Dubrovnik

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The rebirth of Dubrovnik

The rebirth of Dubrovnik

The sun has shone strongly across the Dubrovnik city walls for well over six weeks now. The month of May should have seen Dubrovnik's tourist season in full swing. But, the streets have been almost empty. One of the most popular city destinations on the Mediterranean, Dubrovnik's unique architecture, history and well-established hospitality has been drawing the travelling elite for over 100 years. In the last two decades, they've been joined by thousands disembarking each day from huge cruise ships. But the city port now lies relatively silent. You can walk the alleyways alone.   © Sasa Sobot   Croatia's successful handling of the pandemic has now allowed travel restrictions to be lifted. Over the last two weeks, visitors have started to return. The Croatia that greets them – quiet, calm, unhurried, relaxed and peaceful – is unlike any most past visitors will have known. In Dubrovnik, like elsewhere, people have spent their time refurbishing premises and at home with family. But now, with the smell of fresh paint still in the air, the restaurant tables are being arranged and the sound of unfamiliar languages can once again be heard on the streets.   © Maris Cosmai Pavičević   As Dubrovnik wakes from its enforced slumber, we interview three of the city's leading industry insiders, each operating in very different aspects of the city's tourist-reliant business sector. They reflect on life under lockdown - a bittersweet gift that's offered pause for thought – and look forwar

Croatia's best delicacies
Shopping

Croatia's best delicacies

Incredible seafood from the morning's catch, eaten before a backdrop of the sun setting across the Adriatic near Dubrovnik. Indulgent slices of truffle shaved onto fresh pasta dishes in sight of a hilltop town in Istria. Smoke-flavoured barbequed meats served on a Split or Hvar terrace alongside smiling friends. There's a whole world of unforgettable gastronomic experiences in store for any visitor to Croatia. However, some of these are not uniquely Croatian. Similar can be found elsewhere on the Mediterranean. But, Croatia does have its own unique food produce and some of it is protected at both a national level and a European level. Three European Union schemes of geographical indications, PDO, PGI and TSG, exist to distinguish traditional and unique produce. They ensure integrity by dictating that only products genuinely originating from a certain region (often ones with unique geographical or climatic assets) are allowed to be identified as such. Croatia has several products protected in this way at European level. Here you can find out about each of them and we recommend you try as many as possible while in the country in order to gain a true insight into the great gastronomic delights of authentic Croatia.RECOMMENDED: Everything you need to know about Istrian olive oil

The 51 best things to do in Dubrovnik
Things to do

The 51 best things to do in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is a one-town tourist industry on its own, with endless things to do all year round. As stunning as the clear blue sea around it, the former centre of the independent Republic of Ragusa invites superlatives and attracts the lion's share of Croatia's visitors. Read on for our insider's guide to the best things to do in Dubrovnik. RECOMMENDED: More great things to do in Dubrovnik. Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList and tag @TimeOutEverywhere. You can also find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world, or take a look at our list of the 50 best things to do in the world right now.

Recommended Dubrovnik hotels
Hotels

Recommended Dubrovnik hotels

It's hard to keep track of the ever-rising number of high-end Dubrovnik hotels, but the city also packs some impressive hostel and B&B options. As is common in Dalmatia, high-season prices are significantly higher than in spring or autumn, and some venues close at some point in the winter – though this policy is changing as Dubrovnik becomes a more year-round destination. Read on for your guide to the best hotels in Dubrovnik.

Ten fabulously free things to do in Dubrovnik
Things to do

Ten fabulously free things to do in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is Croatia's most photographed city and welcomes armies of tourists every day. You won't be able to walk the famous city walls without spending some dosh, and most attractions will have you parting with a handful of coins. While you'll probably conclude that these inimitable sights are worth every penny, you can easily give the spending a break - Dubrovnik's free attractions are some of its finest. Here are some wonderful free things to do in Dubrovnik. Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList and tag @TimeOutEverywhere You can also find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world, or take a look at our list of the 50 best things to do in the world right now RECOMMENDED: more great things to do in Dubrovnik

The best of Dubrovnik

The 51 best things to do in Dubrovnik
Things to do

The 51 best things to do in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is a one-town tourist industry on its own, with endless things to do all year round. As stunning as the clear blue sea around it, the former centre of the independent Republic of Ragusa invites superlatives and attracts the lion's share of Croatia's visitors. Read on for our insider's guide to the best things to do in Dubrovnik. RECOMMENDED: More great things to do in Dubrovnik. Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList and tag @TimeOutEverywhere. You can also find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world, or take a look at our list of the 50 best things to do in the world right now.

The best Dubrovnik restaurants
Restaurants

The best Dubrovnik restaurants

Dubrovnik restaurants are beginning to offer the culinary quality and variety that should be expected of such a luxury destination.

The best Dubrovnik bars
Bars and pubs

The best Dubrovnik bars

By night, Dubrovnik bars spring to life, with a number of atmospheric spots serving up anything from fine Dalmatian wines to fancy cocktails.

Brilliant things to do in Dubrovnik's Old Town
Things to do

Brilliant things to do in Dubrovnik's Old Town

Almost everything worth seeing is centred on the compact, crowded Old Town. To get the best view, and one of a stupendously clear, blue Adriatic lapping the rocks below and stretching way beyond, embark on a stroll round the City Walls. Audio-guides are available at the main entrance inside the Pile Gate to the left. An hour should suffice but take as long as you like. You’ll spend the bulk of your time within the 15th-century ring of fortifications, in the small square half-mile of gleaming medieval space bisected by 300-metre-long Stradun. As you flit between the main gates of Pile and Ploče, guided by the list of places on the maroon flags, each venue with its own logoed white lamp, barkers on every side-street corner call you up to the bland tourist restaurants on Prijeko. Cats scatter in from the old harbour, a cacophony of tour guides give their spiels. All is free of traffic until you reach the bus-choked hub outside the Pile Gate. Beyond, over the drawbridge, stand the Lovrijenac Fortress, used for productions of Shakespeare classics during the Summer Festival and the permanently busy main road to the ferry port at Gruž, and Lapad. Exiting the Old Town via the Ploče Gate takes you past the attractive old harbour, where taxi boats set off for the nearby island of Lokrum. Beyond the gate stretches Banje beach then a string of luxury hotels. Back inside the city walls is the main square and crossing point of Luža, where you’ll find the landmark astronomical clock tow

The best Dubrovnik beaches
Travel

The best Dubrovnik beaches

Dubrovnik beaches have a quiet kind of beauty - most attract a local crowd of sunbathers, who tend to stay loyal to their favourite beach.

The best restaurants in Dubrovnik

Nautika
Restaurants

Nautika

One of Dubrovnik’s most prestigious restaurants, Nautika offers two panoramic terraces of starched white-tablecloth formality. Chef Mario Bunda insists on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Shellfish star in dishes from shrimp risotto to St. Jacob's scallops, and meat lovers aren't forgotten either, with hearty entrees like veal fillet in wine sauce gracing the menu too. Diners can also opt between two types of tasting menus; one with five courses and one with seven.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
360
Restaurants

360

At this top-drawer setting overlooking the harbour, you get top-drawer cuisine - Michelin-starred at that. Under the expert gastronomic stewardship of head chef Marijo Curić, you can expect modern Mediterranean dishes and contemporary refashions of Croatian classics. The menu is meticulously sourced, painstakingly created and immaculately presented. Pro tip: beg for a booth in the gun chambers.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Fish Restaurant Proto
Restaurants

Fish Restaurant Proto

Seafood-oriented Proto claims a tradition dating back to 1886, and it was here that Edward VIII entertained Wallis Simpson in the 1930s. As well as lobster in simple, superbly-balanced sauces, there's fresh shellfish from Mali Ston up the coast. You can spend an enjoyable hour over the fisherman platter for two and the extensive wine list covers just about every quality wine that Croatia has to offer. An award-winning sommelier is quick to offer up smart suggestions, pairing both domestic and international wines with meat and fish specialities.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Restaurant Dubrovnik
Restaurants

Restaurant Dubrovnik

One of the fine-dining addresses that more than deserves its Michelin Guide-listed status, Restaurant Dubrovnik spoils you with attention right from the start, with a guest greeter at the bottom of the stairs, a maître d waiting for you at the top and a qualified sommelier available along with your waiter. Fortunately, this is more than just fancy-restaurant theatre; the food here is genuinely show-stopping. The menu is classicly-European with Adriatic leanings: signature mains stick to classic choices like sea bass, steak and duck; while an armoury of the creative invention is brought to bear on presentation and accompanying flavours.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Bowa Restaurant
Restaurants

Bowa Restaurant

Dubrovnik may be one of the hottest destinations in Europe at the moment, but there’s no getting around the fact that, on certain days in peak season, the city suffers from its popularity as a cruise port. The solution? Explore the city's landmarks and surrounding coastline by boat. You can hire a speedboat to the restaurant Bowa, secluded in a lush cove of crystalline waters on Šipan, the farthest and largest of the three Elafiti islands. Šipan’s fishermen deliver fresh daily catch, and the nowadays atypical though traditional Dubrovnik dishes like the cuttlefish orzotto or the fig and ginger salad promise to indulge demanding palates. No need to announce your visit for a lunch at the terrace, but call ahead and prepare to splurge to meet the minimum spend at one of the elevated, tiki-style cabanas, where you might occasionally spot a supermodel or a Real Madrid player. Apart from that (avoidable) minimum-spend, the only thing to mind in this idyllic bay might be the few too many Instagram-pleasing floaties and the accompanying photoshoots. On the way there, take a dip at Koločep’s Blue Cave, illuminated inside with an electric, slightly eerie aqua light, and visit the quaint Suđurađ town afterwards, where the nobility of Dubrovnik’s glory era spent their idle summer days.  

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars

Dubrovnik inspiration

Game of Thrones guide to Croatia
Travel

Game of Thrones guide to Croatia

Throne-heads! Discover the GoT filming locations in Dubrovnik.

One day in Dubrovnik
Things to do

One day in Dubrovnik

Whizz around Dubrovnik in 24 hours with our guide.

The best Dubrovnik Airbnb stays
Hotels

The best Dubrovnik Airbnb stays

Forget impersonal hotels and shoddy apartments and read our guide to the best Airbnbs in Dubrovnik.

10 fabulously free things to do in Dubrovnik
Things to do

10 fabulously free things to do in Dubrovnik

Put your wallet away! These are the best (free) things to do in Dubrovnik.

Where to drink in Dubrovnik

Copacabana Beach
Attractions

Copacabana Beach

A half-moon of pebbles and gravel set in Seka Bay, Copacabana is one of Dubrovnik's best beaches. Studded with luxury white loungers and deckchairs, there's heaps going on to keep you amused with watersports, paddle boarding and inflatables for the kids. The beachside restaurant provides further inducement to spend the day here with breakfast, lunch and dinner covered. Craving a detox? There are deliciously fresh juices and smoothies available. Hedonists can even enjoy table service of cocktails to your sunlounger. The beach is fabulous for families - there's a giant stretch of coastline for the kiddies to explore, while you can get acquainted with the best of Croatian wine from the beach bar, or enjoy a post-swim massage. The sunset boat trip comes recommended, where you paddle out to see while Dubrovnik is basked in the golden light of sundown. SPONSORED REVIEW

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Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Buža II
Bars and pubs

Buža II

The more well known of the cliff-face bars; tourists follow the 'Cold Drinks' sign from the open square of Rudjera Boškovića. Prices are a little steeper but you get a thatched roof and table service. Buža II also the same jaw-dropping view – if you can find a table in high season.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
D'Vino
Bars and pubs

D'Vino

Dubrovnik’s first real wine bar is run by a friendly and knowledgeable team. D’Vino manages to stock more than 100 varieties, most of them available by the glass. Every decent Istrian, Slavonian and Dalmatian label is here, including Grgić Plavac Mali and Zlatan Plavac. The house wine begins at 25kn and savoury meat-and-cheese platters are tailor-made to complement. It’s a comfortable, modern, intimate space to enjoy a drink – with a few seats outside in summer. The venue also lays on wine tours.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Sunset Lounge
Bars and pubs

Sunset Lounge

The titular sunset view is in full panorama here in the chic surroundings of the five-star Hotel Dubrovnik Palace. On a clear day you can see Mljet. Afternoons mean happy-hour drinks, evenings a piano player. Cocktails (60kn) comprise 35 standards, there are specialist Perković brandies (carob, fig, nut) and wines run from a basic 20kn to the best local labels rarely found by the glass.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Bard Bar
Bars and pubs

Bard Bar

The more haphazard of the two open-air bars cut into the sea-facing rocks, Bard Bar welcomes sunbathers, divers, drinkers and film fans. Its entry faces the terrace of the Konoba Ekvinocijo; on the wall is daubed '8-20 Topless Nudist'. Down a stone staircase are bar tables and metal steps towards the sea. Films are also shown.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars

Best attractions in Dubrovnik

Rector's Palace
Attractions

Rector's Palace

The most historic monument in Dubrovnik, the Rector's Palace was rebuilt twice. The first, by Onofrio della Cava of fountain fame, was in Venetian-Gothic style, visible in the window design once you ascend the grand staircase to the Rector's living quarters. Thereafter Florentine Michelozzo Michelozzi was responsible for the loggia façade. On the ground floor, either side of a courtyard, are the prison and courtrooms of the Ragusa Republic, and a glittering display of medieval church art. Upstairs, where each Rector resided for his month's stint, is a strange assortment of items: sedan chairs, carriages, magistrates' robes and wigs, portraits of local notables and Ivo Rudenjak's beautifully carved bookcase. One curiosity is the clocks, some set at quarter to six, the time in the evening when Napoleon's troops entered in 1806. The same ticket is valid for the Archeological Collection, a small but attractive collection of medieval carvings as the Rector's Palace) right by Ploče gate.

Sponza Palace
Attractions

Sponza Palace

The attractive, 16th-century former customs house and Ragusa mint is used to house the extensive state archives. Several rooms off the arcaded groundfloor courtyard are used to display photocopies of the archives' most treasured historical documents. A small room opposite the ticket office holds the Memorial Room of the Dubrovnik Defenders. Covering the 12 months from October 1991 (although keen to point out that isolated attacks continued until the summer of 1995), the exhibition contains portraits of the 300 defenders and civilians who died during the siege and the tattered remnant of the Croatian flag that flew atop strategic Mount Srđ.

City Walls
Attractions

City Walls

The easiest and most popular itinerary for visitors to Dubrovnik is the stroll around its fortifications. It also should be the first, as it allows the newcomer to get their bearings and gain an appreciation of the scale of this intricate jewel, and the skill of those who designed and constructed it. You also get breathing space from the high-season masses below. This is an elevated promenade and history lesson in one. The main entrance and ticket office is by the Pile Gate – having scaled the steps, you can set your own pace, taking an hour or an entire afternoon. Dubrovnik Walks is an agency offering walking tours of the City Walls run by knowledgeable locals.

Dominican Monastery
Attractions

Dominican Monastery

Between the Sponza Palace and the Ploče Gate, this monastery is best known for its late Gothic cloisters and late 15th-century paintings of the Dubrovnik School in the museum – in particular masterpieces by Nikola Božidarević, including his Our Lady with the Saints. On the walls of the monastery church are a beautiful wooden crucifix by Paolo Veneziano from 1358 and a painting by renowned fin-de-siècle artist Vlaho Bukovac from Cavtat, The Miracle of St Dominic.

The best hotels in Dubrovnik

Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel
Hotels

Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel

Opening up the lesser-known Dubrovnik Riviera, the stretch of resorts mainly frequented by locals halfway between the Old Town and the airport, the five-star Sheraton runs from surprisingly affordable classic double rooms to a presidential suite. Attractions include the Shine Spa, pools indoor and out, a gym, the Leut restaurant, a piano bar and a cocktail lounge.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Villa Dubrovnik
Hotels

Villa Dubrovnik

The Villa Dubrovnik is a stunningly located, superbly appointed five-star, set on a rocky outcrop a complimentary boat journey from the Old Town. Breakfasts and sunset cocktails take in the magnificent view. Far enough away (1.5km/one mile) from the Old Town crowds to warrant a handy water shuttle service there and back five times a day, the summer-only Villa Dubrovnik allows tranquillity and isolation. All of the property’s 56 rooms, set on descending terraces, have sea and Old-Town views, and all are beautifully appointed with access to a stretch of private beach, and pools indoor and out. For many, the most attractive facility, at sunset at least, is the Bar Giardino, a verdant, panoramic terrace and the ideal spot for a cocktail before the last boat to town. The Mediterranean flavours of the Restaurant Pjerin may just force you to stay, all the same. In the end, it comes down to detail: the bed linen of Egyptian cotton, the teakwood sea terrace and the goose-liver terrine with fresh black truffles on the room-service menu.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Hotel Dubrovnik Palace
Hotels

Hotel Dubrovnik Palace

This ten-floor, 308-room luxury hotel is set in woodland paths at the tip of Lapad, in full view of the Elafiti Isles. This is what everyone sees from their balcony, from the Maslina Tavern restaurant, Lanterna Glorijet poolside bar and the Sunset Lounge cocktail bar, not to mention the expansive, panoramic spa area, with its selection of massage treatments and beauty procedures.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Kazbek Hotel

Kazbek Hotel

At the waterfront of Gruz Bay and an easy stroll to the fine-shingle beaches of Lapad, this five-star boutique hotel provides a palatial stay with a dozen beautifully furnished rooms, set in the converted Zamanje family villa (1573). The terracotta-roofed mansion features an attractive outdoor pool with a bar beside it. Breakfast is made to order, prepared freshly and served to guests on the hotel patio, an enclosed stone courtyard studded with Mediterranean potted plants. The restaurant offers genuinely gourmet food with caught-that-day fish and seafood alongside Adriatic specialities served beneath a shaded canopy. Breakfast and dinner reservations are also possible for visitors - check with the hotel for availability. Five-star luxury doesn’t get more lavish than this - Kazbek’s stately rooms include king-size beds with Egyptian cotton bedding, gorgeously soft bathrobes and slippers and a range of posh toiletries. A speedboat and yacht are on hand for guests' use.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
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Hotel Excelsior
Hotels

Hotel Excelsior

What is arguably Dubrovnik’s most prestigious hotel has been accommodating discerning visitors since 1913. Back then a private villa converted into a hotel in 1930, it has seen royalty and A-list movie stars come and go. Acquired by the Adriatic Luxury Hotels group in 2000, it now features three restaurants, a spa area with Roman and Turkish baths, a fresh-water pool and a piano bar. Note also valet parking and limousine service at your disposal.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Valamar Lacroma Dubrovnik
Hotels

Valamar Lacroma Dubrovnik

The award-winning four-star Valamar Lacroma Dubrovnik caters equally to those visiting for work or pleasure. Surrounded by the pine-tree forests of Babin Kuk and white-pebble beaches, the Valamar Lacroma allows you to relax in picturesque tranquillity as well as organise your conference, meeting or exhibition without having to move from the site. With the most extensive MICE facilities in the area, the Valamar Lacroma also features the gourmet restaurant Langusto, a wine bar with a panoramic terrace and top-quality treatments at the in-house Ragusa Spa. Contained within a health complex extending over one square kilometre, you’ll find saunas, pools indoor and out, a private spa, lady-spa Afrodita and cardio-fitness.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars