Huddled at the base of a rugged mountainside, the elegant city of Dubrovnik is Croatia's irresistibly beautiful star attraction. Lapped by the glittering Adriatic Sea, its sturdy walls encircle white marble streets and Baroque churches. Off of the coast lie wooded islands with extensive, rocky beaches and crystal-clear seas. Explore this list of our favourite things to do in Dubrovnik and the surrounding area.
Stay in a beautiful hotel in Dubrovnik and take day tours, either in small groups or privately guided, all throughout Dalmatia on our tailor-made trip to the Pearl of the Adriatic - Dubrovnik. Visit vineyards, hidden bays, islands, neighbouring Montenegro and more.
Accessed via the monastery cloister, the Dominican monastery museum (Muzej dominikanskog samostana) has some outstanding examples of sixteenth-century religious art from Dubrovnik, including three canvases by Nikola Božidarević.
The best of Lokrum’s rocky beaches are beyond the monastery on the island’s southeast side. Here you’ll find a small salt lake named the Dead Sea (Mrtvo more) just inland, and a naturist beach at the island’s southern tip.
The quickest way to get here is by cable car which was destroyed by attackers in 1991 and reopened to much fanfare some twenty years later. It’s a breathtaking, super-smooth ride, the only drawback being that the journey lasts a mere two minutes.
While planning your trip to Dubrovnik, read our list of tips for first-time travellers in Croatia.
Most important of the heavyweight events is the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, six weeks of classical music and drama beginning in early July, much of which is performed in the squares and courtyards of the Old Town.
It was here in 1502 that Dubrovnik noble Ivan Gučetić built his summer villa, surrounded by formal gardens extending along a terrace overlooking the sea. Such gardens were considered de rigueur by the aristocracy of sixteenth-century Dubrovnik. Sadly, those of Trsteno are the only ones which can still be enjoyed in something approaching their original form.
If you are into hiking, visiting Mljet should be on your list of things to do in Dubrovnik. The most visited part of the island is the green and unspoilt west. Here untouched Mediterranean forest and two saltwater lakes provide the focus of the Mljet National Park, an area of arcadian beauty within which lie the villages of Polače and Pomena.
Despite the presence of a hotel in the village of Pomena, the region remains blissfully unspoiled, full of bicycle-pedalling trippers during the daytime, and romantically quiet and stress free at night.
Inside the cathedral are a couple of Italian paintings, including Titian’s polyptych The Assumption behind the main altar, a work originally bought by the Brotherhood of the Lazarini – a sign of how rich some of Dubrovnik’s commoners’ associations really were. The west side of the nave holds the icon of Our Lady of the Port, a Veneto-Byzantine Madonna once carried through the streets in time of drought for its rain-making powers.
Another famous location that was featured in Game of Thrones is Pile Bay. Significant scenes were filmed in the area around the bay, such as arrival of King Joffrey Baratheon and Queen Margaery Tyrell, and the infamous "walk of shame" scene.
On this tailor-made trip to Croatia Game of Thrones and Highlights you will discover the lakes and waterfalls of forested parks that are Croatia Game of Thrones locations, before exploring medieval walled Trogir and the Diocletian’s Palace in Split. Ancient fortresses on the stunning Makarska coastline await en route to dramatic Dubrovnik and Lokrum Island monastery ruins.
Previous experience is not necessary, and the pace is gentle enough to suit most people of average fitness
The Maritime Museum (Pomorski muzej), which takes up the upstairs floor of St John’s Fortress traces the history of Ragusan sea power in a chronological and easy-to-follow fashion. There is also an excellent сollection of models of Dubrovnik boats through the ages.
It holds a special place in the heart of Dubrovnik folk, as almost all of them spent at least part of their childhoods here. With much of the beach now covered in sunloungers for hire, Banje has lost a great deal of its egalitarian bucket-and-spade charm.
If a beach holiday is what you're looking for in Croatia, also read our guide to the best beaches in Croatia.
Dubrovnik is one of the places in Croatia where you can enjoy a variety of wines. On our Wine & Adventure trip in Croatia, you will explore Dubrovnik on a guided tour before heading to Split. Here you'll have a chance to explore the stunning surroundings and take part in fantastic wine tastings. Our tailor made trips are crafted by local travel experts and are completely customisable.
For more accommodation options, explore our guide to the best area to stay in Dubrovnik.
If you prefer to plan and book your trip to Croatia without any effort and hassle, use the expertise of our local travel experts to make sure your trip will be just like you dream it to be.
Ready for a trip to Dubrovnik? Check out the snapshot of The Rough Guide to Croatia. If you travel further in Croatia, read more about the best time to go, the best places to visit and best things to do in Croatia.
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