Dubrovnik may be a small town, but it’s a destination where you’ll never get bored. The Pearl of the Adriatic is a vibrant and buzzing city in the summer and its old town is just one of the highlights on any visitor’s to-do list. Whether you’re here for one day or a whole week, Dubrovnik easily caters to your curiosities beyond expectations.
If you’re looking for inspiration and considering spending your summer in Dubrovnik, don’t wait any longer. This popular Croatian destination is considering limiting the number of its daily visitors to protect its cultural heritage!
And they’re not alone, report both Travel and Leisure Dubrovnik, as well as Conde Nast Traveller. These limitations make sense if you think about the town from UNESCO’s point of view. However, if you’re on a tight schedule and don’t have time to visit Dubrovnik off-season, careful vacation planning is a must in this case. You don’t want to cruise the Adriatic with a distant glimpse of this popular town just to return home and wonder but what is Dubrovnik known for really, only because you never got the chance to experience it first-hand.
Plan ahead, and when you do, here are some of the top things to do in Dubrovnik. Below, you can also discover some of the more unique experiences not to miss.
Top things to do in Dubrovnik
1. Ride the cable car for a panoramic view of the city
The best panoramic views of the town are above it. Catch the cable car ride to Mount Srd and observe the town from above.
2. Walk the walls of Dubrovnik
The city walls, which date back to the 13th century, surround the entire old town of Dubrovnik. They’re two kilometers long and you can walk the entire length. On the way, you’ll come across 17 towers, 5 bastions, and two corner fortifications. If you only pick one attraction to see, we suggest this one!
3. Discover the Old town with its port
The old town is located within the walls of Dubrovnik. The buildings are built with white stones, where time shows but also makes them unique. the old town surely impresses both architecture aficionados with gothic, baroque, and renaissance buildings and palaces, as well as history buffs. Get lost in the narrow backstreets to get away from the crowds and escape to the old port or walk down Stradun, Dubrovnik’s main square, to soak it all in.
4. Explore many Museums
If history around every corner isn’t enough for you, visit one of Dubrovnik’s many museums; some are a real treat to explore! Whether you’re interested in more contemporary history (Ex-Yugoslavia), something more medieval (an original cannon foundry), or want to dive into the ethnographic side of town, there is something you’ll find to enjoy.
5. Take a Game of thrones tour
The whole world knows that the (massively) popular HBO TV series Game of Thrones was shot in Croatia with the capital of Westeros located in Dubrovnik. Whether you’re a real GOT fan or just need another Instagram-worthy photo with #gameofthrones, take a tour, learn behind-the-scenes anecdotes, and submerge into King’s Landing for a few hours.
6. Wine tasting
Wine-growing Konavle valley is located just 20 kilometers south of Dubrovnik and Peljesac peninsula about 30 kilometers to the north. Wine is a popular drink in Croatia and many wineries boast with award-winning wines. For those who’re more adventurous, visit a winery or two around Dubrovnik. If you prefer to stay in the city, head out to one of the local bars and sip a glass of our choice while relaxing after a long day.
7. Tour a brewery
If you’re not a wine lover, Dubrovnik has a treat for you as well. Tour a local brewery, namely Dubrovnik Beer Company. Take a guided brewery tour and taste four of their craft beers, accompanied by a light snack.
8. Indulge in Croatian food
Fresh, delicious, and local, Dubrovnik can be a paradise for food lovers if you find the right spot. Whether you’re looking for a light lunch or a romantic dinner, it can cater to all types of wishes. In order to get best value for money, ask a local or your tour guide to direct you to the best places in town.
9. Franciscan monastery
Located next to the entrance of the city, this monastery dates back to the 14th century and houses the oldest pharmacy in Europe.
10. Lovrijenac fortress
This fortress stands proudly on a 37-meter sea rock above the old town. You may know it as the Red Keep from GOT. Many scenes were shot here. Its admission is included in the admission for the city walls, but it is less popular with tourists for some reason and therefore remains less crowded than many other places.
11. Island of Lokrum
Located just 600 meters off the coast of Dubrovnik, Lokrum is a small island that’s both a natural reserve and the largest park in Dubrovnik. Go for a swim, escape the crowds, and take a short boat ride from the old harbor into a green oasis of calm.
12. Soak in the sun at one of many beaches
While people pour into the old town to soak in the history, head over to one of Dubrovnik’s many beaches and soak up the sun instead. After all, you can’t have a full Croatian experience without having a swim in the crystal-clear Adriatic Sea.
Refuse to leave town? Porporela and Buza are two beaches located in the old town if you need a break from walking the old narrow streets before continuing with Dubrovnik tour.
The most popular beach in Dubrovnik is Banje beach (pebbly with a breath-taking backdrop of the old town). We suggest Sv. Jakov Beach for a less crowded yet similarly beautiful beach experience.
If you’re looking for things to do in Babin Kuk, Copacabana beach can be one of the highlights.
Still, if none of these beaches are your cup of tea, visit one of the beaches on Lokrum island. They’re popular among locals and tourists.
Unique experiences in Dubrovnik
For a more complete and authentic Dubrovnik experience, be sure not to miss these out!
A small archipelago just off the coast of Dubrovnik, Elafiti islands are small (only three are inhabited) but charming and make a perfect escape from the city. For the best experience, go island-hopping, relax on one of the beaches, rent a kayak, or explore the islands on foot.
Karaka sunset cruise
Hop onto a replica of a carrack ship and sail into the sunset the old-fashioned way, while enjoying spectacular views of the city from the water. This is an authentic Dubrovnik experience you can’t miss; it’s a sunset to remember.
Konavle Valley: Cavtat Fishing village, Sokol Grad, and wine-tasting
Konavle valley is an escape from the bustle and hustle of busy Dubrovnik streets. It’s only a 30min drive from the old town and you can expect to find tranquil and waterfront villages (such as Cavtat) with quaint houses and traditional architecture, along with local olive oil and wine producers. Sokol Grad is probably one of the most impressive sights to discover in the area, with a fairy-tale-like castle in the Konavle valley. If you’re interested in wine tasting, this is the area to visit.
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Mostar & Medjugorje
Getting to Bosnia and Herzegovina from Dubrovnik is quite easy and fast. We recommend getting a small/private tour to get the most of your city escape. Mostar is something you simply have to discover. The town, although quite small, is extremely rich in history, impressive architecture, delicious food, and amazing views of the town from the riverfront. Its old bridge is a UNESCO Heritage Site and once you’re standing on the top, you can easily understand why.
For a further Bosnian experience, head over to Medjugorje, a Catholic pilgrimage destination where the Virgin Marry appeared in 1981. Whether the apparition is true or a hoax, we’ll let you decide on your own while discovering places of beauty and points of interest.
Montenegro: Bay of Kotor, Perast, and Our Lady Of the Rocks
Just like Bosnia, Montenegro is well worth visiting and quite within reach as well. There are a few things you mustn’t miss while heading further south, such as picturesque Kotor, another walled town with charming palaces, narrow cobbled streets, and cozy cafes. While you could do this trip by yourself, taking a tour makes sense if you’re short on time or prefer not to stress while on vacation. Another must-see in the Bay of Kotor is Perast, an idyllic village that your camera will surely love. Its small islets are home to some charming churches, Our Lady OF the Rocks being one of them!
Dubrovnik travel guide: what you need to know
Where is Dubrovnik, Croatia?
Dubrovnik is located in Croatia, in its southernmost part. It’s located only 50 km from Montenegro.
How many days do you need in Dubrovnik?
For the town itself, one to two days is more than enough to see the town’s highlights and soak in all in. Many people choose to stay in Dubrovnik for a day as a part of a Croatia tour or even a small Adriatic cruise tour.
What is the best time to visit Dubrovnik?
The best time to visit Dubrovnik is from April to September, even mid-October can be still very lovely. If you also want to soak in the Adriatic Sea, visiting Dubrovnik is a must in the summer season.
What is the best time to visit Dubrovnik Old Town?
The best time is early in the morning or late in the afternoon, especially in July and August. Anytime in between it is packed with crowds and very hot.
Is Dubrovnik safe?
Considering that Dubrovnik is quite a small town with about 40.000 inhabitants, it’s a very safe place to visit. The crime rate is very low but that doesn’t mean you should be careless. Keep an eye on your possessions, lock the doors and close the windows of your accommodation when you go out.
Is Dubrovnik expensive?
Compared to other towns and cities in Croatia, Dubrovnik is the most expensive destination, but keep in mind that it’s also the most popular one to visit. Still, its prices are comparable to those from other European countries, such as Slovenia, Austria, or Italy. You can expect to pay about 12€ for a pizza or pasta, but a steak or a fish will easily set you back some 40€ per person. These prices get lower when the season is over, namely in June or September.
What about Dubrovnik Covid travel restrictions?
For updates and the current situation, feel free to visit the Croatian coronavirus website or the official EU website with updates on all European countries.
Conclusion: Is Dubrovnik worth visiting?
Dubrovnik may be small but it’s packed with activities, sights, and experiences that’ll easily keep you busy as long as you stay there.
The Pearl of the Adriatic is a must-see destination for any traveler; it’s a beautiful medieval town where you’ll find history and charm around every corner, mouth-watering delicacies, buzzing bars, and stunning nature just a stone throw away.
What’s more, its location makes Dubrovnik an excellent starting point for the rest of your Adriatic exploration. As you can see from the list above, neighbouring countries, Montenegro and Bosnia, are easily reachable and make great day trip destinations. Also, the Dalmatian coast is easily explored from Dubrovnik by land and by sea.