8 Best Things To Do In Dubrovnik
December 18, 2023
Dubrovnik, often referred to as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic,’ is a destination brimming with fascinating history, stunning landscapes, and a myriad of activities to suit every traveller’s taste. This special part of Croatia has perhaps become more popular over the last few years due to the location being used in the filming of Game of Thrones and there are many references to the TV show around the city. It’s obvious why they chose to film so many of the scenes here as it feels as if you have gone back in time! There are, of course, many modern enhancements like wonderful restaurants and boutique shops but, on the whole, the history is what has the most impact as you wander around. It is extremely magical. From exploring the cobblestone streets of the Old Town to taking in panoramic views from Mount Srd, here are some of the best things to do in Dubrovnik.
Wander through the Old Town
Start your journey in Dubrovnik by stepping back in time as you meander through the enchanting streets of Dubrovnik’s Old Town. Marvel at the well-preserved mediaeval architecture, visit historic landmarks like the Rector’s Palace and Sponza Palace, and lose yourself in the charm of narrow alleys and vibrant squares. The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and every corner tells a story of the city’s rich past.
Walk the City Walls
For a unique perspective of Dubrovnik’s beauty, enjoy a walk along the ancient city walls.
The Old Town is completely enclosed by around 2 km of thick, stone walls, built to defend the city from foreign attacks as far back as the 9th Century. Over time, the walls were fortified with 5 square forts and grew to completely encircle the city. For around 200 Kuna, you can walk the entire circumference of the city, taking in the spectacular views of the terracotta roofs, interesting architecture, stunning gardens and, of course, the Adriatic Sea beyond. You’ll be completely mesmerised by the rugged coastline and the unique colour of the sea – it sparkles a beautiful blue and is practically transparent to the sea bed, apparently due to the high salt content and remarkably clean waters, making it very unique indeed. It is worth noting that there is a one-way system around the walls due to the narrow sections and potential human traffic jams.
Afterwards, enjoy a delicious seafood lunch at Dubravka 1836 which overlooks the Lovrjenac and Bokar Forts.
Visit Fort Lovrijenac
Perched on a high rock at the edge of the city, Fort Lovrijenac stands as one of the most impressive historic sites in Croatia. Game of Thrones fans will be familiar with this imposing fortress because it appears on screen as the Red Keep in the popular fantasy series. Known as the ‘Gibraltar of Dubrovnik,’ this 37-metre above-sea-level tower offers more than just a historic site – it provides visitors with spectacular views of the city and the Adriatic. The fortress welcomes visitors daily from 9 am and you can visit it at any time of the year. The price is included with the City Walls entrance ticket so we recommend you go to the City Walls first, climb up and walk around the city, then visit Fort Lovrijenac and witness the most incredible views of the city. At sunset, the view is the best!
Take a Ferry to Lokrum
Escape the mainland and embark on a short ferry ride to Lokrum Island. This lush oasis is a haven for nature lovers, featuring botanical gardens, peacocks roaming freely, and tranquil walking paths. There’s a small lake called Mrtvo More (Dead Sea) which is great for a dip, as well as some pretty beaches where you can cool off. Don’t forget to explore the island’s historical sites, including the Benedictine monastery. There’s even an exhibition dedicated to the filming of Game of Thrones, which includes a replica of the Iron Throne from the series on which visitors can sit to take pictures.
Go Island Hopping
Dubrovnik’s proximity to numerous islands makes it an ideal base for island-hopping adventures. The Elaphiti Islands sit just off the coast of Dubrovnik making it an easy day trip, perfect if you’re looking to get away from the crowds and experience some more authentic pieces of Croatian culture. There are several islands comprising the Elaphiti archipelago and there is plenty to do on a day trip, from cave visits and savouring the freshest seafood to exploring charming villages and more. They’re easily reachable by public ferry or you can join an organised tour via a local agency.
Explore the Beaches
Dubrovnik boasts a diverse range of beaches catering to different preferences. Whether you seek the lively atmosphere of Banje Beach, the family-friendly setting of Copacabana, or the secluded beauty of Sveti Jakov, the city’s coastline has something for everyone.
Discover more about the best beaches in Dubrovnik in our blog.
Ride the cable car to Mount Srd
For a panoramic view that will leave you speechless, take a cable car ride to the summit of Mount Srd. This modern, fast and very orange mode of transport takes passengers from the base station just outside the Old Town to the top of the mountain that rises above Dubrovnik. The journey offers jaw-dropping vistas of the city, the surrounding islands, and the sparkling Adriatic Sea. It takes around three and a half minutes to ascend (or descend) the hill – travelling a distance of 778m – and is a very smooth ride. Once at the top, visit the Fort Imperial for historical insights and savour a meal at the mountaintop restaurant.
Visit the ‘Hole in the Wall’
A real highlight in Dubrovnik is watching the sunset at Buža Bar. Buza means ‘hole’ and this is one of the only gaps in the wall that encompasses the city. It is not easy to find but is well worth the effort as the ‘hole’ takes you straight through the wall to a bar, cut into the cliff, with breathtakingly beautiful views of the sea. They only sell beer and wine, no cocktails or cappuccinos, and there are no toilets so make sure you go before you venture here as, once you have your position overlooking the sea and the sun starts to set, you do not want to be anywhere else on earth!
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