Why Dubrovnik Needs to Go on Your Bucket List NOW

posted in: City Guides, Croatia, Europe, Travel | 19

Have you ever read a book or watched a movie and thought, “How creative! Where do they come up with this stuff?” Well, we figured it out. It’s not a figment of their imagination, they visited Dubrovnik, Croatia!

Nestled in the Republic of Croatia’s southernmost region, Dubrovnik is sheltered by stone walls, jagged rock cliffs, and the clear blue waters of the Adriatic Sea. Walking around the labyrinth of alleys that make up this medieval city, you will encounter marble paths, ornate fountains, inviting restaurants and shops, remarkable forts, and century-old cathedrals.

“Those who seek paradise on earth should come to Dubrovnik.” ~Bernard Shaw

Adriatic Sea

Dubrovnik, Croatia needs to be on your bucket list, and here’s why:


Step back in time and stroll through one of the best-preserved walled cities in the world. Its charm and enchantment are overwhelming: striking forts, imposing towers, marbled paved streets, intriguing palaces, and gated entrances with draw bridges. It’s no wonder Game of Thrones uses Dubrovnik as its backdrop for King’s Landing!


It’s not a surprise that Dubrovnik, saturated with history and cultural significance is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

From the World Heritage inscription: The ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’, situated on the Dalmatian coast, became an important Mediterranean sea power from the 13th century onwards. Although severely damaged by an earthquake in 1667, Dubrovnik managed to preserve its beautiful Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, monasteries, palaces and fountains. Damaged again in the 1990s by armed conflict, it is now the focus of a major restoration program coordinated by UNESCO.

Dubrovnik Old Town

Visiting other parts of Croatia? Check out this Split Itinerary!


Dubrovnik is enhanced with a blaze of sapphire as it is set on the shores of the beautiful Adriatic Sea. Its crystal-clear water provides a perfect spot for swimming, kayaking, fishing, snorkeling or sailing. Cliff diving is another fun activity to watch or do yourself. Etched into the side of the cliff is Buza Bar which means hole-in-the-wall. You literally have to go through the city wall to get there. It is the perfect setting to catch a few daredevils making the high jump and watch the sun go down.

Dang in Dubrovnik


Everyone in Dubrovnik is friendly and willing to carry on a conversation. Learn about the history of the city by talking with locals or ask advice on where to go next from waitstaff.

Meet Niko! He was our waiter at Bona Fide, a restaurant just off the beaten path in the heart of Dubrovnik with wonderful food and drink specials. We stopped in for a quick drink during lunch and ended up coming back for dinner because of his welcoming and patient attitude. He answered all of our annoying questions and was super helpful.

Bona Fide Restaurant


The Croatian greeting and mantra, pomalo, means take it easy, relax. As the sun sets, the lanterns turn on and the restaurant and café tables fill up with people. Wine is shared along with stories and laughter. There is no rush, it seems time does not exist in Dubrovnik.



Marvel at the golden sun melting into the horizon at dusk. It will take your breath away as you soak up the ambiance of Dubrovnik’s picturesque setting.

Sunset from Buza Bar



Start your day early with a walk around the city walls. It has very little shade so it is a must to get out early to explore. It provides the best views and will give you an idea of what to look forward to later in the day. Enter the walls in 3 locations – on the Stradun by Pile Gate (which is the first thing you will see if dropped off by bus or taxi), by Fort Saint John, and by the Custom House Gate.

City Walls Around Old Town


Pile Gate, the grand entrance built in 1537, is on the western side of town consisting of two gated archways connected by a stone bridge over a moat. The patron saint of the city, St. Blaise, welcomes you to the main street from above as you walk through. The impressive Ploce Gate, built in 1449-50, is on the eastern side of town and also has a draw bridge and statue of the patron saint.

Piles Gate


The Fort of St. Lawrence, often called “Dubrovnik’s Gibraltar,” is an 11th century fortress that lies outside the western wall of Old Town. The Venetians tried to claim the spot and erect a fortress of their own, but Dubrovnik outmaneuvered them and made one first. The inscription “Non Bene Pro Toto Libertas Venditur Auro” (“Freedom cannot be sold for all the gold of the world”) is a reminder of how vital the fortress was in defending the city.

Fort Lovrijenac


The Stradun promenade, called Placa Street by the Croatians, is the main street of town. It runs east and west with the Pile Gate at the start of the west side and the bell tower and square on the east. The lustrous marbled street is so smooth and shiny it’s almost as if someone buffed each individual stone.

Stradun Promenade

Stradun Promenade


The fort was crucial in the defense of Pile Gate. Its main goal was to protect the gate bridge and the ditch from invaders. It provides splendid views of Fort Lovrijenac with a small harbor in between and also of the vast Adriatic Sea.

Fort Bokar


The Dubrovnik people were so thankful that they were spared during the 1520 earthquake, they immediately build the St. Saviour Church in gratitude. You’ll find this Renaissance masterpiece near the Pile Gate on the west side of town.

St. Savior Church


Located next to the Pile Gate and across from St. Saviour Church is the unique fountain of Onofrio. It has stone carved masks with gushing water that runs out of their mouths. It was built in the fifteenth century and was part of a larger water supply system to provide drinking water to Dubrovnik’s citizens.

Onofrio Fountain


The church symbolizes St. Blaise’s salvation of the city from the Venetians. He is considered the protector and patron saint of Dubrovnik. In February every year, the town throws a massive celebration in his name with festivities that begin with a dove release and a procession of relics including the head, right hand, foot, and throat of Saint Blaise.

Church of St. Blaise

Dubrovnik is one of the most magical towns we have visited. It definitely needs to go on your bucket list as soon as possible!

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Why Dubrovnik needs to go on your bucket list now!

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Angela E. is a travel writer from the Chicagoland area who has visited all 50 states in the US and has traveled extensively around the world. She is passionate about exploring the great outdoors and hiking in particular. Her love for nature has taken her to some of the most beautiful locations on the planet. She has written extensively about her travels on her own website, Dang Travelers, and has been published in collaboration with other travel websites and multiple visitor bureaus around the country.

19 Responses

  1. Chris travels

    Yes, I’ve been to Dubrovnik and absolutely loved it! It was one of my very favorite destinations of all time! Your pictures and commentary covered the full spectrum of what this wonderful magical place has to offer. I especially enjoyed the short video of the two crazy people you caught jumping 40+ feet off the cliff at sunset! They must be fearless indeed! 😉

  2. Travel Griz

    I haven’t been but yes it’s on my list!!

    Everytime I see posts about Dubrovnik I want go even more… Need to convince my fiance after seeing your pics that this should be part of our honeymoon. Question for you where did you stay at? I know it’s ideal to stay within the walls but there are more options outside of it. Also did you make it to Montenegro? It’s not far and from what I’ve seen just as beautiful and a little bit quieter too.

    • Dang Travelers

      You definitely have to get your fiance on board! Super romantic place for a honeymoon. We stopped there on a Mediterranean cruise and now definitely want to go back. We’ve already been looking up other things in Croatia like the Nat’l Park (it looks beautiful). We didn’t stay overnight since we were on the cruise, but we looked up hotels and airbnb’s and it looks like you could stay for a reasonable price right outside Old Town. Public transportation doesn’t seem to be an issue either. We went to Kotor also (will be posting soon about that one) & it was our 3rd favorite spot. It went Dubrovnik, Santorini then Kotor and so on. They were all great, but if we had to rank them that’s what we were thinking. Congrats on the engagement by the way!

      • Travel Griz

        Haha I will try my best!! I will keep a lookout for your post on Kotor. All those places Dubrovnik, Santorini, and Kotor are on my list. And thank you!!

  3. Nancy

    Dubrovnik is one of the most under rated destinations in Europe. In fact Croatia is one of the most interesting and fun and beautiful places in the world! Love your photo’s!

    • Dang Travelers

      Thanks Nancy! We totally agree. Can’t wait to get back there and spend some quality time exploring.

  4. Cooper Dawson

    Enjoyed reading your post. Dubrovnik is definately on my bucket list. What an enchanting place spend a few weeks or months.

    • Dang Travelers

      We can’t wait to get back to Croatia and explore for a longer period of time. Dubrovnik was definitely enchanting and magical! We loved the walking the polished marble streets and medieval city walls.

  5. Ninz

    It looks breath taking! My parents visited Dubrovnik last summer and they fell in love. x

    • Dang Travelers

      Thanks Ninz. We fell in love also. Can’t wait to get back to Croatia!

  6. Crazy Travelista

    Love this article!! I agree with everything you said!! Such a beautiful and unique city. Ive been back 4-5 times now and never get sick of it!!! 🙂

    • Dang Travelers

      That’s great! I’m sure you have found new and exciting places each time. We couldn’t get over how gorgeous and culturally enriched the town is!

  7. Daniel

    Croatia is a gem, the islands, waterfall national parks, Mountains emerging from the sea, amazing coves and beaches, and historical cities unlike many in Europe. I think it should be on everyone’s list. I’ve now visited 3 times from Australia as got totally addicted to the place. Island Hvar,Vis, Brac, Murter and the Kornati archipelago, Sibenik, Plitvice and Krka National Parks, Rastoke, Rovinj, island of Losinj, Split, Makarska Riviera. You seriously need at least 3 weeks to see this place.

    • Dang Travelers

      3 weeks at least! I’d love to go for a couple of months and take our time wandering around. I’ve heard from many travel bloggers that it is their favorite country in Europe.

  8. Marya

    i am obsessed with croatia for absolutely a silly reason, but this country has been on my wishlist ever since i was 11. so many requirements to visit this country for my passport, and i’m too broke to get the whole requirements checked, so hopefully one day i will get to visit this beautiful place! 🙂

    • Dang Travelers

      I hope you make it there soon Marya! It is definitely a bucket list type place. We would love to explore more of Croatia. I’ve read that it is an amazing country.

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