Situated on the southern tip of Croatia, Dubrovnik is an ideal destination for a city break on the shores of the Adriatic Sea. The historic town is known for its city wall that spans two kilometres, from where you can enjoy a stunning view over the orange rooftops of the city that extend all the way to the shores of the turquoise sea. Use this Finnair travel guide to Dubrovnik to uncover the many delights of the Croatian gem.
Sights in Dubrovnik
One of the best-loved parts of Dubrovnik is the UNESCO-listed Old Town, which exudes the charms of past centuries. Look around the Gothic Renaissance Sponza Palace, one of the city’s few buildings that survived a massive earthquake in the 1660s. See the “Zelenci” bronze statues chiming the bell atop the Bell Tower every hour, admire the Baroque architecture of Placa and rest for a while on the steps of the charming Big Onofrio’s Fountain. Stroll around the Old Port and travel back in time at Fort Lovrijenac. Take an hour or so to walk around the old defensive walls that encircle the city’s old heart, pausing to look at various forts, gates and towers within the walls. Game of Thrones fans may experience a sense of déjà-vu! The striking Baroque Franciscan Monastery is home to one of the oldest pharmacies in the world and the Dominican Monastery houses several important antiquities. Museum lovers won’t struggle finding something of interest in Dubrovnik, with the history museum inside Rector’s Palace, the Synagogue and Jewish Museum, the Ethnographic Museum, the Maritime Museum and more. When it comes to beaches, Dubrovnik boasts some of the nation’s finest: Lapad Beach and Banje Beach are two of the city’s most popular spots for sunbathing and swimming. Learn more about the ocean deep at the aquarium, take a boat trip along the coast, have a go at sea kayaking and enjoy sweeping ocean and city views with a ride on the cable car. For something a bit different to the norm, pit your wits against the Dubrovnik Escape Room.
Things to See and Do Near Dubrovnik
- Lokrum Island – Regular ferries make the ten-minute crossing to the nearby island, giving you the chance to escape the summer crowds and bathe in peace on the rocks. The island also has an old fortress that you can climb for great views back towards the mainland.
- Cavtat – A lovely city with a rich history, there are many affordable restaurants and bars right along the waterfront, as well as historic buildings like the Franciscan Monastery, St. Nicholas Church and the Racic family mausoleum and cemetery.
- Mljet Island – This large island has a wildlife-rich national park and beautiful beaches. Boats operate to and from Dubrovnik two times per day.
Shopping in Dubrovnik
In addition to modern everyday items and clothing, Dubrovnik shopping offers a wide selection of artisan-made products and handicrafts. Pick up a locally-made necklace—many people believe this item of jewellery originates from Croatia.
- Old Town – There are numerous souvenir and gift shops within the streets of Dubrovnik’s Old Town.
- Gundulićeva Poljana Market – Within the Old Town, this bustling market sells mainly fresh produce, though you’ll also find local spirits, herbs, and dry goods.
- Gruž Market – This is the main fresh food market in Dubrovnik; come here to pick up picnic supplies.
- The Pharmacy – The historic pharmacy in the Franciscan Monastery makes its own toiletries and moisturising creams using age-old formulas and techniques.
Food and Drink
- Dalmatian ham – Thinly sliced, this local ham is a popular starter at mealtimes.
- Shellfish – Bounties from the ocean are common in coastal Dubrovnik and shellfish are generally sautéed with white wine, olive oil and herbs.
- Squid ink risotto – Reflecting the area’s Italian culinary heritage and the popularity of seafood, this black risotto dish is usually served in small black pots.
- Dalmatian pasticada – This meaty stew is often served with gnocchi.
- Dubrovačka Rozata – This sweet treat is a type of crème caramel and it is one of the most popular desserts in the city.
- Figs – The area around Dubrovnik is prime terrain for growing figs; buy fresh, tasty figs from roadside vendors.
- Wine – Several wineries operate around Dubrovnik, producing a variety of wines from various types of grape. It’s easy to find the perfect pairing for a meal.
Transport in Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik’s major tourist areas are well-served by public buses. A good city map is recommended to help you plan your routes.
- By foot – The Old Town is off limits to vehicles so you need to explore the area by foot. Many sights are within the Old Town and most streets have small signs naming the local businesses that operate along them. Wear comfortable shoes for days exploring the Old Town as some streets are rather steep.
- Buses – Many city buses in Dubrovnik include stops at the Old Town on their routes, so getting to the main tourist sights is easy from all around the wider area. Bus tickets can be bought at a kiosk or onboard; kiosk-bought tickets are slightly cheaper. Day passes, with unlimited bus travel for a 24-hour period, are ideal for tourists.
- Ferries – Regular ferry services connect Dubrovnik with nearby islands.