Beyond the Walls: Unlocking the Best Things to Do in Dubrovnik

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It’s no surprise that Dubrovnik is among the top tourist destinations in Croatia. This pretty metropolis has over a thousand years of history and is one of the best Mediterranean cities. Dubrovnik remembers the Yugoslav Wars – it came under heavy attack almost 30 years ago. Fortunately, a majority of sites sustained relatively few impacts. The other parts have been carefully restored and are now attracting a record number of tourists. Whether you come here on a day trip or spend a weekend in Dubrovnik, there is no shortage of things to do in Dubrovnik

guide to Dubrovnik: A perfect travel guide to Dubrovnik, Croatia

Get ready to fall in love with Dubrovnik. You’ll find plenty of attractions to keep you occupied for a few days.

 

Best things to do in Dubrovnik in Croatia

To get the most out of the city, we’ve put together an insider guide with the best things to visit in Dubrovnik. Here is how to make the most of a city break in the magnificent walled city on the Adriatic.

best things to do in Dubrovnik: To get the most out of the city, we’ve put together an insider guide with the best things to visit in Dubrovnik.

Dubrovnik has become a significant tourist hotspot due to the massive fame of the Game of Thrones show.

 

1. Take a walk on the Dubrovnik city walls.

best things to do in Dubrovnik: Walking the Walls of Dubrovnik is one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik because they have earned Dubrovnik a spot on a UNESCO list. They are beautifully preserved, offer gorgeous views and are one of the most visited attractions in Croatia.

Among Dubrovnik’s many attractions, one stands out boldly, and you would be nuts to miss it. It’s Dubrovnik city walls or Dubrovačke gradske zidine in Croatian.

 

Curiosity leads most visitors straight to the Walls of Dubrovnik, and trust us, there is a good reason for it. The impressive defensive stone walls, dotted by fortresses and towers, encircle most of the old city. The locals built them because they wanted to protect the entire old town from unwelcome guests. They crafted the two-kilometre (1.2 miles) long walls you see today, primarily during the 13th–17th centuries.

best things to do in Dubrovnik: Walking Dubrovnik walls is one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik because these impressive defensive stone walls have a UNESCO status. What's more, they offer beautiful views and are one of the top attractions in the country.

The Walls of Dubrovnik reach a maximum height of about 25 metres (82 ft) and provide some of the best views of the Old Town. It takes approximately two hours to walk the entire walls. The highlights are the Minceta Tower, the Bokar Tower with Fort Lovrjenac and the Revelin Fortress.

 

You’re right to think that these famous walls have earned Dubrovnik a spot on a UNESCO World Heritage list. They are beautifully preserved, offer gorgeous views and are one of the most visited attractions in Croatia. Because of that, walking the Walls of Dubrovnik is one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik.

Dubrovnik old town: The Walls of Dubrovnik reach a maximum height of about 25 metres (82 ft) and provide some of the best views of the Old Town.

View over the terracotta rooftops of the Old Town.

 

GOOD TO KNOW:

To truly absorb the beauty of the walls, it’s a good idea to walk a full circuit. You can access the Walls of Dubrovnik through 3 entrances: Pile Gate, by St Lucas Fortress on St. Dominic’s Street, and also by St. John’s Fortress. As you might expect, Dubrovnik’s city walls draw hordes of day-trippers who flock here to capture their postcard moment. Therefore, plan your visit accordingly.

 

Tips for visiting the city walls:

  • The entrance ticket to the walls undergoes a recheck each time you pass through one of the entrances. Make sure you keep it in a safe place.
  • To avoid the crowds, visit late in the afternoon when the cruise ship visitors leave the walls.
  • Check how many cruise ships will be in Dubrovnik on a particular day and pick the quietest one (Dubrovnik cruise ship schedule)
  • Wear comfortable shoes and also bring enough water with you.
  • If you’re visiting during the summer months, remember to wear a hat and use sunscreen.
  • Visit one of the cafes on the city walls if you want to rest or need refreshment.
  • Also, don’t forget – the light for photography is best in the afternoon or early in the morning.
  • If you visit the walls between November 1st – March 31st, you can explore them between 9 am – 3 pm. During the peak season, the opening times vary. You can explore the walls between 8 am and 7.30 pm (July), but only until 7 pm in August. Check the official website for the opening time for the other months.

 

Free Travel Planner for your next holidays to Dubrovnik

 

 

2. Visit Fort Lovrijenac

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Fort Lovrijenac, also known as St. Lawrence Fortress or Dubrovnik’s Gibraltar.

 

Another attraction that deserves a place on your itinerary is Fort Lovrijenac. This prominent fortress lies just outside the city’s western walls 37 metres (121 ft) above sea level. The locals built it to defend the western part of the Old Town and port Kolorina (Dubrovnik’s oldest port). They chose this location because it overshadows the two entrances to the city: from the sea and by land.

Fort Lovrijenac, also known as St. Lawrence Fortress or Dubrovnik’s Gibraltar.

The fort offers beautiful views of the sea and the Old Town. The walls facing outside are 12 meters thick, while the ones toward the city are only 60 (39 ft) cm (24 in) thick.

 

Exploring Fort Lovrijenac is one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik because this impressive fortress offers gorgeous views. But that is not all – it has also cultural significance. Fort Lovrijenac regularly hosts the Dubrovnik Summer Festival within its walls. The three terraces of St Lawrence Fort serve as a performance venue for Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Also, many tourists visit this fort because it gained fame as a filming location for the popular TV series Games of Thrones.

GOOD TO KNOW:

Don’t forget that the Dubrovnik City Walls ticket includes the entrance fee for St Lawrence Fort. 

 

3. Take a cable car to Mount Srd.

best things to do in Dubrovnik: Reaching Mount Srd's summit is one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik because it offers gorgeous views of the Old Town. Also, this is one of the best attractions in the city and a popular sunset spot.

Views over Dubrovnik from Mount Srd

 

It’s easy to see why everyone wants Mount Srd. This low mountain, just behind the Dubrovnik city walls, is part of the Dinaric Alps. People come here mainly for the stunning views of the city, the sea, and the surrounding islands. But you can also find here a defensive structure from the 19th century. The French built it during the Napoleonic Wars.

Hop on a quick cable car ride to reach the mountain’s summit with a stunning view of the Old Town. While it might be a bit pricey, the panoramic scenes of Lokrum Island and the Old Town make it a must-visit spot in Dubrovnik. If you’re chasing a sunset view, this is the perfect place to be.

 

TIP:

If you are up for it, you can hike or drive to Mount Srđ and create lasting memories here.

 

4. Explore Dubrovnik’s Old Town

The UNESCO listed Old Town is not just a tourist destination - it’s a living canvas where every step reveals the city’s rich past. 

Dubrovnik’s Old Town is not just a tourist destination – it’s a living canvas where every step reveals Dubrovnik’s rich past. 

 

No trip to Dubrovnik would be complete without exploring the Old Town. Did you know Dubrovnik’s Old Town, with its seafront location, was a renowned trading centre for centuries? It was even competing with the trading port of Venice in maritime trade. 

Today, exploring the Old Town is one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik because it has a UNESCO Status. The Old Town is beautifully preserved. It may be small, but it has numerous museums, centuries-old churches, and other historical sights. Also, you can find here the narrow streets filled with charming cafes and vibrant markets.  

unique things to do in Dubrovnik

TIP:

Discover the Old Town’s narrow streets early in the morning or late in the evening when it’s less crowded. With fewer people around, you can experience the city more freely without stepping on each other’s toes.

 

 

5. Stroll through Stradun of Dubrovnik

best things to do in Dubrovnik: Strolling through Stradun is one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik because it is the main promenade in the city. This famous shopping with medieval charm has many restaurants, churches and cafes.

Stradun, the main promenade in the city

 

Start your journey with a stroll along StradunDubrovnik’s famed street. What was once a channel dividing the city is now a charming pedestrian zone famous in Europe. The limestone-paved Stradun, bordered by baroque houses, restaurants, and churches, has medieval charm.

If you look closely, you will see houses with matching stone facades and equal height. The locals rebuilt them with a similar design after a 17th-century earthquake.

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The 300-meter-long Stradun connects the western entrance of Pile Gate to the old town’s port. Some of the surrounding houses and Stradun have undergone restoration following the Seige of Dubrovnik during the Yugoslav Wars. Today, Dubrovnik’s main street is a popular walking area.

 

6. Onofrio Fountain

Today, Onofrio Fountain is one of the most famous sights in the city. It is a popular meeting point for tourists and also locals.

The large Onofrio Fountain has unusual decorations – 16 carved stone masks.

 

While you’re in the area, don’t miss the stunning Onofrio Fountain. The locals constructed this fountain as a part of a water supply system in Dubrovnik to bring the water to the city. Today, Onofrio Fountain is one of the most famous sights in the city. It is a popular meeting point for tourists and also locals. You can find it in front of the St Saviour church.

TIP:

Find the small Onofrio Fountain (the sibling of the more famous fountain) in the eastern part of Stradun.

 

7. Church of Holy Savior

Church of Holy Savior 

Church of Holy Savior 

 

Right by the entrance to the City Walls, you’ll spot the Church of Holy Savior, just in front of the large Onofrio Fountain. This small church, showcasing some Gothic elements, is a perfect example of the city’s Renaissance architecture. Despite experiencing Dubrovnik’s major earthquake, the Church of Holy Saviour stood strong and remains in its original form. The locals dedicated it to Jesus Christ.

 

8. Dubrovnik’ Clock Tower

Clock Tower is  one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. An elegant bell tower is located next to Sponza Palace at the end of the Stradun.

The Clock Tower overlooks Orlando’s Column and the Sveti Vlaho Church.

 

Another iconic landmark in Dubrovnik is the 31 metres (102 ft) high Clock Tower. This elegant bell tower stands next to Sponza Palace at Stradun’s end. It’s a replica of the original Clock Tower, damaged by several earthquakes.

 

9. Church of St. Blaise

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Church of St. Blaise

 

Afterwards, head towards the Church of St Blaise, or Crkva Svetog Vlaha, as the locals call it. This pretty church with a grand staircase is one of the most beautiful sacred structures in the city. The current Baroque church you can see stands on the remains of the Romanesque church, destroyed in the fire.

Visiting the Church of St. Blaise is one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik because this small church houses a 15th-century statue of St Blaise. He was the patron saint of this city, and its sculpture is the only surviving relic from the earlier church.

 

10. Sponza Palace (Divona)

Fun fact: Locals choose Luža Square, right in front of the Sponza Palace, as the venue for the opening ceremony of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival! The 16th-century palace’s courtyard boasts excellent acoustics, making it a renowned performance venue. But that is not the only reason you should find this pretty building.

The Sponza Palace, with a mixed Gothic and Renaissance style, is, in fact, one of the few buildings in the city which survived the earthquake. This rectangular palace with a statue of St Blaise has served as a customs office, mint and armoury. It was even a bank and a school in the past. Today, the Sponza Palace houses the state archives and documents about the city’s history.

 

11. The Dubrovnik Cathedral

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The Assumption Cathedral, built on the site of several cathedrals.

 

We also recommend you find the 18th-century Dubrovnik Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. The locals built this Roman Catholic Cathedral after the earthquake crumbled the formal cathedral to dust. The cathedral has rich collections of religious paintings and holds precious relics of saints. It even houses the gold-plated arm, leg and skull of Saint Blaise (patron saint of Dubrovnik) and a relic of the True Cross. Because of that, visiting the Dubrovnik Cathedral is one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik for the faithful.

 

FUN FACT:

King Richard the Lion Heart chipped in funds to construct the previous basilica, which crumbled during the earthquake. He was grateful for surviving a shipwreck near Lokrum Island, during his return from the Third Crusade.

GOOD TO KNOW:

You can visit the cathedral for free but if you want to see the treasury you need to pay 15 HRK (2 euros). 

 

12. Find Game of Thrones locations

All Game of Thrones fans should keep their eyes peeled because this pretty city served as a key filming location for the series. Yes, you are right – they filmed countless scenes in the city. That’s why finding Game of Thrones filming locations is one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik for any Game of Thrones enthusiast.

 

TIP:

Join the Game of Thrones tour, find all the famous spots and learn exciting facts about the popular showFind the key locations such as Jesuits Stairs, Pile Gate, Fort Lovrijenac or West Harbour, and you can feel like you are on the movie set.

 

13. Climb the Jesuit Staircase

best things to do in Dubrovnik: Climbing the Jesuit Staircase is also one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik because this impressive baroque staircase is one of the famous Game of Thrones locations.

 The Jesuit Stairs, similar to the famous Spanish Steps in Rome.

 

Climbing the Jesuit Staircase is also one of the most popular things to do in Dubrovnik. It’s because this impressive baroque staircase symbolizes the city and is one of the famous Game of Thrones locations. Besides, these elegant stairs lead to the Church of Saint Ignatius and offer beautiful views of the Old Town.

 

14. Explore the museums

Explore the museums

Did you know Dubrovnik is home to numerous museums? There are a few to choose from, but the most popular are the Rector’s Palace and Maritime Museum. There is also the Homeland War Museum, which focuses on Dubrovnik during the Balkans Wars. If you prefer to soak up the art, visit the Museum of Modern Art. This museum has an impressive collection of works by Croatian artists.

 

15. Visit Rector’s Palace (Knežev Dvor)

best things to do in Dubrovnik: Museum lovers looking for the best things to do in Dubrovnik should visit the iconic Rector’s Palace because it houses the Cultural History Museum. Moreover, the museum has excellent acoustics, and the locals use it for concerts during the Summer Festival.

Rector’s palace  with a beautiful Gothic façade, situated just south of Luža Square

 

If you have a spare hour (or two) while exploring the city, visit the iconic Rector’s Palace, or Knežev Dvor in Croatian. This palace served as the seat of the Rector of the Republic of Ragusa between the 14th and 18th centuries. If you don’t know, the Republic of Ragusa was once an independent maritime republic with the capital in Dubrovnik. 

This Gothic-Renaissance building dates to the 13th century, and it was a political building, an armoury, a powder house, and even a prison. Over the years, it faced an explosion and also a fire. Today, the Rector’s Palace houses the Cultural History Museum. The museum has three floors and showcases coins used in the Dubrovnik Republic, coats of arms and portraits from the past. The Rector’s Palace also has excellent acoustics. Therefore, the locals use it often for concerts during the Summer Festival.

 

16. Shop the local products at the Old Town market

Explore the vibrant Old Town market for a taste of fresh local delights. This open-air market features numerous stalls offering seasonal fruits, vegetables, and other local treasures.

If shopping is your thing, visiting the Old Town Market should be on your list of the best things to do in Dubrovnik. You can find it at Gungulic Square in the heart of Dubrovnik.

 

Explore the vibrant Old Town market for a taste of fresh local delights. This open-air market features numerous stalls offering seasonal fruits, vegetables, and other local treasures. This bustling market is no longer a secret between locals. You will find many tourists diving into the local flavours.

 

17. Go kayaking

best things to do in Dubrovnik: If you want to experience the city from the sea, take a kayaking tour. This popular outdoor activity also offers an opportunity to see the city from a unique point of view. Because of that, it is one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik.

You are right to think there is more to Dubrovnik than just the Old Town. If you love outdoor activities, kayaking is one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik. This popular leisure activity not only allows you to experience the city from a unique perspective but also offers a chance to relax and soak up the sun. It’s also a perfect way to escape the busy Old Town.

 

18. Have a drink at Dubrovnik Cliff Bar

If you want to take things a little slower, you should know Dubrovnik is famous for something else: cliff bars. Two Buža cliff bars hidden along the city walls are no secret. Both bars are great locations to watch the sunset. Therefore, visiting them is one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik. But don’t forget – they can get super busy throughout the day. For that reason, visit Buža cliff bars a couple hours before the sunset. If you’re in Dubrovnik during the summer, enjoy the sun on concrete platforms. For the adventurous, take a refreshing swim in the sea or try popular cliff jumping from the walls. It’s a perfect way to add some excitement to your visit.

 

19. Visit monasteries

best things to do in Dubrovnik: Visiting the Franciscan Monastery is one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik because it houses a collection of liturgical objects, has has beautiful gardens and a library with over 20,000 books.

Franciscan monastery

 

If you’re keen on exploring the city’s monasteries, why not begin with the Franciscan Monastery? It’s a large complex next to one of the entrances to the city walls. Good news: the Franciscan Monastery is a calm oasis, and many day trippers usually miss this attraction.

Visiting the Franciscan Monastery is one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik because it houses a collection of liturgical objects. The Franciscan Monastery has beautiful gardens and a library with over 20,000 books. Also, don’t forget to visit its well-preserved pharmacy – it’s one of the oldest pharmacies in the world still in operation

The Franciscan Monastery is not the only monastery in Dubrovnik. Round the corner from the city’s harbour is the Dominican Monastery. This religious complex in Gothic-Renaissance style from the 13th century holds a collection of religious paintings, jewellery and historical artefacts. 

 

20. Explore the Old Port

 

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The Old Port in the eastern part of the city 

 

Visiting Dubrovnik’s Old Port early in the morning is one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik. Find a spot, take a seat, soak in the surroundings and watch life unfold. You can also book a trip to Lokrum Island or arrange an excursion to nearby towns from here. 

 

21. Check out Lokrum Island

If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Croatia’s capital, set sail to the nearby Lokrum Island.

Lokrum Island offers a tranquil escape from the city’s lively beaches.

 

If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Croatia’s capital, set sail to the nearby Lokrum Island. This forested island in front of Dubrovnik is only a short ferry ride from the Old City’s harbour. You might be surprised to hear that despite its proximity to Dubrovnik, Lokrum Island is very peaceful. Therefore, it is an excellent place to relax. 

 

GOOD TO KNOW:

You cannot stay overnight on the island. So, be sure to check the last boat departure time.

 

Aside from plenty of swimming spots and hidden coves, you can visit botanical gardens. You can even find here the Benedictine Monastery from the Middle Ages. The part of it serves as a museum and also as a restaurant. 

 

22. Beaches in Dubrovnik

There are several lovely beaches around the city where you can relax and soak up some sun.


If you are a beach lover searching for the best things to do in Dubrovnik, you have a few options. There are several lovely beaches around Dubrovnik where you can relax and soak up some sun. Almost everyone heads to Banje beach. This is a centrally located beach which you can find only a short distance from the Old Town. It is one of the most beautiful and famous beaches in Dubrovnik.

If you prefer a stylish sunbathing spot, find Buža Beach at the base of the medieval city walls. Buža Beach has concrete terraces – perfect for adventurous souls who enjoy jumping into the sea.

Are you looking for a less crowded beach? Then try Sveti Jakov beach, situated in the eastern part of Dubrovnik. A tiny bay with views of Lokrum Island and the city’s old town is a famous beach, especially with the locals.

There is also Copacabana beach – it is a popular sunbathing spot around the Lapad area. This long stretch of pebble beach lies a little further away from the centre in the Babin Kuk area.

 

23. Take a day trip to Kotor in Montenegro

best things to do in Dubrovnik: A day trip to Kotor is among the best things to do in Dubrovnik, offering a rich blend of history, natural beauty, and cultural experiences. It’s easily accessible from Dubrovnik and is one of the most popular destinations in Montenegro.

Cross the border to nearby Montenegro and explore Kotor 

 

If you stay in Dubrovnik longer, take a day trip to Kotor in Montenegro. Kotor is one of the most beautiful Montenegrin towns. It has a UNESCO status and Venetian influence. This beautifully preserved coastal town also has defensive medieval walls and a fairy-tale fortress set against stunning scenery.

A day trip to Kotor is among the best things to do in Dubrovnik, offering a rich blend of history, natural beauty, and also cultural experiences. It’s easily accessible from Dubrovnik and is one of the most popular destinations in Montenegro.

GOOD TO KNOW:

Keep in mind that public buses between Croatia and Montenegro run regularly late during the high season. Delays of more than 2-3 hours are not uncommon. For a more flexible and convenient experience, consider renting a car.

 

READ MORE ABOUT KOTOR:

best day trip from medieval Dubrovnic to romantic Kotor in Montenegro

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24. Discover Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina

aking a day trip to Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina

If you’re eager to explore another country, consider taking a day trip to Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina from Dubrovnik. This charming Balkan town, once devastated by the civil war, is rich in history and has impressive architecture. Wander through the lovely old town and find the iconic Stari Most Bridge, connecting the Muslim and Catholic quarters. Mostar is a journey into the past with a blend of cultures and is a perfect day trip from Dubrovnik.

 

Now you know what the best things to do in Dubrovnik in Croatia are!

 

WHERE TO STAY IN DUBROVNIK

 To truly experience Dubrovnik and its fascinating history, spend at least one night in the city. Dubrovnik attracts thousands of tourists, especially in the summer, and their schedules can be tight. This high influx of visitors can make the city feel a bit overwhelming during the day. But as evening falls, Dubrovnik has a more laid-back atmosphere.

Most of the attractions are near the pedestrian-only Old Town. Therefore, look for accommodation within or just outside the walls. Keep in mind that staying in the heart of Dubrovnik might be more expensive.

Dubrovnik travel tips

 

DUBROVNIK TRAVEL TIPS:

  • To escape the crowds, visit Dubrovnik in the shoulder season (May, September or October) instead of the summer.
  • If staying longer, opt for accommodation outside the heart of the city. This way you can enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere.
  • Experience the city without the crowds by either waking up early or exploring late into the evening.
  • Keep your city walls ticket for a visit to Fort Lovrijenac.
  • Save money with a Dubrovnik Card.
  • Avoid the most popular attractions during cruise ship arrivals to minimize crowds.

 

Pin the best things to do in Dubrovnik in Croatia for later!

things to do in Dubrovnik Croatia

Have you been to Dubrovnik in Croatia? Did we miss anything? Please let us know in the comments below. If you like our post about the best things to do in Dubrovnik in Croatia, please save it also to Pinterest 🙂

 

Free Travel Planner for your next holidays to Dubrovnik

 

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6 thoughts on “Beyond the Walls: Unlocking the Best Things to Do in Dubrovnik”

    1. Yes, you are right Alison, Perast is much quieter than Kotor. We are definitely planning to come back to explore more of the beautiful Balkan. Dubrovnik is a stunning medieval city. It is an excellent starting point for expoloring the other Balkan countries. I guess, we will be back soon.

  1. Hello, i am happy that you got a chance to visit Dubrovnik and enjoy everything it has to offer.
    When you visit again, we would love to show you a different side of Dubrovnik and Elafiti islands with our private boat or jet ski experience.
    Elaphiti islands are 15 minutes away with stunning scenery, beaches, sea caves, hidden coves, restaurants and lounge bars to choose from.
    Here’s the link if your travels bring you back to Dubrovnik :
    https://dubrovnik-boat.business.site/

    1. Thank you very much for stopping by. It sounds amazing! You are very kind! We would love to go there someday, cruising around on a boat or jet ski would be so fun! Elaphiti Islands look like paradise with unspoilt nature . Martina & Andrej xxx

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