What to do in Dubrovnik – Dubrovnik 2023 Guide – Local Tips
Visiting a new place, or even one you think you know by now, can be challenging at times. Especially when it comes to figuring out activities to do while on holiday. Sunbathing and swimming is always fun, but let’s be honest, after a few days we crave for some interesting activities. Not only that, visiting a new vacation destination comes with plenty of questions that we didn’t even think of when we booked our flight ticket. That’s why we decided to put together a Dubrovnik survival guide for 2023.
In this post we will answer all of the questions you may have when it comes to what to do in Dubrovnik. In addition we will offer you the answers to questions like where do I park my car in Dubrovnik, how can I find a restaurant best suited to me, and many more.
Dubrovnik Old Town Map
Let’s get the most essential thing out of the way first. Getting a city map is certainly at the top of your list of things to do in Dubrovnik. We recommend being ready before you get to Dubrovnik. That way it will be easier for you to get a sense of direction and learn how to get around the Old Town of Dubrovnik. We have made a Map of Dubrovnik Old Town that you can download and have it on your phone at all times.
Weather in Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is well known for having nice weather year round. The city enjoys mediterenian and subtropical climate, this means that summers in Dubrovnik are hot, moderately dry and humid. While Dubrovnik winters are wet and mildly cold.
Gusts of cold northern wind are usual for autumn and winter months, while early spring showers are a common occurrence.
The average warmest period in Dubrovnik is August with the average temperature being around 28°C, and the coldest period is in January with temperature being 10°C on average.
When Should I Visit Dubrovnik?
Best times to visit Dubrovnik are late spring or early autumn. The Peak tourist season in Dubrovnik lasts from the end of May until September. So if you are visiting Dubrovnik during those months, arm yourself with patience. The Old Town is full of visitors, and you will have to take some time out of your sightseeing itinerary to wait in lines.
The off season in Dubrovnik is usually said to be from October until April. That doesn’t mean the city is empty and hibernating – life just takes up a slower rhythm of life. There are plenty of fun and interesting activities to do in Dubrovnik even in the off-season. To name a few you have The Dubrovnik Winter Festival complete with the Christmas market, celebration of St. Blaise – Dubrovnik’s patron saint, and many more local happenings and everyday activities.
So when should you visit Dubrovnik? In our opinion there is no wrong time to visit this beautiful city. But if you are not a fan of big crowds and waiting around in the hot weather, visiting Dubrovnik during summer may not be for you. The off-season comes with many benefits, such as lower prices and easier moving around the city. But the weather can be unpredictable at times and inappropriate for swimming and lounging on the beach.
What to Pack for Traveling to Dubrovnik
Your wardrobe choice will certainly depend on what the weather is like during your visit to Dubrovnik. If you are visiting Dubrovnik during the summer months we advise you to pack lightly. There is no need to overpack with clothes especially since most probably you will be spending the majority of your time on the beach. Wear light clothes when going out and about in the city, it tends to be really hot during summer so light colors and materials are preferred. Some essentials you need to pack are sunblock, sunglasses, a hat and a swimsuit.
If you are traveling to Dubrovnik during spring or autumn you should pack multiple layers, since the weather can be variable throughout the day. Weather is usually rather warm with gusts of cold wind, and even showers of heavy rain. During this time of the year you will need to pack a lightweight, waterproof jacket, an umbrella, waterproof shoes and sunglasses.
Winters in Dubrovnik don’t have extremely low temperatures, but the northern wind makes it pretty cold. You should pack warm cosy clothes and comfortable waterproof shoes for maximum comfort while sightseeing and exploring the Old Town streets.
Why should I visit Dubrovnik?
To put it simply Dubrovnik is one of its kind. Beauty of the city’s stone architecture opposed with the magnificent, gentile nature of its seascape will leave you breathless upon first sight. Dubrovnik’s rich history and diverse culture offer plenty of things to explore, see and learn about while spending the holiday in the pearl of the Adriatic. The UNESCO protected Old Town of Dubrovnik is filled with little streets and monuments that will fulfill all your adventure needs.
If you love exploring new places and have an adventurous spirit a road trip around the Dubrovnik area will be a perfect way to spend your holiday. Small villages and picturesque towns surrounding the city of Dubrovnik are each unique in their culture and history, and definitely worth your visit. Especially if you want to escape the crowds and busy touristic area of Dubrovnik city.
How to get from the Dubrovnik airport to the Old Town
Figuring out ways of transport once you land on the Dubrovnik Airport is not a complicated task. You have multiple options on how to get to Dubrovnik city from the Airport. You can book a private transfer, go by the shuttle bus, take local bus lines or call a local taxi service. Our recommendation is to look into booking a private transfer service to take you from the Dubrovnik airport to your final destination. That way you will save much of your vacation time by not waiting in bus lines and then having to take a taxi eather way to get to your housing address. One big advantage of taking a private transfer is knowing upfront how much it is going to cost you, as well as the comfort it provides you.
If you are coming to Dubrovnik by car or you decided to rent one for convenience while on your Dubrovnik vacation, Finding a good parking spot in Dubrovnik can be a bit annoying. As you may already know Dubrovnik tends to get busy, especially during the summer months, so finding a cost-efficient and well-located parking lot is not easy at all times.
Fortunately, Dubrovnik offers an array of public and private parking options. When it comes to price/location ratio, our favorite is Dubrovnik City Parking. The price per hour is 10 kuna, and Dubrovnik City Parking is located 5 minutes away from Dubrovnik Old Town. If you want to have a coffee somewhere outside the city walls or just do a bit of shopping, Dubrovnik City Parking will work great for you given it is located near multiple shopping centers.
If you’re thinking about taking a road trip around Dubrovnik or the rest of Croatia, be sure to take a look at this piece on what you need to drive abroad.
Dubrovnik’s Old Town is filled with monuments and charming stone houses. The old city core offers plenty of things to do in Dubrovnik, but we will first mention some must-see places in Dubrovnik that will cost you no money whatsoever. When it comes to things to do in Dubrovnik, the city offers many free options, especially when it comes to roaming around the limestone city streets, soaking up the culture and history, as well as exploring the beautiful nature of the broader Dubrovnik area.
ST. BLAISE CHURCH
The church of Dubrovnik’s patron saint is one of the most beautiful churches of the city. It’s located in the center of the old town, right on the main street – Stradun, so you will certainly not miss it. Church’s stained glass decorations will amaze you.
OLD TOWN’S OPEN-AIR MARKET
Dubrovnik’s Old Town open air market is located on Gundulić square. The market offers fresh produce grown in surrounding areas of the city and many souvenirs, as well as locally produced goods – like dried lavender, homemade spirits and beautiful embroidery. Wandering around the market you can get to know the city’s lifestyle and feel like a true local.
The palace served as the seat of the Republic of Ragusa’a Rector seat from the 14th until the beginning of the 19th century. Today it is still in use as The History Department of the Museum of Dubrovnik.
Onofrio’s fountain is one of Dubrovnik’s most well-known landmarks. The circular fountain is located at the entrance of the Old Town. The water from the fountain is drinkable, which makes this unique landmark a great rest stop when you need to take a little rest from the sightseeing of the city.
Once you’re done with exploring the Old Town centre of Dubrovnik, we recommend taking a stroll along the Lapad promenade.If you want to feel like a true Dubrovnik local finish your walk with coffee by the sea and a tasty gelato.
Located only a 10 minute ferry ride away from Dubrovnik, the Lokrum island is a true oasis of peace. A day spent on this magical island is guaranteed to recharge your batteries and provide you with much wanted relaxation. Once on Lokrum you can explore the island’s botanical garden, Franciscan monastery, Lokrum legends museum, as well as the Game of Thrones museum. You’re guaranteed to have a fulfilling day, surrounded by beautiful nature. And trust us you will want to come back!
You can buy boat & admission tickets online on a link below at the best price!
CITY OF STON
One of the advantages of vacationing in Dubrovnik is the ability to easily explore surrounding towns and villages. Not only that but each little town or village in Dubrovnik region has its own unique culture and interesting history. The town of Ston should be on your list of places to visit while in Dubrovnik. Ston is famous for its town walls and salt works. One thing you should not skip on while visiting Ston is the best oysters in the world.
Known for its mesmerizing landscape that stretches between the coast and mountains. Konavle region is the name for the areas between the town of Cavtat and the Montenegrin border. This region of Dubrovnik-Neretva county is filled with history and rich, diverse culture. You will for sure enjoy this region’s picturesque landscapes and nature. Other than beautiful nature, you can enjoy exploring the rustical tourism, local foods, and the entertainment program offered by the Konavle region.
Beaches in Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is one of the top summer vacation destinations and that means it offers an abundance of attractive beaches where you can spend your lazy summer days. We have singled out 4 beaches that are worth visiting while you are in Dubrovnik.
SAINT JACOB BEACH
Located a little bit outside of the Old Town of Dubrovnik, St. Jacobs beach provides you with an intimate atmosphere and stunning views of the shore.
Copacabana is one of the most popular in the city beach of Dubrovnik. Within the beach there is a restaurant and cafe, that way you will have no problem spending the entire day on the beach.
Seconds away from the Old Town of Dubrovnik, there is no surprise that Banje Beach found itself on the list of the most beautiful beaches of the world. Overlooking the city walls and the beautiful island of Lokrum, this beach will serve as a perfect place to spend your holiday.
If you need a break from the sightseeing of Dubrovnik Old Town there is no better way than taking a swim. Right? Buža beach is located on the southern part of Dubrovnik city walls. This rocky beach offers a perfect balance of relaxation and adventure.
What to do in Dubrovnik 2023
TOUR THE CITY WALLS
It goes without saying that the first thing on your list of What to do in Dubrovnik in 2023 should be touring the city walls of Dubrovnik. The experience of walking on the Dubrovnik city walls will give you a unique chance to see the beauty of the Old Town from above and capture its distinctive orange roofs. It is definitely worth visiting Dubrovnik city walls even if you have to wait a little bit in line. Once you get up on the walls the view will leave you breathless, old stone houses opposed to the crystal blue sea will make you take many photographs. It will take you about an hour to walk the city wall’s 2 km loop, so make sure you come prepared with a bottle of water in your hand.
A unique place to visit while vacationing in Dubrovnik is visiting The Red History Museum. Once you step inside of the museum the interior will make you feel like you traveled back in time. You will get to know what life was like when Croatia was a part of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Along with the Red History Museum, Dubrovnik offers many museums that can peak your interest, and are well worth your time.
EXPLORE THE ABANDONED HOTEL BELVEDERE
Hotel Belvedere used to be one of the symbols of luxury, unfortunately it was damaged in the Domestic War and today stands abandoned and destroyed. If you want to add a bit of a twist on the meaning of exploring your holiday destination, investigating the abandoned hotel like this one is a perfect activity for you. Hotel Belvedere is on the outskirts of Dubrovnik, and you will need to be very careful while roaming around the object. This is definitely not an activity for everyone, but if you are of the adventurous spirit go ahead and have a very one of a kind tour while in Dubrovnik.
VISIT FORT LOVRIJENAC
Saint Lawrence Fortress is situated in the pile bay, on the western wall of Dubrovnik Old Town. This stunning fortress will provide you with a mesmerizing view of the Old Town of Dubrovnik and the seascape surrounding it.
Have an Active Vacation in Dubrovnik
Staying active during your vacation in Dubrovnik is not a problem. There are few options that will keep you moving while still enjoying your holiday and exploring all of the beauties of Dubrovnik.
HIKING ON SRĐ
If you are a fan of hiking, you’ll be happy to hear that Dubrovnik has few hills that make for the perfect backdrop for you to hike on. The climb up the Srđ Hill will highly reward you with a delightful view of the city of Dubrovnik. If you want to keep it less intense and more casual we suggest you hike on the Mala and Velika Petka.
JET SKI SAFARI
Jet ski safari tours and rentals are possibly the best way to explore the gorgeous Dubrovnik coast. Booking a Jet ski Safari is a great activity if you want to boost your adrenaline a bit after a few days of relaxing on the beach.
You can read more about Jet Ski in Dubrovnik on a link below!
Putting together a good workout with sightseeing of Dubrovnik’s seascape sounds like the perfect combination. On your kayak tour you will circle around the Lokrum island, explore the caves and stone cliffs of the island while taking a swim and working your arm muscles. The kayaking adventure will end with a visit of the Betina Cave near the St. Jacob beach.
Food in Dubrovnik
Big part of a good vacation is the food. Wouldn’t you agree? Dubrovnik will not leave you disappointed when it comes to that. Being situated on the Adriatic coast, Dubrovnik is well known for its light and tasty Mediterenian cuisine. Some traditional Dubrovnik food you must try during your vacation is black risotto, the green stew, Rozata, and the Ston cake, just to name a few. Majority of Dubrovnik’s food is locally grown, seasonal and healthy so you will not feel guilty for trying as many tasty meals as you can.
WHERE TO EAT IN DUBROVNIK?
We bring you something new and special when it comes to your dining experience in Dubrovnik. Picking a restaurant can be a tedious task at times, that’s why Dubrovnik Eats is here to make the choosing process easier and more fun. This platform serves as an online catalogue of some of Dubrovnik’s best restaurants.
FIND THE BEST RESTAURANT IN DUBROVNIK ACCORDING TO YOUR PREFERENCES!
Want to make the process of choosing where to eat in Dubrovnik even easier? Take our short quiz and find out what restaurants would suit you the best, based on your mood, ambiance & food preference.