Cruise Port Atlas | Dubrovnik, Croatia Day Trips | Attractions

Dubrovnik, Croatia Day Trips | Attractions

With limited time in port, planning is the best way to make the most of your time. Should you strike out on your own? Should you hire a local guide? Or should you book a shore excursion offered by the cruise line or an international tour company? Below we have listed the attractions and activities that many other cruisers have enjoyed. This information should help you plan.

The advantage to cruise line tours is that they are timed for your visit and give you flexibility to change your mind after your trip begins. The advantage of using a large international firm is that tours are often less expensive than cruise sponsored tours. The advantage to using a local tour company or guide is that prices can be significantly lower or you may be able to get a customized trip just to see the attractions that interest you most.

Cruise lines that visit Dubrovnik: Star Clippers, Voyages of Discovery, Voyages to Antiquity, Windstar, Azamara Club Cruises, Crystal, Oceania, Paul Gauguin, Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn, SeaDream Yacht Club, Silversea, Celebrity, Cunard, Holland America, Princess, Costa, Disney Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Viking River Cruises

Key Attractions: City Walls of Dubrovnik, Lovrijenac Fortress, Pila Gate, Ploce Gate, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Stradun, Church of St. Blaise, Franciscan Monastery, Sponza Palace, Rectors Palace, Dominican Monastery, War Photo Limited, Mount Srd Cable Car, Cavtat, Lokrum, Lokrum Botanical Garden, Mljet, Sea Kayaking

Dubrovnik's City Walls and Fortresses

Gruz Cruise Terminal to Pila Gate / Wall Tour Entrance - 4.3 KM, 8 minutes
Old Town Tender Berth to Wall Tour Entrance - 0.6 KM, 6 minute walk
Link to Full-Page Google Map

The fortifications at Dubrovnik have long been one of the most successful in the entire world, protecting the city from invasion since at least the 7th century AD. The walls, bastions, and forts that we see today were mostly built during the 14th and 15th centuries. The walls are broken by the Ploce Gate in the east, which begins with a stone bridge over a protective ditch. In the west of the city, the Pila Gate is the main tourist entrance into the historic city. At the northwest corner of the city is the Minceta Tower, long the symbol of the city. One of the most popular tourist activities for visitors is to walk the top of the walls and stop at the large St. Johns Fort, which protects the harbor and the small Fort Bokar, which protects the Pila Gate. The wall varies significantly in height and thickness, but is massive by any standard. Included with the wall ticket is admission to Fort Lovrijenac (Lawrence), offering views of the city and Fort Bokar.

        

   

Photo of Wall from Lovrinjenac by Daniel Ortmann, photo of Minceta Tower by Beyond Silence

Dubrovnik's Old Town

Gruz Cruise Terminal to Pila Gate - 4.3 KM, 8 minutes
Old Town Tender Berth or Pila Gate to all attractions within the city walls - 8 minute walk maximum
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Though significant damage was inflicted during a siege by the Serbian military in 1991, the old walled city has been repaired and rebuilt to match the historic styles. A living city, Dubrovnik's historic walled enclave has a wide number of attractions, including two palaces, two large monasteries that are open to the public, several important historic churches, a synagogue, a mosque and several museums displaying historic and cultural artifacts. The 16th century Sponza Palace is one of the oldest and best-preserved buildings in the city, with a blend of Gothic and Renaissance styles and a lovely central courtyard. It houses the city's historic records and sits at the eastern end of the main street of the city, Stradun, adjacent to the old port. Just to the south is the Rector's Palace, which blends not only Gothic and Renaissance styles but also Baroque and even bits of other styles which were added at later dates when renovations and repairs took place.

Legend says that the original Romanesque Cathedral was built by Richard the Lionheart in thanks for his washing ashore on the island of Lokrum in a storm in 1192. That building was completely destroyed in an earthquake in 1667 and rebuilt quickly in its current Baroque form. Its treasury contains many relics including the leg of the city's patron saint, Blaise. The Church of St. Blaise is just down the street from the Cathedral, is considered the city's most beautiful, and was also built in the Baroque style. The Dominican Monastery adjacent to the Ploce Gate was established in the 13th century and its buildings have a strong Gothic inclination, including its small chapel. The museum there has a fine collection of art and artifacts representing the history of the city. Near the Pila Gate is the Franciscan Monastery established at that spot in the 14th century and offering visitors a stunning Romanesque cloister, a Baroque chapel, and the third oldest pharmacy in the world first established by the Franciscans in 1317. The list of lovely historic buildings could go on, along with praise for its atmospheric streets and squares, but suffice to say the city is a cherished slice of history, welcoming visitors with grace.

        

   

Photo of Old Harbor by Greenweasel, photos of Sponza Palace and Cathedral by Beyond Silence

Dubrovnik's Other Attractions

Gruz to Mount Srd Cable Car - 6 KM, 12 minutes
Ploce Gate to Mount Srd Cable Car - 0.5 KM, 5 minute walk
Ploce Gate to War Photo Limited - 2.8 KM, 7 minutes
Gruz to War Photo Limited - 1.7 KM, 3 minutes
Ploce Gate to Modern Art Museum - 0.4 KM, 6 minute walk
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Outside the city walls are a few special places that visitors might want to consider. For amazing views of the city and region take the cable car up Mount Srd (re-opened 2010). For those interested in recent history, there is the fascinating museum called War Photo Limited, which displays various exhibitions of photojournalism from recent wars all over the world. The genocide in Srebrenica is a recent example. For more local history, visit the Homeland War (1990s Yugoslavian breakup) Museum in the Napoleonic Fort on top of Mount Srd. The Museum of Modern Art, within easy walking distance of the Ploce gate, has an impressive collection of Croatian art including works by impressionist Cavtat artist, Vlaho Bukovac.

        

   

Photo of View from Mount Srd by Bracodbk

Relaxing Cavtat

Ploce Gate to Cavtat - 18 KM, 21 minutes
Gruz Port to Cavtat - 22 KM, 24 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

If the historic center of Dubrovnik does not suit your fancy and you prefer a less urban setting, the small port town of Cavtat might be an excellent option. Situated on a small peninsula southeast of Dubrovnik, Cavtat is a scenic tourist mecca with great sea views, lovely waterfront restaurants and boutique shopping. The palm lined waterfront promenade is the town's most attractive feature. This is a great place to relax and rejuvenate.

           

   

Photos of Cavtat by Denior (top-right) and Andreas Lauterer (left)

Nearby Outdoor and Active Attractions

Old Port to Lokrum - 15 minute ferry ride
Gruz Port to Mljet - 65 minute high-speed catamaran ferry
Link to Full-Page Google Map

From just outside the Old City walls you can begin an adventure which combines historic sites, natural settings, easy exercise, and a guided sea-kayak adventure along the city walls and out to nearby Lokrum island. Just south of the old harbor is the small park island of Lokrum which features some nice short walks, a small fortress, a botanical garden, and for the uninhibited, a naturalist beach. Ferries leave the old city frequently. Mount Srd offers rock climbing opportunities or even a donkey ride along the rocky paths. The national park on the nearby island of Mljet (pronounced mlyet) is one of Croatia's great natural attractions. It is possible to get there and back when in Dubrovnik, but it will require planning and luck. A catamaran ferry takes a little over an hour and leaves at either 815am or 9am depending on the day of the week. The return ferry gets back to the port at Gruz at 820pm. Space is limited, but for nature lovers Mljet offers hikes around heavenly lakes, along rocky shores, and isolated beaches. Easier to access are the Elephiti Islands of Lopud and Sipan northwest of the city. Lovely well-developed beaches on Lopud are among the best in Dalmatia.

                 

   

Photo of Lake on Mljet by Jaganjac

Interests Key:

Art Architecture Beach Children Wild Animals Local Cuisine Flora Gardens-Parks Geology

Diving UNESCO Views Wine Dance Music Shopping History Hiking

Walking & Wheelchair Accessibility:

No Walking Easy Walking Normal Walking Difficult Walking Accessible Limited Not Accessible