Dubrovnik is a fantastic walled city perched on bluffs above the Adriatic Sea. The light, limestone gray buildings topped with red-brick roofs contrast beautifully with the azure waters of the sea. The Old Town of Dubrovnik, whose stone walls were completed in the 16th century, is particularly fascinating, providing views akin to scenes from a fairy tale or fantasy quest. There is much to see and enjoy in this historic town, and our GoWithGuide team is ready to give you an unforgettable experience. Here are five things you really must consider including on your itinerary in the incredible UNESCO World Heritage site of Dubrovnik.
The Old Town
A tour of the Old Town is a walk through centuries of history. Though an earthquake in 1667 destroyed many of the original structures, some miraculously survived. Essential landmark sites to visit include the Gothic Rector’s Palace (which is now a history museum), the baroque St. Blaise Church, and the Renaissance Sponza Palace. Enjoy views of the lovely domes of Dubrovnik Cathedral and the Bell Tower. The latter was built in 1444 and is a symbol of the free city state of Ragusa, as Dubrovnik was formerly known. Onofrio’s fountain is another historical point of interest which was constructed in 1438 with the completion of the town’s water supply system. For those looking for a relaxing afternoon, the limestone-paved Stradun offers a delightful array of shops and restaurants. During the tour, our guides will explain how Dubrovnik evolved from the town of Ragusa to a small but prosperous independent republic, and how it defended itself against attacks from many powerful enemies. The history of Dubrovnik is deep and there is much for the history buff to see and learn. However even for those with a less-than-keen interest in the actual history, the sites and architecture will enthrall nonetheless.
The Walls of Dubrovnik
An obvious highlight of a visit to Dubrovnik is a tour of the famous medieval city walls. The city boasts a 1,400-year history, and the walls were of paramount importance in protecting the inhabitants from enemies as the city’s prominence grew. The present walls were constructed between the 12th and 17th centuries, during which time they were never breached by attackers. They are four to six meters thick and reach a maximum height of 25 meters (82 feet). Their total length is just under 2 km (1.2 miles)! A tour of the walls includes a breathtaking view of the Old Town and must-see landmarks important to the city’s defense, such as the Revelin and Lovrijenac Fortresses and the Minceta Tower. Our guides will explain how these structures served to protect the people and prosperity of Dubrovnik. For travelers wishing to enjoy early bird tours or sunset views, our guides can take you to see the view of the town from the walls when it glows orange in the low sunlight.
The Adriatic Kayak Adventure
Visitors whose desires include something a little more in touch with nature can enjoy kayaking trips on the Adriatic Sea and admire views of the old walls from sea level. Paddle your way past limestone cliffs and gaze up at the defensive ramparts towering imposingly above. The guided kayak tours also include a visit to the caves of Lokrum Island. The main stop is at Betina Cave where travelers can enjoy snorkeling and cliff jumping. The cave is like a natural amphitheater in the cliff face with a pebble beach as a floor. It makes a great stopover during a seafaring adventure by kayak. There’s also a sunset kayak tour for those who want to watch the sunset while rocking gently on the waves.
Game of Thrones Location Tours
We hardly need to tell fans of Game of Thrones why a visit to Dubrovnik is essential. Walking tours around the Old Town will take fans to King’s Landing and other filming locations around the city such as the Trsteno Arboretum, one of the oldest Renaissance gardens in Europe. These gardens served in the fantasy drama as the royal gardens of the Red Keep. The diehard fan can choose a tour that will take them to every filming location in and around Dubrovnik, including on Mount Srd which was the location for the King’s Road. Put yourself in the exact locations where scenes from the fantasy drama transpired and compare them from the show with the actual location. There are also many props and costumes to marvel at.
The Cable Car on Srd
After exploring the Old Town and walls on foot, and perhaps a bit of a kayaking adventure, a splendid way to wrap up a visit to Dubrovnik is with a cable car ride to the top of Mount Srd, a 412 meter-high mountain rising behind Dubrovnik. Enjoy the sweeping panorama of the city facing out to the Adriatic Sea from the cable car and from the Dubrava Observation Point. Visit the historic defensive structure of the Fort Imperial, built in 1810 during the Napoleonic Wars. Inside the museum, one can learn about the Siege of Dubrovnik, one of the fiercest battles fought during the Croatian War of Independence. Then, enjoy the panoramic views while enjoying a meal at the aptly named Panorama restaurant. There are shops on the mountaintop as well.
A visit to Dubrovnik will truly be a memorable one from the fantastic Old Town walls and historic structures, to the fascinating history, to kayaking adventures and tours of Game of Thrones filming locations, all topped off with a visit to the summit of Mount Srd. Our guides are ready to take you to the best of Dubrovnik and explain about the city’s history and significance. Choose from these five suggestions or explore other aspects of Dubrovnik and its environs such as a tour of the picturesque Montenegro Coast or the historic city of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina. If enjoying natural sites is your preference, there are tours to the gorgeous Kravice Waterfalls or the beautiful nature of the Bacina Lakes. Whatever your travel desires, GoWithGuide can arrange the perfect visit to Dubrovnik for you!
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