Medieval churches, secluded monasteries and old-school museums are packed within Dubrovnik’s compact historic centre, a short walk from one other. It’s not all ecclesiastical solemnity, however – there are contemporary attractions too, plus fun, family-friendly ones such as the ever-popular Cablecar ride. Check out the best of Dubrovnik here.
Now used for the traditional al-fresco performance of Hamlet during the Dubrovnik Festival, the stand-alone fortress of Lovrijenac was once manned by 25 soldiers under an elected commander. Rebuilt after the 1667 earthquake, its walls feature the motto, ‘Liberty Should Not Be Sold for All the Gold in the World’.Lovrijenac, Od Tabakarije 29, Dubrovnik, Croatia,
From this landmark outside Dubrovnik Cathedral, all major state declarations were announced to local citizens. Built in 1418, Orlando’s Column symbolised the city’s independence for nearly 400 years. The figure depicted is Roland, known here as Orlando, a military leader under Charlemagne and inspiration for early medieval literature.Orlando’s Column, Stradun, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Sparkling pristine white against the azure of sea and sky, Dubrovnik’s City Walls are probably everyone’s first port of call on any visit. A tour reveals the craftsmanship involved to create them, and provides unbeatable panoramic views as you stroll round from tower to tower.Dubrovnik City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Bombed by Serbian forces during the Siege of Dubrovnik in 1991, the Church of the Holy Annunciation is the city’s main Orthodox house of worship. A plain exterior hides a marvellous collection of icons – there’s also a separate display in a museum accessed by separate entrance. Photography is strictly forbidden.Church of the Holy Annunciation,Ul. od Puča 8, Dubrovnik, Croatia,
Overlooking the Old Port, Revelin was completed in 1549, its expert construction proven when it survived the 1667 earthquake intact. In fact, it was here that council members assembled to plan the city’s reconstruction. Cathedral treasures were hurriedly stored here. Today, Revelin houses a nightclub and stages Dubrovnik Festival events.Revelin Fort, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Housed in a former granary store of four floors, the Rupe Ethnographic Museum shows the traditional way of life in the countryside surrounding this former maritime power. Textiles, handicrafts, tools and festive costumes are displayed, along with photographs demonstrating that little has changed in villages a short distance away.Rupe Ethnographic Museum, od Šorte, Dubrovnik Croatia,
Historic evidence of the tolerant nature of this former maritime power, the Dubrovnik Synagogue is one of the oldest in Europe, dating back to the 14th century. Still a functioning place of worship on holy days, the synagogue is mainly used as a museum, displaying medieval objects of ritual.
Overlooking Dubrovnik’s ceremonial main square Luža, the Sponza Palace today houses more than 1,000 years worth of manuscripts that comprise the city archive. Accessed by scholars upon request, the Sponza Palace remains an architectural treasure, its loggia façade created by 16th-century craftsmen in Gothic-Renaissance style. Tours can be arranged.Sponza Palace,Stradun 2, Dubrovnik, Croatia,
The Homeland War was the conflict that culminated in Croatian independence in 1995. For five years, Dubrovnik held out against Serb and Montenegrin forces, original documentation, maps and video films detailing the Siege. The setting is the hilltop Imperial Fort, built by Napoleon.Homeland War Museum,Srđ ulica, Bosanka, Croatia
Behind a stern exterior near the Old Port, the 14th-century Dominican Monastery houses notable works of art, including pieces by Titian and local masters Nikola Božidarević and Lovro Dobričević. The golden crucifix above the main altar is by Paolo Veneziano, considered the most significant Venetian artist of the 14th century.Dominican Monastery, Svetog Dominika 4, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Just outside Dubrovnik, the Arboretum at Trsteno was the private domain of the noble Gozze family. Surrounding their summer residence are the exotic offspring of seeds and plants requested from ship’s captains who set sail from Dubrovnik from the late 1400s onwards. Some trees even date back to the age of Columbus.Trsteno Arboretum,Trsteno, Croatia,
The Rector’s Palace was where the elected leader of the medieval city lived and governed, aided by a council whose wigs and robes are set out on display here by Dubrovnik’s main square. Many of the clocks are set at 5.45pm, the time when Napoleon’s troops entered the city in 1806.Rector’s Palace, Pred Dvorom 3, Dubrovnik, Croatia,
There has been a church here since Richard the Lionheart allegedly financed its construction in the 1100s. Today’s Dubrovnik Cathedral dates to the post-earthquake rebuild of the late 1600s. Body parts of city patron St Blaise in jewelled casings compete for attention with gold vessels from Byzantium, Venice and the Orient.Dubrovnik Cathedral, Kneza Damjana Jude 1, Dubrovnik, Croatia,
Conceived by Wade Goddard who covered the Siege here in the early 1990s, War Photo Limited showcases the brave genre of conflict photography. As well as striking images from Dubrovnik under bombardment 25 years ago, the gallery focuses on contemporary flashpoints, such as Gaza and the Yemen in recent examples.War Photo Limited, Antuninska 6, Dubrovnik, Croatia,
Close to Pile Gate, the Franciscan Monastery comprises tranquil cloisters, a leafy inner courtyard and one of the oldest pharmacies in the world still in operation. There, medicines are dispensed to locals amid a display of exotic containers, vessels and implements from centuries long past.Franciscan Monastery, Stradun 2, Dubrovnik, Croatia, +385 20 321 410