Planning a visit to Dubrovnik Croatia? The storied walls of the charming old town are not be missed. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Dubrovnik’s old town.
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History of Dubrovnik’s Old Town
The city known as Dubrovnik was historically known as Ragusa and was founded by Greek refugees in the 7th century. Historians agree that the walls of the old town were probably started around the 8th century, but the current shape of the walls took shape between the 14th -17th centuries. Dubrovnik Croatia is considered by many to be the most perfectly preserved medieval city in the world. For centuries, Dubrovnik rivalled Venice as the top trading port in the region
The structure has withstood numerous earthquakes and sieges. Despite multiple attacks on the city, the walls have never been breached. Most recently surviving a seven month siege in the early 1990’s during the Croatian civil war. During the conflict, more than 11,000 buildings were damaged and numerous homes, businesses and public buildings were either looted or torched.
Today the walls still enclose the medieval city filled with Baroque architecture. Most recently, Dubrovnik has garnered even more fame as it was the filming site of King’s Landing in the HBO series Game of Thrones.
Where to Stay in Dubrovnik Old Town
- Luxury Accommodations –Stayeva 11 – Within the old town walls you won’t find luxury hotels, but you will find beautiful apartments and guest houses. This is one of them.
- Mid Range Accommodations – Dubrovnik Rupe Apartment – Here you will find the best views of the medieval walls you will find in the old town.
- Budget Accommodations – La Vita Bella IV – Centrally located homey place within the old town walls. A modern and stylish apartment with great views
For more places to stay in Dubrovnik, you can check the latest prices below
How to get to Dubrovnik’s Old Town
if you’re flying into Dubrovnik this is easy. Catch a bus, airport transfer or taxi from the airport. The airport has shuttle buses that run directly to the old town drop off every 30 minutes after each flight arrival
Just be aware that the old town of Dubrovnik is vehicle and cycle free so there will be some walking once you arrive in the old town and it WILL involve stairs. So heavy luggage is not going to be your friend on arrival. Don’t be fooled by this picture, this was taken from the Stradun (the main thoroughfare running through the center of town) and there are several more flights above.
Travelling within Croatia
If you are coming from elsewhere within Croatia there are a few options. If coming from one of the many islands your best bet will be to catch a ferry. Jadrolinija is the largest and most popular of the ferry services and from most islands you will be able to get directly into the port of Dubrovnik. There are several other ferry companies that operate within Croatia that may be worth looking at. Sailing times are not always frequent so be sure to research well in advance.
Option 2 , if you’re on the mainland, is to rent your own vehicle and drive. The scenery driving throughout mainland Croatia is gorgeous and well worth the time spent doing so. Because of the no vehicle/cycle policy in the old town you will need somewhere to park your rental if you stay within the walled city. This can get costly depending on how close you want to be to the old town. We managed to find a spot for $20USD per day but we had to walk for 20 minutes before reaching the old town to navigate the stairs.
Car rentals are available everywhere in Croatia and here you can get car rentals from Split to Dubrovnik for as little as $18USD per day.
Another affordable option is to catch a bus. From Split to Dubrovnik by bus will only set you back $14USD per person.
Your other option is going to be by far the most expensive and that is going to be to fly. If you have limited time and/or just not worried about the cost, you can find tickets for as low as $62USD before taxes and fees
What are the Operating Hours of Old Town Dubrovniks main attractions?
Way too many attractions to list here, but a few of the more popular sites are as follows: Please note all attractions will have different operating times if visiting in winter
- Dubrovnik Walls opening hours vary by month but generally you can expect from 8:00 – 17:30/19:30
- Rectors Palace opening hours 9:00 – 18:00 (closed Wednesdays)
- Franciscan Monestary, library and pharmacy – 9:00 – 18:00
- Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary – 9:00 – 17:00 except during mass
- Cathedral Treasury 9:00 – 17:00
- Tower Foundry Museum 8:00 – 18:30
Old Town Dubrovnik entrance fees for attractions
Entrance fees for the exact locations listed above:
- Dubrovnik Walls entrance fee – Adults $33 / Under 18 $13
- Rectors Palace entrance fee – $13
- Franciscan Monestary, library and pharmacy entrance fee – Adults $4 / Under 18 $2
- Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary – Free
- Cathedral Treasury entrance fee $2
- Tower Foundry Museum entrance fee $4
Dubrovnik also offers the Dubrovnik pass which gives you discounts to 12 attractions within the old town (some listed above) as well as public transit. The pass comes in 1, 3 and 7 day increments and range in price from $33 -$46 each. Only you will be able to decide if this is good value for you. You can find them from the official site. Full disclosure, we opted not to use it.
Looking for day trips from Dubrovnik?
- Dubrovnik Sea Kayak and Snorkeling Tour – Book an evening tour and catch a great sunset with wine.
- Mostar and Kravice Waterfalls tour (12 hours and small group) . Entering into Bosnia can be a difficult process and finding the waterfall can be extremely challenging. Let them do the work for you so you can enjoy your holiday.
- Montenegro Full day trip (11-12 hours) -Main point of interest is Kotor. A Unesco world heritage site and Europe’s southernmost fjord
What to expect in the Old Town of Dubrovnik Croatia
Old town Dubrovnik is charm and character at every turn. We highly encourage you to get yourself lost wandering the countless alleys that wind through the old town. Be sure to stop and check out the local shops for anything your heart desires. Souveniers, fine jewelry, clothing etc.
You will be able to visit the gorgeous churches, monasteries and palaces. If you’re lucky, you may just get caught up in a religious ceremony that proceeds from the monastery to Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary
And if you are a Game of Thrones fan be sure to check out the Jesuit Staircase where Cersei took her walk of shame
You could stroll along the marble paved squares and Stradun (main road). When you get hungry, dining options will be endless, but be warned there are touristy restaurants that do not showcase how amazing Croatian cuisine can be. Lucky for us, we have some foodie friends in Dubrovnik who gave us the inside scoop. Check out our Where to Eat in Dubrovnik article for the best places to eat in the old town. There are many more, but be sure to do some research first
And last but not least be sure to walk the 2km walls of Dubrovnik Croatia. Views of the Adriatic and the city below are stunning and I promise you will fall in love with this city. Just don’t be that Instagrammer that has to jump in somebody’s back yard or on their roof for a selfie.
Best Time to Visit Old Town Dubrovnik Croatia
High tourist season is summer and be fair warned it gets hot and crowded. Extremely Crowded!!!! However everything under the sun will be open and available to you. Cruise ships are a common theme in Dubrovnik, and when they come in the tourists flock to the walls. We found a handy website that tracks all Cruise ships coming into port and how many passengers are on each ship so you can plan your visit accordingly. Cruisedig.com
If you have the ability to visit in shoulder season it is much more pleasant. April/May and September/October would be our choice for the best time to visit. The weather is still warm enough before the winter and everything is much less crowded. Like many tourist destinations some things may be closed or limited as winter approaches and ends.
Have you ever been to old town Dubrovnik Croatia? Do you have other tips or tricks for visiting this amazing location? Did we leave something out? Leave a comment down below and let us know and help other travellers who are thinking of visiting.