Dubrovnik, popularly dubbed 'Pearl of the Adriatic', is a small coastal town with a big heart. You can see the highlights of this fantastic city on a long weekend. The city is not large, it has just over 40,000 inhabitants. But I spent 3 awesome days in Dubrovnik exploring its beauties and stunning views.
Dubrovnik has a reputation as one of the most popular travel destinations in Europe. It became a world travel hotspot after it was seen in the popular HBO series Game of Thrones as the backdrop for King's Landing. After such promotion, Dubrovnik is visited by millions of tourists every year.
It is now synonymous with over-tourism. Up to 15,000 cruise tourists walk through the compact Old Town on a summer day. It is not good for the economy as well, because those who only spend one day in Dubrovnik really do not help the local economy - so staying 3 days in Dubrovnik is a much more sustainable way to enjoy the city and help the locals.
Some say that Dubrovnik is one of the most beautiful Croatian cities to explore. You can explore its historic Old Town, or perhaps relax by the beach. One is certain, there are a plethora of things to do on your Dubrovnik itinerary that you have to experience during your visit!
Walk the City Walls and Wander Through the Old Town. The Old Town of Dubrovnik is surrounded by walls, and regardless of how much time you spend in Dubrovnik, this is the highlight of this city and that you shouldn’t miss. My recommendation is to get up early because, by 10AM, walls are already taken over by tour groups and hot sun. You can also consider going in the afternoon. There are only three entrance points: Inner Pile Gate, St. Lucas Fortress, and St. John’s Fortress. The walk lasts around two hours, and it is a “one-way” street (imagine how messy it would get with people walking in opposite directions).
If you thought walls were impressive from the outside, wait to see the outstanding view from above. After the walk, spend some time exploring the Old Town! Start off by heading to Stradun, the main street of Dubrovnik. You will instantly notice numerous restaurants and cafes along this street. Embrace the flow, and lose yourself in the countless picturesque narrow streets. Personally, I enjoyed exploring Stradun and getting a feel of how the locals live.
Experience a Small Piece Of Heaven at Mount Srd. Probably all famous photos of Dubrovnik were made from this place. It’s an ultimate view of Dubrovnik, which you can get by taking the Dubrovnik Cable Car, by bus/taxi, or if you are into hiking, there is a hiking trail. Srd rises to a height of 1,352 feet (412 meters), and it looks directly over Dubrovnik, providing a perfect view down onto the city’s Old Town.
Once you get to the top, there’s the Panorama Restaurant & Bar. It’s quite exclusive, but Dubrovnik is kinda exclusive by itself. Also, the Museum of Contemporary History located there will give you all the information about the Croatian War of Independence (also known as the Homeland War).