Dubrovnik (and also Croatia) has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe in recent years.
This has also been encouraged by being a regular stopover on cruises that cruise the Adriatic Sea .
And it was during a cruise last summer that I had the opportunity to discover Dubrovnik .
In fact this destination was one of the main attractions of the cruise Rondo Venetian Pullmantur that includes other major destinations such as Venice and Athens .
During this cruise I also had the opportunity to visit another Croatian city, Sibenik , on a trip made during the stopover in Zadar .
While in several of the scales of this cruise we have chosen to sign up for a trip to some place around them, not knowing yet Dubrovnik we opted for one of the guided tours that Pullmantur offers to visit the very tourist city of Adriatic coast.
And in the face of the visit, there were two factors that initially aroused our interest.
As always when you visit a destination with great tourist fame, first of all verify that you were not going to let us down, and I tell you that it has been so, because it is a wonderful corner of the coast with an incredible history.
And linked to that, given that our trip was at the end of July in the middle of the tourist season, we had the fear that the level of saturation of tourists was really unbearable … but the truth is that it has not been like that.
I always commented that it is easy to understand that destinations such as Venice , also on the same route as the cruise, are really saturated with tourists given its wonderful appeal.
In the case of Dubrovnik, it is true that in the summer there are really many tourists, but it is a city whose historic center is easy to visit.
In addition, in our case, the Pullmantur cruise took place in port at 7 o’clock in the morning, so at 8 o’clock we were already starting our private guided tour of Dubrovnik .
In this way, in the early hours of the morning, it was really nice to walk around the historic Croatian city.
And only at the last minute of the same really we noticed the accumulation of tourists, and when at 15 o’clock we had to return to the ship to continue with the route on the ship.
Therefore, in Dubrovnik we had a seven-hour stay, time that I assure you is enough to know the most outstanding corners of the city and live its environment.
Curiosities history of Dubrovnik
The first thing you should know about Dubrovnik is that it is a city that has had great strength throughout history.
It was founded in the seventh century by a group of Romans who fled the advance of the Slavs who invaded the Balkan peninsula.
This small town, located on an island that was initially linked to the mainland by a bridge, was officially known as Ragusa .
Its walls began to be built in the 11th century, and the fortification was extended during the following seven centuries.
During 150 years, and until 1358, Ragusa was under the dominion of the Republic of Venice , but in that year it reached the independence with the denomination of Republic of Ragusa .
From that year, the Romanized Ragusa , which was already known as Dubrovnik by the Slavs that surrounded it, not to be invaded maintained a special status with the Ottomans, who did not go beyond what is now Herzegovina.
In those centuries Ragusa had a huge commercial boom and seafaring activity with a fleet that reached over 200 boats, becoming one of the richest republics in the world.
It was a very advanced society, where the first orphanage in Europe was founded, and where slavery was eliminated in the sixteenth century.
But in April of 1667 Ragusa suffered a great earthquake that destroyed the city almost completely, so that it was repopulated by the Slavs of the interior.
By Dubrovnik , as from then on it was already better known, also Napoleonand then the Austro-Hungarians.
It was already during the sovereignty of the former Yugoslavia when its tourist peak began.
But the dismemberment in 1991 of the Soviet-influenced republic, and the movement that finally led to the independence of Croatia , led to an incredible war.
It is incredible that at the end of the 20th century, just 25 years ago, the already very tourist city of Dubrovnik was besieged from the surrounding mountains for six months by the Serbian and Montenegrin troops.
During this siege, numerous bombardments were carried out on the city, what is certain that now when you visit it, you will hardly be able to see vestiges.
What to see in Dubrovnik in a day
You should know that when you go to visit Dubrovnik on a cruise , the port is just three kilometers from the city, so you will get there quickly.
But the ideal is to be able to previously have panoramic views of the city from the road that surrounds it high up in the mountains.
Viewpoints of Dubrovnik
From there you will see its strategic location on the shores of the Adriatic Seaand at the foot of the steep mountains of San Sergio where there are extensive oak forests.
You will also see what is the configuration of Dubrovnik , with the Old Citysurrounded by a walled enclosure of almost two kilometers in length, and with the port to good protection.
If you are passionate about Game of Thrones you will know that the main stages of the capital of the fictitious kingdom of this series are located in Dubrovnik .
So, before entering the Old City you can go to the corner next to the wall from where you can see Fort Lovrijenac .
Also known as Fortaleza de San Lorenzo , said fort goes back to the 11th century and is located on a cliff and from where the ancient Ragusa wanted to protect itself from the attack of the Venetians.
For the visit of Dubrovnik you will enter through the door of Pile (or door of San Blas ) and in front of you you will find the long street that crosses the mentioned Old City until the other door that gives to the port, which was an old shipyard.
Parallel to this street are several very narrow streets, with steep alleyways perpendicular to the interior, with steps that rise towards the wall.
Monastery of the Dominicans
On the walk through Dubrovnik you can see several monuments, such as the monastery of the Dominicans , from 1268, where you can visit the cloister and a museum with works of medieval artists from the area.
Cathedral of the Assumption
Another outstanding monument is the Cathedral of the Assumption , which occupies the space where in the 6th century there was a first Byzantine church,
This church in the 12th century was replaced by a Romanesque building, and in the 18th century by the current Baroque building.
For its part, in the Plaza Mayor will draw your attention in the Governor’s Palace .
Throughout your tour you will find a great tourist environment, which on the most vacation dates and at certain times I do not hide that you can find something overwhelming.
How to climb the Dubrovnik wall
Of course, the highlight of Dubrovnik is undoubtedly its wall , so a walk through it becomes essential.
I anticipate that if you wish, you can go around the Old City up and down the different sections of the fortification and its towers.
If you are somewhat hurried about time, as it can happen if you visit the city with a cruise, the essential thing is to make the journey through the interior section, since from there you will also see the Old City at your feet.
To climb the walls of Dubrovnik you can do it by the two accesses next to the two main doors of the city.
The entrance price is 150 kuno, 21.50 euros.
Guided tours in Dubrovnik
In the face of your visit to this beautiful city during a stopover on the Pullmantur cruise , you have an offer of several guided tours of it.
So, from the walk through the historic Dubrovnik , in which for five hours you will delve into the most outstanding corners of the Old City , to the excursion that combines this tour with a pleasure boat cruise to see the city from the sea.
In Dubrovnik you also have more thematic visits, such as the one that focuses on the walk through its walls, or the one that follows the route of the most outstanding scenarios where the popular series of Trono s has been shot .
Enjoy Dubrovnik !
How to get to Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is located on the Adriatic coast, in the Dalmatian region of Croatia.
The enclave is a land language by the sea surrounded by the borders of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro, and geographically isolated from the rest of Croatia.