If you are in Dubrovnik, you certainly want to visit the Dubrovnik City Walls. How long does it take to walk the wall of Dubrovnik?
- If you run, literally, you may be able to do it in 45 minutes
- At normal (touristy) pace, it takes approximately 1.5 hours to walk the entire wall of Dubrovnik
- If you visit the Fortress of St. Lawrence (Lovrjenac), it may take at least half an hour longer. But it’s worth it.
- The visit of the Dubrovnik City Walls can be cut short or made less difficult
I have worked as a tour guide in Dubrovnik for more that 15 years now. Here are some of my tips to make your visit of the Dubrovnik City Walls even more enjoyable:
1. If You Run, Literally, You May Be Able To Do It In 45 Minutes
How do I know? Well, I had two ladies on one of my tours who did it!
We were on a one-day-trip from Split to Dubrovnik. After a 1.5 hour long walking tour of Dubrovnik, we had some 3 more hours of free time. I suggested everybody to have lunch and then walk around the City Walls OR have lunch and take the cable car.
Well, the ladies did ALL of that within 3 hours, and still had some time left! So, in 3 hours they had lunch, did the walls, and took the cable car.
Of course, I am not advising you to do the same. However, some people seem to like it that way. I occasionally meet such individuals at the Plitvice Lakes National Park, too. They just RUSH through the park.
I presume that taking snapshots along the way makes it more worthwhile. Or the feeling that you’re doing something beneficial for your physical fitness AS WELL AS your emotional satisfaction.
Or it may be the same philosophy as the one that says that you should read a book while taking a coach tour instead of looking out of the window and admiring the scenery. Basically, focusing on the most important things.
If you know a better answer, please comment below.
2. At Normal (Touristy) Pace, It Takes Approximately 1.5 hours To Walk The Entire Wall Of Dubrovnik
I was born in Dubrovnik. I went to music school right inside of the City Walls. My high school was just outside of the walls. And yet, I have NEVER felt like going up to the Wall itself. UNTIL…
Until I decided to get an official licence as a tourist guide in 2006. A part of my education was the obligatory guided visit of the City Walls. So I said… OK, finally… Let’s see what’s so special about it! And, to be honest, I didn’t expect much. I have seen it all. So I thought. But, once I climbed the Wall…
I was astonished. Astounded. Gobsmacked!
Dubrovnik is beautiful from “below”. The streets, hidden corners, fascinating palaces.
However, seen from above, Dubrovnik really gets into the right perspective.
The exchange of the orange coloured roofs, chimneys, white limestone and the blue Adriatic Sea is simply mesmerising.
As you walk along the wall, the views keep changing. So, if I were you, I would take my time and soak in the atmosphere.
A thorough, balanced walk around the Walls takes around 1.5 hours. However, feel free to stay up there as long as you possibly can.
Even though you can buy water and beverages on the Wall, I advise to take an extra bottle of water.
And if you’re visiting Dubrovnik in Summer, keep in mind that there is almost no shade up there. So bring a hat or even an umbrella.
Fortunately, the sea breeze will cool you down and infuse you with energy.
3. If You Visit The Fortress Of St. Lawrence (Lovrjenac), It May Take At Least Half An Hour Longer. But It’s Worth It.
The fortress of St. Lawrence or Lovrjenac was built on a solitary rocky peninsula some 300 meters away from the walled city of Dubrovnik.
Since the entrance ticket for the City Walls INCLUDES admission to the Lovrjenac fortress, make sure you fit it into your schedule.
The view from Lovrjenac over the Old City and the Adriatic Sea is incredible.
Even as you approach the impressive Lovrjenac fortress, the atmosphere of the Kolorina Bay, old fishermen shelters and the crude cliffs is rewarding.
This is, BTW, one of the best places to take a selfie in Dubrovnik.
My wife, Irena, and myself, seizing the moment at Kolorina Bay in Dubrovnik.
4. The Visit Of The Dubrovnik City Walls Can Be Cut Short Or Made Less Difficult
Someone has told me that there are 800 steps up on the Dubrovnik City Walls. I don’t know if that is true, but if you’re not fit, you may find the tour of the Walls to be quite challenging.
And it’s not just steps. Some parts are rather steep, too.
And if you keep in mind that the summer sun can really be relentless, the whole idea of walking around the Dubrovnik City Walls may appear daunting.
Take heart, though.
Of course, doing the whole tour around the Wall is what you should aim for. Especially if you know how much you have paid to get on the Wall.
But you do not need to do the whole stretch to savour the atmosphere.
If You Have Limited Energy Levels
In terms of strenuous exercise, THE NORTHERN SECTION OF THE WALL is the most challenging.
Hence, do only THE SOUTHERN PART.
Although the initial scary flight of steps by the Big Onophrio’s Fountain by the Church of St. Saviour cannot be avoided, once you gradually leave it behind you, most of the heavy workout would already be over.
The stunning vistas of the Adriatic Sea, the dormant city on the other side, the swifts and the seagulls will make a lasting impression on you.
And before you know it, you will be by the Old City Harbour. By the Maritime Museum you will find your first opportunity to get off the Walls.
However, I would suggest you go on for a little while longer, all along the Harbour and get off by the Dominican Monastery on the opposite side, before the steep climb to the northern wall.
Doing just the stretch from the Maritime Museum to the Dominican Monastery may be appropriate for those who want the easiest and shortest experience of the Dubrovnik City Walls. Although short, this walk will reward you with a beautiful view of the harbour and the Bronze Jacks at the Bell Tower.
If You Do Not Have Too Much Time
Basically, follow the same principle. Walk half of the Wall.
However, you may be fit enough to try the NORTHERN WALL instead.
In order to visit just the northern side of the Dubrovnik City Walls, you should take the entrance by the Dominican Monastery, not far away from the Old City Harbour.
The reason why you may have to first walk across the City to reach that particular entrance is because there is the mandatory direction of movement on the Wall, anti-clockwise.
One your’re done with all the towers of the Northern Walls, including the picturesque Minčeta, resembling a chess figure, get off the Wall at the lowest part, at the Stradun street, by the Big Onophrio’s fountain.
Then go for an ice cream. You deserve it.
PS. If you don’t feel like spending any money at all to pay for the entrance tickets to the Dubrovnik City Walls, in this article of mine you can find some great tips on what to do in Dubrovnik for free. One of the tips includes WALKING BENEATH (OR AROUND) THE CITY WALLS.
Also, if you want to learn where did they get the stone to build the Walls, in this article I write about one of the most beautiful quarries you have ever seen.