8 best things to do & see in Dubrovnik
1. Discover the Old Town
The walled Old Town is in its entirety a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can enter the Old Town through several city gates, such as the Pile Gate or the Ploča Gate.
Stradun is the main street of the Old Town. This is the busiest part of the Old Town. Here you will find many local shops, bars and restaurants.
The best thing to do in the Old Town is to get lost in the labyrinth of dozens of charming side streets of Stradun. A little further away from the busy city center, you will find yourself in the quiet streets, where you can experience authentic Dubrovnik and local life. These are the streets towards the city wall on the sea side.
The narrow streets lead you to impressive squares, small harbors and ancient architecture. Some cathedrals, fountains and towers date from the 14th and 15th centuries. The buildings that you should definitely not miss are the Jewish fountain Onofrio, the Gothic Dominican Monastery, the Dubrovnik Cathedral, Rector’s Palace, the Church of St. Blasius and the Franciscan Monastery.
Across from Rector’s Palace, is a small and cozy square where you can visit the Gunduliceva Poljana market daily in the summer months. Locals sell their local products such as fruit and vegetables.
2. Walk the city walls
The Old Town is completely surrounded by a 2 kilometer long city wall. The walls were built in the 13th century to protect the city and its inhabitants. At some points the walls are 25 meters (!) high and 6 meters (!) thick. You can climb the walls and walk all the way around the Old Town in 1-1.5 hours.
From the walls you have a panoramic view of Dubrovnik and its orange colored roofs, the beautiful buildings, the Adriatic Sea and Lokrum, the island next to Dubrovnik. You will also spot cozy gardens and rooftop terraces.
The walk on the walls is without a doubt the highlight of our time in Dubrovnik. An entrance ticket for the city walls costs 250 kuna / €33 per person. This is a lot of money, but we thought it was worth every euro.
Get your tickets for the city walls at the ticket office. You can also discover the city walls and the old town with a guide.
Note: The prices are from May 2022
Best time to go & entrances to the city walls
As a walk on the walls is one of the most popular things to do in Dubrovnik, it is definitely worth going early. You can go up the walls from 8 a.m. and it is certainly less crowded at this time slot. And if you go early you won’t be walking the walls in the afternoon during the heat either. There is hardly any shade, so it can get very hot. There are 3 entrances where you can start the walk on the city walls.
💛 Opposite St. Luke’s Church
💛 Next to St. Savior’s Church
💛 At the fortress of St. Ivan
Facilities on the walls
On top of the walls you will come across a few cafes where you can have something to eat or drink. From here you have a beautiful view, but expect high prices.
3. Visit the St. Lawrence Fortress (Lovrijenac Fort)
Save your City Walls ticket as it will also allow you to visit the St. Lawrence Fortress (Fort Lovrijenac) within 3 days of purchase. This fortress is located just outside the Old Town. It is one of the 6 fortresses of Dubrovnik, built on a rock. The fortress offers beautiful views of the city walls and the center of Dubrovnik.
4. Climb Mount Srđ for spectacular views of Dubrovnik
For the best view of Dubrovnik, Lokrum and the Elafiti Islands, go to the viewpoint on Mount Srđ. The sunset here is spectacular! The night we were there it was partly cloudy and that made the sky magically beautiful. The clouds were lined with dreamy pink, orange and yellow colors of the setting sun.
Get up at least an hour before the sun goes down, especially in the spring. Then the sun disappears behind the mountain faster and Dubrovnik will not be lit until the last ray of sunshine.
There are plenty of spots on Mount Srđ where you can relax and enjoy the view all evening. To dine with a bizarrely beautiful view, you can eat at the Panorama Restaurant on top of the mountain.
How to get to the top of Mount Srđ
The top of Mount Srđ can be reached in several ways.
🚡 By cable car: A return ticket costs 200 kuna / € 26 per person, a single ride is 110 kuna / € 15 per person. Check the official website for current prices.
🥾 On foot: From the old town it is a 3 – 4 hour walk in total. From the starting point of the hiking trail it is a 1.5 – 2 hour walk in total.
🚗 By car: It is a 15-20 minute drive to the top. There are plenty of parking spaces. The road up is narrow and has many curves, so the ride can be a challenge.
5. Enjoy a refreshing drink at one of the cozy (beach) bars
We have listed some of our favorite bars in Dubrovnik. It is useful to always have cash (Kuna) with you, because most bars do not accept card payments.
Buza Bar I & II
A visit to one of the Buza Bars is wonderfully relaxed. The location is the biggest plus, as the bars are hidden between rocks on the outside of the city walls. The entrance is literally a hole in the wall. The best part is to go here around sunset. Keep in mind that it can be very busy at that time. Besides drinking drinks, you can also cliff jump and paddling, overlooking the sparkling Adriatic Sea.
Good to know is that the sun sets on the other side. Yet this is a magical place where you can enjoy the most beautiful colors from golden and blue hour.
Beach Bar Dodo
Beach Bar Dodo is hidden in the bay of Šulić Beach. It is the ideal place to escape the bustle of the city and enjoy a cold drink. There is also plenty of choice in terms of good food. From the Old Town it is a few minutes’ walk to Beach Bar Dodo. From the bar you have a view of the fortress Lovrijenac, the beach and the sea.
Located on a cliff, right next to Beach Bar Dodo you will find Beach Bar Ala Mizerija. There is a relaxed atmosphere and you have the same beautiful view of the fortress Lovrijenac, the idyllic bay and the clear, refreshing sea water.
6. Relax on one of the beaches for a morning or afternoon
If you decide to take it easy, a morning or afternoon at the beach is the ultimate activity. Dubrovnik has a number of incredible beaches, including Banje Beach. This is the most popular beach just outside the Old Town and from here you have a fantastic view of the city walls. The water is crystal clear and great to cool down. Other nice beaches are Beach Đivovići or Šulić Beach.
Are you traveling through Croatia by car? Then Pasjača Beach is a nice beach to drive to. It is a 35-40 minute drive from Dubrovnik and is known as one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe (!).
Most beaches in Croatia are pebble beaches, so it is very convenient to take water shoes with you to Croatia.
7. Spot the Game of Thrones filming locations
Dubrovnik’s popularity has been greatly increased by the Game Of Thrones series. In Dubrovnik, better known as King’s Landing, many scenes were filmed. If you wander through the Old Town you will recognize a lot from the serie. Organized Game of Thrones tours take you to the various filming locations and tell you fun facts about the production.
If you are going to search for the locations yourself, make sure you go to the places below.
💛 West Harbor (Blackwater Bay)
💛 The Jesuit Staircase at St. Ignatius Church (the infamous ‘walk of shame’)
💛 Lovrijenac Fort (Red Keep)
💛 Pile Gate
8. Active kayaking on the waters around Dubrovnik
Kayaking on the waters around Dubrovnik is a fun, adventurous way to see Dubrovnik and the city walls from different, amazing perspectives. Several local companies offer half or full day tours, or sunset tours. While kayaking, you will go to sea caves, secluded beaches that you can only get to by water or paddle around Lokrum Island.
Keep in mind that you will be sea kayaking and paddling the waves can be quite challenging.
Day trips from Dubrovnik
Besides discovering the Old Town and the beaches, there is much more to do. Many day trips are organized from Dubrovnik, such as a trip to Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, or boat trips to various islands nearby.
A day trip to Lokrum
Since your city trip to Dubrovnik will consist of a lot of sightseeing, we chose to take a relaxing day trip to the island of Lokrum. It is a 10-15-minute boat ride from Dubrovnik port. On Lokrum you can expect a tropical paradise. Where you will be welcomed by the most colorful inhabitants of the island, beautiful peacocks!
Lokrum is a small island that you can easily explore on foot. There are a number of special highlights such as a botanical garden, fortress, olive grove, monastery and Lokrum’s own Dead Sea. After visiting the highlights, find a wonderful place to relax. The island is surrounded by clear blue water, nice swimming spots and there is plenty of greenery to relax.
Discover Dubrovnik in a unique way!
How to travel to Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik can be reached in several ways.
Dubrovnik has an international airport with direct flights from several European countries. Shuttle buses leave from the airport and will drop you off at Pile Gate in 30-40 minutes, just in front of the Old Town. Tickets for the shuttle buses can be purchased from the driver.
Are you taking a road trip through Croatia? Then Dubrovnik should definitely not be missed on the route! You can fly to Dubrovnik and rent a car here to start your road trip. If you have your own car, it takes 2 hours 45 minutes from Makarska or 3 hours from Omiš or 3 hours 15 minutes from Split to Dubrovnik.
You can also reach Dubrovnik by sea. From Split you sail in 5 hours to Dubrovnik. The Jadrolinija catamaran only sails in high season and once a day. Kapetan Luka’s catamaran sails in both high and low season.
With the bus
How much time do you need in Dubrovnik?
We recommend a minimum of 3 to 5 days to make the most of your time in Dubrovnik. You can visit the highlights in 1 to 2 days. The rest of the time gives you the space to discover the city at a relaxed pace, enjoy the great atmosphere, relax if it gets too hot during the day for sightseeing and you can also go on a day trip.
Best time to visit Dubrovnik
The best time to visit Dubrovnik is just outside the high season, in the months of May and June and September and October. It is not too busy and not too hot. The temperatures have a lovely average between 20 and 24 degrees. Try to avoid the months of July and August, it is hot and there are sometimes queues to enter the Old Town through the city gates.
Where to stay
The atmosphere in the Old Town is great and there are many nice accommodations to be found. If you don’t travel by car, we definitely recommend booking a nice accommodation in the old city center.
We were traveling through Croatia by car and wanted an accommodation with free parking. Because parking in Dubrovnik is expensive. The Old Town is car-free, so if you want to stay there, you have to park the car outside the center. But there are also plenty of nice places to stay in the neighborhoods outside the Old Town. We found a cute studio with great views of the Old Town and walked there in 10-15 minutes.
If you stay outside the Old Town, keep in mind that you often have to walk a lot of stairs from the suburbs to reach the Old Town.