A wow-worthy coastline and cobbled towns made for exploring – holidays to Dubrovnik solve the beach-or-city-break dilemma. Wondering what to do to make the most of your time there? We’ve got the answer – a list of the 10 best things to do in Dubrovnik. So, whether you’re wandering between the city’s walls for the day or have the chance to take a couple of trips to this terracotta-topped city, you’ve got a pick ’n’ mix of options…
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Walk the city walls
Dubrovnik’s city walls are the jewel in its gawp-worthy crown. Head to the public entrance at the old port side of Dubrovnik’s old town. From up here, the views of the Adriatic Sea are hard to beat. There’s no set direction to wander in, but we think it’s worth making sure you finish your walk at the Pile Gate – a 15th Century stone gate, which comes complete with a Renaissance arch and a drawbridge. Doesn’t get much fancier than that. You’ve also got the option of taking one of the sea kayaking tours around the edge of the city walls, if you want to avoid the crowds.
Watch the sun set over Dubrovnik on this catamaran cruise
Take the cable car to the top of Mount Srd
If you’re up for a calf-crunching climb, make the walk to the far side of the City Walls. Here, you’ll find the station for the cable car. As the bright-orange car makes its way up the hillside, the view of the old town becomes clearer and clearer, so don’t forget your camera. When you get to the top of Mount Srd, you’ll be ready for a thirst-quenching drink. Good news, the mountain-top restaurant offers great views and a cocktail menu to match. While you’re up there, pop into the Imperial Fort and the Homeland War Museum, where you can learn about Dubrovnik’s past.
Soak up the sun on Banje Beach
Think Dubrovnik’s all about city sightseeing? Think again. Take a stroll down Hvarska and then wander along Frana Supila and after around 15-minutes, you’ll pitch up on Banje Beach. It’s a pebbly number with super clear waters that are perfect for paddling on a hot day. There’s a beach bar for food and drinks if you fancy making a day of it, too.
Get to know the best beaches in Europe
Explore the Old Town
Without question, most of your time in Dubrovnik has got to be spent exploring the twisting streets of the old town. You might get that funny déjà vu feeling strolling through the streets of Dubrovnik. Probably because this postcard-pretty city has been splashed across our screens for the last few years. It’s best-known for taking a lead role as King’s Landing in Game of Thrones. Let your curiosity guide you down little lanes and alleyways and you’ll find pocket-sized restaurants and boutiques that’ve stood the test of time. Or, if you prefer to stick to the beaten track, get your bearings on Placa – the city’s main street is a length limestone channel that cut beneath grand old houses. On the 3rd February each year – St Blaise Day – there’s a colourful parade along Placa to remember Dubrovnik’s patron saint.
Take our walking tour of Dubrovnik Old Town
Visit Dubrovnik Cathedral
Lovers of Baroque architecture will be in their element at the city’s cathedral. Head inside and you could spend hours ogling the art. Above the main altar, there’s a painting of the Ascension of Mary by the Renaissance painter Titian. Artwork by impressive Italian and Croatian artists from the 15th century decorate the cathedral’s side altars, too. It’s also home to the gold-plated bones of Croatia’s patron saint, St Blaise, which are kept in the treasury.
Tick off Baroque churches, Venetian palaces and more on this Dubrovnik excursion
Pop to the St John Fortress
St John Fortress is an important part of the city’s walls – you’ll find it on the south-eastern side of the defences. For hundreds of years, this fortress protected the city from pirate raids. Now the threat of pirates is long gone, the fortress has found a new purpose. Inside the tower, there’s a small aquarium and a maritime museum.
See the King’s Landing in real life on our Game of Thrones Filming Locations tour
Set your watch by the clock tower
Wander over to Luza Square and you can’t miss Dubrovnik’s clock tower. At a neck-craning 31 metres in height, this clock has kept time since 1444. At the top, you’ll notice two bronze figures of men – they stand either side of the tower’s bell. At midday every day, the figures use their mallets to make the bell chime.
Pair swimming in Lokrum with Dubrovnik sightseeing on this tour
Admire the Church of St Blaise
The Venetian architect Marino Gropelli built the Church of St Blaise at the beginning of the 1700s. The church was dedicated to St Blaise because he saved the city from a surprise attack by the Venetians. Supposedly, St Blaise appeared to Dubrovnik cathedral’s priest in a dream and told him the Venetian forces were plotting something. History aside, this Baroque church is one for your camera roll.
Escape the city on our Elaphite Islands Catamaran Cruise
Take the ferry over to Lokrum Island
The islands cast off the coast of the Dubrovnik region are all within day-tripping distance. Their sleepy shores feel like a world away from the mainland. Boats leave from Dubrovnik’s port throughout the day and take you over to the car-free island of Lokrum in as little as ten minutes. The island’s blanketed by a deep-green pine forest that’s criss-crossed with walking trails which lead to the rocky coastline, where you’ll stumble upon perfect swimming spots.
Peek at our sea kayaking tour of Lokrum Island
Brush up on Dubrovnik’s history at the Rector’s Palace
History buffs, listen up. The Rector’s Palace is the place to be to learn about Dubrovnik’s history. It was built for the rector, who governed the city in the late 15th Century. Head inside this Gothic-Renaissance palace and you’ll see it was once home to the rector’s office and private chambers, public halls, administrative offices and – of course – a dungeon. During his one-month term the rector was unable to leave the building without the permission of the senate. Nowadays, the palace plays host to the Cultural History Museum – your go-to spot if you want to learn about the history of the former Ragusa Republic.
Learn more about the Republic of Dubrovnik on our culture-packed tour