Riding the Dubrovnik Cable Car: Breathtaking Views and Pensive Moments

“You haven’t seen a tree until you’ve seen its shadow from the sky.”

Amelia Earhart

Our first two days in Dubrovnik, the sun hid among a thick cloak of clouds. Dodging a deluge of raindrops that is unusual for the city, we longed for the vibrant ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ of postcards – those sapphire-blue skies meeting a sea dressed in the same hue, ripe-orange rooftops, and verdant palm and pine trees dotting the craggy landscape.

Diligently watching the weather reports, we made strategic plans for when to ride the city’s cable car up to Mount Srdj, 405 meters above sea level. As we walked to the cable car station, things started looking up as Dubrovnik gracefully began her transition from greyscale tones to Technicolor.

Dubrovnik Cable Car Ride01
mount srdj and cable car cables
Dubrovnik Cable Car going to Old Town
Dubrovnik's rooftops are visible from the cable car.
Dubrovnik's Old Town and seaside - as seen from the cable car.
Dubrovnik Cable Car Ride13
Me and Shawn.

Our cable car lifted off, and within seconds, Dubrovnik looked more like a medieval Lego land than a formidable city with imposing walls. In my peripheral vision, residential rooftops faded into scratchy green vegetation, and finally a rocky hillside. In less than three minutes, we had glided 778 meters from lower to upper station.

Old Town Dubrovnik Rooftops from Above
Dubrovnik Old Town Harbor
Lokrum Island in Dubrovnik
The island of Lokrum.
Dubrovnik Cable Car
Adriatic Sea by Dubrovnik
Where the sky meets the sea.
view of old town from mount srdj
Lokrum Island (left) and Dubrovnik’s Old Town (right).

Our destination – Mount Srdj – has been a strategic defense spot for centuries. The Imperial Fortress that still crowns the hillside today was built between 1806-1812 by the French. Later, it was extended by the Austro-Hungarians, and in 1991, it sheltered local fighters who defended the town during the Siege of Dubrovnik. Today, it houses the Homeland War Museum.

cross on mount srdj
Cross atop Mount Srdj.
Candles sit by a memorial atop Mount srdj, in Dubrovnik.
Fort Imperial atop mount srdj
The 19th-century Imperial Fortress.

The city’s original cable car was built in 1969, but destroyed in 1991. Its bright-orange successor was not put into service until 2010, after the station was completely rebuilt.

The original cable car, as featured in a poster in the station's hallway.
The original cable car, as featured in a poster in the station’s hallway.
A collage of pictures, following the 1991 Siege of Dubrovnik.
A collage of pictures, following the 1991 Siege of Dubrovnik, as featured in the station’s waiting area.
View from Dubrovnik Cable Car Platform
The view from the cable car’s platform.
Dubrovnik Cable Car

The views are, of course, the star attraction on Mount Srdj: diminutive Dubrovnik below, the Adriatic Sea as far as the eye can see, nearby Lokrum Island (a protected nature sanctuary and also the scene of filming for the Game of Thrones) and the rugged landscape to the north (which is slated to be developed into a golf course).

Mount Srdj - Dubrovnik
couple atop mount srdj
A couple soaks up the sunshine.
couple walking atop mount srdj
croatian hilltop landscape - near dubrovnik

We were pleased to learn that we did not have to catch the next cable car down, and that we could stay up on Mount Srdj until around closing time. We walked on the multiple terraces, reflecting upon the city’s impressive history. From this vantage point, the city’s strategic location was ever more apparent.

View of Dubrovnik Old Town rooftops from overhead
Dubrovnik Cable Car at upper statio
Dubrovnik Cable Car Cables set against Adriatic
Cables, with the Adriatic and a speeding boat as their backdrop.
Shawn overlooking old town dubrovnik and adriatic
dubrovnik old harbor view from overhead
Looking at view of old town Dubrovnik from atop mount srdj
clouds in sky over Dubrovnik, Croatia

I enjoyed watching nature’s canvas change with the light and clouds as pensive thoughts popped into my head. They are the kind of musings that are inspired by such history and beauty. I found myself pondering how to bring people together and promote peace, and concluded that travel – and  the intercultural exchange that can happen as a result – is a starting point. Finally, it was simply entertaining watching the expressions of cable car passengers newly arrived to the terrace. The looks of excitement on their faces as they glimpsed the tiny version of the Old Town below reminded me of our visit to the Grand Canyon last summer.

Walking Dubrovnik’s walls and experiencing this unique view from Mount Srdj are certainly the two best souvenirs we’ll take away from our time in Dubrovnik.

Watch Shawn’s video below to see the scenes come to life.

old town dubrovnik
View from Dubrovnik Cable Car Platform
Waiting for the cable car to take us down to the lower station.
riding dubrovnik cable car down
Dubrovnik Cable Car
Mount Srdj as seen from cable car station in Dubrovnik
The view from down below: looking up to Mount Srdj.
View of Dubrovnik Old Town from Cable Car Station
View from the lower cable car station.

Video of This Experience:

Where in the World?

Planning Pointers:

  • Purchase your tickets from the Dubrovnik Cable Car’s lower station. The round-trip price for adults is 170 kunas (about $25.50 USD), whereas a one-way ticket is 90 kunas ($13.50 USD). Children’s tickets are 60 / 40 kunas round-trip and one-way ($9 / $6), respectively. Here are the cable car prices.
  • You’re probably wondering why there is a one-way ticket option? When you’re atop Mount Srdj looking down, you’ll notice a series of switchbacks on the footpath leading to/from the city. The hike is said to take about 90 minutes.
  • The upper station complex offers restrooms, a restaurant, souvenir shop, and several viewing terraces. Hours vary, based upon the season. Check the Dubrovnik Cable Car website for more details. We especially appreciated that we could enjoy the views from atop Mount Srdj for as long as our schedule permitted, and that there were no time constraints for returning (so long as we caught the last cable car down in time).
  • Need more inspiration? This link contains an index of all my posts from Croatia.

Disclosure & Thanks: 

The Dubrovnik Cable Car hosted us for this excursion.

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved. Video footage is courtesy of my husband, Shawn.

Published by Tricia A. Mitchell

Tricia A. Mitchell is a freelance writer and photographer. Born in Europe but raised in the United States, she has lived in Valletta, Malta; Heidelberg, Germany; and Split, Croatia. An avid globetrotter who has visited more than 65 countries, she has a penchant for off-season travel. Tricia has learned that travel’s greatest gift is not sightseeing, rather it is the interactions with people. Some of her most memorable experiences have been sharing a bottle of champagne with distant French cousins in Lorraine, learning how to milk goats in a sleepy Bulgarian village, and ringing in the Vietnamese New Year with a Hanoi family. She welcomes any opportunity to practice French and German, and she loves delving into a place’s history and artisanal food scene. A former education administrator and training specialist, Tricia has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in international relations. She and her husband, Shawn, married in the ruins of a snowy German castle. They’ve been known to escape winter by basing themselves in coastal Croatia or Southeast Asia. Her writing has appeared in Fodor’s Travel, Frommer’s, and International Living.

58 thoughts on “Riding the Dubrovnik Cable Car: Breathtaking Views and Pensive Moments

  1. One of my favorite places is standing on Mt. Srd, gazing down on Dubrovnik. Pinch myself every time just to make sure that I am here and not dreaming.

    1. It is a magical experience, isn’t it? When I was in Dubrovnik in 2007, the cable car didn’t exist, so I didn’t have the opportunity to catch this bird’s eye view. Are there fireworks in the city for New Year’s Eve? If so, Mount Srdj would certainly be a perfect place to see them!

      1. Yes we do have fireworks on New Year’s Eve. However the thought of being up on Srd and walking the goat path both up and down…

      2. The serpentine goat path is difficult to find, miserable to walk full of stones and obstacles and will take a minimum of 90 minutes or more. Take the cable car up and walk down if you are so inclined. Would not walk it again for love nor money.

      3. Good information to know! Appreciate your straightforward advice and insight. :) On a side note, we were surprised to see that our hotel’s price had tripled between April and May! (We were sharing our trip details with a friend who’s headed there.) We were lucky to be in the city during a quieter tourist season!

      4. During the summer season prices increase, seems to be the norm on the entire coast. It seems to be the norm, as I saw the same happening in Hawaii when I lived on Oahu.

  2. Beautiful pictures. Between all these images and your words, I felt like I was going up to the top with you. It sounds like a must, when you’re in that part of the world. Thanks for sharing the logistics on how to get tickets and when to go. Hope I have the chance someday.

    1. Juliann, glad you could travel along, if only in spirit for the time being. :) My husband’s video footage embedded at the bottom has been sped up (for more effect and shorter attention spans), but the views really are quite special from up there. Next time we’re going to try hiking, but I hear that takes about 90 minutes.

      You do so much globetrotting that I’m certain you’ll make it to this part of the world someday soon.

    1. Jo, if these views make you envious, then you wouldn’t want to see our current view in Ulcinj, Montenegro. The ‘backyard’ of our simple guesthouse is the Adriatic – literally. The people are so friendly, and it’s so inexpensive this time of year. We haven’t seen any other tourists in this old town.

      Might this region be your preferred destination this year, or is Portugal perpetually calling? :)

    1. No wonder Dubronik’s known as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic.’ You and Mom simply need to come to this region again. I remember being up north in early 2007 and wanting desperately to make it to Dubrovnik that weekend, but we just didn’t have enough time to drive down the coast.

    1. Sunday in Dubrovnik… it has a nice ring to it, Virginia. :) I think you’d be inspired by some of the food in this region too (lots of seafood, of course, but also red peppers and feta, and of course the peka dish we learned how to make). We’re off to Albania today, so we’re curious to see how the cuisine and culture will change.

      1. Ah so many returns to do Tricia. By the way I am in Germany/Munich from middle of June to beginning of July for a wedding. Of course I will be in Garmisch to see my family there. By any chance are you going to be there too around this time???? Would be great to meet!!!! in the Bavarian summer!!!

      2. Cornelia, I would also love to meet you! We should most certainly be back in Oberammergau in June/July. How fun… Please keep me posted about your travel plans and I will do the same. I’m excited. :)

      3. Oh I will Tricia, that would be fun to meet in Garmisch. I am also going to Tuscany for a week or so, friends had invited me to come along with them, sounds like a dream for me. So we will talk later.

      4. Ah, ‘la dolce vita’ too. Sounds wonderful. I’m happy for you that you have such an exciting summer agenda planned. I’ll be in touch as we decide what we’re doing. :)

  3. Fantastic views and colorful description. I love the Lego Land analogy. First class production of the video. You both really are ambassadors for wherever life takes you.

    1. Lynne, thank you for your kind words. We’re lucky to be seeing this much of the world and meeting people from all corners of it, and so we try to be the best citizen diplomats we can be. :)

      I passed along your comment to Shawn about his video, and it brought a smile to his face. Making videos has been a passion of Shawn’s ever since he was a little guy with a camcorder.

      I can’t recall if you and Ron had been to the Balkans?

      1. No, we haven’t been to the Balkan’s, but I see it on the list. We are going to Havana at the end of April for a week with a cultural, educational group. Should be fun.

      2. Oh Lynne, Cuba sounds incredibly interesting. We’ve been saying that we’d love to join one of the cultural tours so that we can make it in. I know that you and Ron will be sharing tales of your adventures. I’ll look for them with anticipation! How did you find the group you’re traveling with?

  4. Great post Tricia. Also, Wow! The is very well done, and looks like a professional job. I’ve taken a few videos and am planning to imbed some in our blog, but haven’t gotten around to researching the “how to”. ~James

    1. James, flattered by your comments – thank you! My hubby, Shawn, appreciates the kind words too, since he’s the video man.

      You’ll be happy to hear that embedding videos into the blog is quite easy. Once you’ve posted the video on Youtube, just click the ‘Share’ tab. From there, you can paste the code directly into the text area of your blog post. Easy peasy!

    1. Marilyn, have you been to Dubrovnik? I had been there once before our current trip, but the cable car didn’t exist then. I’m so glad we were able to make it back to the city again, during the quiet tourist season, and experience the view. Magnificent!

  5. Tricia, the reasons why I love your blog, which I read for the first time today:
    First: I liked the vignette, so to the point and beautiful.
    Second: your photos and your stories are so interesting and well done
    Third: The way you are combining fun with interesting and showing a way to participate. Without preaching, just by being and telling what you see where you are
    Of course I am looking forward to following you and your travels! Solveig.

    1. Solveig, what a pleasure to connect. Many thanks for your kind comments; they made my morning!

      Are you in Norway, and if so, what part? (A branch of my family is from there.) ‘Tusen takk’ once more for stopping by, and I look forward to being inspired by more of your tales in the future. I particularly enjoyed the one about the rescue dog.

  6. More beautiful photos. I’m not really a big fan of cable cars, or ski lifts or any mechanical advice that takes me up, up, up and up, so have never actually been on the cable car (though always recommend it!). I think I need to toughen up next time I’m in Dubrovnik, and take the ride….

    1. I’m a bit like you (don’t love heights) but found the ride to be quite smooth. I’d taken a few gondola rides while skiing in the Alps. Those rides lasted 10-15 minutes, whereas the one in Dubrovnik was less than three.

      Here’s hoping you’ll muster up the courage the next time you’re in town! The views are spectacular.

    1. Lucky you! How long are you planning on staying? Certainly, Dubrovnik is a bustling, heavily-touristic city, but for good reason. It’s stunning.

      We were also lucky enough to visit Dalmatia for several weeks. We’re hoping to return so that we can also visit some of Croatia’s national parks – especially Plitvice.

      1. We spent about 8 weeks in Dalmatia this past winter/spring. We really enjoyed tiny Trogir, Sibenik, Split, and of course Dubrovnik. Next time, we’re eager to also explore Pula and Zadar, in addition to Plitvice National Park, and Rovinj. If you’re looking for more of what inspired us while in Croatia, here’s a link to my Croatia index: https://triciaannemitchell.com/croatia/

        I think going there in spring will be a wise choice, as you’ll likely escape a lot of the tourist crowds. We were there from early Feb. until mid April and were pleased to have sunny skies, and little to no crowds. Dubrovnik is, of course, popular even in April, but at night, we strolled the streets, and they were relatively quiet after the cruise ships had left. The favorite foods we tried while we were there were “peka” and the wild asparagus, which we harvested ourselves. :)

  7. We visited the museum at dusk and thought we could walk down via the car road. That was a big mistake because it took us way out in the wrong direction and finally we were able to make a deal with a bus driver to get back to Ploce in Dubrovnik. Otherwise, we would have traipsed down for half the night.

    1. Paul, thank goodness you met a bus driver who was willing to help. Hopefully your mention of “making a deal” with him didn’t mean that you had to pay a hefty fee?

      We haven’t walked down from the top of the mountain, however, when we return to Dubrovnik, I’ll keep your story in mind, and be sure to take the old path on the other side of the hill.

      Aside from that adventure, I trust that you had a nice time in Dubrovnik? :)

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