Dubrovnik Old City – Image © Alex Proimos
Resting in the sun – Image © Ktoine
1. Watch outdoor theatre in a fort
Fort Lovrijenac sits on the western tip of the old city walls of Dubrovnik, looking out over the sea from its clifftop position. There has been a fort there since the 11th century and the current structure dates back to the 15th and 16th centuries. While it was once important in defending against invaders, now it’s a key venue for many of the cities festivals and events and is a popular and indeed beautiful place to watch outdoor theatre.
Fort Lovrijenac – Image © Gabrielle Ludlow
View from the city walls – Image © Jennifer Boyer
The main street of the Old City – Image © Tambako The Jaguar
2. Islands in the sea
If the smooth sailing across the deep blue Adriatic doesn’t confirm Dubrovnik as an idyllic city break destination, then the islands that surround the archipelago should seal the deal, from the wonderfully wild and richly green botanical gardens on Lokrum to the stunning Elaphiti Islands. The latter get their collective name from the Greek word for deer (elafos), as they used to be home to a large deer population.
Dubrovnik Old Town and Lokrum from the top of Mount Srđ – Image © Gabrielle Ludlow
Lokrum island (20 mins by boat from Dubrovnik) – Image © Jenni Douglas
Image © Elena
3. The beaches
Life’s a beach for the locals of Dubrovnik with an inviting sea lapping gently against nearby pebbly and sandy beaches. Thanks to the sun warming up the water all summer long, by the time September rolls around it’s still just about warm enough to swim in or at least dip your toes in. The easy choice is the city beach of Banje, but if a full day of sun and sea bathing is what you came for then check out Sulici beach near Pile Gate or set sail for Sunj the nudist beach on Lupud island.
Banje beach – Image © Christian Paul
Image © juan pablo santos rodríguez
4. Live music in the Old Town
As long as its warm enough, the streets of Dubrovnik Old Town regularly stay awake to the sound of live music. Head to Stradun to join a reliable throng of reveling locals. And for arguably the best jazz in the city, seek out Troubadour, a relaxed lounge bar very popular with those in the know.
Image © Stuart Hamilton
Dubrovnik’s Heart – Image © Lawrence OP
5. Go to the pharmacy…
With its medieval roots comes a lot of historic sights and buildings, the perhaps most bizarre and intriguing of which is the Old Pharmacy at Franciscan Monastery of Little Brothers, a Romanesque-Gothic cloister surrounding orange trees. Inside is a museum dedicated to the concoctions and potions that were believed to cure all manner of ailments, and after more than 700 years of alchemy, the pharmacy is still open for business.
Franciscan Monastery of the Friars Minor – Image © Jennifer Boyer
Fading light over the Old City – Image © David
6. Go kayaking
With all the best cities like New York now offering urban kayaking as a novel way to see the city, why not do the same in Dubrovnik? This is one of the best ways to appreciate how clean and clear the water on the Dalmatian coast really is. Delivering one of the best views of the city’s medieval walls, this is the perfect way to appreciate Dubrovnik’s beauty while burning calories – which you can then replace by making sure you…
Kayaks to Lokrum Island – Image © Yusuke Kawasaki
7. Eat freshly caught seafood
The Dalmatian coast has a proud history of some of the best tasting fresh fish and seafood – and Dubrovnik is no exception. It’s difficult to find a bad restaurant in the winding medieval streets of the Old Town but locals’ favourite Proto is worth spending a bit of money on if you have the budget.
Another just as tasty, cheaper and more intimate option however, is to make sure you pop down to the market at Gruz to collect the catch of the day and cook it in the comfort of your very own HouseTrip home.
The City Harbour © Jennifer Boyer
A mishmash of eclectic tastes, sights, sounds and smells – all uniquely steeped in a medieval atmosphere which permeates everything. Truly a fairy-tale city with something for everybody, Dubrovnik is, in one word, enchanting.
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