This beautiful harbour town is the top destination in Croatia, if not the whole of Europe! But what makes it so special? Well, the heavenly beaches, a picturesque Old Town and the nearby islands are definitely something to do with it! I’ve put together a great little guide to make your next holiday there extra special.
Dubrovnik, a medieval city with just over 42,000 inhabitants, lies on the southernmost tip of the Croatian Adriatic coast and belongs to the sunniest regions of Dalmatia. Those spending their holiday here will definitely be delighted by the diversity of this enchanting port city: magnificent beaches invite for a swim and relaxation, impressive sights call for sightseeing and the nearby towns and regions make for a perfect, diverse beach holiday. What more could you ever need? ;)
When you first arrive this holiday paradise on the Adriatic coast in the deep south of Croatia, you should take a deep breath in and just let that romantic flair work its magic. Dubrovnik is regarded as the true gem of the Adriatic coast, and that’s not just because of the various impressive city walls and fortresses alongside gorgeous beaches! The fact that Dubrovnik serves as a filming location in the famous TV series Game of Thrones shows just how enchanting the Old Town of Dubrovnik must be. But it’s not just the things you can see here, but also those you can experience. Exciting scuba diving excursions, hiking and boat tours make it possible to get to know the wonderful surroundings and the exciting leisure offers, from wellness all the way to parties, make a holiday in Dubrovnik an unforgettable experience. Dubrovnik is a city teeming with possibilities.
The pretties beaches in Dubrovnik
Of course this place attracts most holidaymakers primarily due to the countless beautiful beaches on the Adriatic coast. The prettiest and most popular beaches include Banje Beach, a fine pebble beach in close proximity to the famous city walls with a view of Lokrum Island, and Buza Beach, a unique rocky beach directly below the city walls, which offers access to the crystal clear sea through a rocky crest and a lovely bar. Both beaches offer a magnificent view of the wide sea and some of the offshore islands, whereas Banje Beach is also known for its variety of diverse leisure activities such as jet skiing, paragliding and boat tours. If you’re visiting with kids and family, you should stick to Banje Beach or the Sveti Jakov, which is also one of the prettiest beaches belonging to Dubrovnik and only 20 minutes away from Banje Beach. The Sveti Jakov Beach is a small bay below the church of St. Jacob and you’ll also have a fantastic view of the city walls thanks to it’s close proximity to the Old Town.
But let’s get back to the overview: If you’d like to enjoy a breathtaking view of the Elaphiti Islands, the stunning front yard of Dubrovnik, you definitely have to head to Cava Beach, a narrow sand and pebble beach on the coast of the Lapad peninsula belonging to Dubrovnik.
A part of this beach surrounded by rocks is a nudist area. Right next to it you’ll find another pretty section of sand, the Copacabana Beach, which is another popular beach just like Banje Beach. This place is also especially loved by water sport enthusiasts, as there’s a multitude of activities on offer here from paddle boats, jet skiing and even paragliding. Another advantage here is definitely the beach adjusted for the disabled, which is quite rare in Croatia.
You’ll find some special beaches on the offshore island of Lokrum perched some 650 metres to the south-east from the Old Town. Wonderful and romantic coves are surrounded by pine trees here and cliff jumpers in need of some action will be delighted by the rocky stretches. If you don’t want to just relax on the beach here, you should definitely view the Benedictine monastery or take a cosy walk through the botanic garden.
Sightseeing in Dubrovnik
When spending your holiday in Dubrovnik, you’ll actually find it impossible to see all the beautiful sights of this magnificent port city! Although the cute harbour town has more than 42,000 inhabitants, there’s still a whole load of historic and cultural attractions to see and experience here, especially the Old Town of Dubrovnik of course – the historic core of the city was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site as early as in 1979.
The medieval area is particularly interesting to see because of its imposing city walls and the numerous monuments from the medieval, baroque and renaissance periods. The architectural masterpieces are still in an excellent condition today. The Church of St. Blaise, the holy patron of the city, is a very special sight on Placa Luca and a huge sacred building designed in a Baroque style. The Dubrovnik Cathedral from the 18th century is also a must.
But there’s no doubt that the most famous and popular part of the city is Stadrun, also known as Placa, the largest main street of the Old Town of Dubrovnik which divides the historic core into its northern and southern parts. Impressive sights, such as the large Onophrian Fountain, the city’s bell tower and the imposing Sponza Palace grace Stadrun, which is also a very popular meeting point and gathering place for diverse festivals. Once there, you should also visit the Fort Lovrijenac located to the west of the Old Town on a 37 metre tall hill and visit St. John’s Fortress.
As you can see, Dubrovnik is a city abundant in vibrant attractions: churches, monasteries and museums are witnesses to the thrilling history of the Adriatic city. And all the sights were just a mere fraction of what’s there to admire! Definitely reserve enough time to be able to view the countless highlights of the city in peace.
Popular excursions near Dubrovnik
Of course Dubrovnik itself is enough of a reason to venture to the enchanting Adriatic coast. But you definitely shouldn’t underestimate the exciting surroundings that you can explore during a holiday in the Croatian port city. These include the offshore islands, which are simply breathtaking due to their in part natural landscapes, and the thrilling and historic cities just a few kilometres away from Dubrovnik. Whether its a detour to a beautiful beach or an impressive monument, you yourself decide how diverse your holiday should be and incorporate a trip when possible. Here’s a small selection of the prettiest trip destinations near Dubrovnik:
Elaphiti Islands: You’ll find them just a few kilometres to the north-west of Dubrovnik – the so called front yard of Dubrovnik, an enchanting archipelago in southern Dalmatia. Lopud Island is especially worth seeing and just a 40 minute boat ride away from Dubrovnik. The most beautiful beaches in Croatia await your here among other things.
Mljet National Park: Mljet, located some 90 kilometres away from Dubrovnik, is one of the most densely forested islands in the Mediterranean. I don’t think I have to tell you what the Mljet National Park must look like, right? I’ll just say one thing: It’s a real natural paradise – so off you go!
Split: Even if the second largest city in Croatia is a good three hour car journey away from Dubrovnik, making a trip here is worth it nevertheless. Just the famous Diocletian Palace, as well as the popular squares and numerous sacred buildings are worth checking out. Not to mention the beautiful, tempting beaches…
Lokrum: The island of Lokrum lies just a few metres from the Old Town and is only 1600 metre long and 500 metre wide, but the small uninhabited island still offers a whole load of sights. Natural, rocky beaches, the Benedictine monastery and a botanical garden are waiting for you there.
Montenegro: The republic between the Adrian Sea and the Balkan Mountains is as diverse as it is small. Beaches, mountains, forests and mountain lakes invite for exploration and relaxation. The distance between Montenegro and Dubrovnik: about 180km.
Mostar: This small, charming and multicultural city in Bosnia-Herzegovina is just a two hour car journey away from Dubrovnik and used to be regarded as the melting point of the Orient and the Occident. Narrow, winding streets invite for a relaxed stroll and the Mostar bridge, Stari Most, is a real highlight hiding an exciting history.
Plan your dream holiday in Dubrovnik
Has Dubrovnik, the pearl of the Adriatic, managed to cast a spell on you? Really fancying a holiday in this gorgeous and diverse city? Well then, off you go! Find affordable flights, book your accommodation and – if you want to be flexible – equip yourself with a rental car to explore the surrounding areas. But don’t forget to take some great photos and tell me about your experiences afterwards! ;)