What to See and do in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik, Croatia is one of the most visited destinations on the Mediterranean. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979 and has been on the top of my *bucket list since I shared a plane with a bunch of rowdy Croatian Olympians and Olympic fans on a flight out of Vancouver in 2010.

*yes… everything is on my bucket list…

Dubrovnik ferry from Bari, Italy - What to See and do in Dubrovnik, Croatia

I traveled there in June by overnight ferry from the Italian city of Bari and arrived early in the morning. As I often do I went not knowing much about the city but I was happily surprised. I had planned on also visiting Split and Zagreb but I ended up loving Dubrovnik so much that I spent a whole week there and hardly left the walls of the Old Town.

fresh sheets hostel dubrovnik - What to See and do in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Inside a 6 bed dorm at the Fresh* Sheets Hostel in Dubrovnik.

fresh sheets bed and breakfast - What to See and do in Dubrovnik, Croatia

One of six beautiful bedrooms at the Fresh* Sheets Bed & Breakfast in Dubrovnik

While there I stayed at the Fresh* Sheets Hostel and the Fresh* Sheets Bed and Breakfast both located inside the Old Town walls. They were both reasonably priced and in great locations. However you do need to climb several sets of steps to get to the hostel. They also conveniently own the only laundromat nearby just outside of the Ploce Gate called Sanja & Rosie’s Launderette.

Dubrovnik is the type of city that you can just walk around in forever and get lost. However the Old Town isn’t that big so you can’t get “that” lost, just a bit turned around. The nice thing about it is that there aren’t any cars allowed inside of the walls either so that whole part of the city is pedestrian only. Full of small alleyways with cafes and restaurants everywhere you turn.

Walking the walls of the Old Town - What to See and do in Dubrovnik, Croatia

One of the first things you should do is the walk along the top of the city walls for stunning views of the city and of course the wall itself. The best time to go is first thing in the morning before the crowds and the heat. I would recommend starting at the entrance near the Ploce Gate, mostly so you get the majority of the steps out of the way first, making your stroll more leisurely and relaxing towards the end.

Mount Srd Gondola - What to See and do in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Another great place to go for a spectacular view of the city is to the top of Mount Srd overlooking the old town. You can ride a Gondola to the very top for views of the Old Town and the surrounding islands as far as the eye can see.

During the day from about 10am to 5 or 6pm in the summer months the Old Town is jam packed full of groups of tourists from the cruise ships. It can get a bit unbearable at times but this is the perfect opportunity to escape the city walls and head to a nearby beach or one of the many nearby islands. You can also go cliff diving at one of the holes in the wall, go kayaking or even take a boat tour.

Dubrovnik Symphony at the Rector's Palace - traditional dalmatian black risotto - What to See and do in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Conductor Noorman Widjaja conducts the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra in Dubrovnik, Croatia at the Rector’s Palace Atrium.

At night time there are less crowds and there are many things to see and do. If you are lucky the Dubrovnik Symphony might be performing at the Rector’s Palace. If they are get tickets for the cheap seats where you sit upstairs over looking the Symphony. Here you will have the best vantage point and if it was a hot day it is a much cooler place to sit.

traditional dalmatian black risotto - What to See and do in Dubrovnik, Croatia

In the evenings it also a great time to grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants. One of my favourites is the Taj Mahal that serves Bosnian food. So delicious. It is a popular place so make sure you get a reservation or show up early. There are also many places to enjoy pizza, you can enjoy Rooster at the Kopun Restaurant and enjoy a traditional dalmation dish called – Risotto Orlando – Black risotto with prawns and Dalmation spices. Yum.

Inside the city walls you will also find several night clubs including one called Club Revelin that is actually inside part of the Old Town Walls which is pretty cool. Look for girls walking the main streets handing out fliers for the clubs that will give you free cover.

Maritime Museum - What to See and do in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Inside Dubrovnik’s Maritime Museum.

The Old Town also has several churches and museums you can visit to learn about the history of the city. The Franciscan Friary which is somewhat hidden near Pile Gate in the city has restored alfresco paintings, relics, artefacts and you can also see a hole in the wall from the attack on the city in 1990. Inside Fort Saint John which is part of the city walls is the Maritme Museum where you can learn about the importance of maritime trade and the Mediterranean in the city’s history.

To learn more about visiting watch my video “Dubrovnik in a Minute“. If you plan on visiting make sure you spend at least a few days.

Some of my accommodation costs and entry fees were covered on this trip however all opinions and views expressed are my own.

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  • Reply
    April 20, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    Croatia is a dream place! My husband and I have been there. We’re passionate and love it very much!

  • Reply
    May 6, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    great tips! i actually went to dubrovnik smack in the middle of the day with crowds but it was still fun. will definitely know where to go to avoid the crowds next time i visit :)


  • Reply
    Matt O'Reilly
    October 2, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Dubrovnik is a beautiful place oozing with history and culture and a laid-back way of life – it’s the kind of holiday you never want to end. The best time to visit Dubrovnik is September and October, when temperatures aren’t stifling hot yet most of the cruise ships have abandoned the port. The water remains warm for these two months, so it’s a great time to dip into the sea rather than your savings.

  • Reply
    July 17, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Great article about my city, love the video! If someone wants to visit Dubrovnik some day, can stay at our apartment with great location and multilingual hosts.:)
    See you in Dubrovnik!;)

  • Reply
    May 9, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    My husband and I were in Dubrovnik on honeymoon and had the best 15 days. When you enter in the Old city, you feel like you’re in a movie or in some past century. We have visited few beaches, and not just in the local area. The top beaches for our taste are Banje (near Dubrovnik) and the second one is on an island Lopud. We have visited a few restaurants, they are ok. But the best was domestic food from Dubrovnik piazza and seafood. Since we had 15 days, we wanted to spend them on exploring Dubrovnik and its nearby towns and islands. There is island Lokrum, very close to the old town. We were very impressed with birds peacocks. One day we have reserved for islands Lopud, Kolocep and Sipan. We spent a lovely day, we were sailing on sea, we were walking through a nature, we were swimming and sunning on the sandy beach… Second day we went on Mljet (island near Dubrovnik) and it’s national park. It was very nice trip. I really like your post about Croatia and we hope that we’re going to spend our next vacation in another part of the Croatia. We want to discover the taste of Pag cheese. When we come back we will leave comments.

  • Reply
    April 15, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    I really enjoyed reading your post! My family visited Dubrovnik recently. We stayed for 7 days and I must add one more advice to your list which is great :) Go on a day trip to neighbouring destinations! We went to Korcula and to Mostar. I think 5 days in Dubrovnik was enough and we really enjoyed getting to know these two beautiful places. The group we traveled with was quite small and the guides were great! Montenegro is quite interesting little country but we did not have time to visit it. You can also rent a boat and go island hopping. There’s really a lot to do and I hope I gave valuable advice to people reading your blog and that plan to visit Dubrovnik any time soon. If you’re staying less than 3 days tours are no option since Dubrovnik is really something else and you should take time to know it’s culture, history and everyday life!
    We had a great time and I think it’s a great little town!
    Best regards to all!

  • Reply
    March 16, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Croatia is firmly on my radar now … thanks for the excellent video Cailin!

  • Reply
    March 5, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Seeing the Symphony Orchestra from up there looks amazing -I want to do that!

  • Reply
    March 1, 2014 at 1:15 am

    Great post, reminds me good times that I had when I was in there. One of my favorite place where I’ve been.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Great tips! We were only in Dubrovnik for half of a day (because alas we were on a cruise). I would love to spend more time there exploring- especially by kayak!

    • Reply
      February 21, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      Thanks Elena, half a day is not nearly enough time! You must visit again! :)

  • Reply
    February 21, 2014 at 2:37 am

    Great article Cailin. I can’t wait to put your tips into practice when I visit Dubrovnik in the next year or two.

    • Reply
      February 21, 2014 at 2:52 pm

      Thanks Jen! Let me know if you have any questions about visiting :)

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