City Guide – Dubrovnik


Instantly recognisable for its striking medieval walls, the beautiful Croatian city of Dubrovnik can trace its tourism history back to 1897 when the Hotel Imperial was constructed. Voted as one of the world’s 10 best preserved medieval walled cities, the city has been demilitarised since the 1970s and has received the protection offered by UNESCO upon being named a World Heritage Site in ’79.

The origin of the city is hotly disputed with competing theories suggesting that Dubrovnik was founded as a 7th century shelter for refugees and alternatively, that the city was mostly constructed before the common era.

Croatian tourism has grown since the years following the break-up of Yugoslavia and the peace which ensued, with Dubrovnik experiencing a surge in popularity over recent years. The beautiful architecture, unique surroundings and Mediterranean climate make Dubrovnik the perfect place to while away a few hours or a few days.


First time visitors to Dubrovnik simply have to explore the ancient walls of the city. Whether you have an afternoon or just half an hour to spare, there’s a comprehensive range of tours and routes to take, so you can plan your tour to suit your fancy. The most striking parts of the old medieval walls are undoubtedly the waterside towers – amongst the most important parts of the city’s defence.


For fans of HBO’s hit television show, Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik provides a huge range of settings for the show’s filming. A Game of Thrones tour of Dubrovnik can take you to the Red Keep, Littlefinger’s Brothel, House of Undying and the Spice King’s Palace amongst many others.


Dubrovnik may be an ancient city, but the culinary scene benefits from a distinctly modern twist. Combining the classic Croatian peasant cooking with new flavours and techniques, the Dubrovnik restaurant scene is enigmatic, eclectic and entirely unique.


Serving beautifully crafted, yet minimalistic, fare, Pantarul has developed a fierce reputation using produce sourced from local farmers. Introducing Croatian wines, paired perfectly with snacks and meals, the restaurant is wonderfully unpretentious – concentrating on what is important, crafting stunning flavours. The five course fish tasting menu comes especially highly recommended, providing a great taste of Dubrovnik’s stunning seafood.


Like many nations moving towards the South East of Europe, Croatians love a spot of Rakija – the fruit brandy. And if you’re staying in the country for more than 12 hours, you’ll undoubtedly have a small measure of the strong stuff pushed under your nose.


The Old Town region of Dubrovnik has a vibrant night life scene, with plenty of bars and cafes to sit and sip a Rakija or two (or something a bit less exotic if you don’t have the taste for the local tipple).

For some of the best views in Dubrovnik, head to Buža II – a bar cut out of a cliff face, providing stunning vistas over the sea. With table service and a great selection of drinks, the only thing you’ll have to worry about is finding a table in this popular watering hole.


Providing the quintessential Dubrovnik experience with a twinge of modern luxury, the Villa Orsula is the perfect place to stay during a visit to the Croatian city. Set in the home of a local noble family, the villa provides five star concierge service, stunning views over the Adriatic and décor enriched with artworks by revered surrealist artists.

Offering the utmost in luxury, the villa even has access to its own private beach.



Local delicacy, burek, is made up of layers of filo pastry stuffed with cheese or meat. If you’re a little worse for wear, these treats provide a great pick-me-up in the morning. Head to your local bakery for a cup of strong coffee and a savoury pastry, and you’re ready for another day exploring the highlights of the city.

At Cruise1st, we offer a huge selection of great cruises which visit Dubrovnik as part of the itinerary, travelling with some of the world’s great cruise lines. For the full selection, visit our homepage or call us today on 0808 2746 777.

Image credits: Ivan Ivankovic, Jenny Gu, Marcus Saul




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Claire has worked in the travel industry since leaving college in 1994. One of this blog's most regular contributors, Claire covers cruise news and industry trends.

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