Dubrovnik Old Town
|

15 Ultimate Things To Do In Dubrovnik, Croatia

Visiting Dubrovnik, Croatia is like stepping back in time to the most beautiful medieval city that I have ever seen. There is no end to the best things to do in Dubrovnik that make for a memorable trip. You can easily spend a week but no less than a long weekend in Dubrovnik to fully take in its allure!

Sitting on the Dalmatian Coast along the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik is sure to put a smile on your face while gazing at its clear and inviting blue waters.

Wandering the old town to see the most idyllic sights such as this old building built into the rocks on the bay is one of many things to do in Dubrovnik
Around every corner is the most beautiful sight…

When in Dubrovnik, expect to do some serious walking that mostly includes never-ending stairs. Don’t be fooled when you go down steps, as you will always have to come back up! I jokingly nicknamed Dubrovnik, the “city of steps”!

Dubrovnik exceeded my expectations on every level as it is full of so many awesome activities and the warmest people. I couldn’t get over how clean and pristine the city is, looking freshly washed with the white limestone color that decorates the town.

An old staircase and ruins of a building on an alleyway in Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is one of the most charming medieval cities to explore…

The entire time I felt like I was walking around on the most exquisite movie set. By the end of my stay in Dubrovnik, I was left in awe. Dubrovnik captured my heart and left me wanting to come back even before I had left…

Tip: Since you will be doing a ton of walking, your feet will likely be exhausted at the end of the day. If you are looking for a comfy pair of walking shoes then look no further than these!

Where Is Dubrovnik Located?

Dubrovnik is located in the southernmost region of Croatia and situated along the Dalmatian Coast of the Adriatic Sea. It is one of the most visited areas of Croatia and might be my favorite with all of its beauty and charm.

The Adriatic Sea separates Croatia from its next-door neighbor Italy directly across from it. If sailing across from Croatia to Italy, it would take a full day or about 200 miles. Dubrovnik is about 3.5 to 4 hours south of Split and 6.5 hours south of Plitvice Lakes known for the land of waterfalls.

Walking the City Walls along the Old Port
Walking the City Walls along the Old Port

Dubrovnik is a great place to start one’s trip before heading north to see other areas. It is a great city to branch off from and take trips over to Montenegro and/or Bosnia which are only 1-2 hours by car.

For more info on taking road trips to Montenegro and Bosnia, explore my posts:

Road Trip From Dubrovnik To Kotor, Montenegro
How To Spend 48 Hours In Mostar

The airport that you want to fly into is the Dubrovnik Airport (DBV). To book your airfare to Dubrovnik, go to here and find the best flight deals available!

Best Time To Visit Dubrovnik

Although Croatia doesn’t see harsh winters like the rest of Europe, the temperatures do drop and it can get windy! The best time to visit Dubrovnik with good weather is between May and October.

Mid-summer might see the warmest beach days, but you will be fighting with an unbelievable amount of people. July and August are the busiest especially with cruise ships coming in.

View of Adriatic Sea from Lokrum Island
View of Adriatic Sea from Lokrum Island

For that reason, I would recommend May and the first part of June or September and October. That way you should still get great weather with fewer crowds.

Accommodations In Dubrovnik

The best way to see Dubrovnik is by walking so staying in or as close to Old Town is ideal. Anything that is inside the City Walls is considered Old Town.

I stayed just a few minute’s walk north of the Buza Gate and couldn’t have been happier! The best accommodations in Dubrovnik located in and outside of Old Town are:

B&B Andio – inside of Old Town City Walls

Roko House – inside of Old Town City Walls

Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik– a few minutes walk from Old Town Pile Gate

View of Dubrovnik from the Airbnb apartment
View of Dubrovnik from my Airbnb apartment

The Airbnb I booked had the perfect location and an incredible patio view of Old Town and Lokrum Island (picture above).

Dubrovnik Attractions

1. Take A Dubrovnik Tour

I am not a big fan of taking huge group tours as I find them to be annoying but I do love to take unique small or private tours.

Taking a customized or small tour at the beginning of your stay is a great way to quickly get familiar with the layout of a city. It is also an incredible way to learn the history and interesting tidbits of information straight from a local.

View of the Old Town Port
View of the Old Town Port

There are several types of tours available in Dubrovnik that can really appeal to all interests. Walking tours are very popular with themes ranging from history, food, wine and of course Game of Thrones (GOT)!

If you aren’t familiar with Game of Thrones (what are you waiting for?!), many scenes from the show were filmed in Dubrovnik, aka Kings Landing.

I took a private walking tour on my first day in Dubrovnik that combined history and GOT that was an awesome way to get a glimpse into understanding this amazing city.

Delicious spread at the Dine with Locals Experience
A delicious spread at the Dubrovnik Eat with Locals experience

If you are looking for the most incredible meal and want to connect with locals, don’t miss Dubrovnik Eat with Locals! It was truly the most delicious meal I’ve had and with the warmest company. I especially enjoyed getting more familiar with Croatian life and their traditions.

But if you are more of the adventurous type, there are kayaking and sailing tours that take you out on the water to see Dubrovnik’s Adriatic coast and islands.

The main islands that sit off of Dubrovnik and are worth visiting are Lokrum, Mljet, and Korcula.

The beach at Betina Cave on the kayaking tour
Secluded beach on the kayaking tour

For more detailed information on the amazing tours and experiences I had, read my post 5 Special Ways to Experience Dubrovnik!

Tip: If you are looking for Dubrovnik additional tours, here are a few that you might enjoy!

Old Town Walking Tour – This is a great option if you are not interested in going on a tour focused on Game of Thrones. This tour not only takes you throughout Old Town but along the City Walls too!

Full-Day Wine Tasting Tour – Are you a wine lover and want to try sipping some Croatian wines? This tour will take you on a full day of wine tasting on the Peljesac peninsula and a stop in Ston.

Sunset Dinner Cruise – Relax and enjoy the stunning Croatian sunset as you eat dinner along Dubrovnik’s coast.

Sea Kayaking Tour – Want to get a view of Dubrovnik from the water and get in a workout? This kayaking tour takes you along Dubrovnik’s coast, around Lokrum Island, and to a dazzling beach cave!

2. Explore Dubrovnik Old Town

Seeing the Old Town of Dubrovnik for the first time was unreal and seemed to be the perfect fairytale setting! Its beauty and charm might make it the most beautiful Old Town I have ever seen in Europe.

Within the city gates is Dubrovnik's Old Town
Within the city gates is Dubrovnik’s Old Town

Old Town is the central area of Dubrovnik to explore and transports you to another era as you stroll the winding limestone paved walkways.

Port of Old Town looking past the City Walls
Port of Old Town looking past the City Walls

Many of the sights and attractions I will mention below are all located in Old Town. The city is pedestrian-only which makes it convenient to explore without having to look out for traffic (other than tourists that is…).

The entire area inside the City Walls is considered Dubrovnik Old Town. This won’t be hard to notice, as the city walls are massive and quite impressive in their construction.

Walking the streets of Old Town
Finding quiet in the streets of Old Town on an early morning walk

There are only three ways to enter into Old Town, via the Pile Gate, Buza Gate, and Ploce Gate. All three gates are by land as the coastal part of Dubrovnik is a steep cliff with imposing walls that has no problem keeping intruders out.

To this day, the Old Town has never been invaded or taken over. The city did experience damage from the 1991 war but that was due to aerial bombings.

Dubrovnik City Gates

The Pile Gate is also known as the “main gate or entrance” and tends to be a great starting point on your first entry into this magical city. Once you walk through the Pile Gate, the city opens up to a long and rather grand walkway.

This walkway is called the Stradun or Placa running the entire length of Old Town from the Pile Gate to the city’s port.

Pile Gate and main entrance to Dubrovnik Old Town
Pile Gate
Inside the main Pile Gate Entrance
Inside the main Pile Gate entrance
Entrance from Pile Gate into Old Town
Pile Gate entrance into Old Town

The Stradun separates the city into the north and south sections. There are many shops and cafes off of the Strudun but do try to venture off this bustling area.

You will find more peace and quiet not to mention better prices off of it. For example, I had a coffee at a café right on the Stradun and it came out to be $5.80 U.S. dollars!

That’s higher than a latte back home at a Starbucks. It was still worth it for it was delicious and the ambiance was priceless. A great way to enjoy walking along the Stradun is to enjoy a gelato of course! I may have had a few during my stay…

View the Stradun from up top on the City Walls
View of the Stradun from up top of the City Walls

The Buza Gate is the northern gate entrance at the top of the Old Town. The top you say? Well, the city is built on a hillside so once you enter the Buza Gate you will walk down many steeps steps to get to the Stradun.

On this side of the city, there are numerous restaurants and cafes to satisfy any appetite and located on the Prijeko walkway (midway down from the Buza Gate).

Ploce Gate entrance into the Dubrovnik Old Town
Ploce Gate Entrance

The Ploce Gate is on the eastern side opposite of Pile Gate and a much quieter entry point. It is the perfect spot to take in views of the city’s port where boats are coming and going to the islands.

The city gates are never closed, so if you love taking photos, go early to capture the city before it fully wakes up!

In or near Old Town is the best location to stay in Dubrovnik. See the top hotels in Dubrovnik on TripAdvisor!

Tip: You might find yourself lost when exploring Old Town or not sure how to get back to the main Stradun. If you do, always head down and eventually you will find yourself back to the main street or Stradun! Both sides of Old Town slope down to meet the Stradun (the north side being steeper).

3. Walk The Walls Of Dubrovnik

The City Walls really don’t need an introduction as they are enormous and the first thing you will see when arriving in Dubrovnik.

Although the original walls were built in the 9th century, the walls you see today were constructed in the 14th and 15th centuries.

The total distance of the walls is 2 km or about 1.25 miles around and has five Fort Towers.

The Minceta Tower on the City Walls of Dubrovnik
The Minceta Tower on the City Walls

The towers are Bokar Tower, St. John’s Fortress, Revelin Tower, and Minceta Tower. The views from the City Walls are some of the best in Dubrovnik so take your time and take it all in.

I was surprised to see that there are a handful of tiny cafes/bars where you can take a break to have a coffee or beer!

Table and chairs on the City Walls with view of Lokrum Island
One of many cafe’s on the City Walls
Walking on the Dubrovnik City Walls
Walking the City Walls

Hours & Admission: Although the city gates are open 24/7, access to the City Walls is from 8 am to 7:30 pm. Admission for the Walls is 200 Kn (~$30 US dollars) per adult but that also includes your entry into Fort Lovrijenac. So, make sure to visit the City Walls first!

Walking the City Walls of Dubrovnik with Lokrum Island in the background.
Walking City Walls with Lokrum Island in background

Tips:  I recommend walking the walls first thing in the morning or late in the day (when the cruise ship crowds are gone) to avoid the massive crowds. Expect to spend 2-3 hours exploring the walls.

Old Town Walking Tour – This tour not only takes you throughout Old Town to learn about its history but along the City Walls too!

4. Jesuit Stairs

The Jesuit Steps lead from the Jesuit Church of St. Ignatius down to Gundulic Square. The beautiful Baroque-style steps might look familiar for two totally different reasons.

First, the steps were designed with many features of the Spanish Steps in Rome but just on a smaller scale.

Walking up the Jesuit Stairs in Old Town Dubrovnik
Walking up the Jesuit Steps

In more recent images, the Jesuit Steps have become quite popular from the Walk of Shame in Game of Thrones. The character Cersei is forced to walk naked down the steps as the townspeople hissed “shame” as she went by.

It’s quite funny to hear the word shame several times as you can’t help yourself from saying it while walking down.

The Jesuit Stairs also known as the "Shame" steps
Looking down at the “shame” steps!

Tip: Gundulic Square also happens to have an open-air market every morning until noon (minimal vendors on Sunday). This a wonderful place to get some fresh fruit, and homemade products like candy, soap or lavender.

Oh, and if you happen to be in the square around noon, don’t be shocked to see an insane amount of pigeons flock to the square. I was initially a little frightened until a local said it was just a man who feeds them there daily. It is quite a sight to see!

5. Rector’s Palace

The Rector’s Palace is located at the end of the Stradun in Luza Square. The palace was built in the late 15th century in a Gothic-Renaissance style and home of the rector who governed Dubrovnik.

The monthly elected rector was to remain at his post for the entire month (and not leave). The monthly position also prevented a sense of power from any one person governing for a long period of time.

Courtyard of the Rector's Palace
Courtyard of the Rector’s Palace

The prisons were also housed here and I thought it was quite comical to learn that prisoners had to pay for their “room and board”. I wonder what would have happened if they decided not to pay as they were already thrown in jail? Lol

Courtyard of the Rector's Palace
Rector’s Palace Courtyard and Miho Pracat statue

Today, the Rector’s Palace is a museum (Cultural History Museum) where you can see sculptures, art, furniture, and an endless amount of fascinating history.

For those fans of Game of Thrones, you might recognize the Rector’s Palace as the Spice King’s mansion that Daenerys visits in Season 2, Episode 6.

The scene featured the staircase, courtyard, and interestingly enough the statue of Miho Pracat.

Staircase railing with a sculpture of a hand holding it
Love how they did the “hand” railing!

Miho Pracat was a wealthy ship owner that had left all his wealth to his beloved city of Dubrovnik. Because of his generous donation, the city honored him with the statue seen above.

The GOT creators were fascinated by Pracat’s history and included it in the scene as it seemed fitting as the Spice King was also a shipowner.

Dubrovnik city cats sleeping in front of the Rector's Palace
City cats snoozing in front of the Rector’s Palace

Hours & Admission: Open from 9am to 6pm daily. The price for admission for adults is 100 Kn (Kuna) which is about $15 U.S. dollars. Or 50 Kn for children and students. Recommend spend 30 minutes to an hour here.

6. Sponza Palace

Situated facing Orlando’s Column and off of Luza Square, the Sponza Palace displays a Gothic and Renaissance style.

The palace now holds the City Archives but, in the past, it served as a customs house and a treasury/bank. The atrium showcases beautiful architecture and is now a space that holds exhibits and venues.

Front entrance to Sponza Palace
Sponza Palace

Inside and around the outskirts of the atrium are several pictures and history of the Croatian water polo team. Sadly, none of the information on this exhibit was in English so I didn’t get the chance to get all the details.

I found it interesting that the water polo team played in the ocean and partitioned it off as if it was in a pool! It seems that they overcame the lack of pools quite easily.

The inside courtyard of the Sponza Palace
Inside the courtyard of the Sponza Palace

Inside the exhibit is a lot of information on Dubrovnik’s history and that of Orlando that is featured just outside in Luza Square.

Hours & Admission: Open daily from 8am to 7pm. The admission price to enter the Sponza Palace is 25 Kn or about $3.75 U.S. dollars. I recommend spending about 30 mins here.

7. Clock Tower & Orlando’s Column

The Clock Tower can be seen from pretty much anywhere in Old Town and is a gorgeous sight. The tower is located in Luza Square, standing at about 102 feet (31 meters). The bell chimes are distinctive and lovely to hear.

I was a little confused as to the timing of the bell ringing as it sometimes seemed “late” or more than expected. It chimes twice on the hour and then again 3 minutes after to remind everyone that they are late! Maybe that is how the snooze button got started…

The Clock Tower at the end of the Stradun
The Clock Tower at the end of the Stradun

Two bronze (green now from the salty air) figures take turns striking the bell with their hammers, one on each side. The two figures are referred to as Maro and Baro. The originals can be seen inside the Rector’s Palace where they have been restored.

Clock Tower next to the Sponza Palace
Clock Tower next to the Sponza Palace and Orlando’s Column on the right (under construction)
Close up of the Clock Tower
Old Town Clock Tower

Located in the middle of Luza Square and in front of St. Blaise Church sits Orlando’s Column. Orlando’s Column is a stone sculpture carved in the early 1400’s of a courageous medieval knight (Orlando) who symbolized Dubrovnik’s sovereignty and freedom.

Many legends surround the tales of Orlando even inspiring two renaissance poems, Orlando in Love and Mad Orlando. In 1825, Orlando’s column actually fell to the ground due to very strong winds.

It was removed and stored in the Sponza Palace until it returned to the square in 1878 where it has remained since.

At the time of this post, I couldn’t actually see it as it was hidden behind a box for restoration. From the images seen all over, Orlando does not seem like an imposing or even a large man. I wonder why the sculpture portrayed him as looking more like a boy…

8. Dubrovnik Cathedral

The Dubrovnik Cathedral, also known as the “city’s cathedral” stands grandly with ornate baroque architecture. This Roman Catholic church features incredible artwork and sculptures with the most impressive painting at the main altar by Titian.

Titian, a famous Venetian painter has several paintings that can be seen in museums throughout the world.

Front of the Dubrovnik Cathedral
Dubrovnik Cathedral
Side view of Dubrovnik Cathedral
Side view of Dubrovnik Cathedral

The church sits on the site of a previous Romanesque church that dates back to the 12th century. That church was destroyed in the 1667 earthquake and later the Dubrovnik Cathedral was built in its place by 1713.

9. Onofrio Fountain

The Onofrio Fountain can be seen right after you enter the Pile Gate (main entrance) into Old Town. The fountain is a pretty well-known meeting spot in Old Town, especially for tours.

The Onofrio Fountain has 16 water taps that have been supplying the city with water since the 15th century.

The Onofrio Fountain in Old Town Dubrovnik
Onofrio Fountain

The 16 water taps correspond to 16 different masked faces that spout water through their mouths. Many of the faces were damaged in the earthquake of 1667 but you can still see some pretty well today.

You can even fill up your water bottle as it is clean and refreshing especially on a hot day. I admit I would never have thought it was safe to drink the water coming out until I saw many locals doing it and tried it too!

One of 16 masked faces that is also a water spout
One of 16 masked faces that is also a water spout

Tip: There is another smaller fountain that you can fill up your water bottle, located in Gundulic Square. The fountain is on a corner with a lion face that supplies safe and clean water to drink!

Lion Fountain in Gundulic Square

10. St. Blaise Church

I found the history of St. Blaise rather interesting as you will soon realize how influential he was throughout Dubrovnik.

The church sits on Luza Square near the Rector’s Palace, Clock Tower, and Orlando’s Column. St. Blaise is well-known as the “patron saint of Dubrovnik” and protector of the loved city.

He supposedly protected Dubrovnik from Venetian invasion by warning the city so they could close the city gates and prepare for an attack in time.

In appreciation of his good acts, they built the church in his honor and adorned statues of him all over the city.

Saint Blaise church in Dubrovnik
St. Blaise Church and you can see the dome of Dubrovnik Cathedral in background

Before you know it, you will say “ there is that guy again!”. Statues of St. Blaise are located at the city gate entrances just to name a few.

He is instantly recognizable as he is always holding a model of the City of Dubrovnik as its protector. Note that the model is how Dubrovnik looked prior to the 1667 earthquake.

11. Fort Lovrijenac (Fort Lawrence)

Game of Thrones fans might know Fort Lovrijenac better as the “Red Keep”. Regardless if you are a fan or not of GOT, Fort Lovrijenac is an impressive fort with spectacular views of Dubrovnik’s Old Town, City Walls and the turquoise waters of the Adriatic Sea.

It isn’t hard to see why this location was chosen as a fort as it sits up high on a cliff with the highest viewpoint. It’s ability to see any potential invaders coming from all directions made it so valuable.

Fort Lovrijenac above Pile Bay
Fort Lovrijenac or the “Red Keep”!

Before walking up the steps to Fort Lovrijenac, take a moment to enjoy the beauty of Pile Bay. Pile Bay gets its name as being closest to Pile Gate (main entrance) to Old Town.

Another name you might hear Pile Bay called is “Blackwater Bay” where several scenes from Game of Thrones was filmed. The water here is so crystal clear that it looks like it could be a swimming pool!

View of Adriatic Sea and Lokrum Island from the top of Lovrijenac Fort
Taking in the view from the top of Lovrijenac Fort
The stone hallway in Lovrijenac Fort
Hallway in Fort Lovrijenac

There is a tiny pier where boats may dock and is a wonderful place to enjoy the bay’s serenity (that is early morning before the crowds invade!). On the left-hand side (facing the sea) are where kayak tours can be seen taking off from the small beach.

Read my post 5 Special Ways to Experience Dubrovnik to learn more about kayak tours. This might have been one of my favorite things to do in Dubrovnik for the incredible views from the water!

Kayaks on Pile Bay with Fort Lovrijenac in background.
Fort Lovrijenac sitting high above Pile Bay

Next head up the steps (~ 200) to the Fort and notice the inscription carved into the stone over the entrance, “Non Bene Pro Toto Libertas Venditur Auro”.

It means “Freedom cannot be sold for all the gold of the world” which I find to be such an awesome quote.

Just when you think you have reached the top, think again! There are three levels to explore and the views just keep getting better as you climb.

View looking down to Pile Bay from up at Lovrijenac Fort
View of Pile Bay walking up to Lovrijenac Fort

Hours and Admission: The Fort is open from 8am to 7pm daily and costs

Tip: Admission is free if you already purchased your City Walls ticket, so spend time on the City Walls prior to visiting Fort Lovrijenac.

12. Enjoy The View From Mount Srd

While touring Dubrovnik, you will likely look up and see Mount Srd in the backdrop. Go at sunset for some of the best views in Dubrovnik from the top of Mount Srd. There are three ways to get up to the top of Mt. Srd.

If you are fairly fit and looking to get in some cardio, you can hike up to the top which takes about 60-90 minutes.

View of Dubrovnik and Lokrum Island from the top of Mount Srd.
View of Dubrovnik and Lokrum Island from Mount Srd

If you are short on time and don’t feel like sweating it out to the summit, then you can take the Cable Car up. That is if it is running!

At the time of my visit, the cable car was shut down indefinitely as it seems the city had not paid taxes on it. Until they decide to pay the taxes, it remains closed.

If open, the cable car takes just a few minutes to reach the top. If you have a rental car, I don’t recommend driving to the top as the road is tight allowing only one car at a time.

So, unless you are prepared to go in reverse down a curving mountain road at times, taking an Uber is much easier!

View of Dubrovnik from the top of Mount Srd
View from Mount Srd

Once at the top, wander different vantage points for some epic views! The Homeland War Museum is also located at the top.

It displays an array of photos, items, and information on the Homeland War that lasted from 1991-1995. You quickly get a sense of the impact the war had on Croatia and it’s people.

Tip: After exploring the museum and getting your photo fix, head over to the Panorama Restaurant for drinks and a sunset view that won’t disappoint! During busy times, contact the restaurant ahead of time to reserve a table right along the railing for the best viewing.

13. Lokrum Island

If you are needing a little break from the crowds of Dubrovnik, hop on a ferry and head over to Lokrum Island.

You will be transported to another world in just 10 minutes and to a nature lover’s retreat. Lokrum is the closest island off of Dubrovnik and can be seen from several spots around the city.

Lokrum Island
Lokrum Island

Within minutes of getting off of the ferry, you will be greeted by one of Lokrum’s many locals, that is the peacocks and rabbits! It’s entertaining to see so many of them running wild.

If you brought your swim-suit, take a dip in the ocean at one of many places to swim or at the small saltwater lake called the Dead Sea. And if you forgot your suit that’s ok too as there is a nude beach (head left from the ferry docks all the way until you see signs with FKK)!

View of the bay where the ferry docks on Lokrum Island.
View of the beach and where the ferry docks
The gardens on Lokrum Island
Gardens on Lokrum Island

Enjoy the solitude and beauty of the botanical garden and old monastery. You might remember seeing these locations used in the show Game of Thrones where they posed as “Qarth”.

The saltwater lake, the Dead Sea
The saltwater lake, the Dead Sea

Tip: Catch the ferry over to Lokrum at the Old Port which takes off about every 15 minutes. Although there are restaurants and bars on the island, I recommend taking some sandwiches and enjoying a picnic at one of several places on the island.

Admission: Roundtrip ferry service is 150 Kn per adult. Spend at least 2 hours but you can easily spend a full day here too.

14. Enjoy A Drink At A Cliff Bar

Who doesn’t like getting a drink to take in the sunset looking out onto the Adriatic Sea? There is nothing like sitting on the edge of a medieval cliff overlooking turquoise waters. It is truly one of the best views in Dubrovnik.

There are two bars that will quench your thirst and provide a relaxing spot to see the sunset. Many refer to them as “hole in the wall” bars, but seriously, who needs a high-end bar with views that will take your breath away?

Sign to "cold drinks"
Follow the “Cold Drinks” sign to Buza Bar

Coming from the direction of the Jesuit Stairs walk towards the seaside until you can only go left or right. Head right and follow the sign that says, “Cold Drinks With The Most Beautiful View” to Café Buza Bar.

The entrance will be on your left a few minutes walk up the steps. Walking through the small opening in the wall will reveal a small cliffside bar with sensational views of the sea and Lokrum Island.

View from Cafe Buza Bar
Enjoying a beer at Buza Bar

On a different day, while wandering the charming streets of Old Town, I saw a small opening and peeked in to see what looked like the coolest cliffside bar.

Café Bar Bard has no signs as you enter but once through the wall, you will see a much more spacious cliff bar than Buza. As it was morning and the bar was closed, I was determined to come back later that day.

Buza Bard Cliff Bar looking out to Lokrum Island
Cafe Bar Bard on the cliff looking out to Lokrum Island

And I am so happy that I did! There are slabs of rock platforms with table and chairs scattered to make a very picturesque spot to sip a drink and take in the sunset.

It is a little bit harder to find Café Bar Bard but when you see the sign I mention above, go left instead of the direction of Buza Bar. It might take a little searching but worth it once you arrive.

Tips: Don’t come to either of these spots expecting a full bar and remember you are there for the view and ambiance. It was the perfect spot to have an ice-cold beer after a long day of site seeing in the heat.

Also, find a bathroom before you go as there are no toilets at the bars! Believe me, I learned the hard way and had to hold it until I left…

15. Best Beaches In Dubrovnik

I had planned to spend a few days exploring the beaches but sadly it rained those days. But I had done my research beforehand and the top beaches near Dubrovnik are:

Banje Beach: This is the closest beach to the Old Town area of Dubrovnik but that means it will likely be the busiest. You have the option to rent a beach chair or pull up a seat with your towel. It is about a 15 min walk from Old Town.

Sveti Jakov: Sveti Jakov is about a 20 min walk or 10 min drive from Banje Beach in the direction of the airport.

Bellevue Beach: This beach is on the opposite side of Old Town Dubrovnik as the previous two beaches in front of the Hotel Bellevue. It is about a 5-10 minute drive from Old Town and easy to walk to. But if you plan on going to Lapad or further, then I recommend driving or getting an Uber.

Lapad Beach: Lapad is about a 15-minute drive from Old Town so driving there yourself or hopping in a Uber is the easiest. Stop off at Bellevue before or on your way back to Dubrovnik. Lapad is only a 5-10 minute drive further than Bellevue Beach.

President Beach: This beach is even further out than Lapad and is a beautiful beach to visit. There are chairs for rent right in front of Hotel President.

Tip: Keep in mind that many of Croatia’s beaches are not necessarily sandy but pebbly or slabs of rock. Depending on the beach, I would recommend bringing water shoes for when going into the water. Thankfully they don’t take up too much room in a suitcase and are cheap to buy.

Bonus – Trsteno Arboretum

I added this to the list as a bonus since it isn’t exactly in Dubrovnik, but about a 30-minute drive from Dubrovnik. If you have the time, a visit to Trsteno Arboretum is a treat to see as it is situated on a beautiful section of the Adriatic Sea.

It boasts lavish and elegant gardens that seem fit for royalty. Upon entering your eyes might be struck in awe of the Renaissance style and such a variety of trees and plants. The most famous residents of Trsteno, are the two gigantic plane trees that are over 500 years old. Quite amazing!

The arboretum has been around since the late 15th century and I can see why with all of its beauty and charm. For Game of Thrones fans, Trsteno Arboretum was featured in several episodes as the gardens at Kings Landing.

Hours & Admission: Trsteno Arboretum is open from 7am to 7pm daily. Admission for adults is 50 Kn.

Croatian Food

Croatian Food is incredible and I more than enjoyed every single meal I had in Dubrovnik! I pretty much raved at how good each meal was.

The food is a mixture of Italian, Greek, and their own variation added in that was superb. Here are some restaurants that were excellent in every way (and recommended by locals).

Charming restaurant on an small street in Old Town Dubrovnik
Charming restaurant on a street in Old Town

Pizzeria Castro: The best pizza in Dubrovnik located in Gundulic Square near the Jesuit Stairs.

Lucin Kantun: Serving local Croatian food with warm and filling meals such as the yummy pork medallions with sautéed honey and onions or the shrimp risotto. Lucin is located on the north side of the Stradun along the steps.

Taj Mahal: At first I thought this was going to be Indian food but I was wrong! It is actually Bosnian food and is very centered around different meats. So, it is a meat lover’s dream! Located on the south side of the Stradun on a charming walkway that was fun to explore. Be prepared to wait as it is a busy place. I gave my name and went to get a drink at a nearby bar during my wait. I ordered the Genghis Khan Platter that was a great variety of meats to try and was so good.

Proto Fish Restaurant: Right off of the Stradun, this fish and seafood restaurant is excellent. No better way to start off your meal than with oysters! You can’t go wrong with any meal here.

Tinel Cafe: Hands down, Tinel Café had the best coffee that I tried in all of Dubrovnik. It definitely had a local vibe to it which made me like it even better.

Random Notes

Whenever you visit a museum, restaurant or café, take advantage of having a free bathroom before you leave. Otherwise, you will likely be paying to go and need to have some change in kuna ready! Happy travels and enjoy the amazing things to do in Dubrovnik!

Got Travel Insurance?

Don’t leave home without travel insurance as you never know what might happen. Get a no-obligation travel insurance quote today!

Looking For More Travel Inspiration?

5 Special Ways To Experience Dubrovnik

15 Top Things To Do In Split, Croatia

10 Best Ways To Experience Trogir

Road Trip From Dubrovnik To Kotor, Montenegro

12 Top Things To See In Zadar, Croatia

Visiting Plitvice Lakes: How To Have The Best Experience

How To Spend 48 Hours In Mostar

12 Best Things To Do In Bucharest

The Best Way To Spend 3 Days In Bruges

Guide To The Best Christmas Markets In Belgium

7 Best Filtered Water Bottles For Travel And Hiking

Disclaimer: My post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission if you click a link and purchase through that link. It won’t cost you anything to by using these links but is very much appreciated. Thank you!

 

Thinking about visiting Dubrovnik, Croatia? Dubrovnik is the most beautiful medieval old town I have ever seen with idyllic beaches, Lokrum Island and stunning sunsets! Explore the ultimate things to do in Dubrovnik by reading this post before you go! #Dubrovnik #Croatia #visitDubrovnik #croatiatravel #europetravel

If you enjoyed this post, please share with friends!

12 Comments

    1. Oh, I am so happy it has inspired you to visit Dubrovnik! It is a beautiful city to explore in. I have another post coming out on some unique experiences that made my trip even better, so stay tuned. Thanks again Wendy!

  1. Really interesting post, great tips for hose who visit the city! I was in Dubrovnik when I was a teenager and the architecture didn’t interest me. Your post made me want to go back and see it with different eyes!

    I really like the style of your blog too, well done!

    1. Thank you so much Anna! Dubrovnik really has so many activities and sights to see. Hopefully, you will get the opportunity to go back soon! I really appreciate the wonderful feedback. 🙂

  2. What a great article Vanessa!!! Went to Dubrovnik last summer and loved it. Still, I didn’t know a whole bunch about it after reading your post lol. We also stopped at the Buza Bar and it was super refreshing. And also agree on the city wall…it gets so hot and there are so many people and everyone walk in one direction so it can get hectic for sure.

    1. I’m so glad you loved Dubrovnik too! There is so much to do there that I think a second or third trip is necessary and a good excuse to go back! Haha yes visiting the City Walls are best early or late in the day for sure. 🙂

  3. Thank you for this awesome article! I’m planning a trip to Croatia, Greece & Albania in the near future. Your pictures are beautiful, and the way you’ve written is really making me excited for my trip. The specific tips are super helpful too. Happy traveling!

    1. You’re very welcome! I’m glad that you can use the information and tips from my post. Oh, you will have a wonderful time as Croatia is such an amazing country. I still need to visit Greece and Albania, they are on my list! Let me know if you have any questions and also read my other post “5 Special Ways to Experience Dubrovnik” if you get the chance. It goes into more detail on some great experiences! 🙂

  4. You seem to have seen the main places that most people go to . Croatia has so many other gems ie I think the town Sibenik and the surrounding region are amongst the most beautiful in Croatia. You visited the Krka falls which is nice but places like Rogoznica, Vodice, Tribunj , island Murter connected by 50 metre bridge, Kornati archipelago and Primosten are all beautiful places in the area and Sibenik after Dubrovnik one of the most beautiful Medi Evil cities in a stunning harbour. Whilst here visit Solaris beach and the Etno village restaurant and try Veal or Octopus Peka.

    1. Thanks for the great tips Dan! I definitely plan to go back and see many of the areas that I didn’t get a chance to see on this trip. I look forward to seeing all these beautiful places next time. 🙂

  5. Stunning pictures! I hope one day to visit Dubrovnik! Till yet I have been only in Zadar and Split but also these cities were amazing!

    1. Thank you Sandra! I agree, Zadar and Split are wonderful cities to visit. Dubrovnik is one of my favorites as it has so much charm, history and gorgeous buildings. Another beautiful city to visit is Trogir that is near Split and one I highly recommend. It is small but lovely. I wrote a post on it if you happen to go one day! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *