The enchanting city of Dubrovnik is located in the southern most region
of Croatia. It is frequently referred to as the Pearl of the Adriatic. Like many coastal towns, its lifeblood was maritime trade. Today, tourism feeds the economy. Visitors can take a self guided tour of Dubrovnik and enjoy its picturesque setting. During high season, be prepared for the hordes of cruise ship visitors and general tourists who fill the narrow streets. Consider traveling during the shoulder season.
Thick walls (3 to 19 feet thick) dating back to the 13th and 17th centuries were built around the old city. This walled city has three entrances. The main one is on Stradun at the Pile gate. Two additional ones are located near Fort Saint John’s and the Custom’s House.
If you don’t mind heights and can navigate cobble and stairs, explore the wall that surrounds the old town. You will be rewarded with spectacular views. It is best to avoid mid-day adventures due to the extreme heat that radiates from the thick stone.
Self Guided Tour Highlights
A notable landmark is the promenade that runs through the middle of the city. Cobbled pathways veer off from this central location. Steep inclines may deter some from traveling by foot. Hearty souls who don’t mind walking uphill and have sufficient time should take the winding footpath to Mount Srd that sits a little more than 400 meters above Dubrovnik. The summit is usually reached by cable car or by driving. On a clear day, breathtaking views can be seen from this vantage point.
Wandering about the Old Town is an enriching experience that requires the ability to walk uphill and flights of stairs. You can include stops at a variety of churches that have notable histories. Near the main gate is the Franciscan Monastery which houses an impressive library of over 30,000, books and also has one of the oldest pharmacies in the world. If time allows, it is possible to tour part of this architecturally rich structure.
Dubrovnik also boasts numerous museums covering various aspects of the city’s history. One special find is a tiny synagogue that also houses a Jewish museum. It is located on Zudioska Ulica or Jewish Street. This structure was built in the mid 14th century and is considered the second oldest in Europe after the synagogue in Prague. After the Spanish and Portuguese expulsion of the Jews, many Sephardic Jews chose to relocate here. The museum provides some aspects of their history.
Food options in Dubrovnik range from restaurants that offer the local seafood and meat dishes to tourist trap style eateries. Prices tend to be on the high end due to the tourist industry.
If Time Allows
You can walk to the Aquarium, Fort St John, and the Maritime Museum. These places are located in the southwest tip of the Old Harbor. Outside the wall are two forts. Fort Bokar is in the north and Fort Revelin in the southeast area.
Before You Go
Review your options and obtain a city map. Decide whether you can handle the steep terrain and purchase appropriate shoes. Don’t forget to bring along water, especially in the summer months.
THE ABOVE ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON DECEMBER 12, 2015. IT IS BEING REPOSTED ON THIS SITE BECAUSE THE EXAMINER SITE SHUT DOWN IN JULY, 2016. SOME PARTS OF THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE HAVE BEEN UPDATED AND THE ORIGINAL SLIDE SHOW HAS BEEN ELIMINATED.
Sandra Bornstein is the author of MAY THIS BE THE BEST YEAR OF YOUR LIFE. It is available on Amazon.
Sandra’s memoir highlights her living and teaching adventure in Bangalore, India. She is a licensed Colorado teacher who has taught K-12 students in the United States and abroad as well as college level courses. Sandra is married and has four adult sons.
The memoir was a finalist in the Travel category for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the 2013 International Book Awards, the 2013 National Indie Book Excellence Awards, 2013 USA Best Book Awards, and a Honorable Mention award in the Multicultural Non-Fiction category for the 2013 Global ebook Awards.