Walking Tour: Dubrovnik's Old Town

  • Start Pile Gate
  • End Buža Bar
  • Length 1.2km; one hour

Head through the Pile Gate to the beginning of Placa (aka Stradun), Dubrovnik's marbled main street. It sits roughly where the channel once was that separated the islet of Ragusa from the mainland. Immediately to your right is the Large Onofrio Fountain, while opposite it is 16th-century Holy Saviour Church; note the shell damage on its facade.

Continue along past the Franciscan Monastery and take any of the narrow lanes to the left. Turn right at the first side street, Prijeko, lined with restaurants of varying quality but consistently high prices. Turn right onto Žudioska, Dubrovnik's former Jewish ghetto; its 14th-century synagogue is the oldest still-functioning Sephardic synagogue in Europe.

Back on Placa, continue to Luža Square, a former marketplace lined with beautiful buildings such as the Sponza Palace and St Blaise's Church. Edicts, festivities and public verdicts were announced from the Orlando Column at its centre. Erected in 1417, it features the image of a medieval knight; the statue's forearm was the official linear measure of the Republic – the ell of Dubrovnik (51.2cm).

Duck through the arch beneath the City Bell Tower and turn left, and then right at the arch leading to the Old Harbour. Head to the shade of the walls on the far side, then look back for a great view of the Ploče Gate defenses.

Scoot through the hole in the wall and turn right; straight ahead is the Cathedral, with the Rector's Palace diagonally across from it. Head down Od Puča, the main shopping strip, and cut through the market on busy Gundulićeva poljana, named after the poet whose statue stands at its centre.

At the far end, head up the Jesuit Stairs (the starting point of the notorious 'walk of shame' in Game of Thrones) to St Ignatius of Loyola Church. Cross the square to its far corner and follow the lane as it curves along the inside of the city walls. When you see a metal gate and a sign saying 'cold drinks', cut through the wall to Buža.