What’s the big deal about City Walls, right? They’re just walls. But in a medieval city like Dubrovnik, the City Walls are so much more. They’re protection from the sea, a view point to see who or what is coming, a defense against invading forces.
Today, though, they’re the #1 tourist attraction for Dubrovnik, the most Instagrammable place in town, and the most beautiful viewpoints to take in the Old City, Adriatic Sea, and nearby forts and islands. So, since this should definitely be on your “must go” list, here is your ultimate guide for what to see and do on the Dubrovnik Old City Walls!
Here are the things you need to know to plan your visit to the City Walls.
The price to visit the City Walls is 250 kn, or €33.22 ($32.57). Please note that Croatia will start using only the Euro as of early 2023!
It’s worth mentioning that this is also the cost for the Dubrovnik Pass, which includes admission to the Maritime Museum in the City Walls, nearby Fort Lovrijenac, as well as other popular sites around the Old Town. I recommend purchasing the 1-day Dubrovnik Pass, even if you only intend to visit the City Walls. You might want to take advantage of the other included sites after all.
Distance and Time
The City Walls outline the entire Old City of Dubrovnik. That sounds like an awful lot, but it’s a small city! The distance around is just 1.5 miles, or 2.4 kilometers. If you are walking at a leisurely pace and stopping periodically to take in the views or take photos, the walk should take you about 2 hours. If you stop for a meal or spend extra time in the Maritime Museum, your visit may take a bit longer.
More here: What to Know Before You Visit Dubrovnik
Visitors will have to climb many stairs to access the City Walls (about 3-4 flights’ worth). The path around is relatively smooth most of the way around, but there will be more steps, both up and down, throughout the walk. Wear good shoes!
Also helpful: The Ultimate Guide to Travel and Your Feet
Sites Inside the City Walls
There are several sites on and inside the City Walls—it’s not just a boring walk!
This is the primary reason to visit the City Walls. The views of the Old Town, the Adriatic Sea, Fort Lovrijenac, Mount Srd, and more are absolutely stunning from this perspective. Creating multiple viewpoints is also one of the original purposes of the historic City Walls. In order to create an effective defense, soldiers have to be able to see who—or what—is coming! Today we appreciate the views for different reasons.
St. John’s Fortress and Maritime Museum
Did you know there are forts built into the City Walls? And did you know that Croatia once had the third largest maritime business in the world, beaten out only by Italy and the Netherlands? It’s true! St. John’s Fortress houses the Maritime Museum, which is full of interesting artifacts (some dating to the first century!), historic maps, and information about Croatia’s seafaring history.
Keep reading: How to Savor Your Travels
There is another fort within the walls. Minceta Fort has the highest vantage point, giving you beautiful views of everything from the Old Town below out to the Adriatic beyond. Don’t miss the climb to the top!
Read next: The Most Epic Landscapes of the World
Periodically throughout the walk, you’ll find locals displaying their work or setting up shop. There is at least one art shop, plus a few other artists selling their paintings of scenes from Dubrovnik outside. There were also local jewelry makers and souvenir sellers along the way, so you may also want to bring some cash to do a little shopping.
Food and Drink
No one wants you to get hangry! If you find yourself feeling peckish, you’ll find a couple of restaurants and gelato spots on the City Walls. It can get quite hot up on top of the City Walls, especially in summer, so a cold beverage may be just the thing to hit the spot! This is the perfect way to fuel your City Wall explorations!
Keep eating: The Best Places to Eat in Dubrovnik
Tips for Your Walk
Everyone’s favorite: Insider tips! Here are the little secrets you usually don’t find out about until you go somewhere. These are the best tips we discovered on our visit.
Start early if possible: The City Walls open everyday of the week at 8:00am, and that will be the least crowded time of the day! We started at 9:00am, and by the time we got half way around, we could tell it was getting quite crowded.
Starting point: Start at Pile Gate, which is the main entrance to the Old City (there are three entry gates total, but this is the primary gate). When you come into Pile Gate, the visitor center is to the right, where you can purchase your Dubrovnik Pass, and the entrance to the City Walls is to the left.
One way only: You can only walk one way around the City Walls. Some portions of the City Walls are too narrow for two-way traffic, and since this is the top attraction for so many visitors, crowd control and foot traffic flow more efficiently going just one-way!
One time deal: Your ticket to the City Walls is good for one entrance. You cannot leave the walls and come back later, nor can you come back a second time once you’ve finished. You can, however, go around again as long as you don’t leave.
Cats: There are lots of cats living on and around the vicinity of the City Walls! Some were friendly while others were a bit skittish. If you’re not a cat person, you’ve been forewarned!
Relief: There are a few FREE public toilets and several benches for resting along the City Walls.
Read next: What to Know Before You Visit Croatia
Need more? Get everything you need to plan your trip on my dedicated Croatia Page!
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