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Best things to do in Dubrovnik

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Where in the world: Europe  /  Croatia  /  Dalmatia  /  Dubrovnik-Neretva County  /  Dubrovnik
Visitors hitting up this popular beach destination will find plenty of things to do in Dubrovnik. Before heading out to the sands, take the opportunity to walk beneath the red rooftops of Old Town and next to the marina protected by giant walls and towers. Do not forget to take a quick ferry from the city to Island of Lokrum, which offers tourists the chance to swim in its salt lake and wander through its botanical gardens.

Dubrovnik is best known for its Historic Walking Areas, Islands, and Kayaking & Canoeing.

Top 15 things to do in Dubrovnik

1. Old Town

At Old Town, learn how the "Pearl of the Adriatic" developed as a major Mediterranean power after the 13th century. Dubrovnik, which holds a significant place in the history of city planning, joined the list of World Heritage Sites in 1979. Climb the preserved white-stone defensive walls, with mighty forts and towers. Take in a panoramic view of the crystal clear sea and the countryside. As you wander, you'll pass old residential houses with red roof tops as well as Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque palaces, churches, and fountains. Consider a guided custom tour, tailored to your liking.
Suggested duration: 6 hours
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2. Walls of Dubrovnik

Stand in front of Walls of Dubrovnik, and see why this city bears the title "Pearl of the Adriatic." A World Heritage Site since 1979, the city walls were constructed mainly during the 12th through the 17th centuries. The walls run uninterrupted for 1,940 m (6,365 ft), encircling the city, and you can access them via three different entrances. Walk over the ancient walls that were never breached by a hostile army during medieval times. Explore the complex system of bastions, casemates, towers, and detached forts.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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3. Lokrum Island

Swim, marvel at exotic plants, and walk with peacocks at Lokrum Island. Visit the site where, according to legend, King Richard the Lionheart was cast safely ashore after a shipwreck during his return from the crusades. The area was also once a favorite summer retreat of Austrian archduke Maximilian. To get to the island, ride a ferry from the city. Enjoy a dip in the small salt lake, which is 10 m (33ft) deep and known as the Dead Sea. Visit the botanical garden to admire Mediterranean plants, including laurels, oaks, pines, cypresses, olives, agaves, cacti, magnolia, and palms. If you'd like to take a journey back in time, explore the deserted 11th-century Benedictine monastery.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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4. Speed Boats Tours

Suggested duration: 8 hours
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5. Photography Tours

Suggested duration: 3 hours
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6. Wine Tours & Tastings

Take a break from sightseeing and shopping in the World Heritage-listed Old Town of Dubrovnik by taking a wine tour in the surrounding countryside. Half-day trips will take you cycling past olive groves, waterfalls, and charming villages near Dubrovnik, or across the state border to neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina. Full-day excursions will allow you to explore family-run wineries in an up-and-coming wine region, the rustic Peljesac peninsula. Alternatively, you'll be able to hop on a ferry and visit the island of Korcula, possibly the birthplace of Marco Polo. Tours are usually done in small groups and include free wine samples--trips generally take between 2 hours and a full day.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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7. Kayaking & Canoeing

Paddle the turquoise waters of the Adriatic along Dalmatia's rocky coast while admiring views of Dubrovnik's medieval walls on a kayaking or canoeing tour. The local guide will take you to secluded coves, scenic sea caves, and traditional villages, while sharing inside stories of the area. You can combine kayaking with snorkeling or cycling around nearby islands, or embark on a full-day cruise on a replica of a 16th-century merchant ship. You can choose between 3-hour and full-day tours. Equipment, snacks, and a glass of local wine are often included in the trip.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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8. Fort Lovrijenac

See the castle on a cliff, Fort Lovrijenac, one of Dubrovnik's most recognizable sights, and a detail from HBO's "Game of Thrones." Sitting 37 m (121 ft) above sea level, the fort dates back to 1018, when it was intended to protect the western part of Dubrovnik. Today, you can witness some of the events that take place at the site, which is sometimes compared with Gibraltar. Climb the 175 steps to the fort to see some of the best views of the city and the bay. Look for cannons that were designed by the leading local cannon caster of the epoch.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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10. Pile Gate

Cross the stone bridge to Pile Gate, a grand entrance on the western wall of the city's Old Town. Below the bridge, notice the green space that once served as the city trench. Renaissance arches outflank the outer and inner gates. See the two statues of St. Blaise, the city's patron saint. The interior statue is the work of the well-known 20th-century Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic. Next to it, look for the old door, dating back to 1460. During the republican era, the city pulled up the drawbridge each night. Now, the gates of Dubrovnik are always open to visitors.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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11. Upper Corner Tower Foundry Museum

Descend the corridors of Upper Corner Tower Foundry Museum and explore a well-preserved 15th-century foundry. A great collection of tools, pincers, keys, and canon ball molds lies amid stone warehouses, telling the story of the Republic of Ragusa's firepower program--developed in great secrecy in the period between Venetian and Ottoman suzerainty. An informative and enthusiastic guide will tell you all about geostrategy on the Adriatic, as well as the maritime strength of this small trading republic. The museum can be a little hard to find; look for a wooden door hidden next to a basketball court.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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12. Cavtat Old Town, Cavtat

At Cavtat Old Town, a small town founded by the Greeks in the 4th century BCE, you can enjoy historical sites, art, and water sports along the coast. Follow a narrow alley up the hill to a mausoleum designed by the well-known Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic. Pause at the vaults and look across the bay for a view of Dubrovnik. Visit the Reneissance Prince's Palace, and the Baroque St. Nicholas' church. At the Franciscan convent, admire the paintings of Vlaho Bukovac, the greatest Croatian painter from the beginning of the 20th century. When you're ready for the water, follow the path at the coastline and pass bathing areas and bars. You can also swim, scuba dive, water ski, sail, or surf. Take a break with a coffee or beer and watch the yachts come and go.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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14. The Franciscan Church and Monastery

Featuring one of the oldest churches in Dubrovnik, ,The Franciscan Church and Monastery attracts tourists not only for its antique design and historical significance, but also its impressive library and pharmacy. Start off by exploring the mixed Gothic and Renaissance style of the church's interior and exterior. Note the Baroque-style reconstructions, which were added inside during more recent reconstruction. In accordance with the Franciscan rule that outlines taking care of sick members of the order, this church has an attached pharmacy that is quite well-known. It is the third-oldest functioning pharmacy in the world and has been partially transformed into a museum with exhibits about Franciscan medicine and the pharmacy itself. Finish off your visit here with a trip to the attached library, known as one of the richest in Croatia, it boasts an impressive collection of over 70,000 books. Students get in for half price.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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15. City Harbor

Imagine City Harbor as the hub it once was for the city's trading fleet from all over the world. See the oldest shipyard in the city, which is still in use today. The harbor is home to two jetties, which were constructed around an antique castle. Walk down the massive 19th-century pier and admire the lighthouse at the foot of St. John fort. Relax at the cafe or visit the movie theatre, which are both set in the large 12th-century arsenal. The arsenal, featuring three grand arches, is the most prominent portion of the harbor.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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