Dubrovnik Old Town
© Jakob Radlgruber

Brilliant things to do in Dubrovnik's Old Town

Discover historic attractions and fantastic things to do in Dubrovnik through our insider's guide to the city

By Justin McDonnell and Lara Rasin
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Many of Dubrovnik's amazing attractions are centred on the compact, fully walkable Old Town. Begin your Old Town sojourn with a stroll around its surrounding City Walls to get your bearings with an amazing view of the city and stupendously blue Adriatic sea. Continue your visit discovering the city's endless gems, from the Rector’s palace and Sponza palace to the Dominican monastery and Church of St. Blaise

RECOMMENDED: more great things to do in Dubrovnik.

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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.

Dubrovnik City Walls
© fjaka

Walk the City Walls

Attractions Historic buildings and sites Dubrovnik

One of the most popular tourist activities in Dubrovnik is strolling around the city's fortifications. It also should be the first, as it allows newcomers to get their bearings, gain an appreciation of the scale of this intricate city and see the skill it was built with. The City Walls are a panoramic promenade and history lesson all in one. Find their main entrance and ticket office right by the Pile gate. Once you've scaled the steps to the walls, take in the views at your own pace. 

Dubrovnik Cathedral
© Dubrovnik Tourist Board

Discover Dubrovnik's cathedral

Attractions Religious buildings and sites Dubrovnik

On the location of the Dubrovnik Cathedral we know today, once stood a church allegedly funded by shipwrecked Richard the Lionheart in recognition of local hospitality in the 1190s. This original church was lost to the 1667 earthquake, and in its place was built a beautiful baroque structure. Inside, find a treasury which houses a collection of holy relics. It is said to contain the arm, skull and lower leg of patron St. Blaise, a piece of Jesus Christ's clothing, and wood from the Holy Cross.

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Sponza Palace
© Roman Babakin

Explore Sponza palace

Attractions Historic buildings and sites Dubrovnik

This attractive, former 16th-century customs house and mint currently houses the city's extensive state archives including photocopies of treasured historical documents. A small room opposite the ticket office holds the Memorial Room of the Dubrovnik Defenders who perished in the Croatian War of Independence. Covering 12 months from October 1991, the exhibition contains portraits of the 300 defenders and civilians who passed away, as well as a tattered remnant of the Croatian flag that flew atop Mount Srđ. 

Rector's Palace
© Isabell Schulz

Dive into history at the Rector's palace

Attractions Historic buildings and sites Dubrovnik

The Rector's palace is a must-see Dubrovnik attraction. On its ground floor, flanking the inner courtyard, are a Ragusan-era prison, multiple courtrooms and a glittering display of medieval church art. Upstairs, where each Rector resided for his month's stint, find interesting decor: sedan chairs, carriages, magistrates' robes and wigs, portraits of local nobles and a beautifully carved bookcase. With your Rector's palace ticket, you can also explore the Archeological Collection, a small but attractive collection of medieval carvings.

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Dominican Monastery
© IoannesII

View art at the Dominican monastery

Attractions Religious buildings and sites Dubrovnik

Located between the Sponza palace and the Ploče gate, this monastery is best known for its late Gothic cloisters and artworks. Standing out are masterpieces by 16th and 17th-century Croatian painter Nikola Božidarević, including his 'Our Lady with the Saints'. On the walls of the monastery church are a beautiful wooden crucifix by Venetian painter Paolo Veneziano from 1358 and renowned Cavtat-born artist Vlaho Bukovac's 'The Miracle of St. Dominic'.

Dubrovnik
© Copacabana beach

Take a day trip to Copacabana beach

5 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Café bars Dubrovnik

Take a day trip from the Old Town to Copacabana beach, one of the best in Dubrovnik. Copacabana is perfect for those looking to sunbathe and swim in style. The onsite restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus cocktails - delivery to your sunlounger included. Copacabana's beach bars offer some of Croatia's best wines, which you can sip while enjoying a seaside massage. This family friendly beach also offers paddle boarding, watersports and inflatables. 

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Split
© Peter Wendt

Shop your way through the city

Shopping Markets and fairs Dubrovnik

A fantastic place to pick up your beach picnic contents is Gundulićeva Poljana Market, a popular open-air marketplace located on Gundulić square in the heart of the Old Town. Its main stars are fresh, locally grown fruits and veggies, but you'll also find many other delicacies: nuts, olive oil, lavender, honey, traditional spirits and more. Don't miss the statue of Ivan Gundulić overlooking the square. A three-minute walk north of the market, continue your shopping in style at chic boutique Maria store.

St Blaise's Church
© Roman Babakin

See the city patron's church

Attractions Religious buildings and sites Dubrovnik

Visitors to Dubrovnik make a beeline for the 18th-century Chuch of St. Blaise, with good reason - this baroque masterpiece is one of the city's most attractive sights. Its namesake is the patron saint of Dubrovnik, which gives an idea of how important it is to the city. Special events often take place just outside its doors in the elegant surrrounding square called Luža.  

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Franciscan Monastery/Old Pharmacy Museum
© Vanda Vucicevic / Time Out Croatia

Visit one of Europe's oldest pharmacies

Museums Science and technology Dubrovnik

One of the oldest pharmacies (possibly even the oldest) in Europe is, quite remarkably, still a working shop. It sits inside the complex of the Franciscan monastery where beautiful cloisters lead you to the Old Pharmacy Museum by way of a pretty courtyard. In the museum, you'll find historic grinders and implements used during the Ragusan era.

House of Marin Držić
© House of Marin Držić

Enjoy the House of Marin Držić

Attractions Historic buildings and sites Dubrovnik

Marin Držić is remembered as one of the greatest Renaissance-era Croatian playrights. This theatrical museum dedicated to him was set up in the 1990s. It presents the life and works of Marin Držić through a series of models and mock-ups. Non-Croatian-speaking visitors can experience the museum with the help of an audio guide. 

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