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Are you planning a trip to Croatia and wondering what things to do in Dubrovnik to add to your itinerary?

In this post I will cover the following to help you make the most of your trip to this beautiful Croatian city:

  1. Where is Dubrovnik?
  2. What are the must-do things in Dubrovnik?
  3. Tips when planning to walk the walls of Dubrovnik
  4. What are the best day trips to take if you are based in Dubrovnik?
  5. Where to stay in Dubrovnik
  6. Recommended places to eat and drink in Dubrovnik

WHERE IS DUBROVNIK?

Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage site situated at the very tip of the southernmost part of Croatia. It is close to both the Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina borders.

This ‘pearl of the Adriatic’ as some call it was a trading port throughout history and a major Mediterranean sea power from the 13th century onwards. The city walls have protected it from attacks  (the Venetians were apparently jealous of Dubrovnik’s success). The last attack on Dubrovnik came in 1991/2 when Serbian forces bombarded the city during a seven month siege.

Dubrovnik rooftops

WHAT ARE THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN DUBROVNIK?

Dubrovnik is a lovely city to wander with lots of  passageways and narrow streets to explore. It is totally pedestrianised.

TRACY’S TOP TIP I would highly recommend checking to see if there are any cruise ships due in port when you want to visit and planning to visit when they are NOT. Dubrovnik is incredibly busy in summer and the added strain of thousands of cruise ship day trippers will spoil your day. It also can make it extremely crowded at the Pile Gate.

As you walk up to the entrance to the old town at the Pile Gate look to your right to get a great view of Fort Lovrijenac. Once entering through the Pile gate (if you catch a bus it will drop you right outside the gate) directly in front of you is the Stradun (the main street), to the right is the Big Onofrio Fountain (built in 1438 by Onofrio della Cava) and at the end of the Stradun is the bell tower which is 31 metres high.

Dubrovnik old city in Croatia

The architecture of Dubrovnik is  a mixture of Gothic and Romanesque. Unfortunately a lot of the Renaissance architecture was destroyed in a terrible earthquake in 1667 which killed thousands of inhabitants.

Once you are in the old city my advice is to enjoy a leisurely stroll and soak in the atmosphere. If you are a fan of Game of Thrones see how many film locations you can spot!

  • VISIT LOKRUM ISLAND

This tiny island is only a short 15 minute ferry ride from Dubrovnik (it is only 600 metres from the city) The island has no inhabitants only day visitors and is a quieter greener experience than the old city. Covered in pine, cypress and olive trees you will find lots of shade in which to shelter from the summer heat. There are botanical gardens and the remains of a Benedictine Monastery to explore. Take your swimming gear and take a dip along the coast. Definitely a great excursion for a day – and for only 40 kuna a great option if you are on a budget.

  • TAKE THE CABLE CAR TO THE TOP OF SRD HILL

For great views over the city and surrounding areas take the cable car to Mount Srd high above the city. Visit the Museum Dubrovnik in Homeland War and learn about the cities more recent past and the impact of the war of 1991-1995 on the residents of Dubrovnik.

For more information check out the official website here.

 

The island of Lokrum off the coast of Dubrovnik

 

  • WALK THE WALLS OF DUBROVNIK

One must-do experience for your Dubrovnik itinerary is to walk the walls that surround the city. The Dubrovnik city walls are made from limestone and are 2kms long and between 4 to 6 metres thick! Incredibly after the earthquake in 1667,  which destroyed much of the town,  the walls were still standing.

I would try to walk the walls earlier in the day if you are in Dubrovnik during the hot summer months.  It is quite a strenuous walk with lots of steps so take a hat, wear flat, comfortable shoes and take plenty of water with you. It also gets very busy so I would advise to go early in the morning or later in the afternoon when the walls are less crowded.

To purchase a ticket once you enter the city though the Pile gate turn right and there is the ticket office. It costs 150 Kuna each (adult price).  You must pay in cash or with a credit card – Euros are NOT accepted. Opening times change throughout the year so be sure to check before you go. Remember to keep your ticket too as there is a checkpoint half way through (you can descend the walls at this point too if you want)

The views of Dubrovnik are amazing . It took us a little over 2 hours to complete the walk but we did stop to take lots of photographs.

 

the walls of Dubrovnik in Croatia

 

  • TAKE A WALKING TOUR OF DUBROVIK

There are lots of great walking tours of Dubrovnik available including Game of Thrones tours for dedicated fans of the show! I recommend using Get Your Guide and booking ahead of time for any tours you want to do in the city. It can become extremely busy especially during the months of July and August so book before you arrive and save time and money!

 

WHAT ARE THE BEST DAY TRIPS FROM DUBROVNIK?

The old city is lovely but I think a day or two exploring is probably enough. There are lots of things you can do if you are based in Dubrovnik and want to explore more of the area (or even some of the surrounding countries)

  • VISIT THE ELAFITI ISLANDS

These islands are an archipelago of 13 islands which are situated near Dubrovnik. Three of the islands are inhabited – Kolocep, Lopud and Sipan. We hired a boat and skipper for the day to take us around the islands and had a fantastic time. Click here if you want to know more about visiting the Elafiti Islands.

  • VISIT ARBORETUM TRSTENO

– Situated a short bus ride from Dubrovnik Arboretum Trsteno was established in 1948. It incorporates gardens and a villa which were  designed and built during the Renaissance. We had a lovely walk around the arboretum and the views are magnificent. Some scenes of the popular show Game of Thrones were shot in the arboretum and if you are a fan of the show you will defintiely recognise some of the locations. Read more about visiting Arboretum Trsteno 

 

Arboretum Trsteno and the Elafiti Islands in Croatia
View from Arboretum Trsteno and the Elafiti Islands

 

  • VISIT NEIGHBOURING BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

We could not pass up the opportunity to visit Bosnia-Herzegovina and took a day trip to visit Mostar with a local Dubrovnik guide. Read more about visiting Bosnia-Herzegonia.

  • VISIT MONTENEGRO

Montenegro is also very close to Dubrovnik and worth visiting for a day. We were able to enjoy a trip to Kotor and the stunning Kotor Bay without breaking the bank using a local company based in Dubrovnik. Click here to find out how to plan a day in Montenegro.

Mostar in Bosnia Herzegovina and Kotor Bay in Montenegro

 

WHERE TO STAY WHEN VISITING DUBROVNIK

I was advised not to stay in the old city and I think this is very sensible. The old city can become incredibly crowded during the summer months. Even worse when the cruise ships dock and there can be literally thousands of people trying to get in and out of the city though the Pile Gate.

We chose to stay on the Lapad peninsular which is a large residential suburb of Dubrovnik. It takes approximately 15 minutes to get to the Pile gate of the old city by bus from Lapad. Bus tickets are cheap and apart from the occasional crowded bus we found this a great way to get around.

In the summer it can be very hot in Croatia and if you enjoy relaxing by the pool finding accommodation outside the old city will be essential.

We booked a stay at the Villa Antea Apartments. The apartments were great value and the swimming pool, though small, had the most spectacular outlook! The restaurants and bars in Lapad are great too.  There is a pedestrianised strip to stroll down to enjoy a drink and a meal in the evening.

 

view from the villa antea apartments in Croatia

 

FOR BUDGET CONSCIOUS FAMILIES AND COUPLES LOOKING FOR AN APARTMENT IN AN IDEAL LOCATION NEAR DUBROVNIK

CLICK TO BOOK A STAY AT THE VILLA ANTEA APARTMENTS

 

RECOMMENDED PLACES TO EAT AND DRINK IN DUBROVNIK

During our visits to the old city we only had a drink/ice cream and one pizza. Generally  we made breakfast in our apartment every day before heading out to explore so tended to wait until evening to have a meal.

We found some fabulous places in Lapad for dinner and/or drinks with our favourite the Cave bar at the Hotel More. If you enjoy good food with a side order of sunset and stunning views then this is the place to visit! I would highly recommend you have at least a drink there – go and see the cave! Apparently when constructing the hotel they discovered the cave which was then incorporated into the bar.

There are plenty of other restaurants and bars along the pedestrianised strip in Lapad to choose from. The choice ranges from Italian and seafood to fast food outlets selling chips and burgers as well as plenty of bars offering cocktails.

TOP TIP: Although in the EU Croatia has not adopted the Euro and has its own currency the Kuna –  though most places accept both currencies.

Hotel More - Cave Bar in Dubrovnik Croatia

 


UNESCO World Heritage Site

unesco world heritage site

The Old City of Dubrovnik was inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1979. For more information about the listing visit the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

***

YOU MAY ENJOY THESE POSTS ABOUT TRAVEL IN THE BALKANS

CROATIACROATIAN ITINERARY DUBROVNIK TO ZAGREB  * TOP TIPS FOR CROATIA * VISITING KRKA WATERFALLS * VISITING ARBORETUM TRSTENO * BEST BOOKS TO READ BEFORE YOU VISIT CROATIA * A GUIDE TO TROGIR AND SIBENIK * UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES IN CROATIA * A GUIDE TO EXPLORING CROATIA BY FERRY 

BOSNIAA DAY TRIP TO BOSNIA FROM DUBROVNIKMONTENEGROA DAY TRIP TO MONTENEGRO FROM DUBROVNIK

SLOVENIAVISITING LJUBLJANA CITY OF DRAGONS * A GUIDE TO VISITING LAKE BLED 

EUROPE –  TOP 20 BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS IN EUROPE PART 1  *  TOP 20 BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS TO VISIT IN EUROPE PART 2

 

PIN FOR LATER!

Staying in Dubrovnik? My guide will tell you all you need to know - the best things to do in Dubrovnik featured by international travel blog, Tracy's Travels in Time

Staying in Dubrovnik? My guide will tell you all you need to know - the best things to do in Dubrovnik featured by international travel blog, Tracy's Travels in Time

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Author: Tracy

Over the last 50 years I have lived and worked in 7 countries on 4 continents and travelled to many more. I enjoy exploring and learning about new places and meeting people on my travels. History, reading, photography, nature and wildlife are my interests and I am ALWAYS researching and planning my next trip (preferably by train)

With a lifetime of travel experience, and a network of friends all over the world, I share genuine insider guides, recommended best book lists and train journey inspiration to help YOU travel authentically to some of the most beautiful places on earth.

Come and join me as I travel the world one country (and train journey) at a time!

This post may contain compensated links. Please read our disclaimer for additional information.

58 thoughts on “Best Things to Do in Dubrovnik in Croatia

  1. Linda Tallett says:

    Great post Tracy! Not a country I’ve thought of visiting but it does sound lovely. Looking forward to reading more about Croatia.

  2. Lauren says:

    Dubrovnik looks like such a dream! I’ve been wanting to go for so long and every time I see a post it just makes my wanderlust stronger! These seem like some great ideas for a visit to this amazing city! And totally recognize the shame GOTs scene ! 😀

    • Tracy Collins says:

      Its a great place to visit – I think it will remain one of my favourite cities too. I did love Split ever so slightly more though…post coming soon about our stay there. Thanks for stopping by and reading my post ?

  3. Jurga - Full Suitcase says:

    Dubrovnik looks like a beautiful place to visit and the walk on the walls sounds fun for the kids. But those crowds! OMG! I’m now seriously reconsidering whether it’s a good idea to visit in summer. Beautiful pictures too, Tracy.

    • Tracy Collins says:

      I wouldn’t advise going in peak summer Jurga though apparently there is a move to limit numbers in the city itself. The crowds were terrible when the cruise ships came into port but you can find out what days they are in to avoid the old city at those times.

  4. Ava @ My Meena Life says:

    Oh I just LOVE walled cities! I would walk this one in a heartbeat. You’ve put together a very thorough post here – and it sounds like you had a good time in Croatia. I really like the photos that are looking down onto the city streets – good job! #FlyAwayFriday

    • Tracy Collins says:

      Thanks for reading my post – glad you enjoyed it and my pictures. Croatia is a wonderful place to visit! I have so much to write about as we had a really fabulous time exploring the country.

  5. Ruth says:

    Wow! One week in Dubrovnik! Sounds like a lot of time but I am sure it is not enough to visit all the nice places in the area. And more when you have other countries so nearby. I would love to read more about your experiences in Croatia. After my trip to Eastern Europe, I hope Slovenia and Croatia are next. #FlyAwayFriday

    • Tracy Collins says:

      Thanks for the comment – it was a pretty jam packed holiday but we really enjoyed it. Croatia is fabulous. My focus this month on my blog is about Croatia so there will be lots more posts coming. We also visited Slovenia from Zagreb at the end of our holiday and are a couple of posts about Ljubjana and Lake Bled on my blog too.

      Its a while since i have been to Hungary so will check out your recent post about Budapest with interest.

  6. David says:

    Dubrovnik is such an amazing city and you’ve covered it really well, especially all the day trip options. I didn’t know about the cave hotel though, that’s pretty neat. When I visited it was bright blue skies every day, but I actually quite like your photos with the moody sky. Definitely somewhere I could keep going back to, love it. #FlyAwayFriday

    • Tracy Collins says:

      Thanks for you lovely comments. We were really lucky with the weather as it was blue skies every day too but the day we decided to walk the walls it was stormy which made it cool enough to do the walk. It also meant quite different photographs – was really happy with how they turned out too.

      The cave bar is a great place to sit and relax after a busy day and enjoy those magnificent sunsets.

  7. melbtravel says:

    Dubrovnik is such a beautiful place and I have been a few times. I went 12years ago and then two years and it has changed so much especially the price and the tourist. You are correct, try to avoid anywhere when cruise liners arrive in port. I never knew about Elafiti islands but sounds amazing and I would love to go see them. Lovely post

    • Tracy Collins says:

      We loved it though it was so busy on the days the cruise ships were in port it was essential to plan exactly when to go to the old city. I also loved the fact it is so close to many other places worth a visit like Bosnia Herzegovina and Montenegro

  8. Lolo says:

    Wow I’m loving that restaurant you went to with the sea view! We also made a special trip to Mostar when we were in Dubrovnik! I’d love to go back because it was soooo incredibly hot last year it was unbearable to explore past 8am! And during a less touristy time! July-August is not the right time to go thats for sure! #CityTripping

    • Tracy Collins says:

      We were there in late August and it was scorching – we had one cooler day after some rain and that gave us a chance to walk the walls as it was too hot for me to do it before.

      Highly recommend the Cave Bar and the restaurant too!

  9. Natalie says:

    We recently visited Dubrovnik and absolutely loved it. Although I must say looking at the amount of people in your pics, I’m so glad we visited in October rather than in summer! #citytripping

    • Tracy Collins says:

      Yes it was very crowded on the one day we went into the old city – I found it a bit scary when it came to leaving. So many thousands trying to get in and out through a narrow gateway was not pleasant – we waited a good half hour before leaving but it did feel unsafe.

  10. Clare (Suitcases and Sandcastles) says:

    This is such a good guide to Dubrovnik. It’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit and I think your tips are really useful. I had no idea how crowded it was – that would really put me off so I may have to research when the best time of year to visit is. Great to discover you via #citytripping

    • Tracy Collins says:

      Yes it was very busy on some days – the cruise ships are the issue so the best thing to do is check what days they are due in…or alternatively probably give it a miss in July/August! Thanks for reading my guide to Dubrovnik and leaving a lovely comment.

  11. Jo Addison says:

    So many people I have spoken to have come back from Dubrovnik and totally raved about it. I would love to go and explore the city – and walking the city walls looks like the best way to see it. Lovely photos. #citytripping

  12. Elizabeth (Wander Mum) says:

    Argh! I have been reading so much about Croatia recently and it is somewhere I am very keen to visit. You can see why GOT filmed there. The architecture is a sight to behold. Not sure how my girls would fair walking the city walls! Thanks for the photos….the sunset looks spectacular. Thanks for linking #citytripping

  13. Cathy (MummyTravels) says:

    It really is the hot destination at the moment – we get a lot of Dubrovnik posts linking up with #citytripping and the consensus definitely seems to be that it’s beautiful and really really busy, so some useful tips about staying outside the walls for example. I visited almost 20 years ago when it was less visited (not long after the end of the conflict) and remember it being so stunning. Each post makes me want to go back… if only I can find a quiet time to enjoy it! Thanks for linking up.

  14. Chloe says:

    Isn’t Dubrovnik just amazing?! It’s so pretty, full of culture and has some of the best food!! Can’t wait to see what you share next on FlyAwayFriday!!

  15. Alex says:

    You can definitely see the Italian influence in the beautiful buildings can’t you! And I didn’t know it was pedestrianised – how nice. I want to go now!! Great post!

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  18. Janine says:

    Excellent tip about allowing extra time to get to where you need to be. When the city is packed it is a bit of a nightmare negotiating all the people.

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