The view from the Dubrovnik Cable Car at sunset is completely breathtaking – but did you realise there’s parking at the top which means, if you have a car, you can simply drive up there and avoid the Dubrovnik cable car queues completely?
One of the dominant features in and around Dubrovnik is the cable car, which runs between Old Town Dubrovnik and the top of the ‘Srd Hill’, which overlooks the Old Town and the sea and islands beyond.
There’s a restaurant at the top of the Dubrovnik cable car – the Panorama Restaurant – along with a souvenir shop, several viewing points and the starting point of an off-road buggy tour.
We had planned to take the Dubrovnik cable car at sunset – towards the end of our week in Dubrovnik as it seems any visit here isn’t really complete without going up there; but when we investigated further it turned out we were looking at queues of about 90-minutes and a cost of almost £60 for our family of five.
I can tell you, having been up there now, that the queuing and the cost is worth it for the breathtaking views, particularly at sunset (which is a popular time).
However, we realised that you can actually just drive up to the top – there’s a road that runs from just outside Dubrovnik all the way up to literally the very top of the hill by the restaurant itself. And there’s plenty of free car parking space up the top there too!
We had a hire car, so were able to save ourselves queuing in the burning hot summer sun, save the £60 cost and just make our own way up at our own leisure, which we felt was a much better experience all round.
If you can’t drive up there, you can even take a tuk-tuk up there from the Old Town, which would also feel like a preferable option to the cable car itself.
The road is fairly narrow and there’s a fair bit of squeezing past oncoming vehicles, but it’s no problem at all. We just set the Panorama Restaurant as the destination in our Google Maps (details below) and we were up there in about 10-minutes!
Anyway, even if you can’t make it up by road and either have to, or indeed perhaps you want to, take the cable car, once you’re at the top you’ll see what all the fuss is about and you won’t regret it!
The view is just absolutely incredible. It’s the best view of Old Town Dubrovnik you’ll get from anywhere and the best view of the nearby islands from anywhere.
And going up in the late afternoon / early evening, as the sun is setting, is really worthwhile. It got pretty busy up there, but seeing the colour of the sky as the sun set over such an insanely beautiful town and coastline was actually quite emotional! This part of the Croatian coastline has to be one of Europe’s most beautiful places and to see it in the light of the setting sun made for memories and photos that will last forever.
The closer to sunset it got, the more people started to arrive and it started to get hard to find a place where you weren’t jostling for position with loads of other tourists. There’s a rocky area just below the restaurant with tons of ideal photo spots and it started to get a bit difficult to get a spot where someone else wasn’t in your photo! But it’s not too bad – and with a bit of careful positioning and cropping, you can get some amazing photos without loads of other people in your background.
This was at the height of summer, where everywhere is busy around here, so is to be expected and certainly didn’t spoil the experience for us at all.
Here’s a tip: As the sun is setting, take a walk along the back of the restaurant and fortress building, past the big radio mast and past the gravel car park where the 4wd buggies are kept. It feels like you’re not meant to be there, but you’ll find at the other side of the building there’s a cliff-top area and a path with completely un-interrupted views of the coast and the sun setting behind you. There are also far fewer people over that other side of the building too.
Whether you’re in Dubrovnik for a day visiting or staying for a holiday, the trip up to the top of the cable car is an absolute must. You’ll absolutely love it and will be completely blown away – but, if you can, we strongly recommend driving up there and saving yourself the hassle of the cable car itself!
Details you’ll need
- Use this destination on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/eeANMGgxg162
- There’s plenty of free car parking space at the top
- As you drive along the main ‘Jadranska Cesta’ coastal road, there’s just a turn-off a mile or so outside Dubrovnik Old Town, which takes you up to the top. The Google Maps link to the turn-off point is here: https://goo.gl/maps/2UYBXB5Jhby