Nicknamed the Pearl of the Adriatic, Dubrovnik has impressive historical and cultural hotspots, beautiful beaches, and deep blue waters. Its cobblestone streets, ancient architecture, and world-famous city walls make it one of Europe’s most interesting and exciting places to explore.
The famous city became even more so after the hit television series Game of Thrones began filming around Croatia, with several iconic locations in Dubrovnik and nearby Split used in the show.
As such, there are numerous recognizable spots to explore around the city, either on your own or through a guided Game of Thrones walking tour. These noteworthy spots include King’s Landing, the Red Keep, and Blackwater Bay.
Beyond film landmarks, the city’s Old Town is one of the most popular attractions in Dubrovnik and perhaps all of Croatia. The famous Old Town port, the early 15th century Large Onofrio’s Fountain, and Rector’s Palace are just a few of the near-endless sights available to visitors in the Old Town.
We checked in with Hamo Ovcina of Dubrovnik Food Tours to learn more about this fascinating city. The rise of the Dubrovnik Republic, also known as the Republic of Ragusa, was a crucial period that greatly shaped the city’s cultural and physical landscape.
The need for defense against potential threats led to the construction of impressive city walls that encircle the Old Town of Dubrovnik. The siege of Dubrovnik brought the horrors of war to a city and its residents.
The city faced shelling and sniper fire, resulting in deaths and injuries of Croatian defenders and civilians. Many historic landmarks were damaged, including parts of the city walls and historical buildings.
The resilience of the people of Dubrovnik during this time, their determination to defend their city, and their efforts to rebuild and restore what was lost are truly remarkable.A local’s perspective from Hamo Ovcina of Dubrovnik Food Tours
Experience the resilience and culture of Croatia yourself with our list of the best things to do in Dubrovnik.
What We Cover
- Things to Do in Dubrovnik, Croatia
- 1. Explore the Old Town
- 2. Panorama Zipline Tour
- 3. Rector’s Palace
- 4. Lokrum Island
- 5. The Red History Museum
- 6. Banje Beach
- 7. The Franciscan Monastery
- 8. Visit an Abandoned Island
- 9. Lovrijenac Fortress
- 10. The Walls of Dubrovnik
- 11. Mljet Island
- 12. Cable Car to Mount Srd
- 13. Elaphiti Islands
- 14. Copacabana Beach
- 15. Day Trip Across the Border
- 16. Enjoy a Cliffside Drink at Buža Bar
- 17. Go on a Sunset Cruise
- 18. Experience Dubrovnik’s Nightlife
- 19. Game of Thrones Tour
- Is Dubrovnik, Croatia, worth visiting?
- What is Dubrovnik, Croatia, known for?
- What are the best things to do with kids in Dubrovnik, Croatia?
- Most significant landmark – Rector’s Palace
- Best park – Mljet National Park
- Free activity – Exploring the Old Town
- Activity for kids – Cable Car to Mount Srd
- Activity for adults – Sunset Cruise
- Place to eat – Restaurant Dubrovnik
- Nightlife – Culture Club Revelin
- Place to stay – The Pucic Palace
Things to Do in Dubrovnik, Croatia
1. Explore the Old Town
The Old Town of Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and undoubtedly the city’s most iconic and visited spot. Walk through its narrow, cobblestone streets, visit some of its picturesque churches and squares, ride the cable car to get a great view from the top of Mount Srđ, or sit down at one of its many restaurants for lunch or dinner.
Most of Dubrovnik’s attractions are in the Old Town, including the Sponza Palace (a great example of Renaissance architecture) and the Franciscan Monastery, with its beautiful 16th-century cloister.
Pile Gate is the large entrance that welcomes visitors into Old Town and all the charming streets waiting to be explored. We recommend joining an Old Town walking tour, where your guide will lead you down the maze of side alleys, as well as the visit and provide in-depth commentary about the Old Town’s best sights.
Exploring the Old Town is a must-add to your list of things to do in Dubrovnik. The best area to stay while visiting Dubrovnik is in Old Town.
The Pucic Palace is centrally located near several of the best sights in Old Town, including the Rector’s Palace, St. Blaise’s Church, Sponza Palace, and the Church of St. Ignatius. There are also numerous food and drink options outside the hotel’s doorstep, including the highly-rated Restaurant Dubrovnik.
See Related: Things to Do in Hvar, Croatia
2. Panorama Zipline Tour
Address: Zagrebačka Ul. 56, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Fly high above the Old Town’s city walls with a birds-eye view on a thrilling panorama zipline tour. With the help of a professional guide, you will soar through the sky with breathtaking views of Dubrovnik below. The tour lasts around 3 hours, with plenty of time to explore Dubrovnik’s amazing cliffs and countryside.
You can choose from different packages depending on your experience level and what type of adventure you’re looking for. Some packages include a wine tasting to sample delicious local wines while you admire the scenery!
Ziplining is a great way to get an adrenaline rush and enjoy the beauty of Dubrovnik from a whole new perspective.
See related: Best Girls Trip Destinations
3. Rector’s Palace
Address: Ul. Pred Dvorom 3, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Located in the city’s Old Town, the Rector’s Palace is one of Dubrovnik’s most famous and iconic landmarks. From the 14th century to 1808, during the Republic of Ragusa, a maritime republic centered in Dubrovnik, the palace housed various government and state offices, as well as the rector’s main office and living quarters.
Over the years, the palace complex has been home to many important figures throughout Croatian history, and its interior includes artwork from some of the great Renaissance masters.
Today, the Rector’s Palace is one of the town’s many public museums, where visitors can see artifacts from Dubrovnik’s rich history, including costumes, coins, and other trinkets. A visit to the Rector’s Palace and museum is usually included in a guided tour of Old Town Dubrovnik.
As one of the main attractions in Dubrovnik, you shouldn’t miss out on a visit to Rector’s Palace. While wandering through Old Town, it’s easy and recommended to include a stop here in your day’s plan.
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4. Lokrum Island
Lokrum Island is just off the coast of Dubrovnik and is one of the most popular places to explore while in town. Located just a short 15-minute ferry ride from Old Town, the island is home to freely running peacocks, a Benedictine monastery dating back to the 12th century, and lush gardens full of palms and pine trees.
The best way to experience this nature is through a kayak tour of Lokrum Island and the city walls. Visitors to the island will enjoy a dip in the clear waters of its secluded beaches or a hike through the trails leading up to Fort Royal, which yields panoramic views of Dubrovnik.
And FYI, on the southern part of the island lies a nude beach, where clothing is…optional. So if you’re brave enough, you can take a naked dip in the turquoise waters or enjoy a leisurely sunbathing day with your swimsuit. Remember to take a swim in the island’s salt lake, too!
See Related: Things To Do On Brač Island, Croatia
5. The Red History Museum
Address: Ul. Svetog Križa 3, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Tired of the beach? Then why not brush up on your history and learn about the region’s communist past? The Red History Museum offers a unique look into this period and is worth a visit if you have the time.
This fascinating museum offers interactive exhibits that tell the story of life under Josip Tito’s communist rule and provide insight into this period in Croatian history.
The highly-rated museum touches on life in former Yugoslavia, from the politics and economy to everyday life. During this turbulent historical period, the Red History Museum visitors will learn about the area’s culture, people, food, and customs. In addition, the museum features countless interactive exhibits that make learning about this period extremely engaging.
So, for a step back in time through various films and audio recordings, the Red History Museum is an excellent option for those interested. It’s also a perfect outing if you or your group want something to do during a rainy day in Dubrovnik.
See Related: Budget-Friendly Family Vacations
6. Banje Beach
Address: Plaža Banje, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Banje Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Dubrovnik, and for good reason! It’s a great spot to relax during the day, with its majestic views of the Dalmatian Coast.
Plus, it offers many activities like snorkeling, parasailing, jet skiing, and more. During the summer months, the beach is packed: you’ve been warned! By getting there early, you can claim a spot ahead of the rush to enjoy the sun.
It’s important to note that this isn’t just a way to spend the day: Banje Beach is also fun after dark! Every night, a live DJ plays music until late at the Banje Beach Club, so you can dance the night away while enjoying some cold drinks with friends.
See related: Most Beautiful Beaches
7. The Franciscan Monastery
Address: Poljana Paska Miličevića 4, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dating back to the 13th century, the Franciscan Monastery is known for its Romanesque architectural style and is a must-see destination when visiting Dubrovnik’s Old Town.
This iconic landmark is always included in any guided walking city tour worth its salt. The monastery houses a small museum where you can learn about the history of Dubrovnik through an impressive collection of books, documents, and artwork.
The Franciscan Monastery also houses one of the oldest pharmacies in the world, dating back to 1317. It is considered the oldest pharmacy in Europe and is still completely functional today! Inside, you can buy medicine made from ancient Franciscan recipes, as well as more traditional medicines, skin creams, and souvenirs.
The pharmacy also showcases several items, including tools, containers, and grinders that were used back when the Franciscan monks used to treat their brothers, as well as the locals. There is a lot of neat history inside.
Visiting the Franciscan Monastery is definitely something you should add to your list of things to do in Dubrovnik. It’s a great way to explore the history and culture of this ancient city and get an up-close look at some fantastic artifacts.
See related: Day Trips from Split, Croatia
8. Visit an Abandoned Island
Daksa Island is a small abandoned island just off the coast of Dubrovnik. This mysterious island has been uninhabited since World War II and is now covered in overgrown vegetation, crumbling ruins, and hidden secrets.
The alleged haunting of the island relates to the Daksa Massacre of 1944, where almost 50 Nazi sympathizers were executed. Since then, there have been tales of ghostly sightings and strange noises from the island at night.
The island isn’t exactly known for swimming but rather for the old ruins left behind and the mystery surrounding them.
The old cemetery, the ruins of a monastery, and the abandoned lighthouse all make for fantastic exploring. Daksa Island is a fascinating place to visit and experience first-hand the dark side of Dubrovnik’s past.
9. Lovrijenac Fortress
Address: Ul. od Tabakarije 29, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
One of the best things to do in Dubrovnik is to visit the iconic Lovrijenac Fortress, also known as the Lawrence Fortress, near the Old Town.
This imposing fort stands 37 meters above sea level and offers magnificent views of the Adriatic Sea and the city. The fortress, which dates back to the 11th century, was built by local warlord Miho Pracat and is one of the most impressive Dubrovnik attractions.
Initially, the Venetians tried to build a fort in the same spot as Lovrijenac in the 11th century but failed. Had they succeeded, it would have been under their power, but they were too late getting their supplies. Visitors to the fortress can explore its tunnels, lookouts, and stairways that soldiers used during wartime.
If you’re a fan of the HBO hit Game of Thrones, you may recognize this spot as the setting for some of its scenes, including the Red Keep in King’s Landing. You can uniquely see this Dubrovnik icon on a Thrones-themed walking tour.
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10. The Walls of Dubrovnik
If you’re looking for an outdoor experience in Dubrovnik paired with some exercise, walking around its ancient Old Town walls is the perfect thing to do. The medieval city walls are some of the most impressive on the entire Adriatic Coast and have stood since the 14th century.
The best way to experience the ancient walls is through a guided tour, where you’ll get all the necessary and exciting historical information. Yet, you can explore them entirely on your own as well.
The walls are 2 kilometers long and provide striking views of the Dalmatian Coast and Dubrovnik’s Old Town. In addition, there are several access points along the border, so you can start and finish wherever you want. But make sure to bring comfortable shoes, as there is a lot of walking!
On top of admiring the views, you can also learn about the history of the walls and various towers. The Minceta Tower is one of the most impressive- an 80-foot stronghold at the highest point of the wall and another well-known Game of Thrones filming location. Maybe you’ll recognize it!
11. Mljet Island
Mljet Island is one of the most beautiful islands in Dubrovnik and a must-see when visiting the city or the surrounding area. You can access and explore Mljet Island by ferry from Dubrovnik to Pomena or Sobra, currently served by Kapetan Luka and TP Line. The journey takes about an hour and a half, so it’s a great option for a day trip. You can book your tickets in advance with FerryHopper.
Once you arrive in Mljet, there are plenty of things to do. If you’re interested in sunbathing and relaxation, there are plenty of beaches from all over the island, and most are perfect for swimming or snorkeling.
If you have the time, we recommend a visit to Odysseus Cave, exploring Mljet National Park, and visiting some of the island’s ancient attractions, like the 12th-century Benedictine monastery or the Church of Saint Mary.
If you want to stay on the island for a few days, you have plenty of accommodation options. We recommend the popular Hotel Odisej on the island’s west coast in Pomena.
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12. Cable Car to Mount Srd
Address: Ul. Kralja Petra Krešimira IV. 10A, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
We recommend riding the cable car up to Mount Srd for an even more spectacular view of Dubrovnik. The journey takes only a few minutes and provides panoramic views of the region, from the gorgeous Adriatic Sea in the foreground to the distant islands in the background.
This Old Town tour and cable car ride combo is perfect for first-time visitors to Dubrovnik, as you’ll get two great experiences in one.
Once you arrive at the top of Mount Srd’s peak, you’ll be greeted by a terrace that overlooks the city and provides 360-degree views. Nearby, there’s also the highly-rated Panorama Restaurant and Bar, so take your time to enjoy the view and grab some lunch if there’s available seating.
Because of the view and high-quality food, this restaurant is trendy, so we recommend booking well in advance if you can. But you’re more than welcome to see if you can grab a table the day of.
This activity is also one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik with kids, as the cable car ride is exciting, and the views from Mount Srd are stunning no matter your age.
The cable car is open year-round, so this should be one of your go-to activities regardless of when you visit. Bring comfortable shoes, a camera, and plenty of water, as it can get warm during the summer.
13. Elaphiti Islands
Address: Gruž Market, 20000, Obala Stjepana Radića 21, 20000, Croatia
The Elaphiti Islands are a group of small, uninhabited islands located off the coast of Dubrovnik. They are known for their picturesque coastline and pristine waters, making them perfect for swimming and relaxing.
In addition to the wildlife, these islands are also known for their rich marine life and visitors to enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling. Plenty of fish, corals, and other sea creatures make it an excellent spot to explore underwater.
This popular boat tour from Dubrovnik will take you to the Elaphiti Islands of Lopud, Šipan, and Koločep and includes lunch, unlimited drinks, and optional pick-up.
During the tour, you’ll visit beaches, historical churches, vineyards, and olive groves at your own pace and try Mediterranean delicacies. You’ll also have the chance to go swimming and snorkeling in the surrounding waters, if you choose, making it the perfect day out.
See related: Best Islands to Visit
14. Copacabana Beach
Address: Ul. Ivana pl. Zajca, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
If you’re looking to get some sun, head to Copacabana Beach. This beautiful beach is one of the most popular in town and is located in the Babin Kuk area on the Lapad peninsula.
The beach features shallow waters and a gorgeous view of the surrounding sea. Many beach bars and restaurants are nearby if you get hungry (or thirsty!). We recommend Pivnica Dubrava and Asia Restaurant Dubrovnik.
Copacabana is also known for its shallow water, making it the perfect spot for wading around. The beach also has plenty of sun loungers and umbrellas to relax in the shade. This pebbled beach is a wonderful place to take in some views from across the bay and get a break from city life.
Suppose you’re interested in staying on the peninsula. In that case, Club Dubrovnik Sunny Hotel by Valamar is within walking distance of the beach and offers a large swimming pool, free Wi-Fi, and many sports courts.
15. Day Trip Across the Border
Location: Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
One of the great things about Dubrovnik is its proximity to other countries. A day trip across the border to Bosnia and Herzegovina is a must-do. This full-day excursion takes you on an adventure that includes visits to the small coastal town of Neum, the Kravica Waterfall, and Mostar.
After exploring Neum, you’ll head to the Kravica Waterfall, a little over an hour away. Here, you can marvel at the stunning cascades and take endless pictures of the unbelievable scenery. If you attend this tour in the summertime, you’ll have the opportunity to swim in the shallow pools.
Next, you’ll explore the fairytale town of Mostar and learn about its fascinating history. You’ll also take pictures of the iconic Stari Most, or Mostar Bridge, that spans the Neretva River.
The bridge is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mostar is also known for its Old Bazaar, where you can find many handmade souvenirs for your trip.
16. Enjoy a Cliffside Drink at Buža Bar
Address: Buza Bar, Crijevićeva ul. 9, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Buza Bar is among the best cold beer or cocktail spots. The bar isn’t the largest, but it has an incredible location on a cliff overlooking the Adriatic Sea!
As you sip your drink, you can soak in the stunning views of the sea and the surrounding cliffs. This is one of the best spots in Dubrovnik to watch the sunset, so get there early, grab a table, and stick around for a while to enjoy what’s to come.
If you’re looking for a centrally-located place to crash, perfect for exploring the sights of Old Town and hitting up Buza Bar, we recommend Studio Apartments Sonatina. Only 200 meters from the cliffs, this modern and stylish boutique accommodation offers comfort and convenience for an unforgettable stay.
See related: Best Vacations for a Group of Friends
17. Go on a Sunset Cruise
Address: Ribarnica ul. 1, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
You’d be hard-pressed to find a superior method to explore the Dalmatian Coast than on a boat tour. Plenty of boat tours are available, from full-day adventures with stops along the coast and beach hopping to relaxing sunset cruises.
No matter which option you choose, you’ll be able to enjoy the incredible views of Dubrovnik from the sea. This is one of the best ways to see Dubrovnik’s natural beauty.
For a unique experience, we recommend this highly-rated and popular Dubrovnik sunset cruise. You’ll watch the sun dip into the horizon as you sip cocktails and listen to live acoustic music. And if that’s not enough, there’s a delicious dinner included so you can end your night with a feast of local delicacies.
See related: Best River Cruises in Europe
18. Experience Dubrovnik’s Nightlife
Address: Ul. Svetog Dominika 3, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
When the sun goes down in Dubrovnik, it’s time to party! The city is known for its lively nightlife, and there are plenty of places where you can dance and let loose till the early morning hours. Though the town isn’t known for its many clubs, the ones they do have are pretty awesome.
Culture Club Revelin is the top spot in town for those looking to hit the dance floor. This popular club in the Old Town offers an underground atmosphere with great music and a friendly crowd.
The club also has live DJs that play various genres, from hip-hop to house to techno. If you’re looking for a more relaxed evening, you can head to Buzz Bar, Beer Factory Dubrovnik, or the Gaffe Irish pub in the Old Town.
19. Game of Thrones Tour
Address: Poljana Paska Miličevića 2000, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
If you’re a fan of the popular television series Game of Thrones, you’ll love going on a tour to explore some of the show’s most iconic filming locations around Dubrovnik. This ultimate Game of Thrones tour includes visits to several recognizable spots from the show, including King’s Landing, the Red Keep, and the actual steps where Cersei began her walk of shame.
This tour meets at the Large Onofrio’s Fountain and is led by a knowledgeable guide with countless behind-the-scenes stories to share with tourgoers. The guide will provide additional insight into the hit series and answer burning questions.
The tour also includes a photo opportunity on the now-world-famous Iron Throne. You’ll also get the chance to visit many other filming locations in Dubrovnik and learn about their history. So if you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, add this tour to your list of things to do in Dubrovnik!
Is Dubrovnik, Croatia, worth visiting?
When you first come to this beautiful city, you’ll only wish you had visited sooner. Some of the best things to do in Dubrovnik include exploring Rector’s Palace, wandering the Old Town, walking along the famous city walls, and soaking up some sun at Banje or Copacabana beaches. There are plenty of other attractions to explore, too, like going on a Game of Thrones tour, so make sure to explore everything this city has to offer fully.
What is Dubrovnik, Croatia, known for?
Dubrovnik is known for its famous Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, beautiful beaches, nearby islands, and rich cultural heritage. It is also home to several iconic filming locations from the hit HBO television series Game of Thrones.
What are the best things to do with kids in Dubrovnik, Croatia?
The best things to do with kids in Dubrovnik include going on a Game of Thrones walking tour, riding the city’s cable car to the top of Mount Srd, walking along the Dubrovnik city walls, or spending the day lounging or exploring at one of the area’s many beautiful beaches or islands. We recommend Copacabana and Lokrum Island.