Old Port, Dubrovnik
My favourite place in Dubrovnik was the old harbour. Little fishing boats and sightseeing cruises as well as the flocks of tourists make this place am interesting place for a break. People watching is perfect here and so are the views.
We sat in an outdoor restaurant here every evening because I couldn't get enough of the atmosphere. There was a piano player playing tunes like "O sole mio" or "New York New York" and all the tourists were singing along. You should have heard the Italians ;) I felt like being on a cruise ship at times, especially when we handed in our request that he might play something local -- and he refused to do it :)
After walking into the magnificent cathedral ...as you come out of it turn right and head towards any archway or street with a view of water ...this brings you to the Stara Luka or old port area which can be easily missed, despite the seaward location of the old town. As you look at the water to your LEFT is Revelin Fortress which looks like a small castle & to the RIGHT is the semicircular St Johns Fortress. Here their is a Maritime Museum & an Aquarium.
Today most visitors will arrive in the new port of Durbovnik a few kilometers outside the city. In ancient times when Dubrovnik was an important and independant trading port this little harbour was the hub of all activities. Today a few fishing vessels and a number of private boats can be found here. A nice place to relax along the side of the port, or also a starting point for a short cruise into the sea around Dubrovnik. If you arrive by larger cruise ship and the ship is on anchorage off Dubrovnik you will arrive here by tender boat.
The Arsenal was established very early, possibly in the 8th century and has undergone serveral rebuilds. Today it uis used for coffee houses and bars - making it a pleasant place to sit in Dubrovnik. It consisted of four parts, vaulted to give shelter to the four galleys that guarded the city. This is where the state-owned galleys were built, kept and repaired, with the aim of defending the city.
When you come to the end of the Stradun (entry point pile gate) you can pass through one of two passages under the city walls, and you will find yourself in the old port.
Here you will find some very cosy seafood restaurants (although crowded in the evenings), and you will have a grand view over the mountains south of Dubrovnik and the island Lokrum.
There are many stands offering boattrips to the nearby islands (Elafiti islands), however these boattrips are more expensive than boattrips arranged from outside the old city.
Just outside Dubrovnik, to the southeast on the way to Montenegro, is a lookout that presents a fantastic photo opportunity. My kids dutifully posed for a couple of photos with this beautiful medieval city and the old harbor in the background.
I have never enough of Dubrovnik old harbor ! It is a jewel of architecture and a perfectly protected mooring. It is protected by Saint John fortress which was built in the 14th century. The very interesting Maritime museum has now been installed in Saint John fortress.
At the end of the tour on the city walls, we come back to the most magnificent place in Dubrovnik, the old port (Stara luka). With a little imagination, you might nearly feel you see ancient boats anchored here, just as they were four centuries ago !
There are tons of fishing boats in the port on the southern side of the old town. This is a great place to come, grab a bench, and watch the fishermen fix their boats, take in their catches, and just live their lives. You can also check the port out from atop the city walls, there are lookout seats on the top that are great for sunsets.