Old City, Dubrovnik
The best way to get a sense of Old Town is to walk its thick fortification walls, which are 80 feet high at some points and pass through a plethora of fortresses and turrets. The one-hour stroll affords great views of tiled rooftops, hidden monastery courtyards, and the surrounding coastline.
My favourite activity in the old town of Dubrovnik was to get lost in the little streets and on the stairs leading up to the city walls. Like this you can perfectly escape the tourists, who all walk the main route from Pile Gate down Stradun and then to the little old harbour. You will find the old town of the locals, even though it's hard to believe that somebody actually lives in a place like this. Also you will be amazed that you keep ending up in places you have been before, like the bigger squares. So, forget about that map. Welcome to the labyrinth of Dubrovnik!
Walled Cities are, in general, architecturally splendid.....but Dubrovnik is out on its own. All the original ancient stone walls and ramparts have been lovingly restored. Attention to detail has not been spared.
You enter and leave this part of the city by one of a series of stronghold gates, which have old fashioned drawbridges over the waters beneath. As you walk the streets are of rather shiny cobble and at times I felt as if I were in St. Mark's Square in Venice (especially when it came to the flocking pigeons). You will find yourself surrounded by fountains to equal those of Rome, stately Churches, and converted Palaces.
I was advised that we would "do" Old City Dubrovnik in half a day - but if you are a History or Architecture buff then you wouldn't do it in a lifetime.
I found myself taking pictures of bits of balustrades, stained glass windows etc.
The City fronts onto the sea and boats line up to take tourists for day or hour trips around the coast. In the Summer this area is thronged with pleasure craft.
As we were here in a very cold Spring, I enjoyed sitting outside the streetside cafes, all snuggled up in a fleece jacket and watching the people go by.
Be prepared to be bewitched.
The ethnographic museum has exhibitions of traditional way of life in Dubrovnik area, including costumes, tools for wine making and olive oil production.
The museum is located in the 16th century granary, the locals call “rupe”, the holes. So, look for the signs to the Rupe museum.
Entrance is 35 kn, or 50 + plus 3 other museums in Dubrovnik.
If visiting Dubrovnik, be sure to spend plenty of time in the Old City during the day and night. Old Dubrovnik is not a big night life spot, but it is magical to walk through in the evenings. Being both safe and beautiful, Old Dubrovnik is a great place to spend a few hours after sunset.
Enjoy a few glasses of wine at one of the few wine bars and get lost in the side streets.
The wall surrounding Dubrovnik's Old City can be walked (for app. 10 Euros). Many tourists enjoy spending a morning (don't go in the afternoon - too hot) walking around the Old City along the the top of the historic wall.
Ask any local business where to buy tickets.
The Baroque-style Sveti Ignacija Jesuit church was finnished in 1725 on a hill on the southern edge of the old town, next to Gundulic square.
The church is approached via a wonderful baroque staircase modelled on the Spanish Steps in Rome.
The church is open 07:00-20:00 every day.
The renaissance style Church of St. Savior (Sveti Spas) stands on Milicevic Square next to the Pile Gate and The Big Onforio’s Fountain. It was built after the earthquake in 1520.
Pier Antonia Plermini’s painting Resurrection inside the church is worth seeing.
The baroque style cathedral was rebuilt between 1672 and 1713 in the place were the old Romanesque church used to be. A Byzantine basilica, dating from the 6th to 9th century used to stand on this same spot.
The cathedral has paintings and marble altars and a treasury.
Pomorski muzej (the maritime museum) is definitely worth a visit. In addition to showcasing the Ragusan seafaring from 7th to 20th century, the building itself is worth a visit.
The museum is located in the Fortress of Sv. Ivan in the east side of the old town. There is a great view to the sea and the Lazareti.
Entrance is 35 kn, or 50 + plus 3 other museums in Dubrovnik (2007).
After you have arrived through the main gate and pass the main road try and venture through the narrow streets to your left. Up a few stairs one can see another part of Dubrovnik as enchanting as the massive main squares and roads. Small bars and restaurants line the streets sometimes so narrow that two people cannot walk passed each other without giving way.
Marbled streets lined by old houses, massive squares and beautiful churches, this is what one can expect once one is inside the old town. The old town is a car free area hence the only "traffic" one has to fight with are other tourists. One thing that amazed me was how clean the city was!
My favourite past time in the afternoon was just to sit next to one of those squares or roads with a glass of wine to enjoy the atmosphere of this stunning city.
We wandered around in the old city enjoying the brilliant atmosphere and the lovely old buildings. Every alleyway seems to have a great view and the main Stradun is full of ice cream shops , tourist shops and all the usual attractions. We visited the Sponza palace , the clock tower and the city wall walk.We would have seen much more but we wanted to relax and soak up the atmosphere.History buffs will probably want a complete history of the city- sorry no can do! But everything is very picturesque and fascinating. Amazing to see how the Croatians have done such a great job of rebuilding everything since the war.
We took a ferry trip to an island and as we left the old city harbour I took several photos of the Walled City. From the ocean the old walls look massive and you can appreciate the sense of security the inhabitants must have felt from the 14th century until the events of the 20th century. The second photo shows the Fort of St John which protected the harbour entrance.
The main street is Stradun ( Placa ) and walking towards the harbour on the left are a number of narrow streets which go up the very steep hill. It is most interesting to walk these streets, to get off the the tourist streets and find little shops and restaurants, houses and apartments where the locals live, to see children in the streets and possible purchase something from one of the shops. We found shirts and souvineers much cheaper than on the main street, we also stopped for coffee and lunch at one of the small restaurants at the top of one of these side streets.
Note in one of the photos the washing line across the street from one of the apartments.