Discover Pile Gate Dubrovnik – Guide

If you’re staying in Dubrovnik, it’s impossible to miss out on the opportunity of passing through the Pile Gate, and indulging in the depth of the Old Town and its cultural heritage.

The start of almost any tour

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Almost any tour of the old city starts at the famous Pile Gate, which is one of the top attractions among visitors! It is also a good spot to start the city wall walk.

The gate is the main entrance to the walled city. It is located on the western part of town walls. It will also take you straight to the main, most famous street: Stradun – town’s main promenade.

View from inner gate towards the bridge connecting the gates

Once a significant defensive structure, now is the starting point of a fantastic Dubrovnik city tour and its medieval walls!

Let’s not forget to mention that Pile Gates was one of the filming locations for the ultra-popular Game of Thrones TV series.

Architecture and History of Pile Gate

Dubrovnik Pile Gate entrance

Architecture

Pile gate of Dubrovnik has medieval architecture.
It consists of two gates:

  • The inner gate of the city walls, which was built in 1460
View of the Inner gates and Stradun street in Old Town
  • The outer gate of the city walls, which was built in 1537
Outer Pile gate, a famous view

Initially, the two gates were connected by a wooden drawbridge, a typical bridge design during medieval times.

As time goes, the drawbridge was replaced by a stone bridge connecting the two arches.

History

Later on, in 1806, the French army entered through these gates, led by Napoleon, to take over the city and put an end to the Dubrovnik Republic.

If you’re going to Old Town through Pile gate, make sure to look down at the open space the moment you cross the bridge. That area was once a deep-water ditch surrounding the gated city.

Right at the entrance, look above, and you will notice the statue of St. Blaise, the patron saint of the city, which was sculpted on both the inner and the outer arches.

Closer look at St Blaise statue on the outer gate

The statue of the patron saint, St. Blaise located on the Renaissance arch is as old as Pile gate.

However, the statue of the inner gate was created in the 20th century by the most prominent Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic.

After you go through the outer gate, it’s possible to see the mechanical counter weights used to pull the drawbridge. They played a major role in protecting the city from any intruders at night.

weighting system at the doors of the outer gate

And, as you pass through both gates, you will find yourself at the Stradun, the lifeline of Old Town. It is the busiest street of the ancient city, with thousands of visitors crossing the cobbled path daily to see the 17th-century buildings.

Inner gate entrance to Stradun

NOTE: There is disabled access to Stradun – just turn left and access the promenade along the ramp.

What’s Nearby Pile Gate

View from Pile gate towards the harbour and St Lawrence fort

The gate is a meeting point for both tourists and locals and it is one of three access points to the city. You can enjoy the view over a nearby small fishing harbour, fort Lovrijenac – another Game of Thrones filming location, crystal clear Adriatic sea.

Do you want to see all the Game of Thrones filming places in Dubrovnik? Be sure to book our Game of Thrones Tour Now!

How to Go from the Airport to Pile Gate

If you’re going to visit Old Town, there are two ways of doing that: a bus and a taxi. Dubrovnik City buses are cheaper but more time consuming.

view of the Dubrovnik city during a sunset, from the Srdj Hill, coming from Airport Cilipi

Any bus coming from the airport will drop you at the western side of the walls next to Old Town main entrance – Pile Gate.

view of the Dubrovnik city during a sunset, from the Srdj Hill, coming from Airport Cilipi

Bus Tickets

The bus tickets can be bought in two ways:

  • You buy the ticket directly when you take the bus: Once you take a seat, the driver or his assistant will sell you a ticket before departing.
  • You get your ticket online from the bus company’s website.

The bus ride takes approximately 30 minutes to take you to the Old Town from the airport. It will reach its destination at the Pile gate and drop you off there.

The area can be a bit crowded, considering the number of people getting through the gate, and the number of taxis and buses stopping there. So, make sure to take your luggage fast and make a quick exit to avoid the crowds!

View of the Fort Bokar from the forest across the harbor

Would you like to walk on top of the Old Town Pile Gate?
Join Our Half Day Special City Walls Tour Now!

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Pile Gate?

Pile Gate is located between fort Bokar and Minceta Tower in the Western wall of Dubrovnik Old Town. It is moments away from the West Harbour and a 5-minute walking distance from the Old Port. Pile Gate takes you directly to Stradun, in front of Onofrio’s Fountain.

What is Pile Gate in Croatian?

“Vrata od Pila” is how most commonly Croatian people would call Pile Gate. It is one of the two main gates of the Old Town.

What Are The Names of The Gates in Dubrovnik?

Right now there are three entrances to the Old Town: Pile Gate and Ploče Gate from the Medieval times, and Buza Gate that has been built by Austro-Hungarian Empire after in 1908 after the Dubrovnik was captured.