There is much to experience in Dubrovnik, from tracing the mighty city walls and exploring scenes from Game of Thrones, to spending the day on a four-poster bed by the sea, with an icy cocktail in hand. Destination expert, Jane Foster, gives the low-down on the city's most incredible things to do.
Circle the City Walls
The medieval walls afford ever-changing views out to sea and over the old town, and hark back to the 13th century. They are best explored with a full-circuit, just over a mile's walk along the battlements. Further reinforcements, including several imposing towers, were added in the 15th century, to protect the city against the Ottoman Turks.
Step into a scene from Game of Thrones
The Rector's Palace is unmissable. Under the Republic of Ragusa (14th-19th century), the chief citizen (rector) would reside on the first floor of this sumptuous building, a confection of Renaissance and Baroque styles. His living quarters now host the Cultural History Museum, crammed with period furniture and costumes, sedan chairs, and paintings of Ragusan aristocrats.
Trace Dubrovnik's sea-faring past
Dubrovnik's Maritime Museum - set in St John's Fortress, which guards the entrance to the old harbour - is a fascinating place to learn about the republic's impressive naval power, with exhibits spanning model ships, sailors' uniforms, navigational equipment, flags and maps. Come here to get your head around the vast merchant shipping wealth of what was once Ragusa - in the 16th century present-day Dubrovnik had one of the world's largest fleets, with over 180 ships and 4000 sailors.
Check out the city's best photo-journalism gallery
The exciting modern gallery War Photo Limited is dedicated to photo-journalism from global war zones, and attempts to offer unbiased reporting with a human element. Dubrovnik's sturdy fortifications have been put to the test several times during the centuries, most recently during the bloody break-up of Yugoslavia - and indeed, on the second floor,
Catch a boat to Lokrum islet
A lush escape of pines, cypresses, palms, eucalyptus, cacti and agave, and a rocky shore with decent spots for bathing. There's an abandoned 11th-century Benedictine Monastery near the south-west corner, and an adjoining villa built by Archduke Maximilian von Hapsburg - the complex lies in a botanical garden, with promenades, exotic planting and strutting peacocks, plus Lacroma bar-restaurant.
Outside the Old Town - Ploče
Swim and sunbathe at Banje beach
The sandy stretch a 10-minute walk east of the Old Town affords magnificent views of the medieval walls across the water. You can hire sun beds or baldachins (four-posters with wafting chiffon drapes), try water-skiing and parasailing, or even request massage. Above the beach, there's a lounge-bar on a wooden deck, doing cocktails and snacks, plus a seafood restaurant in an upper-level dining room.
Ride a cable car to the city's peak
An ultra-modern, low-effort amusement for medieval Dubrovnik - visitors can take in the best vistas without having to trek up steep hills or trudge up hundreds of steps. The cable car departs from a lower station just outside the Old Town, and has two light and airy carriages, each carrying up to 30 people, which make regular three-minute runs to the top of Mount Srđ. A must-do memorable experience for adults and children.
Sea Kayak around the Elafiti Islets
A great way to explore the Adriatic coast is by sea kayak. Local company Outdoor Croatia offers a full-day 'Arches, Caves and Islands' tour (10 hours), which takes adventurers around the Elafiti islands of Lopud and Šipan, with free time to swim, snorkel and cliff-jump. You'll meet the group at Dubrovnik's Gruž port, to catch the morning ferry to Lopud.
Explore Cavtat and rural Konavle
The nearby coastal town of Cavtat (served by regular taxi-boat and local bus) was founded by the ancient Greeks. This huddle of old stone houses are built on a pine-scented peninsula