They don’t call it the “Pearl of the Adriatic” without a reason. Welcome to Dubrovnik, a charming city on the Dalmatian coast and one of the most popular places to visit in Croatia. Surrounded by the deep blue waters of the Adriatic Sea and famed for its picturesque Old Town, Dubrovnik has plenty of excellent attractions and activities to offer for millions of tourists who come here each year.
What I like most about the city is that it offers something for every traveler. Whether you wish to explore the cobblestone streets of the Old Town, enjoy some fine Croatian foods and wines, or venture outside the city gates to find a perfect beach, there’s a lot to keep you entertained here. To make the most out of your stay, check out my list of 5 fantastic things to do in Dubrovnik
The Old Town of Dubrovnik surrounded by its city walls. Canva/assawin.
Dating back to the 13th century, Dubrovnik’s city walls are two-kilometers long and consist of five bastions, 17 towers, and five bastions. They were built to protect the city from the invaders who had hopes of conquering the city.
Today, the city walls are one of the main attractions in Dubrovnik and touring them is a great way to see the city from a whole new perspective. The walk lasts for about two hours and offers dozens of beautiful viewpoints along the way. You will find three access points to the walls and to beat the crowds of fellow tourists, it is best to go on the tour early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
It’s a very beautiful walk and it also includes a visit to the amazing Lovrijenac Fort. The only downside is that from 2019, the entrance is a bit on the expensive side and will set you back 200 kuna (27 Euro) per person.
However, there are guided tours that include the entrance fee that are actually a bit cheaper. Check out the Dubrovnik City Walls Sunset Walk for instance.
The charming streets of Dubrovnik's Old Town. Canva/emicristea.
Located within the city walls, Dubrovnik’s Old Town is one of my favorite places in the region. Yes, it is often overcrowded with tourists, but the beauty of it all is just amazing. Walk down the cobblestone alleys dotted with cafes, restaurants, and historical buildings including Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque palaces, monasteries, and churches.
Besides wandering the small alleyways, make sure to check out the main street, the famous Placa (Stradun). There is also the Reactor’s Palace, which is one of the most beautiful historical buildings in all of Croatia. When you get tired from all the sightseeing, have a refreshing drink at one of the cute cafes and enjoy magnificent views of Dubrovnik’s Old Town.
Varys and Tyrion in S02 E08 of Game of Thrones.
Dubrovnik was used as a filming location for the popular Game of Thrones show. Remember Kings Landing? Well, that’s the Old Town of Dubrovnik. How about the Red Keep? That’s St. Lawrence’s fortress. Today, you can go on a Game of Thrones Tour here in Dubrovnik.
Most of the guides were used as extras for the popular HBO show, so besides taking you to the main filming locations, they will be happy to share few anecdotes from behind the scene. The tour lasts for about 2 hours and includes a visit to locations where some of the most memorable scenes from the show were filmed.
From the Pile Gate where King Joffrey witnessed a riot to Lovrijenac Fortress where the Battle of Blackwater took place, there is plenty to discover on this amazing tour. Expect to pay around 50 euros per person for the tour, but make sure to book in advance.
For a cheaper option, check out the Game of Thrones Walking Tour.
Lokrum island is a 15-min. boat trip from Dubrovnik. Canva/rognar.
A visit to the uninhabited island of Lokrum is a great addition to your Dubrovnik travel itinerary. Located just beyond the Old Town walls, the island used to serve as a playground for the Habsburgs.
Today, this nature reserve is well-known for its lovely beaches, various remains and ruins, old castle, and a monastery which is also a restaurant during the summer season. Besides admiring the island’s lush pines, cypress trees, and palms, you can follow the walking trails and visit rocky coves with waters where you can go swimming.
Getting to the island is relatively easy, as there are water taxis departing from the Old Town every 30 minutes. Keep in mind that the last water taxi leaves at 7 pm. The trip lasts for about 15 minutes and cost 40 Kuna (5 euro).
Lapad Beach. Canva/Dave Porter.
Somehow, I always end up visiting Dubrovnik in summer and that’s the best time to explore the city’s beaches. To escape from the busy crowds and venture outside the Old Town gates, I usually go to Sveti Jakov beach. Located close to Hotel Villa Dubrovnik, this picturesque beach is where the locals go.
You won’t find many amenities here, but there are also fewer people on the beach. To access the beach, one needs to go down a long stairway, but it is totally worth it. The easiest way to reach the beach from the Old Town is to hop on buses number 5 or 8. There is also the Lapad Beach, a family-friendly beach equipped with all the necessary amenities line sun loungers, showers, restrooms, and lifeguards on duty.
The beach offers ideal conditions for swimming and entertainment options like tennis courts and a bouncy play area can be found nearby. Another great beach in Dubrovnik is Copacabana. This pebble and concrete beach is great for families with kids, as it has things like water slides, water polo, and other water activities. If you wish to have more privacy and you like naturist beaches, check out the nearby Cava beach.
How to Get Around Dubrovnik?
Well, most of the attractions are located within the Old City, so the easiest and the best way to experience the city is on foot. However, travelers who wish to venture outside the Old Town can use the regular bus lines. Fortunately, there is a bus station right outside the Old Town gates.
Is Dubrovnik Expensive?
Compared to other parts of Croatia, it is expensive. If you compare it to the French Riviera or Italy’s Sardinia, the prices are more or less the same.
When is the Best Time to visit Dubrovnik?
Dubrovnik can be visited throughout the year, but spring and fall is the best time to go. Keep in mind that cruise passengers are visiting the city every day of the year, so to avoid large crowds, its best to arrive early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
The best travel recommendations come from locals. Check out these Wanderguides from Croatia by locals sharing their travel tips and hidden gems.