Dubrovnik is a walled Croatian city on the Adriatic Sea that has recently become one of the most prominent ports of call on a European cruise. After spending just one day here, visitors will clearly see why Dubrovnik has been dubbed the “Pearl of the Adriatic”!
Dubrovnik’s Old Town is completely surrounded by enormous stone walls that date back to the 10th century, built to protect the city and deter would-be invaders. Visitors can walk along the entire length of the wall, taking in the amazing views of the coast and the city inside the walls. Self-guided audio tours are available. It is a physically demanding walk with lots of stairs but if you are able to do this it is not to be missed. Try to walk the walls during the early morning or late afternoon hours, as it can become extremely hot. It’s a mile and a quarter to walk the entire perimeter which consists of a series of forts, towers, bastions, and casemates. There are places to stop and sit along the way and a spot that sells bottled water and snacks. It could take between one and two hours depending on your pace but if you get tired, you can exit at any of the gates.
The Old City of Dubrovnik has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979. Inside the walls the pedestrian-only Old Town is enchanting! Like all ancient cities, Dubrovnik is a charming maze of cobblestone streets and alleyways. The best way to see it is to put on a comfortable pair of shoes and get exploring! There are quaint shops, dozens of churches and plenty of restaurants and cafes. The town is noted for jewelry shops that specialize in filigree and coral. In the nicer weather, there are sidewalk artists and live music in the town square.
Note: Dubrovnik was heavily bombed during the Croatian War of Independence from 1991 to 1995. Almost all of the damage has been repaired, however, if you look closely around the old town, mortar damage in the cobblestone streets and bullet marks in the stone houses are visible.
Within the Old City visitors can hop on the newly renovated cable car system. Each of the cable cars two cabins can accommodate thirty passengers for the three minute ascent to the summit of Mount Srd. The upper station has two panoramic terraces equipped with binocular telescopes, a snack bar, a restaurant, a souvenir shop and more. The panoramic views extend over the Old City of Dubrovnik, the island of Lokrum and the crystal clear blue Adriatic Sea.