CROATIA  |  Dubrovnik, Croatia Travel Guide
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Dubrovnik, Croatia

Old Town of Dubrovnik, Croatia
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Dubrovnik Travel Guide

Introduction

Dubrovnik is an absolutely stunning city on the Adriatic coast of Croatia, aptly labeled the "Pearl of the Adriatic." It's a magical city no matter how you look at it, at once historic and joyful, as if straight out of a centuries-old fairy-tale picture book. It has a fabulous Old Town at the heart of it, encircled by ancient walls that reach all the way down to the sea to claim even its timeless harbor. Within its walls are medieval fortresses and picturesque old buildings, set upon storied public squares and winding cobblestone streets and stepped lanes. There are museums, cathedrals, fountains and triumphal city gates, and regal palaces and even a Franciscan monastery. There are quaint shops and boutiques, and sidewalk cafés and epicurean restaurants. And if you're here in the summertime, say around July-August, Dubrovnik will regale you with its summer festival, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, a 45-day cultural extravaganza that offers up a full smorgasbord of live entertainment with music, dance and unforgettable performances of Hamlet and other Shakespearean plays – and all of it in a mesmerizing, storybook setting! Indeed, as literary great George Bernard Shaw once beckoned, "Those who seek paradise on Earth should come to Dubrovnik and see Dubrovnik."

Location

Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage city, situated at the approximate center of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, at the end of the Dubrovnik Isthmus on the Adriatic Sea coast of Croatia.

How to Get There

Sightseeing

Dubrovnik's principal draw is of course its walled Old Town and practically everything that lies within those walls. Stradun is the Old Town's main street, some 300 meters long, lined with uniformly constructed 17th-century buildings with shops, restaurants and cafés tucked into them and a fountain – Large Onofrio's Fountain and Small Onofrio's Fountain – at each end of it. The Rector's Palace, part-Gothic and part-Renaissance, is also worth seeing, as are the old Franciscan monastery and adjacent St. Saviour Church, and the city's Baroque cathedral and St Blaise's Church. Equally interesting is Dubrovnik's old harbor with its attendant sailboats. Th city's ancient walls are worth stepping back and admiring too, turreted and some 4 to 6 meters thick.

Main Neighborhoods

  • Grad / Old Town - The city's historic center, Grad in Croatian and Old Town or Old City in English. This is the essential, UNESCO-listed walled city, with most of Dubrovnik's main attractions located in it, and is thus of particular interest to visitors. You'll also find scores of restaurants, cafés and shops here, mainly along the long, wide street known as Stradun, which runs through the heart of the Old Town, from the Western Gate to the Eastern Gate.

  • Pile - Small, archaic pocket, located just to the west of the walled Old Town, right by the Pile Gate of the Old Town. Pile is actually the link between the Old Town and the rest of the city, and the best place to get a bus or taxi when leaving the Old Town.

  • Ploče - An upscale residential neighborhood, Ploče is on the opposite side of the Old Town from Pile, adjacent to the Eastern Gate (or Ploče entrance) of the walled city and fanning out farther east from there. Ploče overlooks the sea, with good views of the emerald Lokrum Island as well as the old city walls. Most of Dubrovnik's high-end hotels are located here, the likes of Grand Villa Argentina and Hotel Excelsior among them.

  • Gruz - Residential neighborhood along the Dubrovnik harbor, northwest of the Old Town. Gruz has good views of the Lapad Peninsula and farther out to the Elaphite Islands. There's also an attractive marina here, packed with sailboats.

  • Lapad - Situated west of the Old Town, Lapad takes its name from the Lapad Peninsula on which it claims a large chunk of real estate. There are good beaches, pretty promenades and walking trails, and several hotels located here, particularly in the Uvala Lapad area along the bay. Another area of interest on Lapad is Dubrava-Babin Kuk. A walking trail heads out from Uvala, journeying along the waterfront to the tip of the peninsula and looping back along the other side of the peninsula through Babin Kuk. There are several good restaurants, shops and hotels in Babin Kuk.

How to Get Around

Dubrovnik has an extensive network of bus lines, with buses every half hour or less, linking all parts of the city. Taxis are available at all hours, with reasonable fares, usually no more than $20-25 to any part of the city.

Where to Party

Where to Eat

Where to Stay

Know Before You Go

  • Best Time to Visit: July-October
  • Cost Per Day: K-K (US$-US$)
  • Currency: Croatian Kuna HRK (US$1 ~ K5.5 or €1 ~ K7.5)
  • Electricity: 230V - 50Hz
  • Phone Code: +385 20
  • Population: 43,000

Nearby Destinations

© Indian Chief Travel Guides

Last updated December 10, 2013
Posted in   Croatia  |  Dubrovnik
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