Dubrovnik has been on my list of places to visit for a very long time. So when we finally visited, I made to sure to pack in as much as possible to the day and a half we spent there. This is what we did and a few hints and tips if you are thinking of going to Dubrovnik.
1200: Arrive in Dubrovnik and settle into the hotel. We stayed at Villa Sigurata, a small, but great hotel, right in the centre of Dubrovnik.
1300: At Rector’s Palace. This building used to be the Seat of the Rector of the Republic of Ragusa (predecessor to the city of Dubrovnik) between the 14th century and 1808. Inside, the building has a beautiful courtyard that opens to the sky. The building is home to many exhibits, mostly paintings from the period of the Republic of Ragusa.
Tip: At the entrance to Rector’s Palace, buy a Dubrovnik 1-day card. It includes entry to the Rector’s Palace, the city wall, Franciscan Monastery, Maritime Museum as well as several other Dubrovnik attractions.
1400: Start exploring the city walls, starting at the Pile gate entrance. City walls are the number one attraction of Dubrovnik and its easy to see why. The walls are well preserved and you can get great views over the Adriatic sea as well as the the city inside.
During the day it is hot, so take a hat, sunscreen and bottled water. Although it is hot, it will also mean that the walls will be quieter. Most people climb the walls before 11 a.m. and after 4 p.m, so middle of the day is the best time to if you want to avoid crowds and get the best pictures.
1615: 2 hours is plenty of time to walk the entire city wall perimeter. We are back where we started, at the Pile gate. Make your way over to the Lovrijenac Fortress.
1630: Fort Lovrijenac or St. Lawrence Fortress, often called “Dubrovnik’s Gibraltar” is outside the Western wall of the city walls. Today, it is used as a theatre. Not a lot to see inside, but great views of the city and the Adriatic. Also a great location to watch the sunset, but we had other plans.
1715: Walk to the Dubrovnik cable car station.
1730: Take the cable car to the top of Mount Srd. From here, watch the sunset. You can also have drinks or snacks at Restaurant Panorama – a bit pricey, but the view is worth it.
Tip: If you get here a little before sunset and stay till after you can see the city in day time as well as night time.
1900: Head back down. Dubrovnik is a town that opens late, so there is plenty of time to explore the town and the shops.
2000: Dinner. There are plenty of restaurants, so you won’t go hungry. One of my favourites was a Bosnian Restaurant, somewhat confusingly called, the Taj Mahal.
0815: Start with breakfast at Gradska Kavana Arsenal Restaurant. Nice selection breakfasts at reasonable prices. Ask for a seat outside, so you can people watch too during breakfast.
0900: At Dubrovnik Franciscan Church and Monastery, that dates back to the 14th century. It has beautiful cloisters and an old pharmacy. Entry is included in the Dubrovnik card.
1000: At Dubrovnik Maritime museum. The museum is housed in one of the turrets of the city wall, and has a number of artefacts from Dubrovnik’s maritime history. Also included in the Dubrovnik card.
1045: Catch the ferry to Lokrum Island. Ferry port is just below the maritime museum.
Lokrum Island is just over half a kilometre from Dubrovnik and takes 10-15 minutes by ferry. The island used to be home to a Benedictine Monastery. The monks were expelled from the island by the rulers of the Dubrovnik Republic. On their last night on the island, the monks placed a curse on the island that no one will be able to use the island for their own personal pleasure. They lit candles and walked around the island, dropping the wax. Since then, misfortune has befallen several families who owned or tried to own the island. It is said that the curse will only be lifted when all the wax dropped by the monks have been collected.
Start by exploring the South side of the island. It takes a couple of hours to visit the benedictine monastery, botanical gardens and the beach.
When we visited, there was also a “Game of Thrones” exhibition at the monastery.
1300: For lunch head to the “Dead Sea”. This pool is connected to the sea by a tunnel, therefore the water is salt water. Water is clear, calm and perfect for a dip.
1400: After lunch, head to the North of the island. Climb up to Fort Royal. The climb is a bit steep, the but the views from the top are worth it.
1500: Climb down from Fort Royal towards the North of the Island. There’s time for a brief stop at the jetty.
1545: Start walking back to the harbour.
Tips for Visiting Lokrum Island
- Take a Swimsuit. There’s plenty of places to have a dip.
- When you first get there, hire an audio guide from the ranger office. It’s got a lot of useful information when exploring the island.
1615: Catch the ferry back to Dubrovnik.
1630: Back in Dubrovnik. Couple of hours to explore Dubrovnik, followed by dinner.
So there you go. My 36 hour itinerary for Dubrovnik. Have to say I really loved Dubrovnik. The city is well kept and maintained. It’s busy, but not overcrowded (at least it wasn’t in mid October). There’s a lot to see and do, plenty of places to eat and drink.
Have you been to Dubrovnik? How long did you spend there? What did you get upto?