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Dubrovnik is the most famous seaside town of Croatia, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Thousands of tourists visit it every year, its old town was declared the part of the UNESCO World Heritage in 1979.

The founders of the city were the descendants of a Greek colony whose settlement was situated at the site of today’s Cavtat. The colony’s name was Epidaurum and it came under Roman rule in 228 BC. When the Slavic tribes arrived in the 7th century, the members of the colony abandonned Epidaurum and established Ragusa (today’s Dubrovnik) at a better protected place. The name Ragusa derives from the Greek word ‘Lausa’ that means ‘precipice’.

At first Ragusa stood under Byzantine influence, then in 1205, when the Republic of Venice invaded Dalmatia, Ragusa was forced to serve as Venice’s naval base. In the Treaty of Zadar (1358) Venice yielded all claim to Dalmatia founding the emerging and the prosperity of the Republic of Ragusa. The city was flourishing in the 15th and 16th centuries: the wealth gained from marine trade were shown by the beautiful palaces and churches. In 1667 an earthquake ruined the whole city but Ragusa was reconstructed and got a Baroque character. 

Dubrovnik lost its independence in 1806 when Napoleon’s army surrounded the city. When the French left, Ragusa was annexed to the Astro-Hungarian Monarchy and it remained in ties with the Monarchy till the end of the World War I. The tourism of Dubrovnik started in the 19th century, celebrities like George Bernard Shaw and Agathe Christie spent their holiday here. During the Yugoslav decades, tourism became mass scale.

The last tragical event happened in Dubrovnik is tied to the Yugoslav war. The city was bombarded by the Serbian army from October 1991 till June 1992 regardless of the century old buildings. Dubrovnik did not have any strategic value in this war, so only aim of the manoeuvre was to undermine the fighting morale of the Croatian. After the war Dubrovnik was rebuilt.

Getting here & around

By car

Zagreb (A1) – Bosiljevo junction (A1) - exit Karamatići - Neum, border crossing (8) - Dubrovnik.

Motorway tolls: Zagreb – Karamatići   222 Kn

In the summer tourist crowds are almost unbearable. A few years ago local papers issued an article about how policemen directed the pedestrians in the old town on an August day. This means that parking around the centre is quite impossible.

Zone 0 (around the old town) May-Oct.    40 Kn / hour, in winter 20 Kn/hour

Zone 1 and 3  May-Oct.  10 Kn / hour, in winter  5 Kn/hour

Zone 2 (10 min. walk from the old town) May-Oct.    20 Kn / hour, in winter 10 Kn/hour

Parking lots:

Ilijana Glavica (Zagrebačka ulica bb.)

From here the old town can be reached in 5 minutes by walk.

Parking fees: May, June, Sept., Oct. 20 kn / hour, 220 Kn / day
                    July,  August 28 Kn / hour, 280 Kn / day
                    in winter 7 Kn / hour 80 Kn / day

Gruž (Obala pape Ivana Pavla II 1.) 5 Kn / hour, 80 Kn / day. Take buses (bus 1, 1A, 1B, 3) to get to the historic centre of Dubrovnik.
Purchase your ticket at the ticket machine box or newspaper stands or by mobile phone.
The old town is squeezed between Pile and Ploče gates. The wide pedestrian street is called Placa (Platea communis).

By bus

The main bus station can be found a bit further from the old town, at Obala pape Ivana Pavla II. 44. Most of the local buses stop at Pile gate, with these you can get to Lapad or Babin Kuk peninsulae. Tickets can be purchased at newpaper’s stands (12 Kn) and at Pile gate. Tickets from bus driver cost 15 Kn.

By boat

Bari (Italy) - Dubrovnik: from 79 Eur / person, the price for a deluxe cabin (shower, Tv, bar) may climb up to 138 Eur/person. Weekend prices have been introduced recently, these are 7-12 Eur higher. Low season prices are 7-13 euro less.

You can reach Dubrovnik from Rijeka and Split by boat, as well. There is also a ferry service to the surrounding islands (Mljet, Šipan,Lopud).

Ferry and boat tickets

By air

Dubrovnik airport (www.airport-dubrovnik.hr) is located 20 km to the south of the city. From here a taxi costs 260–300 Kn. Shuttle buses arrive at the Pile gate, a single ticket is 40 Kn (book it on-line to get 5% discount from this price).

Tourist information

There are more tourist offices in Dubrovnik.

At Pile gate:

Branitelja Dubrovnika 7.

Tel: +385 20 427 591

e-mail: ured.pile@tzdubrovnik.hr

Working hours: Mon-Sat 8.00-20.00, Sun 8.00-16.00

In the middle of Placa:

Široka 1.

Tel: +385 20 323 587

e-mail: ured.grad@tzdubrovnik.hr

Cathedral of the Assumption of Virgin Mary

Poljana M. Držića

This iconic 18th-century Baroque church stands on the site of a former 7th-century basilica which was allegedly built by Richard the Lionheart as a gratitude for surviving a shipwreck near by. This was completely ruined in the 1667 earthquake. On the main altar the painting made in Tiziano's workshop, presents the assumption of Virgin Mary.

The Treasury can be found in the aisle of the cathedral (working hours: 4 April - 1 November, Mon-Sat 9.00-17.00, Sun 11.00-17.00. Shorter working hours in winter). It displays an impressive relic collection e.g. St Blaise's arm and scull fragment.

Maritime and Historical Museum

Located in the Fort of St. John’s

Working hours: 22 Mar-2 Nov: Tue-Sun 9.00-18.00, in winter Tue-Sun 9.00-16.00

Tickets: 70 Kn (children 20 Kn)

On the first floor the shipbuilding and maritime trade traditions of Dubrovnik are exhibited from the very beginning till the fall of the Dubrovnik Republik. The town’s more recent maritime history is on show on the second floor. Ship models, century-old atlases and maritime tools are dispalyed in the vitrines.

Dubrovnik Aquarium is located on the ground floor (working hours: 8.00-20.00, tickets: 15 Kn (children 10 Kn).

The Rector’s Palace

Pred Dvorom ulica 3.

The Rector’s Palace served as the seat of the rector who governed the Republic of Raguza. The rector was appointed by the ruler of Venice and during his mandate he lived in the palace. However the building was not only his home but also the council hall, the court, the administration centre of Dubrovnik, the prison and gunpowder store-house. Due to the latter task the building has a mixed architectural character: the gun powder blew off at first in 1435. At this time the palace was rebuilt in Gothic style according to the plans of Onofrio della Cava. 29 year later, the damage caused by another explosion was repaired with the help of the famous architect, Juraj Dalmatinac. The entrance and the facial received its Renaissance style at that time. The atrium and the staircase have also a Renaissance character.

The Rector’s Palace houses a museum (open: 22 Mar - 2 Nov daily, 9.00-18.00, in winter daily 9.00-16.00, tickets 70 Kn, for children 25 Kn) where old paintings, portraits of Dubrovnik rectors , a collection of arms and utensils of a pharmacy from the 15th century are exhibited. Some rooms are arranged to display the original setting with antique furniture. The atrium is used as a concert venue.

Square Pred Lužom

The western side of the square is occupied by the City Bell-tower whose clock shows the time to Dubrovnik citizens since 1444. The bell is stroke by two Medieval bronze figures, the Zelenci in every hour.

Close to the bell tower, the eight-cornered Small Onofrio’s fountain is the work of the master Onofrio della Cava from Naples. The Large Onofrio’s fountain is situated at the other end of the Placa, at Pile gate.

Westwards from the Bell-tower an imposant building decorated with Renaissance and Gothic elements can be seen.Sponza palace This is the Sponza Palace that played a significant role for centuries in the life of the city: it used to be a bank, a mint and an arsenal. On the facial the relief of the patron saint, St. Blaise can be seen. The palace houses the Memorial Room of Dubrovnik Defenders (opening hours: May-Oct 9.00-22.00, in winter 10.00-15.00. Free admission).

In the middle of the square the symbol of independence and power, the Orlando’s column raises. The column that was put up in 1418 presents Roland, a Medieval knight who became a legend due to the Medieval epic Chanson de Roland. According to a local legend, Roland repulsed the attack of Saracens against Dubrovnik. The length of his sword used to be the official linear measure of the Republic, the Dubrovnik ell (51,1 cm). On the top of the column till 1808 (the occupation of Napoleon) a flag was flying with the image of St. Blaise and his initials (SB). For centuries at its bottom laws and judgements were revealed and in the Middle Ages it was used as a shame column. Since 1950 at the opening ceremony of Dubrovnik Summer Festival the flag of the festival is raised on the column.

The Venetian Baroque St. Blaise’s Church stands at the site of an earlier Roman church that was damaged in the earthquake of 1667 and devastated in a fire in 1706.  It is named after the city’s patron saint who, according to a legend, appeared as a vision to the local priest to warn him the attack of the Venetian fleet. The city was saved owing to the vision. The bishop is often portrayed holding the model of Ragusa on his palm. A silver sculpture like this from the 15th century can be seen on the oltar of the church, as well. The image of St. Blaise appears on Dubrovnik coins, flags and several places in the city, which refers to the exceptional respect of the saint.

Summer festival in Dubrovnik

The largest and the most important cultural event in Dubrovnik that is organised every year in July and August. The music and film programmes,  theatre plays and exhibitions take place within the old town with the famous ancient buildings (Rektorpalota, Revelin) in the background. The detailed programme can be found on the www.dubrovnik-festival.hr website. In 2017 the audience can applaud for the artists of the 68th festival.

Revelin Fort

The fort is situated outside the city walls, next to the Ploče gate. It was built in the middle of 1400 years and was strenghtened and enlarged hundred years later. Today it serves as the venue for various performances as well as the Dubrovnik Summer Festival. Its largest casamata was converted to a 1200-strong concert hall. During the Croatian War of Independence when Dubrovnik were bombed, many inhabitants found shelter among its walls.

Dubrovnik ramparts

Dubrovnik city walls

Working hours: Nov-Mar 10.00-15.00, Apr, May 8.00-18.30

                       Jun, Jul 8.00-19.30, Aug, Sep 8.00-18.30

                       Oct 8.00-17.30

Tickets: 70 Kn (child 5-18 years 30 Kn)

The most popular and unique sightseeing tour of Dubrovnik. Visitors walk on the ramparts of Dubrovnik fortress familiarizing themselves with the history of the town and the buildings with the help of headphones. There are three entrances: at the Pile gate, at Fort St. John’s and at the Custom’s House gate.

Pile gate was built in 1537, this is the entrance of the wall between Bokar and Minčeta bastions. For centuries it was closed at night and the long bridge was lifted. St Blais, the patron saint of the town can be seen in a Renaissance niche of the bastion. The sculpture is the masterpiece of Ivan Meštrović.

Dominican monastery

Svetog Dominika 4.

The building of the monastery began in 1301, at that time outside the ramparts. This is the reason for its fortress like appearance. In the church of the Gothic and Renaissance complex tombs of the notables of the town can be found. In the 1667 eathquake a part of the church was devastated, its front was repaired in Baroque style. In the cloister a rich vegetation garden and a medieval fountain catch the visitor’s eye.

The museum (open: 1 May - 31 Oct 9.00-18.00, in winter 9.00-17.00, admission fee: 20 Kn) displays valuable paintings of Dubrovnik masters from the 15th and 16th century as well as relics and ecclesiastical manuscripts.

Statue of Ivan Gundulić

Gundulićeva Poljana

The poet and playwriter used to live in that Renaissance house in the 18th century which houses the Hotel Pucić Palace today. The poet’s tomb is kept in the Franciscan church.

From Gundulić square a broad staircase leads to the Jesuit Church of St. Ignatius. The Baroque church was built in the 18th century.

The west end of Placa

Under Placa 2. can be found the Gothic-Renaissance Church of St. Salvation. It was built in1520 by masters of Korčula. Today it houses exhibitions and concerts. It got damaged in the Croatian war.

Dubrovnik franciscan monastery

The construction of the neighbouring Franciscan monastery started in 1317 and it was damaged seriously in the 1667 earthquake. In spite of the repairing works a few Gothic frescoes are still visible on the wall of the cloister. The green garden provides some refreshment on the hot summer days.

The pharmacy that belongs to the monastery was opened in 1317 so it is counted among the oldest pharmacies in Europe. In the museum medieval encyclopaedie, old tools and a herbal from 1578 are on show.
Opening times: Mar-Oct daily 9.00-18.00, winter 9.00-17.00

Tickets: 30 Kn (child 15 Kn)

Dubrovnik onofrio fountain

The domed, 16-sided Large Onofrio’s fountain was built in 1438 on the occasion of the completion of the city water supply. The designer, Onofrio Della Cava from Naples designed another fountain to the other side of the Placa. In summer the stairs of the fountain are almost unaccessible because of the tourists.

When turning from Placa to Od Sigurate street and climbing up the steps a small board with a description of Museum can be seen on the left. Here the Church of Sigurata stands which is the smallest and the oldest (11th century) church of Dubrovnik. On the main oltar an icon is on display with the child Christ.

Mount Srdj

The best view of Dubrovnik opens from the top of Srđ Hill. To get here by car, turn towards Bosanka from Jadranska cesta and take the winding road to the top. If you decide to climb up to the hill on foot, start the tour at Pile district.

Dubrovnik cable car

The hill used to be a popular tourist sight before the War of Independence. Its top was crowned by the Fort Imperial built in the 19th century. The restaurant within the walls of the fort offered a breathtaking view of 'the pearl of the Adriatic' and was accessible by a cable car. The whole complex was destroyed in the borbardment of Dubrovnik in 1991 and the ruins disfigured the hill for years. In 2010 summer though, the cable car started to operate again and the top of the hill was fully reconstructed. Panoramic terraces, a restaurant and an outdoor amphitheatre with a breathtaking view await visitors now.

Tickets for the cable car can be purchased at the lower station (at the corner of Zagrebačka and Petra Kresimira streets).
Tickets: return 94 Kn, one-way 50 Kn (children between 4 and 12: 50 Kn, one-way 25 Kn)

Free for children up to 4 years.


The cable car runs in every half an hour. Last departure from the lower station is half an hour before end of operation.

January, December 9.00-16.00
February, March, November 9.00-17.00
April, May, October 9.00-20.00
September 9.00-22.00
June, July, August 9.00-24.00

Arboretum Trsteno

Trsteno arboretum

Working hours: May-Oct 8.00 – 19.00, Nov - Apr 8.00 – 16.00

Admission fee: 35 Kn (children 20 Kn)

The village of Trsteno lies 13 km to the north of Dubrovnik. The botanical garden is located in the middle of the village, on the land of the late Gučentić-Gozze family. The Renaissance garden that is full of exotic and Mediterranean plants, occupies 25 ha. The oldest tree is 145 years old. The arboretum has cultural values, too: the pathways edged with palm trees, lemon and tulipe trees connect the old villa, the olive press and the tiny St. Jerom chapel. The water of the Neptun fountain is supplied by the 70 m long, arched aquaduct.

Mljet island

The 37 km long island with an average width of 3 km lies to the northwest of Dubrovnik. This is the 8th largest island in the Adriatic archipelago. Its hilly surface is covered with dense pine and holly forests. The highest point of Mljet is Veliki Grad (514 m), rising above the village of Babino Polje. There are two salt-water lakes on the island: the Small lake (Malo jezero) and the Great lake (Veliko jezero).

One of the most fascinating sights of Mljet is the Benedictine monastery founded in the 12nd century. Situated on the island of Veliko jezero, the monastery was strenghtened with two bastions in the 16th century to fend off pirate attacks. Other cultural attractions are a Roman palace in Polače, on the northwest part of the island and the ruins of an early christian basilica.

Mljet National Park (www.np-mljet.hr) that covers the northwest part of the island was established in 1960.

Admission fee: 15 June - 15 Sep 100 Kn (children 50 Kn)
Low season: 90 Kn (children 50 Kn). Free for children up to 6 years.

Mljet island can be accessed in different ways. Boats run from Dubrovnik to Sobra via Šipan island. From Prapratno (Pelješac peninsula) the boat trip takes 45 minutes. Timetables are available on www.jadrolinija.hr. In the summer a hydrofoil also operates from Dubrovnik to Polače.


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