Tourist Places To Visit In Dubrovnik
One of Croatia’s most important cities, Dubrovnik is what dreams are made up of - the sea that is pure aqua in colour and city walls made of sunbaked yellow stones, ramparts that rise from the seaside and merge into the landscape of red roofed houses going all the way up the hill…
If you are a fan of Game of Thrones, know that Croatia and Dubrovnik especially have many a sets where this magnum opus was shot. There are many tourist places here of course, aside from GoT memorabilia. Here’s a small list to guide you along.
Dubrovnik’s City Walls
Dubrovnik is best known for its old world charm, for the brilliant ramparts and tall walls, like the City Walls. These medieval walls once surrounded the city and rose like sentries for its protection from the sea and the invaders that came through the sea. Going back to 13th Century, the last of these walls were reinforced over years after repeated attacks. A couple of imposing towers also complement these walls, built back in the 15th Century to protect against Turkish invasion. It will take you around an hour to explore all the walls but the hour will be worth a lifetime.
Game of Thrones fans, yes, this is the King’s Landing.
Stradun is one of Dubrovnik’s most beautiful streets, teeming with souvenir shops, ice cream stalls, boutiques, small garages and brands. The street is lined by baroque homes, ones that were destroyed back in the day due to an earthquake and then rebuilt meticulously, with great care and precision. You must visit Stradun to enjoy an afternoon coffee at a local cafe or stroll your way down, looking at the Dubrovnik life unfold. You will also find many monuments of this city peppered along your walk on Stradun, so it’s a plus. At the end of the street, there is the iconic Luža Square and the bell tower to greet you.
The Rector’s Palace was once the meeting point for the City Council, and also doubled up as the home to the Rector of the Republic of Ragusa (medieval name for Dubrovnik). The palace also houses an armoury, a jail and a lock up. It has been invaded and destroyed several times over the centuries and rebuilt again and again, adding to its charm; one that seamlessly mixes styles like Baroque, Medieval, Gothic etc. Today tourists enjoy the in-house Cultural History Museum and the displays of staged original rooms and period furniture styled impeccably.
Fort Lovrijenac is located by the Adriatic Sea, constructed on a rock as an independent fortress to fight off the attackers, without giving them way into the city. The fort is so well designed that it provided the high ground to fight intruders from land as well as sea, and in the scenario that it was taken over or felled, wouldn’t give inroad into the main town. The structure dates back to 1301 and has triangle terraces and parapets. So impenetrable was this fort, that it is said that only a garrison commander and 25 soldiers could defend it. Nowadays, with no need for such drama, Fort Lovrijenac hosts many cultural programs, cliff diving world series, productions of plays like those of Shakespeare etc.
One of the busiest entrances to Dubrovnik from the walled side of the Old Town, the Pile Gate encompasses two gates in one. It was built in the early 1500s and boasts of a stunning statue of the city’s patron saint - St. Blaise. This is the gate that leads you to Stradun street. You will also find a drawbridge in front of the gate, but it is no longer pulled shut, instead, is always open, welcoming. You can visit this gate and get yourself clicked in period costumes as sentries by the gate.
Onofrio Fountain was Dubrovnik’s answer to the aqueduct system and clean potable water requirements in the city back in the 15th Century. It is connected to a spring in Sumet, and ensures that cool crisp water is ready and flowing to drink for one and all, even today. You can walk down the Stradun Street and there in the middle of a square in front of St. Savior church is the Big Onofrio Fountain, still in perfect working condition, pouring out cool potable water.
The Franciscan Monastery is situated on the west end of Stradun, near Pile Gate, and is also the oldest operating pharmacy in all of Europe. The Church was destroyed in 1667’s earthquake but the cloister, gardens and other surroundings are still the same. You will also find a lot of ancient collection in the church, from rare old books to mystic artworks and objects from the yore. For souvenir shopping, you can pick up lotions that are made from centuries old recipes here.
Well, it’d be a shame if you came to Dubrovnik and didn’t visit a beach. Banje Beach is one of the closest and most attractive beaches in Old Town, boasting of warm pebbles and beautiful waters. There is an entry fee to some part of the beach while the other is free, lively and more abuzz with activity. You can play beach volleyball, football, waterpolo, or just go for a swim in the sea.