Dubrovnik is a picturesque city in Croatia, a beautiful country with a long stretch along the Adriatic Coast. Some may know Dubrovnik as the place where numerous scenes of HBO's hit series Game of Thrones took place. But others may know Dubrovnik for its rich history, historical sites, Gothic buildings, museums, and of course, beautiful beaches that make it a popular tourist destination.
Dubrovnik is great to explore on foot, and most museums can be visited within a few days (some are even right next to each other). Depending on how many days you are staying, you can purchase a Dubrovnik Card, a package deal from about $18 per adult, valid from 1 to 7 days. It gives you entry to up to nine Dubrovnik museums and historical sites in the city.
But before you get on this culture trip, make sure you don't have any luggage on you whatsoever. You can drop it off at a safe luggage locker located in the center of the city.
Cultural History Museum
Located inside Rector's Palace, near the main square, you will find one of the best museums in Dubrovnik. Although small, like most museums in the city, you will find a mix of everything in the Cultural History Museum. See historical artifacts, including weapons, coins, furniture, and uniforms, to safes with intricate lock systems and a wonderful collection of icons.
The Cultural History Museum features three floors of exhibits, including a courtroom and a small dungeon on the ground floor, with most of the displays being on the upper floor. The architecture alone is worth visiting this museum. Despite having no audio guides, the knowledgeable and friendly staff is happy to engage and share information with visitors. The Cultural History Museum comes to life at night, especially when looking at the beautifully lit columns adorning the 150 years old stunning building.
Note: The Cultural History Museum is included in the Dubrovnik Card.
Love Stories Museum
In just a 2-minute walk from Fort Lovrijenac is a little different museum than you are used to, dedicated to love. Walking around the Love Stories Museum, you will find love stories and facts about Dubrovnik. This museum is best to visit with your loved one or anytime you need to feel inspired by love.
Enjoy reading all kinds of stories about love from famous couples living or visiting Dubrovnik, including stories related to Croatian traditions and history. Get inspired by going through hundreds of hearts with little love notes left by visitors. Then, perhaps, you can write your own love story and leave it there for the next visitor to read.
Overall, the Love Stories Museum is a beautiful change from all the war and history museums in Dubrovnik that will put a smile on your face for the rest of the day. Entry ticket starts from about $8.
Hours: Open every day from 10 am - 3 pm except for Tuesdays 10 am - 2 pm
Walking towards the tip of the Old Town, you will find Maritime Museum, a place that will give you a great insight into the maritime past in the Dubrovnik region. The Maritime Museum is small but big enough to hold hundreds of artifacts that will take you about an hour to explore. If you like ship models, Maritime Museum is the right place.
There are many well-presented displays of ship models from the past two centuries, as well as Murano glass, paintings, Italian amphoras, and shipwrecks. One such exhibit is of a shipwreck of a 17th-century ship sailing from Venice to the Orient, discovered in 1972 at the Kolocep Canal near Dubrovnik. All information in the Maritime Museum is in English and Croatian and easy to navigate. You will also find artifacts like the French king's letters and the first geographic books and maps related to sailing and the importance of Dubrovnik in the maritime trade.
The Maritime Museum is included in the Dubrovnik Card.
Hours: Open every day from 9 am - 4 pm except for Wednesdays.
Natural History Museum
Located in the main square, within a 2-minute walk from Rector's Palace, is Dubrovnik Natural History Museum. The museum showcases a mix of bright displays, topics, and creative design. A little odd with all the unrelated exhibits, but still something to check out, especially if you are visiting with kids.
The sea creature display, in particular, grabs your attention upon entrance. From large tuna fish, hanging sharks, and a giant leatherback turtle to the ocean's different water temperatures and pressure, this exhibit is one out of a few worth checking out. You may also enjoy the Krapina Neanderthal display, featuring human remains, mammoth, cave bear, and woolly rhino bones. There is a Freddie Mercury room that may keep you engaged for a while.
Since Dubrovnik's Natural History Museum is one of the smallest in Dubrovnik, it may take just half an hour of your time.
The museum is included in the Dubrovnik Card.
Hours: Monday - Friday 1- am - 5 pm; Saturday 10 am - 2 pm; Closed on Sunday
Homeland War Museum
This is a newly built museum dedicated to the Dubrovnik region during the Homeland War and one of the battlegrounds during the Croatian War of Independence in the 1990s. Founded in 2016, the Homeland War Museum is one of the most important museums in Dubrovnik's history and one worth visiting. It is housed in Fort Imperial, where you can get with the cable car up Mount Srd, taxi, or take a 2-hour hike up the Mount.
Once at the museum, there are plenty of insightful exhibits to look at, all explained in detail with text and photos. You will see displays of battle maps, weapons, military equipment, and all kinds of artifacts related to the events of the Yugoslav wars. The repeating newsreel and the stories of the brave locals and soldiers during the Croatian War of Independence are pretty moving. Entrance is around $4.5o for one adult and half the price for kids, for which you get a free postcard of the Fort. Keep in mind that they only accept cash.
Despite the Museum, visitors often come to the Fort for the spectacular views of the city walls, the stunning sunsets, and the great food at the restaurant.
Hours: Monday - Sunday 9 am - 4 pm
War Photo Limited
Most museums in Dubrovnik are located in the main square, and so is the War Photo Limited, situated just a 2-minutes walk from Rector's Palace. Set on two floors, the War Photo Limited museum showcases photography displays of war and conflict, not just in the region but the entire world too. In fact, it is the only exhibition area in the world dedicated to war photography and has won a 2021 Experts' Choice Award.
War Photo Limited Museum covers war images of world-renowned photojournalists, exposing the impact of war on innocent people and soldiers alike. Visitors get a written guide explaining each photo, showing the stark reality of war and all the injustice that is done upon innocent people during war times. In addition, the museum educates about the destruction of war and gives an insight into why there are refugees all over the world.
Although educational, the imagery is not for everyone, as many visitors find them overwhelming and leave the museum distraught. If you want to visit this museum in the heart of the Old Town, a single entry ticket is around $7.50.
Hours: Monday-Sunday 10 am - 4 pm; closed from November through April
Red History Museum
Located close to the Dubrovnik port area, in half an hour's walk from the city center, is the Red History museum spread across 3230 feet of space. This newly opened museum shows what everyday life was like in communist Yugoslavia. It is a rather fun museum, with plenty of interactive displays.
Fifty years of the Yugoslav regime is explained and shown through art, design, real-life stories, intelligence service, and more using both new and old technologies. If you ever wanted to sit in a Yugo car, now is your chance. You also get to listen to the greatest hits of the time and see what rooms looked like in an average apartment. You can also download an augmented reality app, which many visitors find very interesting.
The museum features a terrace and a bar where you can buy drinks from Yugoslavia, still available on the market today.
Hours: Monday - Saturday 12 am - 6 pm; closed on Sundays
Sebastian Art Gallery
Within 2-minutes walk from Rector's Palace, inside St. Dominick Monastery is a gallery for all art lovers visiting Dubrovnik and wanting to experience authentic Croatian art. You will find anything from souvenirs, exhibitions, crafts, sculptures, paintings, jewelry, hand-made ceramics in the "Raku" technique, and much more! By purchasing anything from the gallery, you are helping restore the old monastery the gallery is housed in.
The owner, Karolina, warmly welcomes all visitors, patiently and graciously explaining everything you need to know. This gallery is one of the best in Dubrovnik and definitely worth checking out.
Hours: Monday-Sunday 9 am - 9 pm
Museum of Modern Art
Staying in Ploce? Housed in a 1939 Banac Palace, above the Banje beach, is the Modern Art Museum. Spread across three floors, visitors can admire around 3,000 artworks of modern and contemporary art, representing not just the region but entire southeast Europe too. You get to see sculptures, paintings, glass, collages, videos, and photographs dating from the end of the 19th century to the present day.
Permanent and temporary exhibitions are all in Croatian as most display artworks of Croatian artists, but the staff may be able to explain if you ask. The museum boasts beautiful architecture, featuring ancient walls but an interior representing nostalgic Yugoslavia. There is a lovely terrace with sculptures of Croatian sculptors and a small gift shop.
Hours: Monday-Sunday 9 am - 8 pm
The Rupe Museum, also known as the Ethnographic Museum, is a four-level building housed in a well-restored granary. Located in the main square, just a little bit off the main road, this is a place many Game of Thrones fans will recognize. Exhibitions may change over time, but you will find them on all floors.
From ships built with twine, agricultural tools, and equipment to traditional clothing, local customs, and items related to cultural traditions, the Ethnographic Museum is fun for the entire family. The guides are knowledgeable and happy to interact with anyone having questions about the museum and cultural heritage of the Croatian people from the 19th century to the present day. According to Lonely Planet, this museum is "mildly interesting," but you have to go and see for yourself.
This museum is also included in the Dubrovnik card, so you can get in for "free."
Hours: Open every day from 9 am - 4 pm, except for Wednesdays
Most museums in Dubrovnik are small, and the Archeological Museum is no different. Located in the Old Town, not far from Fort Minčeta and The Foundry Museum (Gornji Ugao Tower), this museum will be fun for anyone interested in the archeology of the region. You will see fragments from ruined churches and other artifacts in the area, tracing the development from ancient times through Greeks, Romans, Venetians, Ottomans, and other invaders.
Hours: Open every day from 10 am - 4 pm except for Wednesdays
You see, for such a small city, Dubrovnik has plenty of museums keeping tourists entertained during their visit. What visitors also like about Dubrovnik museums is their close proximity and affordable price. There is a little bit of something for everyone, whether you are a history buff, an art lover, or a family traveling with kids looking to have fun. From the Dubrovnik Port to Old Town, there is plenty to see!