Top 20 Amazing Things to Do in Dubrovnik (Croatia)
Dubrovnik in Croatia ranks among the absolute travel highlights of the country. Also known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic”, there are so many unique things to do in Dubrovnik! The city enchants with its world-famous UNESCO World Heritage Site Old Town, surrounded by a gigantic wall, and a fascinating coastal landscape. Dubrovnik’s countless fantastic sights guarantee an unforgettable vacation on the Adriatic, and its picturesque beaches invite you to dream and enjoy. But also the surroundings of Dubrovnik, with the small southern Dalmatian coastal towns, the islands off the coast and the picture-book beaches, offer many attractions worth seeing and numerous excursion destinations. But what should you see in Dubrovnik, what are the absolute highlights and the best tips for your vacation?
In this travel guide, we provide you with all the important information about Dubrovnik in Croatia. Additionally, we show you the most amazing things to do in Dubrovnik, the best pictures and give tips on where to stay.
General Information about Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik, a city of about 42,000 inhabitants, is located in southern Dalmatia, about 230 kilometers from Split and 45 kilometers from Herceg Novi in Montenegro. The spectacular historic Old Town with its impressive city walls has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1979. Dubrovnik has always been known as one of the most beautiful places in Croatia and therefore a real magnet for visitors. Today, the town is also well known by the international jet-set and high-society scene. This is reflected in the slightly higher prices, luxurious restaurants, chic bars, great beach clubs and unique hotels in Dubrovnik. However, there are still plenty of budget vacation options available.
The city of Dubrovnik is often referred to as the “Athens of Croatia” due to its rich historical and cultural heritage. Dubrovnik has its historical beginnings in the 3rd century as an Illyrian settlement, which was called “Ragusa” in ancient times. Later, in the Middle Ages, the city developed into a flourishing port city. Many of Dubrovnik’s most famous attractions date from this period. During the Croatian War, Dubrovnik was badly affected, but today all material damage has been repaired.
Best Things to Do in Dubrovnik
During a vacation in Dubrovnik, there are plenty of amazing things to do. Among the absolute highlights are the imposing old town with its mighty wall and the countless historical attractions. Also, the beautiful beaches and the many islands of the region are worth a visit. We have summarized the best things to do during your trip to Dubrovnik so that you don’t miss anything.
Dubrovnik Old Town
One of the most important attractions of Dubrovnik is certainly the Old Town. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979 and is also one of the most stunning coastal towns in Croatia. During a tour of the old town, the best thing to do is to just walk around and explore the romantic streets, the many impressive churches, the picturesque squares and the numerous photo spots. Most of the buildings date from the Middle Ages, the Baroque, and the Renaissance and form an incredibly romantic ensemble.
Dubrovnik City Wall
The most significant attraction is the imposing Dubrovnik City Wall from the 8th century. A visit to this imposing fortification is almost a must on any trip to the coastal metropolis. Approximately two kilometers long, the wall completely surrounds the historic old town, making it the best-preserved medieval fortification in Europe and perhaps one of the most famous in the world. A tour of the wall is a unique experience, with countless viewpoints from which you can enjoy a wonderful view of Dubrovnik’s fantastic Old Town, the surrounding countryside and the deep blue sea.
Entrance fee: 35 EUR | Opening hours: 08:00 am to 7:30 pm
The Stradun, also called the Great Street, is the most famous promenade in Dubrovnik and one of the highlights of the coastal city. It is located in the historical center and connects the western Pile city gate with the eastern Ploče gate. The stone baroque houses, where numerous street cafés invite to linger, are particularly beautiful here. Also countless boutiques and souvenir stores line the Stradun, perfect for all those who love shopping. Furthermore, along the Stradun you will also find many interesting attractions. Very worth seeing is the Onofrio Fountain from the 14th century at the beginning of the promenade, and at the end you will come across the Orlando statue, Sponza Palace, the church of St. Blasius and the bell tower.
Sponza Palace & Bell Tower
A beautiful place to visit in Dubrovnik is Sponza Palace from the 16th century. It is one of the few historical buildings that survived the earthquake in 1667. Today it houses the city archive, which is open to the public as a museum. Right next to it there is another highlight, the beautiful Dubrovnik city bell tower. It was built in 1444 and many years later, in 1929, it was completely renovated. Its valuable bronze figures can still be seen in the museum of Sponza Palace!
Entrance fee: 3 EUR | Opening hours: 08:00 am – 7:00 pm
The Lovrijenac Fortress is certainly one of the most impressive things to see in Dubrovnik. Built between the 14th and 16th century on a rock that is about 37 meters high, this castle is a real eye-catcher and also a popular viewpoint of the city. Almost 200 steps lead up to the fortress, from which you can enjoy a fantastic view of Dubrovnik and the deep blue sea. Thanks to the spectacular scenery, some scenes of the successful series Game of Thrones were shot right here.
Admission fee: 15 EUR | Opening hours: 08:00 am to 7:00 pm
Tip: If you buy a ticket for the Dubrovnik Wall, the entrance to Lovrijenac Fortress is also included!
Cathedral of Dubrovnik
The Velika Gospa Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of the Assumption, is definitely one of the most beautiful buildings in the historical center of Dubrovnik. It is located on the Poljana Marina Držića square and impresses as one of the most fascinating church buildings in the city. The most fascinating part is the facade, which is decorated with numerous columns, gables, and statues. The interior of the church is also worth seeing, with its valuable art treasures and the relics of St. Vlaho.
An interesting attraction in Dubrovnik is the Rector’s Palace located in the Old Town. Originally, the seat of the Regusa Republic, it now houses the city’s Cultural and Historical Museum. The open portico and the splendid courtyard are particularly beautiful, but they can only be seen during a visit to the museum. Among the most important exhibits are several valuable paintings by Italian and Croatian artists, a rich collection of coins from the time of the Republic of Ragusa, and collections of weapons.
Admission fee: 15 EUR | Opening hours: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
Mountain Srđ & Dubrovnik Cable Car
The Mountain Srđ, also known as Sergius Mountain, is located directly behind the city and a visit is definitely one of the coolest things to do in Dubrovnik. Since 2010, a cable car, the Dubrovnik Cable Car, has been leading up to the approximately 400-meter-high local mountain, which guarantees fantastic views of Dubrovnik. The 90-minute hike from the city center to the top of mountain Srđ is also very lovely, where you will be rewarded with stunning views of the old town and its countless red-brown roofs. You also have the possibility to go up the mountain by car or taxi. On top, close to the mountain station, there are enough parking spaces.
Old Town Port
The Old Town Port is probably one of the most beautiful places to see in Dubrovnik. The entire complex was planned and created in the 15th century by the Croatian master builder Paskoje Miličević. Still in use today, mainly fishing boats, small yachts and sailing boats moor here. Also the ferry to the island Lokrum, as well as excursion boats, start from this port. The harbor promenade is also really charming, where you can enjoy a fantastic ambience during a walk. Furthermore, cozy restaurants and cafés invite you to take a sightseeing break.
The Maritime Museum is a real insider tip for any trip to Dubrovnik. This interesting maritime museum is located near the Old Port, just inside the city walls in the Fort of St. Ivan and was founded as early as 1941. When you visit it, you will be amazed by a wide collection of maritime exhibits, with more than 4,000 objects presented here. Among the highlights are ship models from the 17th to the 19th century. In addition, the museum houses a valuable library with rare books.
Admission fee: 10 EUR | Opening hours: 09:00 am to 6:00 pm – Wednesday closed
A fascinating place to visit in Dubrovnik is the Franciscan monastery in the old town. The late Romanesque cloister from the 14th century is uniquely beautiful here. In the center impresses a romantic garden with fountains, countless flowers, orange trees and other Mediterranean plants. The highlight of the monastery, however, is the monastery pharmacy, one of the oldest pharmacies still open in Europe since 1317. Parts of it can be seen during a visit to the museum.
Admission fee: 6 EUR | Opening hours: 09:00 am to 6:00 pm
The most famous beach in Dubrovnik is certainly Banje Beach, the city beach. It is located right next to the historical old town and enchants with unbelievably beautiful scenery, like out of a travel magazine. The sea here is turquoise, and the red roofs of the city center form a spectacular contrast. Just behind the bay there is a beach club, which especially attracts youngsters with music and cool drinks. There are some great accommodations nearby, perfect if you want to combine sightseeing in Dubrovnik with a beach vacation.
Another famous in Dubrovnik is the island Lokrum, which is located a little bit away from the old town. Well-connected with the ferry from the old port, relatively many tourists visit this little island. Especially interesting is the subtropical vegetation of the island, which is protected by UNESCO. There are not many beaches here, but there are many well-marked hiking trails across Lokrum. During a walk over the island, which is about 1,600 meters long and 500 meters wide, you can explore several attractions, like Fort Royal, a Benedictine monastery and a botanical garden.
Tip: The small ferry to Lokrum leaves every 20 minutes from the Old Port of the city center to the island.
A gigantic natural beauty and also a popular excursion destination is Betina Cave, a very hidden beach cave in the east of the city of Dubrovnik. Only a few people find their way to this cave. Here you can explore a breathtaking natural bay in a semi-cave with a beautiful beach, surrounded by pine-covered rocks and kitschy turquoise sea colors. The sea is crystal clear and perfect for snorkeling and swimming.
Tip: Beware, there is no footpath to Betina Cave. This cave can only be reached by boat or kayak from Dubrovnik!
Dubrovnik is world-famous as a scene and party city, and therefore you can find a wide range of exclusive beach clubs in this vacation destination. One of the most special places is the Coral Beach Club on the Lapad peninsula. Here you can relax on a great dream beach, enjoy an extra chic ambience and delicious cocktails. See and be seen, that’s the motto here! Other cool beach clubs are the Copacabana Beach Club, the Sunset Beach Club and the Beach Club Banje Beach.
Sveti Jakov Beach
The Sveti Jakov Beach is an absolute highlight in Dubrovnik. Here you can expect a true dream beach, as uniquely beautiful as on a postcard. To reach the beach, however, you have to overcome some steep steps. Once you reach the bottom, however, you will be more than rewarded for the effort! Crystal clear turquoise sea, fine pebbles, high rocks and a spectacular view of the city of Dubrovnik. The incredibly beautiful Sveti Jakov beach is a must-see!
Tip: Just above the beach is the Guest House Carevic. Guests love the magnificent view and also the rooms are charming.
Kayak Tour in Dubrovnik
A kayak tour is a fantastic option to explore the beautiful coastline around Dubrovnik. Especially popular are paddling trips to the island of Lokrum, tours along the picturesque old town and to the many fantastic hidden beaches, such as Betina Cave Beach. Here you have the opportunity to admire the unique coastal scenery of Dubrovnik directly from the sea, take stunning pictures and also snorkeling is possible.
Tip: Really great tours by kayak, including reviews and experience reports, can be found online on GetyourGuide.
Best Excursions from Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is definitely worth a trip and also the surrounding of the coastal city with its numerous attractions and beaches is spectacular. Here are the most stunning destinations for day trips from Dubrovnik, which should not be missed on any vacation:
Popular are boat trips to the Elaphites, a group of islands near Dubrovnik. Especially recommended is a visit to Lopud Island, a small island with a picturesque sandy beach.
The coastal town of Cavtat is worth seeing, which is about 20 km from Dubrovnik. Here, the beautiful port with its enchanting promenade and the picturesque coast are fascinating.
A highlight, only about 50 kilometers from Dubrovnik, is the coastal town of Ston on the Pelješac peninsula. It is famous for its imposing city walls, but also for the delicious oysters.
Another famous excursion is a tour to Mostar in Bosnia, where you can visit the popular bridge “Stari Most”, beautiful mosques and the bazaar.
Where to Stay in Dubrovnik
In Dubrovnik, there is a huge offer of fantastic accommodations. From cheap backpacker hostels to vacation apartments, bed & breakfasts and boutique hotels with pools, everything is available. If you are looking for recommendable accommodation in Dubrovnik, we can give you these tips on where to stay…It’s worth a look!
- 5-Star Hotel with Pool: The hotel Rixos Premium Dubrovnik is one of the best hotels in town! Here you can expect a nice pool, good restaurants and an incredible view of the sea.
- Apartment in Best Location: The Apartment Timy is a fabulous, very clean and top-equipped accommodation on Labin peninsula, not far from the beach and restaurants.
- Apartment in the Old Town: The wonderful Apartment La Petite is the perfect choice if you like to stay very central in the romantic old town of Dubrovnik.
- Boutique Hotel with Pool: The beautiful Hotel More is a fantastic beach hotel, directly by the sea with a lovely beach bar and fantastic pools on the roof terrace.
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