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Old City Walls of Dubrovnik (Croatia)

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Dubrovnik is one of the most harmonious and best preserved municipal walls on the Mediterranean. They protected the freedom of Dubrovnik Republic for centuries.

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      06.06.2013 22:02
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      Should be on everyones bucket list!

      Dubrovnik is a beautiful city in Croatia, I visited Dubrovnik old town when I was staying in Cavtat, Croatia and we got a water taxi over for the cheap price of what equated to 1400 kuna each which is aroun £15/16 pound, it took around an hour and a half to get over but the ride was so enjoyable it flew by. When we eventually arrived into the harbour of Dubrovnik it was packed full of tourists, there was a real 'atmosphere' about the place. There were plenty of markets selling a variety of items and the scenery was just beautiful. Every angle you turn there is something amazing, cathedrals, little restaurants, fountains, and all in the centre of the Dubrovnik City Walls. We walked over to the tourist information centre which was next to the fountain (the fountain is a big attraction in Dubrovnik) it was modern and very clean. The ladies who worked there were absolutely lovely, they spoke fluent English and gave us details on all of the attraction, at this time we purchased our tickets for the castle walls (one of the best purchases we made in my opinion). It cost us kuna for tickets but I feel the tickets are priceless! We then set off towards the gate which is completely opposite the information centre and the fountain, there was two guards stood outside the gate which just added to the experience. They checked our tickets and let us through. I could see people's heads moving along the castle walls and was overwhelmed with excitement, I just wanted to get to the top and see the amazing views, but before we got there we had to climb what felt like 1000 steps that were small and packed with people going up and down! Regardless of the struggle up the stairs it was 100% worth all the effort, even in the 100 degree heat. The views were unbelievable, like nothing I have experienced before. It was amazing to see everything from that height - you could see for miles and miles. The heat was unbearable so I would advise taking plenty of water, sun cream and hat! Best experience and made my trip to Dubrovnik one to remember forever, If you're going to Croatia make sure this is on your list 

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        17.09.2012 17:33
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        The Best Way To See The Old Town.

        M&M burst into Little Brother's hotel room in a fabulous outfit; lightweight jeans and a long sleeved pink t-shirt to protect her from the sun and of course, her sunhat and heart shaped 'Little Miss Sunshine' sunglasses. She danced in a circle, trainers flashing and pouted for him to take a photo and document this latest 'Elton John Phase'. With these finishing touches complete, we ambled down the soapy smelling hotel corridors and out into dusty heat to catch the bus into Dubrovnik. The buses stop by the Pile gate at the Old Town and this was the easiest way for us to enter the walls (though there are two other points, one at the Ploce gate). Tickets are sold in the little information kiosk to the right as you come into the town and we sensibly stocked up on chilled bottles of water too. The entrance is up the steepest set of stairs to the left of the gate, past a relaxed little hut where a man checks your tickets. We huffed and puffed our way up these stairs and I noticed some other visitors were finding it a struggle. Lucky M&M was perched on Dad's shoulders; she's no lightweight and I don't think my knees would have survived the strain of carrying her up. Reaching our start point at the top, we were amazed by how high the walls are. Wide and solid, the marble walkway is worn but mostly even and ridged by low (waist high) walls which give you a reasonable feeling of security. M&M was plonked down and toddled off at speed, with the rest of us in tow. There are some places where a railing replaces the side walls, but other than this she didn't have much of a view! We headed around the walls in the mandatory anti-clockwise fashion, marvelling at the sparkle of sea and stone to the left and the glow of the terracotta roofs over twisting streets to the right. Dubrovnik is like a fairytale and although September was meant to still be part of the busy season, the walls weren't crowded and the pace was unhurried. It's recommended that you do this kind of walk either early in the day or a couple of hours before closing to avoid the midday heat. We'd chosen to start about 4pm with M&M covered in factor 50, thereby giving ourselves enough time to do at least some of the route before a 6pm finish. In the Iliad and The Odyssey, Homer always refers to 'The shining sea', something which I'd never reflected on before, thinking it to be nothing more than a poetic turn of phrase. With more than ten years since I'd even looked at the covers of my Classics, this bought back great chunks of literature and the romantic views of the islands were breathtaking. We stopped along the way to take photos, to watch M&M glug away at the bottles of water or chase pigeons around courtyards. There were cafes, public toilets, artists selling their wares. There were watchtowers to climb and benches to rest and let other more hurried walkers pass. We saw people painting pictures of the walls and courageous swimmers leaping from the rocks into the sea. We looked down onto fountains, gardens with sleeping cats and bars where you can take your drinks through a hole in the wall and out onto a rocky outcrop. The walls are not the rectangular style fortress of Aigues Mortes, they are geographic, meandering the coastline and eventually turning along the harbour and then tracing the side of the mountain, taking you past the cable car. There are exits along the way and you can just do a short stretch if you like. We'd planned to take it easy with M&M, but in the event she was full of energy and happy with the leisurely stroll, so we carried on past them and finished the final stretch. This side of the walls has a different feel, with the rocky hillside rising sharply to the right and the view of the whole town, the sea and the islands making it the best point to take a picture. There are a lot more steps here and therefore there was a lot more carrying going on. She was tired at this point and we ended up swapping cuddles, a bag of cheesy crackers and promises of pizza at Mea Culpa (see my other reviews) for compliance. If you're not up to climbing a lot of stairs, then this last bit of the walls may not be for you. However, it had the best panoramas and it was a great feeling to complete the circuit and see the town at sunset. We took around an hour and 45 minutes to complete this, but then we all walk pretty fast and the smallest member of our group didn't have much of an attention span. With all the distractions you could easily make a relaxing afternoon of it and stop for scenic drinks and snacks. Walking the walls is the best way to see Dubrovnik's Old Town and either get your bearings on arrival or marvel from above at the squares and alleyways you've already visited. For around £6 each (M&M went for free) it was a bargain.

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        08.03.2011 22:58
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        An exciting opportunity to see parts of Dubrovnik you would have otherwise missed

        The ancient city walls of Dubrovnik are indisputably an epic site, I myself love the thought of old towns built as fortresses that are still enjoyed and in use today. The city walls were built between the 13th-16th Century for defence purposes and have still been in use as such in the 20th century with an attack taking place in 1991, the break up of Yugoslavia. Within the city walls is the 'old town', which is the main area for shopping, eating and drinking in Dubrovnik. Between the walls are crammed full of town houses and accommodation to stay in, which is fabulous to wander between the shaded streets on a hot day but very noisy at night. It is possible to walk the entire 3km along the top of the walls, which is exactly what we did on one of our days there. Perhaps naively going shortly after lunch in the middle of September. It is surprising cheap to enter the walls, about the equivalent of £6 when we were there last year. There is a fair amount of stairs to climb to reach the top above the main gate into the old town but once you're up it is worth it. The views across the landscape and ocean are amazing and perfect for photo opportunities. The wall itself is very wide being up to 5m in parts and crowding was not an issue for us. It took about 4 hours for us to get round, this is with a stop at the maritime museum which is actually located about half way along the walls, again worth a visit and nice for a cooling down period. There are a few shops along the, including cafes and arty/craft places, which you'll need to stop at on a hot summers day. Once you're up on the walls you pretty much have to follow through with it and the heights and stairs are not for the fainthearted. However by the time we had been the full was round we'd seen some amazing sights that you would never catch from the ground level. For a half day activity the value for money is great and I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone think of visiting Dubrovnik. We will definately be doing this again when we go in May, be sure to take your swimming gear to cool off afterwards though!

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          13.11.2009 17:18
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          Must-see in Dubrovnik

          Pick up any guidebook to Croatia and the chances are it will have Dubrovnik's Old Town on the front cover. And usually it's that famous shot of the city walls, the old port, terracotta roof tiles and the glistening blue Adriatic Sea in the background. Nicknamed the "Pearl of the Adriatic" it truly is a magical place to visit. I have great memories from all my travels along the Croatian coast and having visited Dubrovnik a number of times over the years, I can see why people fall in love with the place. It's somewhere you should go at least once. First item on your Dubrovnik itinerary should be the tour of the medieval city walls that encircle the pedestrian-only Old Town. Built to protect the city from various enemies, the walls date back to 12th century, and are up to 6m thick and 25m high. Modifications and reinforcements were carried out over several hundred years including the addition of a series of towers and bastions. The walls were never breached by force and have been fully restored following the Serbian siege between October 1991 and May 1992. The fortresses are used in various ways today, one of them housing the Maritime Museum and Aquarium, another acting as a concert venue during the Dubrovnik Summer Festival. The views are amazing. As you walk around, photo opportunities present themselves, and whether you're looking out to sea and the island of Lokrum, the surrounding hills or down into the streets of the Old Town, you can't help but snap away. At nearly two kilometres in length, it's quite a walk. Allow yourself plenty of time, at least one hour, and if you like to take regular breaks to rest or take photos, then it's closer to two hours. I would suggest you do the tour first thing in the morning, as it gets very busy later on, particularly if there is a cruise ship around. Otherwise do it late afternoon, say 1 hour before closing time. During the summer months, specially July and August, it gets very hot up there, so keep that in mind. There aren't many shaded areas, so wear a hat and sun protection. Also, it may be obvious, but comfortable shoes or sandals, and a bottle of water are essential. Walking all the way around may be too much for young children or the elderly, as there are many stairs to climb. Finally, some sections are quite high and narrow, and looking down can be a little hair-raising for those with a fear of heights! Open daily 8am - 7pm in the summer, 10am - 3pm in winter. Entry is 50 Kunas, via Pile or Ploce gate.

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          Dubrovnik is one of the most harmonious and best preserved municipal walls on the Mediterranean. They protected the freedom of Dubrovnik Republic for centuries.