Dubrovnik is a fantastic city to start your Croatia trip in! With an airport only about twenty minutes away it’s super convenient. There are shuttle buses running all the time and an Uber isn’t too expensive either. Dubrovnik is also great for anyone in Europe who has a long weekend or a few extra days off. Travel to this Unesco World Heritage site and enjoy everything it has to offer!
It was easily one of our favourite spots on our trip around Croatia. This was partially due to staying at one of the cutest Airbnb’s ever with one of the greatest hosts. Also, we had the perfect balance of work and travel which is key for a digital nomad.
Before we dive into the 11 things to do in Dubrovnik, we just want to share a great budget tip with you. Get the Dubrovnik Card!
If you plan to see all the (historical) things Dubrovnik has to offer, getting the Dubrovnik card will end up saving you a bunch of money! We will explain a few of the places that are included in the Dubrovnik card throughout the post so you can see some of what’s included.
If you buy the pass online you will get 10% off so the price (for 1 day) is 225 Kuna instead of 250. It’s also possible to buy a multi-day pass for 3 days or 7 days. In our opinion, the pass is well worth the money!
If you decide to buy it online you have to go pick it up at the tourist information center just outside the pile gate (where all the buses go). On the map it most likely won’t show where the actual tourist office is, so we’ve inserted a map here for you.
This is where you can pick up the card:
Dubrovnik is a beautiful city with a crazy history. When you go visit the city look up and check out the roofs. You can see which ones have been rebuilt after the bombings and attacks. There’s a clear color difference between the old orange-y rooftop tiles and the new red rooftops which is what you’ve probably seen some amazing IG pictures of.
Look down too. All over Dubrovnik, you can see the grenade marks in the stone and on the walls. It’s so fascinating.
Nowadays Dubrovnik is known more for scenes from HBO’s Game of Thrones (King’s Landing), which we will talk more about below. We enjoyed our trip so much that we wanted to share 11 unique and fun things you’ll love to do in Dubrovnik.
Here are 11 Fun Things to do in Dubrovnik
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- Walk the Wall
- Sea Kayaking
- Fort Lovrijenac
- Ice Cream Tasting
- Cliff Jumping
- Sunset at Mt Srb
- Strolling through museums and Old Town
- Have a drink at Ala Mizerija
- Day Trip to Lokrum Island
- Game of Thrones Tour
- Day trip to Kotor
1. Walk the Wall
The city wall tour is one of the attractions included in the Dubrovnik pass. So make sure to have the pass before heading on the wall to save some money. You can spend hours on the wall, so try to plan it beforehand because it closes around six. It’s a loop track that gives you a 360-degree panoramic views of the old town, the ocean, and Dubrovnik city.
Since the loop takes about an hour or two to walk it’s a good idea to bring some water and snacks. You’re able to buy some on the wall but at a pretty overpriced rate.
Another important thing to bring is your camera or phone. There are lots of great spots to get awesome pictures so always have your phone or camera ready. (I think we took over 200 pictures in the two hours haha!) The window of opportunity can be slim with the loop being a one-way track but take your time and wait for the right shot and you won’t be disappointed!
The stone walls have been considered to be amongst the great fortification systems of the Middle Ages. The walls span an area of 1940 meters and at some points 25 meters high. No wonder King’s Landing was such a safe place to live (GoT reference).
Going up on the wall may seem a little pricey for a budget traveler but trust us: It’s money well spent. Living on the road we definitely try and find free options or do cheaper activities but this is one you don’t want to miss.
2. Sea Kayaking
Who doesn’t like being out in the water on a hot sunny day? Especially when the views consist of ancient city walls, beaches, islands, and the stunning old town of Dubrovnik. That’s why we recommend sea kayaking in Dubrovnik to every friend that travels to this beautiful city.
We loved every single minute of it despite the pouring rain. The sea kayaking tour brings you along the Dubrovnik coast and allows you to see the city from the outside and what it would have been like sailing into the old town hundreds of years ago.
You’ll also end up on a beach that is only accessible by sea. If you’re lucky enough and get on the sunset kayak you’ll paddle back into the sunset. An experience we’ll definitely never forget and one you should definitely make!
3. Fort Lovrijenac
This fort that is located right outside of old town is another attraction included in the Dubrovnik Card.
Fort Lovrijenac closes at 6:30 pm so make sure to plan properly if you’re trying to see everything in a day or two. You don’t need as much time for the fort as you do for the wall but you can easily spend a half hour there enjoying and taking in the beautiful ocean views.
It’s something you really don’t want to miss, especially if you’re a GoT fan. There are a few key scenes from the TV show that were filmed inside the fort! 😉
The fort actually also plays a big importance in the history and defense of the city as well. It has two entrances to the city; by sea and by land, and it was built to keep the city under control by the citizens of the city to ensure it wasn’t overtaken by the Venetians.
Today it is more known for theater and hosting large events and the afternoon we visited Lovrijenac a big Croatian business firm was having a party there. With a view over the ocean and the Old Town, it’s not a bad place to host a party!
4. Ice Cream Tasting
We are pretty spoiled with the amount of ice cream we eat. You know, ice cream and traveling just go together like peanut butter & jam, cheese & wine.
We tend to have quite the high standard for ice cream and Dubrovnik definitely didn’t disappoint! It was an absolute treat for our taste buds. We’ll be honest with you… We probably tried half of the places in Old Town plus the shop right in front of Pile Gate. Guilty!
Our favourite was definitely Peppino’s Ice Cream Shop so make sure to stop by and either send us a picture or comment below what you thought about it and what flavor you got!
Another reason we have a soft spot for Dubrovnik’s ice cream is that we missed the last bus to our Airbnb and had to spend 3x the money to get home by Uber. UGH. So we decided to go get an ice cream at Dubravka 1836 in front of Pile Gate first. The staff member was so friendly and when we went to pay told us this one was on the house (it clearly wasn’t the first time we went, whoops).
5. Go Cliff Jumping
Ahh, cliff jumping! Let’s just say Jo wasn’t the most excited about Dom going. (She’s scared of heights and the ocean. Great combo). Fortunately, there was a group of people jumping and it was completely safe. We don’t recommend it unless you feel comfortable though and we don’t advise it by any means.
It’s a bit of a maze to get there as Google Maps don’t work great in the Old Town but the easiest way is to put Buza Bar into your maps. It may take some time but if you look for a hole in the wall near that spot you will find a staircase that leads down to Buza Bar. It sounds more hidden than it is, but it’s honestly not that difficult to find.
If you’re brave enough to go tackle cliff jumping then head down below the seating area and you will find the spot where you can climb the rocks to go get your adrenaline rush!
It’s also a perfect spot to enjoy the sunset and to sit back and relax even if you’re not jumping. It can really get busy so you may want to go a little early and reserve a spot. Note that they only take cash here.
6. Watch the sunset at Mt Srd
Between the two of us, the sunset at Mt Srd was probably our favourite adventure in Dubrovnik. Just above the city lies a hill that is accessible by a cable car. It was actually closed for a long time (until late June 2019) because the owner “forgot” to pay his taxes to the city.
So you have three options to get to the top:
- You can take the cable car for about 150-170 Kuna. Sit back and relax the ride as you take in the views.
- Take an Uber or a taxi. It’s possible to take an Uber or a taxi for around 100 Kuna to the top. Note that there’s only one lane from the bottom of the hill to the top so it might take a while and be pretty crowded and sketchy. So option 1 or 3 might be a better option for you.
- Or you can walk to the top. Take the zig-zag footpath all the while enjoying the breathtaking views. This is the free option which is great for any budget travelers like us!
The walk is about 60-75 minutes from Pile Gate to the top.
The path to the top starts on the outskirts of the city and the trail is easily visible and accessible from there. There are lots of stops along the way where you can look back and admire the views.
We highly recommend going for sunset. With the sun setting behind all the islands out west this is truly something special. The only mistake we made was that we spent too much time at the top after the sun had set.
Once the sun sets it will get dark (surprise) and that does make it challenging to make your way back down. So be smarter than us. Go a bit before sunset and leave shortly after so that you can actually see on the way down. And bring a charged phone so you can take some photos and use the flashlight on the way down.
Watching the sunset at mount Srd is a perfect activity for families or adventure seekers.
7. Stroll through museums and Old Town
If you have some extra time and are looking to learn about Dubrovnik and its history it’s time to make the best of your Dubrovnik Card. It grants you a one time access to museums such as MoMAD, Natural History Museum, and Friars Minor Franciscan Monastery Museum.
They may not all be intriguing for you but even if you have to use the bathroom instead of paying at a public bathroom you can take advantage of the card. We’d go to a museum or two just because we had to go to the bathroom and ended up staying for an extra hour of walking around and reading about the history of the city. A smart tip for any budget travelers out there.
There are +10 places that are included and are all either in the Old Town or very close by so it’s very doable to see them all in a day if you plan it out.
8. Have a drink at Ala Mizerija
We actually just randomly stumbled upon Ala Mizerija while looking for another bar but it ended up being the perfect place for an afternoon drink.
It is located just on the other side of Lovrijenac (away from Pile Gate) and just above Sulic Beach. It makes for a little quiet afternoon drink with a gorgeous view of the sea.
The seating area isn’t large but Beach Bar Dodo is right next door which is just as great. They’re both a perfect place for an afternoon coffee or beer if you want to get away from the crowds and relax for a bit. The only difference between the two is that Beach Bar Dodo takes cash only whereas Ala Mizerija takes card. Both places are way cheaper than inside Old Town Square.
9. Spend a day on Lokrum Island
This is a local’s favourite! For anyone who’s spending more than a few days in Dubrovnik, we’d definitely recommend going to Lokrum Island. The ferry trip is about 20-25 minutes and costs 120 Kuna return. It’s a great day trip getaway from the city and you can easily spend hours exploring there.
When you get to the island you will be blown away with what you can find. Go get lost in the botanical garden while searching for the Game of Thrones Iron Throne. Or hang out with some wild peacocks. You can also go for a swim in the Dead Sea! (Yes, it’s actually called the Dead Sea too).
On Lokrum Island, the Dead Sea is a salt lake located on the southern side of the island. The lake is connected to the ocean, so if you want to, you can even go for a dive from the Dead Sea into the ocean!
Pack a lunch back, hop on the ferry, and enjoy an adventure-packed day on the island of Lokrum.
10. Go on a Game of Thrones Tour
If there’s a place to do it it’s Dubrovnik. Since the second season, Dubrovnik has been used to film various scenes from King’s Landing. We didn’t actually do a tour as Jo has never watched the show.
Dom did eavesdrop on some of the walking tours multiple times though and they do a fantastic job of showing and explaining each scene and where they took place along with giving you some history of the city itself. Even though we didn’t do it we would recommend the tours. We’re sure you’ll have a great time on any of them if you’re a fan of the show.
11. Make a Day trip to Kotor
This is another perfect trip if you’re spending more than a few days in Dubrovnik. It’s a day trip that brings you out of Croatia and to the neighbouring country of Montenegro.
This small Montenegrin city consists mainly of the old town surrounded by stunning nature with tall peaks rising straight from the sea. Kotor is an absolute must if you have time for a day trip while you’re in Dubrovnik!
We actually rented a car even though we travel on a budget. You might want to think twice before doing that since it ended up being a bit more expensive than we imagined. Read more about that in this blog post: 7 Important Things to Know When Driving to Kotor, Montenegro.
The good news is that you can just as easily (and for a cheaper price) hop on a bus from Dubrovnik that will take you directly to Kotor!
We hope you enjoy Dubrovnik as much as we did (if not more) knowing these tips. If you find any other hidden gems or things you enjoyed doing while you were in Dubrovnik let us know in the comments below. That way we can keep them for our next visit to this Mediterranean hot spot!
Dom & Jo