Experience Dubrovnik – A UNESCO World Heritage Site


Experience Dubrovnik – A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Stunning Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture at every turn and the crystal clear Adriatic Sea make this UNESCO-protected Croatian hot spot an

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Stunning Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture at every turn and the crystal clear Adriatic Sea make this UNESCO-protected Croatian hot spot an unforgettable destination. Practice pomalo — the locals’ mantra for living in the moment — and prepare to be dazzled!

Ride the cable car to savour breathtaking views over Dubrovnik at sunset. Arrive about an hour before sunset to see the city lit up in pinks and purples.

City Walls

The City Walls of Dubrovnik are the most iconic feature of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. They encircle the Old Town, offering breathtaking views of it from above. From here, you can see Gothic and Renaissance buildings, monasteries and Venetian palaces crammed together with shuttered apartments and hole-in-the-wall restaurants and cafés. There’s a kaleidoscopic feast for the eyes, and for those willing to climb, there are also dizzying views of the cobalt-blue Adriatic Sea.

The walls can be walked at any time, but you’re best to do so early in the day as it can get very hot later. If you’re traveling with a group, booking an organised tour is a great option. These tours usually include a skip-the-line ticket to the walls as well as admission to other city highlights like the Fort Lovrijenac. Another way to save on entrance fees is to purchase a Dubrovnik Card which includes entry to the walls as well as a number of other attractions, museums and public transportation options.

You can walk the walls independently, but be prepared to spend around 1.5 to 2 hours doing so. You can enter the walls at three different points, though the entrance closest to the Pile Gate is where most visitors choose to start. Regardless of which entrance point you choose, it’s worth climbing to the top of landmarks like Minceta Tower and St John’s fortress for the ultimate view of Dubrovnik.

Alternatively, you can see the City walls from above on a cable car ride or adventurous buggy tour to the top of Mount Srdj, which offers a stunning aerial view. You can even approach the historic town by sea if you’re keen on a truly unique experience!

Pile Gate

Pile Gate is the main entrance to Dubrovnik and was built-in the 15th century. It is on the western side of the city walls and is protected by fortresses Bokar and Lovrijenac. Visitors can enjoy the view over a small fishing harbour, fort Lovrijenac and crystal clear Adriatic sea from this point.

Walking around the city walls is a fascinating Experience Dubrovnik that gives you an insider’s look into the history and daily life of the walled city. The walls offer stunning views of the old town and are a great way to get away from the crowds and explore a little bit more of Dubrovnik. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to visit the walls with a local guide like Vesna who is very knowledgeable about the city and has great stories to share.

Vesna takes her guests on small streets away from the tourist routes to avoid the crowds and show them a more authentic part of Dubrovnik. She also teaches you about the politics of the city and how it has changed since the war, as well as a lot about the lifestyle of the inhabitants. She is a fantastic tour guide and I highly recommend her.

After passing the inner gate of Pile Gate, it is possible to turn left and enjoy a walk along the city walls or visit the small church of Saint Blaise. It is also worth checking out one of the town’s most interesting landmarks, Big Onofrio’s Fountain which is named after its designer.

This beautiful fountain was once the city’s water source and pumped water from the city river over 7 miles away. The fountain is located on the Stradun and if you are lucky, you can enjoy it early in the morning or towards sunset when all of the day-trippers have left and the limestone buildings glow with a warm, golden light.

Cathedral of St Blaise

The Cathedral of St Blaise is an extraordinary sacred building, combining deep historical and spiritual significance with architectural beauty. Dedicated to Dubrovnik’s beloved patron saint, the church is an important centre of worship for local residents and is a significant part of the city’s cultural heritage.

The church was built in 1715 in the flamboyant Venetian Baroque style by the master Marino Gropelli. It replaced a 14th century Romanesque structure that was destroyed in a fire in 1706. The cathedral is the home of a revered relic – the head of Saint Blaise.

Besides its religious importance, the cathedral is one of the most notable art pieces in Dubrovnik and is recognised for its beautiful interiors. Admire the stunning architecture and marvel at masterpieces like Titian’s ‘Assumption of the Virgin Mary’ on display here.

Saint Blaise is celebrated by the people of Dubrovnik as a protector and saviour. Every year on 3 February, the city celebrates his feast day and honours him with parades and street celebrations. He is also a symbol of healing and is known as the patron saint of those suffering from throat illnesses.

The Church of St Blaise is a must-visit for anyone exploring the enchanting city of Dubrovnik. If you would like to combine your visit to the church with other iconic sights of the city, you can book a full-day city tour with Navicup. You can see all the top attractions with a guide and listen to interesting stories behind each of them. The tour is suitable for all ages and can be enjoyed by both kids and adults. The cost for the tour is 150 HRK per person.

Franciscan Monastery

The Franciscan Monastery is one of the most important cultural landmarks in Dubrovnik. The monastery complex includes a church, cloister and library and is situated in the Placa in the Old Town. The monastery has a long history of serving the religious and intellectual communities and is still an active church and monastic place today. The monastery has a fascinating collection of books and manuscripts and is also home to one of the oldest pharmacies in Europe dating back to 1317.

The monastery’s cloister is one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in the city, a space full of greenery where you can sit and admire the beauty of the architecture. The cloister is lined with pairs of elegant eight-sided columns and each capital has a different motif: human heads, animals, grotesques, floral motifs, etc. The cloister was built in late Romanesque style by the master Mihoje Brajkov of Bar in 1460 and is considered one of the finest creations of its kind on the Croatian coast.

A visit to the cloister and the church is part of a walking tour of the Old Town. The tour is guided and you will be accompanied by an experienced guide who will entertain you with interesting details and stories about the UNESCO-listed city. The tour includes the major sights of Dubrovnik like Stradun, Onofrio’s Fountain, St Saviour’s church; the Cathedral; Orlando’s Column and the Rector’s Palace.

The experience of the city is completed by a walk along the magnificent walls that surround the Old Town. The walls are regarded as among the greatest fortifications of the medieval world, having never been defeated by a besieging army throughout their existence.

Museum of the City of Dubrovnik

In a city so renowned for its beauty, it’s only fitting that Dubrovnik has a thriving cultural museum scene. These museums give visitors a glimpse into the past and help to understand what makes Dubrovnik so special.

The Cultural History Museum was originally founded in 1872 and focuses on artifacts of significant cultural-historical value. It’s housed within the Rector’s Palace and gives a brilliant insight into the rich lifestyle of the Dubrovnik Republic through period furniture, paintings, and glassware.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the Maritime Museum which offers a fascinating insight into the importance of sea and maritime trade to Dubrovnik. The exhibition begins with the earliest trading items such as amphorae and a lead anchor stock from the 1st century. It then showcases how the heavily indented Dalmatian coast encouraged trade and resulted in a number of shipwrecks. The museum also explains how sail gave way to steamships with examples of the traditional tools of the shipwright such as adzes and augurs.

Those looking for something more interactive will enjoy the Aquarium and Maritime Museum which is located inside St John’s Medieval Fortress and showcases all the creatures that live in the Adriatic Sea from lobsters to seahorses to octopuses. The museum is a great educational experience for kids and adults alike and is included in the Dubrovnik Card.

Other great museums to check out in the city include the War Photo Limited museum which is a sobering and challenging way to learn about the Balkan conflicts. It’s a great place to discover the human tragedy behind news headlines. You can also visit the Jesuit Stairs which are the original filming location for Cersei’s walk of shame in ‘Game of Thrones’ or see the stunning baroque architecture at the Cathedral of St Ignatius Church and the Jesuit College.