Dubrovnik Travel Guide
‘Those who seek paradise on Earth should seek it in Dubrovnik,’ wrote the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw – and he wasn’t wrong.
A vivid collection of crimson architecture perched on a cerulean bay; few cities can claim to be more picturesque than Dubrovnik. But there’s more to the city than its aesthetic charms and a glimpse at the history books is enough to show you why.
The whole of the mediaeval old town is UNESCO listed, including the ruler-straight Stradun, the 300m (984ft) road that bisects it. There’s much to gawp at, including the Sponza Palace, the Rector’s Palace, St Blasius Church and the Franciscan Monastery. Not all of it is as old as it appears however as 95% was destroyed by shelling during the Yugoslavian War and later rebuilt, giving the place an oddly museum-like quality.
Damage to the old town notwithstanding, the War did at least allow Dubrovnik to shake off its package holiday image and replace it with something more upmarket. In the years since 1992, restaurants (many high-end) have sprung up to serve happy tourists toothsome local seafood and Croatia’s many excellent wines. Life has also returned to the city’s night scene, with vibrant clubs and open-air bars thronged with well-heeled guests on every night of the week.
Dubrovnik’s reinvention has been so successful that it’s now an essential stop for the rich and beautiful, as well as the cast of Game of Thrones who descend here each year to film the King’s Landing scenes just outside of town.
However, the real beauty of Dubrovnik is to be found in the quiet, shaded streets where pretty potted plants adorn beautiful balconies, the odd washing line is strung between shuttered windows and incongruous doorways lead to hole-in-the-wall bars.
For the best view, take a stroll atop the medieval walls. From here, the glittering Adriatic Sea beckons, speckled with islands and cruise ships, wooden galleons, speed boats, day-tripping sightseeing vessels and kayakers. On sea or on land, A-list or no A-list, Dubrovnik shines as one of Europe’s prettiest places.