City Orientation Walk, Dubrovnik (Self Guided)

Dubrovnik is one of the most visited cities of Croatia. It's a historical destination, packed with points of interest and many monuments. Most of the attractions situated in Dubrovnik are to be found in the old city area that was actually listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. Find the most famous sights of Dubrovnik in the next walking tour.
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City Orientation Walk Map

Guide Name: City Orientation Walk
Guide Location: Croatia » Dubrovnik (See other walking tours in Dubrovnik)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 13
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 km
Author: emma
1
Luža Square

1) Luža Square (must see)

Luža Square has been the hub around which Dubrovnik has revolved for many centuries.

The buildings surrounding this busy square have stood for hundreds of years and the square has been a gathering place for the residents just as long. Today this wonderful medieval plaza is home to cafes, a bell tower, and Orlando’s column. It is a spectacular place to watch people and take in a nice afternoon.

The history of the square also has a serious side. It is not only where the Croatian sovereignty was proclaimed, but also the place where trials were held, judgments pronounced and punishment executed. It is easy to get lost in time with the Gothic-Renaissance buildings and the paved square; it must have looked almost the same in the 14th century.

Additionally, Luža Square is a venue for the opening ceremony of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, the Feast of St. Blaise and many other events. This city center is still gathering people just as it was designed to do over seven centuries ago.

Why You Should Visit:
One of the most beautiful old town areas in Europe!

Tip:
Go at night to avoid the worst crowds – the city is lively and buildings floodlit.
2
Rector's Palace

2) Rector's Palace (must see)

The Rector’s Palace is a historical museum that depicts what the building was like in the 15th century when the location was the home and governing seat for power in Dubrovnik. The displays are set up so as to actually display what the old building might have been like when the Rector and the City Council used to meet there.

For a palace, though, it is very modest. Opulence has never been something that the rich of the area believed in. When you view the location, you may be surprised at how simple the design is. There is no luxury to be found. Instead, there are great old historical collections of metalwork, paintings, and textiles from the period, and you can also find the works of artists like Tintoretto and Bordone displayed.

The palace was built by Onofrio, just like the fountains located in the town. It was damaged extensively in the late 1400s. During the reconstruction, some more classic Italian Renaissance style elements found their way into the architecture. There was also an earthquake that damaged the building in the 1600s. At that time, the atrium was rebuilt, and some Baroque style elements were added.

Why You Should Visit:
You can go up the stairs to see the Rector's rooms. There are some gorgeous pieces of furniture and artwork to admire.
On the ground floor, the various rooms house some historic pieces from the jail and armory, plus lovely sculptures.
For 'Games of Thrones' fans, the courtyard was used to film the scene between Khaleesi and the Spice King (from Season 2).

Tip:
Try and get to the palace early in the day before the cruise ship crowds get there.
The architecture is beautiful and the place great to take photos, including after dark.
There's no English interpretation without the brochure so make sure you get one if you go inside.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-6pm (Apr-Oct); 9am-4pm (Nov-Mar)
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Cathedral of the Assumption

3) Cathedral of the Assumption (must see)

The Assumption Church is an impressive structure that has undergone a lot of change over the years. The original cathedral was a Byzantine-style construction that was built in the 6th Century. So, a church of one type or another has been here a very long time. The whole building was redone in a construction phase that lasted over 100 years, starting in the 12th century. At that time, a more Romanesque style of design was incorporated into the building. Local legend has it that the change was financed by King Richard the Lionheart after he was rescued here during his campaigns. Like most buildings in Dubrovnik, this one was badly damaged during the great earthquake of 1667 and rebuilt in a Baroque style.

On the inside, there is a beautiful painting of the assumption of Mary, done by Titian around 1552 A.D., along with a copy of Raphael’s “Virgin of the Chair”. The local sacred art collection is also worth a look, as it is typical of the type of work being done here during the 1500s.

Why You Should Visit:
Albeit smaller than expected on the inside, Titian's polyptych, as well as the very unique and simply beautiful Stations of the Cross, really make a visit here worthwhile.
At night, the cathedral is lit and becomes a magical place, which keeps its old aspect – there are no restaurants/bars in the area, just people passing and old stones.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 8am-5pm; Sun: 11am-5pm (Easter-Oct), Mon-Sat: 9am-12pm / 4-5pm (Nov-Easter)
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Maritime Museum

4) Maritime Museum (must see)

Located at Fort St. Johns, the Maritime Museum occupies the building's first and second floors. The lower flower is designed to give visitors an idea of what maritime life was like for the people of Dubrovnik. There are also some great exhibits on shipbuilding there. The upper floor shows exhibits of maritime life from more recent times, including the thriving steamship trade carried out up to World War II.

The Pelješac Peninsula has been well known for its maritime industry for centuries, going back to the time of the Roman Empire. This location does a good job of documenting that history in a way that is interesting and informative.

Why You Should Visit:
To learn about Ragusa/Dubrovnik's historical economy and politics by reading the exhibits (good explanations in English).
You can also check out the excellent collection of scaled-down models illustrating the evolution of the city's boats over the centuries.
The building is really impressive inside, especially the upstairs and its very intriguing curved stone walls.

Tip:
If you have a Dubrovnik tourist pass and some time, you can visit this museum together with the others on the pass.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 9am–8pm (Jun 15–Sep 15); 9am-6pm (Mar 22–Jun 14; Sep 16–Nov 1); 9am–4pm (Nov 2–Mar 21)
5
St Ignatius Church

5) St Ignatius Church (must see)

A fine example of an old Jesuit-style Roman Catholic Church, the Church of St Ignatius of Loyola is located on the very southern edge of the old part of Dubrovnik. Construction of the facility was started in 1665 and was delayed for a bit during the great earthquake of 1667, with completion reached in 1725. The designer was Ignazio Pozzo.

Like many such buildings owned by the Jesuit community, this local house of worship was modeled after the Gesu in Rome, which is the main headquarters for the Order. The overall architectural style is done in Baroque. The square in front of the church is a very popular spot for gatherings in the city. It is also decorated with a beautiful stairway, which is a classic example of Baroque style.

There is a small college associated with the complex here as well, which is worth a look. You will want to make note of some of the fine examples of art throughout. The fresco paintings here are quite beautiful. The bell is also the oldest in all of the town.

Why You Should Visit:
The mixture of the location at the top of the now-famous Game of Thrones 'shame' steps, the lack of tourists, and the old detailed interior all contribute to a memorable landmark.

Tip:
Try to visit when the mass is on (there's an English mass on Sundays at 11am during the summer – end of March to end of October) as the lights are on and the inside looks spectacular.
You can reach the church either by the Jesuit staircase that provides a wonderful view as you walk up or by climbing gradually through a maze of back streets that spare you the effort of all the steps.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 7am-7pm
6
Dubrovnik Ethnographic Museum (Rupe)

6) Dubrovnik Ethnographic Museum (Rupe) (must see)

The Ethnographic Museum was built in an old building that dates back to the 16th Century. It was built as an old granary. The Republic of Dubrovnik used to keep the national grain supply here at one time, so you can imagine how important it used to be. Interestingly enough, the building was one of few in Dubrovnik that survived the great earthquake practically unscathed.

In today’s time, the exhibits attempt to display what life was like for the common people of the region. You can find displays of old clothing, as well as ceremonial costumes that were worn during festival times. You can also see a classic example of the old Rector’s robes. There is some beautiful artwork on display of the local wildlife. Mainly, though, you will get to see displays of the agrarian culture of the area: examples of local farm tools and implements, as well as equipment used with farm animals, etc. Since this is an old grain mill, you will also find plenty of information on how the culture went about the task of saving grain for food, in order to survive the long winters here.

Why You Should Visit:
Beautifully displayed, small enough to visit in ~90 mins max, and all captions are in English. Staff is knowledgable and friendly and willing to answer questions.

Tip:
The ticket office will offer the 'Museums of Dubrovnik' pass – good for 9 museums / 7 days (this is helpful as not all museums are open every day). This the only way you can gain access inside.

Opening Hours:
Wed-Mon: 9am-8pm (Jun 15-Sep 15); 9am-4pm (rest of the year)
7
Marin Držić House Museum

7) Marin Držić House Museum

The museum was organized in 1989, so it has not been part of the town for very long. It was built in honor of a very famous Croatian writer of plays and skits. Yet, they have managed to build a nice display in a short time. You will be able to visit a place that is designed to display the science and art of what is called “theatre.” It will take you through exhibits on such things as costume design, conceptual art, and stage construction.

The location really goes above and beyond just being a museum though. They actually do scientific research here on things that can help to improve the overall experience of theatre. You will never find a better place designed around the overall ambience of the visit. It is also unique in all of Croatia. The research done here is used by theatre companies all over the world to improve their performances.

Opening hours: October 1st till June 1st: Tuesday – Sunday: 09.00 – 20.30. h;
Monday: 10.00 – 18.00. h;
June 1st till October 1st:
Tuesday – Sunday: 09.00 – 22.00;
Monday: 10.00 – 18.00;

Closed on public holidays.
8
Ancient City Walls & Forts

8) Ancient City Walls & Forts (must see)

The Walls of Dubrovnik are a series of defensive stone walls that have surrounded and protected the citizens of the afterward proclaimed maritime city-state of Dubrovnik (Ragusa), situated in southern Croatia, since the city's founding prior to the 7th century as a Byzantium castrum on a rocky island named Laus (Ragusia or Lave). With numerous additions and modifications throughout their history, they have been considered to be amongst the great fortification systems of the Middle Ages, as they were never breached by a hostile army during this time period. In 1979, the old city of Dubrovnik, which includes a substantial portion of the old walls of Dubrovnik, joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

Why You Should Visit:
Any trip to Dubrovnik is not complete without touring its walls. You can see more of the city and find spots you might not have found from the ground.
Photo ops of the buildings with spectacular orange roofs, the beautiful blue waters of the Adriatic Sea and the surrounding lush green islands are plenty.

Tip:
If entering through the Ploce Gate from the East or Pile Gate on the West, entrances to walk around the walls are available.
The walls span about 2km and feature lots of steps and rather steep inclines, so you'll want to wear your best walking shoes.
Bring plenty of water, and try to get there early in the day or in the evening; crowds are lighter, the day is cooler, and the views of the city are stunning.
Two cafes are set along the path of the wall, perfect for a mid-hike snack. The walls cost €10 to access.
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
St Saviour's Church

9) St Saviour's Church

This marvelous old house of worship is a main attraction in the old part of Dubrovnik. The building was erected in honor of Jesus Christ, in recognition for the town being spared from a great earthquake that hit in the early 1500s. In fact, you can find a monument to that fact located on the front side of the building. Construction was finished in 1528. The famed Petar Andrijich was the designer and architect of the church.

The overall design is in the shape of a Gothic cross. There is a vault that is ribbed, and there is one nave. The overall design of the outer walls is also Gothic, even down to the classic pointed windows. A keen observer of architecture will note, however, the bits and pieces of Renaissance stylings in the main building, as well as in some of the trimming.

This church is very important to the city because it is one of the only buildings that actually survived the earthquake that struck the region in 1667. So, it is very important to the city’s history. Make sure to see the beautiful Onofrio fountain that is located inside the Pile Gate at the location.
Sight description based on wikipedia
10
Stradun (Placa)

10) Stradun (Placa) (must see)

Stradun is the biggest and longest street in Dubrovnik, along the Old Town. The street is 292 m long. It became the city's main thoroughfare in the 13th century and its current appearance was, for the most part, created following the devastating 1667 earthquake in which most of the buildings in Ragusa (as Dubrovnik was called back then) were destroyed. Before the earthquake, the houses which line the street were not so uniformly designed as they appear today, with many of them featuring arcades and elaborate decorations. Following the 1667 earthquake and a large fire which broke out immediately afterward, the Republic of Ragusa passed a law which specified the layout of all future residential buildings constructed in the city.

Stradun is the commercial, entertainment and spiritual center of nowaday Dubrovnik. Considered the main walkway of Dubrovnik's Stari Grad, the street is marble-paved and filled up with restaurants, bars and small shops where you can buy a card or whatever you want and bring to your friends or keep it to yourself.

Why You Should Visit:
A really nice, fast way to get from one end of Old Town to the other – you'd wish Venice had a central concourse like this!
Also, if you're a cat lover, you'll get to see plenty of lovely cats around this area.

Tip:
Check to see when the cruise liners are in and avoid those days to visit, as it will be very crowded.
Do slip off down some of the narrow side streets: not only are they quieter but also a lot cooler. Food & drink prices are cheaper than on the main street, too.
Sight description based on wikipedia
11
War Photo Limited

11) War Photo Limited (must see)

A relatively new addition to the city of Dubrovnik, the center was opened in 1990 by famed photographer Wade Goddard, specialized in photos from war zones and areas of conflict around the world. He came to this part of the world and decided to make it his home. As one might expect then, Goddard has extensively documented the Croatian-Serbian War of 1991 from Yugoslavia.

If you are going to visit the place, be prepared ahead for the graphic nature of the content. Needless to say that it is not the best venue for children. Those who are willing to visit, though, will see some very moving, graphic, and eye-opening images shot during wartime. Very shocking and interesting, but worthwhile learning about the tragic modern history of Croatia and the surrounding areas.

Why You Should Visit:
Well-documented photo history that tries to provide an objective view of events and the harsh realities of living in a war zone.

Tip:
The gallery has excellent air conditioning so if you are overheating in the summer sunshine use it as a cooling off stop.
Make sure you pick up the free guidebook at the ticket desk as it gives a brief description of each photo.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-10pm (May-Sep); Wed-Mon: 10am-4pm (Apr, Oct)
November through March: CLOSED
12
Dubrovnik Synagogue

12) Dubrovnik Synagogue (must see)

The Dubrovnik Synagogue is amazing for several different reasons. It is the oldest Sephardic synagogue still in use today in the world and the second oldest synagogue in Europe. It may also be one of the smallest synagogues, in terms of physical size. Because of the small number of Jews in Dubrovnik, the synagogue does not have its own rabbi. On holy days, a visiting rabbi would conduct services for the small community.

Located in one of the many tiny streets of the Old Town of Dubrovnik, it is connected to a neighboring building which has long been owned by the Tolentino family, who have been caretakers of the synagogue for centuries. The internal layout is different from other European synagogues and has gone numerous refurbishments throughout the centuries, and has a mixture of designs from different eras. The building has sustained damage several times, with the great earthquake in 1667, World War II, and the Croatian War of Independence in the 1990s. The damage has since been repaired as closely as possible to its original design, and the synagogue reopened in 1997. The small museum contains many artifacts from throughout the Jewish community's history in the city.

Why You Should Visit:
To see how Judaism manages to cling on in spite of circumstances.
The interior is quite atmospheric, with its heavy brass lamps and blue ceiling dotted with stars.

Tip:
No photography is allowed.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-3pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
13
Dominican Monastery

13) Dominican Monastery (must see)

The Dominican Monastery of the area is very old, having been established in 1315. Much of the original financing came from the local government. In addition, many local builders volunteered their services to help the Dominican Order get established in Dubrovnik. Sadly, this building was also damaged in 1667 by the great earthquake and had to be rebuilt in places.

It is a classic example of a Gothic cloister, adjoined by a working medieval well here and an old bell tower that combines various architectural styles from the Romanesque to the Baroque. A special treasure of the Dominican monastery, however, is its library with 216 incunabula, numerous illustrated manuscripts, a rich archive with precious manuscripts and documents and an extensive art collection.

The stairway has a balustrade which leads to the south entrance. You will notice the Romanesque style of architecture, which was done by a famous artist from Milan named Bonino. There is a statue of St. Dominique here as well, depicting the founder of the Dominican Order. Also deserving mention are the newer Gothic arch and the statue of Christ.

Why You Should Visit:
If looking to go somewhere peaceful, away from the crowds, this is an excellent place to go to.

Tip:
Buy the Dubrovnik one-day ticket that gives you access to several museums, including this monastery.

Opening Hours:
Fri-Tue: 6am-7pm; Wed, Thu: 6am-9pm

Walking Tours in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Create Your Own Walk in Dubrovnik

Create Your Own Walk in Dubrovnik

Creating your own self-guided walk in Dubrovnik is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Daily Life Tour in Dubrovnik

Daily Life Tour in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, like many other famous destinations, offers a great deal of cultural and entertainment attractions. Most of them are situated inside the Old Town of Dubrovnik, this being the most visited by tourists. If you get tired of the popular attractions, go discover the daily life of Dubrovnik outside the old town, where you can see where local people hang out. If you are interested in what the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 km
Christian Dubrovnik Walking Tour

Christian Dubrovnik Walking Tour

Dubrovnik is one of the most famous spots on the Adriatic shore, because it's also an important port. It is a city with a lot of history and culture, as proven by its impressive cultural and architectural heritage. Christian sites are a "must see" in Dubrovnik, and they are found as and in monasteries, churches and other monuments. Discover them by following the next walking tour.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.8 km
Dubrovnik Museums and Galleries Tour

Dubrovnik Museums and Galleries Tour

Being the religious and cultural center of the Dalmatia region, Dubrovnik boasts an incredible historical heritage. This heritage is manifested by the large number of cultural establishments in the city, among which there are numerous museums and galleries. Check them out by following the steps of this self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 km
Specialty Shopping Tour in Dubrovnik

Specialty Shopping Tour in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is a very dynamic and colorful destination. With a nickname like "Pearl of the Adriatic", it offers many attractions for visitors. Besides its cultural and historical heritage, Dubrovnik can offer a great shopping experience, especially if you like to shop for local specialties. Follow the steps of the next walking tour to discover shops and markets of the Old Town of...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.6 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Dubrovnik for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Dubrovnik has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Dubrovnik, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.