INTRODUCTION

It was George Bernard Shaw who once said: “Those who seek paradise on earth should come to Dubrovnik.” Such a ringing endorsement makes perfect sense to anyone who visits this town of 40,000 people.

Croatia’s hottest tourism hotspot – also known as the Pearl of the Adriatic – is famous for its walled Old Town, architecture, beaches, cuisine and cultural heritage.

Dubrovnik also has an interesting place in history. As the capital of the Republic of Ragusa, it traded with a newly independent America. It has also been reported that Dubrovnik was the first state to recognise the USA, in 1783.

PORT VIEW

Cruise liners dock in Gruz port, which is around 10 minutes from the Old Town by bus.

There are also plenty of taxis available for disembarking passengers.

Gruz is a residential area with a renowned food market, a favourite among the locals, so passengers might find it useful to stop off and pick up some local provisions before continuing their journey.

Friday and Saturdays tend to be the busiest days.

NEED TO KNOW

Beach lovers should head to Banje, which is a short walk from the Eastern entrance of the Old Town (called Ploče Gate), or Sveti Jakov, another favourite among locals.

Dubrovnik is busy most of the year, but particularly so in July and August, as people gather to celebrate the Summer Festival. Weather-wise, guests can expect highs of around 30 degrees during summer months. It is relatively warm, around 12-14 degrees, in winter, too.

The currency in use is the Croatian kuna.

WHAT WE LOVE

The Old Town: A stroll around Dubrovnik’s Old Town is a sight to behold. The UNESCO-listed area is bursting with Renaissance and baroque architecture, which is encircled by two kilometres of medieval walls dating back to the 13th century. The walls offer stupendous views of the town and surrounding Adriatic. Visitors might also find joy in navigating the Old Town’s narrow streets, with plenty of shops and restaurants to keep travellers entertained.

Pile Gate: The main entrance to the Old Town is Pile Gate, the outer section of which was built in 1537 (the inner gate dates from 1460). In bygone days, the drawbridge was lifted every evening. It is at Pile Gate that Napoleon entered the city in 1806.

Gundulic Square: This open-air market in the Old Town is dominated by the monument of 18thcentury poet Ivan Gundulić. Stalls serve up a host of items, such as sweet-bitter arancini (candied bitter orange peel), lavender bags, dried figs, candied almonds and various liqueurs and brandies, as well as hand crafted souvenirs.

Rector’s Palace: Built for the elected rector who governed Dubrovnik, this 15th-century palace today houses the Cultural History Museum, full of interesting artefacts from the days of the Republic of Ragusa.

Maritime Museum: Located inside St John’s Fortress, this museum tells the story of Dubrovnik’s maritime history. Exhibits include maps, navigational instruments and paintings, as well as scale models of steamships and sailing ships, among other things.

Cable car: The best views of Dubrovnik can be experienced by taking the cable car up to Srd Hill, where visitors will see out over the Old Town and the Adriatic Sea. The cable car, which was built in 1969, is very popular among tourists. There is also a Panorama Restaurant on the upper station, providing a wonderful spot to take in the views while enjoying a glass of something delicious.

SELLING TIPS

  • Awe-inspiring architecture – history buffs will be right at home in Dubrovnik
  • Great beaches for sun lovers
  • A picturesque city for those who enjoy walking