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Top 10 Things to See and Do in Dubrovnik


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Dubrovnik, a so-called ‘pearl of the Adriatic’ is a beautiful city in Croatia and has always been one of the best places to visit in Croatia. It’s well-known for its stunning landscapes, medieval Old Town, and at the moment, for being one of the filming sets of ‘Game of Thrones’.

The city gained its greatest growth in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, which reflects in the impressive architecture and its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Dubrovnik is the ideal destination for someone looking for both a beach and cultural vacation. You can’t help but learn of Dubrovnik’s history with such a well-preserved medieval town, along with enjoying the stunning Croatian coast.

Magnificent palaces, multiple viewpoints, lovely streets, and impressive fortifications – that’s just a preview of what to do in Dubrovnik!

In this article you’ll get to know the top things to do and see in Dubrovnik, highlighting key attractions and points of interest.

So, without further ado, let’s deep dive into the 10 best things to see and do in Dubrovnik, Croatia!

1. Old Town Walls – Walk the medieval walls

Dubrovnik’s prideful medieval walls are one of the things that have made the city a UNESCO listing and if you watch the famous show ‘Game of Thrones’ then you’ll identify several locations.

These white limestone defences dated back to the 600s, but their current form goes to the fifteenth century during the fall of Constantinople.

Almost about two kilometres in length, Dubrovnik’s city walls make a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll and provide plenty of excellent views over the Adriatic and into the interior over the old city center.

Highlights along the way include the Bokar Tower, the Revelin Fortress, Fort Lovrjenac, and the Minceta Tower.

An hour or so will be enough to make the full circuit along the battlements, stopping for prime panoramas of the city backed by the Adriatic. You can buy for a ticket to explore them yourself as well as find guided tours. These will offer you extra pieces of info, but it’s also a great idea to start early to beat the crowds.

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View from the walls of Dubrovnik Old Town
View from the walls of Old Town

2. Old Town – Wander around countless pretty streets

The Old Town of Dubrovnik is enclosed by the city walls as mentioned and is also one of the main highlights, so it’s hard to miss it. Inside the Old Town walls, you will discover numerous pretty streets and houses, built with brick and the traditional style.

The spectacular Stradun – also known as Placa in Dubrovnik – is a place where locals and visitors alike gather day and night to watch the world go by. The best time to adore the charm of Stradun is early morning before the crowds gather in the Dubrovnik Old Town. You can get an excellent view of the 300 meters long main street (connecting Pile and Peskarija gates) which shines like a diamond from the Old Town Walls too!

Undoubtedly one of Europe’s most picturesque streets, the Stradun presents many restaurants and cafés and is a great place to get in some shopping, or to rest tired feet after a day touring Dubrovnik. While walking along Stradun don’t miss grabbing yourself a tasty ice cream from some of the shops lining the street.

In Dubrovnik, an earthquake in 1667 led the city to the thorough renovation and preservation that you can see today. Strolling through the streets of the Old Town will feel like stepping back in time!

You can also opt for a guided tour of the Old Town if you want to explore all the most iconic spots, as well as learn about the history of Dubrovnik along the way.

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Pretty streets of Dubrovnik
Image by @mikecleggphoto

3. Fort Lovrijenac – Get the most beautiful views of Dubrovnik

Located just outside the Old Town, Fort Lovrijenac is dubbed as ‘Dubrovnik’s Gibraltar’ for its location on a rocky promontory.

Fort Lovrijenac – also known as St. Lawrence Fortress – has long been among Croatia’s most important fortresses. Apart from being a major tourist attraction, the fort is also utilized as a venue and backdrop for Dubrovnik’s popular Summer Festival and its many musical and theatrical performances.

If you’re in town for Dubrovnik’s summertime Festival, be sure to watch the performance of Hamlet that takes place at this royal venue.

Fort Lovrijenac is more than just yet another ‘Game of Thrones’ location. The views from the fort are also among the most beautiful you will get in Dubrovnik. You can enjoy views of the Old Town, including the walls, in their full glory.

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View towards Fort Lovrijenac from the City Walls`
Image by @mikecleggphoto
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4. Cable Car – Get a stunning bird’s eye view of the city

Taking a ride on the cable car is amongst the must-do things in Dubrovnik, which will take you from just outside the Old Town (near Ploce and Buze gates) to Mount Srd in a few minutes.

From the top, you can relish some of the most stunning views of the Dubrovnik and Adriatic Coasts. It is actually one of the most snapped locations in entire Croatia!

Built-in 1969, the cable car serves the summit and runs until midnight during the peak summer months. If you visit at sunset the view will be even more beautiful, since the mild light will truly make the red roofs’ colours stand out.

Also, you will find a restaurant here, but as you can expect it is relatively more expensive than the restaurants in the Old Town.

Try to get there just before sunset to enjoy the sunset and the view. Later on, get the cable car back down to have dinner and enjoy the rest of your evening.

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5. Game Of Thrones tours – Witness the city’s fabulous architecture in real life

If you are ‘Game of Thrones’ fan, Dubrovnik should be placed very high on your bucket list. Since ‘Game of Thrones’ portrayed the city’s fabulous architecture visitors have crowded Dubrovnik to witness ‘Qarth’, “King’s Landing”, and the gardens of the ‘Red Keep’ in real life.

The Epic Game of Thrones Walking Tour is amongst the most popular things to do in Dubrovnik and takes in many of the major locations used in the filming of the show. Tour includes a running commentary and captivating insights from a professional guide expert in both the real and imagined history of the locality.

The 3-hour tour highlights include getting some of the stunning views available over the city skyline, known as King’s Landing, Cersei’s Walk of Shame, Red Keep, Blackwater Bay, and even sitting on the Iron Throne.

Also, you can take a 2-hour Game of Thrones tour that includes a short walking tour, a cruise around Dubrovnik, and a Game of Thrones cocktail.

These tours are a fun way of combining seeing the city with learning more about a TV show you know and love. One should join it even if haven’t watched the show as it lets you see the city from a completely new perspective.

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6. Lokrum Island – Take the ferry to a green oasis

Lokrum Island – a green oasis just a few minutes away from the bustling Old Town is one of the most popular excursions to take while visiting Dubrovnik. A short ferry ride connects the Dubrovnik harbour to this island.

Visit Lokrum Island if you looking for a break from city life. You can spend the day at the beach or wandering the gardens. Giant rabbits and peacocks rove the island.

Besides the splendid views over the Old Town of Dubrovnik, there are a couple of interesting attractions you’ll find worth exploring. First head to the Fort Royal Castle, a fortification built by Napoleon’s troops to protect the harbour city. It’s an easy climb to the top, and the views in all directions are breathtaking. There you can explore a botanical garden from the nineteenth century or the ruins of the Benedictine Monastery.

Other points of interest include a tiny inland salt lake known as the Dead Sea, a popular spot for scuba diving and selfies. Lokrum is also fun to access by sea kayaking, and can easily be rented on the mainland.

The ferries to Lokrum island frequently run from Dubrovnik Old Town only between May and September.

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Lokrum Island
Image by @mikecleggphoto

7. Kayak tour – Experience sea kayaking during sunset

A kayaking tour is another popular way to see Dubrovnik from a different perspective.

You can experience a 3-hour long ‘Dubrovnik Guided Sea Kayaking Tour‘ during sunset and explore the Old Town, Lokrum island, and some hidden sea caves from a unique point of view. You can snorkel, swim, explore the cave, relax, sunbathe or eat.

Some of these tours also include a fresh fruit snack and wine (for the sunset tour only) once the tour is over. This’s also an excellent way to escape the crowds yet still enjoy Dubrovnik.

Moreover, the tour will give you the opportunity to take in Dubrovnik from the seaside, capture some amazing shots of the outer walls, and hear something about the history of this legendary city.

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8. Banje Beach – relax and enjoy the sun

There’s, even more, to do in Dubrovnik than simply sightseeing. While the main reason to visit Dubrovnik is to explore the beautiful Old Town, always remember that this is a seaside town and you can utilize it also as a base to chill out, sunbathe and swim in the Adriatic Sea.

This historic city is in fact home to Banje Beach, which is widely considered one of the top beaches in Croatia, located not too far away from the Old Town. It might be small but it provides some nice views of the most charming part of Dubrovnik, so overall should be the right place to unwind yourself.

Apart from water sport activities such as windsurfing and sea kayaking, it’s also a pleasant place for a leisurely stroll, especially after enjoying a meal at one of the many restaurants or luxury hotels nearby.

Banje Beach, Dubrovnik in the summer
Image by @mikecleggphoto

9. Food & wine tasting – Taste the delicious Croatian cuisine

One thing that Dubrovnik is not known for, and should be, is the incredible food and wine.
There is great news for all the food lovers and this city makes for the perfect location for a food and wine tour.

Located on the sea, many restaurants serve fresh seafood and fish. Also, you can find Italian, Japanese, Bosnian and other restaurants in town. One can definitely visit this city again and again just for the food.
Moreover, did you know that Croatia produces fine wine?

If not then sample some of the local specialties over a glass of local wine on a ‘Dubrovnik Gastronomy – 3-Hour Food and Wine Tour‘. The fun food adventure ends at a cute patisserie within the ancient walls of Old Town for a taste of traditional Croatian cake.

To sample Croatian and Montenegrin wine, pay a visit to D’Vino Wine Bar. You must do your table reservation during the busier summer months to get the place inside as only a handful of tables are there.
Immersing yourself in the rich and unique gastronomy of Dubrovnik is undoubtedly among the top things to do in Dubrovnik. You should not miss this experience while you are in the city.

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10. Take a day trip to explore nearby destinations

Dubrovnik makes for a great base if you want to take day trips to explore interesting places nearby. Here are some of the convenient and best day trips from Dubrovnik.

  • Korcula – The birthplace of Marco Polo, Korcula is a perfect day trip destination from Dubrovnik. It has a charming old town with narrow alleys, winding lanes, and picturesque corners. Don’t miss to taste the local wine too, it’s delicious. You can combine a visit to Ston and Korcula and see both places in a day tour.
  • Kotor (Montenegro) – Montenegro, with its Bay of Kotor and the medieval town is amazing. You will find many Montenegro day tours from Dubrovnik that will amuse you the whole day, taking you to Kotor, Budva, and many lovely viewpoints along the way.
  • Mostar (Bosnia & Herzegovina) – Mostar, the charming old town in Bosnia and Herzegovina, known for its iconic Old Bridge that looks like it belongs in a fairy tale, is also easily reachable as the day trip from Dubrovnik.

Try to climb to the minaret of Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque to witness one of the most outstanding views in the Balkans. Also, try the local cuisine, including japrak and ćevapi.

On the way to Mostar, you can stop in Pocitelj, Blagaj, or Kravice Waterfalls which are all well worth a visit. The ideal option will be to take an organized day tour from Dubrovnik as some of the places cannot be reached by public transport.

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Views of Kotor from the fortress
Image by @mikecleggphoto

Summary

The unique amalgamation of an ancient town, charming architecture, and delicious food means there are lots to see and do in Dubrovnik.

Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed learning about these top things to see and do in Dubrovnik from our list. Surely there are plenty more you’ll discover while wandering around.

More than anything else, simply relax and enjoy your holiday in Dubrovnik. It’s the ideal destination to relax, wander, eat and drink.

We hope that this small Dubrovnik guide will help you plan your trip to this ‘Adriatic gem’ smoother.
So, without any further delay, pack your bags and head out to this paradise!

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Author

Written by

Arunabha Chakraborty

Arunabha is a travel writer and digital marketer located in Kolkata, India. He is passionate about writing and photography and enjoys documenting his wanderlust experiences through his blog, encouraging others to travel and create unforgettable memories. He found a passion for travel writing right after his master’s degree. You can follow his travels on Instagram and his blog[Read full bio]

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