Dubrovnik is a beautiful city in Croatia. It’s famous for its medieval Old Town, the stunning landscapes, and more recently for being one of the filming sets of Game of Thrones. In this post I will take you to explore some of the best things to do in Dubrovnik, highlighting the key attractions and points of interest.
I visited Dubrovnik the last time four years ago, and I have to say I was very surprised at how much busier and touristy it has become. We were there in early September, with summer being over and schools starting soon we thought there wouldn’t be many tourists around, but it was actually really busy. The city is actually pretty big, but the only area that is busy and touristy is the Old Town. Dubrovnik is also an important location on the Dalmatian coast, with a lot of big cruise boats stopping here. You can also get ferries or go on boat trips to islands in the area.
| READ MORE: THE ULTIMATE CROATIA TRAVEL GUIDE |
If you’re looking for a suggestion on where to eat in Dubrovnik, I can highly recommend Lady PiPi (if you like meat or fish, as they don’t have much else). Both our AirBnB host and the guy from which we bought our Game of Thrones and sunset kayak tour recommended it as a place “where the locals go”, so we couldn’t not check it out! We wanted to go for brunch but we soon realised our mistake, since they only start the grill for the barbecue at noon, so we had to wait until then for our food. However the venue is outdoors and lovely, with a beautiful view over the rooftops of Dubrovnik, so it wasn’t an unpleasant wait.
| READ MORE: BEST OF SPLIT |
Walk on the Dubrovnik Ancient City walls
The Old Town of Dubrovnik is entirely surrounded by walls. Back in the day these were to keep invaders out and to protect the city from the power of the sea and waves. Today, it’s the main tourist attraction of Dubrovnik. Access to the walls costs 150 Croatian Kuna. The walk lasts around two hours, and you can only walk it going in one way (imagine the traffic and how messy it would get with people walking in opposite directions)! It’s a very beautiful walk, since the walls are considerably higher than the majority of the rooftops in Dubrovnik (makes sense if you think about it, they had to keep invaders away and make sure houses inside the town were safe!) which means there are beautiful viewpoints from pretty much any spot on the walls. There are only three access points to the walls though, if it starts raining, like it did when we where there, you might end up having to walk for quite a while under the rain before you can get off the walls. Top tip for visiting the walls; go in the afternoon. In the morning there are all the visitors from the cruise boats who go around in big groups often making it hard to walk in the narrow sections of the walls. Most of these groups leave around lunch since the cruise boats leave early, so if you go on the walls early afternoon you will be able to enjoy the walk without as many people.
Do a Game of Thrones tour
Another addition from my last visit to Dubrovnik were the Game of Thrones walking tours. GoT was already around four years ago, and I remember my friend who has from Dubrovnik pointing out which parts of the town had been used in the TV show, but that was it. This time we found the city full on organised walking tours, where a guide will take you to all the main filming locations in the Old Town, showing you pictures of the scenes to help your recognise them. Being all avid GoT fans we couldn’t miss on the chance of seeing all the filming locations and feeling like we were also in Kings Landing for a day. The tour lasts about two hours, and are a fun way of combining seeing the city with learning more about a TV show you know and love. It’s interesting also to see how much of it real life props and how much is added CGI. If you want to find out more about the filming locations of GoT in Dubrovnik check out my article here.
| READ MORE: THE BEST WEBSITES TO BOOK YOUR NEXT TRIP |
Do a sea kayak sunset tour
Another popular tour, which was also one of the highlights of our Dubrovnik trip was doing a kayak sunset tour. The tour is about 200 Croatian Kuna per person, and includes a sandwich during the tour and wine once the tour is over and you’re back safely on firm land. We met with our group at 4pm, it took some time to get everybody arranged with life jackets and their kayaks, plus the usual security chat and then we were off kayaking. Kayaking under the walls of the Old Town of Dubrovnik is both impressive and beautiful at the same time. Looking up at the size of the walls from your small kayak makes them seem even more imposing. The kayak tour goes around the island of Lokrum, before then arriving at a secret beach inside a huge cave. I did this tour also last time I was in Dubrovnik four years ago, and even if the beach was lovely, when we went this time there were so many kayaks you couldn’t even sit on the beach. Cliff diving from the rocks surrounding the cave is very popular. After having our sandwich, swimming in the water and relaxing for a bit we set off on the return home, and this was even more stunning than before. The return was at prime sunset time, and we got to kayak under the walls of the Old Town as the sky was lighting up with all the reds and pinks you could imagine.
| READ MORE: KAYAKING IN PHANG NGA BAY, THAILAND |
Explore the Croatian beaches
Like most Croatian beach destinations (from what I’ve seen anyway!) there aren’t many sandy beaches in Dubrovnik. Even the beach inside the hidden cave was rocky, but the water is always clear and beautiful. There are two main beaches on either side of the Old Town, one is made up of small rocks instead of sand, whilst the other by the Pila gate can’t really be called a beach by Italian standards (we pride ourselves with our white sandy beaches). However according to the tour guide it’s where the locals go to hang out and play water polo, so we couldn’t miss it. It took us a bit of trial and error walking down little paths in the cliffside, when we eventually found it. There is no beach per se, just big slabs of rock where people put their towels to sunbathe, and a water polo court floating in the sea in front of it. Even if you’ve never played before I recommend jumping in and joining a game if you can, it’s great fun and the locals are very welcoming.
| READ MORE: THE 10 MOST BEAUTIFUL BEACHES IN THE WORLD |
Take the cable car at sunset
Dubrovnik has the sea on one side and hills on the other. There is a fort on top of the closest hill, from which there is a beautiful view that overlooks Dubrovnik and its surroundings. If you’re feeling sporty you can walk up the hill, but it will take more than one hour, or for the lazy people like us you can take the cable car to the top. If you go at sunset the view will be even more beautiful, since the soft light will really make the colours of the red roofs stand out. There is also a restaurant here but as you can imagine it is considerably more expensive than the restaurants inside the Old Town. I recommend going just before sunset, enjoying the sunset and the view and then getting the cable car back down to have dinner and enjoy the rest of your evening.
Dubrovnik is a beautiful city which I have travelled to multiple times, and would happily go back to again. In this post I’ve tried to give you a summary of all the best things to do in Dubrovnik and the best places to see. Have you been to Dubrovnik before? Would you recommend other places to see? Let me know in the comments below! If you’re planning a longer trip to Croatia and want to know where else in Croatia to go, make sure to check out my post about Split and surroundings.
Enjoyed this post? Use the image below to Pin it for later!