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How to Hike to Mount Srd from Dubrovnik (Fort Imperial)

How to Hike to Mount Srd from Dubrovnik (Fort Imperial)

Olly Gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler for 6 years. I visit every place I write about & share real tips, photos, & advice from my trips.

Walk up Dubrovnik’s mountain to the historically significant Fort Imperial and be rewarded with the best viewpoint in town!

Known mostly for its stunning old town, picturesque beaches, and iconic Dalmatian coastal vistas, Dubrovnik isn’t precisely a hiking hub.

However, when visiting Dubrovnik, there is one short yet rewarding trail worth checking out. This is the Mount Srd hike, which offers incredible views over Dubrovnik, especially at sunset!

In this quick hiking guide, I’ll how to get to the trailhead from Dubrovnik Old Town and what to expect on the walk. Furthermore, at the bottom of this post, I’ll reveal to you the best viewpoint spots on Srd mountain (with photos).

View of dubrovnik from srd hill
View from the trail on the way up

Key Points & Overview of Srđ Mountain

Mount Srd (Srđ - pronounced "serdge" and also spelled "Mount Serdj") is an unmissable mountain peak located directly behind the city of Dubrovnik. You'll notice this steep, dominant ridge almost anywhere you go in town. Here's what you need to know.

  • Hiking Distance: 2.1 kilometers (1.3 miles) one way
  • Duration: 40 mins - 1 hour to the top (30-40 mins down)
  • Elevation: 255 m (836 ft) elevation gain from the road trailhead |
    Mount Srd height: 412 meters (1352 ft)
  • Difficulty: Easy-moderate
  • Start Point: Staza Prema Utvrdi Imperial
  • One primary trail leads to the summit, which is easily accessible on foot from the old walled city.

Mount Srd is part of the Dinaric Alps, and although it's not very tall (around 412 meters), it is quite steep, with its summit less than 700 meters (as the crow flies) from the Adriatic Sea. Alternatively, travelers can take the easy option by opting for the Cable Car, or a taxi since there is also a road leading up behind the mountain.

Travel tip: If you're planning to do the Panoramic zip-line, then you can book this online cheaply and get a free transfer to the top of Mount Srd.

Top of mount srd in dubrovnik

How to Get to the Mount Srd Trailhead from the Old City (Stari Grad)

While there are easier ways to reach the summit of Mount Srd, I recommend taking the hike. Chances are you'll be looking for a way to burn off all those cocktails and gelatos, and the views along the trail aren't too bad either!

To get to the Mount Srd trailhead, you'll want to first navigate to the map pin below. If you're walking from the Old City as I did, you can expect a roughly 1.1-kilometer walk (around 15-20 minutes) from the Pile Gate.

Google Maps Pin: "Staza Prema Utvrdi Imperial"

This follows steep, cobblestone streets which can get a bit disorientating. So, to avoid getting lost, I suggest plugging the coordinates below into your navigation app.

Alternatively, you could also get a cab or Uber to the trailhead as well.

Srd hill track, dubrovnik

My Experience Hiking up Mount Srd from Dubrovnik

While the mountain above Dubrovnik looks steep, the trail leading up to its summit is carved in a series of switchbacks. As a result, the gradient is very manageable for most people, with just 255 meters of incline throughout 2.1 kilometers.

Furthermore, the track is very wide, well-maintained, and easy to follow. For these reasons, I'd say that climbing Dubrovnik's Mount Srd should be quite easy for most people with a general level of fitness.

Below I'll go into a bit more detail about my exxperience on the hike so that you know what to expect.

Mount srd trailhead

Forested Section

Beginning from the forest trailhead off the main, busy highway (Jadranksa Cesta), the trail almost immediately started to climb into the forest and up Srd Hill.

While the track is rocky, we noticed that it is very wide and easy to follow. So, using a map or hiking app is not necessary to complete this walk.

After less than 10 minutes of walking, the trail breaks out of the tree line. From here, we were rewarded with increasingly better views of Dubrovnik and the Old City as we gained altitude.

Girl hiking mount srd
Walking through the first forested section of the trail

Hiking the Dubrovnik Stations of the Cross

This walking trail features a series of switchback turns climbing gently up the mountain. At each turn, we saw a copper relief dedicated to Jesus. As a result, many locals call his hike the "Way of the Cross", as it's supposed to symbolize Jesus' journey from trial to the tomb.

I counted a total of 15 turns leading up Srd Mountain, but there are five Stations of the Cross.

Girl hiking srd mountain
Stations of the cross relief in dubrovnik, croatia

Fort Imperial & Srkva sv. Srd de Vergata

After about 40 minutes to an hour of walking, we entered back into the forest at the top of Srd Hill. This is where we found Fort Imperial, and a small church called Skrva Sv. Srd de Vergata. Also, the hardest thing to miss is the undeniably ugly communications tower.

At Fort Imperial, visitors can browse the Museum of the Croatian War of Independence (Homeland War). Here, you can talk about the recent history of this city, and how Fort Imperial on Mount Srd became a symbol of strength and defense for its people.

Behind the fort, there's also a large parking lot.

Fort imperial, croatia
Museum of croatian war of independence at fort imperial

What to Expect at the Summit of Mount Srd

There's a lot to discover at the top of this mountain, which is why I consider hiking up Mount Srd as one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik!

The Cable Car

Of course, the Cable Car is one of the most iconic features of this hill. While it does offer a very scenic way to experience the beauty of the city and the Dalmatian Coast, many of the more conservative locals that I've spoken to consider it a bit of an eyesore.

For me, I'd much rather hike up to earn the view. However, if you're set on taking the Cable Car, then there's always the option of taking it back down as well.

Dubrovnik cable car from mount srd

Dubrovnik Mountain Zipline

If you're up for an adventure, you'll find the Panorama Zipline here! This is quite a long run that zooms over the steep slopes of Mount Srd, just beyond the Cable Car building.

Man on the dubrovnik zipline

Panorama Restaurant

Between the Zipline and the Cable Car building is a beautiful restaurant with a fitting name. Panorama has an outdoor seating area with a beautiful view of Dubrovnik, the Adriatic Sea, and Lokrum Island.

View from the dubrovnik panorama restaurant

The Best Viewpoints Of Dubrovnik from Srd Mountain

If you're like me, then you've come to hike Dubrovnik's Mount Srd for the spectacular view! It's no secret, but this mountain easily offers the best views you'll find in the region!

However, there are a few spots that make for a better photo (and fewer crowds).

View of dubrovnik from the srdj hiking trail

The Stone Cross Lookout

The tall Stone Cross sits directly adjacent to the Panorama Restaurant and in front of it, visitors will find a perfect lookout spot over Dubrovnik. There's a steel railing here, but the cliff is not steep at all. So,

Haylea decided to jump over and get an iconic photo of Dubrovnik as seen below.

Keep in mind this spot can get a bit crowded, especially during sunset.

Girl at the dubrovnik panorama viewpoint

Top of the Cable Car Building

Even if you're not taking the cable car, you can walk up the stairs in the building to get the highest possible views on Mount Srd. This offers a great view, but the tall concrete pillars holding up the cables can get in the way of a good shot.

Dubrovnik old town from above
View of The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary

The Secret Viewpoint

Okay, it's not that secret, but it's surprising just how many people skip it in favor of the more crowded spots mentioned above. If on the way up the hill, you turn left instead of right towards the Cable Car and restaurant, you'll see a path leading further along Mount Srd's ridge.

Follow this trail and you'll arrive at a large, cleared area offering plenty of space for great photos without the cable car hoards. Furthermore, you'll also get arguably the best view of the sunset behind the Elaphiti Islands from here too.

Girl at dubrovnik viewpoint

Where to Stay in Dubrovnik, Croatia

With a population of only around 42,000, Dubrovnik isn't a large city. However, it does attract over 1.5 million tourists every year. As a result, you can expect many great places to stay in Dubrovnik, including resorts, hotels, and hostels for every budget.

From my experience, the best area to stay is in or close to the Old Town (Stari Grad, or Walled City). This is where you'll find most of the attractions and highlights. However, we also found that staying just outside the city, or in one of the beautiful cliffside resorts and hotels is cheaper if you want to save money.

Below are my favorite accommodation picks for the city of Dubrovnik, Croatia.

  • Bota Palace - Located in the center of the Old Town and a 3-minute walk from Buza Beach. This Bed and Breakfast offers beautifully decorated rooms, wifi, a kitchen, fridge, oven, and a la carte breakfast. A great pick for couples wanting to explore the city within the walls.
  • Hostel Petra Marina - With direct access to the local bus stop right outside, this hostel is just 200 meters away from the port and the perfect place to stay for backpackers wanting to explore Dubrovnik.
  • Rixos Premium Dubrovnik - A luxury choice for those wanting to relax in ultimate style. Modern-styled rooms with sea views and only a 2-minute walk to the beach. It offers a 2-story spa with features a Turkish bath and indoor pool.
Dubrovnik old town

I hope that you've enjoyed this brief but useful hiking guide for Mount Srd in Dubrovnik Croatia.

If you did, make sure to check out some of my other articles below!

Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure traveler from Australia. I’ve spent the last six years traveling the world full-time, sharing my first-hand experiences & photography in over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. I visit every destination I write about to bring you unique travel itineraries, epic hiking routes, fun tour ideas, travel & photography gear ideas, & interesting places to stay.

I only make genuine, worthwhile recommendations based on my experience, expertise, & research. If you buy through my links, I may get a commission, supporting this website at no extra cost to you. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.


Monday 20th of May 2024

Be very good!!!