Dubrovnik's City Walls—a grand work of ancient engineering. Since its construction between the 12th and 17th centuries, the walls have protected the city and its people. Standing tall and proud like the sentinels of olden times. Watchers of history unraveled.
Interesting: Fortunately, at no point in its history did people governing Dubrovnik decide to dismantle the city walls. Something many other European towns did after their walls became technologicaly obsolete. And to give room to city expansion.
Instead, their purpose has evolved, and today Dubrovnik City Walls continue to be as useful to their citizens—as the region's most popular tourist attraction.
Their limestone blocks and towering height have stood the test of time. It sounds cliche; I know. But as you walk the walls between timeworn towers and forts, you will discover this unique experience is hard to find elsewhere.
|📍 Best Entrance:||Pile Gate|
|⏰ Time to Walk:||1.5 to 2 Hours|
|☀️ Best Time to Visit:||Early morning|
|💜 Must See:||Lovrijenac Fort|
|🎟️ Entry Ticket:||€35|
|👣 Best Tour||Old Town & Walls Combo|
The walls are not just a tool, a physical barrier but also a symbol of resilience and determination. A way to show you how the tiny Dubrovnik Republic city-state achieved greatness.
UNESCO granted World Heritage status to Dubrovnik Old Town and its medieval walls. It is a testament to their importance and significance. It shows they are not just a historical relic but a living breath of the city's past.
I have visited the Walls of Dubrovnik dozens of times while working as a travel agent. I have put together this quick Dubrovnik City Walls Guide to help new visitors with the information and most precious tips.
The views from the walls are sensational. Ask anyone who visited them. Red tiled roofs of the Old Town, the clear blue waters of the Adriatic, and the lush green hills surrounding the city and Lokrum Island.
While wayfaring along the walls, you peak from above at the quiet, tiny houses in hidden streets. People watch the Stradun promenade and bustling squares. The City Walls are just shy of 2 kilometers in length. The walk on the Walls takes 1.5 - 2 hours to complete, depending on your pace.
From a high vantage point of the walls, the fortified city below reveals a new perspective of its architectural sights. As you look across the Dubrovnik Old Town skyline, your eye jumps from one interesting thing to the next. Gothic and Renaissance churches, palaces, bell towers, and fountains.
However, the walls are not just a visual treat. They are also rich in history (read my dive down the rabbit hole that is the history of City Walls).
Best time to visit
Some say the best time to enjoy the Dubrovnik wall walk is late afternoon before the sun sets. As you stroll atop the massive Dubrovnik City Walls surrounding the Old City—the setting sun washes the contours of the city in a vivid orange glow. And I agree.
But on my other visits, I also enjoyed walking the walls of Dubrovnik at the earliest in the morning. This way, you can enjoy the stunning views of the city in a more relaxed and peaceful setting.
Important: You risk crowding into a slow-moving line of visitors if you go later in the morning or midday. Another important reason to avoid these times is the sun. Sun can be intense in the summer months, and there is very little shade on the walls.
If you’re visiting any time during peak season, you should know the walls open at 8 am. I advise you to get there 10 minutes beforehand as Dubrovnik is a popular cruise stop.
Sometime around 9 am, it gets awfully busy once the busloads of tourists start rolling in to jam up the walkways. Check out the Dubrovnik City Walls opening hours schedule.
|1 January – 28 February||10:00 – 15:00|
|1 March – 31 March||09:00 – 15:00|
|1 April – 31 May||09:00 – 18:30|
|1 June – 31 July||08:00 – 19:30|
|1 August – 15 September||08:00 – 19:00|
|15 September – 31 October||09:00 – 18:00|
|1 November – 31 December||09:00 – 15:00|
To summarize, the best time is entering at 8 am for the most enjoyable experience. You will beat the crowds that turn up around 9-10 am. It is quiet as many of the cruise ships have not arrived in port yet. Also, you avoid the hottest part of the day, between 11 am and 3 pm.
City Walls Tickets
All you need is a City Wall ticket to access this treasure. You can get it at one of the gates or simply buy it on the official webshop.
Entry tickets for the City Walls complex are €35 per adult person. Tickets for children from ages 7 to 18 cost €15. Ticket prices increased by approximately €3 in January 2023, when Croatia adopted Euro as its main currency.
Discount: Students can buy a discounted card at €15. You need an International Student Card (ISIC) or the European Youth Cards. They offer discount only if you have the physical card with you. Virtual card is not accepted. City Walls will not accept country student cards even if you really are a student.
Read more information about City Walls ticket prices and discounts.
The good news is that they now include an entrance to Western Outer Wall, which it didn't before. Western Outer Wall stretches between forts Bokar and Minčeta.
Relatively unknown and scarcely visited but a hidden gem. Constructed in 1351 as a defense of the main City Wall. They have a separate entrance from the Main Walls.
When a staff member of this attraction scans your ticket, it is valid for 72 hours (3 days). Use it the Lovrijenac fort and Western Outer Walls within this time.
It is only possible to visit the walls and fort once with a single ticket.
Tips: To avoid overpaying, buy your tickets at the entry gates (credit card or cash), or purchase them online. You want to avoid buying tickets from online 3rd party platforms. 3rd parties add a 25%-40% commission while actually adding extra steps to get the ticket.
The entrance cost for an adult is so not cheap. However, the experience you will get is absolutely superb. You can also have peace of mind knowing most of the money is going towards the upkeep of the walls.
There is a better alternative to buying City Walls tickets—the Dubrovnik Pass.
The Dubrovnik Pass grants access to 12 of Dubrovnik's premier attractions. You can use it to visit the places like the renowned Rectors Palace or the interesting Ethnographic Museum. But most importantly, it grants free entrance to the Dubrovnik City Walls.
Tips: Get the Dubrovnik Pass because it offers free public transport while the Pass is active. It also allows its users to bypass long queues when visiting the included attractions. Additionally, the Pass also offers discounts on other activities such as boat trips or guided tours.
Dubrovnik Pass has three versions:
- Daily Pass (1 Day) at €35
- Three-Day Pass at €45
- Seven-Day Pass at €55
The City Walls tickets cost €35, the same as the Daily Dubrovnik Pass. The Dubrovnik Pass is a good value and worth it considering the extra benefits you get for the same price.
Dubrovnik is already an expensive city compared to some neighboring travel destinations. There is no reason not to buy the budget-friendly Dubrovnik Pass and save some money.
Where are the entrances?
OK, you got everything you need; bought your Dubrovnik Pass and brought your sunscreen. Now what, where do you go?
Finding the Dubrovnik City Walls entrance is easy-peasy. When coming to Old Town, the main entrance is right after you pass Pile Gate and get to Stradun main street. Most people use that entrance. But you should know there are two other entrances.
- after Pile Gate, on Stradun Street (marked No. 9 on the map)
- by the Ploče Gate, located near St. Luke Fort (marked No. 23 on the map)
- by St. John’s Fortress, at the Maritime Museum (No. 20 on the map)
Tips: Personally, I like to begin my tour of the city ramparts using the main entrance. It has the most steps, but you begin the walk around the walls on the seaside, where in my opinion, the views of the city, the ocean, and Lovrijenac are the best.
Alternatively, if the Old Town is full to the brim, as it can be in the peak tourist season, you should pass by the main entrance and go straight to the port. There you will climb to the top of the walls using the entrance of St. John's Fort. It's the one with the least foot traffic and no lines.
Walking the Dubrovnik City Walls
When you climb to the top of the walls, you will notice arrow signs pointing to directions. The wall walk goes only one way (counterclockwise).
Tips: You can be turned back for going in the wrong direction at all three entrances and checkpoints. The staff will check your tickets at these checkpoints, so make sure to keep them on you at all times.
So if you start your route of the Dubrovnik City Walls walk at the Pile Gate, you will be walking towards the seaside. From there, the route follows the edges of Old Town. You pass by many towers and bastions along the way, doing a full circle and eventually coming back to the start.
There are no signs with information along the wall of any kind. So, I made a map that provides an overview of what you can see on the Walls of Dubrovnik.
The map will help you identify where you are and what you are looking at on your self-guided tour. I have pinpointed places of interest like the fortresses, bastions, gates, and towers you will encounter. Read more about the points on the map.
The walls are of four different sections, each with distinct sights.
The western section is the first one you walk if you enter at the Pile gate. The hike along the western side shows the views of the Pile Gate drawbridge and people entering the Old Town. Next, you pass the Puncjela Tower and Bokar Fort. Bokar Fort guards the Pile Bay western harbor (a popular kayak tour start). This part of the walls features the best views of Fort Lovrijenac across Pile Bay.
The route will get you to the southern seaside part of the walls. This side of the walls is a more open design with no large forts to obstruct the view of the sea. As you saunter over the top of six bastions along the way, your eyes redirect attention.
The stunning views of the Adriatic sea and the nearby Lokrum island become the focal point of your walk. You hunch down to get into the tiny watchtowers and turrets to imagine life as a city guard patrolling on the walls. If you look down the wall at sea, you will most likely see sea kayaks paddling along the walls—and cliff jumpers at the Buža bar.
You will reach St. John Fort and the eastern part of the City Walls as you continue along the walls trail. The view scenes center around the Old Harbor, ships going in and out, and people promenading.
As you move past the harbor, you meet the Revelin Fort and Ploče Gate at the northeastern end of the city. The road takes you to the north side, where you walk past towers and bastions and up many steps toward Minčeta.
Minčeta dominates the skyline of the north side, a round tower topped with a crown of crenellations. The highest point in the Old Town.
The only downside to visiting Minceta Fortress is its narrow stairs. And the queue of people going up and down as people. But trust me, it's worth it for the unique photo ops; you'll be glad you did the climb.
After you have toured Minčeta, you descend back down the last bit towards the Pile Gate entrance from which you came in. You have then completed the walk around the Dubrovnik City Walls.
Interesting: The city wall has an approximate width ranging from 1.5 to 6 meters, with its highest point measuring approximately 25 meters in height.
The route is not flat. It goes up and down the pathway with many, many steep steps. How many steps might you be wondering?
There are exactly 1080 steps along the Walls. The steps are very smooth and shiny, just like the stone on Stradun street, from use over centuries. And thus, they are very slippery and narrow in places. So you do need to watch your step.
Combining the steps with the fact that there is very little shade, I would say the walls walk is not ideal for the elderly or young children.
City Walls cafe and bar stops
There are three cafes/bars along the route around the walls. They've got snacks, coffee, cold drinks, fresh juices, ice cream, and water.
- St. Peter Bar (No. 29 on the map)
- Salvatore (No. 30 on the map)
- Minčeta (No. 31 on map)
They have umbrellas for some shade and a lovely cool breeze from outdoor A/C units. On top of that, they all have awesome views of the sea and the Old Town. They're a perfect refreshment stop during the walk.
Tips: My favorite is the Caffe Bar St. Petar (number 29 on the map), named after the bastion where it is at. It is exactly in the right place. If you come in from the St. John entrance, it is at the end of the walk. And if you time it right, it is the best place to experience the most amazing sunsets with a cocktail in your hand.
Prepare your wallet, though; these are quite pricier than the rest of the cafes in the Old Town. Some of them don't accept card payments.
In case you were wondering, public toilets are available throughout the City Walls walk.
The City Walls ticket includes the visit to the fort. Visiting Fort Lovrijenac takes you back to the days of castles and battles. Find out if Lovrijenac is a castle.
The fort, also known as St. Lawrence Fortress, sits on a steep rock high above the Adriatic Sea. As you climb the vast stairwells up to the fort, you can almost feel the weight of history pressing down upon you.
Once you reach the top of the stairs, the fort entrance provides a magnificent bird's eye view of Old Town.
When you enter Fort Lovrijenac, you'll find high stone walls and arched passageways. This formidable structure, with its massive walls, was built in the 11th century to protect Dubrovnik from invasion.
Interesting: The legend says back in the 1100s, the Venetians tried to construct a fortress where Fort Lovrijenac is now. If Venetians succeeded they would have had control over the city. The folks of Dubrovnik got news of it and beat them to the punch. In just a three-month span, they built the Lovrijenac fort. When the Venetian ships sailed up, loaded with supplies for the fort construction, they saw the fort, turn around, and head back to Venice.
You can tour the old prison cells and storerooms. See the embattlements, cannons, and cannon balls. Enjoy the great views but expect little apart from that. Sadly, the fort inside is empty—no displays or information on the history of this fortress. There is no museum here with historical artifacts to browse.
If you're a Game Of Thrones TV series fan, this fortress will be recognizable as the Red Keep in King's Landing. You will most likely join a Game of Thrones walking tour. All GOT tours include visiting Lovrijenac fort, as many scenes were filmed there.
Whether a history buff or GOT TV show fan, this stunning fort will leave you in awe.
Western Outer Walls
As I have mentioned, the City Walls ticket now includes the Western Outer Wall.
The entrance to the Western Outer Wall is hard to find. Walk to the upper northern corner of the Old Town, underneath Minčeta tower, and into the tower. Then you walk through the walls to the other side.
From there, you enter the foundry museum. Walking above the exposed foundry ruins under Gornji Ugao fort is pretty cool. The Historic Metalurgic Casting Workshop museum is small but very well-made and modern. The audio guide is in English (or Croatian) and explains the exhibits well.
The last time I went to this museum was during peak season, and I was completely alone. If you want to get away from the crowds and hide from the sun for a bit, this is the place for you.
Tips for walking the walls
The walls can also be long and tiring, so it's important to come well-prepared. Here are some tips to help you have the best experience while walking the Dubrovnik City Walls.
Tip 1: Wear comfortable shoes. The walls are long and have many steps. Some steps are slippery, so it's important to wear comfortable but slip-resistant shoes. Walking the walls can take up to 2.5 hours, so make sure your feet are comfy throughout.
Tip 2: Bring water! The walls can get very hot in the summer months. Moreso if you decide to go during midday. Make sure to bring enough water to stay hydrated. If you forget to bring some, you can buy water at one of the cafes, albeit at a much more expensive price.
Tip 3: Walk early or late in the day. To avoid the crowds and the heat, consider starting your walk early in the morning or later in the afternoon. You get the best lighting for taking photos and more space for yourself.
Tip 4: Wear a hat and sunscreen. Walking in the direct summer sun can be intense. To protect your skin, wear a hat and apply high-factor sunscreen to avoid sunburn. Bring a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun's glare.
Tip 5: Take breaks. The walk along the walls is long, so feel free to take breaks and rest when needed. Stop at one of the several cafes serving snacks, coffee, ice cream, and water along the route around the walls.
Tip 6: Bring a camera or a good phone camera. The views from the walls are stunning, so make sure to bring a camera to capture the memories. You'll want to snap photos of the Adriatic, the city's red-tiled roofs, towers, and forts. Make sure to charge the phone or camera gear. You will take way more photos than you expect.
Tip 8: Visit the included fortifications. Make the most out of your City Walls tickets and visit Fort Lovrijenac and the Outer Western Walls. You already paid for them, so why not enjoy some more? Remember you have 72 hours after you climb the walls to visit them.
Tip 9: Avoid cruise ship days. Check when the cruise ships are stopping in Dubrovnik and plan your trip around that if possible. Taking a walk along the city walls is a must, so try to time it so you don't have to do it with a ton of other cruise passengers.
Tip 10: Be prepared for 1080 steps. There are many steps along the 2 kilometers of walls, so prepare for a good workout. At least mentally, but it's a good idea to warm up before starting your walk and to pace yourself.
City Walls Tours
I've been to the Walls plenty of times. Solo and as a part of a guided tour group. It is gratifying to solely stroll the walls, feel the sea breeze, and take in the breathtaking views.
But you soon realize the depth of the history and stories behind these stone walls you are missing out on. You should include a guided tour in your itinerary to fully experience the beauty and wonder of Old Town.
If you join a tour that goes on the Walls with a knowledgeable guide, you will delve into the history of the Walls. A good guide will take you back thousands of years from when Dubrovnik first started. Trace the tales of battles fought and wars won, of the Dubrovnik Republic rising and falling.
Tips: I've seen passionate guides impart historical facts and local anecdotal gems to an audience that hangs onto every word. His storytelling very engaging with a touch of drama! It is as if you get to be people living in Dubrovnik in that time. Not only do you learn about Dubrovnik’s history but it’s culture, customs and traditions.
With a guide by your side, you truly appreciate the history and beauty of the City Walls and understand why they are such an important part of Dubrovnik's cultural heritage.
So, if you're looking to delve deeper into the story behind Dubrovnik's bulwark and the rest of Old Town, get the Combo Tour.
In case 3.5 hour tour is too much for you and you just want to do the Walls tour, you might want to get the Early Bird—an 8 am tour. Or the Sunset Guided Tour, if you don't like to get up early on your holiday.
With so many tours, you're sure to find the perfect one to fit your needs and interests.
Is it worth paying to walk Dubrovnik City Walls?
My review reflects my experience of visiting Dubrovnik ramparts many times.
Walking the walls is expensive at €35 per person ticket, sure.
Yet it appears that, in this instance, money does buy happiness. Two hours of joy in the shape of a truly extraordinary experience. Think of it as a worthy investment to get the best out of your Dubrovnik vacation.
Still don't believe me? Just look at Tripadvisor or Google reviews of this attraction. You will see every other person saying Dubrovnik City Walls are expensive but worth it.
You come to Dubrovnik to walk the Walls and pay accordingly. Yet if you buy the Dubrovnik Pass, you get access to some other sites for free and at a discount to others.
Dubrovnik City Walls
The Dubrovnik City Walls are a series of defensive stone walls surrounding the Dubrovnik Old Town in southern Croatia. The walls are made from limestone, reinforced with forts, towers, bastions and gates. The walls are open to visitors and provide stunning views of the town, harbour and nearby island Lokrum.
Product Brand: Dubrovnik City Walls
- Stunning views from the top of the walls
- Interesting history
- Easy to navigate
- Included in Dubrovnik Pass
- Ticket expensive compared to other attractions
- Walls can get crowded
- Walking the walls is physically demanding
- No signs and descriptions along the route
Do the walk
Walking the Walls of Dubrovnik is a true feast for the senses. With the salty sea air, the sound of waves crashing below, and the orange rays of the setting sun outlining the Walls. It's a journey through time, one that allows you to experience the city's beauty in a way that can only be done on foot.
Whether you're a history buff or simply looking for a unique experience, walking the Dubrovnik Walls is a must-do for anyone visiting the city. So lace up your walking shoes, put on sunscreen, and walk along one of the world's most historic fortifications.
When is the last call for entering the City Walls?
The end of working hours is also the last entry into Dubrovnik City Walls. So, for example, if working hours end at 18.00, then you can enter until 18.00 as well.
Do you have to pay to walk Dubrovnik City Walls?
Yes, you will pay to walk Dubrovnik City Walls. If you buy the Dubrovnik Pass, it is included, but you paid for it. The only people that don't need to pay are children under seven years and citizens of Dubrovnik county.
Can you go if you are scared of heights?
I had a companion on the walk with me that was scared of heights. Some sections of walls were low, and she was a little nervous, but overall it was a great and safe walk for her.
Can I take a rucksack on the Walls?
Yes, you can take a rucksack, bag, and basically any luggage when visiting the Dubrovnik City Walls. I recommend keeping the bag small and light as there are a lot of steep steps, and the walk can be hard to do with a big bag.
Can I take my pet dog on the Walls?
You are allowed to take your pet dog with you on Dubrovnik City Walls, but they must be kept on a leash at all times. Staff mentions that the pets must be supervised at all times. Pets must not be left on the Walls unattended, and pet owners must pick up after their pets. Also, make sure your pet does not disturb other visitors.