7 Awesome Things to Do in Dubrovnik

Known as the "Pearl of the Adriatic", Dubrovnik is one of Europe's most beautiful tourist destinations. Its stunning Old Town has been preserved for centuries and is steeped in history. I have had a chance to explore it on my second visit to the country so here are my top 7 things to do in this beautiful corner of Croatia.

Known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic”, Dubrovnik is one of Europe’s most beautiful tourist destinations. Its stunning Old Town has been preserved for centuries and is steeped in history. I have had a chance to explore it on my second visit to the country so here are my top 7 things to do in this beautiful corner of Croatia.

1. Wander the beautiful Old Town

Dubrovnik’s atmospheric old town is one of the best preserved medieval cities in the world despite the damage sustained in a 1667 earthquake and  during the more recent conflict in the region in the 1990s. Walk along the smoothly paved Stradun (the main street) and check out the baroque architecture of the houses, explore the churches and monasteries or simply get lost in the many alleyways. Climb up the steps towards Buza Gate and explore the quieter part of town and see locals go about their daily business – just be prepared to tackle a lot of stairs! I could literally wander in the Old Town for hours and there is always something new to discover.

Dubrovnik
Large Onofrio’s Fountain and St. Saviour’s Church
Dubrovnik
Wandering through the quiet residential streets and alleyways of the Old Town

2. Walk the Dubrovnik city walls

To truly appreciate the beauty of the Old Town, you need to head above its rooftops. Climb the unassuming steps at the Pile Gate end of Stradun and see Dubrovnik from a different perspective. The walls, dating as far back as the 1500s have protected the city from invaders for centuries. Explore the towers, forts and turrets on a 1,940 metre long loop and get incredible views of the terracotta rooftops, Lokrum Island and the glistening waters of the Adriatic sprawling below.

The ticket (120 kuna) also includes the entrance to Fort Lovrijenac outside the city walls. I definitely recommend making the short climb to explore it! If all that walking sounds challenging, there is a chance to exit the walls around half way and there are cafes and drinks vendors spread out along the length of the walk.

Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik city walls
Dubrovnik
A turret on top of the Dubrovnik city walls looking out to Lokrun island

3. Explore Kings Landing on a Game of Thrones Tour

HBO’s Game of Thrones series is one of the most popular and talked about shows out there and Dubrovnik is one of its key filming locations. It has doubled as the show’s Kings Landing from Season 2 onwards (Season 1 scenes were filmed in Malta). You can relive some of the key scenes from the show by going along to a guided Game of Thrones tour. Visit Fort Lovrijenac which has been used as the Red Keep or descend the Jesuit steps to recreate a famous scene from Season 5 (you know the one). We were lucky to be accompanied by a member of the crew who gave us very interesting insider info and insight into the lives of the actors on set.

Book your tour here and you might just be lucky enough to have Iva as your guide!

Dubrovnik
15th Century Fort Bokar and Game of Thrones’ famous “Blackwater Bay”
Dubrovnik
The steps used during the Game of Thrones’ famous “Walk of Atonement”

4. Sea Kayak around Lokrum island

One of the best ways of exploring the shimmering blue waters of the Adriatic is by sea kayak. A couple of companies run a variety of tours from Pile Bay (just a few minutes from the main city gate). We went with X-Adventure Dubrovnik Sea Kayaking who took us on a 3 hour trip around forest-covered Lokrum Island, along rocky beaches, coves and even hidden caves before stopping off to swim, snorkel and cliff jump by the mainland. You will also enjoy a different view of Dubrovnik as you glide below its impressive walls. All equipment is provided and the knowledgeable guides do a great job in providing a lot of information about the city throughout. It’s also a hell of a workout – sore arms and shoulders are almost guaranteed!

Kayak tours cost from 230 kuna (£25/$33).

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik
Taking a break from the kayaking

5. Take a cable car to the top of Srd Hill

Some of the best views of Dubrovnik are from Srd Hill, rising 412 metres above sea level. The cable car that takes visitors to the top may be very touristy, but the panorama of the Old Town, Lokrum and the surrounding hills from the observation decks is worth sharing. Located next to the cable car station is Fort Imperial, which was built by the French over 200 years ago and was used for military purposes as recently as 1991 during the Siege of Dubrovnik. The giant white cross adorning the hill is visible all the way from the Old Town. There is also a restaurant if you wanted to savour the views for longer. I would recommend heading up in time for sunset for a spectacular light show. For an extra challenge, it’s even possible to hike up to the top.

Dubrovnik
View of the Old Town from Srd Hill
Dubrovnik
Sunset view from Srd Hill

6. Enjoy al fresco culture in Old Town’s bars and restaurants

There is no shortage of places to eat and drink in Dubrovnik and they suit all tastes and budgets. In the summer months, chairs will line streets, alleyways and rooftops, staff enticing visitors with delicious food. The cuisine on the Dalmatian coast is influenced by its Italian roots, featuring a lot of fresh fish and pasta.

Start the day with breakfast on the rooftop terrace of Hotel Stari Grad (Od Sigurate 4)with beautiful views over the city before grabbing a freshly made salads and smoothies from Mr Fresh (Od Puca 14) for lunch. For dinner head to Poco Loco (Buniceva Poljana 6) with its excellent choice of fusion dishes (try the pulled chicken flatbread) and Croatian beer served in cool beakers. The location, just behind Dubrovnik Cathedral, is fantastic for people watching and live music from the bar next door. Oh and their cocktails are amazing. After, head to Soul Caffe  (Uska Ulica 5)tucked away in a quiet backstreet for a great selection of drinks, locally made rakiya and live musicians.

Dubrovnik
Roof terrace of the Hotel Stari Grad
Dubrovnik
Pulled chicken flatbread at Poco Loco
Dubrovnik
Local beer served in a cool glass at Poco Loco

7. Take a day trip

If time is on your side, it’s well worth considering venturing further afield. Dubrovnik’s location makes it an ideal base for exploring the rest of the Dalmatian Coast and even neighbouring countries! Ferries run to the UNESCO-protected island of Lokrum every 30 minutes during the summer months where you can see a Benedictine Monastery and the beautiful Botanic Gardens. Or a nudist beach if that’s more up your street. A day trip to the Elaphite Islands takes you to an unspoilt part of the Adriatic where you can explore caves, Medieval towns and various ruins.

Take a trip to see Mostar’s famous bridge and Ottoman quarter in Bosnia and Herzegovina or spend a day exploring the walled Old Towns of Kotor and Budva in Montenegro with incredible views of Kotor Bay on the way.

http://www.dubrovnikdaytours.net/ has some great options but you will also be able to arrange many of the tours through your accommodation.

A beach in Budva, Montenegro
A beach in Budva, Montenegro
Meeting a crazy bridge jumper in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Meeting a crazy bridge jumper in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

 


Where: Dubrovnik is a city in the south of Croatia, close to borders with Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is a popular tourist destination

Getting There: Dubrovnik is served by a number of European airlines including British Airways, Lufthansa and EasyJet. Dubrovnik Airport is around 20km from the city centre.

Accommodation: We stayed at Hostel Villa Angelina Old Town which is located in the quiet residential part of the Old Town with some rooms offering fantastic views of the city. The guys running the hostel are super friendly and can help out with booking trips and transfers.

More Info: Visit Croatia has a comprehensive guide on Dubrovnik

 

 

37 thoughts on “7 Awesome Things to Do in Dubrovnik

  1. Angie (FeetDoTravel) says:

    Dubrovnik and Croatia generally are high on my list of places to visit, especially when you tease us with photos and stories such as this! I am a huge GOT fan and would love to see where some of it is filmed! And stop showing me all the lovely yummy food and drink, you keep making me hungry lol! There is so much to see and do in Dubrovnik and this post really shows me that! I need to get myself there, thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Travel Lexx says:

      Thanks Angie. It’s such a great town and there is so much to do. It’s very walkable too (if you don’t mind the stairs) and it’s a great base for exploring the region! Just prepare to share it a bit!

  2. Garth says:

    Another great post as usual, and this one is a brilliant guide Alexei and exactly what I’ve been looking for! We’ve been thinking about going to Dubrovnik for a while now, but we’d like to spend time in B&H .. I’d been wondering if you could do a day trip to Mostar, if we just went to Dubrovnik, so thanks for that info really useful. Do you get to have much time in Mostar on a day trip?

    • Travel Lexx says:

      You get about 3 hours in Mostar on most of the tours. Its about a 2.5 hour drive but you will probably get stops on the way. I’ve done Mostar as part of a bigger Eastern Europe trip. Its definitely worth a visit as is Montenegro!

  3. Travel Lexx says:

    David, the Game of Thrones stuff really was the icing on the cake. I did the tour with a friend who has never seen an episode so it was amusing! Thanks for reading!

  4. Vyjay says:

    Dubrovnik is such a beautiful and charming place with a rustic charm. Time seems to stand still here as you walk around the old town. Would happily spend days and weeks here.

    • Travel Lexx says:

      Vijay, you’re right. Despite the tourists, it doesn’t somehow feel as touristy as other towns. Just a wonderful place!

  5. Rob+Ann @TravelLatte(.net) says:

    The entire eastern Adriatic coast keeps climbing up our wish list, with Croatia in the lead! You’ve managed to make us want to go even more – and the Game of Thrones Tour just sort of put it over the top. 😉 Awesome post…sure wish we could just pack up and go. Like, now!

    • Travel Lexx says:

      Thanks guys! It was a fantastic experience and I would definitely recommend it. There is loads to see and do. Hope you get to go soon!

  6. Marcelle says:

    I didn’t know that Dubrovnik is so well preserved and that the medieval walls can be walked over a 1,940 metre long loop! That’s awesome! What a sight and so close to the sea shore. There are not many towns who can offer these views.

    • Travel Lexx says:

      Marcelle, the views are so stunning! I will try and get more photos on the blog soon. Yeah, the walls are incredible and a definitely highlight!

  7. Erin Gustafson says:

    Fantastisk list! That’s Danish for fantastic. Nice to “meet” you on today’s #TravChat on Twitter. Pinning this for our upcoming trip to Croatia in October. Looks amazing, I can’t wait! Cheers from Copenhagen, Erin

    • Travel Lexx says:

      Erin, likewise! Glad I could be of help! I’m sure I’ll be asking your advice on Denmark soon! Absolutely love Copenhagen!

  8. Stephanie (1AdventureTraveler) says:

    Such a cool place to visit. Love the awesome things you have listed to do here in #Dubrovnik. I have never been to Croatia and it has been lower on my bucket-list but has just moved up. Stunning photos! Thanks for sharing 🙂 #feetdotravel

  9. Paul and Carole says:

    We only had one day in Dubrovnik on our cruise last year and loved the taste that we had, and will definitely be back. Great post full of useful info. Have pinned for future reference. #feetdotravel

  10. SamH Travels says:

    Dubrovnik looks like a very interesting city to visit. I would love to go up in the cable car to the top of Srd Hill, looks like some amazing views. I would also enjoy walking around the old town as I like to see old buildings.

  11. Sina says:

    I’ve been to Dubrovnik a few years ago and loved it. The Old Town and its walls are so beautiful and the views from Srd Hill are stunning. I also enjoyed Lokrum island with its peacocks, seaside cliffs and botanical garden! I haven’t done the Game of Thrones tour but got super excited when I saw some of the locations. Btw the food at Poco Loco looks delicious – I think I have to come back 🙂

  12. Scarlett Begonias says:

    Ahhhhhh, we cannot wait to go back. I was very envious of your kayaking trip, I wished we had done it when we were there. Next time we will not miss it, your trip looked beautiful 🙂

  13. Only By Land says:

    I’m visiting Dubrovnik, Croatia this fall so it’s perfect you have written the important things to do here. I guess Srd Hill for sunset is a must! As is walking the walls and the old city. I’m not sure how long I’ll be there but I may give myself an extra day so I can make the trip out to the UNESCO protected Island of Lokrum. Hopefully I’m lucky with the weather as you were, you got some Instagram worthy snaps!

    • Travel Lexx says:

      Thank you! Dubrovnik is pretty compact so you can manage a lot of the things on this list in a day or two – Lokrum Island is so close and easy to get to!

  14. Tracy says:

    It’s a great city and we managed most of the things on your list. Walking the walls was a fantastic experience!

    We had days in Mostar and also visited Montenegro which was beautiful !

  15. ThriftyTrails says:

    I had no idea that Game of Thrones has scenes shot in Croatia, that’s pretty awesome! But even better is that you can visit multiple other countries on day trips! That’s a great way to check off lots of countries off the bucket list. Love that there is something different to do for people with different interests. Great post!

    • Travel Lexx says:

      Yeah there are a few locations that they used in Croatia and having a guide who worked on every episode shot there was pretty awesome too! As you say, there is plenty to see and do in Dubrovnik!

  16. Barry says:

    Great tips Lexx. I’ve visited Croatia briefly but not made it to Dubrovnik. Looks like a nice place to wander around and explore. Might have to put it on the list for my next Euro trip.

    • Travel Lexx says:

      You definitely should plus it’s a great place to base yourself if you are going to be heading out on daytrips and exploring the region!

  17. Sandy N Vyjay says:

    The place seems a perfect amalgamation of everything. from architecture to culture.
    This is such a wonderful place, would sure love to visit a place like this from history to islands everything is amazing.

  18. treadtheglobe.com says:

    Thanks for such a great post. Croatia looks an amazing country and one that doesn’t seem to be talked about as a really popular place to visit. It has been on my bucket list for some time as it looks a beautiful country. Great photos makes me want to go even more.

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