Dubrovnik holidays

Experience Dubrovnik

Experience [destination]

Best Places to Visit

With its long history as a republic and its beautiful romantic architecture and stunning seaside setting, it is easy to see why Dubrovnik is a major Mediterranean tourist destination, delivering the warm and sunny summers and pleasant spring and autumn seasons characteristic of the region.

A good place for tourists to get their bearings is to climb, drive or take a cable car up Srd Hill. At the top, visitors can take in the romantic views of the old city set amidst the turquoise waters of the Adriatic, as well as taking advantage of the photo opportunity from the summit - there's also the option of taking the cable car up, but walking back down, if you want an active day without the challenge of the climb.

The main tourist attraction in Dubrovnik is the Old Town. Dubrovnik's historic old quarter is so beautiful that UNESCO has inscribed it on its World Heritage list. Here, visitors will find narrow lanes, stone houses and old fortifications that hark back to the days of the Republic of Ragusa.

While the heart of Dubrovnik is the Old Town, the heart of the Old Town is Stradun, the main thoroughfare that snakes through the old quarter. The cafes, shops and restaurants which line this street are sure to ensnare tourists one way or another.

Apart from visiting to tour Dubrovnik's historic sites, people also come to this Mediterranean destination because of its beaches. Right outside the Old Town's eastern gate is the neighbourhood of Ploce. This area has some of Dubrovnik's most upscale hotels as it is where the main public beach in the city, Banje Beach, is found. Located only two miles from the Old Town, Lapad Beach is another beach which tourists like to visit as it is complete with restaurants and wide areas for sunbathing.

A concentration of watering holes can be found in a tiny square near the Ploce gate. Pubs and bars make up the establishments in the square and some offer outdoor seating, drinks - especially cocktails - and live music. Several establishments can be accessed via Pile gate as well.

The island of Lokrum, just 10 minutes by boat from Dubrovnik, is a good place to find peace and calm as the island is a preserved nature park. It is also home to a monastery, gardens and nudist beaches, a diverse selection of sites to cater for all interests.

Top Landmarks

Visitors to Dubrovnik will find it easy to fill their itineraries with historical attractions and religious landmarks. Most of these sites are in Dubrovnik's Old Town, the entirety of which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Visitors can begin by climbing and walking on the City Walls, which span 1.2 miles. Here, visitors are offered dramatic vistas of the city and sea, so stop to enjoy the views and to take photos as a reminder of your stay for when you get back home.

One of the most beautiful landmarks in the city is Minceta Fort, one of the many fortifications which used to guard this Mediterranean capital. Built in 1463, the fort features an imposing round stone tower which signifies the former wealth and power of Dubrovnik.

Sponza Palace might be worth a look as it contains relics and exhibitions from Dubrovnik's rich, sometimes sombre, past. This former customs house is now home to a memorial to the city's defenders during the 1991 Siege of Dubrovnik.

The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is the main religious landmark in the city. It is said that the English King Richard the Lionheart donated the money to build this Roman Baroque cathedral during the Third Crusade.

Another must-see religious site in Dubrovnik is the Jewish Synagogue, said to be the second oldest synagogue in Europe that is still in use. The synagogue is also the site of a museum which features the history of the city's Jewish community.

Entertainment

Nightlife in Dubrovnik, while not as lively or as exciting as in many other Mediterranean destinations, can still provide visitors a good time. Most tourists begin their evenings with a meal at any of the Old Town's fine restaurants, capping off their meal with a walk around the district with an ice cream cone in hand. Bars, clubs, live music venues and even theatre take care of after-dinner entertainment.

A recommended place, especially on summer evenings, is Cafe Buza. The cafe's tables and chairs are set out on the cliff side, and are the perfect place to see the sunset while enjoying a snack or drink. Another recommended place for live music is the Dubrovnik nightlife institution Troubadour Hard Jazz Cafe, which offers relaxed, pub-style drinking and jazz and blues bands most nights.

Those looking for a night out that is a bit livelier can head to any one of Dubrovnik's dance clubs, most of which can be found right outside the Old Town. Located in Banje Beach, EastWest is a beachside party venue that plays all kinds of music. Meanwhile, young tourists like to head to Latino Club Fuego, located right outside Pile gate.

For the more sophisticated traveller, Dubrovnik has Rector's Palace, a well-known venue for classical concerts, especially in the summer, and the Marin Drzic Theatre for dramatic performances throughout the year, and named after the 16th century Renaissance playwright who hailed from Dubrovnik.

Dining Out

Tourists will find much the same fare served at most of the cafes and restaurants in the Old Town. However, this is not to say that Dubrovnik is bereft of good food. In this part of the world, pasta, grilled meats and especially seafood are the stars of the dining table.

Dubrovnik cuisine tends to favour the traditional over the modern. Thus, tourists will most likely be offered menus with simple, traditional fare. The popular dishes are those typically eaten in the Dalmatian region of Croatia, with influences from Dubrovnik's neighbours across the Adriatic, the Italians.

Visitors can order a brujet, also called a brudet or brodetto, which is basically a fish casserole with tomatoes and onions thrown in. The dish has a version made with pasta and beans called pasta-fazol na brujet, a speciality from the island of Vis. Crni rizot is a risotto dish that is particularly interesting because it uses cuttlefish ink, which lends it a jet black colour.

Meat dishes here are basic but still very good. Visitors can try janjetina raznja, which is lamb roasted on a spit over an open-wood fire, pasticada, a meat sauce made with red wine and usually served with vegetables or the Italian soft dumplings called gnocchi.

Our best deals in Dubrovnik

Need to know

Need to know [destination]

Language

Dubrovnik has Croatian, a Slavic language spoken in southern Europe, as its primary language. Even with the city's history involving Latin-speaking rulers, the residents of Dubrovnik have always been native Slavic. English is taught in schools so locals are familiar with the language in varying degrees. Other European languages are also spoken in the city. Expect greater fluency in English from those working in the tourist trade, and from shopkeepers who are likely to encounter tourists more often too.

Currency

The official currency used in Dubrovnik is the Croatian kuna (HRK, Kn). Obtaining money from an ATM, locally called bankomat, is easy as machines are widely available, even in the old quarter, and major international banking cards should be accepted at these for direct withdrawals. You may prefer to obtain a prepaid travel currency card instead. Money is easily exchanged in banks, bureaux de change and post offices. Credit cards are widely accepted, with American Express, Diners Club, Visa and MasterCard being the most popularly used. Travellers' cheques, preferably in pounds sterling, euro or US dollars, can be used in Dubrovnik.

Visas

The entry requirements for Croatia apply to those wishing to visit Dubrovnik. Nationals of the UK and other EU countries need only present a valid national identity card or passport in order to be eligible for a 90-day, visa-free stay. Nationals of the US, Canada and Australia need only present a valid passport and return ticket for visa-free visits of up to 90 days. For longer stays, contact your local Embassy or Consulate to find out about visa applications.

Climate

Being a Mediterranean city, Dubrovnik has a largely Mediterranean climate. Winters are mild and wet, while summers are warm and sunny. Bora winds flow through the Adriatic from October to April, making the city cold and wet. Summer temperatures in July and August average from 22 to 28°C. Meanwhile, winter temperatures in January average a chilly 7 to 13°C. The best time to visit is spring or autumn when conditions are comfortable, unless you want to bask in the warmth of the midsummer.

Main Airports

Dubrovnik Airport is the main gateway to Dubrovnik. This international airport is located nearly 10 miles from Dubrovnik city centre. It is the second largest airport in the country in terms of passenger throughput, processing around 1.3 million people annually.

Flight Options

The main carrier at Dubrovnik Airport is the national airline of Croatia, Croatia Airlines. It connects Dubrovnik to the Croatian capital, Zagreb, and other European destinations such as Frankfurt and Paris. Other than Croatia Airlines, only three other airlines fly here regularly. British Airways flies from London-Gatwick, Monarch from Manchester and Lufthansa Regional from Munich. A London to Dubrovnik flight lasts around 2 hours and 40 minutes.

Travel Advice

Dubrovnik's winter low season sees discounted hotel prices and reduced airfares. Savings can be made by flying to Bari, Italy, and then taking an overnight ferry to Dubrovnik. Visitors coming from Dubrovnik Airport can take a taxi to their hotel or the Old Town, or a bus to Dubrovnik's main bus station in Kantafig, a journey which takes 45 minutes.

Other Transport Options

Buses are particularly useful for visitors coming from other destinations in the region as Dubrovnik is connected via bus to many other major cities in Croatia, such as Zagreb and Split, and to Sarajevo and Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Cruises through the Mediterranean and ferries travelling the Adriatic also stop at Dubrovnik, with the route from Bari, Italy, to Dubrovnik one of the most popular.

Getting Around

Dubrovnik, especially the touristy areas, is easily navigable via public transport. The centre of everything, the Old Town, is, however, a pedestrianised zone. City buses, run by Libertas, are cheap, comfortable and useful. Car rental is widely available but driving in the city centre is not recommended.

Bus

Visitors not staying inside or near the Old Town will be glad to know that just about every bus serving Dubrovnik stops at the Old Town. Fares are cheap and bus tickets can be purchased at kiosks, with day bus passes available for those who plan to travel multiple times by bus in one day.

Car

Major international car hire companies are available. However, while hiring a car is possible, it is not the most practical way to get around the city. The main tourist attraction, the Old Town, is pedestrianised and roads tend to be congested and parking space scarce. Car hire is, however, useful for daytrips outside the city.

MAP

DUBROVNIK`S WEATHER TODAY

Mostly cloudy °C

AVERAGE TEMPERATURE (°C)

  • 6

    J

  • 7

    F

  • 11

    M

  • 15

    A

  • 20

    M

  • 24

    J

  • 27

    J

  • 27

    A

  • 23

    S

  • 17

    O

  • 11

    N

  • 8

    D

MONTHS

AVERAGE RAINFALL (mm)

  • 98

    J

  • 106

    F

  • 88

    M

  • 108

    A

  • 86

    M

  • 66

    J

  • 48

    J

  • 64

    A

  • 110

    S

  • 139

    O

  • 145

    N

  • 126

    D

MONTHS

FACTS

  1. Dubrovnik's Old Town is encircled by stone walls that date back to the 16th century, and are one of the main landmarks many tourists come to see.
  2. The sailor Miho Pracat is one of the only non-religious figures ever honoured with a statue in Dubrovnik - it can be seen in the TV show Game of Thrones, where it is in the background of a scene set in the city of Qarth.
  3. According to some historians, Dubrovnik was the first place in the world to formally recognise the independence of the United States of America.

FACTS

  1. Dubrovnik's Old Town is encircled by stone walls that date back to the 16th century, and are one of the main landmarks many tourists come to see.
  2. The sailor Miho Pracat is one of the only non-religious figures ever honoured with a statue in Dubrovnik - it can be seen in the TV show Game of Thrones, where it is in the background of a scene set in the city of Qarth.
  3. According to some historians, Dubrovnik was the first place in the world to formally recognise the independence of the United States of America.

Holiday Types