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A destination of culture

Dubrovnik – history is alive in every part of this city - a museum city and at the same time a live stage, it represents a perfect cross between the past and the present.

Every corner of this Pearl of the Adriatic, as it is known, hides a treasure. Dubrovnik is surrounded by 1940 meters of unique medieval ramparts preserved in their original form and open to visitors as the city's main attraction. Protected by UNESCO World Heritage status since 1979, Dubrovnik can boast one of the first such listings in Croatia. Its rich history, geographic location, mild climate and traditional hospitality and excellence in tourism make Dubrovnik a recognized high quality product on the international tourism markets. Dubrovnik is Croatia's undisputed convention centre with the more conventions, congresses and corporate incentive programmes than any other country's city. The city is a destination of culture, as witnessed by its many festivals, prestigious art happenings, major open air events, excellent artists and athletes, and, last but not least, its architectural treasures.

More than sixty years of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival and eleven years of Julian Rachlin & Friends Chamber Music Festival add to the testimony. The Libertas Film Festival is a world film venue and the excellent Early Music Festival and the History Festival bring back to life the city's medieval spirit. The traditional feast of the city's patron saint of Saint Blaise and Carnival have the visitor transported to the age of the city's 16th century glory as we know it from the works of the finest Croatian Renaissance playwright Marin Držić. The opera gala nights, Wine & Jazz Festival add a touch of splendour to the constantly expanding list of the city's cultural and lifestyle events. Dubrovnik is easily reached from all major European cities, a destination to savour your holidays that will leave you enchanted discovering its myriad stories and once-in-a-life time experiences, a destination to fall in love with and come again and again...

The sight of luxury cruisers off the Old Town harbour is a witness to the growing importance of Dubrovnik as Croatia's foremost cruise port of call and the fifth in the Mediterranean basin as the city becomes an indispensable addition to more Mediterranean cruise itineraries.

Almost a decade ago Dubrovnik has been turning into a high profile city break destination favoured by good airline connections. Based on the interest expressed by major markets the trend is set to continue and will undoubtedly put Dubrovnik closer yet to the goal of year-round tourist operations.

Dubrovnik's tourism has experienced a steady development in past decade in all segments. Existing hotels are renovated due to large-scale investments and every year adds new high quality accommodation to the market. Dubrovnik has the most five star hotels than other destinations in Croatia. A series of projects have been in place to encourage entrepreneurship in small family-run businesses with a number of smaller, quality hotels opening as a result. Hotels have undergone renovations to bring them up to world standards and to better suit the needs of modern-day tourists. Spa, fitness and relaxation facilities are becoming an integral part of every and as lounge bars open on patios and beaches. Hotel and restaurant menus are inspired by regional dishes prepared and served a la nouvelle cuisine.

Traffic regulation on the one hand and infrastructure investments on the other, such as those in a parking garage, a future marina in Gruž Bay and a golf course a top Mt Srđ, are the result of expert and systematic planning. All are intended to raise the profile of Dubrovnik as a destination that gives visitors value for their money.

Due to its geography Dubrovnik has been a trade emporium and an attraction to visitors. Historically, those have mostly been merchants, but diplomats posted in the city-state, pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land, explorers and travellers also deserve a mention. The famed Republic of Dubrovnik was well aware of the importance of hospitable treatment for its guests: the first hospices date back to the 14th and 15th centuries.

Drawing on this tradition the Grand Hotel Imperial was erected in 1897 with electric power, heating, bathrooms and all the state-of-the-art amenities Europe knew at the time. On the occasion of the hotel's grand opening, Dubrovnik saw its first international convention. The existence of the Grand Hotel Imperial favoured further hotel and pension construction activity in the first half of the twentieth century as fast ferry lines to Trieste and Rijeka put Dubrovnik in the centre of the Adriatic tourist map. This period earned the city its “Pearl of the Adriatic“ designation, a name under which it would become known to the present day despite the humiliation Dubrovnik suffered in the 1990s, when the UNESCO protected monuments and the bulk of the tourism infrastructure were damaged by bombs and fire. The city authorities' determination and skills and the inhabitants' love for their city motivated the rebuilding and renovation efforts and put the city back on the tourist map of the world. Little does it wonder that Dubrovnik has once again become a tourist emporium that magically attracts the modern pilgrims – tourists coming from around the World. The city and the surrounding mainland and islands are a beacon to Europeans, the traditional visitors in Dubrovnik, as well as North and South Americans, Australians and Japanese.

Lord Byron came to Dubrovnik on his way to Greece and called it the Pearl of the Adriatic as early as the beginning of the 19th century while George Bernard Shaw said, "those who seek paradise on Earth should come to Dubrovnik“. It can be said that these two historical marketing messages have marked Dubrovnik's tourism over the years since, putting Dubrovnik on the world tourist map and urging travellers to come see this chiselled Mediterranean urban treasure for themselves.

Dubrovnik is striving to improve the quality of all its services in order to truly justify the image of a high-end tourist destination. Significant investments in top end hotels have contributed to raise their capacity to handle conventions and congresses. This segment will continue to expand with plans already underway to build a multifunctional convention centre as a public-private partnership project. The city is developing and expanding, roads and wastewater facilities are undergoing an overhaul. The port facilities are seeing major investments aimed at improving the cruise ship handling capacity as well as ferry connections to the islands and mainland Croatian and Italian ports. The Dubrovnik–Doli highway construction is set to begin soon. Once completed the highway will greatly improve the flow of passengers and goods between Dubrovnik and the rest of Europe.

The city authorities are indirectly encouraging the establishment of quality retail outlets and fostering the traditional arts and crafts. Their measures are certain to help the promotion of Dubrovnik and implement the city's strategic goal: becoming a 5 star city.

Destination Dubrovnik: a favourite spot for journalists and TV crews eager to discover and present the city to the world. Croatian National Tourist Board regularly promotes the city at travel and tourism fairs. Dubrovnik also exhibits independently at global convention fairs. It is a featured in renowned weekly and monthly magazines in conjunction with tour operators.

Dubrovnik is widely known as a quality destination in all tourism segments. The city’s reputation is greatly enhanced by the experiences and impressions of many high-ranking foreign delegations and by visiting heads of state, which make it a must-see stop when in Croatia. In the summer the city is a stomping ground for the global jet set circles with a propensity to blend in unobserved with the crowds along the Stradun after a day’s sail in the crystal clear turquoise waters.

Dubrovnik is definitely the most widely recognized quality seal for the Croatian tourism industry and Croatia's best export brand. It is a product based on tradition, historical treasures and the knowledge and experience of its inhabitants, whose livelihood rests on their hospitality and service and whose life choice is tourism.

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