Dubrovnik, with its stone streets, opulent palaces and massive fortifications is a unique travel destination. The compact Old Town conceals within it a plethora of historical attractions that bear witness to the glorious and wealthy past of Dubrovnik.
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Here are a few top tips on sightseeing in Dubrovnik - the smart way.
Dubrovnik's unique appearance, famous the world over, has much to do with the old city walls. These are 1940 metres in length and encompass the entire Old Town. They comprise a series of fortifications, bastions and towers.
The City walls were built in the period from the 13th to the 17th century in order to defend Dubrovnik from its enemies. The main land-facing wall is between 4 and 6 metres in width, while the sea-facing wall is a little narrower, between 1.5 and 3 metres. Its height is as great as 25 metres in some places and at key points there are fortifications.
To the north there is the round Minceta Fortress, to the east the Revelin Fortress, and on the south-east side, the large St John’s Fortress complex. To the west is the Bokar Fortress. Besides these fortifications, the city walls are guarded by a whole series of smaller towers and bastions.
Visit City walls on your own - find info on ticket prices and opening times!
The Placa or Stradun, running from east to west, is the longest and most important street in the Old Town. It connects the Pile Gates (western entrance) and the Ploce Gates (eastern entrance) and is 292 metres in length.
From both sides of the Stradun, narrow side-streets emerge, in which lie hidden a multitude of shops, café bars and souvenir shops. Stradun is the main artery of the Old Town and is always bustling with tourists and local inhabitants.
At the east end of the Stradun there is a bell tower with clock, built in 1444.
It is 31 metres in height and features two bronze figures, known as the zelenci (the "Green Men"), who chime the hours.
Orlando's Column stands in front of the Church of St Blaise, a stone column featuring the likeness of mediaeval knight Orlando (Roland), with sword extended, made in the Gothic style.
It was placed there in 1418, and from it flew the flag of the Republic of Dubrovnik for a full four centuries. Nowadays, during the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, the column bears a flag with the legend "Libertas" (Freedom).
Onofrio's Great and Small Fountains were built by Neapolitan architect Onofrio della Cava as part of Dubrovnik’s water supply system.
Onofrio's Great Fountain is located at the very entrance to Dubrovnik (by the Pile Gates), while the Small Fountain stands at the eastern end of the city. Onofrio's Great Fountain appears as it does today as a result of the great earthquake of 1667.
When in Dubrovnik be sure to take the cable car ride to the top of Mount Srdj. Once you get on the cable car upper station you can enjoy amazing views of the area from two panoramic terraces.
While enjoying the views of the Old Town have a refreshment at the restaurants and buy some great souvenirs from the shop. The embarkation station can be reached easily from the Old Town.