Dubrovnik is the kind of city where you could spend a month exploring its narrow streets, delicious restaurants, and viewpoints without getting tired of its scenery. But since most people don’t have weeks to dedicate to their vacation, let alone a single destination, here’s some good news—you can see Dubrovnik’s highlights in a weekend.
In this guide, I’ll show you how to fit the must-see sites into your Dubrovnik itinerary. So, grab a comfy pair of sneakers, and let’s “walk” in.
1. Put your calves to work exploring the old town
Dubrovnik’s old town will make you feel like you stepped back in time (or into the Game of Thrones, if you’re a fan). Exploring Stradun Street is a must, which is a flat pedestrian path that cuts through the middle of the town, taking you past some of Dubrovnik’s most iconic buildings.
When the inevitable moment comes that you crave a break from the crowds, choose any street that runs perpendicular to the coast. Staircase after staircase on a steep mountainside will greet you, but all that climbing will pay off—you’ll get to enjoy views of bright orange tile roofs and have access to quaint local restaurants.
2. Make your way up Mount Srd
Mount Srd is the mountain that hovers over Dubrovnik, and going to the top offers some of the best views in town. You have three options for arriving at Mount Srd—taking a cable car, hiking, or driving. Riding in the cable car is a popular option and will give you incredible views of Dubrovnik’s old town on the way up.
That said, if you’re not too tired from exploring the old town, I recommend hiking instead. It takes about an hour to get to the top via a switchback trail, and you’ll have views over the old town once you emerge from the treeline. On your way down, look for the secret Mount Srd hiking path through Bosanka. It’s the epitome of the phrase “off the beaten trail” and, in my opinion, offers even better views than Mount Srd.
3. Walk on top of the old city wall
In a place as beautiful as Dubrovnik, it’s natural for so many activities to revolve around the views. So, make sure to set aside time during your weekend trip to walk Dubrovnik’s city wall. You’ll need to pay an entrance fee and head up a short flight of stairs to begin. From there, you’ll be able to explore the entire circumference of the old town on a relatively flat surface, getting up close to both the Adriatic Sea and mountains.
You can expect this activity to take one to two hours, depending on your pace. If you’re a history buff, signing up for a tour is a great way to gain a deeper understanding of what you’re looking at.
4. Feed your Game of Thrones obsession at Fort Lovrijenac
Fort Lovrijenac sits on a 37-meter-high rock just outside of Dubrovnik’s old city walls. Game of Thrones fans will recognize this site as the Red Keep in King’s Landing, so you’ll undoubtedly visit there if you end up booking a Game of Thrones tour.
Even if Game of Thrones isn’t your thing, you’ll likely appreciate the history of Fort Lovrijenac since locals successfully used it to ward off the Venetians. And, of course, you’ll have amazing views from the top. Make sure to save your city wall entrance ticket since you’ll receive a discount for visiting Fort Lovrijenac.
5. Hang out with peacocks at Lokrum Island
Getting out on the Adriatic Sea is a must during your weekend in Dubrovnik, and a great way to do this is by combining it with a ferry ride to Lokrum Island. Upon your arrival, free-range peacocks and rabbits will greet you.
Lokrum Island is pedestrian-only, so it’s a perfect escape for nature lovers. Since you have two days to spend in Dubrovnik, you’ll likely only want to dedicate half a day to Lokrum. Make sure to swim in the island’s “Dead Sea” and pay a visit to the 15th-century monastery while you’re there.
6. Try Dalmatian food
You deserve to eat well after all the time you’ll be spending on your feet. Luckily, Dubrovnik offers amazing restaurants serving traditional Dalmatian food. Many dishes involve seafood, such as black risotto made with squid ink and buzara, a crustacean and shellfish dish containing white wine.
If you’re overwhelmed by the city’s incredible restaurant options, may I suggest the Michelin recommended Proto Dubrovnik? Try asking for a table on the terrace where you can enjoy great food and amazing views of the old town.
Tips for getting to Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is the second most visited city in Croatia. Nevertheless, Croatia has many destinations worth seeing. So, below are tips on how to get to Dubrovnik from other parts of the country.
How to get to Dubrovnik from Split
You have four options for traveling from Split to Dubrovnik: Ferry, bus, minivan, and car. The ferry and bus take around 4.5 hours, whereas the private car and minivan transfers take three hours. If you travel by land, you’ll need to pass through immigration at the Bosnia and Herzegovina border before arriving back in Croatia.
How to get to Dubrovnik from Hvar
There’s one Krilo ferry per day that travels from Hvar to Dubrovnik. The ferry is 3 hours, 15 minutes long, and runs from April 1st to October 25th. You’ll make two port stops on the way to Dubrovnik, where you’ll get to enjoy views of Korcula and Mljet from the outdoor deck or your indoor seat.
How to get to Dubrovnik from Zagreb
Zagreb is the furthest destination on this list, but you have several transportation options to choose from. You can travel from Zagreb to Dubrovnik by a 9.5-hour bus ride, a six-hour drive in a private car or minivan, or a one-hour flight. Regardless of the transportation method you choose, it’s worth the travel time since you’ll get to experience a different side of Croatia.