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Dubrovnik: Croatia’s Dreamiest City
September 25th, 2017 by Tom Kerswill

In the middle of the Dalmatian Coast lies Dubrovnik, a medieval gem overlooking the Adriatic. The city is a World Heritage site for good reasons: it has magnificent medieval fortifications, Baroque churches, a charming and intriguing old town, and wonderful beaches.

It’s also the filming location for large chunks of Game Of Thrones, making it an ideal destination for fans.

Whether you stay in a holiday villa close by, or in the city itself, Dubrovnik is compact enough to quickly get a feel for it, while remaining endlessly fascinating.

The Walls and the Old Town

This pedestrian-only area is the city’s main draw for visitors, as one of the world’s finest, perfectly preserved medieval cities.

It’s huge stone walls were built between the 11th and 17th centuries, and you can still walk along them. A full circuit of the walls is two kilometres, walking along the battlements.

The walk provides an excellent vantage point for fabulous views across the sea and over the old town. The walls themselves are an imposing sight, around six metres thick and 24 metres high, on average.

You’ll also encounter a series of towers along the way, added in the 15th century to further protect the city against the Turks.

The main street in the old town is Stradun, also known as Placa. This stretches from the western entrance to the port. It’s the main local promenade, full of cafés, shops and restaurants. Its fully pedestrianised, and most of the streets in the old town lead onto it. It’s an ideal place to stop for a drink and watch the people passing by.

At the eastern end of the old town is Luza Square, where you’ll find Dubrovnik Cathedral, Orlando’s Column, and other inspiring architecture. This beautiful square is also the site of Dubrovnik’s annual Summer Festival, and a ceremonial procession on Sveti Vlaho’s Day in February.

Explore the Dominican Monastery

This striking building is just behind the Sponza Palace, and close to the Ploce Gate – the main entrance to the old town from the eastern side. The monastery dates from the 14th century, and you can approach it via a grand stairway, which leads to the monastery church of St Dominic, and a statue of the saint.

At the heart of the monastery you’ll find 15th century Gothic cloisters and a museum displaying some fine examples of religious art and reliquaries, including three canvasses by the notable 16th century artist, Nikola Bozaderivic.

Ride the Cable Car Up

In contrast with the vivid medieval feel of the city, this modern attraction, built in 2010, provides regular, three-minute runs to the top of Mount Srdj, just behind the city.

There are two carriages, each taking 30 people, and the views, en route and at the top, are spectacular. There’s a restaurant, café and gift shop when you get to the top.

If you’re feeling up to it, you can always take the cable car up then hike back down the mountain on foot, along the Mount Srdj Ropeway.

Visit the Beach

One of the great things about Dubrovnik is that when you want a change of scene, you’ve got several beaches to choose from, giving you a real sense of contrast with the city itself.

There are half a dozen beaches close by, from the busy stretch of sand at Banje, just outside the old town; to the small but picturesque stretch of pebbles at Sveti Jakov, some twenty minutes’ walk from the centre, with fantastic views of the old town.

Whether it’s bustling and lively or more secluded you want, Dubrovnik has the beach to suit your tastes. And when your day in the sun is over, you can head back into the city for evening sightseeing, local colour, food and drink.

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