Andrew and I hadn’t exactly chosen a destination for our trip over Easter. In fact, we didn’t even have a destination in mind. All we knew is that we wanted to go somewhere new. We were searching through destinations on Skiplagged when we saw affordable tickets to Dubrovnik. After a quick Google Image search of “sunsets in Dubrovnik,” we booked our tickets and did our research.
We spent a week in Dubrovnik with two day trips to Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Given Croatia’s close proximity to these countries, we took two day tours to these countries. These were full-day tours with a packed itinerary and a guide who could pick you up from your hotel. For more information, check out our posts on Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. We highly recommend you explore these beautiful Baltic countries while visiting Dubrovnik. The promise of more passport stamps is just so exciting!
When you’re planning your visit to Dubrovnik, check out these 8 incredible things to do!
1. Walk the City Walls
The City Walls of Dubrovnik are one of the main attractions in this 7th century Medieval city. The Old Town of Dubrovnik is surrounded by walls and forts that helped protect the vulnerable city from attack. The walls are, at maximum, 83 feet tall and are 1.2 miles long.
Walking the city walls was one of our favorite things to do in Dubrovnik. You can explore some of the smaller forts, admire the beautiful view of Fort Lovrijenac, the nearby beaches and the island of Lokrum. As you walk along the walls, you’ll see those signature burnt orange rooftops and get to peek into the locals’ patios, often strewn with clothes drying on the line– such a simpler way of life!
If you’re interested in avoiding the crowd and buying tickets in advance, there are several websites, such as GetYourGuide, that sell City Wall tickets. We found it’s cheaper to buy in-person. There are two entrances to the City Walls to buy tickets, one at Pile Gate and one at Ploče Gate. Adults are $32. Students and children are $8, and children under the age of 7 are free. (Prices may have changed, so research this before you go!) Plan for an hour or two on the City Walls.
2. Wander Old Town
When visiting Dubrovnik, you will likely spend a majority of your time pounding the beautiful limestone pavement in Old Town. Old Town is surrounded by the City Wall and is traffic-free.
Walk down the “stradun (main street)” and alleys of Old Town to take in this medieval city. There are many historical sites to see, including the Dubrovnik Cathedral, Franciscan Monastery, the Clock Tower and the Church of St. Blaise where we watched Easter mass.
I encourage you to get lost in the winding and twisting streets of Old Town. There are tiny alleyways and, in some places, very steep stairs leading to even more parts of Old Town to explore. After a day of sightseeing, grab an ice cream from Peppino’s Ice Cream Shop and people watch in front of the Church of St. Blaise or at the fountain in front of Pile Gate.
3. Take a Cable Car to Mount Srd
If you’re not afraid of heights, take the cable car up Mount Srd to watch a sunset (even better if you have a loved one to share it with). From the top of Mount Srd, there are beautiful panoramic views of Dubrovnik, the surrounding area and Lokrum. There is nothing like watching a sunset over the Adriatic Sea with your loved one close by. (Unimportant side note: I actually thought Andrew was proposing on Mount Srd because he kept looking for the “perfect spot.” Alas, he was just looking for the “perfect spot” to take a photo… *sigh*)
Because we reached the top of Mount Srd around sunset, we were able to enjoy a cable car all to ourselves. Outside of the eastern entrance of Old Town is the starting point for the cable car (more specifically, Ulica kralja Petra Krešimira IV, 20000, Dubrovnik). Dubrovnik Cable Car indicates the best and most convenient place to buy tickets is right there at the cable car station. Adult tickets are approximately $23 for a round-trip ticket and $13 for a one-way ticket. Tickets for children (ages 4-12) are $9 for a round-trip ticket and $6 for a one-way ticket. Children under 4 are free. Keep in mind that wind speed may affect whether or not the cable car can run. Make sure to check on a windy day.
If it’s a clear day at the top of Mount Srd, it’s possible to see up to 37 miles away. We recommend just finding a rock and taking in the view (sunset, hopefully!). There is also a fine dining restaurant (Panorama Restaurant), a museum, an amphitheater, a pearl shop and blacksmith for all your souvenir needs.
If you’re seeking more adventure when you arrive, there is a “buggy safari” where you’ll venture in four wheelers off-road through the fields and hills of Mount Srd. Unfortunately, we arrived to Mount Srd too late to get in a buggy. Tickets per person are $70. If you want to book an entire buggy, the vehicle is $226. Keep in mind that it is not a self-driving tour. For more information regarding the buggy safari, visit Buggy Safari Dubrovnik.
If off-roading in buggies is too extreme for you, there is also an easy ¾ mile out and back hiking trail to Strinčjera Fort.
4. Visit Lokrum
Situated off the coast of Dubrovnik is the island of Lokrum. Just a 15 minute ferry ride from Old Town, locals and tourists escape the heat of Dubrovnik to relax on this shaded island. Home to wild roaming peacocks and rabbits, this garden island makes for a half-day or full day adventure.
A few attractions of the island include the Benedectine Monastery and Lokrum’s beaches. There’s one nude beach and one very cold saltwater lake known as the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea can often be crowded, but is well worth it to take a dip.
Keep in mind Lokrum is only open April-November, and no overnight stays are permitted. The ferry regularly departs from Old Town Port. Ferries are approximately $24 dollars per trip.
5. Sea Kayak, Snorkel or Sail
You’re visiting the Adriatic Sea, so you might as well take advantage of a water adventure! On the coast, you can sea kayak, snorkel or sail. Paddle around the medieval walls, visit a hidden cave or try to beat the ferry to Lokrum. Either way, you’ll see Dubrovnik from a different perspective!
6. Go on a Dive Trip
My husband, Andrew, who tries to dive everywhere he visits, booked a dive trip to “Little Africa,” a dive site that offers caves, walls and reefs. There was good visibility, and he was able to see some cold water sea life, such as an octopus and invertebrates. This was much different than his time diving in Jupiter, Florida, as the water in Croatia is COLD. When the dive master showed up in a dry suit, Andrew knew he was about to freeze. For more information on dive operations, check out Blue Planet Diving.
(If you’re not diving, walk around the Hotel Dubrovnik Palace where Blue Planet is located. This 5 star hotel located directly on the water is absolutely STUNNING, and of course, we took in a sunset while we were there. We considered staying for dinner, but we probably couldn’t even afford a glass of water.)
7. Take a Game of Thrones Tour
So, I’m not a Game of Thrones fan, but the show is highly advertised throughout the city. Dubrovnik is home to fictional King’s Landing. Some sites include Pile Gate, Ploče Gate, Fort Lovrijenac, the City Walls, Old Town’s harbors and Lokrum. If you’re an ultimate Game of Thrones fan, there are several tours you can take to see all the filming locations.
Located 6 miles from Old Town is a war-torn, decimated hotel resort situated on one of the nicer beaches (more sandy) in the Dubrovnik area. Ravaged from the Croatian War of Independence (1991-1995), the 5 hotels on this complex were never rebuilt. When we visited the ruins, there was no security, and we walked freely on the property.
Most of the remaining hotels were stripped to its foundation with graffiti sprayed everywhere you looked. Due to broken glass or uneven surfaces, there were many places where it was completely unsafe to walk. Standing amongst war ruins certainly juxtaposed the incredible view of the blue Adriatic Sea right in front of you. While walking around the hotels, I mentioned several times that the hosts of “Ghost Hunters” should spend a night here.
If you choose to visit the Kupari war ruins, we suggest you do it sooner than later. According to a few articles, several luxury hotels are considering buying the property. When that’s the case, you likely won’t be able to explore the area anymore.
Our trip to Dubrovnik completely surpassed any expectations we had for this beautiful country. Between its beauty and history, we would absolutely come back.
No trip to the Baltic would be complete without visiting its neighboring countries, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Check out 1 Day in Montenegro: You Can’t Miss These Places and 1 Day In Bosnia: Mostar, Medjugorje and Počitelj.