1. Walk the city walls
It’s an obvious place to start, but you’d kick yourself if you missed the chance to walk the 1.75 mile-long medieval and Renaissance walls that encircle the Old Town. Get captivating glimpses of Dubrovnik daily life – tiny gardens, rooftop terraces, school playgrounds – as well as its sturdy stone towers and mesmerising views of the Adriatic.
The details: wallsofdubrovnik.com
2. Visit the Red History Museum
Mixing an element of kitsch with deadly seriousness about the reality of life in Tito’s Yugoslavia, the Red History Museum takes you on an interactive journey through the decades from 1945 to the 1980s, when Yugoslavia began to fall apart. It’s entertaining and thought-provoking, and the adjoining café and cultural space show how the neighbourhood of Gruz has become Dubrovnik’s trendiest in the past few years.
The details: redhistorymuseum.com.
3. Take a hike to Park Orsula
You’ll get some of the best views of Dubrovnik from this clifftop park south of the Old Town. Hugging the hillside is an atmospheric stone amphitheatre, where summertime concerts take place from around the middle of June to the end of August. Time your hike – about 40 minutes from the Ploce Gate – for sunset and the vistas will be quite extraordinary.
4. Go to the beach
You don’t have to walk far to dive into the clear blue waters of the Adriatic. Just south of the Old Town is Banje beach, with fabulous views of the city walls and a restaurant and DJ sets if you want to join the night-time party. It’s quieter further south at Sveti Jakob beach (worth the 20-minute) hike, or hire a kayak from Sulić beach just beyond Pile Gate near Fort Lovrijenac. Strike out further north for the family-friendly Lapad Beach and the beaches along the Babin Kuk peninsula. Dubrovnik’s beaches are pebbly, so you might want to bring swimming shoes.
5. Get lost in the Old Town
Dubrovnik’s Unesco-listed Old Town is a marvel of marble car-free streets, narrow lanes and stepped alleyways blended with handsome Renaissance and baroque palaces. Stradun, the marble main thoroughfare, qualifies as one of the world’s most dazzling high streets, topped and tailed by the 14th-century Franciscan monastery and the 16th-century Sponza Palace. Catch a classical concert in the 15th-century gothic-Renaissance Rector’s Palace during the summertime Dubrovnik Festival, or visit the palace’s fascinating Cultural History Museum.
The details: dumus.hr.
6. Ride the Dubrovnik Cable Car
It’s hard to beat the views of Dubrovnik when you ride the cable car 405m to the top of Mount Srd. It takes only four minutes – and you’re very welcome to hike up the zigzagging path for about 50 minutes if you want to save the cash. However you reach the summit, you’ll have the Old Town’s terracotta rooftops to gaze upon, as well as the Adriatic coastline and surrounding mountains of the Dinaric Alps. Stop for a drink at the Panoramic restaurant before heading back down.
The details: dubrovnikcablecar.com, adult round trip from £22, one-way from £12.50.
7. Take a boat to Lokrum
This tiny island – less than a 15-minute boat ride from the Old Town’s port, and only about a mile long – is quite another world from the busy streets of Dubrovnik. Bring a picnic as you explore Lokrum’s Napoleonic fort, botanical garden, Benedictine monastery and pine-shaded paths past olive groves and the island’s resident peacocks. Have a swim in one of its rocky beaches or in the inland saltwater lagoon, and if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you can sit in the actual Iron Throne used in the HBO series.
The details: lokrum.hr.
8. Go to market
If you’re staying in or near the Old Town, you’ll want to drop by the daily morning market in Gundulić Square beside the cathedral. But, just beside the ferry port at Gruž is Dubrovnik’s larger food market, with local fish, meat, fruit and veg – and in a handy spot to pick up picnic provisions if you’re taking a day trip to one of the nearby islands.
9. Visit War Photo Limited
This evocative, compelling gallery created by the New Zealander photojournalist Wade Goddard showcases the work of the world’s war photographers. It’s not just the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia that are displayed in this gallery just off the Stradun, but also of others in recent history.
The details: Warphotoltd.com
10. Go to Fort Lovrijenac
If you’ve bought a ticket for the city walls, you’ll automatically get free entrance into the hulking 14th-century Fort Lovrijenac, which stands guard over the Pile Gate. Climb its 165 steps to snap one of the most popular views of Dubrovnik’s Old Town, and come in the summer for its annual production of Hamlet.
The details: tzdubrovnik.hr
The Daily Telegraph