Photo Essay: Walking the Dubrovnik City Walls

“When the war began,” K says, looking at the map and spreading her open hand across it, “my father told us we’d be safer within the city walls. It’s been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. No one would dare touch them.”

She looks down. “As you can see, there were many direct hits within the city center. The orange boxes are houses that were destroyed by the fires caused by the air raid.”

Our tour had been about history in Dubrovnik, and sadly, the Balkans conflict was a recent scar on a long, troubled past. The night before, we’d met Miran, a Mostar, Bosnia native whose life was turned upside down with the war: he spoke perfect andalú because he’d lived in Málaga as a young boy. Staring at a pristine city perched over the crystalline waters of the Adriatic, it seemed impossible that, not two decades ago, the beautifully preserved city of Dubrovnik had been under siege.

Once we’d visited the Old City, we found ourselves at the entrance to the city walls. Our attempt to go the day before had been thwarted by an early winter closing time, but we were determined not to let a near-perfect day slip away. K told us the 1240m of the city walls were perfect to visit at this time, thanks to less tourists and the cool ocean spray. The parallelogram of the stone fortifications, punctuated by a few, round fortresses and towers, would take us 45 minutes to walk.

She apparently hadn’t taken notice of my got-Camarón-glued-to-mah-face approach to her tour.

If you go: The City Walls are open daily, rain or shine. In the summer months, you’ll usually find them overcrowded, and the sun can get hot, so be sure to bring water and snacks if you’re prone to diziness. Regular admission is 80 kuna (just over 10€), whereas a student card will get you a hefty discount, paying only 30 kuna (4,50€). The attraction is open October thru April from 10am until 3pm, and in summer months from 8am until 7pm. Bring your camera!!

Have you ever been to Dubrovnik? Did you get a chance to walk the city walls?

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About Cat Gaa

As a beef-loving Chicago girl living amongst pigs, bullfighters, and a whole lotta canis, Cat Gaa writes about expat life in Seville, Spain. When not cavorting with adorable Spanish grandpas or struggling with Spanish prepositions, she works in higher education at an American university in Madrid and freelances with other publications, like Rough Guides and The Spain Scoop.


  1. We haven’t yet been to Dubrovnik, but keep toying with the idea of going there ‘on our next trip’…so we may get there soon. Walking the wall is at the top of the to-do list. I just hope that we get photos as beautiful as these!
    Gayla recently posted..Museum Het Rembrandthuis (The Rembrandt House)My Profile

  2. Fabulous photos, Cat! I went there on my honeymoon (some years ago, pre-blogging!), so I have very happy memories of Dubrovnik. We also walked around the city walls – it was August, and the temperatures were quite high as you say, although with the sea breeze providing some relief. I remember seeing the houses destroyed by shelling during the war, overgrown with vegetation. Sad, but also a fitting monument to those who died there. I loved the Venetian architecture of Croatia – the buildings are incredibly beautiful. We also went to Hvar, Trogir and Bol – island-hopping down the Dalmation Coast was wonderful.
    Fiona Watson recently posted..Purple passion: Las Cigarreras on Jueves SantoMy Profile

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      Lovely place to honeymoon! I’d been to Split, Hvar and Zadar on a previous trip which are also gorgeous. Not a bad place to escape from pasos and rain!

  3. I’m going to be heading to Dubrovnik (and Croatia more generally) for the first time next month and I am ridiculously giddy-excited. Your photos are beautiful!
    Caitlyn recently posted..The traditions of Las FallasMy Profile

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      Ooh, I have been a fan since my first trip in June 2009. Stay tunes for more posts (including food posts!). Where are you headed?

  4. I didn’t had the chance to visit Dubrovnik – yet – but it is on my list as many friends were there and had a great time – and managed to discover beautiful places. I loved the photo tour you managed to provide here, on your blog :)
    Lori recently posted..Venus de Milo, Louvre MuseumMy Profile

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      Why, thanks, Lori! I like Split a bit more when I visited a few years back, but definitely worth a visit to Dubrovnik. Hope you stop by again soon!

  5. Dubrovnik is one of those places that is just so picturesque that it draws you back. Ali and I realized the we were in Dubrovnik within days of each other a few years before we met. We both want to go back together now.
    Andrew recently posted..Announcing Beyond Vacation 2013My Profile

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      Love it! It’s like that video of Porto that the tourism board put on, about the girl and the guy always missing one another around all of the monuments and sites.

  6. Um, freckles much? Me too nowadays — yay sun!

    Looks beautiful. I’d love to visit some day.
    Kaley [Y Mucho Más] recently posted..English Camps for Kids Who Speak No EnglishMy Profile

  7. I really really want to go here! Lovely pictures!

  8. This look amazing, one day!
    Forest Parks recently posted..Keeping Fit and Healthy While Traveling: My Resources and AdviceMy Profile

  9. Gorgeous gorgeous! Definitely on my bucket list and I can’t wait to explore Dubrovnik
    Aggy recently posted..Teee…Sateeee!My Profile

  10. Looks just as beautiful as it did when I was there last September. I’m going to back to Croatia this summer I loved it so much!

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      It was my second trip, and it’s still high on my list as a favorite. All I’m getting this summer is mroe Spain…summer camp and Camino!

  11. Absolutely beautiful! Can’t wait to see the food posts!!
    Lauren H. of Sobremesa In Spain recently posted..Photo Essay: Asturias By MouthMy Profile

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      You missed the Cevapi! We ate a lot of pizza, actually, since the Venetians made their marks ages ago!!

  12. I’m always amazed by the colors of the water. Croatia is high on our list, and truth be told, I wouldn’t mind living in Dubrovnik. Jealous!
    Linda Bibb recently posted..Trying Banana BeerMy Profile

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      Croatia is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, and there’s a reason why they call Dubrovnik the Pearl of the Adriatic!

  13. Hi Cat,

    Great pictures. We went to Dubrovnik around an year back and absolutely loved it. We did walk the city walls and were in awe of the views and the information that came with it. The best part for us however was the drive up Mt. Srd to get an eagle eye view of the old town. I have rarely seen a better view than that. Did you go up Mt. Srd?
    Vid of Bruised Passports recently posted..Lanzarote: Volcanic WonderlandMy Profile

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      Hi guys! We didn’t make to the Mt. Srd, but instead went down to the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro. It’s incredible how much has changed in the country since my last trip, and how stunningly beautiful both Montenegro and Croatia are. Thanks for stopping by!


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