Should there even be a specific reason to visit Dubrovnik? To gaze upon the Pearl of the Adriatic, a historic jewel set within pristine City Walls, is almost reason alone. But look around and you’ll find a medieval treasures a-plenty, contemporary wine bars, panoramic restaurants, and bars with nothing but the sea beyond.
If Dubrovnik’s City Walls are a display of the power of a one-time medieval city-state, then the Rector’s Palace is a look into the everyday details. The Rector presided over a superbly functioning self-government, his palace by the main square containing the sedan chairs, wigs and robes that helped him carry out his duties. Portraits of previous counterparts and colleagues line the walls. Note also the clocks, some set at quarter to six, the time when Napoleon’s troops entered the city in 1806.
Rector’s Palace, Pred Dvorom 3, Dubrovnik, +385 20 321 422
For the Dubrovnik Summer Festival
Croatia’s own version of Edinburgh is the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, inaugurated in 1950. Like the Edinburgh Festival, this major cultural event brings the city to life, including the streets, walls and façades of the historic Old Town. Dubrovnik’s festival is more high-brow, with the accent on classical music, opera and 16th-century theatre, in particular Shakespeare. Much else goes on around the regular programme, with many impromptu performances. Opening night is always July 10, closing ceremonies on August 25.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
The classic day trip away from the crowds of Dubrovnik’s Old Town is the taxi boat to the nearest island of Lokrum. Home to Benedictine monks for 700 years until 1808, Lokrum is said to be cursed. No hotels or houses stand on the island – meaning that its secluded beaches, verdant pathways, botanical gardens and ruined fort can be explored in relatively peaceful isolation. You’ll find cafés near the harbour, the old monastery and the lake in the island’s south-western corner.
For the Buža bars
Not known for its bars, Dubrovnik happens to have two that are exceptional for their unique setting. Referred to as Buža, or ‘hole in the wall’, each is cut into the seafacing cliffs that support Dubrovnik’s City Walls, and each gazes out onto the seamless blue of the Adriatic. Buža I also offers sunbathing and access to the Adriatic via metal steps below. Buža II has a more organised feel about it, with waitstaff in branded T-shirts. Buža I can be found near the Azur restaurant, Buža II by a sign saying ‘Cold Drinks With The Most Beautiful View’.
Buža II, Crijevićeva 9, Dubrovnik, Croatia, +385 98 361 934
One of Dubrovnik’s more recently added attractions, the bright orange Cablecar offers jaw-dropping views of the Old Town and sea beyond, albeit over the course of four short but memorable minutes. It runs from the top of Mount Srđ overlooking the city to the station on Petra Krešimira IV, walking distance from the northern edge of the Old Town. At the top, you’ll find the justifiably named Panorama bar/restaurant.
Cablecar, Petra Krešimira IV, Dubrovnik, Croatia, +385 020 325 393
In the heart of Dubrovnik’s Old Town, overlooked by the main sights of the Rector’s Palace and the Cathedral, the main market has been operating in the enclosed square of Gundulićeva poljana for generations. Heaps of colourful fruit and vegetables occupy most tables, but you’ll also find stalls of honey, spices, lavender and oils. Wines and strong spirits are usually kept below decks.
Dubrovnik’s most venerable restaurant has long occupied this prime spot overlooking a little bay and the Bokar fortress. Nautika is where to come for that romantic splash-uot on your last night, ideally having first booked a table on the Penatur terrace. Lobster from Vis and shellfish from the nearby island of Lopud are among the classic dishes.
Nautika, Brsalje 3, Dubrovnik, Croatia, +385 20 442 526
It wasn’t too long ago that the pristine Dubrovnik of today was being bombarded during the Croatian War of Independence. Photographer Wade Goddard came here to cover the Siege of the early 1990s, then decided to stay on and create this unique gallery. War Photo Limited is divided into a permanent exhibition of photographs from the Dubrovnik bombardment, and a temporary one from contemporary conflicts. Recent examples include depictions of scenes from Gaza and the Yemen.
War Photo Limited, Antuninska 6, Dubrovnik, Croatia, +385 20 322 166
If Dubrovnik has a signature sporting activity, it’s sea kayaking. Tours are organised as half or full-day adventures, with a picnic lunch at a secluded beach only accessible by sea. Complete beginners are given basic instruction before the party sets off from near the Pile Gate, heading for the nearby island of Lokrum. The lower age limit is usually eight and adults must accompany children up to the age of 16.
Sea kayaking tours, Od Tabakarije 1, Dubrovnik, Croatia, +385 91 786 0755
For the beaches
Finding a beach in Dubrovnik is easy – just walk through the Ploče Gate from the Old Town and Banje is right alongside. Being the city beach, Banje is always crowded but pleasant all the same, with sunloungers for hire and a bar/restaurant alongside. Locals prefer to head to the outskirts of town and the more secluded pleasures of Sveti Jakov, just past the Villa Dubrovnik hotel. With showers and sunshades, it’s reasonably well equipped, including a little bar and fabulous views of Dubrovnik in the distance.
Built after the 1667 earthquake that destroyed the original 12th-century church, Dubrovnik Cathedral contains rare holy relics within its Baroque exterior. The skull and limbs of city patron St Blaise are enclosed within in shiny casings covered in jewels, while the crucifix is said to contain splinters from the Holy Cross itself. Sundry gold vessels from Byzantium, Venice and the Orient complete the collection.
Dubrovnik Cathedral, Kneza Damjana Jude 1, Dubrovnik, Croatia, +385 20 323 459
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.