The hyperbole about Dubrovnik’s Old Town is entirely justified. The gleaming stone buildings, red-tiled roofs and steep, narrow passageways make it staggeringly picturesque. The further away from the main street – Stradun – you go, the more interesting the finds.
The Old Town is packaged up by the city walls. A full circuit of the ramparts clocks in at just under one-and-ahalf miles. It’s all about the views, but it’s the details you notice on the way – such as rooftop basketball courts and nuns unwinding hoses inside the convent – that bring it to life.
The best views of Dubrovnik don’t come from inside the Old Town – they come from the mountain looming over it. Ascend in the cable car and walk down the winding rocky path to sample the majesty of the setting at its best.
The Rector’s Palace
When Dubrovnik was an independent republic, the Rector’s Palace was the seat of power. Today it’s a mish-mash of grand rooms, old furniture, temporary exhibitions and former jail cells.
A 15-minute ferry hop over the water from the Old Town’s harbour, Lokrum is the perfect escape from the crowded city. It’s a chilled-out island, ideally suited to a lazy walk, a tour of the 11th century monastery, and a leisurely swim. The latter can be undertaken from the beach, in a picturesque saltwater lake or off the rocks at the far side of the island where the nude bathers hang out.
Elafiti Islands Cruise
Island life is much slower, as becomes abundantly clear on Koločep, Lopud and Šipan. Numerous operators offer day cruises to all three, and you only need to walk 300ft or so from the jetties to find hillside walking trails, old churches and semi-ruined stone fortresses. When the sun’s out, they’re as close to the peaceful Mediterranean dream as you’re probably ever going to find.
Sebastian Art Gallery
Savour authentic Croatian art in the old church of St. Sebastian dating from 1469. The Sebastian Gallery and Art Shop are part of the Dominican Monastery which makes it convenient for tourists to visit both of these unique locations. The gallery features exhibitions of famous Croatian artists and designers such as Dimitrije Popović, Josip Trostmann, Đuro Pulitika, Oton Gliha, Mersad Berber and many others. Local artists love to exhibit in the gallery due to its fine reputation and long tradition. Art shop features a spectacular collection of handmade items which can be packed and internationally shipped. Definitely worth a visit. Entrance is free of charge.