Best Things to Do in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Planning a trip to Croatia? There’s hardly a better destination to start than Dubrovnik. Nestled along Croatia’s stunning Adriatic Sea coast, the historic city is the country’s most popular destination and one of Europe’s newest mega-tourism hotspots. From wandering through its beautiful Old Town to hanging out on the Adriatic Sea at Banje Beach, discover all the fun things to do in Dubrovnik with this complete attractions guide for travelers!

What to see & do in Dubrovnik

Walk along the ancient Walls of Dubrovnik

Whether you have one day in Dubrovnik or a week, make it your mission to pound along the stunning ancient Walls of Dubrovnik. The city walls of Dubrovnik were originally built to defend the 300-year-running independent Republic of Ragusa city-state. The walls stretch out about two kilometers to encircle the entire Old Town of Dubrovnik.

Dubrovnik City Walls

Tread along the Walls of Dubrovnik to stroll past over a dozen towers, five bastions, and three fortifications, including St. John Fortress. The views from here are the real charm, though. Nearly every step along the Walls of Dubrovnik unleashes a stellar vista, sweeping in over the Old Town and the azure Adriatic Sea.

As the Walls of Dubrovnik are among the most popular Dubrovnik tourist attractions, be sure to arrive as early as possible to minimize brushing up against the biggest crowds of tourists.

PRO TIP: Be sure to wear a hat and sunscreen; it can get a little hot along the walls with the hot Croatian summer sun blazing down!

  • Opening Hours: 8:00am to 6:30pm (Apr-May, Aug-Sep), 8:00am to 7:30pm (Jun-Jul), 8:00am to 5:30pm (Oct), 9:00am to 3:00pm (Nov-Mar)
  • Admission: 150 Kn (adults), 50 Kn (children)

Wander around Dubrovnik Old Town

I can hardly think of a more enchanting place for a stroll than Dubrovnik Old Town. Like so many ancient cities in Southeastern Europe and the Balkans, the UNESCO-listed Old City of Dubrovik feels impossibly beautiful. There’s hardly a corner here that won’t leave you gaping in awe. It’s no wonder why Old Town tops every list of what to see in Dubrovnik!

Rooftops in Old Town, Dubrovnik

Even with many centuries passing and a not-so-distant war that left parts of the city shattered, Dubrovnik has retained much of its ancient character. This cgharm is reflected in a rich tapestry of Renaissance, Gothic, and Baroque architecture, blanketing its palaces, churches, monasteries, and piazzas.

The top Dubrovnik Old Town sights to look out for include:

  • Palace Sponza: This early-16th-century palace blends Renaissance and Gothic elements. The Palace Sponza is flanked by a six-column portico that’ll stop you in your tracks.
  • Church Sveti Vlaho (St. Blaise): This Baroque church hails from the early 18th century. The central location on the lovely Luža Trg makes the Church Sveti Vlaho a popular place to congregate and rest.
  • Dominican Monastery: This 14th-century monastery is home to a popular museum that houses works of religious art from Dubrovnik and other areas in Europe.

Take the Dubrovnik Cable Car up Mount Srđ

As amazing as spotting Old Town from the city walls is, the best views in Dubrovnik are found at none other than Mount Srđ. This 412-meter mountain looms north of the city center.

With a little gumption, you can trek up Mount Srđ yourself. A far easier experience, however, is to scroll up with the Dubrovnik Cable Car.

The Dubrovnik Cable Car has tracked the route up Mount Srd since 1969. Hanging high above the city, the 4-minute cable car ride itself is spectacular. As you cover the 778-meter route, marvel at beautiful views of Old Town as its terracotta-tiled roofs fade in the distance.

Dubrovnik Cable Car

Besides its buzz-worthy vistas, Mount Srđ is home to Fort Imperial. This early-19th-century fortress saw Dubrovnik through numerous military battles. Fort Imperial now hosts a museum dedicated to the Croatian War of Independence. The museum includes exhibits on the Siege of Dubrovnik, which took place at this very spot.

PRO TIP: To see Dubrovnik from above at its absolute finest, time your trip up Mount Srđ with the sunrise!

Reimagine history at Lovrijenac Fort

Yet another entry into Dubrovnik’s endless list of military defense structures, Lovrijenac Fort is another must-see point of interest for travelers.

In its Ragusa Republic days, the ancient port city of Dubrovnik was a target for conquerors. According to legend, Lovrijenac Fort, also known as Fort Lawrence, was built in response to a leaked threat of attack by the Venetians. They’d apparently drawn up plans to build their own fortress in this very same location.

Fort Lovrijenac

Like Fort Imperial on Mount Srđ, Lovrijenac Fort saw its fair share of action. With outside walls up to 12 meters thick, the fortress had little difficulty protecting Dubrovnik from foreign invaders over the centuries.

Today, Lovrijenac Fort has shown itself capable of another intense battle: show business. The stunning location has made the fortress a favorite filming location for historical fiction dramas, including Knights Templar. Most famously, though, the fortress is one of Dubrovnik’s main Game of Thrones filming spots, filling in for the Red Keep in the hit HBO show.

Lovrijenac Fort also provides the backdrop to theatre productions during the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, including Hamlet.

Chill out on Lokrum Island

Need to escape the chaos of Old Town Dubrovnik? Lokrum Island, one of the most popular day trips from Dubrovnik, lies just ten minutes from Old Town by ferry. 

Lokrum Island is blanketed with a dense cloak of oaks, pines, cypress, and olive trees. The Adriatic Sea island delivers a relaxing getaway from the Dubrovnik city center—even if you can only squeeze in half a day!

Sea Cave at Lokrum Island

Once on Lokrum Island, exploring by foot is the best way to experience the island. The coastal areas of Lokrum hide pebbly beaches that are prime spots for swimming, tanning, and even for a little snorkeling.

PRO TIP: You’ll probably want to avoid the beach labeled FKK unless you’re okay with letting it all hang out—if you catch my drift!

Also, be sure to check out the old Benedictine Monastery on Lokrum Island. The complex includes a 13th-century Romanesque-Gothic basilica and a 15th-century Gothic-Renaissance main building.

In addition to a restaurant, Benedictine Monastery hosts an exhibition on Lokrum’s history. You’ll also get a chance to check out its botanical garden, full of exotic plants from around the world.

Dip into the Adriatic Sea at Banje Beach

While Dubrovnik’s historical charms might have summoned you here, that’s not to say you should ignore some of its more natural ones. With its prime seafront location, there’s plenty of opportunity while visiting Dubrovnik to dip your toes into the beautiful Adriatic Sea.

Beach in Old Town Dubrovnik, Croatia

There’s a handful of great beaches spread throughout Dubrovnik. But they might not quite be what you’re expecting.

Many of the beaches along the Adriatic feature pebbles rather than sand. And Dubrovnik isn’t much different. In any case, swimming in the Adriatic Sea is one of the most popular things to do in Dubrovnik!

Here are a couple of beaches in Dubrovnik to check out:

  • Banje Beach is the most popular beach in Dubrovnik and the closest to Old Town. Banje Beach is semi-private, requiring a lounger rental to hang out there.
  • Sveti Jakov Beach is a local favorite that’s about 15-20 minutes down the coast from Banje. Its further-flung location means Sveti Jakov Beach is less-crowded than beaches closer to town.
  • Lapad Beach is the largest beach in Dubrovnik and a favorite for families. The pedestrian zone adjacent to the beach features several bars and restaurants. It can get a little hectic at times.

Sail to the Elaphiti Islands

Got a couple of days in Dubrovnik and need a relaxing escape from town? Grab some sunscreen and head offshore for a trip to the lovely Elaphiti Islands. Although not as famous as other popular Croatian islands like Hvar or Rab, this relaxing archipelago features 13 islands. The closest islands in the bunch lie just over 7 kilometers from Dubrovnik.

Lopud Elaphiti Islands

One of the easiest places to start a sailing trip to the Elaphiti Islands is on Koločep, the closest island to Dubrovnik. When Dubrovnikers need a break, this is a favorite escape.

Koločep offers plenty of relaxing walks among lush pine forests and along pebble & sand beaches on the Adriatic coast.

The other two inhabited islands in the chain—Sipan and Lopud—are also among the coolest places to visit in Dubrovnik. They’re well worth visiting to get a taste of their quiet, laid-back lifestyles and to catch a glimpse of their stunning Mediterranean scenery.

Where to stay in Dubrovnik for sightseeing

As Croatia’s top destination’s popularity soars, choosing where to stay in Dubrovnik is becoming ever more difficult. Every month, there seems to be an explosion in the number of apartments, hotels, and guesthouses.

For getting close to the top attractions, the most popular location is in & around the Old Town. For those more inclined to take on Dubrovnik’s seaside pleasures, the areas of Lapad and Ploce are also great choices.

Get your accommodations search started with these popular places to stay:

  • Apartments Festa: Set in a historical building in the heart of Old Town Dubrovnik, this lovely apartment features modern furnishings that blend stunningly with the old character of the property. The value you’ll find here is excellent!
  • Scalini Palace: Occupying a 16th-century manor, this guesthouse is perfect for digging into Dubrovnik’s top points of interest as it lies just steps from Stradun, Old Town’s main pedestrian street. All units here are self-catering with a kitchenette. The balconies available on the pricier units offer brilliant Old Town vistas.
  • Grand Villa Argentina: If you’re in Dubrovnik to explore the Adriatic, this grand seaside villa is perfect. It includes direct access to the beach and features an on-site pool. The views of Old Town, hovering just 5 to 10 minutes away by foot, are simply spectacular.
Ryan O'Rourke

Ryan O'Rourke is a Canadian traveller, food & drink aficionado, and the founder & editor of Treksplorer. With over 20 years of extensive travel experience, Ryan has journeyed through over 50 countries, uncovering hidden gems and sharing firsthand, unsponsored insights on what to see & do and where to eat, drink & stay. Backed by his travel experience and in-depth research, Ryan’s travel advice and writing has been featured in publications like the Huffington Post and Matador Network. You can connect with Ryan on Twitter/X at @rtorourke.

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