Dubrovnik + The Dalmatian Coast

Things to do in Dubrovnik + The Dalmatian Coast

Between the two regions, Dubrovnik and the Dalmatian Coast offer an endless parade of historic sights, sweeping panoramic views and cultural curiosities sure to satisfy the most cosmopolitan traveler. Any list of things to do in Dubrovnik should include a tour of the magnificent city walls, built between the 13th and 15th centuries to protect the city’s residents from the Ottoman Turks. Other can’t-miss historic sights include Pile Gate, the 16th-century gateway to the city, guarded by the statue of St. Blaise, Dubrovnik’s patron saint; the Franciscan Monastery & Museum, which preserves the ruined doorway of a once-majestic monastery destroyed in the 17th century, as well as a lushly landscaped, mid-14th century cloister; and the Gothic-Renaissance Rector’s Palace, renown for its incredible sculptural ornamentation. For awe-inspiring aerial views of Dubrovnik, take the cable car from north of the city walls to the summit of Mt Srđ. It overlooks the terracotta rooftops of the old town, the sparkling waters of the Adriatic, and the Elfati and Lokrum islands.

Travelers looking for things to do on the Dalmatian Coast should take advantage of the region’s gorgeous lakes and parks. Plitvice National Park, a World Heritage site, encompasses 16 beautiful lakes connected by waterfalls and cascades, as well as the reed-bordered Lake Visovac and Skradinski Buk, the park’s largest waterfall. Visitors to the Dalmatian Coast should also soak in the region’s religious history. Storied cathedrals and churches in the area include the Cathedral of St. James, the Church of St. Donat, and St. Simeon’s Church.

Stop by this outdoor club, especially during July when it hosts an annual music festival.

This gallery and gift shop near the Dominican monastery sells Croatian art and a wide selection of wines from the nearby Peljesac peninsula.

For romantic views and convenient island-hopping, take the ferry one way down the coast (anywhere from 7 to 11 hours between Dubrovnik and Split), but for speed (and minor savings), ride the bus back in 4.5 hours.

Dubrovnik is not the place for cutting-edge clothing and furniture boutiques, but Old Town is home to a handful of quirky stores—and a thriving gallery scene.

Every old city in Europe has an Old City historic district—but Split has the only downtown actually carved from the carcass of an ancient Roman palace. When the emperor Diocletian split the Roman Empire in A.D.

With Cuban cigars and an open-air patio that evoke a Caribbean atmosphere, this Bojnice cocktail bar is situated in bustling Hubanovo Square.

The lush courtyard inside the sprawling Gothic-Renaissance building hosts art exhibitions and the occasional concert. The state archives are also housed here, as is a memorial to the Croats who were killed in the 1991–1992 siege of Dubrovnik.

This massive nightclub resides near the harbor on Croatia’s Hvar Island and takes on different personalities throughout the day. When the sun’s out, people lounge by the edge of azure waters, bring out boats, and relax.

Located on Croatia's Brac Island, Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn) Beach takes its moniker from the cone-shaped, white-pebble beach that measures out to about 520 meters along the southern coast of Bol, an island just off the mainland of Croatia.

South of Luza Square is the former castle that now houses the Museum of Dubrovnik, which has artifacts—including old coins and furnishings—from the city's illustrious past.

Spot this popular bar in historic Groda, the city’s oldest neighborhood that centers on Svetog Stjepana (St. Stephen) Square, thanks to the all-white laundry and lanterns hanging outside.

A must see for anyone's Croatia itinerary, this fourth-century palace is magnificent.

A massive renovation in the past several years has made the neo-Renaissance building near Banja beach the best place to gain perspective on Croatia's unique 19th-century artists; it houses more than 2,000 works by native painters and sculptors.

This Hvar bar, restaurant, and lounge fronts the beach, where during the day visitors relax by sunbathing, swimming, and diving. More proactive guests opt for beach volleyball or a spa treatment in a palm-leaf-roofed bamboo hut.

A two-hour ferry ride from Split, Hvar has medieval hilltop monasteries.