Frequently referred to as the Pearl of the Adriatic, the magical city of Dubrovnik is the perfect destination for anyone dreaming of holidaying amidst spectacular mediaeval architecture without compensating on fantastic food or heavenly coastlines.
This is one of the most popular walled cities to visit in the world, and for good reason. The city as it offers a little something for everyone. Lying on the Dalmatian Coast, the whole of Dubrovnik Old Town is classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in testament to its splendour.
Famed for playing host to many of the scenes from the iconic HBO series, Game of Thrones, historic beauty certainly is not in short supply in this medieval setting. Picture gorgeous terracotta roof tiles, ancient mediaeval fortresses and narrow limestone streets all perched alongside a flawless turquoise blue shoreline.
As this city seems to truly have it all, you may be left wondering what are the best things to do in Dubrovnik to avoid missing out on any of the highlights. We have compiled a list of 10 the most wonderful things to do to ensure you have the most incredible trip possible in this beautiful part of the world.
- Walk The City Walls
Easily one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik Old Town as well as the city itself, walking the City Walls is a truly enchanting experience. The magnificent limestone defences trace back to the 600s and encompass the glorious bastions and towers of the city.
Usually taking around an hour, you can wander around these mediaeval walls, gazing over terracotta-roofed city buildings on one side and the turquoise waters of the Adriatic on the other.
While you certainly wouldn’t get lost wandering around the walls without a guide, you could always book a walking tour to get some more information on the monument.
- Eat Your Way Through Dubrovnik
Perched by the Adriatic coast, the gorgeous city of Dubrovnik is blessed with an excellent culinary scene that is renowned for its fresh seafood dishes. Yet, its culinary accomplishments extend far beyond tasty traditional fish dishes.
You won’t be limited in terms of cuisine, with plenty of Asian and Italian eateries dotted around the city. If you’re wanting to splash the cash and looking for luxury things to do in Dubrovnik, head to 360 which boasts Michelin-starred food in the UNESCO-designated setting.
- Sail to Lokrum Island
Take a ferry to the idyllic island of Lokrum. A mere 15-minute ride will take you to this unspoilt paradise for a brief hiatus from city life. Meander through the beautiful gardens of the magical landmass, keeping an eye out for its magnificent inhabitants which include an abundance of rabbits and peacocks.
There are so many adventures to be had on exploring Lokrum Island, from investigating the wildlife to taking a dip in its surrounding blue water that visiting it is easily one of the most fun things to do in Dubrovnik. What’s more, doing so doesn’t cost an arm or a leg, with the ferry costing a mere 150 kuna (€20).
- Take A Game Of Thrones Tour
As you may well know, Dubrovnik’s landmarks formed the setting of a large chunk of scenes from the world-famous series, Game of Thrones. Fans flock from all over the world every year to tour Kings Landing and get a glimpse of some of the backdrops featured in one of the most iconic scenes of the programme.
Even if you’re not a die-hard GOT fanatic, it is still a superb experience to tour the areas that are featured in one of the biggest series of all time. What’s more, a lot of the areas are also simply fascinating historical attractions that you’re likely to be visiting anyway.
- Go Sea Kayaking
Of course, you’ll have to take advantage of Dubrovnik’s glittering blue coastline with a water-based adventure, and how better than from the comfort of a kayak? This activity is fit for beginners and pros alike and a great excuse for heading to one of the many beautiful Dubrovnik beaches.
Instructors can give you a quick debrief on paddling techniques that will have you flying across the waters. Bob along the beautiful blue waters of the Adriatic, the confident paddlers may even want to ditch the Lokrum ferry and head over on the kayak.
Alternatively, one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik is a sunset kayak tour. Float along the water, watching beautiful blends of colours take over the sky.
- Explore Dubrovnik’s Old Town
Meandering through the ancient cobbled streets of the Old Town is an absolute necessity for anyone holidaying in Dubrovnik. The narrow streets of the gorgeous area are also filled with fantastic cafes and restaurants where you can stop off for a coffee or bite to eat during your adventure.
You may opt to go on a walking tour to get the inside scoop on the landmarks you come into contact with. But even if you give the tour a miss you are sure to have a wonderful time getting lost in these enchanting streets. What’s more, you will find that the area has a thriving nightlife scene filled with buzzing clubs and bars.
- Take the Cable Car to Srđ Hill
Another of the best things to do in Dubrovnik has to be taking the cable car to Srđ Hill. The journey itself takes under 10 minutes, during which you will be whisked to the top watching the sheer beauty of the city grow into its full glory beneath you.
Once at the top, you will be able to wander around the area which is home to a 19th-century Imperial Fortress. While it is a beautiful visual spectacle, it is also home to a fabulous historical exhibit that will tell you all about the Homeland War 1991-1995.
- Wander along Stradun
Stradun, also known as Placa, is the main pedestrian street in the Old Town which runs from Pile Gate in the west to Ploče Gate in the east and is thought to date back to 1468. Wander down this beautiful street, glancing at the fine palaces and fortifications that lie on either side.
While wandering along the beautiful limestone paving is one of the best free things to do in Dubrovnik, it is unlikely to remain a free activity for long due to its abundance of wonderful shops and restaurants. This is also a prime spot for picking up any souvenirs for you to remember your trip!
- Visit Lovrijenac Fort
An ancient fortress set 37 metres above the Adriatic on a huge rock, Lovrijenac Fort is a truly magnificent sight to see. Also known under the name of St Lawrence Fortress, paying a visit to this breathtaking monument is easily one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Originally built for protection, the external side of the fort is a staggering 12 metres thick and kept everyone safe from several sieges undertaken by Venetians. After passing along a jaw-bridge to the fortress you will be treated to sensational views over its surrounding blue waters.
- Have A Look Around Rector’s Palace
Tracing back to 1435, Rector’s Palace is one of the most historic monuments in Dubrovnik as well as home to the Cultural Historical Museum. Due to modifications made throughout the years, the architecture displays a unique blend of Gothic and early Renaissance styles.
While there is a splendid array of classic artwork inside, there is also a beautiful courtyard which sometimes hosts classical music soirees. And you guessed it, Rector’s Palace also featured in Game of Thrones, in which it was the setting of the Qarth scenes.
It would be impossible to include all of the incredible attractions that make Dubrovnik just so special. Yet, the fact that the entire Old Town is classed as a UNESCO world heritage site and played host to one of the most iconic tv programmes of all time really should say it all.
From wandering along stunning ancient city walls to kayaking across turquoise waters to an island of bunnies and peacocks, a visit to Dubrovnik offers a sweet taste of paradise for any and every type of traveller.
If you’re planning a visit to Dubrovnik and are looking for somewhere to stay in the area, Vida Villas has a fantastic selection of accommodation to choose from. Browse our range here, or get in touch and talk to our team about what you’re looking for.