Dubrovnik Travel Guide

Dubrovnik, known as the Pearl of the Adriatic, is located at the southern most part of Croatia and we believe it is one of the most breathtaking cities in Europe. With it’s crystal blue water contrasting with the white limestone and red terra cotta roofs of the old city, it is a place that you will be instantly charmed by.

This city from the 7th century is somewhere you can enjoy the stunning sea, immerse yourself in (mind-blowing) history, savor incredible food, and will give you a trip you will remember forever. We hope you’ll enjoy our travel guide to visiting Dubrovnik.

What to do

Book a private boat tour with Dubrovnik Boats

Our very favorite day in Dubrovnik was spent on the Adriatic Sea with Dubrovnik Boats. Dubrovnik Boats offers many different tours and many different boats in their fleet – you truly can’t go wrong with any option you choose.

We decided to go with the half day tour of the Elalphite Islands on the Jeanneau Leader 8 and had the time of our lives. There are six islands that make up the Elaphite archipelago, but over a thousand islands lining the coast of Croatia. From the boat the islands look to be endless and seeing the layers of islands in the distance every direction is something really amazing.

In the Old City tour companies will try to sell you on group boat tours of the islands, but trust me on this one that it is worth the extra money to book a private tour through Dubrovnik Boats. Here is why:

  • Beer, wine and snacks are included at no extra charge in your rental
  • They provide a GoPro to use in the water and let you keep a memory card with photos and videos- such an amazing perk!
  • The guides are great and knowledgeable about the history, they will ensure you have a great day and you’ll most likely leave with a new friend made
  • Snorkel equipment is provided and your guide will find the perfect secluded spot for you to stop and take a dip in the clear, calm, Adriatic Sea

Book your tour with Dubrovnik Boats here.

Enjoying a wine and beer on the boat
Departing for our day from the Old Port
Having fun with the GoPro provided by Dubrovnik Boats

Walk the old city walls and Fort Lovrijenac

Walking the Dubrovnik Walls is probably the most popular thing to do when in Dubrovnik, and for a good reason. You will be treated with unique views of the Old City and the Adriatic Sea every corner you turn. We were blown away by our two hour walk on the walls, it exceeded every expectation. Be prepared for a lot of steps and no shade from the sun (we recommend going first thing in the morning).

Walking the Old City walls
Walking the Old City walls

Once you’re finished seeing the walls, your entry ticket will grant you admission to Fort Lovrijenac nearby. This Fort was built to oversee the Old City both by land and sea and to protect Dubrovnik from the Venetians in the 11th century. Once you climb the stairs to the top you will be treated with the best view of the Dubrovnik Walls that you just finished walking.

Fort Lovrijenac
View of the Old City walls from the Fort

Take the cable car up Mount Srd

Visiting the top of Mount Srd is highly recommended on your trip to Dubrovnik. There are a few ways to get to the top: hiking, by bus or by cable car. We took the cable car and while it was a little more expensive than we hoped it would be, we found it to be worth the money. Mount Srd looks over the Old City and offers some of the best views from up above of the Old City, Adriatic Sea and Elaphite Islands. At the top there is a restaurant and a Homeland War Museum for you to make the most of your time before heading back down.

Overlooking Dubrovnik Old City from Mount Srd

Get lost in the old city

Before you pack your itinerary to the brim with all there is to see and do in Dubrovnik, be sure to save some time to simply wander around the Old City. These were some of our most treasured moments in Dubrovnik getting lost in the winding streets and popping into historic palaces and churches.

There are many historic city tours available, and, if you are a Game of Thrones fan, the ever popular Game of Thrones tour. *We did neither tour, but made sure to do our research on what to see and the history of the city and notable buildings*

Stradun (Old City’s main street) in the morning
Stunning exterior of Sponza Palace

Take a day trip to another country

Dubrovnik is located in a unique area of Croatia, nestled into Bosnia & Herzegovina to the north and Montenegro to the south. This allows for easy access to both countries for day trips from Dubrovnik. We originally planned to rent a car to visit both Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro but found the day trip tours through local companies to be very affordable and allowed us to sit back and enjoy the days without worrying about border crossings, directions or parking. We booked our tours through Viator here.

Our Bosnia & Herzegovina tour took us to Mostar, Kravice Waterfalls and Medjugorje.

Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Our Montenegro tour took us to Bay of Kotor, Kotor and Budva.

Bay of Kotor, Monenegro

Where to stay

We stayed in two of the most popular areas of Dubrovnik and found there are pro’s and con’s for each, depending on what you are looking for.

Lapad Peninsula

This is a relatively new area of Dubrovnik that is home to many of the bigger resorts and beaches. Lapad is home to a lovely promenade of restaurants and bars and stunning views of the Elaphite Islands.

We stayed here for a few nights at a nice resort (we stayed at Dubrovnik Palace). We really enjoyed being right on the sea with the best patio/sunset views and a fun pool and beach at the resort. The downside was it was about a 20 minute drive into the Old City. Ubers are cheap and the city bus system is great so it wasn’t a big problem, but if you are the type of people that are hardly at your hotel (like us) you may want to consider staying in the Old City.

The Elaphite Islands from the Lapad Peninsula

Old City

Staying in the Old City will put you right in the heart of it all. While there aren’t as many hotels, you will find many Airbnbs and boutique hotels (which we absolutely love). There are no cars in the Old City so you will need to walk with your luggage from the gate, up many steps to your accommodation. We know that isn’t for everyone so please keep that in mind when booking. We stayed at the cutest guesthouse and really enjoyed our time staying in the Old Town being walkable from just about anything!

Stairs in Old City
Guesthouse Rustico in Old City

Where to eat

The food in Dubrovnik was really, really good. It exceeded our expectations and was reasonably priced (especially coming from the islands). Eat the seafood, cevapi and the pizza. You can’t go wrong and we could not get enough of it.

While we enjoyed all of our meals in Dubrovnik, two places stood out to us as must visits:

  • Barba: a fast casual, family owned seafood restaurant with a line that proves how good it is. We got the octopus burger and the tuna and anchovy sandwich and wanted to try the entire menu.
Tuna and anchovy sandwich from Barba
  • Stara Loza: located in the historical Prijeko Palace, this Michelin guide restaurant is sure to satisfy your seafood cravings. We highly recommend the black risotto.
Stara Loza black risotto

If you didn’t already have Dubrovnik on your bucket list, we hope you do now. It is one of those “trip of a lifetime” destinations that you will never forget and a city we would highly recommend to anyone.

*This post is sponsored by Dubrovnik Boats but all opinions are our own*

Published by happilyaway

We are a married couple living in Chicago, and we are obsessed with traveling (probably like you). Unlike many travel bloggers, we have no intention on quitting our jobs and traveling full time because we actually love our jobs (shocker- I know) and we have a sweet puppy that we can't bear to leave for for than 3 weeks at a time. This hasn't stopped us from making all of our travel dreams come true. We are excited to share our adventures with you and help show you how you too, can travel the world- even while working full time. Emilie & Chris

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