aerial view of Dubrovnik near body of water during daytime

What is Dubrovnik Known For? 12 Things Dubrovnik is Famous For

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If you’re wondering what the buzz around Dubrovnik is all about, you’re in for a treat. As someone who’s been lucky enough to visit this Adriatic gem not once, but twice, I can tell you that Dubrovnik is a place that sticks with you.

And honestly, if I get the chance, I’d be packing my bags for round three in a heartbeat!

Dubrovnik, often referred to as the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” is a blend of stunning architecture, crystal-clear seas, and a history that’s as rich as it gets.

From the moment you step into the city, especially the Old Town, you’re transported into a world that feels like a mix of a history book and a fantasy novel.

But it’s not just the sights; it’s the vibe. There’s something about the narrow streets, the bustle of the local markets, and the sun setting over the ancient city walls that makes Dubrovnik more than just a tourist spot; it’s an experience.

So, buckle up as we dive into what makes Dubrovnik a place worth visiting (and revisiting!).

Things Dubrovnik is Famous For

1. Old Town

brown and white concrete buildings beside body of water during daytime
Old Town Dubrovnik is entirely pedestrianized. No cars are allowed within its ancient walls, allowing visitors to explore its charming streets entirely on foot.

Old Town is the heart and soul of Dubrovnik, and it’s easy to see why. Imagine walking through ancient streets, where every cobblestone whispers stories of the past. This is where you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

The stone walls that hug the city are a marvel, standing strong since the 16th century. They’re not just for show; these walls protected Dubrovnik from invaders and are a testament to the city’s resilience.

Strolling through Old Town, you’ll come across the famous Stradun, the main thoroughfare. It’s lined with quaint shops and cafes, perfect for a leisurely coffee break or picking up unique souvenirs. The architecture here is a mix of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque, creating a stunning visual tapestry.

And let’s not forget the hidden side streets. These narrow alleys are filled with surprises – from cozy eateries serving delicious local cuisine to small galleries showcasing local art.

2. City Walls

birds eye view of village near body of water
Dubrovnik City Walls stretch approximately 2 kilometers (1.24 miles) around the city and reach up to 25 meters (82 feet) in height at certain points.

When you’re in Dubrovnik, you can’t miss the City Walls. These aren’t just any old walls; they’re a masterpiece of medieval engineering.

Wrapping around the Old Town, they stretch about 2 kilometers and give you the most amazing views of the city and the Adriatic Sea. It’s like getting a bird’s eye view but with the sea breeze in your hair!

Walking atop these walls is like stepping into a storybook. You’ll see the terracotta rooftops on one side and the endless blue sea on the other.

It’s a perfect spot for those Instagram-worthy shots!

The walls, which date back to the 10th century, have been beefed up over the centuries, making them a symbol of Dubrovnik’s strength and endurance.

And here’s a fun fact: the walls are up to 6 meters thick in some places! So, as you’re wandering along, imagine being a guard in the old days, watching over the city. It’s a unique experience that combines history, exercise, and stunning views. Definitely a must-do in Dubrovnik!

3. Game of Thrones Filming Locations

Iron Throne in Dubrovnik
I had a chance to sit on the Iron Throne in Dubrovnik!

Alright, for all you Game of Thrones fans out there, Dubrovnik is like stepping onto the set of your favorite show. This city isn’t just stunning; it literally became King’s Landing! Walking through the streets, you’ll feel like you might bump into Cersei or Tyrion at any moment.

First up, the Fort Lovrijenac. Remember the Red Keep? That’s where a lot of those scenes were shot. Standing outside, you can almost hear the echoes of “The Rains of Castamere”. The fort itself is perched on a massive rock, and the views from up there are epic – you get the sea, the city, and the walls all in one glance.

Then there’s the Jesuit Staircase in the Old Town, famous for Cersei’s Walk of Shame. Walking down these steps, it’s hard not to hear the bell and the shouts of “Shame!”. It’s a surreal experience, especially if you’re a hardcore fan.

Don’t forget to check out Pile, just outside the city walls. This area was used for several scenes, including the riot in King’s Landing. It’s a bit quieter than the main streets, so you can really soak in the atmosphere.

And for a little greenery, head to Trsteno Arboretum. It served as the gardens of King’s Landing, where all those sneaky conversations happened. It’s a beautiful spot, with lush plants and an air of tranquility – a nice contrast to the bustling city.

So, grab your camera and your best GoT quotes, because Dubrovnik is a fan’s dream come true. You’ll leave feeling like you were part of the Seven Kingdoms, if only for a day!

4. Banje Beach

people near seashore during daytime
Banje Beach, located just outside the Old Town of Dubrovnik, is renowned for offering one of the most spectacular views of the city walls and the Adriatic Sea.

Banje Beach is like Dubrovnik’s little slice of paradise. It’s the city’s most famous beach, and once you’re there, you’ll totally get why.

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Picture this: lounging on a sunbed, the Adriatic Sea stretching out in front of you, and the Old Town’s walls just a stone’s throw away. It’s the perfect mix of relaxation and stunning scenery.

The beach itself has a vibe that’s both lively and laid-back. During the day, it’s all about soaking up the sun and taking dips in the sea. The water here is so clear, you’d want to stay in all day. And if you’re feeling adventurous, there are water sports available too.

As the sun sets, Banje Beach transforms. The beachside bar and restaurant become a hotspot for enjoying a cocktail or a meal with an unbeatable view. It’s the kind of place where you can chill, meet new friends, and just enjoy the moment.

So, make sure to pack your swimsuit and sunscreen, because Banje Beach is a must-visit when you’re in Dubrovnik!

5. Lovrijenac Fortress

white and brown concrete buildings near body of water during daytime
Lovrijenac Fortress, with walls up to 12 meters (nearly 40 feet) thick in some places, has historically been a key defensive stronghold for the city,

Lovrijenac Fortress is one of those places in Dubrovnik that’ll make you go “Wow!” Perched on a 37-meter-high cliff right by the sea, it’s like something out of a fairytale. Known as “Dubrovnik’s Gibraltar,” the fortress is a symbol of resistance, famously holding off Venetian attacks centuries ago.

The climb up to the fortress might leave you a bit breathless, but trust me, it’s worth every step. Once you’re up there, the views are mind-blowing. You get this panoramic view of the Adriatic Sea on one side and the Old Town on the other. It’s a perfect spot for those unforgettable holiday snaps.

And for the Game of Thrones fans, you’ll recognize it as the Red Keep. Walking around, you can almost picture the scenes that were filmed here. It’s a cool feeling like you’re part of the show.

6. Rector’s Palace

a building with arches and a clock on the wall
Rector of the Republic of Ragusa was a position that was held by a different citizen every month, reflecting the Republic’s system of government which emphasized rotation and limited power as a safeguard against corruption and abuse of authority.

Rector’s Palace is a gem in the heart of Dubrovnik, blending history with stunning architecture. This place isn’t just a building; it’s a storybook of Dubrovnik’s past.

Back in the day, it was the seat of the Rector, the guy who called the shots in the Republic of Ragusa. Now, it’s like a time capsule taking you back to those days.

The palace itself is a mix of Gothic and Renaissance styles, with a touch of Baroque – talk about a design mash-up!

Inside, you’ll find a museum filled with artifacts, paintings, and furniture that give you a peek into the city’s rich history. It’s like walking through someone’s really fancy, really old house.

One of the coolest things about Rector’s Palace is the inner courtyard. It’s this beautiful, open space with arches and a staircase that makes you feel like you’re in an old movie. They even hold concerts here sometimes, and the acoustics are amazing.

So, if you’re into history, architecture, or just cool old buildings, Rector’s Palace is a must-visit.

7. Kayaking and Water Sports

a castle on a cliff over the ocean
A unique aspect of kayaking in Dubrovnik is the opportunity it provides to explore the stunning Adriatic coastline and nearby islands, such as Lokrum.

If you’re into a bit of adventure, kayaking and water sports around Dubrovnik are a total blast. Picture this: you’re paddling on the crystal-clear Adriatic Sea, with the sun on your back and a view of those famous city walls from a whole new angle. It’s an experience that’s both exhilarating and peaceful.

Kayaking here isn’t just about getting a workout; it’s about seeing Dubrovnik from the water. You can join guided tours that take you around the islands near the city, like Lokrum, or even paddle under the city walls. Imagine floating by those ancient stones, it’s like a scene from a movie!

And for those who love a bit more adrenaline, there’s plenty of other water sports to try. From jet skiing to parasailing, there’s something for every thrill-seeker. The water is so clear, you might even spot some marine life while you’re out there.

So, grab a paddle or hop on a jet ski, and see Dubrovnik from its best side – the seaside!

8. Dubrovnik Cable Car

a cable car going up a hill with a view of the ocean
The Dubrovnik Cable Car, which offers a spectacular aerial view of the city and the Adriatic Sea, takes passengers up to Mount Srđ.

Hop on the Dubrovnik Cable Car for an experience that’s literally a high point of visiting the city! This isn’t just any cable car ride; it’s your ticket to the most jaw-dropping views of Dubrovnik and the Adriatic Sea.

In just a few minutes, you go from the old town to the top of Mount Srđ, and the journey up is as thrilling as the destination.

Once you reach the top, brace yourself for the views. You get this panoramic scene of the entire city, the old town walls, and the endless blue sea. It’s like seeing a postcard come to life. Don’t forget your camera because you’ll want to capture every bit of it.

And there’s more than just the view. Up there, you’ll find a restaurant where you can grab a bite with a view and a historic fort with a museum dedicated to the Croatian War of Independence.

The Dubrovnik Cable Car is more than a ride; it’s a whole experience. It’s one of those things you do where you end up saying, “Wow, I’m really glad I did that.”

9. Dubrovnik Summer Festival

people inside bar
The Dubrovnik Summer Festival, celebrated annually, is a prestigious cultural event that has been a part of the city’s tradition since 1950.

The Dubrovnik Summer Festival is like the city’s annual grand party, and trust me, it’s something you don’t want to miss. Imagine the historic streets and squares of Dubrovnik turning into stages for live performances.

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It’s a cultural extravaganza that happens every summer, and it’s been a tradition since way back in 1950!

This festival is all about celebrating music, theatre, dance, and film. You’ll find everything from classical concerts in ancient courtyards to dramatic plays under the stars. It’s a mix of local and international artists, so there’s always something new and exciting.

What’s really cool about the Dubrovnik Summer Festival is the vibe. The whole city buzzes with energy, creativity, and excitement. It’s like Dubrovnik transforms into this giant stage, and you’re part of the show just by being there.

So, if you’re planning a trip to Dubrovnik in the summer, check out the festival schedule. It’s a chance to experience the city’s vibrant culture and have a ton of fun while you’re at it.

10. Lokrum Island

a view of the ocean from a rocky cliff
Lokrum Island, located just a short boat ride from Dubrovnik, is home to a unique botanical garden, which was established in the 19th century.

Lokrum Island is this little slice of paradise just a short boat ride from Dubrovnik. It’s like a peaceful escape from the city buzz, and it’s packed with cool stuff to see and do. The island is a nature reserve, so it’s all about lush greenery, botanical gardens, and peacocks – yes, peacocks! They roam around freely, and they’re pretty friendly.

One of the coolest things on Lokrum is the Dead Sea, a small salt-filled lake where you can float around without a care in the world. It’s super relaxing and a bit of a unique experience. Then there’s the old Benedictine Monastery ruins, which are kind of mysterious and super Instagram-worthy.

For the Game of Thrones fans, there’s even a small GoT exhibit with an Iron Throne replica – so you can totally get your royal photo op. And don’t forget to hike up to the Fort Royal Castle for some stunning views of Dubrovnik.

Lokrum is perfect for a day trip when you want a mix of relaxation, a bit of adventure, and just a touch of quirkiness.

11. Pile Gate

people walking on pathway near green trees and brown concrete building during daytime
The Pile Gate is part of the city’s impressive fortifications and features a stone bridge, which was once a wooden drawbridge used to protect the city from invaders.

Pile Gate is like the grand entrance to Dubrovnik’s Old Town, and stepping through it feels like you’re entering another world. It’s the main gateway to the city and has been standing since the 1500s.

Walking through Pile Gate is a bit of a ‘wow’ moment. You’re greeted by the bustling Stradun, the main street of the Old Town. The gate itself is a cool mix of Gothic and Renaissance architecture, and there’s this old-world charm about it that’s hard to miss.

What’s really neat is the drawbridge in front of the gate. It used to be pulled up every night to keep the city safe back in the day. Now, it’s a reminder of the city’s past defenses.

So, when you walk through Pile Gate, take a moment to soak it all in. It’s not just an entrance; it’s a portal to the rich history and culture of Dubrovnik.

12. Seafood and Croatian Cuisine

man slicing fruits on top of board beside drinking glass with yellow labeled liquid at daytime

Let’s talk about the food in Dubrovnik, especially the seafood! Being right on the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik is a paradise for seafood lovers. The dishes here are fresh, flavorful, and cooked with a kind of love that you can taste.

One of the must-tries is the black risotto. It’s made with cuttlefish or squid, rice, and a whole lot of deliciousness. And it’s black, which might sound weird, but it’s seriously good. Then there’s the grilled fish – simple, seasoned to perfection, and grilled just right. It’s like the sea is giving you a high-five.

But it’s not just about seafood. Croatian cuisine in Dubrovnik also offers amazing meats, cheeses, and olives. And let’s not forget the local wines. They’re the perfect complement to any meal.

Eating in Dubrovnik is more than just a meal; it’s an experience. The food is fresh, the flavors are incredible, and the atmosphere in the local eateries is super welcoming. So, make sure to come hungry and ready to explore a whole new world of tastes!

What is Dubrovnik Known For: Frequently Asked Questions

aerial view of Dubrovnik near body of water during daytime

Why is Dubrovnik so famous?

Dubrovnik is famous for a bunch of cool reasons.

First off, its Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, packed with stunning medieval architecture. Walking through its streets feels like you’re on a movie set, which, speaking of, it actually was for Game of Thrones – fans know it as King’s Landing!

The city’s massive stone walls and fortresses are super impressive, and they offer killer views of the Adriatic Sea.

Plus, Dubrovnik’s not just about history; it’s got a vibrant cultural scene with events like the Dubrovnik Summer Festival. And let’s not forget the food – the seafood here is next-level amazing!

What food is Dubrovnik known for?

Dubrovnik is a foodie’s paradise, especially famous for its fresh seafood. You’ve got to try the black risotto, made with squid ink – it’s a unique and delicious dish.

Another local favorite is grilled fish, simply seasoned and cooked to perfection, showcasing the freshness of the Adriatic Sea.

Don’t miss out on Peka, a traditional Croatian dish of meat or seafood cooked under a bell-like dome, it’s super tender and flavorful.

And for a sweet treat, Rozata, a local version of crème caramel, is a must-try. The food in Dubrovnik is all about fresh ingredients and Mediterranean flavors.

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Is Dubrovnik too touristy?

Dubrovnik can feel pretty touristy, especially during peak summer months when the cruise ships dock and the Old Town gets super crowded. It’s popular for good reasons – the history, architecture, and Game of Thrones fame – but this popularity means lots of visitors.

However, don’t let that put you off. You can escape the crowds by exploring lesser-known streets or visiting during the shoulder seasons (spring and fall), when it’s less packed but still beautiful.

Plus, there are hidden gems around the city and nearby islands that offer a more laid-back vibe.

So yeah, it’s touristy, but it’s also totally worth it!

Stairs in Old Town Dubrovnik

Is Dubrovnik a walkable city?

Absolutely, Dubrovnik is super walkable, especially the Old Town. This area is completely pedestrianized, meaning no cars, just lots of charming cobblestone streets to explore on foot. It’s compact, so you can easily wander around and soak in the sights like the ancient city walls, historic buildings, and cool little shops.

Plus, walking is the best way to discover those hidden gems, like quaint cafes and stunning viewpoints, that you might miss otherwise.

Just remember to wear comfy shoes – those cobblestones can be a bit tricky!

How many days in Dubrovnik is enough?

Honestly, spending about 3 to 4 days in Dubrovnik is pretty ideal. This gives you enough time to explore all the major sights without feeling rushed.

You can dedicate a day to wandering around the Old Town, another to walking the City Walls and maybe checking out a museum or two. Don’t forget a day to just relax, maybe at Banje Beach or take a short trip to Lokrum Island. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you’ll want some extra time to hit all those filming spots.

This timeframe strikes a nice balance between sightseeing and soaking in the laid-back Mediterranean vibe.

Is Dubrovnik a party town?

Dubrovnik isn’t really known as a party town, especially if you’re comparing it to places like Ibiza or Mykonos. It’s more about history, culture, and stunning views.

That said, there’s still a fun nightlife scene, just on a smaller scale. You’ll find some cool bars and clubs, especially around the Old Town and near Banje Beach.

These spots are great for enjoying a drink and some music, often with an amazing backdrop of the city or the sea.

So, while it’s not the go-to destination for hardcore partying, you can definitely enjoy a laid-back, scenic night out in Dubrovnik.

Aerial view of Dubrovnik

Final Thoughts: What is Dubrovnik Known For?

As someone who’s been there twice, I can say that Dubrovnik isn’t just a place you visit; it’s a place you experience.

Whether you’re walking the streets of the Old Town, catching a sunset from the top of Mount Srđ, or just chilling on Banje Beach, Dubrovnik has a way of capturing your heart. And let’s not forget the Game of Thrones magic that adds an extra layer of cool for fans.

The food, oh the food! The seafood and Croatian cuisine here will have you planning your next meal before you’ve finished the first. And the people, with their warmth and hospitality, make the experience even more memorable.

Dubrovnik is a city that stays with you long after you’ve left, and if you ask me, it’s definitely worth a visit (or two, or three!). So, if you ever get the chance, go see for yourself why Dubrovnik is the dazzling jewel of the Adriatic.

Additional Dubrovnik blog posts:

Why Visit Dubrovnik: Top 9 Reasons to Visit Dubrovnik

14 Best Day Trips From Dubrovnik, Croatia

8 Best Things To Do In Dubrovnik, Croatia

Is Dubrovnik Worth Visiting? An Insider’s Guide to the Pearl of the Adriatic

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