In the words of a famous playwright, George Bernard Shaw, 'those who seek paradise on Earth should come to Dubrovnik'. Dubrovnik is one of the most visited destinations in Croatia during the summer. With its majestic ancient walls and Old Town, baroque architecture and mesmerising clear sea, Dubrovnik is known as 'the pearl of the Adriatic'. If you're travelling to Croatia, Dubrovnik is a destination you shouldn't miss!
Dubrovnik has an airport which makes it more accessible than some Croatian towns. Once you've arrived can get around by public transport or by hiring a car.
What are the best things to do in Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik Old Town
The best way to get to know Dubrovnik is by walking through the Old Town and admiring the architecture built through the centuries. Dubrovnik's stone walls surround its historical core. They were built between the 11th and 13th centuries to protect the town from war and epidemics. The Pile City Gate divides the modern part of Dubrovnik from the Old Town and is the main city entrance. The gates are overlooked by two forts, Minčeta and Bokar. Minčeta Fort is one of the most beautiful forts in the world and is one of the most recognisable symbols of Dubrovnik. Bokar Fort was built to defend Dubrovnik from the sea, and today it is one of the venues for the Dubrovnik Summer Festival.
After you enter the city gates, the first thing you will see is the magnificent Onofrio Fountain, a famous meeting place for the young. The Onofrio Fountain was once the main water supply for Dubrovnik. The Franciscan Monastery is a beautiful example of Gothic and Romanesque architecture. It is best known for its beautiful garden, The Little Brothers Pharmacy, and the church, where various concerts are held throughout the year. The most famous and liveliest street in the Old Town is Stradun with numerous stores, galleries, cafés and restaurants. Stradun leads to the main square, surrounded by some of the most important historical sights in Dubrovnik. In the square you can explore Dubrovnik's Cathedral, the Church of St. Blaise, the Sponza Palace (the city archive), the Rector's Palace, the bell towers, and Orlando's Column.
Dubrovnik cable car
One of the main attractions in Dubrovnik is the cable car, built in 1969. The cable car takes you to the top of Mount Srđ where you can enjoy the spectacular view of the Old Town and the town's shoreline. On a clear day, the visibility is up to 60 km. Mount Srđ has a lot of history concentrated in one place. The area was once called Dubrava, meaning the woods in the local dialect. The cable car was destroyed during the war in the early 1990s but was repaired in 2010. The journey to Mount Srđ takes around three minutes.
Once at the top, you can enjoy a meal or a drink at the Panorama Bar & Restaurant. On Mount Srđ you can also visit the Museum of the Croatian War of Independence, and learn about Dubrovnik during the war from 1991-1995 through its exhibits. The Museum is located in Fort Imperial, which was built in the early 19th century when Dubrovnik was governed by the French. While you're there, don't miss the souvenir shop, the Ohrid pearl shop, and the blacksmith, and take something home to remind you of your trip.
The Elafiti Islands are a small archipelago in the Adriatic Sea stretching northwest of Dubrovnik. For a perfect day trip, you can rent a boat and discover the beautiful beaches of these little, and mostly deserted, islands. The archipelago consists of 13 islands, with a total land area of 30 square kilometres and a population of around 850 inhabitants. The three main islands are Koločep, Lopud and Šipan. Koločep and Lopud are entirely car-free and can only be reached by boat, which makes them the perfect getaway from everyday life.
You can also easily reach the islands by public ferry 'Jadrolinija' which travels daily. There is also a catamaran service you can take from Dubrovnik to the island of Šipan. The Elafiti Islands got their name from the Greek word έλάφος, meaning deer, since the islands used to be home to a large population of deer. From 1272 the Elafiti Islands were governed by the Republic of Dubrovnik.
Dubrovnik Summer Festival
Dubrovnik has a rich cultural scene and is especially famous for its summer festival. The Dubrovnik Summer Festival (Croatian: Dubrovačke ljetne igre) first took place in 1950 and has been held annually ever since. The festival has a rich programme of classical music concerts, dance performances, theatre and folklore events. A lot of the events take place under the open sky in more than 70 venues located in the Renaissance and Baroque parts of Dubrovnik Old Town. During the festival, from mid-July until the end of August, Dubrovnik is filled with locals and guests who come to enjoy Dubrovačke ljetne igre.
Walking Tours are a great way to discover Dubrovnik. Fans of King's Landing shouldn't miss the Game of Thrones Tour, where they will see all the locations where the famous series was filmed. You can also join a free walking tour through Dubrovnik to get to know the town better and discover some local hidden gems.
Franciscan Church and Monastery
Another attraction in Dubrovnik is the Franciscan monastery garden, a hidden paradise inside the city walls. The Franciscan monastery of the Friars Minor was built in 1317, and includes a church, a garden filled with medicinal herbs, and one of the three oldest pharmacies in the world. The pharmacy has been continuously working up to this day and is a great place to pick up original souvenirs - creams and lotions made from roses and other Mediterranean plants produced using original 200-year-old recipes. The best selling products are the rose face cream and lavender water. There is a legend associated with the name of the Monastery, The Little Brothers. The wife of a sea captain from a rich family got pregnant and gave birth to four sons while the captain was at sea. Fearing condemnation, she decided to drown three of the babies. Luckily, the sea captain returned in time, and in secret left his three sons with the Franciscans in their monastery. When the boys grew up, they donated a lot of money for the construction of the church, as a thank you to the priests who saved their lives.
Sun Gardens Dubrovnik
In 1512, exiled from the Medici Family, the Florentine statesman Piero Soderini settled in a stone palazzo surrounded by the Mediterranean gardens and breath-taking views of the Adriatic shoreline. This is now the site of Sun Gardens Dubrovnik.
Sun Gardens Dubrovnik is a luxurious resort which offers easy access to Dubrovnik's main attractions. Situated on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, the resort is located 13.5 km northwest of the Old Town and 34 km from Dubrovnik airport. The 6-story Sun Gardens was designed in 2009 by architects Medic and Puljiz.
The resort has 408 spacious and elegant rooms. The most exclusive suites are named after the four most beautiful fortresses in Dubrovnik Old Town, Lovrijenac, Revelin, Minčeta and Bokar. Views are spectacular, and the resort has three swimming pools and a private beach.
You can choose from both ancient and contemporary therapies in the award-winning spa, and the resort offers water sports for the more adventurous. If you are coming with your family, the Marco Polo Club offers activities and fun events for little ones. They'll love the Children's Sports Academy where they can train in their favourite sport - football, tennis, swimming or basketball.
You can choose from 16 different restaurants and bars which offer a mix of Dalmatian, Mediterranean, international, and fusion cuisine, local wine and delicious cocktails. Food lovers can take cooking classes where they will learn how to prepare traditional Dalmatian meals.
Dubrovnik on Film
Dubrovnik is a popular filming destination. World-famous series Game of Thrones was filmed throughout the city. Fort Lovrijenac is the location of the tournament held on King Joffrey's name day. At the entrance of Fort Lovrijenac there is an ancient inscription which reads: non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro. Translated from Latin, it says: 'Freedom is not sold for all the gold in the world'. It was down St. Dominika Street that Cersei made her walk of shame, and in Minčeta Fort, known as the House of the Undying in the series, Daenerys recovers her stolen dragons. Pile Bay is the location of Blackwater Bay, seen multiple times in King's Landing.
Episode VIII The Last Jedi, from the Star Wars franchise was also filmed in Dubrovnik. At the time of the filming Dubrovnik streets got a space-age makeover, with blast doors and high-tech gadgets adorning the Old Town. The filming locations included Stradun and Onofrio's Fountain, the stone walls, Rector's Palace, Banje Beach, the old port, and several narrow streets in the Old Town. Dubrovnik's historical centre was used as the set of the casino planet Canto Bight.
Another film set in Dubrovnik was Leonardo DiCaprio's 2018 Robin Hood. The movie director Otto Bathurst chose Dubrovnik as a filming location based on its resemblance to medieval Nottingham, with its ancient streets and historical buildings. While filming, actor Jamie Foxx was amazed by the beauty of Croatia.
Feast at one of our favourite restaurants in Dubrovnik
There are lots of excellent places to eat in Dubrovnik, read on to find out more about some highlights.
Situated in peaceful Od Sigurate Street, the restaurant's interior is white and simple. Lucin Kantun offers reasonably priced food - full sit-down meals comprised of lots of small delicious dishes. You should try the salmon, lobster and octopus as well as the delicious local cheese and cured meats.
This fine-dining restaurant was once a casual eatery and now offers delicious seafood dishes. Sesame is located a few minutes walk from the Old Town and has been a family dining establishment since 1880. You should try some of the inventive fish dishes, such as Oyster soup, Šipan salad or the clam and squid risotto.
Restaurant Orsan is a must if you are looking for excellent food, fast service, and unforgettable marina dining experience. The iconic eatery is situated in the suburb of Lapad bay in the Orsan Yacht Club. You can choose from the main menu or from the new list of light dishes and snacks the restaurant has recently added. You will likely enjoy their snacks made from traditional Dalmatian seafood and cured meats, such as smoked ham, octopus, shrimps, and prawns.
Pantarul, meaning 'fork' in the local dialect, offers slow-cooked cuisine from seasonal and local ingredients in a modern yet cosy interior. The vegetables come from the fields around Dubrovnik, and the fish from the local fishermen's catch of the day. The main dishes to try at Pantarul include: fettuccine with veal tail and sage, gnocchi with octopus in arrabbiata sauce, and tender beef cheeks are stand-out dishes.
Porat Restaurant & Bar
Porat Restaurant & Bar is located on the busy Gruž harbour specialises in preparing fresh seafood from boat to table within an hour. Make sure not to miss the mouth-watering brudet, which is a famous traditional fish stew in Dalmatia. The neutral interior is modern and welcoming, and the restaurant is excellent if you're looking for a casual lunch or a late-night supper. You can also choose from a set menu at affordable prices.
Fish Restaurant Proto
Proto, the seafood-oriented restaurant dates back to 1886. You can choose from an extensive list of the best quality wines from Croatia. The award-winning sommelier will gladly help you pick the perfect wine, pairing international and local wine with the fish and meat specialities.
Restaurant Kopun got its name after capon, a word from the local dialect for a rooster. It is known as the main dish at dinners and feasts of the past. The menu, inspired by past dishes, offers three main specialities - roasted capon in mushroom sauce, capon with oranges and honey, and capon stuffed with a rich filling of herbs, meat and vegetables. One of the dishes was even described in the 16th century comedy 'Dundo Maroje' by the famous Dubrovnik playwright Marin Držić. The menu also features local fish and seafood dishes, alongside another favourite traditional dish – šporki makaruli, hand-made pasta in meat sauce. The terrace is situated under a large Pittosporum tree and faces the Jesuit Church façade.
Make the most of the vibrant Dubrovnik nightlife
Clubbing in Dubrovnik is a unique experience. Whether you're at a rave in a 16th-century fortress or a concert between the stone walls of an old barrack, you're guaranteed to have an unforgettable night! A great way to start your night out is by visiting some of the best bars in Dubrovnik like La Bodega, Cave Bar More, and Buža Bar.
Revelin Culture Club
The club is situated in a 16th century fortress in Dubrovnik Old Town and has operated since 2011. The entire interior is made from stone blocks and completed with arched aisle spaces and lofty barrelled roofs. It provides the perfect setting for the state-of-the-art light show. The club has an elongated bar and a spacious dancefloor. Revelin Culture Club is a great place to enjoy performances from some of the best-known DJs like Fat Boy Slim and Martin Solveig.
Banje Beach Nightclub
The Banje Beach nightclub, located in Ploče, is a beach bar by day and a clubbing venue by night. Dance through the night and welcome the sunrise from the beach night club with the best view of the Dubrovnik Old Town.
Lazareti can be found in the historical quarantine houses, east of the Dubrovnik Old Town. The venue is divided in compartments for music and theatre production, workshops, art galleries and more. Lazareti has played a key role in the development of urban culture since the early 70's. The club nourishes all types of culture, locally as well as regionally. Lazareti is known for promoting less commercial music genres - punk and electronic, as well as etno. At the same time, it encourages and supports local rock bands
This swanky wine bar is situated in a 17th century stone building on Stradun, close to the Rector's palace and right next to the St. Blaise church. The impressive bar in La Bodega with wooden furniture and mellow music extends over four floors in addition to a big terrace.
Cave Bar More
The Cave bar in Dubrovnik is one of the most unique bars in the world. It is an ideal destination for spending the afternoon sipping cocktails, having a glass of wine or the finest champagne in. Visit the unique natural cave and enjoy your favourite summer drink while soaking up the beautiful view overlooking the Lapad Bay.
Buža bar is a not-so-secret place. You won't find it easily, and you will not want to leave when you do! The bar got its name after the word buža, meaning a hole in the wall. You can access the most famous 'secret' place in town by going through a doorway on the Old town stone walls. The bar is set amongst the rocks beyond the Old Town walls and has a number of narrow levels. Get a beer or a glass of wine and watch the boats sail by.
Explore our favourite Dubrovnik beaches
Porporela is a pier and a breakwater situated in Dubrovnik's old harbour, originally built to reduce the intensity of waves and to protect the anchored boats. In the summer, the beach becomes a much livelier place where you can have a nice walk, a swim, or sunbathe while the locals jump in the sea from high rocks and stone walls.
Banje Beach Dubrovnik
You can access Banje Beach from the Gate Ploče in Dubrovnik Old Town. It is situated on the shore of hotels Excelsior and Argentina. The beach overlooks Lokrum Island and has its own reception, restaurant and café bar. At the beach, you can rent a deck chair and a parasol, as well as a jet ski and a speed boat.
Buža beach is one of the most beautiful swimming and sunbathing destinations in Dubrovnik. The beach is rocky and has concrete terraces where you can sunbathe and jump into the sea. The only way to access Buža beach is by passing through the hole in the town walls and down the steps to the cliffs. At the beach, you can enjoy a refreshing drink in the Buža beach bar, which becomes a club at night.
Šulic (Kolorina) Beach
Šulić beach in Kolorina bay, just outside the town walls, got its name after a local family and is considered one of the oldest swimming spots in Dubrovnik. You can hire a kayak for exploring or lounge at the nearby beach bar. You can have lunch at the local restaurants on the beach – Dodo Beach Bar and Ala Mizerija Restaurant.
Sveti Jakov Beach
Sveti Jakov Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Dubrovnik. The beach is located in the eastern part of Dubrovnik in a small bay. It offers a great view of Lokrum Island and Dubrovnik Old Town. You can reach the beach from the steps which descend from St. Jakov's church on the top of the cliff. The beach has a restaurant and beach bar, as well as a parasol, kayak and jet ski rental place.
Copacabana beach is the perfect destination for a more luxurious experience. Lay down on one of the white loungers and deckchairs and drink delicious fresh juices or smoothies from the nearby beach bar. Enjoy a post-swim massage, while your kids have fun with the water sport activities.
Cave beach Dubrovnik is a real gem, reachable only from the sea. The temperature in the cave is cool even on the hottest summer days. The best way to explore the cave is by renting a boat, from which you can go snorkelling or swimming inside the cave.
If you're looking for Beaches near Dubrovnik try one of these
Veliki Žal Beach
Beach Veliki Žal is located on the western side of Dubrovnik near the small village Brsečine, overlooking Šipan Island. Veliki žal is a pebble beach with crystal clear sea and transparent green and blue colours. The beach is suitable for small children as the water is not very deep and the sea bottom isn't hard to walk on. The beach has its own local restaurant and parking space.
Lapad Bay Brach
The beach, located in the Lapad bay, is safe and enclosed. It features a popular waterslide and attractions such as a trampoline and fairground games behind the beach. After going for a swim, refresh yourself in one of the bars or restaurants on the northern side of the bay. In the past, the beach was known as the 'Kupalište Svetog Martina' ('St Martin's Baths').
A former local secret, Pasjača beach recently won the best beach in Europe award. The beach is located in Konavle, near the Dubrovnik airport. To get to this magnificent beach you'll have to take a cliff-side walk, but it's definitely worth the hike!
The only sandy beach in Dubrovnik area is located on Lopud Island in the neighbouring Elafiti Islands. To get to the beach, you will have to take a short boat ride from Dubrovnik. Take a day trip to this wonderful beach and explore the island.
What to expect from the lovely Dubrovnik weather
Dubrovnik is known as one of the sunniest places in southern Europe. The Mediterranean climate traditionally has warm and dry summers, with cool and occasionally wet winters. Average Dubrovnik temperatures range from 4⁰C in winter to 29⁰C in the summer. Dubrovnik is a windy town, which means big waves at the beach on a windy day. For up-to-date weather, check the Dubrovnik Weather Forecast before planning your trip.
The hot season in Dubrovnik lasts for two and a half months, from the middle of June until the beginning of September. The water temperature in Dubrovnik is also warmest from June to September, with an average temperature above 22°C. The cool season in Dubrovnik lasts for four months, from late November to late March, with an average daily high temperature below 15°C. Around the end of January is when you will find the coldest temperatures, with average lows of 5°C, and highs of 12°C.
Dubrovnik's days vary in length significantly over the course of the year. In 2020, the shortest day was December 21, with 9 hours and 3 minutes of daylight; and the longest day was June 20, with 15 hours and 19 minutes of daylight. The average wind speed in Dubrovnik also varies. From October to April is when winds are at the strongest.
While visiting, there are a few attractions in Dubrovnik you must see. The first thing you should visit is the Old Town, which became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. Stradun is the main street in the Old Town and is a great place to walk around and be seen. Stradun is also the most crowded part of Dubrovnik, and you can often find the locals having a drink in one of the cafes, dressed in their best attire. People of Dubrovnik have a great fashion sense, and love to show it off while strolling through the Old Town, making Stradun a real-life fashion runway.
Coffee is important in the Mediterranean, and drinking it is a kind of ritual. Coffee drinking includes long talks with friends and acquaintances and soaking up the sun on one of the café terraces. Sipping coffee and watching the world go by is a wonderful way to spend a morning in Dubrovnik.
If you're looking for a more active way to spend your time, you can hike up to Mount Srđ or take the cable car to the top of the mountain. Another must-see is a beautiful basketball court with a unique position, situated within the walls of Dubrovnik, overlooking the entire town.
If you find yourself in Dubrovnik, you will not be short of things to do. Dubrovnik has attractions to suit every interest. Whether you like a more active vacation or discovering the town by foot, Dubrovnik will surely leave you in awe by its beauty and rich history.