A small coastal city close to the borders with Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina, Dubrovnik is a place that will immediately make you fall in love with its rustic charm. Known as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’, the city has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for close to quarter of a century; it’s easy to see why.
Ever since the Middle Ages, this port has become a mecca of sorts for visitors wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of Zagreb and Split. Many of Dubrovnik’s buildings have signature terracotta roofs, resembling many a Tuscan hill town, while it’s also home to many religious buildings – it’s said that Pope John Paul II was a regular visitor to the city.
As many of the roads in the Old Town are cobbled, a small car is the best possible thing to drive here. It’s also going to help save money on fuel costs and prepare you for the busy summer season.
Every summer, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, a 45-day event, takes place in the city from July 10 to August 25. During the festival, at over 70 open-air venues in Dubrovnik, classical music, opera, theatre and dance performances occur every day.
If sightseeing is your thing, then you should visit the Old Town first. Attractions such as the Bell Tower, Sponza Palace and the Rector’s Palace are here, while you might also want to see Roland’s Column, a war monument where the Summer Festival is officially opened.
To learn about the city’s history in wars throughout the years, a good place to visit is War Photo Limited on Antuninska 6. This exhibition centre features stunning photos by world-famous photojournalists and rotating exhibits.
The Franciscan Monastery on Placa 2 is the city’s most prominent religious landmark. Featuring an outstanding baroque church, it’s also home to one of the world’s oldest pharmacies. It’s open every day between 9am-6pm.
Despite its popularity as a tourist destination, Dubrovnik doesn’t have a train station. This makes having a car an absolute necessity.
The main roads into and out of Dubrovnik is the D8 highway, which takes you along the coast to Split and other coastal towns and vlllages and the A1 that goes to Vrgorac.
Information for tourists is available in the Old Town as well as at Dubrovnik Airport during weekdays, but not during public holidays.
Dubrovnik Airport, the second largest in Croatia, is roughly 9.5 miles southeast of the city centre near the town of Cilipi. The airport serves as a destination for low-cost flights from across Europe and has one main terminal building.
To get to Dubrovnik from the airport, you can drive straight onto the D8 highway, which will take you northwards towards the city. Further south, you‚Äôre heading towards Montenegro.