Nothing can prepare you for your first introduction to the city of Dubrovnik. Located about 200 km south of Split, this old town has an impressive position on the coast. It is also one of the best-preserved medieval walled cities in the world.
The massive stone ramparts and fortified towers meander around the small harbour, with orange roof tiles, copper domes, and elegant bell towers. Whether you look at the city from the cable car, a kayak at sea, or from the road leading out of the city, the city continues to impress and you can fully imagine what it looked like seven centuries ago when the city walls were built.
A piece of history
In the 7th century A.D., the inhabitants fled from the Roman city of Epidaurum and founded a new settlement on a small rocky island, which they called Laus (and later Ragusa). On the mainland opposite the island, the Slavic settlement of Dubrovnik grew. In the 12th century, the narrow canal between the two settlements was filled (which is now the main street through the old town), and Ragusa and Dubrovnik became one.
Fortress Wall Dubrovnik
The city was surrounded by defensive walls in the 13th century, and these were fortified with towers and bastions in the late 15th century. In this period the city flourished as a powerful and mundane independent republic. At the beginning of the 19th century, the republic came into the hands of Napoleon and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
One hundred years later, as part of Yugoslavia, the city became a popular tourist destination, which was, however, heavily besieged during the war of independence. Fortunately, thanks to careful restoration, few traces of damage are visible. In contrast, Dubrovnik is still a gorgeous city and a must to visit!
Main street Stradun, Dubrovnik
Stroll through the cobbled main street Stradun, visit the cathedral and the Franciscan monastery in the old town and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere in the port Gruž. A must when you visit Dubrovnik is a walk over the beautiful almost 2 kilometer long city wall. The view over the maze of medieval streets as well as the Adriatic Sea are breathtaking.
Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones fans will probably know that the city wall was one of the locations where this popular fantasy television series was shot. Imagine how these walls were attacked by the Baratheons and visit Lovrijenac, the 11th century castle high above the sea (see 2nd photo above), where the battle scenes were recorded for the battle of Blackwater Bay. However, you don’t have to be a Game of Thrones fan to be impressed by these historical sights.
When you walk through the old town of Dubrovnik you get the feeling of going back in time, long gone by romans and knights who have walked here in the narrow alleys, and over the beautiful large cream-colored marble stones that built the city. By the way, did you know that Dubrovnik is also called the “city of the stairs“?
Because the city is built on a hill, this should not come as a surprise, in the old city alone there are more than 4,000 steps! The steps certainly belong to the charm of Dubrovnik. However, if you’re travelling with small children, it’s wise to carry your little one in a baby carrier, because all these steps make a trip through the city with the stroller difficult.
Where to sleep in Dubrovnik?
We slept in the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera hotel less than a 10 minute drive to the parking garage of the old town. Dubrovnik is so popular and crowded during high summer, that I can recommend you to find a hotel outside the city where you can easily park your car and where you can unwind from the hustle and bustle of this impressive city.
5 star hotel Sheraton Dubrovnik
The Sheraton Dubrovnik hotel is located in a beautiful bay on the beach of Mlini. The hotel lies next to a small promenade where you will find numerous cosy and small-scale bars. On the beach, families gather every evening with children to play on the waterfront.
It is all very cozy and if you like peace and quiet you can retreat by the pool where only guests of the Sheraton may come. There is a relaxed atmosphere in the bay and you can also take a nice walk with your stroller when you walk up the left.
The hotel has different types of rooms and are all spacious. We got the Twin Deluxe room with a separate room for Sofie. Upon arrival the baby cot bed was already in the room and she slept in it wonderfully. Believe me, if the baby sleeps well you are happy 🙂
The hotel also has a buffet restaurant with a beautiful outdoor terrace and a spa. In the spa you can also use the sauna or the indoor pool. The hotel also has apartments at its disposal. Within a 5-minute walk down to the main road you will find a large shopping centre where you can enjoy shopping.
In the end we were very happy that we chose the Sheraton. By car you can easily reach Dubrovnik and the route along the coast to the old town is really beautiful with a panoramic view. The service of the 5 star hotel is very good and I found the lady at the reception extremely friendly. You feel welcome right away.
The hotel is situated in a very beautiful bay which immediately gives you the ultimate holiday feeling. Besides that, everyone was super friendly to Sofie and as a parent I think it is important that the hotel is child friendly. Also for couples it is a very nice and luxurious hotel for a nice city trip to Dubrovnik. Be on time with booking because the hotel is popular and when we left in low season (end of June) it was already fully booked.