Dubrovnik has become a fashionable destination among travelers and a must-see in Europe. It is a beautiful medieval city of white walls and reddish roofs open to the Adriatic Sea and surrounded by hills. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, strolling through its historic center is like taking a trip back in time. Getting to know the city and its surroundings is very easy with a guided tour:
1. One hour Dubrovnik discovery walking tour
For those travelers visiting Dubrovnik for the first time, it is best to take a walking tour of the city accompanied by an expert guide who will show you the highlights in a tour of about one hour. This way you will get an overview of Dubrovnik in a short time and at the same time give you the flexibility to make other excursions during your stay.
Start of the tour
The Dubrovnik tour starts at noon when the tour group of no more than 30 people gathers at the Great Fountain of Onofrio together with the guide of the activity whom you will recognize by their red umbrella. It so happens that this place is the main meeting point of the Ragusians in the city, but the fountain was actually built in the 15th century to supply drinking water to the inhabitants.
Next to it is the Church of St. Savior, where you will discover how important Catholicism was in the creation of the city and how during the Soviet regime the practice of any religion was forbidden. This church dating from the sixteenth century was built in gratitude to God for saving the city from damage caused by a terrible earthquake.
Another temple that was built as a symbol of gratitude in Dubrovnik was the cathedral itself. According to legend, the mythical Crusader King Richard the Lionheart paid part of the costs after being rescued during a shipwreck on the neighboring island of Lokrum by the inhabitants of Dubrovnik.
The walk continues along the Stradun of Dubrovnik, the main shopping street of the city where all the other streets and most of the monuments lead to. It is an avenue full of restaurants and terraces where you can have a drink but also stores where you can buy souvenirs.
Here you will hear stories about the demise of the Republic of Ragusa that led to the more current history of Yugoslavia. Also about the Balkan War in the 1990s and about all the problems the city suffered during that fateful period.
Leaving the main street behind and on your way to the harbor, you will enter the narrowest street of the old town to stop at the Orthodox Church of the Holy Annunciation and learn how other religious minorities influenced Dubrovnik's history.
The next stop of the one-hour walking tour of Dubrovnik is the Gundulic Square, where a traditional Croatian market with local products specially made for tourists is organized. The square is dedicated to the poet Ivan Gundulic and has a monument in his honor.
The next monument you will see is the Rector's Palace, which was the most notable building of the Republic of Ragusa for several centuries. Today it is the seat of the Dubrovnik History Museum, so it is a must-see if you want to soak up the history of the city.
Finally, you will arrive at the Old Port, one of the oldest and most emblematic of the Adriatic. From the guide, you will hear the importance of this place for Ragusa and he will tell the stories of the famous quarantine that first emerged here with a pioneering law to try to control the spread of the black plague in 1377.
Leaving the port you will reach the eastern end of Stradun Street which leads to Luža Square where some of the most important monuments of Dubrovnik are concentrated such as the Sponza Palace, the Town Hall, Orlando's Column, the Small Fountain of Onofrio, and the Church of St. Blaise.
2. One and a half-hour tour of the old town of Dubrovnik
Through this Dubrovnik Old Town Tour you will learn from a local guide why the Republic of Ragusa was one of the most prosperous and advanced in Europe in the Middle Ages, its history and architecture.
This tour is especially suitable for those who visit Dubrovnik for the first time and want to see the most important sights of the city in a tour lasting about one hour and a half. This way, you will get an overview of the Pearl of the Adriatic and you will have more time for other excursions during your trip. The great thing about this Dubrovnik tour is that you can choose the departure time that best suits your travel plan so it is very flexible.
Start of the tour
This walking tour of Dubrovnik starts when the group of no more than 15 people gathers at the meeting point together with the activity guide whom you will recognize by his orange umbrella. This place is located in front of Sky bar, which is located in Pile, the last bus stop when going to the old town.
After a short break at Brsalje Street where the guide will give you a summary of the excursion, the first stop of this tour is the Pile Gate. When the Republic of Ragusa became independent from Venice, walls were erected to protect the city which was flanked by two gates: Ploče and Pile, the latter being the main gate.
Passing through the Pile Gate we reach the Dubrovnik Stradun, the main street of the city, which crosses it from one gate to another. All the other streets lead to it, as well as most of the monuments such as the Franciscan monastery, a religious building dating from the fourteenth century that is characterized by housing the third oldest pharmacy in the world, a beautiful gothic courtyard and a library that, according to legend, preserves a manuscript with the recipe for the elixir of eternal youth.
Directly opposite is the Great Fountain of Onofrio, which was erected to supply drinking water to the Ragusians in the 15th century.
The walking route also passes by the Rector's Palace (now home of the Dubrovnik History Museum), the Sponza Palace (home of the Dubrovnik historical archive), and the Cathedral of the Assumption, a Baroque temple that according to tradition was built partly thanks to the contributions of the English King Richard the Lionheart as a token of gratitude to the inhabitants of Ragusa for saving his life after a shipwreck.
The most interesting part of the cathedral is its treasury as it preserves the relics of St. Blaise, the patron saint of Dubrovnik.
The last stop of this Dubrovnik walking tour is Luža Square where some of Dubrovnik's most relevant monuments are grouped, such as the Town Hall, the Little Fountain of Onofrio, the Church of St. Blaise, and the Orlando Column, a medieval knight symbol of the independence of the Republic of Ragusa, whose flag flew on the mast until the Napoleonic invasion. The Bell Tower is also located here.
3. 2-hour Game of Thrones walking tour + photo at the Iron Throne
Would you like to discover what King's Landing is like in real life? Delve into the capital of the Seven Kingdoms in this Game of Thrones tour through the main scenarios of the series chosen by the team to recreate the capital of Westeros.
For two hours, the group will walk through the streets of Dubrovnik together with an expert guide on the locations of the popular series to show you where such iconic scenes were filmed as the Battle of Blackwater in Pile Bay, the people's revolt against King Joffrey at Pile Gate or Cersei's walk of shame in St. Ignatius Church, among many others.
Learn about the filming and anecdotes from the production as you stroll through Dubrovnik's historic quarter and compare the real scenery with images from the series. You can't miss this Game of Thrones tour that includes a photo on a replica of the Iron Throne. If you are a fan of the series, you will enjoy it. You have my word!
What to expect?
The tour starts when the group, of 15 travelers maximum, meets at the meeting point with the activity guide whom you will recognize by his orange umbrella. This place is located in front of Sky bar, at the Puerta de Pile near the last bus stop on the way to the old town.
- The Pile Gate
- Fort San Lorenzo
- The harbor in Pile Bay
- Gunduliceva Poljana Market
- Other sites in the old town
What makes this Game of Thrones tour special is that you interact a lot with the guides, who are very knowledgeable and take their time to answer all the questions of the group. In addition, the tour of Dubrovnik is so enjoyable that the two hours fly by. This Game of Thrones tour really makes you want to rewatch the series again from beginning to end and see it with new eyes as you learn anecdotes from the filming combined with historical facts about the monuments where the filming took place.
During the Game of Thrones tour, 30-40 minutes will be dedicated to the Saint Lawrence Fortress tour, which is not included in the tour price. The entrance fee to the fort is 50 kuna per person or about $ 8. Before entering the monument, tickets can be purchased on site in kunas or by credit card.
4. Full day excursion to Montenegro from Dubrovnik
After you visit Dubrovnik you can make the most of your trip to make a excursion to Kotor for a day, and get to know other nearby cities with natural landscapes. Less than 62 miles from Dubrovnik is the bay of Kotor and its city, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is full of beautiful historical monuments such as the Orthodox Cathedral of St. Nicholas or the Ducal Palace.
Strolling through the cobbled streets of Kotor is like going back in time thanks to the good state of preservation of its buildings and the fact that it has managed to maintain its medieval essence. Not in vain is it called the jewel of Montenegro.
What to expect from this excursion?
The adventure begins at 8:00 AM. Skirting the Bay of Kotor the group will arrive in Perast, a small town on the shores of the bay that is nicknamed the Venice of Montenegro, as its buildings are influenced by the architectural style of the Italian city. After all, it was owned by Venice for several centuries.
This place will not only leave you in awe at the beauty of its landscape but also at the contrast between the bustling Dubrovnik and the quiet Perast, where less than 400 people live. During the visit, you can choose between a stroll through the streets to admire the monuments (such as Bujovic Palace, Smekja Palace, Zmajevic Palace, etc.) or take a boat ride to visit the baroque-style Catholic church (at your own expense) on the artificial island of Our Lady of the Rocks.
This temple contains more than 70 works of art and was built on the only fjord in the Adriatic Sea. The guide of the activity will tell you the curious legend surrounding its construction.
Afterward, the minivan will drive to Kotor for a 1 hour walking tour with a guide through the historic center of the city. Here you will see the Main Square, the Cathedral of St. Tryphon, the Maritime Museum, the aristocratic palaces, and the Clock Tower, which has been in operation since the 17th century.
Once the guided tour is over, you will have an hour of free time to explore the city at your own pace. My advice is to walk along the ramparts that climb up the mountainside to the Fortress of St. John. The views of Kotor from this part are spectacular.
Before returning to Dubrovnik the next stop is Budva, a beautiful old walled city surrounded by mountains on the Adriatic Sea that you will have the opportunity to discover during the visit. Enter its old town and stroll through its avenues and squares full of history, restaurants, monuments, and stores where you can buy a souvenir of the excursion.
What should you bring on the excursion to Kotor?
- Montenegro does not belong to the EU or the Schengen zone, so to enter the country you must present a valid passport.
- All participants of the Kotor excursion are required to provide the name, number, expiration date and country of the passport at the time of booking. This information must be indicated in the Special Requirements box.
- All visa requirements are the sole responsibility of the traveler. Before crossing the border you must verify and obtain any visa requirements.
5. Day trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina (including Medjugorje and Mostar)
During your trip to Dubrovnik, you may want to visit a special place in a neighboring country such as Mostar and Medjugorje in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Make the most of your time on the southern coast of Dalmatia by taking this guided Mostar day trip to soak up the interesting history of this country and this World Heritage city, which is only 80 miles from Dubrovnik by road.
Known worldwide for its iconic bridge over the Neretva River, Mostar is a magical city and an essential getaway on your visit to the Balkans.
What to expect from the excursion?
The adventure begins at 8:00 AM when a vehicle picks you up at your hotel and takes you north to the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, passing through the coastal towns of Croatia. Once across the border, the group will head inland, specifically to Počitelj, the first stop on the tour.
For a long time, this small village was under the dominion of the Ottoman Empire, which can be seen in the architecture of the buildings, the staircases, and in the network of streets. Strolling through its streets you can visit the Hadži Alijina mosque, the Utvrda fortress, or the Gavrakapetan tower, among other places of interest.
The next stop on this excursion to Mostar is Medjugorje, a little village located between mountains dedicated to the cultivation of tobacco and vineyards that became famous because in the 80s there was a Marian apparition that made it a place of Catholic pilgrimage in the world. This is a very curious story that you can ask the guide about to get the most out of your visit. In addition, you will have time to walk around the city at your own pace and even go to mass if you wish.
Back in the car, you will drive to Mostar, one of the most visited tourist destinations in Bosnia and Herzegovina thanks to its intense cultural life and beautiful old town.
Its streets maintain the Ottoman influence in the architecture and the original cobblestones as it lived under their rule for 400 years. During the excursion to Mostar you will take a one-hour walking tour with your guide where he will tell you the history of the city and show you the highlights such as the Mostar Bridge, which was rebuilt after the bombings of the Balkan War. Afterwards you will have free time to explore on your own before returning to Dubrovnik.
What should you bring on the excursion to Mostar?
- A valid passport is required to enter the country.
- All participants of the Mostar excursion are required to provide their passport name, number, expiration date and country at the time of booking. This information must be indicated in the Special Requirements box.