Dalmatian Coast City Delight in the Balkans
Dubrovnik on the Croatian Dalmatian Coast is famed for its high city walls and photogenic red roof landscape.
Dubrovnik is a place for writing fairytales. Steep red castle walls dropping into a perfect bluegreen sea, winding alleyways and hidden staircases criss-crossing the inner city, and a happy-go-lucky holiday atmosphere make it one of my favorite parts of Croatia.
Inside the City Walls
Unless you’re lucky or rich enough to be staying in the red-roofed Old Town itself, a day spent in Dubrovnik will start outside the centuries-old city walls. A common point of entry is the Pile Gate, where most buses stop.
Walk through the gate and you enter the magic kingdom of Dubrovnik. The central stretch of the city is Placa, the wide marble promenade running from one end of the Old Town to the other.
Various museums, monuments and cathedrals can be found around here, including a Franciscan monastery, the Sponza Palace and two sweet churches, St Blaise’s Church and the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin.
Poke your nose into some that take your fancy, but I’d mostly recommend soaking up Dubrovnik’s atmosphere. If you’re visiting on a sunny summer day then you won’t want to waste too much time inside, anyway.
On and Outside Dubrovnik’s Walls
Perhaps the highlight of any Dubrovnik day is a walk around the city walls. Fortresses, towers and walls join to make a 1900 meter circuit of the Old Town possible, and when the height can reach up to 25 meters, the views both over the town and to the sea are definitely camera-worthy.
At the southern end of the city, docks for small boats and yachts provide the backdrop for a “fish and chips” summer feeling, and on warmer days you can swim in front of the city.
To get further outside the walls, you can also enjoy a day trip to an island: there’s no shortage of opportunities to island-hop in Croatia, and Dubrovnik offers ferries to several.
If you visit in summer, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival takes place every year in July and August and has been running since 1950. This massive arts festival features orchestra performances, plays, dance and photography exhibitions and is popular amongst locals and visitors alike.