The town is situated at the foot of Rila, on both banks of the Dzherman River - a tributary to the Struma. which springs from the Seven Rila Lakes.
Traces of life from five millenia B.C. have been discovered in the region, beside remains of the Thracian culture (a necropolis mound), and an ancient settlement and necropolis from the Roman era. During the period from 1993-1995, in the locale of Kulata, in the northwestern part of the town, workers discovered the foundations of a fortress which existed during the 4-6th century and was also used during the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (12th century), when a defensive tower was built in the centre of the hill - from which the town gained its name Kulata (the tower). The town is mentioned in Ottoman documents of the 15th century as Dupnitsa, Dupnidzhe, and Dubnitsa among other names. After 1950 it was known, in succession, as Marek and Stanke Dimitrov. In 1990 the town chose to return to the old name. The community and political life of Dupnitsa and the region was marked by the idea of national unity and assistance to Bulgarians left under the rule of the Sultan even after the Liberation. The town gave shelter to thousands of refugees from Macedonia. The economic boom led to financial stability and enabled the population to build churches, schools, and cultural clubs. One resident of Dupnitsa, the renowned National-Revival teacher and scholar Hristaki Pavlovich, published the first Bulgarian-language textbooks on the subjects of Bulgarian history and arithmetic, the first Bulgarian book in the secular script, the first Bulgarian printed edition of Slavo-Bulgarian History by Otets (Father) Paisiy of Hilendar - the original expression of the idea of national revival and liberty.
• The Historical Museum consisting of several departments.
• The Zora Library created in 1858 by the cultural club which came into being the same year.
• The Art Gallery.
• The Nevena Kokanova Municipal Drama Theater, which was founded in the second half of 1878 and is the legacy of amateur theatrical troupes.
• Remains of a medieval fortress in the locale of Kulata.
• The clock tower from 1782.
• Churches: Sts. Constantine and Helena's (restored in 1902), The Holy Virgin's (1789), in whose courtyard, in 1849, the St. Nikola School was built (1844).
• The Sapareva Banya resort 15 km east of Dupnitsa, where the hottest mineral spring in Europe is situated - water temperature 103.8°C (218.8°F). The resort is built over an old Thracian settlement whose successor was the Roman city of Germanea. The small St. Nicholas' church is situated in the centre of the town; it is one of the few architectural monuments preserved from the First Bulgarian Kingdom.
• The resort village of Panichishte 25 km from the town.
• The Boboshevo Monastery (18 km southwest of Dupnitsa) - one of the oldest Bulgarian cloisters. It was founded during the 9th century and it is connected with the early years of St. Ivan of the Rila Mountain who was born in the nearby village of Skrino. During the invasion of the Turks the monastery was destroyed. It was reconstructed in 1488. The small St. Demetrius' Church, with its unique murals, dates from that time. The frescoes, the work of three local icon painters, impress with their free flow and imagination. The composition known as Judgment Day, which decorates the western facade of the church, is of special interest.