The city of Dubrovnik lies in the most southern part of Croatia. Magnificent walled city immediately captures your attention with it’s red-tiled rooftops, narrow alleys, and imposing protective walls, all surrounded by turquoise waters.
The beginning of the city starts back in the 7th century, and few centuries later the city became the capital of the maritime Republic of Ragusa (from 1358 till 1808). Very powerful and culturally developed Republic, that was conquered by Napoleon's French Empire in 1808. A magnificent city that faced few severe damages (like a devastating earthquake in 1667, the WW1 and WW2 and the Croatian War of Independence in 1991) but was always repaired and restored.
The city maps show damaged roofs and burned buildings during the Croatian War of Independence 1991-1992
Today it is a lovely pedestrian zone that attracts visitors from all over the world. Many famous persons chose Dubrovnik as their holiday location and enjoyed one of the 5* hotels in the area or on a private yacht in the clear waters around the city. But Dubrovnik is a great destination also for us, non- so-famous peoples, all year round. Whether it be for a longer vacation or just for a few days break, Dubrovnik will always attract you with its charm.
If you want to see Dubrovnik in all its beauty, you must walk on the city walls. A walk will take approximately one hour and will allow you to see the rooftops, the narrow streets, and the main city landmarks from a different perspective. The walls were built between the 11th and 13 centuries, are 1.3 miles long and connect cities forts, bastions, walkways….
The streets in Dubrovnik are all limestone-paved and the stone has become very smooth over centuries. If you walk through the city on a rainy day, it will be very slippery. In very rare occasion, during winter, there can be a light snow in Dubrovnik as well and in those occasions walking on the smooths stones is very difficult.
The main and the widest street that connects two of the city gates (Pile and Ploce) is called Stradun. Originally this was a sea channel that was filled in during the 12th century. Stradun, wider streets and other squares are filled in with small souvenir shops, restaurants, and cafes. It is just charming to wander around and enter also in the narrow streets, especially in the northern part of the cities, where the streets will be uphill and with stairs (since the town is nestled at the feet of Mount Srd). And ff you're lucky, you might also meet city guard 😮
If you pass by Gundulic Square in the morning you will see a lively open-air market. I love open-air markets and I stop by in all the cities where I go. It is nice to see and buy local products, genuine and fresh, to buy some local souvenirs, but also to talk with local people. In Dubrovnik open-air market you will find a lot of fresh fruits, like peaches in the summer, and lemons and oranges in late autumn. But also a lot of lavender products (like dried flowers, essential oils, cosmetic products,…), some sweet treats like the “arancini” – dried and sweated orange peels or sweet toasted almonds – two of the treats that in our family disappear very quickly.
The old city offers many cultural and historical sites that you can visit: the Rector's palace, the Franciscan monastery with the oldest Pharmacy in the word, The Cathedral, the Onfrio’s fountain, museum, … A part of the series Game of Thrones was filmed in Dubrovnik, and if you are a fan of it you will immediately noticed some of the locations or you can even decide for A Fame of thrones themes city tour.
One of the super fortresses is the 13-th century Lovrijenac Fortress, lying outside the old town and built on the top of a rock. You have to climb 175 steps to reach the highest level with cannons and a small chapel.
As mentioned, Dubrovnik has many nice cafes, but Buza is “the one” due to its location. To reach it you must walk through Dubrovnik city walls. Buza translates to “a hole-in-the-wall,” is a small bar located on the rocks outside the city walls. When you sit there for a drink, the imposing city walls will be right behind your back, but in front of you there will be the infinity of the blue Adriatic sea. Absolutely amazing!
One of my favourite locations in Dubrovnik is the old port with small fishing boats.
Besides being a cultural and historical gem, Dubrovnik is surrounded by clear water and nice beaches. Some of the best beaches lie on Lapad peninsular, three kilometres west of town. There is also a beach just outside the city walls, called Banje beach.
If you are looking for more swimming opportunities or just want to go for a trip you can take a boat and visit the small island of Lokrum. Only a 15-minute boat ride from the old town, the island offers pristine nature with its botanical gardens and olive groves. If you are interested in a longer trip don't miss the pine-scented Elaphiti islands (ferry from Gruz port). The Lopud and Sipan islands are really nice locations for swimming and all other summer activities.
Entering Dubrovnik from the west side, you can pass the Franjo Tudjman bridge. 518 meters long and 14 meters wide bridge was constructed in 2002. The bridge offers a nice view on the »new« port of Dubrovnik called Gruz.
Sunsets, without doubt, create the most romantic atmosphere, and the same goes with Dubrovnik. Admiring the view of the city, having a drink in Buza bar, taking an evening boat ride along city walls, candle dinner in elegant restaurants. There are many opportunities to enjoy warm evenings in Dubrovnik with your loved ones. And if you're Game of Thrones fan, you can take a walk through King's Landing 😲😲😲
Thanks for reading,
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Best regards, @miljo76