Dubrovnik is a must-see city in Croatia. The historic walled Old Town is appealingly perched on the Adriatic Sea, earning it the nickname The Pearl of the Adriatic. The city in its entirety is a ‘sight’ – but many of the top things to do in Dubrovnik, Croatia are just steps from the Old Town. Our complete guide of what to do in Dubrovnik covers the highlights and more!
What To Do in Dubrovnik, Croatia
Travelers who visit Dubrovnik can leisurely take in the sights or create a jam-packed Dubrovnik itinerary. In this Dubrovnik guide, we include the top things to see in Dubrovnik, advice on how long to stay in the city and practical tips to ensure an enjoyable trip.
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The 8 Top Things To Do in Dubrovnik, Croatia
Our list of Dubrovnik activities includes both ticketed attractions and free things to do in Dubrovnik. We discuss more about the cost of visiting Dubrovnik at the end of the post!
#1 Tour the Old Town Dubrovnik City Center
Exploring the cobblestone lanes and historic sights in the walled city is an absolute must-do in Dubrovnik! Many of the top sights are located along the Stradun – the lane that connects the Pile Gate to the Clock Tower. However, there are more historic attractions to discover beyond the main thoroughfare.
Visitors can join a Dubrovnik tourist guide on a highly-rated walking tour of the city (check out the reviews for this top-rated tour!)– or use our step-by-step Self-Guided Dubrovnik Walking Tour. In addition to listing what to visit in Dubrovnik, we include a brief history of the city, fun facts, walking directions and a useful Dubrovnik tourist map.
#2 Walk the Walls
The city walls are a Dubrovnik must-see! In fact, Walking the Walls is consistently rated as the top Dubrovnik, Croatia thing to do. The protective walls that encircle the city provide vantage points over the orange tiled rooftops, down the Stradun and out to sea. The unique perspective is a fun way to get acquainted with the city.
We think Walking the Walls is an essential sightseeing activity. However, due to its popularity and limited space, tickets are a little pricey. The total length of the walls is 1.2 miles and guests should allow 1-2 hours to complete the circuit. We recommend doing the Dubrovnik Wall Walk early in the morning, when there are fewer crowds and cooler temperatures. Guests can visit on their own (buy your ticket in advance!) or join a guided tour (get the details!). Find out more about Walking the Walls and stellar city vantage points in our post: 5 Dubrovnik Viewpoints.
#3 Swim and Sunbathe at the Beaches
The best way to cool off after a long day of sightseeing is to take a swim in the refreshing and crystal-clear Adriatic Sea! Visitors don’t have to go far; there are several beaches just steps from the Old Town. Rather than sand, the beaches in Dubrovnik are pebble or rocky platforms (which are perfect for jumping right in!). Some beaches have on-site cafes, while others are tucked away in secluded coves.
Read our complete guide to Dubrovnik Beaches – then grab your towel and sunscreen and find your ideal spot along the shoreline!
#4 Go to the Top of Mt Srd
Dubrovnik is nestled at the base of Mount Srd, a craggy mountain that has long offered the city protection. One of the Dubrovnik top things to do is ascend Mt Srd for the sweeping 360-degree views. At the top of Mt. Srd, visitors will find a historic fortress, war museum, viewpoint restaurant and stone cross.
There are four convenient ways to get to the top of Mount Srd: Dubrovnik Cable Car, a zig-zagging hiking trail, the local bus or an organized tour. Find out all the specifics in our Mount Srd post.
#5 Watch Sunset from a Dubrovnik Cliff Bar
The rocky cliffs along the southern portion of the Dubrovnik city wall is the perfect spot for sunset. Small passageways – called Buzas – have been cut into the wall – and two Buzas lead to outdoor cafes. The western Buza Bar (map) provides an extraordinary and memorable setting for watching the sunset.
Budget travelers, beware: The drinks at the Buza Bar are possibly the most expensive in all of Croatia (about $8 USD for a small bottle of mass-produced beer). Read our guide to Dubrovnik on a Budget for our tips on a budget sunset!
#6 Visit the Islands Off Dubrovnik: Lokrum, Lopud, Mljet, Korcula
The city’s seaside location makes it the perfect jumping off point for island exploration! Spending a day on an island is one of the best things to do near Dubrovnik. Regular ferry service and organized boat tours transport passengers to the nearby islands of Lokrum, Lopud, Mljet and Korcula. The closest islands are ideal for a quick day trip from Dubrovnik, while the islands further away are great overnight city escapes.
- Lokrum: Located southwest of the Dubrovnik Old Town, Lokrum Island has rocky beaches (including a nude beach) and nature parks. Boats to Lokrum depart from the Old Town Harbor and take about 15 minutes.
- Lopud: One of the Elaphiti Islands, Lopud features sandy beaches and a smattering of medieval structures. Jadrolinija ferries depart for Lopud from the Gruz harbor and take about 45 minutes.
- Mljet: Home to the Mljet National Park, Mljet Island remains a relatively untouched part of Croatia. On the island there are two saltwater lakes and a historic Benedictine monastery. Fast Krilo ferries depart for Mljet from the Gruz Harbor and take about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Korcula: One of Croatia’s most famous islands, Korcula Island is known for its secluded beaches, small villages, local vineyards and the historic walled city of Korcula Town. Both Jadrolinija and Krilo ferries depart from the Gruz Harbor to the island of Korcula and take about 2 hours. Read our detailed post on what to do on Korcula Island here!
Adriatic Sea Cruises are the best way to visit multiple islands! Find out more about a week-long cruise that departs from Dubrovnik in our Croatia Island Hopping blog post.
#7 Hit the Trails in Lapad
Just north of the Dubrovnik Old Town is the suburb of Lapad. The peninsula has deep coves, secluded beaches and forested hills. While sunbathers head to Lapad for the beaches, we like to go for the scenic hikes. Coastal trails follow the shoreline north around Babin Kuk and south through Forest Park Velika and Mala Petka to incredible viewpoints.
#8 Join One of the Dubrovnik Sightseeing Tours
Visitors who want to tour Dubrovnik with a guide have plenty of options! From themed Game of Thrones tours to combo attractions tours, guests can discover the best of Dubrovnik with a local guide.
Dubrovnik Game of Thrones Tour
Seeking out the film locations of the popular Game of Thrones television series is one of the fun things to do in Dubrovnik. A highly-rated GOT Dubrovnik tour follows the footsteps of the characters to King’s Landing while dishing on behind-the-scene filming stories. Read the Reviews!
Active travelers wondering what to do in Dubrovnik, Croatia should consider joining a kayaking tour. Set off in the Adriatic Sea for a unique vantage point of the Old Town and paddle to a secluded beach cave. Check the price!
Food and Wine Tour
A Dubrovnik trip is not complete without getting a taste of the local fare! Sample traditional Croatian food and wine at local family-run restaurants on a Dubrovnik food tour. Find out what’s included!
Dubrovnik Travel Tips
We outlined what to do in Dubrovnik Old Town and beyond, but we have a few more tips for when you travel to Dubrovnik, Croatia!
The city may be known for its historic sites, but it also has a fun nightlife scene. Personally, we enjoy Croatian Craft Beer – and our two favorite spots for tasty beers in Dubrovnik are Glam Cafe and Dubrovnik Beer Co. Wine lovers should check out D’Vino (in the Old Town, across from Glam). Visitors who want to dance the night away in a club should check out Club Revelin or Banje Beach Night Club.
There are numerous stores and boutique shops to pick up Dubrovnik souvenirs, but our top recommended spot is the Gunduliceva Poljana Market (map). Some of the most popular gift items include lavender, honey and olive oil. The market is also a great spot to pick up items for a picnic lunch.
Weather Forecast Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik has a Mediterranean climate and boasts more than 250 days of sunshine every year. July is the hottest and driest (and most crowded!) month, while January is the coolest and November is the wettest. The Dubrovnik temperature ranges from the mid-50s in the winter to the upper 80s in the summer. Check the Dubrovnik weather forecast for your trip on AccuWeather.
The popularity of Dubrovnik in recent years has driven up prices…especially in the summer months. Visitors can expect to pay more for lodging, dining and activities in Dubrovnik than in any other Croatian city. In our opinion, Dubrovnik prices are on par with other well-known European destinations. Looking to save money? Read our Dubrovnik on a Budget post for money saving tips!
Dubrovnik, Croatia currency is the Croatian Kuna (HRK). Some tourist agencies, restaurants and accommodations may accept payment in Euros, but most only accept local currency. At the time of posting, $1 USD was equal to 6.5 kunas. Find current rates here.
How Long To Stay in Dubrovnik
While the city ranks as Croatia’s top destination, we think two days in Dubrovnik is enough time to see the highlights. Visitors with even less time can still fit in the top things to see in Dubrovnik in one day. Below we outline what to do in Dubrovnik in a day…or two!
One Day in Dubrovnik
If you are planning what to see in Dubrovnik in one day, we recommend limiting your activities to the absolute best things to see in Dubrovnik. Start the day by Walking the Walls (buy a ticket in advance!), then tour the Old Town (using our Self-Guided Dubrovnik Walking Tour). Head to a beach in the afternoon and watch the sunset from the Buza Bar. Eat dinner at an Old Town restaurant and end your day with a craft beer at Glam or a glass of local wine at D’Vino.
2 Days in Dubrovnik
If you have two days to visit Dubrovnik, Croatia, follow our above outline for Day 1, then on Day 2 start your exploration by soaring to the top of Mount Srd (use our Mt. Srd Guide!), then take a mid-day excursion – either hop on a boat to a nearby island, join the Kayak Tour or go to Lapad for a hike. In the late afternoon, sample the local fare on a food tour.
Getting To Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik can be reached by plane, bus, boat or car. Flights to Dubrovnik land at the international Dubrovnik Airport. Most flights are seasonal – and there are very few flights during the winter months. New in 2019, for those of you traveling to Dubrovnik from the United States, there are now direct flights from Philadelphia to Dubrovnik on American Airlines! Search for the best flight deals to Dubrovnik on SkyScanner.
Croatian destinations are well-connected with a network of public buses and ferries. We search for bus routes on Bus Croatia (but highly recommend confirming routes and times at the bus station). For ferries, we use both Jadrolinija and Krilo. We personally don’t like to drive in foreign countries, but travelers who like to drive can rent a car.
The Best Place to Stay in Dubrovnik, Croatia
We think the Old Town is the best area to stay in Dubrovnik – especially for short trips to the city. Hotels in Dubrovnik Old Town tend to be fairly expensive, but there are an abundance of holiday apartments to choose from that are usually more affordable.
When staying in apartments, we use Airbnb (Not already a member? Use this link and save money on your first stay!). However, when we want to stay in a hotel, we start our search on Booking.com for the best rates.
Don’t Forget The Essentials!
Before tackling your Dubrovnik to-do list, make sure you are prepared with the following items.
In this post, we have outlined the best things to do in Dubrovnik, Croatia – but it’s always a good idea to have a guidebook, too! On our first trip to Croatia, we used Rick Steves’ Dubrovnik guidebook. Although some prices are out of date, we found it to be overall useful for our trip. You can buy it on Amazon!
The things to see in Dubrovnik, Croatia are stunningly beautiful! We recommend capturing the beauty of the city sights with an actual camera (rather than using your phone). We use a Canon Rebel with an 18-135mm lens, which is sometimes a bit heavy and bulky for city sightseeing. Our secondary camera is a Canon Powershot, which is lightweight and slim enough to fit in a pocket…yet still takes incredible photos.
The entire Dubrovnik Old Town is a pedestrian-only zone…which means you have to walk to see the sights! Make sure to pack a pair of good walking shoes; I like these Colombia shoes and Kris prefers wearing Merrell shoes.
Read my entire packing list for more tips on what to pack for your trip!
Travel insurance is a must! Trip coverage can protect against flight delays, lost baggage, overseas injuries and more. Get a quote for travel insurance from World Nomads.
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