dubrovnik tours that you can consider.
Heading to Croatia? Check out these related articles –
Hvar: one of the 10 most beautiful islands in the world
The road less traveled in Plitvice Lakes National Park
Vis: The furthest inhabited island in Croatia with an interesting history
A quick stopover in Zagreb: Things to do in a day
Active Croatia: Kayaking, Cycling and Diving adventures
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Which old town has fascinated you? I would love to know.
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It looks like an amazing city to explore. The blue water in your photos make me want to pack my bag and go on an adventure in Dubrovnik
Jean, the Adriatic Sea is beautiful. We loved watching it from Dubrovnik, from Split and from the croatian islands.
Dubrovnik was on our list last year, however we did not have sufficient time. We will probably have to do it another time and do the wall-walk.
Vasu, you and Nisha will definitely enjoy this pretty old town. Just avoid the months of July and Aug.
I was there at the beginning of May. I also stayed in the old town, but hated the crowds. It just made the whole stay an unpleasant experience. The view from mount Srd was worth the queue.
I am surprised, May should have been not so crazy crowds.
Dubrovnik is such a pretty town and I loved it despite the crowds. But it was so wonderful that you took an early morning walk to take pictures of the empty streets. it looks very different.
Yes, the old town looks transformed when you see it with just cats and cleaners!
Waking up at the crack of dawn really paid those with those shots, they are amazing! Dubrovnik is one of the most magical places I have ever visited in all my years of traveling and I really should pay it another visit some time soon!
Thanks Amelie, I really wanted to enjoy this beautiful town with less people. It was lovely that morning!
Dubrovnik is indeed charming and beautiful. Old town has to be the topmost things to do for it has so much to see and explore such as its history, heritage like Revelin Fortress, beautiful natural view points etc. Buza bar sounds interesting. I am convinced, one must take Cable car for best aerial view. You have given me another travel goal with so many heritage buildings and places to explore. Superb clicks.
Thanks Himanshu. You can hike up the Srd Hill if taking the cable car sounds tame 🙂
After reading your post and seeing your photos I can understand why people like Dubrovnik so much. I was thinking of spending just a day on my Montenegro-Albania trip in the city as I will be flying from there, and was almost set to miss it because of the crowds, but after reading this I may reconsider, it does look like a place taken out of a fairy tale
We went in early June which was perfect. I have heard July and Aug are to be avoided.
This is on my bucket list, thanks for that fantastic tour and highlights – everything is so intact and impressive in this city. I definitely would love to visit but in the off season if there ever is one.
Ha..Ha..Avoid July and August and you shall be fine. It is a beautifully preserved town.