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Get high! Walk the Dubrovnik city walls

Please only travel when and where it’s safe, and follow all local guidelines. Also double-check what's open before your trip.

The best time to enjoy the Dubrovnik wall walk is just before the sun sets,” they say.

True.

And one time – as the setting sun bathed everything in a vivid golden glow – we did stroll atop the massive Dubrovnik city walls that surround the Old City. 

And it was lovely…

Looking down into the Old Town from atop the Dubrovnik city wall
Looking down into the Old Town from atop the Dubrovnik city wall

Dubrovnik wall walk

But we’ve also enjoyed walking the walls of Dubrovnik a couple of times in the morning.

Most recently, we strolled the Dubrovnik city walls while on a luxury Mediterranean cruise with Crystal Cruises.

Walking the walls of Dubrovnik is one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik!
Walking on top of the city walls is one of the best things to do Dubrovnik!

Each time we’ve walked Dubrovnik’s walls, strolling from tower to tower, we’ve gazed down inside the city.

Below us, a treasure trove of Gothic and Renaissance churches, monasteries, Venetian palaces and ornately carved fountains – all crammed together with shuttered apartments, hole-in-the-wall boutiques, and outdoor restaurants and cafés – has been a feast for the eyes.

Old Town of Dubrovnik
Just look at the amazing red rooftops!

It’s a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the people who reside within the wall.

Schoolboys kick soccer balls along narrow cobbled streets. Women hang their laundry in tiny courtyard gardens.

Laundry hanging out the window in Dubrovnik
Signs of everyday life – laundry hanging out to dry

On the other side of the wall, you’ll likely see laughing youths dive off the rocks at the wall’s base into the cobalt-blue sea.

So really, any time is a great time for walking the wall in Dubrovnik!

You get a unique perspective of the Old Town when walking the Dubrovnik city walls
You get a unique perspective of the Old Town when walking the Dubrovnik city walls

When deciding what to do in Dubrovnik, you won’t lack for options.

In the city, you can enjoy everything from riding the Dubrovnik cable car up Mount Srd to swimming at a Dubrovnik beach.

As for the best day trips from Dubrovnik, you can swim and kayak in the beautiful Elaphiti Islands or take the ferry to Korcula.

Whatever your plans, just be sure you put walking the Dubrovnik wall high on your list of things to do in Dubrovnik!

Get some exercise - and see Dubrovnik Old Town too!
Get some exercise – and see Dubrovnik Old Town too!

Ancient city walls of Dubrovnik

The walls you see today were built mainly during the 12th to the 17th centuries to protect the city from attack.

The whole length is about 1-and-1/4 miles (encircling most of the old city). Some parts are as high as 83 feet.

Pile Gate, Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik wall walk
Take your time walking the Dubrovnik city walls – there’s lots to see!

There are three entrances to the Dubrovnik city walls – one at Pile Gate, one at Ploce Gate (near the Dominican Monastery) and one close to the Maritime Museum at Fort St. John.

Most visitors enter the fortified Old City – designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site – through the drawbridge over the 15th century Pile Gate (or Vrata od Pila). 

The Pile Gate entrance to the walls is thus a convenient one. You have a steep flight of stairs to climb to reach the top of the wall.

Old Town of Dubrovnik
The Old Town of Dubrovnik is a photographer’s dream!

When you’ve finished your Dubrovnik city walls walk, you can exit the walls and enter Dubrovnik Old Town through this gate.

Allow two hours to walk the wall if it’s your first time.

While you can do it in an hour, you’ll likely be so blown away by the views that you’ll be stopping to take photos every few feet – and you really want time to take it all in.

There's so much to photograph on the Dubrovnik Old Town wall walk.
There’s so much to photograph on the Dubrovnik Old Town wall walk

Dubrovnik Old Town

Walking the Dubrovnik city walls is one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik!
Walking the Dubrovnik city walls is one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik!

Those who seek paradise on earth should come to Dubrovnik,” raved playwright George Bernard Shaw upon visiting the city in 1929.

Other Croatian cities, like Split, are gems too.

Take a peek at Split: Read about exploring Diocletian’s Palace – it’s a walled wonder!

Dubrovnik Old Town roof tiles
A close-up view of the thick roof tiles

But Dubrovnik – especially the Old Town – deserves its reputation as the “Pearl of the Adriatic.”

Are you a fan of the medieval series Game of Thrones? Then you know Dubrovnik was the film site for the King’s Landing. You may be interested in a Game of Thrones Dubrovnik walking tour.

Or you can simply stroll about on your own.

Dubrovnik Old Town is compact enough that you won’t get lost.

And because vehicles aren’t allowed inside, you can walk the marble-paved streets and alleyways without fear of being mowed down by a scooter or car.

View of Stradun, Dubrovnik
People walk freely about in the Old Town, without worrying about car traffic

Franciscan Monastery:

Among the many historic buildings you can tour is the Franciscan Monastery.

In the gardened cloister, a pharmacy dating back to 1317 – the third oldest in Europe – still operates.

It’s also a museum. On display are the ceramic bowls, metal instruments, and mortar and pestle sets, used by the monks to prepare medicines.

Dubrovnik Cathedral:

Dubrovnik Cathedral
The dome of the Dubrovnik Cathedral rises elegantly above the skyline

Another beautiful sight is the present-day 18th century cathedral. (An earlier one, destroyed by an earthquake, was said to have been financed by King Richard the Lionheart.)

Inside, you can see gold and silver reliquaries.

War Photo Limited:

Throughout the city, occasional pockmarks on houses and patched roofs remind you of the bombing the city received in the early 1990’s by the Yugoslavian army.

The Croatian war ended in 1995, and today the city has been virtually restored.

Old wars, new wars – a canon serves as a reminder…

If you’re interested in the Croatia’s complex relationships with its neighbors, visit the museum of war photos called War Photo Limited.

We found it a very moving experience. 

Dubrovnik Summer Festival

If you plan your trip between July 10 and August 25, you’ll catch the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, founded in 1950.

Held each year, the 45-day event is filled with more than 70 ballets, operas, poetry readings, theater shows and concerts. 

Walls of Dubrovnik – let’s do it again!

The next time we visit the Old Town of Dubrovnik, no doubt we’ll stroll the Stradun (the main marble-paved street) again.

And we’ll probably check out more shops. Maybe we’ll even go for a swim at Banje Beach.

For sure, we’ll plonk ourselves down at an outdoor café for more cappuccinos (maybe more cake too!).

But we’ll also walk the walls of Dubrovnik again. 

Plenty of outdoor cafes in the Old Town are good spots for taking a break

Practical information

Walking the Dubrovnik city walls:

It’s #1 on the list of top things to do in Dubrovnik. SeeTripAdvisor reviews.

Opening Hours:

Summer: June and July, 8:00 am to 7:30 pm; closing earlier (between 5:30 and 7:30 pm other months from April to October)

Winter: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Dubrovnik city walls cost:

200 Croatian kunas per adult (or $30 USD); free if you have the Dubrovnik City Card, which costs about $25 USD p.p. You can only pay cash in kuna or use a credit card.

One way:

To walk the medieval walls of Dubrovnik, you must walk in one direction, anti-clockwise. No going against the flow!

Taking a break:

There are several cafés along the way where you can sit in the shade with a coffee or cold drink.

What to bring:

If visiting in summer, take a bottle of water with you – it can get hot up there on the wall! (We like this collapsible travel water bottle.) Wear a hat too. And your feet will thank you if you wear comfy shoes or travel sandals.

For more Dubrovnik tourist information:

See the Dubrovnik Tourist Board website.

Have you walked the ancient city walls of Dubrovnik?

Let us know. You can share your thoughts in the Comments below.

Dubrovnik guides to read

You may find these Croatia and Dubrovnik travel guides (available on Amazon) useful. (As an Amazon associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.)

Craving more Europe travel inspiration!

Read our posts on:

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Mallorca | Hiking the oh-so-picturesque countryside? Swimming at ravishing beach coves? Touring manor houses oozing with history? Check out these 30 delightful things to do in Mallorca.

Baden-Baden | There’s an art to bathing naked at the Friedrichsbad! Think 17 stages of bathing pleasure.


Photo credits: © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase (except lead image)



About the authors:

Janice and George Mucalov

Luxury travel journalists and SATW, NATJA and TMAC “Best Travel Blog” award winners, Janice and George are the publishers of Sand In My Suitcase. Between them, they’ve traveled to all 7 continents.

Find destination guides, global food-and-wine stories, luxury hotel reviews, articles on cultural explorations and soft adventure trips, cruise reviews and information, insanely useful travel tips and more!

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Dani B

Friday 17th of October 2014

I have travelled to Croatia on a number of occasions as I first fell in love with the place when I was just 23 and on my first (old enough to remember) European trip. I was in awe of its authenticity and beauty. It is the one place in Europe where you feel like you have stepped into a time warp and gone back into a medieval paradise. It's so beautiful. I just used to stand there and gaze in the distance and think to myself - how is it possible that something is so beautiful. If you want to visit beautiful smaller places here are my recommendations- GOOGLE them. Porec, Rovinj, Motovun and Bale (in Istria); the islands of Losinj, Rab and Cres; Zadar, Sibenik and Vodice (and drive to Island Murter and visit Betina, Murter and Tisno via Tribunj). Also stop at Skradin (Bill Gates' favourite) and visit Krka Waterfalls and on your way to Split stop in Primosten (stunning). In Southern Dalmatia one cannot miss Trogir, Hvar, Korcula and my favourite southern Island of Vis and also Mljet and Lastovo Island. Then as you head towards Dubrovnik by car you must stop in Makarska or anywhere along the Makarska Riviera - all its towns are beautiful (Brela and Punta Rata, Tucepi village...). Apart from the obvious, Croatia has way too much to see. I say for a small country in size, per capita, it has the highest density of beauty and things to see of any European country. One Secret spot which I will let you in on that you will all thank me for is a Town 40 mins outside the Plitvice Lakes where everyone should at least have dinner or base themselves when visiting the famous lakes. This place is called RASTOKE- a village built on Waterfalls - A hidden Gem.

Janice and George

Saturday 18th of October 2014

Wow! Thanks for the detailed suggestions! We too especially love Croatia. We've traveled beyond Dubrovnik but could return to the country in a heartbeat. We have really fond memories of swimming off Mali Losinj and strolling the streets of Korcula and Trogir. But you've suggested some places we haven't visited - you make us want to return to Croatia and check them out personally :-).

Nat

Sunday 20th of July 2014

So beautiful, I do hope we get there some day. Thanks for sharing.

Frank

Sunday 20th of July 2014

Lovely post about Dubrovnik, guys! We too love to walk the walls and to watch the everyday life of its residents from above. Dubrovnik is a really inspirational city and one of a kind. Thanks so much for sharing. Next time in Croatia, drop us a line, and we'll be happy to meet you and show you around.

Suki F

Friday 18th of July 2014

What a gorgeous place! I loved your photos.

Donna Janke

Friday 18th of July 2014

I haven't visited Dubrovnik, but it's beautiful. I love the red tiled roofs.