History of Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik’s predecessor was Ragusium (Ragusa), a refugee settlement from the Illyrian colony Epidaurus, which arose in the 7th century on the island of Laus Lave off the coast. (Its inhabitants were subordinated to Byzantium until 1000, then the city passed under Venetian authority.) Later, a Slavic settlement “Dubrava” appeared in front of Laus Lava, which was transformed into Dubrovnik (named after the numerous oak groves in the vicinity). In the XII century, the sea channel was filled up, separating Laus Lava from the mainland and the settlements of Dubrovnik and Ragusa gradually merged into one city.

Western Part of Old Town
Western Part of Old Town

In the 14th century, an independent Dubrovnik republic arose: it had influence in maritime trade, and developed crafts. The republic was abolished with the advent of Napoleon in 1808. Later the city belonged to Dalmatia, Austria-Hungary, the Yugoslav state. Since 1946, it has become part of Croatia.

In 1667, an earthquake occurred in Dubrovnik that destroyed almost the entire city. The restoration was carried out according to a clear plan, which prescribed what the width of the streets, the size of the quarters and the area should be. Today, Dubrovnik, together with Venice and Amsterdam, is one of the three most beautiful European cities – monuments of the Renaissance.

Famous Red Roofs
Famous Red Roofs

Dubrovnik Things to Do. Attractions in Dubrovnik

The sights of Dubrovnik are the ancient city walls with casemates and towers, the highest tower of Mincheta (Kula Minceta), forts Lovrienac and Bokar (Tvrđava Bokar). In the bastion of St. John (Tvrđava Sv. Ivan) there is a maritime museum and an aquarium. Fort Ravelin (Tvrđava Ravelin) protects the eastern part of the city and the harbor. The main entrance to the Old Town is the Pile Gate (Vrata od Pila). They are built in the shape of an arch, which is decorated with a sculpture of St. Vlach, the patron saint of the city. On the street Stradun are Dominican monastery (Dominikanski samostan) and the Onofrio fountain (Onofrio). On Luza Square, the bell tower, the palace of Sponza (Palača Sponza) and the church of St. Vlah (Crkva sv. Vlaha) are located. The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (Katedrala Marijina Uznesenja) houses a collection of relics. In the Old Town there are monasteries, churches, cathedrals. In the Princely Court (Knežev dvor), which was the residence of the rulers of the city, there is a museum. Scuba diving enthusiasts can go diving in the Adriatic Sea.

The city has a rental of water scooters – from 50 EUR, boats – from 70 EUR, kayaks – from 20 EUR. The companies X-Adventure, Adriatic Kayak Tours, Adventure Dubrovnik offer sea tours. Guided kayaking on the Adriatic Sea – from 30 EUR.

Dubrovnik City Walls
Dubrovnik City Walls

Dubrovnik Restaurants and Food

Dubrovnik is located on the sea coast, and fish and seafood are popular here. The city has gourmet fish restaurants and taverns serving fish specialties. Of the meat dishes, lamb is popular. Dairy products are good – sheep and goat cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream. In Dubrovnik, you can try desserts prepared according to old recipes. Marmalade, candied fruit, almonds in caramel will appeal to lovers of sweets. You can drink a cup of coffee in Dubrovnik in coffee shops and enjoy sweets from bakeries, where there are fresh puffs, pies and rolls. Interesting desserts are served at the Pastry & Cocktail bar Slatki Kantun. You can try fish dishes in the restaurants: Fish Restaurant Proto, Kasar, Skerac.

In the budget restaurant of Dubrovnik you can eat for 5 EUR per person. In an average restaurant, the cost of a three-course meal will cost from 13 EUR, in gourmet restaurants you can dine on average from 50 EUR. A snack at McDonald’s or other fast food will cost 6 EUR (standard McMeal or equivalent).

Cafes and Restaurants on the streets
Cafes and Restaurants on the streets

Money in Dubrovnik

In Croatia, the national currency – kuna. According to the NBU, 1 kuna costs a little more than 4 UAH, or 6.23 kuna for 1 US dollar. It is worth noting that if you are going to Croatia, you need to have kuns with you, since euros are not accepted almost anywhere. Also in Dubrovnik there are not many opportunities to pay by credit card, so extra coins in your pocket will not hurt.

Lovrijenac
Lovrijenac

Transport in Dubrovnik

There are three ways to travel around Dubrovnik – on foot, by taxi and by bus. The most popular way to get around the city is by bus. There are 11 routes in the city, but the most popular are No. 6 and No. 4, which follow from the Zagreb Hotel and Kommodor Hotel to the Old Town. The traffic interval is about 15 minutes, the cost of tickets is 1.5–2 EUR. Taxi tariffs consist of the price for boarding (3.5 EUR), waiting (12 EUR – hour of parking) and mileage (1 km – 1 EUR).

Pile Gate
Pile Gate

Language and mentality in Dubrovnik

The main language in Croatia is Croatian. Most of the country’s population speaks it. However, despite the fact that the Croatian language is Slavic, it will not be easy to find a common language with the Croats due to strong language differences. Therefore, in the central part of the city English is very common. Also, many Croats speak Italian because of the proximity of Italy. Italian cuisine is also popular among Croats, so don’t be surprised if you see names such as “pizza”, “pasta”, “risotto” on the menu.

City View
City View

Beaches of Dubrovnik

Jacques Cousteau, a traveler and explorer, considered the sea off the coast of Dubrovnik one of the cleanest in the Adriatic. The beaches here are pebble and platform, but there are sandy (Kolocep and Lopud islands) and rocky.

Banje Beach

At the eastern entrance of the Old Town there is a pebble beach Banje (Plaža Banje), for a beach holiday everything is provided here. In the summertime – it is crowded. Entrance is paid, separately you have to pay for a sunbed and an umbrella, for using a shower. But the view from the beach to the Old Town and Lokrum Island is impressive.

Stari Grad (Dubrovnik Old Town)
Stari Grad (Dubrovnik Old Town)

Lapad Beach

Lapad beach (Plaža Lapad) in the bay near the Hotel Park is also pebble, but at the entrance to the water you will find a fine sand. It is equipped, there are restaurants, showers, changing rooms, and, importantly, there is a car parking.

Sveti Yakov Beach

1.5 km from the center, in a small bay, is the sandy and pebble beach Sveti Yakov (Plaža sveti Jakov) – a beach area with a rental, restaurant and cafe-bar. Here locals like to relax. The entrance is free.

Danche Beach

The oldest rocky Danche beach (Plaža Danče) is located in the bay, west of the Old Town. An unprotected cliff coast emerges into the sea, so it is cooler water and often there are high waves.

The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary at the Old Town Squares
The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary at the Old Town Squares

Buja Beach

In the center, near the ramparts, between Banje and Danche, there is a small rocky beach on the cliff of Buzha (Plaža Buža). It has several stone terraces, fenced with a railing, and a wide staircase to the sea.

Copacabana Beach

The largest beach in Dubrovnik is Copacabana (Plaža Copacabana). This is a pebble beach with a gentle entrance to the water. There are many water entertainments, fun bars, for children there is a huge inflatable “island”. Copacabana is removed from the city, from the center it is about 30 minutes to go, and by bus number 6 you will reach it in 5 minutes.

Lokrum Beach

This is a nudist beach, which is located on the island of Lokrum (Lokrum) among the picturesque cliffs. Before it you need to sail from Dubrovnik by ferry for 10 minutes, then go from the pier to the left for a few minutes. The beach has everything for a comfortable stay.

Rector's Palace. Edward
Rector’s Palace. Edward

Dubrovnik Hotels

There are hotels and apartments in Dubrovnik for every budget and taste. But the closer you live to the Old Town, the more expensive it will cost.

Grand Villa Argentina ★★★★★ – A hotel in the city center with excellent sea views.

Hotel Adria ★★★★ – Great location.

Rooms and Apartment Nike ★★ – Near the beach.

Onofrio's Fountains
Onofrio’s Fountains