A mix of touristy sites and a few hidden gems to get you started.
SEE: Old City Walls of Dubrovnik
PRO TIP! Get there early or before it closes to avoid massive crowds.
Surrounding Dubrovnik is a series of defensive stone walls. During the Middle Ages, these were considered as incredible fortification systems. They run an uninterrupted course of more than 82 feet in height and 6,300 feet in length, wrapping around the old city. These walls are among the most complete structures in Europe, they acted as guarding the freedom of a civilized republic for five centuries. In 1979, these old walls became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
SEE: St. Saviour Church
In 1520, an earthquake killed 20 people in Dubrovnik so the local government commissioned the church as a form of gratitude that not more of the city was destroyed. The small church boasts a combination of Gothic and Renaissance styles. In 1667, when Dubrovnik experienced another earthquake that killed 5,000 people, somehow the St. Saviour Church was completely fine and unshaken. Miracle!
SEE: Old Pharmacy in Franciscan Monastery
Right next to St. Saviour’s Church is the Old Pharmacy Museum inside the Franciscan Monastery. This is one of the oldest pharmacies in Europe, founded in 1317 first as an in-house pharmacy for Franciscan friars. Later, it began to serve for the public in the Old Town. Today, you can walk through the cloister which leads to the museum.
SEE: War Photo Limited
To learn more about the wars in Yugoslavia, you’ve got to visit the War Photo Limited. It features raw images of the Kosovo War and the end of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
DO: Ride the Cable Car
For the most incredible view of the city, don’t miss riding the Dubrovnik Cable Car. It takes about 4 minutes to reach an altitude of 405 meters. You can sit down at the Panorama restaurant, or visit the Homeland War Museum on the Croatian War for Independence.
Founded by two Dubrovnik-born brothers, Darko and Vedran, Azur will be your most innovative meal in Dubrovnik. The menu consists of traditional Croatian dishes with heavy Asian influences, due to the fact that Vedran lived in China for many years. The atmosphere is fun, charming, and vibrant. The “Croasian” dishes we loved included: Thai-style beef salad; stir-fried prawns with cashew nuts, lime and fresh basil; swordfish fillet in black curry sauce; fragrant meatballs in curry coconut sauce.
Proto is a family-owned fish and seafood restaurant that serves outstanding Mediterranean dishes. This is where both travelers and locals go the best catch of the day.
EAT: Taj Mahal
Dubrovnik is famous for Bosnian cuisine. If you’re a fan, Taj Mahal mixes traditional Indian concepts with Bosnian flair. There are also fantastic menu options for vegetarians.
This baked pastry with flaky dough typically has meat or spinach inside. In Dubrovnik, you can find them at coffee shops, and enjoy it as a breakfast treat.
DRINK: The Bar by Azur
After the meal at Azur “Croasian” food, head over to the brothers’ other venture The Bar by Azur. The cocktails are to-die-for, and the vibe is super laid-back and cool. Here, you’ll sure run into local entrepreneurs and artists.
Photos: Wendy Hung