When it came to Croatia, it was no secret that this special city was at the top of our list. This ultimate Dubrovnik guide will show you a taste for just how beautiful this coastal city is. It’s hard to put into words how mesmerizing the limestone streets filled with endless baroque architecture is. Even though the summer months may be packed, I don’t think one can tire of the views from the city wall’s overlooking the jade waters of the Adriatic.
Dubrovnik, Croatia is a place to sojourn for a few days, to unwind, and take full advantage of the warm weather. The relaxed atmosphere adds to the experience, and paired with incredible seafood, you’re setup for a vacation of a lifetime. The sophisticated city is also ideally situated for those wanting to get a taste of other destinations nearby, like Montenegro. Either way, you can’t lose with a few days perched on the rocks, with dips under the Croatian sun.
The Ultimate Dubrovnik Guide
What to know before visiting Dubrovnik, Croatia
- The local currency is the Croatian Kuna. ATM’s are the cheapest exchange rate.
- It is not a “cheap” city and we found the prices to be the likes of any other major European destination like Paris.
- The ferries do sell out and it’s recommended to book tickets in advance. It’s really easy and you can get mobile boarding passes with Jadrolinija.
- The taxis are almost double Uber — there’s also Uber boats to hop around the islands!
- Seafood is not always fresh so it’s good to double check.
- Early mornings is the best way to beat the crowds!
How to get to Dubrovnik, Croatia
With endless flights into Dubrovnik Airport and the announcement that there will be new direct flights from the US in 2019, it’s never been easier to get there. Upon arrival, I’d recommend setting up a prearranged transfer on Mozio or using Uber. Once you’re in Dubrovnik, it’s easy to get around by foot as almost everything is in walking distance. To get to other places nearby like beaches, Uber is your cheapest way to do so.
Where to Stay in Dubrovnik
For those visiting the first time, it would be nice to stay within the city walls in the Old Town. We opted for an Airbnb and found the four flights of stairs quite the effort for the reward, so I’d look into an apartment on a lower floor next time. We did like being based there as we were close to everything. If we were to choose a hotel outside of the city walls, we would choose Hotel Excelsior.
Where to eat in Dubrovnik, Croatia
I want to preface this and say that we found it challenging with the food in Dubrovnik — it was either touristy or not great. The places we found to be good were higher end but worth it.
- Prora: This was hands down the best meal we had on the trip and the location doesn’t hurt either. Fresh seafood like octopus salad and handmade pasta, set on the water puts Prora at the top of the list for us.
- Restaurant Kopun: It has a beautiful view over looking Saint Igantius and the food is incredible.
- Bota Bar: Come here for fresh oysters and sushi (pretty decent!), though their oysters from Mali Ston Bay are insanely good.
- Azur: This spot was downstairs and is always on the top 10 lists for Dubrovnik, so we gave it a shot. It’s Asian-inspired fare with local dishes — the food is good but definitely on the pricier side for value.
- Buffet Škola: We came here for sandwiches to go for when we headed to the beach. Super yummy and loved the fresh ingredients.
- Congo Bar: We came here for breakfast one morning and it was solid!
- Taj Mahal Old Town: You have to try Bosnian food at least once and this is the spot!
- Cogito Coffee: A pop up coffee shop from Zagreb opens up seasonally for summer and their coffee is delicious!
- Buza Bar: Come here for sunset drinks.
Things to Do in Dubrovnik, Croatia
- Walk the city walls: One of our favorite experiences was walking the outer walls on the Adriatic side at around dusk. The light was absolutely stunning and we stopped for a drink along the way.
- Learn about the region’s history at War Photo Limited: If there was one museum to do, it’s this one. We both walked out with tears in our eyes as we spent an hour or so learning about the region’s not too far past of conflict. Through photo journalism, the most recent wars are captured to enlighten the turmoil that has long been part of this region’s time.
- Explore the Dubrovnik Old Town: You could spend an hour or two exploring town, popping in and out of the shops and alleyways. I’d recommend going early to have the place to yourself.
- Grab a drink a the famous Buza Bar: If you’re looking for sunset drinks, then grab your swimsuit and head to Buza Bar.
- Visit one of the oldest pharmacies in the world: The Franciscan Church and Monastery is one of the oldest pharmacies and it’s worth a peek.
- Take a day trip to Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina: One of our favorite things we did was going to Mostar for the day. We booked a tour on Viator and had a stop at Kravice Falls along the way. You could self drive this, but be aware that there are multiple border crossings each way and the time there and back can take a while. We left at 7:30am and returned by 6 pm.
- Head to the Dubrovnik beaches: There are so many beaches to choose from and ton of swimming holes. They are all “rock” beaches so keep this in mind. We loved Danče Beach and Suluci as it was quieter than Banje.
- Take the Cable Car to Mount Srd: It’s definitely a bit pricey for what it is but the view from the top is stunning! You can also walk as well if you want.
- Take a day trip to Montenegro: Another great option for a full day trip via a group tour or car.
- Grab a kayak for the afternoon: You’ll see plenty of kayaks in the ocean!
- Island hop to Lokrum: If you want to head to the island in front of Dubrovnik, grab a ferry that heads out frequently for a day of hiking and swimming.