Updated: Jul 2, 2022
Dubrovnik is probably the most popular city in Croatia. The fame of this city has been strengthened by the fact that the entire old town has been included in the UNESCO list, but it is also recognizable from many shots of the Game of Thrones series. Every year, it attracts crowds of tourists also from Poland. I have visited the town several times and I must admit that the fashion for it is completely understandable even for a leprechaun like me who tries not to follow the trends. I hope that my post will make you share my admiration for Dubrovnik and decide to visit it. If this happens, I present a list of places that I heartily recommend to your attention.
All tourist attractions located in the old town and described below can be found on this map.
Great Onofrio's Fountain
A place that I liked for the name that reminds me of my favorite hero of the Sienkiewicz Trilogy. However, he was not her inspiration. The fountain was built in 1438 as a water tap, designed by the Italian architect Onofrio Della Cava. Initially, it was very decorated, but this changed as a result of the damage it suffered during the earthquake in the 17th century. Today it is the perfect place for a date or a meeting point with friends. If I were the Croatian Minister of Health, I would use them in a campaign promoting personal hygiene. Apparently, if someone washes their hands under the fountain's 16 taps, their dream will come true. Sounds promising? So let's start exploring Dubrovnik here. You might not put too much attention to it, but when You entered the city - You went through a pile gate - also very characteristic for this city. Go back and enter again if You wish to.
St. Ignatius church
Modeled on Roman temples. Inside, we find frescoes dedicated to the life of St. Ignacy Loyola. However, what surprised me the most, and yet I have seen many things, is ... a grotto. This is not a mistake, in 1885 a model of a cave dedicated to Mary of Lourdes, one of the most interesting places of worship in Europe, was built into the church. Paradoxically, in the case of a trip to the church of St. Ignatius, it is not the goal itself that may turn out to be the most interesting, but the path that leads to it. To get to the building, we have to climb the stairs that are known from the Game of Thrones series. It was with them that Cersei made her march of shame. Sometimes I act out this scene, of course, unlike the HBO heroine, I'm dressed.
It is the main promenade of the city. When I heard about it for the first time before visiting Dubrovnik, my first idea was "something like Monte Cassino in Sopot". Fortunately, I was wrong, very wrong. The street, which was built on the site of the former canal, attracts mainly with architectural details. Contrary to Polish cities, everything is consistent here. Townhouses made of light limestone, shutters in the same shade of green or lanterns made according to the same pattern. Although the entire promenade has only 300 meters, it is worth taking a break while walking along it and sitting in one of the cafes with a coffee or beer in your hand to enjoy the atmosphere. It was during such a rest that I realized how lucky I am to be in this wonderful place.
The most important square in the historic part of the city. It used to be the economic heart of Dubrovnik. It housed, among others, the mint, treasury and customs office. In the middle of the square, there is the Orlando's Column, which many call the Dubrovnik Statue of Liberty. The very symbol of old town of Dubrovnik. On its pedestal there is a figure of a warrior. In the past, however, it served not only decorative functions. For example, people caught in a crime were tied to it for 20 hours. The knight's elbow served as a unit of measurement for merchants. I always wonder if it is longer than I am tall, I even tried to measure it once, but fell off the column and broke myself terribly. The characteristic clock tower also attracts attention in the square. It was built in 1444, but an earthquake damaged its structure and it was rebuilt in 1929. In addition to the clock itself, we can admire two green figures striking the hour at its top. This is Maro and Baro's bell tower. Looking at them, I always wonder whether to envy them that they can stay in such a beautiful place permanently or rather sympathize with such monotonous work. Walking around the square, the Rector's Palace, one of the most famous monuments in Dubrovnik, also made a huge impression on me.
Hill of Srd
The best viewpoint over Dubrovnik, especially its old town. In addition, in nice weather, we can see the coast of Italy from here. If you like beautiful views, you must visit this hill. Even though it is 412 meters high, even a gnome who is reluctant to climb like me quickly became its fan. Some of my malicious friends claim that it is because you can get to the top by a special cable car. Allow me, however, to pull the curtain of silence aside on such sticks.
Walk on the city walls of Dubrovnik
There is no entry into this attraction. Fortunately, the defensive walls are only 25 meters high, so in this case it is difficult to get tired while climbing them. Worse with covering the distance of 1940 meters surrounding Dubrovnik. Especially in hot weather, walk along can be a challenge - but remember - best things in life are free. This is why I suggest two things: that you go on a trip in the mornings or evenings and always have water with you. I recommend the walk with all my heart and it is probably my favorite way of spending free time in Dubrovnik. During the trip to the city walls, we still have an amazing view of Dubrovnik and the surrounding nature from the sea. In particular, I recommend the Minceta Tower, from which we can admire the island of Lokrum. This is where I like to let my imagination run wild and feel like commanding Dubrovnik's defense against pirates. I manage to repel the attack every time.
Elaphiti Islands, to which the aforementioned Lokrum Island belongs, is a favorite place of spending free time by the locals. It is hardly surprising, since you can find attractions such as the botanical garden, the charming ruins of the Benedictine monastery or the former Fort Royal. The magic of this place is confirmed by the fact that it was cursed. Well, the prior of the Benedictines banished by Napoleon announced that anyone who fulfills the night on the island will become unhappy. Call me a coward, but I figured there's no point in checking if it works. Lokrum is probably the only island I know with .... Dead Sea. This is the name of the inner lake, which, due to its tributaries from the sea, has salt water.
The place is located on the cliffs, which can be accessed through a small entrance in the wall. In addition, delicious wine with an unforgettable view of the Adriatic Sea. I don't know about you, but it sounds a bit like the words from the song "Heaven with a view of paradise". The idyllic atmosphere is spoiled by prices, but if you have such an opportunity, check this place at least once during your visit.
Finally, something for fans of the Game of Thrones series. It is here in the old town that many scenes of this iconic series were filmed. Dubrovnik took the role of King's Landing at that time. While strolling around the Piła Gate, St. Dominic, or by visiting the Jesuit stairs, you can easily remember in which episode I saw this place.
Here is what I recommend to you in Dubrovnik, I hope you will find my list useful. If You have time - don't forget to visit Sponza Palace. For those who would like to experience the sightseeing of Dubrovnik with the help of an enthusiastic guide, and at the same time not spend "a million coins" on such a trip, I recommend the route of my friend Domina, who will show you the most beautiful face of Dubrovnik. The route is available in the guideU app.
If you are interested in other places and other sightseeing routes, I invite you to read the entry available here.