Dubrovnik is easily one of the most beautiful, most photogenic, and most historically interesting places in Europe. The color of the Adriatic will stun you. The people will win your heart. The Old City will make you believe you’ve stepped into a real-life fairytale! Here are the top things to do on your first trip to Dubrovnik. I bet you’ll want to come back!
Get Out on the Water
Whether you want to do swimming, boating, or simply do some sunbathing, Dubrovnik is the place to do it! The Adriatic Sea is absolutely pristine, and that epic shade of blue needs no filter. It’s gorgeous to look at but even better to interact with! Take a boat tour, head out to Lokrum Island for the day, or just dive in at Banje Beach!
Read next: 8 Things You Forgot to Pack for Europe
Head Up to Mount Srd
You can hike, drive, take a taxi, or ride the cable car to this mountaintop, and once you get here, you can plan to stay a while. Have lunch at the Panorama Restaurant, tour Fort Imperial and its Homeland War Museum, and, of course, take in the epic view of the Old City and the Adriatic from the top! Just be aware that the hike is 1.5 miles on rough terrain (some loose rocks might trip you up!) with quite an elevation gain, so plan accordingly!
More here: The Ultimate List of Hiking Tips
Visit Lokrum Island
Who knew a 15 minute ferry could take you a world away! We had such a fun time exploring this island and its many unique features! You’ll find a French Fort, a ruined monastery, a botanic garden, THE Iron Throne from Game of Thrones, and even a dead sea! We spent about four hours here and felt it was well worth the half day trip!
All the details: The Ultimate Guide to a Day Trip to Lokrum Island, Dubrovnik
Take in the Views of the Old City
Come for the charm, stay for the views. I could not get enough of Dubrovnik’s Old City from any angle. I loved it from Fort Lovrijenac, from the City Walls, from the hills behind the city, from the side of the road, from the mountain… You get the picture. Be sure to have your camera ready, but most of all, take a moment to take it all in! Photos last forever and are fun to share, but how you feel about a view in the moment is yours alone.
Sip an Iced Coffee
So, I don’t know if it was just the places I ordered my iced coffee or if it’s a Dubrovnik thing, but both times I ordered an iced coffee at a cafe, it came with a scoop of ice cream! What a delight, huh? I’m a big fan, and after a day of exploring the many staircases of the Old City, you’ll be glad for the extra boost!
More here: The Ultimate Traveler’s Guide to Coffee
Wow! This fort outside the City Walls has a couple of things going for it: It’s less crowded than other forts in the walls, and it has a VIEW of the Old City that is unparalleled! You can get in for FREE with your Dubrovnik Pass, or pay 100 kn to go inside as a stand-alone site. It was one of my favorite things I did, so I can’t recommend it enough!
Love Stories Museum
This place is so sweet! It’s the only museum in the world dedicated to love and love stories. It’s tucked away near Fort Lovrijenac, and it covers three floors of an eight-room townhouse. One room is dedicated to real love stories and legends of love, another highlights films and television about love (several made in Dubrovnik’s Old City!), another dedicated to music inspired by love, and two rooms all about true love stories from visitors around the world!
This was well worth the admission of just 60 kn per person. If you’re here with someone you love, put it on your must visit list!
Also helpful: Secrets to Happy Travel as a Couple
Dine with a View
Dubrovnik is all about the views, so take the time to truly enjoy it with a meal. There are a couple of restaurants in the City Walls with views of the Adriatic and nearby beach, or take a scenic meal outside the Walls so you can get the view of the Old City. There is a restaurant at Banji Beach with a view of the City Harbor and Walls; 1836 Dubrovnik Restaurant offers views of Fort Lovrijenac, Adriatic, and the City Walls; and the Panorama Restaurant on Mount Srd will give you a bird’s-eye view!
Keep eating: The Best Places to Eat in Dubrovnik
Walk the Old Town Streets
Don’t limit yourself to the Stradun only! There is so much beautiful architecture and history to be admired here. It’s also remarkably compact, so you truly can pretty much see everything in a day. You won’t get too lost, but you just might find a little alley or restaurant that you love.
More here: What to Know Before You Visit Croatia
Walk the Walls
This is the #1 must-do for your trip! The City Walls of Dubrovnik are famous, and you just can’t miss them. It’s about a mile and a half all the way around, with several sites and museums along the way. It should take you about two hours to see everything, but I recommend doing this early before it gets crowded! The Walls open at 8:00am, and it really is the best way to start your stay in Dubrovnik!
Want more? Check out my Croatia Page for everything you need to know and then some!
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