30 Unique Things To Do in Dubrovnik, Croatia!

by | Jul 27, 2018 | Croatia, Latest Posts | 0 comments

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The Pearl of the Adriatic is a tourist magnet and, deservedly so, with the huge variety of unique things to do in Dubrovnik! The dazzling city is a beautiful mix of ancient town, turquoise waters, baroque architecture and terracotta rooftops. After exploring Dubrovnik on our Balkans road trip we’ve put together our sightseeing guide to Dubrovnik: it’s our 30 favourite sights and the best things to do in Dubrovnik. Enjoy!

 

“Those who seek paradise on earth should come to Dubrovnik” – George Bernard Shaw

 

 

30 Unique Things to do in Dubrovnik 

 

1 | Watch the Sunset from Mount Srd

The best views of Dubrovnik and Lokrum Island are visible from the top of Mount Srd and it’s the perfect spot to watch the sunset over the Old Town. Hike, drive or take the cable car to the top to enjoy the stunning views of Cavtat, Elaphite Islands, the Old Town of Dubrovnik and even the city walls.

Sunset over the Old Town of Dubrovnik

 

2 | Walk the Ancient City Walls

A walk along Dubrovnik’s Ancient City Walls is an essential addition to any Dubrovnik itinerary and is more than worth the entry fee. The views are stunning: from the terracotta rooftops of Dubrovnik to the sparkling Adriatic Sea and the narrow streets of the Old Town to the towering fortresses a walk around the walls is a real highlight.

Dubrovnik’s City walls are one of the great fortification systems of the middle ages and were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

Unique things to do in Dubrovnik tip: Tickets to walk the City Walls cost 150 Kuna each and we highly recommend doing it first thing in the morning at opening (usually 8 am) as the crowds get crazy during busy periods and the sun hot. There are three entrances to the walls, the main entrance is from the Pile gate and the other entrances are located by the St Lucas Fortress and the St John’s Fortress.

Our favourite morning in Dubrovnik! Walking the city walls

The views from the walls are spectacular

 

3 | Explore Lokrum Island

A few hundred metres from the Dubrovnik mainland, the lush green Lokrum Island is a lovely contrast to the hustle and bustle of the mainland. Visitors to Lokrum can explore the ruins of the medieval Benedictine Monastery, wander through the lush green botanical gardens alongside its resident peacocks and rabbits and cool down in one of the island’s swimming spots. Lokrum doubles as the city of Qarth in Game of Thrones with the cloister of the Benedictine Monastery serving as the filming location.

Unique things to do in Dubrovnik tip: Lokrum ferries leave ever 30minutes in summer and the journey to Lokrum takes about 15minutes.

Lokrum Island

 

 

4 | Take a Game of Thrones Tour

Dubrovnik has been a prominent Game of Thrones filming location since Season 2 and the Croatian city is a must visit for any Game of Thrones fan. After all, Dubrovnik is King’s Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms! The Old Town is full to the brim of filming spots and there are several other locations around the city.

For more Dubrovnik Game of Thrones inspiration check out our guide to Game of Thrones filming locations in Dubrovnik

Shame! Shame! Shame! The Jesuit Staircase from Cersei’s Walk of Atonement

 

 

5 | Enjoy a drink at a Cliff Bar

There are two cliff bars hidden along the walls of Dubrovnik and both are the ultimate locations for a sundowner in Dubrovnik. Buža and Buža II, which literally translate as ‘hole’ and ‘hole II’, are accessed through a hole in the wall which does little to hint at the beauty of what lies on the other side. The cliffside is dotted with Buža patrons enjoying a drink and the stunning views: the cliff bars are a Dubrovnik hidden gem!

Unique things to do in Dubrovnik tip: Buza is a popular spot for cliff jumping from the city walls. Please, please be careful and remember: swim before drinks!

The view from Buza Bar

The hole in the wall entrance!

 

 

6 | Swim from the City Walls

As Dubrovnik heats up in the afternoon sun the sparkling blue waters which surround the Old Town become increasingly inviting. Luckily, there are swimming spots dotted around the city walls with iron ladders leading to the sea. Make sure to wear a swimsuit when walking the walls so you can take advantage and jump in when the opportunity arises.

 

7 | Take a Day Trip to Mostar

Mostar is a popular day trip choice with visitors to Dubrovnik. Mostar is home to the iconic Stari Most Bridge and exploring its Old Town is a real treat: the Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. Watch brave locals dive from the Stari Most, enjoy a wander through the Old Bazaar, indulge in some local food overlooking the turquoise waters of the Neretva River and learn about Mostar’s devastating past.

Check out our guide to the best things to do in Mostar for some day trip inspiration!

Unique things to do in Dubrovnik tip: due to border crossings and travel time a trip to Mostar can make for a very long day but don’t let that put you off: Mostar is an incredible city and a fascinating place to explore.

The Stari Most Bridge in Mostar

Climb the minaret of the Koskin-Mehmed Pasha Mosque for incredible views of Mostar

 

8 | Stay overnight in the Old Town

Dubrovnik Old Town is an incredibly special place and an overnight stay will allow you to truly experience its magic. On its busiest days, up to 10,000 visitors squeeze between the walls of the ancient city, many of the cruise ship passengers on a tight schedule, and the constant footfall can feel overcrowded and exhausting at times. For us, the city came alive in the early evening when the population dwindled to local residents and Old Town guests and it felt possible to catch a glimpse of the true Dubrovnik, an incredible and magical place.

We stayed in this beautiful boutique hotel located 5 minutes walk from the Pile Gate entrance to the Old Town. All sights are 5-10 minutes from the hotel and the view from our room was one of the best in the entire Old Town  – check prices now!

Click here for the best Dubrovnik Hotel prices

 

Waking up to Dubrovnik Old Town from our window in the Dominus Little Palace Hotel, bliss!

 

9 | Go Green at Trsteno Arboretum

The serene Trsteno Arboretum, a leafy botanical garden 18km north of Dubrovnik, was once the summer residence of a Dubrovnik noble family and recently shot to fame as a result of making frequent appearances in Seasons 3 and 4 of Game of Thrones as the King’s Landing gardens. Exotic and serene, the renaissance gardens are known to date back as early as the 1400s and are set against the beautiful backdrop of the Adriatic Sea in a small fishing village close to Dubrovnik.

Unique things to do in Dubrovnik tip:  the gardens are about 30 minutes outside Dubrovnik. Local buses 12, 15, 21, 22 or 35 travel to Trsteno from Dubrovnik and tickets cost between 20 and 30 Croatian Kuna depending on the bus route. The Dubrovnik bus station is located next to the ferry terminal in Gruz, a few km from the Old Town. Buses can be infrequent so make sure to check the time of the return bus to Dubrovnik to avoid waiting for a long time at the bus stop

The views from Trsteno Arboretum

The leafy botanical gardens are a lovely escape from the city

 

10 | Dine Al Fresco in Dubrovnik Old Town

With its warm breezy evenings and stunning sunsets, Dubrovnik and al fresco dining are the perfect match. We loved dining al fresco in the Old Town where, just of the Stradun, diners spill out onto the narrow Old Town streets and chatter and laughter fill the air. It is the perfect opportunity to indulge in some people watching too!

 

 

11 | Ride the Mount Srd Cable Car

The Dubrovnik Cable Car has been ferrying passengers up and down Mount Srd since 1969 and the bright orange cable cars are a frequent sight zipping above the hillside. The cable car provides respite from the scorching Croatian sun and is a lovely way to ascend the hill while enjoying the birds-eye views of Dubrovnik Old Town and the Adriatic.

The cable cars above Mount Srd

12 | Feast on an ice cream

If you are in search of the best ice cream, crepes and cakes in Dubrovnik then make a beeline to Dolce Vita, an authentic ice cream parlour with reasonable prices. The bustling shop is tucked away on a side street of the Stradun, Dubrovnik’s main street, and is a hit with locals and tourists alike. Grab a coveted street side table and enjoy!

Dolce Vita is just off the Stradun

 

13| Visit the Rectors Palace

The 15th Century Gothic-Renaissance Rector’s Palace was originally built for the rector elected to govern Dubrovnik and now serves as a museum. The notorious dungeon prison, the artwork and original furniture were all fascinating and, for Game of Thrones fans, some Season 2 scenes were shot in the courtyard of the building.

The Rector’s Palace

 

14 | Wander around the Old Town

Dubrovnik Old Town is one of the best preserved medieval cities in the world. Its narrow cobbled streets are a treasure-trove of beautiful buildings, Baroque Churches, lively squares and gleaming marble topped with its signature burnt orange rooftops. Set aside plenty of time to explore tiny alleyways, wander into quirky shops, eat delicious ice cream and appreciate the awe-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage Old Town.

Wandering around the Old Town is a truly special experience

Narrow streets and terracotta roofs are a Dubrovnik Old Town staple

It’s impossible not to fall in love with the Old Town street cats 

15 | Take a Day trip to Montenegro

Montenegro is another Balkan gem and another great day trip opportunity from Dubrovnik. Montenegro is gifted with an incredible natural beauty, a beautiful coastline and majestic mountains. Most tours from Dubrovnik include many Montenegro highlights including Kotor, Perast and Budva.

The stunning Kotor Bay in Montenegro

 

16 | Walk the Stradun

The Stradun, connecting PIle Gate and Polce Gate, is the main street in Dubrovnik’s Old Town and the glistening limestone pavement is a hive of activity with thousands of visitors passing through each day. The Stradun is lined with almost identical buildings as a result of building laws implemented after the devastating 1667 earthquake and restaurants, souvenir shops and art galleries spill out onto the main Old Town thoroughfare.

A rare quiet moment on the Stradun at dawn

17 Check out the abandoned Hotel Belvedere

Hotel Belvedere is one for the Game of Throne fans. Once a five-star luxury hotel, Hotel Belvedere is now a derelict hotel located just outside Dubrovnik which was abandoned during the Croatian War of Independence. It more recently served as the location for the fight scene between Prince Oberyn and the Mountain in the Season 4 finale ‘The Mountain and the Viper’. The small amphitheatre is instantly recognisable despite the addition of some paint by Split soccer fans.

Unique things to do in Dubrovnik tip: Access to the hotel is not allowed. However, there is a set of steps just to the right of the hotel driveway where you access the atrium. Follow the steps right to the bottom and you’ll come to the circular atrium.

Where the fight scene between Prince Oberyn and the Mountain was filmed

18 Jesuit Staircase

The baroque Jesuit Staircase is just off Gunduliceva Poljana and, as well as being a stunning piece of Dubrovnik architecture, the stairs featured in an iconic Game of Thrones scene. It was at the Jesuit Staircase where Cercei’s infamous Walk of Shame began. Cafe’s and shops were shut down and hundreds of extras were drafted in to line the streets.

The Jesuit Staircase in Dubrovnik Old Town

 

 

19 Kayak Tour

The sparkling turquoise waters of the Adriatic are irresistible and just begging to be explored by kayak! There are many rental shops located around the Old Town and the sunset kayak experience is incredible. The views of the Old Town are unbeatable from the sea and it is also possible to kayak to Lokrum Island to explore its shores.

 

20 | Visit the open-air market in Dubrovnik Old Town

At the base of the Jesuit Staircase, the Gundulićeva Poljana Square is the setting for the open-air market in Dubrovnik Old Town. Fruit and vegetable stands sit alongside stalls selling local specialities including lavender products, oils and embroidered linens.

The market at Gundulićeva Poljana Square

21 Dubrovnik Cathedral

With a history stretching back to the 7th Century in its foundations the Romanesque Dubrovnik Cathedral is a magnificent Church. It’s Treasury holds relics dating back to the 11th Century with the gold-plated arm, leg and skull of Saint Blaise its most important treasure. Local legend has it that Richard the Lion Heart funded the Church after being shipwrecked of Lokrum and taken in by the Dubrovnik people.

Discovering Dubrovnik Cathedral on a morning walk

22 Sunset Cruise

Dubrovnik sunsets are magical and a sunset cruise is one of the most remarkable ways to experience the sun setting on a Dubrovnik day.

23 Franciscan Monastery

The Franciscan Monastery is owned by the Order of the Friars Minor and the Old Town complex consists of a monastery, a church, a library, a pharmacy and a cloistered garden. The pharmacy and the beautiful gardens are a highlight of a visit: the pharmacy originates from 1317 and is the third oldest pharmacy in the world still in operation.

The Franciscan Monastery cloisters

24 Church of St Blaise

The Baroque Church of St Blaise is named after the protector saint of Dubrovnik and is one of the landmark buildings on the Stradun. Still an active Church, the altar is beautiful and a 15th Century statue of St Blaise holding a model of medieval Dubrovnik is a must see.

The Church of St Blaise

 

25 Enjoy the view from Fort Lovrijenac

Fort Lovrijenac (also known as the St Lawrence Fortress) is a stunning fortress located outside the western wall of the Old city of Dubrovnik and is instantly recognisable as the Red Keep in King’s Landing in Game of Thrones making frequent appearances in Season 2 and Season 3. The panoramic views of Dubrovnik Old Town are stunning from one of the most impressive locations in the city.

Unique things to do in Dubrovnik tip: keep your ticket to the Old Town City Walls as this grants entry to Fort Lovrijenac.

Fort Lovrijenac as seen from the City Walls

 

 

26 Take a Day Trip to Ston

The defensive Walls of Ston, described as the ‘Great Wall of Europe’, surround the city of Ston in Southern Croatia and, along with Dubrovnik, represent King’s Landing in Game of Thrones as well as for some of the Eyrie. Ston is a popular day trip from Dubrovnik and most tours include wine and oyster tasting and or a visit to the island of Korcula.

The defensive walls of Ston

 

27 | Explore the quirky West Harbour

The curious doors in the West Harbour are a quirky spot in Dubrovnik and double as Blackwater Bay where the gold cloaks were ordered to murder all of King Robert Baratheon’s children in one of the most iconic scenes from Game of Thrones.

 

28 | Take in the views from Minčeta Fortress

Originally built in the 14th Century as a rectangular tower, the imposing Minceta Fortress is the highest point in Dubrovnik and has gorgeous views over the Old City and the surrounding sea.

Minceta Fortress

29 | Step back in time at Fort Bokar

Fort Bokar, which forms part of the Dubrovnik City Walls, is one of the oldest preserved forts of its kind in Europe. The best views of the fort are from Fort Lovrijenac or from the City Walls themselves as you walk along them.

Fort Bokar

 

30 | Imagine what once was at the Old Town Pile Gate

One of our favourite spots in Dubrovnik, the Pile Gate is one of the main entry points to the Old Town and is accessed via a commanding drawbridge and a statue of the Old Town protector St Blaise guards the gate. Thousands of visitors pass through the gate every day and its a hive of activity with artists, coin makers and street musicians adding to the Old City atmosphere.

Unique things to do in Dubrovnik: Dubrovnik elected its rectors monthly and they resided at the afforementioned Rector’s Palace. One of the duties of the rector was to lock the gates to the Old Town and, every evening, the drawbridge at Pile Gate was lifted before the rector locked up!

Cross the drawbridge and enter the Old Town via Pile Gate!

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