We’re writing this article half as a guide for tourists, and half as a challenge to ourselves. We all know how many wonderful things there are to see and do in Dubrovnik. If we were to write a list of them all, it would probably run to twenty items or more. What use would that be to someone who was only in the city for a weekend break, though? How would it help them to decide what was worth seeing, and what would have to wait for next time?
In an ideal world, nobody would come to Dubrovnik for such a short trip. They would stay for a little longer and ensure that they had time to take in all the sights and sounds at their leisure. They'd admire the magnificent scenery, and indulge themselves at all the best restaurants. We know that isn't the way it works for most visitors, though. They have a limited amount of time, and they want to know where to go to get a taste of Dubrovnik during the time that they're here. For those people, we've tasked ourselves with whittling down the list of attractions that Dubrovnik has to offer and focusing on just five of them. If you find yourself in the city with a few hours to spare on the weekend, these are the five 'must-see' sites that you owe it to yourself to visit before you return home.
We appreciate that many of you will have your own thoughts on this matter, so if you disagree with our assessment, please leave your own recommendations in the comments!
The Old City Walls
If you’d asked us this question a few years ago, we’d have told you that the walls of the old city were among the most important things to see in Dubrovnik, but not the single most important thing. That’s changed in the eyes of a lot of people because of the global success of the television series “Game of Thrones.” It’s inspired action figures, video games, a series of licensed online slots, and a lot of visitors to Croatia. Seeing “Game of Thrones” scenery with your own eyes is a more consistently pleasurable experience than playing those games at online slots websites like Roseslots.com, though. You can’t guarantee that you’ll be happy with the end result when you play online slots. Nobody goes away from a tour of these old walls unsatisfied!
The walls date back to the tenth century - older than many European nations - and stretch on for well over a mile, offering some stunning views of the Adriatic Sea. There’s a fee for entry when you get to Pile Gate, but Minceta Tower is worth the price of admission on its own.
Many of the great ancient cities of Europe have wondrous cathedrals, but most of them pale in comparison to the beauty of Dubrovnik Cathedral and Treasury. Also known as the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, this stunning Baroque-style building stands on the same spot as the original cathedral of Dubrovnik, which was built during the 6th century. Step through the doors of the cathedral, and you'll be greeted by paintings by Italian masters dating back to the 16th century, but even they can't distract from the splendor of the architecture.
No visit to the cathedral is complete without a trip to its treasury, where you’ll find what Christians believe to be a piece of the cross to which Jesus Christ was attached during the crucifixion. There are also the mortal remains of a 13th-century saint, or if you're after something slightly less gruesome, a rich collection of gold and silver treasure.
If you’ve come to Croatia for the now-famous “Game of Thrones” tour, this will be another essential stop on your way around Dubrovnik, because it was used as part of the “King’s Landing” landscape during the show. Also known as St. Lawrence Fortress, this rocky outpost has been favorably compared to the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. At one point in the distant past, it was one of Croatia's most important defensive fortresses. It doesn't perform any defensive duties now, but the scars of the past are still visible at the site.
There are many legends about this fortress and its capabilities. It’s said that the Venetians tried to take it a dozen times but could never find a way in. Given the fact that the walls are almost forty feet thick in places, perhaps that isn’t surprising! If you’re visiting during summer months - which we highly recommend - you might be able to enjoy the musical and theatrical performances that happen here during the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, too.
The Cable Car
You can’t fit in an in-person visit to all of Dubrovnik’s attractions over the space of a single weekend, but you can at least see them all from a distance by taking a trip on the city’s cable cars. Cruise through the air high above the hills in a luxury modern cable car and get an opportunity to take spectacular photos. If the weather is clear, visibility can be as far as thirty miles in every direction! A cable car trip only last ten minutes, but they might well be the most memorable ten minutes of your entire vacation.
If you’re feeling hungry before or after your trip, you might be interested to know that there’s a fine restaurant at one end of the line at which you can dine with a splendid view of the city’s old town. Why not get a souvenir coin minted at the blacksmiths while you’re there?
Every city has a pedestrian thoroughfare of some kind, but in most places, they're functional and anonymous. The same can't be said about the Stradun of Dubrovnik. This is where every tour of the city should start or finish. The 'Placa' is the heart of the city, and it's the place to go for food and drink, as well as an opportunity to put your feet up after a full day of touring and traveling.
Unlike most city centers, the ‘Placa’ is residential as well as commercial. You can mingle with Dubrovnik’s residents if you wish, or pay a visit to the museum if you can spare the time. This iconic white limestone street has been in situ since the 15th century and even remained standing when everything around it collapsed during the great earthquake of 1667. The Stradun of Dubrovnik is where all that's old and new about the city come together.
There's so much more we'd like to tell you, but for a five-stop tour of the city, we think that's as good as it's going to get. We hope you get the chance to check them out, and that you love them as much as we do. If you do, be sure to revisit the city soon and check out all the things you missed out on!