22 Things to See and Do in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik, Croatia. (photo by Hans Brunk)
by Hans Brunk
Last updated: 7:00 AM ET, Sun June 9, 2019

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Perched beneath jutting mountains and along turquoise waters, the white-walled city of Dubrovnik truly is the 'Pearl of the Adriatic.' Inside the compact Old Town you'll find ancient limestone streets, baroque buildings and a history built on trade. Indulge in fresh seafood and local wine while enjoying the climate of a Mediterranean paradise.

Walk the City Walls

Walking Dubrovnik's grand City Walls should be at the top of any travelers to-do list. The pristine white walls surrounding the Old Town are 2 kilometers long and take about 2 hours to walk. A tour of the walls reveals unbeatable panoramic views of Dubrovnik's red roofs and turquoise waters.

Island Hop the Elaphitis

The three magnificent islands comprising the Elafiti archipelago are some of the most beautiful places you can visit in Croatia. Located an hour boat-ride away, you can find secluded beaches, mountain hikes and quaint towns. Tours run daily, and it's easy to visit all three!

Visit Lokrum Island

A lush natural paradise is awaiting only a short 15-minute ferry ride from Dubrovnik's Old Harbor. No hotels or houses stand on the island, only a few cafes and an old monastery. Any traveler can find natural beauty and seclusion in the botanical gardens, secluded beaches or shaded forest walkways.

Shop at the Market

Despite all the luxurious restaurants, markets still play a vital role in the local community of Dubrovnik. While visiting the Old Town, save some extra cash and stop by Gunduliceva Poljana for some fresh local food. You'll find the market situated right in the center of Dubrovnik's Old Town.

Take a Game of Thrones Tour

As soon as any Game of Thrones fan sees the red-tiled rooftops, the towering City Walls or iconic staircases, they recognize HBO's King's Landing. Despite its fairytale origins, the extremely popular series found a very real location to film King's Landing-Dubrovnik has been the capital city of Westeros since season 2! There are many tours available and there's even a replica Iron Throne hiding in the Old Town.

Go Sailing

For the seaman, sail between rocky islands and explore the Adriatic Sea. When ready for port, anchor at a nearby white-sand beach and enjoy some Mediterranean sun. Sailboats tours are available for charter at the Old Harbor and vary in duration.

Visit Lovrijenac Fortress

Located just outside the Old Town walls sits Lovrijenac Fort. It's known for its defensive history as well as Game of Thrones fan lore. It's historically famous for its vital role in resisting Venetian rule, and commercially famous for its role as the "Red Keep" in HBO's Game of Thrones. The panoramic views offered from Lovrijenac lookout are not to be missed.

See Dubrovnik Cathedral

The Assumption Cathedral is the city's main orthodox house of worship and was built on the site of a 7th-century basilica. The original basilica was destroyed by an earthquake, but a baroque replacement was finished in the 17th century. The Cathedral is conveniently located behind the Main Street of Stradun and its pale grey dome graces the skyline whichever way you look.

Walk Through the Rupe Ethnographic Museum

The building was originally used as the granary of the Dubrovnik Republic, but today is home to four floors of traditional clothing, tools and home-goods. Once inside, you'll learn about the traditional Croatian lifestyle, with a focus on the countryside. The museum is worth a visit not only for the exhibits, but also to see the beautiful architectural interior.

See Sponza Palace

Overlooking Dubrovnik main square, the historical Sponza Palace was one of the few buildings to survive the catastrophic 1667 earthquake. Built in the early 1500s, the palace was originally used as a customs house. The original architecture and beautiful interior are very well-preserved.

Visit the Dominican Monastery

Hidden behind Dubrovnik's bustling main street and Old Port you'll find the tranquil Dominican Monastery. Just as old as the city walls, the monastery resembles more of a fortress than a religious center. Inside, you'll find a beautiful central garden and impressive art collection.

Walk Around Rector's Palace

The 15th century Rector's Palace is where the elected leader of the medieval city lived and governed, albeit only for a month at a time. Today, the palace has been turned into a cultural history museum, with restored grand archways and beautifully carved staircases. It is located in Dubrovnik main square.

See the Franciscan Monastery and Pharmacy

Hiding behind Old Town's main gate you'll find the Franciscan Monastery and Pharmacy. Solid stone walls surround an inner-courtyard and adjacent halls hold historical relics. The Old Pharmacy is still in use and considered one of the oldest in the world still in operation.

Drive to Montenegro

Rugged mountains, crystal clear waters and ancient towns are waiting in the small country of Montenegro. Located only a couple hours from Dubrovnik, a drive to the beautiful country is worth a day trip. Many tour companies offer 12-hour Day trips, with most stopping in the cities of Kotor and Budva. You'll be amazed by Croatia's closest neighbor.

Enjoy a Drink at a Buza Bar

Not known for its bar scene, Dubrovnik happens to have two that have very unique settings. Buza I and Buza II are located outside the walls, cut into sea-facing cliffs. Each can be found by venturing through a hole in the wall at the base of the City Walls. There aren't many bars that have equally-amazing views.

Wander Old Town

Venture off the beaten path, away from the popular Stranda and Dominican streets, to be amazed by the secluded beauty of Dubrovnik's Old Town. There are 2000 locals living in the remarkably preserved Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Make sure to wear comfy shoes as there are countless amounts of stairs to climb.

Visit an Underground Cave Bar

What better way to escape the hot sun than venturing into an underground cave serving food and cocktails? The Cave Bar More is in Lapad Bay, just outside Dubrovnik. It has become a popular place for special events and functions due to its unique ambiance.

Relax in Gradac Park

If the Old Town gets a little too crowded, or if you need a nearby natural retreat, you can escape the hordes by venturing to Gradac Park. You'll find this shady and secluded park just a quick 5-minute walk from the city gates. Additionally, this is where Game of Thrones filmed the famed "Purple Wedding."

Walk Through Pile Gate

The natural starting point to any visit inside Dubrovnik's Old Town must be its commanding front gate. The stone entryway was created in the 15th century and features a drawbridge and renaissance archway. While crossing the drawbridge, it's easy to imagine knights in armor strolling over a once-imposing moat.

Visit the Cultural Hub of Lazareti

Located just outside the City Walls and sitting adjacent to the Old Harbor sits Dubrovnik's most reputable culture center. Lazareti was originally used as a quarantine complex, but now hosts routine events, club nights, live music and art exhibitions. Make sure to stop by to experience some of Dubrovnik's more modern culture.

Rent a Sea Kayak

Eager to get out on the water and still get some exercise in-rent a sea kayak! Dubrovnik's signature sporting activity is organized as half or full-day tours, where travelers can paddle around nearby bays and the island of Lokrum. Up the coast, you can find a few hidden beaches only accessible by water for the perfect seaside picnic.

Feast on Seafood

Sitting along the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic sea, it's no surprise you'll find an incredible array of mouthwatering seafood during a stay in Dubrovnik. You can enjoy the local sea-to-table fish at many world-renowned restaurants and local markets. You can't go wrong with some squid ink black risotto, grilled prawns, or octopus salad.

History, architectural beauty and your favorite Game of Thrones filming locations are waiting to be seen.

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Laurence Pinckney

CEO of Zenbiz Travel, LLC

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