Nestled on the pristine shores of the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik, Croatia beckons with its sparkling, crystal-clear waters and old-world charm. As a digital nomad, I usually opt to seek out new spots around the world to explore instead of returning to destinations I have previously romped about. However, Dubrovnik is one of a few spots that I will always make an exception for and return to time and time again.
There’s something about the warm, see-through waters perfect for cooling off on a hot summer day and charming, winding alleyways weaving about the city that makes Dubrovnik special. If there is one place in the world I hope this blog can convince someone to travel to, Dubrovnik is it. Let’s take a closer look at what to see and do while in the stunning city to inspire you to book your next vacation!
When Is The Best Time To Visit Dubrovnik?
The best time to visit Dubrovnik depends on what you're looking for. Summer months from June to August are the most popular due to the warm weather and long daylight hours, but it can also be crowded and expensive. If you’re looking to lounge in the sun and sand, Dubrovnik in the summer makes for the perfect beach vacation. Keep in mind, the sun is very strong during these months, so pack a lot of sunscreen!
Spring and fall offer milder temperatures, fewer crowds, and better prices. If you travel in September, you still should be able to go for a swim and enjoy all the natural beauty of Dubrovnik. Winter, although colder, can be a great time to visit for those looking for a quieter experience and holiday festivities. No matter when you go, Dubrovnik's beauty and charm is sure to captivate you!
How Many Days Should You Spend In Dubrovnik?
The ideal length of stay in Dubrovnik depends on your itinerary and preferences. To get the most out of the city's rich history and culture, you’ll want at least three or four days in Dubrovnik. This allows for ample time to explore the UNESCO-listed Old Town, walk the ancient city walls, visit museums and galleries, and indulge in local cuisine.
However, for those interested in day trips to nearby islands or Montenegro, a longer stay may be necessary. For beach lovers, island hopping from Dubrovnik is a must. While you can book an island day tour via a local boat company, they often only give you an hour or two on each island. Extending your stay can allow you to deeper explore the nearby islands more. Ultimately, Dubrovnik has so much to offer that you could easily spend a week or more without getting bored.
How Can You Travel Around Dubrovnik?
There are several transportation options for getting around Dubrovnik, including buses, taxis, Uber, and ferries. The city's public transportation system is reliable and affordable, with buses connecting most parts of the city. Taxis are also readily available and can be hailed on the street or called in advance, while ferries provide a convenient way to explore nearby islands and towns. If you’re staying in the old town, Dubrovnik is easy to navigate on foot as well.
✈️ Pro Tip: Dubrovnik is just one of these 10 Amazing Places In Europe To Live As A Digital Nomad .
Where To Stay In Croatia
Whether you’re a budget backpacker or looking for a more luxurious experience, Dubrovnik has the perfect hostel or hotel option for you. Check out these two budget-friendly hostel options and two more bougie options.
Hostel Angelina Old Town
Located in the heart of Dubrovnik's Old Town, Hostel Angelina offers budget-friendly dormitory rooms with shared bathrooms. The hostel has a fully equipped kitchen, free Wi-Fi, and a cozy common room. Hostel Angelina offers a variety of day trip options perfect for the avid adventurer. For budget backpackers looking to save money while in Dubrovnik, this is the hostel for you.
Hostel Free Bird
Located in a quiet neighborhood just a short walk from Dubrovnik's Old Town and the beach, Hostel Free Bird is a great option for budget backpackers looking for a more relaxed, low-key hostel experience. The hostel offers mixed and female-only dormitory rooms with shared bathrooms, as well as private rooms with en-suite bathrooms. This Dubrovnik hostel comes with a fully equipped kitchen, free Wi-Fi, and a cozy common room. Hostel Free Bird also offers a free breakfast each morning, as well as a free city tour.
Hotel Adria Dubrovnik
Located 2.5 km from Dubrovnik's Old Town, Hotel Adria Dubrovnik is a modern four-star hotel that offers comfortable rooms and excellent amenities. The hotel features a rooftop terrace with stunning views of the Elafiti Islands, as well as a restaurant that serves local and international cuisine. Other amenities include an indoor pool, fitness center, and spa.
Located in the Lapad neighborhood of Dubrovnik, Hotel Lapad is a charming family-run hotel that offers comfortable rooms and a wide range of amenities. The hotel is just a short walk from the beach and several local restaurants and bars. Amenities include an outdoor pool, fitness center, and restaurant that serves local and international cuisine.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Dubrovnik?
As you wander the ancient streets of Dubrovnik, you'll discover a city that's bursting with history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you're walking the ramparts of the Old Town, enjoying a sunset cruise along the coastline, or sampling local wines and fresh seafood at a seaside restaurant, there's something truly magical about this enchanting destination that will capture your heart and leave you longing to return.
Walk The Perimeter of The Old City Walls
Walking the perimeter of the Old City walls is a must-do in Dubrovnik, as you'll get stunning panoramic views of the city and the sea from every angle. The walls are especially enchanting at sunset when the warm glow of the sun casts a magical spell over the city. I would recommend avoiding doing this activity over the lunch hour, as the sun is direct and the crowds can make it challenging to leisurely explore.
Stroll Through Stradun
Strolling through Stradun, Dubrovnik's main street, is like stepping back in time. Lined with shops, restaurants, and historic buildings, Stradun is a great place to people-watch and soak up the lively atmosphere of the city. If you’re a fan of the ultimate trashy reality tv show Below Deck Mediterranean like myself, you’ll recognize this iconic street. Take some time to wander about searching for souvenirs and enjoying the scenic beauty.
Ferry To The Island Of Lokrum
Taking a ferry to the island of Lokrum is a great way to escape the crowds and enjoy some natural beauty. The island is home to lush gardens, hidden coves, and a stunning saltwater lake, as well as a historic monastery and fortress.
Explore The Large Fountain of Onofrio and St. Saviour Church
The Fountain of Onofrio and St. Saviour Church are two must-see landmarks in Dubrovnik's Old Town. The fountain is a beautiful example of Renaissance architecture and provides cool, fresh water to thirsty visitors, while the church features stunning frescoes and a peaceful courtyard.
Ride The Dubrovnik Cable Car
Taking a ride up the Dubrovnik Cable Car is a thrilling way to get panoramic views of the city and the surrounding landscape. The cable car takes you to the top of Mount Srd, where you'll find a restaurant, souvenir shop, and a World War II museum. Outdoor enthusiasts will love hiking the many diverse trails at the top of the mountain.
Search For Famous Game of Thrones Spots
Searching for famous Game of Thrones spots is a popular activity in Dubrovnik, as the city was used as a filming location for several scenes in the hit TV series. From the iconic "Walk of Shame" staircase to the House of the Undying, there are plenty of spots to discover and snap photos of. If you’re an avid fan and don’t want to miss any sites, book one of these tour options to get the inside scoop on all things Game of Thrones.
Go For A Wine Tasting
While many people associate places like France and Italy with wine, fewer people realize just how vibrant Croatia’s wine industry is. As someone with a master’s degree in Wine Tourism, I love exploring wineries when I visit a new spot. But even if you’re not a big wine connoisseur, a visit to a winery while visiting Dubrovnik, like Dubrovački Podrumi Winery, is a great experience.
Located in a charming village just outside the city, this family-owned winery has been producing wine for over a century. The winery offers a variety of tours, including wine tastings paired with local cheeses and meats, guided tours of the vineyards and cellar, and even a wine and oyster tasting experience. Visiting Dubrovački Podrumi Winery is an excellent opportunity to taste some of the finest wines produced in the region and learn about the history and tradition of winemaking in Croatia.
Rest And Relax On Banje Beach
Soak up the sun on Banje Beach. Located just a short walk from Dubrovnik's Old Town, Banje Beach offers crystal-clear waters, stunning views of the city walls, and plenty of amenities like loungers, umbrellas, and beach bars. You can rent a beach chair for the day and enjoy the beach's lively atmosphere or find a quieter spot further down the coast.
Go Sea Kayaking
Going sea kayaking is a fun and active way to explore Dubrovnik's coastline and get a unique perspective on the city. There are several sea kayaking tours available that take you to hidden coves, sea caves, and other scenic spots along the coast. I’ve used X-Adventure Sea Kayaking Dubrovnik before, which offers guided tours of different lengths and difficulty levels, as well as equipment rental and transportation. It's a great way to get some exercise and fresh sea air while enjoying the beauty of the Adriatic.
Go Island Hopping For A Day
There are several Dubrovnik day boat tours that offer trips to nearby islands, each with its own unique charm and attractions. On my first trip to Dubrovnik, I loved doing this Elaphite Islands tour, which travels to three islands (Koločep, Lopud, and Šipan) and includes time for swimming, snorkeling, and exploring local villages, in addition to supply lunch on board. Ultimately, the best Dubrovnik day boat tour for you will depend on your interests and preferences.
✈️ Pro Tip: You'll love exploring Dubrovnik or any of these 10 European Cities Perfect For a Weekend Escape.
Dubrovnik is truly a gem of the Adriatic coast, offering a unique mix of history, culture, and natural beauty. From walking the perimeter of the Old City walls and strolling through Stradun to relaxing on Banje Beach and kayaking along the coastline, there's no shortage of things to see and do in this charming city. Whether you're a history buff, a Game of Thrones fan, or simply looking for a relaxing seaside getaway, Dubrovnik has something for everyone. With its warm climate, friendly locals, and stunning scenery, it's no wonder that this Croatian city has become a must-visit destination for travelers from around the world.