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Your In-Depth Guide To The Walls Of Dubrovnik

Peter Skov

by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Peter Skov

Last updated : May 24, 20248 min read

Things To Do

Dubrovnik is known as the Pearl of the Adriatic. It is a beautiful, historic town with centuries-old architecture nestled atop cliffs overlooking the sea. One thing that immediately captures the eye is the city's impressive fortifications. The fantastic walls represent some of the best medieval fortifications in the world. They are included among the Croatian UNESCO World Heritage Sites and are the symbol of the city as much as the Colosseum is for Rome, or the Parthenon is for Athens. 


Whether you're spending a week in the area or just making the most of a short interlude during a business trip, a tour of the Walls is perfect for experiencing Dubrovnik's iconic scenery. This is a great opportunity for hiring a private guide who can show you all the classic spots at your preferred pace! To pique your interest further, here is our in-depth guide.



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Dubrovnik's history began in the year 614 when a group of refugees fleeing from a siege of Epidaurus came to a rocky islet called Laus. Earlier, the islet had been used by Greek sailors as a stopover, and there is known to have been a castle there by late antiquity. The new refugee settlement became known as Ragusa, and much later as the Republic of Ragusa.


The earliest fortifications of the islet are thought to have been wooden palisades. Limestone fortifications were constructed during the 8th century, and by the 9th Century, the islet was sufficiently fortified to withstand 15 months of attacks. The entire city was surrounded by the walls by the 13th century. With the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and the threat of an Ottoman attack, the senate hired Michelozo di Bartolomeo from Florence to strengthen and embellish the walls. Fifteen square forts were built, which were later followed by fortresses and drawbridges at the city gates. For the next two centuries, Dubrovnik enjoyed a Golden Age, trading around the Mediterranean and with the Ottoman Empire.


Points of interest

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Depending on your time and itinerary, you may want to tour the entire length of the walls or just a section of them. Touring the walls does require a fair bit of stair climbing, so be sure to give yourself enough time if you want to reach all four main corners. A comfortable pace with time to enjoy the views and take in some history requires about two to three hours. Here’s a look at the main points of interest along the way.

The Walls in Numbers

The walls are 1.5-3 meters (5-10 feet) thick facing the sea and 4–6 meters (13–20 feet) thick facing toward the land. They have an average height of 24 meters (80 feet), reaching 25 meters in some places, and have an uninterrupted length of 1,940 meters (6,365 feet). There are four main corners, four original city gates, and three main forts built into the walls.

The Fortresses

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The Minceta Tower is a fortress at the northern corner of the walls and is the highest point in the defense system. It was constructed in 1319 on the land owned by the Minceta Family, hence the name. With the fall of Constantinople, the fortress was redesigned to accommodate the new wall system designed by Michelozo di Bartolomeo. The Minceta Tower is an impressive structure and visitors can enjoy marvelous views of the surrounding city and coastline from the top. You can enter the tower with the same ticket that admits entry to the walls, so no worries on that front.


The Bokar Fortress forms the western corner of the walls and is a defensive companion to the Minceta Tower as they flank the Pile Gate entrance. It is a cylindrical projection from the walls that extends out onto a small islet. An arch was constructed below where the sea still passes through today. The fortress looks out across to the remarkable Lovrijenac Fortress looming atop a high outcrop with steep cliffs. Inside, guests can enjoy a precious stone (lapidary) collection as well as several ancient cannons on display. The fortress is also used as one of the venues of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival held in July and August, with performances of theater plays, classical music, and traditional dances.


The Revelin Fortress is an impressive structure built on steep cliffs outside the eastern Ploce City Gate. It was constructed in 1463 as part of the defense system against the threat of an Ottoman attack. The fortress was initially built as a revelin, a detached fortress protecting the city’s weaker eastern gate.  In modern times, the Revelin Fortress is also used as a venue for events taking place during the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, and if you’re in the mood for some evening entertainment, the inside serves as a popular nightclub these days! 


St. John Fortress sits on a projection of land on the east side of the town and guards the port from the south side, with the Revelin Fortress across the port to the north. It is an imposing monument with rounded walls facing the sea and straight walls facing the town. Today, the fortress is home to the Dubrovnik Maritime Museum and Dubrovnik Aquarium. The museum tells the story of the city’s rich maritime history, with paintings, maps, navigational instruments, atlases, and much more on display.


The aquarium is located on the first floor, and is home to many of the denizens of the Adriatic, including tons of fish species, eels, and loggerhead turtles. Tickets for the aquarium are sold separately.


The City Gates

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Dubrovnik used to have four main gates: Pile Gate to the west, Ploce Gate to the east, and the gates of Peskarija and Ponta at the port. Citizens once proposed opening a gate in the north wall for the convenience of transporting goods, but the senate was concerned about security. They requested the advice of two master architects from the ports of Genoa and Ancona. Both of them recommended opening a gate, but as the architects were from rival ports, the rector concluded that it was best not to take their advice. The Buza Gate was opened in the north wall in 1908 while the city was under Austrian rule.


Pile Gate has an outer gate constructed as a semicircular fortress with a Renaissance arch that was built in 1537. Crossing through the gate, one comes to a stone bridge that leads across the defensive ditch around the city. The inner city gate once had a drawbridge that was drawn up each night, but now it remains open at all times. 


There are various tours available and various price tags to boot. Private tours start from around $300, depending on the type of tour. There are early morning and sunset tours, including options with meals, boat rides, and the Game of Thrones filming location tours. Be aware that there is an entrance fee of about $47 to the walls, usually not included in the tour fees. It is advisable to arrange for your tickets in advance, as these can sell out quickly on the day. Naturally, the walls tend to be busier on weekends and public holidays, so keep this in mind if your goal is to avoid the crowds.



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The walls of Dubrovnik are easily a must-see when it comes to European history and architecture. Whether you are deeply interested in the history or just want to enjoy the view, the walls should be at the top of your list of things to see and do. While planning your visit, why not consider the benefits of hiring a private guide? Swing on over to see what our guides can do to make your Dubrovnik trip even more fantastic!

Written by Peter Skov

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GoWithGuide’s writers are passionate travel specialists sharing unique tips and essential information for global explorers.

Dubrovnik Tour Guide - Mihaela D.

Mihaela D.


Hello everybody! My name is Mihaela and I am a local certified tour guide for Dubrovnik county. Dubrovnik is my hometown and I am a big history lover. I have a master degree in Public Relations and have studied history, philosophy and media. Well I really like talking ;)! My whole life I've been working in tourism. I really enjoy in meeting new people and their culture. As somebody who studied history and have been living in Dubrovnik I am more than happy to share my knowledge and local insights with you. Currently I am a PHD student for information and communication science! I have also worked as an assistant on University of Dubrovnik (I guess I just like explaining things to people!). Also as a big fan of Game of Thrones I will take you through the streets of King's Landing and share with you all the behind the scenes details. I will offer you different kind of tours so you can pick history, Game of Thrones, panorama sighseeing or just mix all together! My wokring experience is covering Dubrovnik county reagion so with me you can visit anything you want. Well.. I consider myself as a bookworm :)! In my freetime I love to read books, travel around the world and spend time with my family, friends and ofcourse my baby cat Čombo :). And I love spending time by watching my favourite TV shows ofcourse. What is the most important thing for me is that I want you to feel like home when you come in Dubrovnik. I dont see my tourists as clients, I see you as my friends who I havent seen in a while! Anyway, looking foward to meeting all of you!                                                                                                                                  

Dubrovnik Tour Guide - Darko Š.

Darko Š.


Dear travellers, My name is Darko and I was born and raised in Dubrovnik, where I have spent my whole life, so I can say that I am a true Dubrovnik local. Since 2004 I have been working in tourism and as a real outdoor person I can say that being a licensed tourist guide in Dubrovnik County gives me the chance to say that all of these historical sites, landscapes, nature that used to be my playground are my office today !!! If you are interested in exploring my hometown area, it's tradition, history, culture, food, landscapes, off the beaten paths and much more on a completely private tour, created just for you and your travel companions, please feel free to contact me. I will be happy to meet you and show you my hometown area on the way just a true local can... See you in Dubrovnik !!!                                                                                                                                 

Dubrovnik Tour Guide - Ana B.

Ana B.

5.00 / 5
(2 reviews)

Dear travelers, I’m a local certified guide for Dubrovnik and its surroundings. I’m in love with history, languages, gastronomy, and travels. I'm also mum of two little kids so I don't have a lot of free time :) but when I do, I enjoy reading, trying new recipes, doing yoga and pilates. My work experience includes guiding in Dubrovnik (old town, city walls, cable car, island Lokrum), Elafiti islands, the island of Korčula, Pelješac peninsula, Konavle Region. Our country is small but has a lot to offer and I always do my best to present it in the best way, to balance information and interesting facts about the history and everyday life. Looking forward to meeting you ! Salut, Je suis une guide local certifiée pour Dubrovnik et ses environs. Je suis passionnée par l'histoire, les langues, la gastronomie et les voyages. Je suis également maman de deux petits enfants, donc je n'ai pas beaucoup de temps libre :) mais quand j'en ai, j'aime lire, essayer de nouvelles recettes, faire du yoga et du pilates. Mon expérience professionnelle comprend le guidage à Dubrovnik (vieille ville, remparts de la ville, téléphérique, île de Lokrum), les îles Elafiti, l'île de Korčula, la péninsule de Pelješac et la région de Konavle. Notre pays est petit mais a beaucoup à offrir et je fais toujours de mon mieux pour le présenter de la meilleure façon possible, en équilibrant les informations et les faits intéressants sur l'histoire et la vie quotidienne. J'ai hâte de vous rencontrer !                                                                                                                                  

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