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Dubrovnik Travel Guide

About Dubrovnik

 “If you want to see heaven on Earth, come to Dubrovnik”, proclaimed 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 its history 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% of the city was destroyed by shelling during the Yugoslav Wars and later rebuilt, giving the place an oddly museum-like quality.

In recent years, Dubrovnik has reinvented itself as a major holiday destination in Europe. Many high-end restaurants have sprung up to serve happy tourists toothsome local seafood and Croatia’s many excellent wines. The city’s night scene is vibrant too, with energetic clubs and open-air bars thronged with well-heeled guests. If that isn’t enough, the cast of Game of Thrones came here to film the King’s Landing scenes – making Dubrovnik the essential stop for many fans.

But 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, sightseeing vessels and kayakers. On sea or on land, Dubrovnik shines as one of Europe’s prettiest places.

Key facts

Population:
42,615
Latitude:
42.653505
Longitude:
18.080550

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Featured Hotels

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Hotel Stari Grad

With only eight rooms, this smartly decorated boutique hotel in the Old Town offers a more intimate experience than the huge Lapad resorts. The tastefully furnished rooms don’t have views to speak of, but the fifth-floor terrace has a superb rooftop restaurant and is a great place for breakfast.

Old Town Hostel

A wallet-friendly option offering a selection of dorms and private rooms, the Old Town Hostel has a great Old Town location. It offers extras such as free Wi-Fi and free breakfast and its owner Mike is a well-liked character.

Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik

Overlooking Miramare Bay, this peaceful hotel has been carved into a cliff, giving all of its 93 rooms stunning sea views. Warm wood and local stone are used in the contemporary rooms, adorned with works by Croatian artists. The soothing spa has an indoor pool, and the beachside restaurant is irresistible.

Karmen Apartments

In one of the best locations in Dubrovnik right in the Old Town on the harbour, these four excellent-value apartments, overlook the medieval walls. All of the brightly decorated apartments have kitchens, and one has a small balcony.

The Pucić Palace

This luxurious boutique hotel is housed in an 17th-century Baroque house. In summer, staying in one of the hotel’s individually styled rooms gives you free access to a beach club just outside the town's gate. Other facilities include the Café Royal restaurant, fine dining at Defne and a wine bar.

Hotel Excelsior

This 198-room hotel in São Paulo, with its mammoth convention centre, flatters beyond its 4-star billing. The rooms behind Excelsior's art-deco frontage are plain and businesslike, yet excellent value. Wi-Fi is free, rooms come with LCD TVs and there is a bar and fitness centre onsite. The location is also close by downtown Praça da República with nearby cultural icons such as Teatro Municipal and Edificio Copan. Staff speak English and can help book tickets and tours. Breakfast included.