Dubrovnik is like Český Krumlov, a charming historical town that is worth a visit, but you have to plan it well. Dubrovnik is visited by more than 1.5 million people every year and it’s no wonder, it’s surrounded by imposing walls, has a stunning historic centre and there are nice beaches nearby. Let’s take a look at what to see in Dubrovnik, where to stay strategically and how to plan your visit to make the most of it.
When to go on holiday to Dubrovnik
Generally, it is best to go in spring or autumn, when temperatures are pleasant to explore and there are far fewer tourists. Most of the tourists are in Dubrovnik during the summer, when people come here not only for the city but also for the sea.
If you come here like we did this summer, don’t make the same mistake we did the first time! Don’t go to Dubrovnik in the afternoon, but go first thing in the morning. This year we went to the centre of Dubrovnik on the eighth and it was a completely different experience than five years ago on electric bikes.
Weather in Dubrovnik
Sea temperatures from June to September are perfect for swimming, with highs between 28 and 30°C. But be prepared for the tourist rush, this is the time of year when Dubrovnik comes alive in full force!
|Average air temperature (°C)
|Average sea temperature (°C)
Where to stay in Dubrovnik
Ideally you should stay in the centre, but you have to take into account that the prices of hotels and apartments are three times higher than elsewhere in Croatia . If you’re driving, always look for accommodation with parking, it’s almost impossible to park in the centre of Dubrovnik and parking costs 10 euros per hour.
If you stay just outside the centre, you can use the bus, but it works great here Uber which we used throughout our visit. We were advised by the owner of the apartment and it cost only a little more than the bus tickets.
- Low-cost accommodation: the Apartment Diverti or Apartments Ella, which we snagged at the last minute. We recommend taking an Uber to the city centre.
- Nice central accommodation: LOCUS Dubrovnik.
Book your accommodation in time, otherwise not only will it be no good, but you will pay 8000 CZK per night!
What to see in Dubrovnik: Dubrovnik’s historic centre
The historic centre of Dubrovnik is one of the most picturesque and interesting places in the whole Croatia. This stunning old town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 and is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world.
Dubrovnik, known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic”, is a city with a rich history and stunning architecture. Here you will find beautiful buildings such as the Rector’s Palace, the City Walls, the Franciscan and Dominican Monasteries, Pile Gate and St. Jana and Lovrijenac. Let’s see what you can find in the centre and what you should
Walk along the main street of Stradun
The main street of the old town is called Stradun, a cobbled street lined with historic buildings and beautiful baroque churches. In addition to the beautiful buildings, there are many cafes and restaurants.
One of the most important features of Dubrovnik’s historic centre are the imposing walls that surround the entire city.
These massive walls were built to defend the city against enemies and still refer to Dubrovnik’s former ability to resist raids and control its surroundings. If you want to go to the walls, it will cost you 35 euros per person.
If you’re going there and you speak English, we recommend getting a guided tour through GetYourGuide so you can make the most of every euro.
Pile Gate (Pile Gate)
“Pile” is a Greek word meaning door. So actually this gate is called the Door. ☺️ And you might have seen it in Game of Thrones (if you love GoT like we do, be sure to take some of the guided tours via GetYourGuide). This gate is the main gate to the city and also to the city walls.
Rock fortress Lovrjenac
This rock fortress is one of the most photogenic places in Dubrovnik. It’s on the cliffs above the sea. It was built in 11. century to protect the city of Dubrovnik from enemy attacks and used to be a key defensive point in the area. It’s best known as a filming location for Game of Thrones – yes it’s the famous King’s Landing.
Rector’s Palace from 15. century is a stunning Gothic-Renaissance building that served as the seat of the Rector of the Dubrovnik Republic. Today it houses a cultural centre where exhibitions, concerts and other cultural events are held.
Upon entering the palace, you will find yourself in a magnificent courtyard surrounded by columns and elegant arcades. Every piece of the palace is meticulously decorated and reflects the rich culture and art of Dubrovnik.
The palace has a number of historic halls that served as offices, courtrooms and living rooms of the rectors. These rooms are decorated with magnificent frescoes, works of art and rare furniture.
At the end of Placa (Stradun) Street, next to Luža Square, is the monumental Gothic-Renaissance Sponza Palace . The Sponza is one of the most beautiful palaces in the city, which has retained its original appearance.
It was built between 1516-1522 and its appearance suggests the possible appearance of most public and private palaces in Dubrovnik before the earthquake of 1667.
The Sponza Palace takes its name from the place where rainwater (Spongia – “alluvium”) used to collect. During the time of the Republic, this palace served as a customs office and warehouse, and was therefore often called Divona (from the Italian dogana – “customs house”). The palace also formerly housed a mint, bank, treasury and armoury.
Today, Sponza Palace is home to the most important cultural institution in Dubrovnik – the archive. The archive is located on the first floor.
If you say Dubrovnik, it’s just Tvrđava Bokar, which I’ll introduce first. This large spherical fortress from the 15. century was also an important part of the city’s defense and represents a masterpiece of medieval engineering. It is located on the southern side of the Dubrovnik walls and its position protected the entrance to the harbour.
For Game of Thrones lovers, we can’t fail to mention that Tvrđava Bokar is probably the most famous location from Game of Thrones. She appeared most frequently in the second and third series.
Dubrovnik Cathedral (Cathedral of the Great Lady, Cathedral of Mary’s Resurrection)
Dubrovnik Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of the Assumption, is one of the most important religious monuments in Dubrovnik. This imposing Gothic cathedral is located in the heart of the city’s historic centre and its towers dominate the surrounding skyline.
The cathedral was built in 12. century and serves as the main Catholic church in Dubrovnik. Its architecture is a beautiful combination of Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance elements. The entrance to the cathedral is decorated with a beautiful portal and the interior is richly decorated with important works of art.
One of the most important elements in the cathedral is its main altar, which is the work of the famous Italian sculptor Raphael Bonami.
Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary
The Church of the Assumption is another important church in Dubrovnik, located not far from the cathedral. This church is considered one of the oldest churches in Dubrovnik and its history dates back to the 12th century. century. Its architecture is largely Gothic with some Renaissance elements.
The Church of the Assumption is surrounded by a picturesque square and historic buildings. The interior of the church is decorated with magnificent frescoes and sculptures that show the rich artistic heritage of Dubrovnik.
The Franciscan monastery was founded in 14. century and is the oldest still a functioning monastery in the city. Its architecture and peaceful surroundings will enchant you on arrival. In the past, the monastery was an important cultural and educational centre where scribes and apothecaries met and shared their knowledge.
An interesting fact is that the monastery is located Europe’s oldest pharmacy founded in 1317 and still in operation. Entering it is like a journey through time – the original furnishings, ancient glass apothecary bottles and herbal remedies will transport you back to the time when medicines and herbal remedies were produced here.
This fortress was named after the Munchet family. It was built in 15. century and has a characteristic cylindrical tower. The best view of it is when you climb back outside the historic walls through the Pile Gate and then climb the stairs a little above the historic centre.
This fortress is also one of the filming locations of Game of Thrones. It served as the entrance to the House of the Undying.
The Dominican Monastery, founded in 1225, is one of the oldest monasteries in the city. Although it may not look it from the outside, it is one of the most important historical and cultural buildings in Dubrovnik.
Inside the monastery there is a beautiful monastery church, which is decorated with important works of art and altars. Interestingly, the Dominican Monastery houses an extensive library, which is considered one of the most valuable in the region. Inside there are thousands of old books and rare manuscripts that testify to the ancient intellectual tradition of this place.
The interior of the church is richly decorated. The most remarkable piece is the large golden cross above the main altar, the work of Paolo Veneziano from the 14th century. century.
The monastery complex acquired its final form in the 15th century. century, when the sacristy, chapter hall and monastery corridor were added. The magnificent arcades of the corridor were built between 1456 and 1483 to a design by the Florentine architect Masso di Bartolomeo.
Fortress of St. Ivana – Tvrdava Svetog Ivana
From the terraces of the fortress of St. Ivana you can enjoy a panoramic view of the entire city of Dubrovnik, the Tyrrhenian Sea and the surrounding islands.
Church of St. Ignatia
This beautiful Baroque building was built in 1699-1725 under the direction of the Jesuit painter and architect Andrei Pozzo.
The interior of the church is decorated with frescoes by Gaetano Garcia. The church is famous for its magnificent staircase, which is reminiscent of the Spanish Steps in Rome. Next to the church there is also the Issau College Collegium Ragusinum, which began teaching in 1658.
Today the college serves as the Bishop Ruđer Bošković Classical High School. The College is also known for its significant library, which contains tens of thousands of volumes, including several incunabula.
Fortress Revelin in Dubrovnik was built in 1463. This fortress defended the eastern part of the city from the mainland and the entrance to the harbour. In 1538, the fortress was rebuilt into a spacious and strong fortress in the shape of an irregular quadrangle under the instructions of the engineer Antonio Ferramolino of Bergamo.
Revelin has three entrances and was fortified by a moat and the sea on three sides. In the spacious interior of the fortress, the famous Renaissance bell-maker Ivan Rabljanin had furnaces for the production of cannons and bells. Currently, various stage performances are held on the large terraces of the fortress during the Dubrovnik Summer Festival.
Activities in Dubrovnik not to be missed
In Dubrovnik, you don’t just have to walk around, you can also take a cable car overlooking the city or go kayaking.
Dubrovnik cable car
If you’re looking for a great view of the city, take the cable car. Yes, it is quite expensive, the cable car costs 27 euros (up and down). You can check the current prices here.
Kayaking at sunrise or sunset
Probably one of the most beautiful experiences you can go on in Dubrovnik is kayaking early in the morning or at sunset. You can book this activity very easily and at the last minute via GetYourGuide. In high season, however, we recommend booking in advance as they are often sold out.
Where to swim in Dubrovnik
The beaches in Dubrovnik are not among the best in Croatia and often not the cleanest. But there’s nothing better than escaping to a less visited beach to escape the crowds in the centre of Dubrovnik in the afternoon.
Banje Beach is the most famous and popular beach in the town, offering crystal clear waters and a breathtaking view of the old town.
Copacabana beach is one of the most famous beaches in Dubrovnik and is located on the Lapad peninsula. The beach is ideal for families with children. Copacabana Beach also has a special entrance for people with disabilities.
On the eastern side of Dubrovnik’s walls is the main city beach in Ploče. It is considered one of the most beautiful beaches on the Adriatic and is often referred to as the beach for the “rich” and the “poor”.
The reason is that one part of the beach is freely accessible, while the other part is only for those who want to rent a sunbed.
Beach for dogs – Danče Beach
If you are travelling with dogs, you can go to Danče Beach, which is 5 minutes from the historic centre. The beach is one of the oldest in Dubrovnik and has clear water and rocks from which you can jump into the Adriatic Sea.
The best time to visit is early in the morning when the beach is empty, so you and your pet can enjoy the beach to the fullest.
Beach for dogs – Lapad Beach
Lapad beach is a quiet beach surrounded by pine trees, which is ideal for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
There are several restaurants and cafés nearby, so you can grab a bite to eat or enjoy a refreshing drink while sunbathing. The beach is well maintained and there are plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas for rent, so you can almost always find a spot.
There are many shaded areas on the beach, which you and your dogs will appreciate. The beach is one of the cleanest.
Dubrovnik and surroundings excursions
Dubrovnik is also a great base for exploring the nearby islands such as Lokrum, the Elaphiti Islands and many more.
Located just 600 metres from Dubrovnik Harbour, the Lokrum islet can be reached by fast ferry in 10 minutes.
After a very short ferry ride, get ready to spend a day exploring, because Lokrum Island has everything from the filming locations of Game of Thrones, an amazing botanical garden and of course, beautiful beaches.
On the island you will also find the fortress of St. Jan, which is one of the most important defensive points of the Dubrovnik walls. Its origins date back to the 16th century. century, when it was built as part of the city’s extensive defensive system.
How to get there: The ferry to Lokrum departs two to four times an hour, depending on the season, and takes about 10 minutes.
If you’re adventurous and a bit adventurous, you can also kayak from Dubrovnik to the island of Lokrum – you’ll definitely see views you wouldn’t otherwise experience.
Since this old town is relatively close to Dubrovnik (only 20 km), it is very easy to get here. You can rent a car or taxi (only 30 minutes away), or take a public bus or ferry.
Cavtat is a kind of small Dubrovnik, with a historic centre full of quaint town charm, shops, restaurants and swimming spots, but thankfully without the crowds!
You can hike along the Ronald Brown Trail (8 km), which offers stunning views of the Croatian landscape. Visit also the house of Vlaho Bukovac and the church of St. Nicholas.
Kočula can be reached in 2.5 hours by ferry. Apart from being a stunning medieval town, Korcula also offers beautiful scenery that you won’t see on any other trip from Dubrovnik.
Be sure to visit some of the Renaissance palaces and relax in one of the outdoor cafés while sipping coffee or local wine.
Tip: If you are a wine lover, you must drive through the wine region on the Peljesac peninsula and visit the local wine cellar, which is included in many organised trips to Korcula from Dubrovnik. You can find them, for example, on GetYourGuide, which Lukas and I use for interesting trips.
Mljet National Park
The easiest way to get to Mljet National Park is to book an organized trip through GetYourGuide (especially if you only have one day to explore everything the park has to offer). But if you want, you can also take the ferry yourself.
Mljet has been recommended to us by many travellers, mainly because there are no crowds of tourists. It simply hasn’t been discovered yet. Mljet is the greenest island in Croatia. Visit the lakes here, one of which even has a small island with a Benedictine monastery.
The Elaphiti Islands are an archipelago of 13 islands located near Dubrovnik on the Croatian coast. The most famous islands of the Elaphiti archipelago are Kolocep, Lopud and Shipan.
How to get here: Either you book a trip through GetYourGuide again or you have to get to the port of Gruž on the other side of the city first.
Museums in Dubrovnik
While strolling down the main street of the Old Town, the Stradun, don’t forget to visit the Sponza Palace. This former palace and transcription room now serves as a Cultural History Museum, which focuses on the city’s history, art, manuscripts and coins.
Sea lovers should not miss a visit to the Maritime Museum, located in the Fortress of St. Jana. The museum focuses on the maritime history and trade of the Dubrovnik Republic, including their strong influence in the Mediterranean in the 16th century. century.
The last tip is War Museum on Mount Srđ . Here you can learn more about the history of the wars that hit Dubrovnik, especially the siege of the city during the war in the 90s. years 20. century.
Games of Thrones and Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is known as one of the main filming locations for the popular Game of Thrones series, which has contributed greatly to the high popularity of this beautiful Croatian city. This is where scenes from King’s Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms, were filmed.
Movie locations in Dubrovnik
- Lovrijenac Fort (Hard Lovrijenac) – Red Fort: Joffrey’s Feast, dialogues between Cersei and Littlfinger (Season 1)
- Dubrovnik West Pier (Zapadna Obala) – Blackwater Bay: scenes with Shae watching Sansa with Littlefinger (Season 3)
- Pile Harbour (Pile) – King’s Landing Harbour: Departure by boat from King’s Landing, e.g. Myrcella’s departure for Dorne (Season 2, Episode 6)
- Dubrovnik West Port (Zapadna Obala) – Facade with a door in the rocks: the scene with the Killer Flaps as they enter the city (Season 2)
- Fort Bokar – King’s Landing: Scenes with characters walking on the walls of King’s Landing (Various seasons)
- Park Gradac – Purple Wedding: scenes overlooking the park where the Purple Wedding was filmed (Season 2)
- Pile Gate – The Rising, the Return of Jamie Lannister: the scene of the Rising and the return of Jamie Lannister to King’s Landing (Various Seasons)
- Mincheta Tower – House of the Undying: the scene where Daenerys searches for her dragon children (Season 2)
- Stairs at the Church of St. Ignatius – Cersei’s Path of Shame: The scene with Cersei walking through the streets of King’s Landing and being shamed (Season 5, Episode 10)
- Nameless Street – Uprising: the scene where Sansa flees the uprising (Season 2, Episode 6)
- Rector’s Palace (Prince’s Court) – Qarth: Scenes set in Qarth (Season 2)
- St. Dominica – Journey of Shame: Cersei’s Journey of Shame Scene (Season 5, Episode 10)
- The steps in front of the Dominican monastery – A speech against the Lannisters: The scene when they give the speech against the Lannisters (Season 2, Episode 5)
- The Gate of Ploce – Cersei’s Walk of Shame, Tyrion scene: Cersei’s Walk of Shame scene and Tyrion scene (Various seasons)
- Lokrum Island – Some Scenes from Qarth: Scenes from Qarth (Season 2, Episode 5)
The creators of the series chose Dubrovnik because of its historic centre and well-preserved medieval walls, which act as an ideal backdrop for epic battles and intrigue.
Tip for Game of Thrones lovers
If you speak English, you should go on one of the guided tours of the city focusing on Game of Thrones. For example, the reliable portal GetYourGuide offers such a service.
Transportation around Dubrovnik
Public transport is provided by Libertas Dubrovnik buses. A total of 13 city lines connect Dubrovnik with towns such as Cavtat, Ston and Orebic. Information on timetables and ticket prices can be found at the company’s website.
For out of town trips you can rent a car, we always use RentalCars and have never had a problem with them (we always take insurance from them as well).
Between Dubrovnik and the islands you can easily move by ferry.
Where to eat in Dubrovnik
If you want something better, you can try the restaurant Taj Mahal, which has a Michelin star. For breakfast you can go to Lanii Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and for a cheaper meal you can go to Vege Oak.
If you’ve been travelling in Croatia for a while, you might want to make a change. There is also an excellent Indian Incredible India Dubrovnik in Dubrovnik. The best view is the Panorama restaurant above Dubrovnik.
Drink tip: A beautiful bar on the cliffs is the BARD bar.
Dubrovnik prices: how much does what cost
Prices in Dubrovnik are much higher than in other parts of Croatia, you can pay an average of 35 euros or more for a meal in a restaurant for two, and for accommodation you can expect to pay from 150 euros or more.
Tip: What to see in Croatia? See 24 tips, where to go on holiday in Croatia.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where was Games of Thrones filmed?
Games of Thrones was filmed in several locations in Croatia, one of the most famous locations being Dubrovnik.
Where is King’s Landing in Dubrovnik?
King’s Landing is a fictional location from Game of Thrones and can be found in the Lovrjenac Rock Fortress.
What is the price of a cable car in Dubrovnik?
The price of the cable car in Dubrovnik is 27 euros going up and down.
What to see in Dubrovnik?
In Dubrovnik you should definitely know Stradun (main street), the walls, Pile gate, Lovrijenac, St. Francis, St. Dominica, Rector’s Palace and Sponza Palace.
What was filmed in Dubrovnik?
Dubrovnik was the location of the Game of Thrones series, where it served as a backdrop for the fictional King’s Landing. Also filmed in Dubrovnik were Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) and Robin Hood (2018)
When to visit Dubrovnik?
The best time to visit Dubrovnik is spring and autumn for sightseeing tours and summer for swimming.