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Dubrovnik, a town in Croatia, Europe, will sweep you off your feet. Especially if you are searching for a place with rich cultural and historical heritage, lovely architecture, and excellent beaches.
Game of Thrones fans will have surely heard of this charming little town. Although the series has used computer-generated imagery to transform the real Dubrovnik locations into the magical Game of Thrones world, they can still be recognized.
This Croatian town was used as the main filming location for King’s Landing, a fictional city in this television series. Distributed by HBO and based on the series of fantasy novels “A Song of Ice and Fire”, GoT brought a new kind of tourist to this Croatian town – GoT fans.
Fans can even book a Game of Thrones Tour. On this tour, you will visit filming locations from the popular TV show, such as Trsteno Arboretum Park and several spots in the Old Town. Those interested in the historical importance of Dubrovnik visit local museums and learn more about the city’s interesting past.
Not Just for Game of Thrones Fans
However, being a Game of Thrones fan is not the only reason to visit. There are many other intriguing attractions and things to do in Dubrovnik sure to please any traveler.
Dubrovnik is known as the Pearl of the Adriatic due to its great location on the Adriatic Sea. The town is filled with monuments, palaces and churches made in different styles ready to explore.
You can stroll the narrow streets of Old Town, visit the Lovrijenac Fortress and enjoy water sports and activities on the lovely beaches.
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When you get tired of strolling, you can take a break in some of the many restaurants in the Old Town, try delicious Dalmatian food and taste the best local wines.
In addition, you can go on a day trip to nearby Montenegro or Bosnia and Herzegovina. There you can visit lovely towns such as Kotor, Budva, Trebinje and Mostar. You can also take a guided tour to visit the city of Split, the island of Hvar and Kravice Waterfalls.
Now that you have a little taste of all the things to do in Dubrovnik, keep reading for more details on all the sights and activities available in this walled city.
Things to do in Dubrovnik
Surrounded by the Old City walls and towers, Old Town is the main attraction in Dubrovnik. Thanks to its large historical significance, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Within the walls of Dubrovnik Old Town, you can admire many charming streets and corners, historic buildings, cathedrals, hotels, restaurants and shops.
From the Pile Gate and famous Stradun street to the picturesque squares and museums, you will find many nice spots to enjoy in this beautiful city.
Ride the cable car to Mount Srd for the best views of Dubrovnik Old Town and its amazing surrounding area featuring crystal clear waters of the Adriatic Sea and numerous small islands.
After a 10-minute journey, you can enjoy the vista with some snacks or a drink at the Panorama restaurant. Plus, you can visit the Ohrid pearl shop to buy unique handmade jewelry to take home as a souvenir.
The Fort Imperial from the 19th century is another place to explore. Here you can look at the exhibitions about the Homeland War with many items, documents and photographs on display.
In addition, if you are searching for some adventure, just behind the upper cable car station you can rent a Buggy and go on an hour safari ride. It’s a fun way to enjoy the panoramic views of the Dubrovnik area.
Stradun is the 300 meters long main street that separates Dubrovnik’s Old Town into two parts. It stretches from its western entrance Pile Gates to the eastern entrance, known as Ploce Gates.
There are many late-renaissance buildings, restaurants, cafes and shops along the street. You can eat a gelato ice cream, drink a cup of coffee or just enjoy the vibrant atmosphere. Plus there are many boutiques and galleries on the side streets to explore and buy some nice souvenirs.
Furthermore, along Stradun street, you can see interesting sights. These include Great Onofrio’s Fountain, the grand Bell Tower and the 14th-century Cloister of the Franciscan Monastery.
Start the day by drinking your morning coffee at some of the many cafes at Loggia Square. It is a significant cultural center of Dubrovnik, so you will be surrounded by historical buildings and monuments.
The St. Blaise Church, Dubrovnik Cathedral and the Rector’s Palace are some of the most famous buildings here. In addition, you can see Orlando’s Column, the 16th-century Sponza Palace and a 30-meter-high Clock tower from the 15th century.
The square of the Loggia is situated in the north-eastern part of the Old City. You can easily reach this square by walking to the end of Stradun street.
Lovrijenac Fortress is situated just outside the Dubrovnik City walls, on the 40-meters high cliff above the Adriatic Sea. Game of Thrones fans will recognize it as the Red Keep in King’s Landing.
The fortress has a triangular shape and walls which are 4-12 meters thick. It was built in the 11th century as part of the Dubrovnik defensive structure. Lovrijenac served to defend the city from the attacks of the Venetians.
In addition, Lovrijenac Fortress is home to many theatrical and musical events during the Summer Festival. It is one of the best places in the world to see a live performance of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
Did you know that the English King Richard the Lionheart donated money for the construction of the church in Dubrovnik?
He survived the shipwreck near Dubrovnik in the 11th century, so he wanted to pay tribute to the city. However, that church was destroyed in the 17th-century earthquake.
In the same place, the Italian architects built the new baroque cathedral. Dubrovnik Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral situated in the Old Town of Dubrovnik. It is also known as The Assumption Cathedral.
In the Dubrovnik Cathedral, you can see the statue of St. Blaise, the patron saint of the town, and the Cathedral Treasury with relics from Medieval times.
7. Walk the Old City Walls
Did you know that the historic center of Dubrovnik is surrounded by 2-kilometer-long Old City Walls? In some places, walls are six meters high. Thanks to that, Dubrovnik had an excellent defense against invaders.
You can see Fort Lovrijenac, Revelin Fortress, Bokar Tower and Minceta Tower along the Old City walls. The best way to experience the Old City Walls is to book a private 1-hour walking tour.
You will listen to interesting stories about the wall’s development in the Middle Ages and have stunning views over the red rooftops of the Old Town.
Banje Beach is Dubrovnik’s main beach, with many restaurants and hotels. It is located near the Old Town and is a perfect place to relax or swim. You can also enjoy many water sports activities such as windsurfing and sea kayaking.
Northwest of the Old Town, you can reach the Lapad peninsula and three beautiful beaches: Uvala Bay, Cava, and Copacabana. These beaches are great for families and for those who love snorkeling.
We recommend going to the south and visiting the rocky Dance beach, the isolated St. Jacob beach with no crowds and the pebble beaches of Kupari and Pasjaca.
The Island of Lokrum is just 600 meters from Dubrovnik, so you can easily reach it by short ferry ride. If you want to have some fun, you can rent a sea kayak on the mainland and enjoy a unique kayaking tour to Lokrum island.
On the island, you can explore Fort Royal Castle, which was constructed by Napoleon’s army. If you are a scuba diving fan, you can discover the beauty of a small inland salt lake.
There is also a Benedictine monastery from the 11th century with a museum about Lokrum island. In addition, you can visit the lovely botanical garden or try the delicious Mediterannean food at one of the many restaurants.
If you want to learn more about the local history, the Cultural History Museum is situated in the gothic-renaissance Rector’s Palace. You can see ceramics, coins, paintings and other historical artifacts from the 15th to the 20th century.
Visit The Maritime Museum to view exhibits about the rich maritime past of Dubrovnik and the former Republic of Ragusa. You can also participate in educational programs and workshops at the Ethnographic Museum, which keeps the ethnographic heritage of the region.
The Museum of the Modern Art Dubrovnik offers a modern and contemporary art collection with modern prints, sculptures and paintings.
One of the most popular museums in Dubrovnik is the Red History Museum. It shows the lifestyle under the Communist regime in the 20th century. You can discover what apartments, cars, furniture and everyday life of Croatian people from that time looked like.
Author Bio: Based in Serbia in Europe, Marija Stojanovic Petkovski worked as a journalist but realized writing about the most beautiful places in the world is something that inspires her. She is sure that a pint of good craft beer perfectly accompanies a tasty home-made lasagne. In her spare time, she enjoys playing with her children and spending time outdoors with her family.