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A guide to Dubrovnik

The atmospheric seaside city of Dubrovnik in Croatia offers the combined charms of amazing architecture and stunning beaches. As a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site there's plenty of history to discover which sits side-by-side with a bustling modern tourist hub. There are shops to browse, restaurants and cafes to linger in and lively bars for fun holiday nights.

We take a look at some of the highlights to help you make the most of your Dubrovnik holiday.

Follow in the footsteps of ancient history and modern celebrities

The walled old town is where all the biggest attractions are and is purely pedestrian which adds to its historic atmosphere.

The incredible charm of Dubrovnik regularly draws a host of celebrities such as Beyonce and Jon Bon Jovi. So it's worth keeping your phone at the ready just in case you get the chance to take a priceless star-studded selfie.

Perhaps the number of celebrities visiting Dubrovnik has something to do with the regular filming that takes place here. Of course, the medieval splendour of elegant churches, ornate piazzas and magnificent fortifications could also have something to do with it too.

There's an impressive list of TV and film titles that have used Dubrovnik as a backdrop, including episodes of Game of Thrones and the latest Star Wars: Episode VIII film. If you're a real fan you can take tours showing you around all the sites, where you can picture Han Solo when he fought the good fight.

Take the Dubrovnik Cable Car for the best views ever

Some of the best views of Dubrovnik can be seen while taking a ride on the Dubrovnik Cable Car, which starts on a hillside above the town, offering views across 60 kilometres on a clear day. This would have been excellent for spotting enemy sailing ships, which is why the Imperial Fortress, located nearby, was built on this spot in the early 1800s.

If you can't get enough of the scenery you can stay while you have a meal at the Panorama Restaurant which sits at the top of the cable run. Boasting awesome views, it also serves Mediterranean specialities and tasty cocktails, so you can completely unwind and recharge before you enjoy the panoramic views on the way back down.

Walk along the fortified city walls and browse an ancient market

Dubrovnik was always a heavily fortified spot and the city walls and imposing presence of St John's Fortress remain largely intact. One good place to start exploring is to take a stroll along the top of the wall working your way round and spotting areas you'd like to explore further.

You may also want to visit the beautifully baroque Gunduliceva Pljana square which is home to the oldest market in Dubrovnik. Browse for fruits, vegetables or local handicrafts here, just as people have done for centuries, and at the end of market an official feeds the pigeons, keenly watched by local cats.

Visit Dubrovnik’s oldest pharmacy in the Franciscan Monastery

The entire old town area is like a living museum where everything has a long history attached but one must-see is the Franciscan Monastery. The original was built in the 13th century outside the town walls and following a devastating attack it was quickly re-located inside the walls, remaining there since, but growing in size and grandeur over time.

It still has an operational pharmacy which has been dispensing prescriptions for over 700 years. You can also visit the Pharmacy Museum with its collection of ancient bottles, some still containing medicinal potions and poisons which date back to the 15th century.

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