So you’ve made it to Dubrovnik finally and are overwhelmed with atmosphere, culture and scenery. Such a magical place you think to yourself. Dubrovnik is the place where you can’t help but feel at peace with things. Stress leaves your body, you’ve got a new spark in your eye and a different spring to your step. Being present in a city like this is like a gush of fresh air you’ve been waiting for. You have a handful of lovely experiences at your disposal and it’s important to know your options. Dubrovnik is full of surprises and unique things to do. There is something for everyone here!
Our top 6 things to do:
A walk in history
You can complete your trip with a walk around the majestic city walls, they cradle the Old Town and are brimming with history; making it the perfect afternoon or evening stroll. Dubrovnik’s Walls play a large factor in the city’s definition and give you a spectacular view over the town and its surrounding waters. From above the walls cast a mesmerising perspective over the scattered religious buildings and terracotta roofs, providing you with the ultimate dream-like atmosphere. From below, the tones of stone blended with turquoise waters create an unmatched ambiance – the Mediterranean dream.
Parts of the walls were built as early as the 9th century, having later been modified and adjusted. What was originally sourced as protection for the city is now a top attraction amongst visitors and is a must-see statement.
There are a few forts dotted throughout the walls, each with their own fraction of history and charm. You can get some really powerful images to take home as well as your dose of breath-taking views. You can purchase tickets near the Pile Gate, the maritime museum and the Ploče Gate.
A favourite of nature
Fragrant citrus trees, tropical vines, fruity cocktails, wandering wildlife, dense forest and enchanting energy. This is how we encapsulate the beauty that is Lokrum Island. Situated only 600m from the Old Town, you can find this exotic nature reserve and hotspot. Most visitors manage to check out its points of interest in a short amount of time and resort to lounging on the rocks for the afternoon.
We suggest checking out the botanical garden with its rich history of plants and captivating specimens, making it a pleasant stop for adventurers seeking tranquillity. You can also find the Monastery nearby, as well as Maximilian of Habsburg’s grand palace right next to it. Another popular spot is the mystical Salt Lake, located on the south of the Island. Bathing there is an extremely purifying experience and has its own range of benefits that you can discover for yourself!
If you happen to have sturdy walking shoes to hand, you can visit Fort Royal; built on the highest point of the island, it makes for gorgeous peripheral views all round. Although staying on Lokrum overnight isn’t an option, you can easily visit the island more than once if you happen to fall in love as it’s so close to Dubrovnik. The great thing about Lokrum is that you can bring your own picnic and enjoy wherever you like but you can also visit its niche collection of places to eat.
There is a snack bar, the Lacroma restaurant, Konoba Rajski Vrt (Heaven’s Garden) and a cocktail bar right by the Lake. With plenty to choose from, this is a brilliant chunk of Eden you must visit.
Beauty right in the heart of Dubrovnik City
If you’re looking for a taste of paradise, close to town, look no further! Sveti Jakov Beach is a brisk walk away from the city’s Old Town. Although not exactly hidden, this mini oasis still feels exclusive to all those who visit and gives you incredible views of the turquoise waters ahead. You can grab some food and drinks there as well as some well-deserved relaxation. Both locals and tourists enjoy Sveti Jakov, given its mind blowing shoreline and stimulating ambiance. A must-visit if you’re a sea lover, swim enthusiast or simply if you’re looking to discover Dubrovnik without heading too far.
You’ve had one half; here’s the other!
Do it like a local
Another activity we are fond of is taking a walk through Stradun – this is great because it comes with no cost and is effortless! So why do you need to do this? If you really want to explore the pearl of the Adriatic effectively, we highly recommend taking yourself down there one morning or evening even.
The ‘Placa’ is known for its flocks of people hanging out, watching the world go by and is without a doubt, one of Europe’s most delightful pedestrian walk-throughs. The Stradun offers many cafes and restaurants, making it the perfect brunch or dinner date spot.
Shopping is also a popular sport along the cobbled streets of Stradun, as is finding a spot to rest in from walking all day! It measures 300m in length and is famous for its white limestone paving, taking us back to 1468. You can find tons of other things to do and see throughout Stradun, including museums, beautiful religious buildings, intricate squares, fountains and towers.
Island hopping heaven
We’ve mentioned visiting Lokrum and the perks of spending the day lounging in the sun, admiring its untouched nature and tasty treats but an even more enticing experience can be extracted through island hopping! We know that visitors tend to be keen explorers who want to make the most of their stay.
This is why a private boat tour to the Elaphiti Islands is a must for those who have time. In this case, the early bird really does catch the worm. With various tour options available, you can set out towards the islands from as early as 7/8am. This is an ideal time to set off because it leaves you with plenty of room to do and see a wider selection of things.
Island hopping privately ensures a unique experience, where you are the main character. This is because it’s much easier to find on-on-one encounters with the scenery and nature you come across. It also gives you loads of time to tread through beaches of your own choice, swim in magical bays and trek wherever you want! The brilliant thing about this is that you get to go at your own pace and bump into minimal interactions with others, which is great for those seeking a peaceful retreat without interruptions.
The most vibrant islands to visit belonging to the Elaphiti Archipelago are Šipan, Lopud and Koločep. Each island has its own bouquet of beauty to offer and is seeping with history, culture and astonishing views. This activity is perfect for anyone who finds intrigue in learning, feeling and being present in the moment.
Sitting on clouds
Lastly, we suggest seeing the city by cable car. That’s right, we think you need to see Dubrovnik in all its glory – from the sky! The best view of the city can be grasped from the edges of Mount Srd, 412 metres above land. Get cosy on board Dubrovnik’s cable car service, originally built in 1969. During the day you can expect to see the Mediterranean sun beaming down, creating an incandescent glaze over the city’s clay tile homes. You can also expect immaculate views of the evergreen Riviera and its seductive sapphire depths. Watch the gradual shift in the waters below as you are faced with shades of turquoise, indigo, teal and azure blue.
If you happen to be a night owl and prefer exploring later in the day, you can do this too. By ‘night’, you can expect to be washed away by the flickering lights, bustling nightlife and stunning sunset. You can study the majestic sun as it makes itself comfortable on a bed of clouds and waves us goodbye. This is a great experience for those who adore amazing views, aren’t afraid of heights and enjoy doing something different. The cable car ride is also a lovely way to spend some time with your loved one and can be extremely romantic. It all depends on the ambiance you’re after!
These are just a few of our favourite experiences we’d like to share with you. We know that millions of people hold a special place in their hearts for Dubrovnik and that the city itself leaves an unmatched imprint on all who stumble across it. This is why we think it’s vital for locals, such as ourselves, to share the good bits; so that you can craft your stay exactly how you’d want it. Full of fun, recharged energy and excitement.
Written by Maya Barach