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How to Explore Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik is one of Croatia’s most popular cities visited by millions of people around the world for its culture, food, and beauty. Located on the coast at the bottom of Croatia, Dubrovnik is not a place to miss when visiting the Balkans. We spent three days exploring the city, visiting every attraction and really getting to know Dubrovnik. We discovered how beautiful and charming it can be day and night. If you plan a trip to Dubrovnik you won’t regret it. Here’s how to explore Dubrovnik:



Sail the Seas on a Pirate Ship

We decided to sail off into the evening on a pirate ship. There’s so much history in this city and we wanted to be a part of something cool. Dubrovnik was once a sea port. So joining the crew on board made total sense. We booked our excision through Atlas Croatia where they have tons of fun day activities in Dubrovnik. In particular we picked this tour because it also included a buffet dinner and a few drinks.

We left port at 7pm to make it in time for sunset. Let me say this was totally worth the wait! With our glass of champagne in hand the view couldn’t get any better. The pirate ship sailed along the coast of the Old City Walls and made its way to the city centre before looping around Lokrum Island. All night we watched the lights twinkle from the city and threw all of our worries away. 

The dinner buffet was out of this world. We had been looking forward to this all day and it definitely delivered. Everything from pasta, potatoes, vegetables, meats, and salad was available. Even being a plant-based eater it wasn’t too hard to find options to fill me up for dinner. Rich in flavour, and hearty for the soul, we were satisfied. We sat at the bottom of the boat on the second floor- I recommend though the first floor if you get a little sea sick while eating. Our cruise included an additional drink which ranged anything from a glass of wine, to a beer, to a soft drink. Afterwards we enjoyed fresh watermelon on deck and soaked in the last of the starry night. We had an amazing time being part of the crew and seeing a different side of the city. 

Dubrovnik Cable Car

The cable car is a must when in Dubrovnik. It has been around since 1969 when it was the only cable car in the Adriatic. Unfortunately, it was destroyed during the Croatian War of Independence, but today has been completely restored.  A round trip ride will cost 140 kn providing some of the best views of the city and surrounding area. It runs every ten minutes shuttling passengers up and down the mountain making it an easy and convenient attraction. After a four-minute ride over 778 metres you’ll be transported to a plateau on top of the Srd Hill.

Once you land it looks like a different world. It makes sense now why its a plateau since there are a ton of rugged mountains looming behind. You can explore the cliff side by watching the sunset go down or hiking the trails around the fort. If you’re hungry check out the beautiful Panorama Bar & Restaurant serving Mediterranean cuisine for lunch and dinner. Spend anywhere from half an hour to an hour up here to soak in everything Dubrovnik offers.

City Walls

The ancient city walls of Dubrovnik are not hard to miss. They surround the old city and once protected and guarded its old town. These walls are considered some of the greatest fortification systems of the Middle Ages due to them never being destroyed or breached. They run a long strech, precisely 1940 metres uninterrupted encircling Dubrovnik. Today they are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site for being one of the most complex structures in Europe.

For 150 kn you can spend a some time walking around, enjoying the view and admiring history. Make sure to climb the east side tower which looks above the whole city from the highest point. It took us just under an hour to make our way around at a normal pace stopping for photographs and view points. Surprisingly there are even a few restaurants along the way to sit down or freshen up. Head there earlier in the morning or right before sunset as it won’t be as hot or nearly as crowded.

Lokrum Island

Get away from the city and take a relaxing ferry ride over to the mysterious island of Lokrum. Only a short fifteen minute trip you will be transported to a island paradise. Boats run every half hour in the summer and cost 40 kn. Lokrum Island is a nature reserve located just off the coast of Dubrovnik. This lush forested island offers the perfect opportunity for nature lovers and explores to discover and let loose. There are some amazing swimming spots here so make sure to bring your swim suit! Stroll around the island and don’t forget to find the Blue Lagoon, Botanical Garden and Old Fort.

We visited for half a day and still only saw one chunk of the island. Theres tons of animals and wildlife here as well so walk with the peacocks and swim with the fish. You could also kayak there as many tours in Dubrovnik loop around the island for a different point of view. 

Cathedral

There is so much history in this city to really get a feel for Dubrovnik you must check out some historic sites like the Cathedral. Known as the Assumption Cathedral, this Roman Catholic Church was built on the site of many previous  cathedrals since the 7th century. It’s present baroque style was constructed after the former Romanesque cathedral was destroyed by an earthquake.

Located in the heart of the city it is surrounded by the Old Walls. Make sure to pay a visit to the Treasury where there are 138 gold and silver reliquaries. Some being made from goldsmiths during thr 11th-17th centuries in Dubrovnik. The cathedral is free to enter, and the treasury admission is three euros. It’s a stunning cathedral so definitely take a few minutes to reflect and walk around to see admire its beauty.



The Dominican Monastery

The Dominican Monastery is beautiful from inside and out. Its exterior looks quite similar to a fortress reflecting the concern for security during the time of construction in 1390. This monastery was once an important centre in Dubrovnik for philosophy whereas today it showcases major cultural and art heritage. There are highly valued works from the 15th and 16th century including paintings, manuscripts, documents, and books. My favourite part was being able to explore the cloister and garden. It is very refreshing to relax and look at how much history surrounds you. For 15kn take spend half an hour and visit the museum inside to learn more about Dubrovnik.

Three days in Dubrovnik is more than enough to really explore all of the city. Make sure to get up early to avoid the crowds and the humidity around noon. Try something new and go outside your comfort zone here by sailing the seas as a pirate or go kayaking to the different islands.

Thank-you to Dubrovnik Tourist Board for inviting me to their amazing city. All opinions and photos are my own.

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