Dubrovnik is a small but stunning city located in Croatia. It is unarguably one of the most picturesque cities in Europe, if not the world and is often referred to as the “Pearl of the Adriatic”. After visiting here and doing some of the best things to do in Dubrovnik myself, it was so easy to see why.
Dubrovnik is located in southeastern Croatia and situated on the southern Adriatic Sea coast. It is home to amazing beaches and surrounded by stunning islands but is probably most famous for its incredible Old Town, which has stood the test of time and is now a protected UNESCO world heritage site.
Over recent years the city of Dubrovnik has been made even more popular, thanks to Game of Thrones. Dubrovnik Old Town was the backdrop for some of their epic scenes and now Game of Thrones super fans flock to Dubrovnik to get a glimpse of those wonderful locations for themselves.
So, if you’re after incredible landscapes, crystal clear seas, awesome adventures, inspiring architecture and a little bit of Hollywood, then Dubrovnik is the perfect summer destination for you!
If you have come to this post looking for the best things to do in Dubrovnik and the best places to visit in Dubrovnik then you have come to the right place! I spent 3 days in this gorgeous city and did some of the best things to do in Dubrovnik, so read on below to find out my top picks!
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The best time to visit Dubrovnik
If you want to experience some of the best things to do in Dubrovnik you’re going to want to have the best weather. The best time to visit is during the warmer months between May-October, where temperatures are on average around 28 degrees celsius.
Planning on visiting during the offseason? Be warned that temperatures can sometimes reach as low as 8 degrees celsius.
How to get to Dubrovnik
You can fly directly to Dubrovnik Airport from all major European cities. We flew into Dubrovnik from London Gatwick airport with flights that cost us just £140 (booked in February, travelled in August).
Dubrovnik Airport is just a short 30-minute drive from Dubrovnik Old Town, and there are several modes of transport you can use to take you there.
A Taxi or Uber will cost you around 275 Kuna (£30), alternatively, you can jump on the airport shuttle or local bus, which will drop you directly outside of Pile Gate in the Old Town, these can be booked directly at the airport.
Finally, if you prefer, you can pre-book a private transfer, there are many sites that offer this service, but I have found this to be the most convenient through booking.com.
You can also get to Dubrovnik by Ferry, from Split, and other islands in Croatia. This will drop you off at Dubrovnik Port, which is a 10-15 minute taxi/uber ride from the old town. Alternatively, you can jump on the 1a, 1b or 3 buses if you are looking for a cheaper option.
Unfortunately, there are no direct trains into Dubrovnik, so if that’s your plan you will have to catch the train into either Split or Zagreb and then fly or book a bus to get to Dubrovnik.
How to explore Dubrovnik
The best things to do in Dubrovnik are mainly located close to the old town so it is easily accessible on foot from place to place. If you are planning on going a little further out of town you can easily catch a taxi/uber or jump on a local bus.
Where to Stay in Dubrovnik
If you want to be close to the best things to do in Dubrovnik, I would highly recommend staying inside, or near to the old town walls. There are so many incredible budget-friendly options on booking.com and Airbnb, you won’t find it hard to get something to suit your needs.
Please note that If you are staying inside the old town walls you will most likely only find apartments and not hotels due to the structure of the old town. You will also need to be prepared to walk up multiple flights of steep steps with your suitcase, as most of the apartments are located in the stunning back streets of the town.
Alternatively, If it’s a hotel you are after, you can expect most of these to be further outside of the old town and approximately a 10-20 minute walk or a short drive to the old town depending on what hotel you go for.
What to Budget for Dubrovnik
- Accommodation – £100-£250 per night
- Food – £10-£20
- Alcohol -£7-£15
- Tours and Activities £25-£30
- Day trips – £50-£100
Best places to eat in Dubrovnik
There are so many wonderful bars and restaurants in Dubrovnik to choose from Dubrovnik, that you will be spoilt for choice. And, if you love seafood you are in for a treat, think fresh tuna, octopus and squid ink pasta
Some of my favourites were as follows:
- Proto Fish Restaurant ££££
- Tavulin ££-£££
- Dalmatino ££-£££
- Barba – £
- 360 Restaurant ££££
- The Bar ££-£££
- D’vino Wine Bar ££
The best things to do in Dubrovnik
Walk the Old Town Walls
Number 1 on the list of the best things to do in Dubrovnik has to be walking the old town walls and no trip to Dubrovnik is complete without ticking off this experience. The incredible birds-eye view you get of the old town, as well as the coastline, is second to none.
The entrance to the walls is 200kn (£23) but you can get a discount if you are a student. You’ll find that most tourists do a self-guided walk around the walls, but if you would prefer to learn more about the history of the walls I would recommend booking a guided tour.
I would also recommend walking the walls in the early morning (opens at 8 am in high season and 9 am in low season). This is not only to avoid the crowds but to also beat the strong midday heat.
Included in the cost of your ticket to the Old Town walls is entry to Fort Lovrijenac. It is one of the biggest fortresses in Dubrovnik and it is also a theatre. This fortress has been up here since the 11th century, so it is the ideal place to come to learn more about the history of Dubrovnik.
Day trip to another country
One of the best things to do in Dubrovnik is to take a day trip to another country. Dubrovnik is so close to places such as Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina, it makes it an easy feat to ticking another country off your bucket list. .
Explore the back streets
The streets of Dubrovnik are simply enchanting, think narrow alleyways, cobbled streets, rustic doors and towering steep steps. You can simply admire the streets, browse through some of the local shops, or wander inside some of the gorgeous buildings, such as Dubrovnik Cathedral.
Visit the beautiful town of Cavtat
Cavtat is a gorgeous little town located 30-minutes southeast of Dubrovnik (close to Dubrovnik airport). Come here to get away from the hustle and bustle of Dubrovnik for a few hours and enjoy some local food and drinks by the water.
Relax on the beach
One of my favourite things to do on holiday and one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik is head to the beach for a day of relaxing and cocktail drinking. There are 3 main beaches in Dubrovnik:
- Banje Beach – This is closest to the Old Town and for that reason is the busiest (so get there early). There is an onsite restaurant and beach bar that serve you delicious cocktails straight to your sunbed. The price of two sunbeds with an umbrella is about £20. If you don’t want to pay that price head to the left side of the beach where you can lay your towel.
- Sveti Jakov – This beach is super popular with the locals, and it is my favourite too. It is about a 20-minute walk from the Old Town (or 5 minutes in the car). Here there is also an onsite restaurant and beach bar, but a slightly more chilled vibe than Banje Beach, and in my opinion more beautiful. The cost of two sunbeds and an umbrella is slightly cheaper here at around £15
- Copacabana Beach – This beach is the most suitable for families. It is a 44-minute walk or a 10-minute drive from the old town. Again the price of two sunbeds with an umbrella is about £20. If you are in that area and after a more luxurious and party vibe then you can head to Copacabana Beach Club.
Watch the sunset at Mt Srd
Mt Srd is one of the best places in all of Dubrovnik to watch the sunset. You can head up there by cable car. The cost of a return trip on the cable car is 170Kn (£20). Alternately, if you want a cheaper option, you can hike up to the top or catch a taxi/uber.
At the top of Mt Srd, you also have the Panorama Restaurant, where you can enjoy some sunset dinner and drinks. Book here well in advance if you want to get a table here, as it can fill up pretty quickly.
Explore Mljet National Park
Mljet Island is one of the most stunning islands in Croatia, and if possible I would highly recommend staying on the island for a few days. However, if you are short on time you can do a day trip from Dubrovnik to Mljet National Park. The ferry is 70kn (£8) each way plus the National Park ticket entry at 125kn in high season (£15) and 70kn in low season (£8). When you get to the National Park, make sure you go for a swim in the lakes, hike Mount Montokuc and take a trip to The Church and Benedictine Monastery on St Mary’s Island.
I have a blog post dedicated to all things Mljet Island, so check it out here.
Do a boat trip to the Elifate Islands
The Elifate Islands consist of 3 beautiful islands (Kolocep, Sipan & Lopud) just an hour off the coast of Dubrovnik Kolocep, Sipan & Lopud. Spend the day exploring the beaches, churches and villages of these 3 unique islands.
Head over to Lokrum Island
Lokrum is a small uninhabited island and nature reserve, right off the coast of Dubrovnik. The island is covered in a thick layer of bright green vegetation and is full of vibrant wildlife. You can easily get over to Lokrum on a short 10-minute ferry ride from the Old Town port. Or, if you are feeling more adventurous, you can rent out a sea kayak and paddle over to the island.
When over at Lokrum make sure you visit the botanical gardens and the Dead Sea.
Have a drink at the Buza Cliff Bars
Buza, and Buza II are two of the best bars in Dubrovnik. Located on the edge of the cliff with panoramic views of the sea, they are the perfect places to enjoy some cocktails whilst watching the waves crash against the rocks.
Visit the Game of Thrones filming locations
If you are a Game of Thrones fan then this is one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik. I’ll be honest with you, I am not a fan. When my boyfriend was taking me around to these spots I didn’t really understand the significance of each location but I did enjoy simply admiring some of the beautiful architecture in Dubrovnik.
Here is a list of some of the spots you might want to visit:
- St Dominika Street
- Ethnographic Museum
- Bokar Fortress
- Lokrum Island
- Lovrijenac Fortress
- Mineeta Tower