The ancient walled city of Dubrovnik is small in size but makes a big impact. Some travelers choose to breeze in and out in a short afternoon (which is possible), but I spent a delightful springtime week here visiting its memorable sights while also exploring hidden alleyways, and climbing every set of stairs I could find. I was then drawn back each night, retracing my footsteps, to see just how different the city looks all lit up.
No matter how much time you have in Dubrovnik, there are a few sites you must see. If you only have limited time, choose wisely, because part of the experience of Dubrovnik is taking a seat at a café and leisurely enjoying a coffee, a beer, or an afternoon meal. This is also an excellent place to shop – especially if you’re on the hunt for unusual jewelry.
Here is my list of the top sites in Dubrovnik
1. The Old Town Dubrovnik Wall
While strolling down the main street of Dubrovnik, it is easy to wonder whether a more beautiful small European town exists. Then you climb the stairs to the top of the Old Town Dubrovnik Wall and realize that this city is even more beautiful from a bird’s eye view.
The wall is two kilometers in length and circles the entire Old Town, granting incredible views of red-tiled rooftops, and the sparkling, azure, distant waters dotted with inviting islands. Exploring the Old Town Walls could easily take an entire afternoon, as there are so many places to sit and soak in the views instead of rushing along.
2. Café Buza
Café Buza is so special that it deserves to be on anybody’s list of top sites in Dubovnik. While walking the wall, if you pay attention to the western portion, you will inevitably look down to see Café Buza, a small café of multiple terraces perched high above the water. You enter by passing through a small, nondescript door. On the other side; a cold, local beer and one of the best sunset views in Dubrovnik awaits.
3. Pile Gate
Dubrovnik is so old and so full of ancient treasures that it is easy to stroll right by them. One of the most beautiful (and easy to miss) is the Pile Gate, the northern entrance to the Old Town. Take a close look at the stone bridge and two Gothic arches and you will begin to get an idea of what it must have taken to build this incredible city.
4. Rector’s Palace
You can’t miss Rector’s Palace, the gorgeous Roman-influenced palace located right off Luzu Square. Yet behind those signature arches is a palace that was once the seat of local government – that many visitors don’t take the time to see. You won’t feel the need to spend hours here, but getting inside to see the elegant rooms, portico, and archways is worth ducking off the street for a few minutes.
5. Franciscan Monastery
The architecture throughout Dubrovnik is, of course, striking, but the Franciscan Monastery might take the crown. The monastery, its courtyard, and the surrounding buildings are said to be the best preserved and the best examples of local architecture. Whether you are religious or not, this attraction is well worth an extended peak inside to fully appreciate the historic library and the old pharmacy.
Let these attractions form a framework for a day of exploring Dubrovnik. In between you can take a seat in a café in the harbor to indulge in a big pot of mussels or even seek out live music in local cafés. From the outdoor markets to the jewelry shops, Dubrovnik is full of intrigue and beauty. What is on your list for the top sites in Dubrovnik?
Written by Jessica Colley for EuropeUpClose.com