Updated June 2023
This Ultimate Dubrovnik Guide will help you make the most of your time in Dubrovnik whether it be one day or one week. Whether you simply roam around gawking at the gorgeous 16th-century buildings and sparkling sapphire sea or eat at one of the many fantastic restaurants, there is plenty to do here in this gem of a city.
Table of Contents
Start your visit by simply wandering around the old town and getting a sense of where you are. It isn’t big and won’t take long to orient yourself. The Stradun is the largest street and is a good place to start. During the height of the day when the cruise ships unload thousands of people, you may want to avoid the more touristy areas and head to the side streets. Or better, go in the off-season to avoid these crowds!
This is Onofrio’s Fountain which was built in the early 1400’s as part of an aqueduct system. It has 16 sides!
This is one of my favorite things to do. These walls were built in the 13th century and include towers as well. The walls run uninterrupted for 1940 meters (6365 feet) in length, encircling most of the City, and reach a maximum height of about 25 meters (83 feet). They were built at times when there was a danger of foreign attacks. Every time I do it (which is 3 times now), I feel like I notice something new. I advise doing this first thing in the morning or right before sunset. The weather is cooler, there are fewer people, and the lighting is beautiful. They are open from 8 AM to 7 PM. You must buy a ticket to do this and the two points of entry are the Ploce gate and the Pile gate. I think the Ploce gate is less crowded. It takes anywhere from 45 min to two hours if you take your time. The ticket also gets you into Fort Lovrjenac (aka the “Red Keep” from Game of Thrones).
This is 600 meters away and there is regular ferry service almost every hour, depending on the season. You catch the ferry from the port of Dubrovnik just outside the city walls, near Sponza Palace. Type “Porat Dubrovnilk” into Google if using maps. The ferry takes about 15 minutes and you get beautiful views looking back at Dubrovnik.
I spent about 3 hours on Lokrum but you can easily spend more time if you want so swim and relax. I truly enjoyed the hike to the top of the Fort Royal with the incredible panoramic views. If you walk to some higher ground above the Fort you will have the view pictured above of Dubrovnik. There are a couple of cafes if you need a snack or beverage. One is near the port and a really decent cocktail bar near the rocks.
The Franciscan Monastery near the port is lovely and holds an Iron Throne and was a GOT filming site. I believe it was supposed to be the island of Quarth. The island has places to swim (like the “Dead Sea” pictured below, named as such because of the salt content) and is full of peacocks and other small creatures. I was amused watching the peacocks do their mating dance. Quite impressive!
The ticket office is just steps away from the Buza Gate and just above the Buza Parking lot outside the walls. It costs 27 euro. Take this to the top of Srd Hill for a breathtaking panoramic view of Dubrovnik. There is a restaurant at the top aptly named Panorama. In high season you will need a reservation here. The food is good but expensive. You can opt for just a drink and cheese platter. Many come to watch the sunset so that is probably the most crowded time.
There is no shortage of beaches in Dubrovnik. One of the most popular is Banje Beach which is adjacent to the old city with views of the same. Copacabana Beach and Sea Cave Beach are also worth checking out! Many of the hotels have their own beaches. Admittedly I didn’t come here for beaches so didn’t spend much time on them, but I definitely see the appeal!
One of my personal favorite activities and I happen to have a post on a really fun Game of Thrones Tour in Dubrovnik.
This old pharmacy is a type of apothecary museum located in a beautiful old Franciscan Monastery. It doesn’t take long to see and it is a fun little stop. Many famous people have been here including Jackie Kennedy and Queen Elizabeth! It is right by the Pile gate and near the entrance to the Walls.
Consider visiting Montenegro, Bosnia, and even Albania on a very long day trip. Honestly, I don’t recommend this. I would take a few days to visit those countries properly rather than have a long exhausting day with long obnoxious border crossings. There is plenty to see in Croatia to occupy your time if you are somehow bored of Dubrovnik (you MONSTER!). You can visit other parts of Croatia such as the Peljisac Peninsula home of one of the world’s great wines, Dingac. Korcula island is close as well although once again, I suggest spending a few days on Korcula rather than a day trip. Peljesac is a nice day trip from Dubrovnik for wine lovers. Go to D’Vino wine bar in Dubrovnik and talk to Sasha or Tony about the Peljesac Tour. It’s fantastic. I’ll be posting about that soon.
Villa Dubrovnik This boutique luxury hotel has fantastic views of the Old Town perhaps best seen from the rooftop bar. You can enjoy a complimentary shuttle service to the Old Town by boat or by car.
Excelsior Hotel Great views and luxury with average pricing for the area. Less than 10 minute’s walk to Banje Beach and Old Town. The rooms are a bit dated but supposedly undergoing renovation soon. Request a sea view!
Pucic Palace A 17th-century Baroque building turned 5 star hotel in Gundulic Square. The Old Town location can’t be beat and is just a short walk to Banje beach.
Airbnb This has been my favorite option for staying in Dubrovnik. I recommend Apartment Nina right in old town, or Charm of Dubrovnik Apartment 10 min walk with an incredible view of Old Town, but there are many great choices in and out of the Old Town.
Lady Pi Pi This is probably one of the most popular restaurants in the city and for good reason…the food is incredible. I dined here three times and am sorry that I didn’t have everything on the menu. The attractive waiters were not the reason I ate here three times, I swear! The mixed grill is definitely the thing to get and you can see it being prepared on the outdoor grill. It is a small restaurant with a lovely lower-level garden and upper-level terrace with views. Get here before it opens or there will be a line!
Pizzeria Oliva This is authentic and fantastic pizza. I consider myself a connoisseur after spending time in Naples and New York AND because I consider pizza to be a food group. Tucked away on a small street behind the cathedral a few blocks south of the Stradun.
Konoba Jezuite Right next to the famous “shame steps” from Game of Thrones this place has some unique gourmet traditional dishes like Seafood Bordetta and hand-rolled Gnocchi with wild boar in wine sauce. I’m drooling just thinking about it.
Fish Restaurant Proto Almost every local tells tourists to eat here. It is on the high-end side but worth it. I went twice because I couldn’t try everything I wanted in one sitting. The homemade tagliatelle with black truffle sauce and shrimp is divine. The fish soup is incredible. The tuna tartare is fresh and uniquely flavored.
Kamenice You cannot visit the Adriatic Sea without indulging in the abundant fresh seafood. Kamenice has reasonable prices and a central location in beautiful Gundulićeva Square. Try the mussels in local Bouzzara sauce and yes, you will eat them all. The oysters are fantastic and go very well with the local beer. I was told “Kamenice” is the local word for “oyster”.
Panaroma You can have Mediterranean cuisine on top of the Hill Srd gazing down at all of Dubrovnik. Located at the upper cable car station, you simply have to hop on the cable car to get here.
Revelin This restaurant is ideally positioned between Revelin Fortress for which it’s named and Dubrovnik’s Old Town Port. The menu features fresh organic items and the ambiance is incredible. There is also a popular club here that looked pretty fun!
Buza Bars 1 and 2
The first Buza is more about the azure water. This has a beach clubby vibe during the day with a DJ and great music. They serve some chips and snacks but mostly just a bar. Finding it can be complicated. If you start at the Stradun on the side closest to the Ploce gate and head directly south toward to wall you will get to it. However, it is not a straight shot. There are hills, steps, twists and turns, but just keep your general direction and you will get there. It isn’t well-marked or signed. You will see a nondescript doorway and maybe hear the music. This is all part of the fun folks!
Buza Bar 2 is more like a cafe. There is no water access. It is a great place to watch a sunset and have an Ozujsko. Finding this is a bit easier. It is a few minutes walk along the walls west from Buza 1 and located behind restaurant Konobo Ekvinocijo. There is a metal gate that looks very generic if not for the easy to miss arrow shaped sign on the wall across the street stating “cold drinks”!
D’Vino Wine Bar On a tiny charming side street near the Stradun and Pile Gate side of town, definitely worth a stop for wine lovers and anyone wanting to drink wine while learning about Croatian wine, with a delicious snack platter.
La Bodega Located in heart of city on the Stradun right next to the Blaise Church pictured below, this wine bar is a huge party at night with outdoor table and three stories inside. They serve tapas and brunch as well.
I’m only scratching the surface of the many ways to enjoy one of Europe’s most celebrated cities and one of my personal favorites. Although it seems tiny, easily visited and over touristed, there is more than meets the eye in this charming walled city. I fall more in love with each visit!
Have you been? What should I add to this list?