Named for the dubrava, or oak trees, that once covered the region, Dubrovnik was an independent city-state for the majority of its 1,300-year existence. Most attractions are in Old Town, the small, car-free labyrinth of streets and alleyways inside the walls. Most hotels are located just outside the Pile and Ploce gates.
WHEN TO GO
Dubrovnik's climate is classic Mediterranean: warm, damp winters and hot, dry summers. The summer arts festival is a big highlight of the year. During summer, the gentle Maestral wind tempers the 80-degree-plus heat, but as many as 10 cruise ships may be anchored near the Old Town. Many businesses are seasonal, closing between November and May, so winter is not the optimal time to visit. That said, Christmas is a big deal here, and the caroling choruses and New Year's festivities on the Stradun may make up for a limited restaurant and hotel selection.
HOW TO GET THERE
Dubrovnik Airport is in Cilipi, about ten miles from downtown. There are no direct flights from the U.S., but Croatia Airlines (www.croatiaairlines.hr), a Star Alliance member, flies to Dubrovnik from several major European cities. There are flights from Frankfurt seven days a week, but it's also possible to connect from Vienna, London, Paris, or Amsterdam. Ferries operated by Jadrolinija (www.jadrolinija.hr) connect Dubrovnik with Split, Rijeka, and points between. There are also car ferries from various ports in Italy.
Dubrovnik is thoroughly a by-foot kind of place, even if you're staying outside of the walls. Ferries run to the islands surrounding the city, such as Lokrum and the Elafiti chain (convenient for day trips).
Tourist Information Office
385 20 321 561
Dubrovnik Tourism Board
Cvijete Zuzoric 1/2
385 20 323 887
Croatian National Tourist Board
800 829 4416
212 279 8672