The Most Famous Tourist Attractions in Dubrovnik

Last updated

When it comes to famous tourist attractions in Dubrovnik there are a number of fascinating places that are waiting to be explored including the Rector's Palace, Bokar Fortress and the historic City Walls. The sheer diversity of these the sites is staggering, with other popular attractions including Lokrum Island, St Dominika Street and Stradun and these places are definitely worth considering if you have a little more time on your trip. Wherever your travels take you, we've compiled a fantastic selection of the best tourist sites and free activities in Dubrovnik with our editor's picks followed by a few hidden gems you won't want to miss.

What are the main tourist activities in Dubrovnik?

1. Dubrovnik City Walls

The Dubrovnik City Walls are this city’s most iconic site and represent some of the best preserved medieval fortifications in the world. Completely surrounding the city by the thirteenth century, the walls continued to be strengthened and improved up to the sixteenth century. Now measuring 2km in length, the walls are dotted with imposing forts and gates. The walls themselves are generally 6 metres thick and 24 metres in height. Today, a walk along the walls is very much part of one’s visit and gives a good overview of the city’s history.

2. Minceta Tower

The Minceta Tower is a huge round fort dominating the north-western section of the city. It was completed in 1464 and even though the 750 steep, winding steps to the top are a challenge for even the fittest cultural tourist, when you get to the top and see the sensational views of the old town to one side and the Adriatic Sea to the other, you’ll understand that the climb was worth it. Fans of Game of Thrones may recognise the Minceta Tower as being the House of Undying in Qarth, where Daenerys Targaryen searches, ultimately successfully, for her stolen dragons.

3. The Rector's Palace

The Rector’s Palace dates back to the time when Dubrovnik was the centre of a republic by the name of Ragusa. At this time, the city was ruled by a rector, whose seat was this historic building. The first incarnation of the palace was destroyed and rebuilt in the 15th century. Indeed the palace underwent several rebuilds, at least twice due to gunpowder explosions from the armoury that was housed within. This was just one of many roles the Rector’s Palace fulfilled. Not only was it the place the rector lived and worked, but it was also a prison, administrative offices and home to public halls. Today, the Rector’s Palace takes one back to the Ragusan Republic as a cultural museum of the time. 

4. Bokar Fortress

Designed and mostly built during the 1460s, Bokar Fortress was built to defend the western entrance to the city. In fact it was the key defender of the strategically vital Pile Gate. Often called ‘Zvjezdan’, a Serbo-Croat word meaning ‘starry’, presumably for the amazing views of the light pollution-free night sky as you look out into the Adriatic Sea, parts of the magnificent, almost perfectly cylindrical fort are perched on a detached rock allowing the sea water to pass beneath it – which can still be seen today. It is said that Bokar Fortress is the oldest casemented fortress – that is a fortified structure from where guns are fired – in Europe. Today, the fort is open all year round and is perhaps most famous as a venue for performances of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival.

5. Stradun

Stradun is Dubrovnik’s most famous thoroughfare, stretching just 300 metres between the East gate and the west gate. Most of Dubrovnik’s historically important buildings and monuments are on Stradun and the street we see today owes its appearance to wholesale and uniform rebuilding following the earthquake in 1667. Paved in 1468 with limestone, it has been polished as smooth as glass by the millions of feet that have walked its length.


6. Lokrum Island

Lokrum Island is a stunning and uninhabited nature reserve 600 metres from Dubrovnik’s historic harbour out in the Adriatic Sea which contains the ruins of a former Benedictine monastery. Today you can find the fascinating the ruins of the monastery nestled among olive groves, citrus trees, forests of pine, laurel, oak, cypress and ash trees. If you go to the southern tip, you’ll find a small saltwater lake, all under the protection of UNESCO. Less than a mile wide at its widest point, the island is accessible by a taxi-boat from Dubrovnik and the return price of around £10/€13 includes the island’s entrance fee. To avoid surprises, it's worth noting that to the southeast of the island is a naturist beach...

7. St. Dominika Street

St Dominika Street in Dubrovnik’s Old Town is a famous cobbled street within the Croatian city’s impressive medieval walls. Today, the street is a narrow, curved and cobbled passageway flanked by very high walls. If you are walking through, it’s worth visiting the Dominican monastery and museum close to the Ploče Gate. Fans of Game of Thrones may recognise St Dominika Street as the route the shorn Cersei Lannister walked naked as penance for her sins. In fact, Dubrovnik’s Old Town is home to many of King’s Landing’s most famous locations including the Red Keep, the House of the Undying, the set of the Purple Wedding and many of the market scenes.


8. Fort Lovrijenac

Fort Lovrijenac is a stunning and imposing cliff-top fort located just outside Dubrovnik’s medieval city walls. One of Dubrovnik’s most impressive structures, it guards the western entrance to the city from the Adriatic Sea. Game of Thrones fans will recognise the fortress as the Red Keep in King’s Landing. Legend has it that the fort was built on a 37m high cliff in in merely three months in the eleventh century by the people of the Republic of Dubrovnik to head off an imminent attack from the Venetians. At the time, the Venetians were intent on building their own fort in this location, but Dubrovnik’s citizens completed Fort Lovrijenac first, thus frustrating the Venetian plans for military superiority. Today, the parapets once used to defend the city have been transformed into some of the most dignified theatrical stages in Europe, famous for performances of Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’.


9. Dubrovnik Cathedral

Dubrovnik Cathedral is one in a long line of cathedrals built on the current site since the seventh century. The current Baroque-style Dubrovnik Cathedral was completed in 1713, the previous one having been destroyed in an earthquake in the seventeenth century. One of the highlights of a visit to the cathedral is its treasury, which contains a large collection of relics, some belonging to the city’s patron saint, St. Blaise.

10. Pile Gate

With St Blaise, Dubrovnik’s patron saint looking out from its imposing stonework, Pile Gate is the grandest entrance in the city walls. Built in 1537, Pile Gate with its drawbridge and inner and outer sections, is the western entrance to the city and a good starting point for exploring the medieval walls. 

Full list of famous tourist attractions in Dubrovnik

While it’s fair to say these-famous sites dominate the lists of the best tourist sites in Dubrovnik, your search shouldn’t end there. And if you're asking us to name a tourist attraction in Dubrovnik not to miss then you probably need to look beyond the big hitters. Take Fort Revelin for example, it may not be as well known as the city walls but it remains an intriguing and compelling place to visit. So if you want to go beyond the essential places to visit then the options below will probably open up a host of ideas.

Church of Saint Blaise

Built in 1715, the ornate Church of Saint Blaise was dedicated to the patron saint of Dubrovnik.

Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola

The Jesuit Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola is a picturesque Baroque structure completed in the early 18th century.

Dubrovnik Dominican Monastery

The Dominican Monastery of Dubrovnik is an architectural gem and displays its wealth of art.

Dubrovnik Franciscan Monastery

The Dubrovnik Franciscan Monastery is a large complex built from 1317.

Dubrovnik Homeland War Museum

The Dubrovnik in the Homeland War Museum, housed in a 19th century fort, recounts events from the 1990’s war.

Dubrovnik Orphanage

The 15th century Dubrovnik Orphanage was the first of its kind in the Republic.

Dubrovnik Synagogue

Dubrovnik Synagogue is the world’s oldest Sephardic synagogue.

Fort Revelin

Fort Revelin is an imposing stronghold hurriedly built in the 16th century to defend against a threat to the Republic.

Large Onofrio Fountain

The Large Onofrio Fountain is a grand monument built to celebrate the completion of the Dubrovnik’s waterworks.

Lokrum Monastery

The Lokrum Island Benedictine Monastery and Abbey was first mentioned in the 11th century and is tied in to the island's illustrious history.

Orlando Column

Orlando Column has been the centre of celebrations in Dubrovnik since it was made in 1418.

Ploce Gate

Ploce Gate was built in the 16th century and is the eastern entrance to the historic city of Dubrovnik.

Sponza Palace

Sponza Palace, once the centre of Dubrovnik’s trading culture, is now home to its archives and a memorial exhibit.

St John Fort - Dubrovnik

The St John Fort in Dubrovnik is one of this city’s impressive medieval defences.

War Photo Limited

War Photo Limited is a powerfully curated museum of the photography of war and conflict.

We’re constantly expanding this list of essential attractions to see in Dubrovnik and if you do notice any omissions then please feel free to contact us with further information and our editorial team will look to expand this collection further.