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 the 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 list of our favourite sights and the best things to do in Dubrovnik.
“Those who seek paradise on earth should come to Dubrovnik” – George Bernard Shaw
Unique Things to do in Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik was one of our favorite places from our time in Croatia. The unique mix of ancient town, beautiful architecture and delicious food means there are lots to see and do in Dubrovnik. We’ve put together our list of the 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.
Where to Stay in Dubrovnik
For the best experience in Dubrovnik, we recommend staying in Dubrovnik Old Town. Staying close to all the sights will allow you to avoid the busy daytime crowds that pack into the city.
It’s advisable to book the hotels well in advance as limited rooms mean the Old Town hotels book up months ahead during the summer season.
Dominus Little Palace – 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!
Hotel Neptun – We also stayed in the gorgeous resort Hotel Neptun. Located 10 minutes drive from the Old Town. This stunning hotel is located right on the sea with beautiful restaurants, bars and private swimming access to the sea. We loved the breakfast terrace overlooking the sea and our balcony overlooking the sea was amazing at sunset– check prices now!
4 | Explore the Game of Thrones Filming Locations
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.
Check out our full guide to all the Game of Thrones locations in Dubrovnik that you can follow yourself. Most of the locations are easily reached on foot from the Old Town. If you prefer a tour of the locations then this walking tour is the most popular and gives a detailed tour and background of all the locations. It’s the most extensive tour and also includes an extra option to visit Tresnto Arboretum which was the location for the Kings Landings Gardens in the early seasons.
Unique Things To Do in Dubrovnik tip: If you are planning to travel around Croatia check out our guide to all the Game of Thrones filming locations in Croatia.
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 Croatia 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.
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.
5 | Enjoy a drink at Buza 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 Buza Bar Dubrovnik 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!
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. One of the easiest ways to visit Mostar is by tour from Dubrovnik. This is one of the most popular day to Mostar from Dubrovnik – check prices now!
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.
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-minute 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!
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. This tour includes the Trsteno Arboretum as an option on their Game of Thrones Tour – check prices now!
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
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.
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!
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 the original furniture were all fascinating and, for Game of Thrones fans, some Season 2 scenes were shot in the courtyard of the building.
14 | Just 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.
WE loved wandering around the backstreets in the early hours before the city woke and again in the evening as the golden sun set above the town.
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.
15 | Take a Day trip to Montenegro
Montenegro is another Balkan gem and another great day trip opportunity from Dubrovnik. Montenegro is gifted with incredible natural beauty, a beautiful coastline and majestic mountains. Most tours from Dubrovnik like this one include many Montenegro highlights including Kotor, Perast and Budva – check prices now!
16 | Walk the Stradun
The Stradun, connecting Pile Gate and Ploče 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.
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.
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.
19 | Take a 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 – check prices now!
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.
21 | Dubrovnik Cathedral
With a history stretching back to the 7th Century in its foundations the Romanesque Dubrovnik Cathedral is a magnificent Church. Its 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.
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 | Stroll around the 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 it’s 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!