Alex and I are big fans of cities with hills and cities with public transportation. Dubrovnik ticks both boxes, but just barely. (I’m sure he’ll argue with me and say that the cable car is a tourist attraction and not real public transport, but there IS a museum at the top, so there is a destination other than the experience itself. But Alex is in Mexico City at the moment, and I’m writing this blog post all by myself, so I figure I can say whatever I want!) Yes, Dubrovnik has hills and transport.On our second day in Dubrovnik we took the cable car up to the top of Srdj hill. It’s 405 meters above the old town, and the views can be stunning. The cable car first opened in 1969, but was irreparably damaged during the Siege of Dubrovnik, and only opened again in 2011. There are currently two cars in operation, and each holds 30 people, so be prepared to wait during peak periods. The trip only takes 3 minutes, and it’s a lot like a ski gondola.
This is the cable car – bright orange!
Once you get to the top, there is an observation deck, gift shop, restaurant, small amphitheatre (perfect for weddings, I would imagine), and a war museum. You can also leave the visitor’s centre and walk around the top of the hillside.
Here are a few tips if you decide to visit:
- Go early in the morning. In the afternoon, the clouds tend to come over the water, and the view isn’t as clear. Apparently it’s very nice to go up in the late afternoon and watch the sunset, but we had clouds every afternoon. Maybe that’s the weather pattern in the winter? Not sure.
- Try to get the window spot facing the water in the gondola – otherwise it’s hard to see out over the annoying tourists (not that I would count myself among that group, of course!)
- No matter how many pictures you take, they won’t look as good as the ones for sale, or the ones in your memory.
- Take a jumper – the wind can blow up there!
- You can take the cable car one-way up and walk down. The path is well-marked, but it was just a switch-back trail through the shrub brush and didn’t look particularly interesting. I suppose you could also walk UP and take the cable car back down … but I would not recommend it unless you are super fit.
- Don’t lean against the railings. They were a bit wobbly, and I would not trust them!
And here are a few pictures from our excursion.
The cable car has been going for about 1 minute, and you get a great view of the old town harbour, with the island of Lokrum in the distance. Now if only there weren’t those annoying cables! Oh wait, but then we would fall…
This is at about the 2 minute mark on the journey – everything is getting smaller and smaller! When you pass the midway point (at that pillar in the middle) the angle becomes quite a bit steeper. Hold on to your stomachs!
Standing at the top on the observation deck, looking down at the cable car coming up. Rocky slopes below.
All the tourists were taking taking pictures looking west out over the water, so I decided to take a picture looking east. It’s pretty rugged and empty, as far as the eye can see. I would not want to get lost out there.
Standing on the upper observation deck looking down at the annoying tourists on the lower observation deck.
We wandered out the back of the visitor centre and found some ruins – not sure if they are left from construction of the visitor centre, or left over from the military action during the siege.
I can only describe this as a manmade trench. I’m not sure why it was at the top of the mountain, but nothing that I can imagine is good.
King of all he surveys!
Looking down at the old town. Our hotel as just outside the city walls on the right side of the picture.