Overview & Brief History

The entire medieval city center of Dubrovnik is a UNESCO world heritage site. The walled city was once the center of a vast empire that rivaled even Venice and juts out into the Adriatic Sea surrounded by gorgeous mountainous terrain.


A Brief History

Established in the 7th century, Dubrovnik originally served as a Byzantine stronghold before coming under the influence of the Republic of Ragusa in the Middle Ages. The city rapidly evolved into a prosperous maritime republic, gaining significant economic and political influence in the Mediterranean trade network during the 15th and 16th centuries.


The  golden age was marked by its robust merchant fleet, diplomatic prowess, and cultural achievements.  Known as Ragusa during this time, the city cultivated a society that valued literature, science, and the arts. The  well-preserved medieval architecture, including its iconic walls, palaces, and churches, stands as a testament to its former grandeur.


Dubrovnik faced periods of adversity, including the devastating earthquake of 1667 and the decline of the Republic of Ragusa. In the 19th century, it became part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Following World War I, Dubrovnik became part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. During the Croatian War of Independence in the early 1990s, the city suffered significant damage from shelling. However, extensive restoration efforts have since restored Dubrovnik to its former glory.


Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, Dubrovnik attracts millions of visitors each year. Its well-preserved historic center, featuring iconic landmarks such as the city walls and the Stradun, reflects a harmonious blend of medieval and Renaissance architecture, making Dubrovnik a captivating destination that showcases its enduring historical and cultural significance.


Things to See & Do

Walk the Old City Walls

This is definitely an activity that you can’t leave the city without doing. The city walls were originally constructed in the 10th century, fortified considerably in 1453, and offer spectacular views of the city and surrounding coast. The walls are nearly 10 feet thick along the sea wall, and 20 feet thick inland. A guided tour of the walls is recommended.​

Ride the Cable Car

One of Dubrovnik’s famed attractions is its cable car, first built in 1969. The service has been fully restored with entirely new equipment and an absolute must for visitors. A journey to the top of Mount Srd takes only 3 minutes, and once there you can take in the views or relax at the cafe at the top. Also at the top of Mount Srd is the Museum of the Croatian War of Independence.​

Dubrovnik Cathedral

The Assumption Cathedral originally dates back to the 7th century and the current structure dates from 1673. The cathedral includes Assumption Of Our Lady The Virgin painting that has been assumed to have been painted by the great Titian. The Treasury of the Cathedral is home to the skull of St Blaise which has been encased in a jewel-encrusted crown.​

Rector’s Palace and History Museum

Built in the late 15th century for the elected rector who governed Dubrovnik, this Gothic-Renaissance palace has been converted into the Cultural History Museum and contains an extensive collection of exhibitions from Croatian and world art.​

Franciscan Monastery

A great stop on your tour of Dubrovnik, the main part of the monastery was destroyed in the earthquake of 1667 and was then rebuilt later in grand beautiful style. The monastery also contains what is thought to be the oldest pharmacy/apothecary in Europe.​

Local Dining

Cuisine is Influenced by…

The diverse regions and foreign influences over the centuries have left their mark on Croatian cuisine. Food from Croatia has many influences mainly from Italy, Turkey, Hungary, and a few others.


Make Sure to Try…

Local dishes to try include Black risotto, Mussels, Cevapi (small sausages on pita bread), Mixed grilled, meats, bean soup, and truffles.


A Guidester Favorite…

Lucin Kantun – Close to Pile Gate, in one of the small streets just off Stradun, is a real local gem. A series of small dishes, some unusual, some more traditional, mean that you can pick and choose several items to taste it all. An extensive wine list is also available.

Insider Tips

Inside the old town city walls would be preferable if you’re short on time as it puts you right in the middle of the major attractions, however this will be a more expensive option.


There are plenty of hotels outside the walls along the coast that will be more cost effective and you can simply walk or take a cab into the old town.

Virtual Tours

Dubrovnik in 4K

Tour of Dubrovnik

Walls of Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik’s Cable Car

Jet Skiing in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik in 3D

Jack’s Favorite Moment

Jet Skiing the Walls of Kings Landing

Croatia is a wondrous place rich in natural beauty, history, and culture; and Dubrovnik hits all three of these in grand style. Dubrovnik is one of Croatia’s most visited tourist destinations with the entire medieval city center declared a UNESCO world heritage site.

I was here at the tail-end of a two week road trip that started in Western Germany and ended in Southern Croatia. Dubrovnik isn’t a big city and you can walk the entire historic center pretty quickly, so we decided two days here was sufficient. I would stay longer on my next trip as there’s a lot to do around the more modern city and surrounding area. One such experience is jet skiing around the old city walls.


Jack Bauman

Founder of Guidester


Interactive Maps

Wander Around the Old Town

Relax at the Local Beach


What Our Clients Say…


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