In Dubrovnik, like a tourist

In Dubrovnik, I feel like at home. I have been to Dubrovnik so many times before. We visit it at least three times a year, every year. But I have never visited Dubrovnik as a tourist. Until recently. I spent three full days in Dubrovnik this past spring, with a group of six. We had a driver, a guide, and a local guy taking us around. And let me tell you what an awesome time we had.

Beautiful Dubrovnik
Beautiful Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is really beautiful and unique. Built on a rocky peninsula, surrounded by the water and centuries old stone walls, this fortified town is a real jewel. Visited by many, it can get crowded, but it wasn't the case this late April, although there was one cruise ship in the port. There were just enough people to feel the atmosphere. The weather was sunny and warm.

What to do in Dubrovnik for a day?

Visit mountain Srd
Scrub surfaced mountain Srd, stands 400 m above Dubrovnik. It can be reached by car (15 minutes), on foot (90 minutes walk), or by cable car (3 minutes). If you decide to visit the mountain, you'll be able to enjoy some of the best views over the city. 

Dubrovnik, Croatia: Cable car
Cable car to mountain Srd

There is not much to do atop, beside the views. There is a nice cafe where you can relax while enjoying the views. There is also a homeland war museum. You can have a glimpse into destruction that city endured during the 90s war. Also, there is a photo display of the history of a cable car itself.

Stroll through the old city of Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, Croatia: Old Port
Old port

Enter the town's walls through Ploce gate, pass Revelin fortress, visit church of st. Sebastian. Just down the street, you will meet Kate. Kate is always on the stairs leading to the Dominican Monestry. She is dressed in the traditional clothes from Konavle region. She is making souvenirs, beautiful pieces of traditional Konavle embroidery. Continue to the town's old port. The old port is my favorite part of the town.

Dubrovnik, Croatia: Cathedral

Re-enter town walls near the Cathedral. Visit Rector's palace. Have a coffee at one of the many terraces (expensive!). Walk Dubrovnik main street from Saint Braise church, pass Orlando's column, all the way to Onofrio's fountain. Stop at the Franciscan Monastery and visit the third oldest pharmacy in Europe.

Dubrovnik, Croatia: Rector's Palace Inside
Rector's Palace, inside court

Have a lunch at one of many restaurant in the old town
There are numerous restaurants in Dubrovnik old town. Generally restaurants in the old town are expensive, just like everything else in Dubrovnik. For the cheaper option choose Lokanda (located in the old port, excellent atmosphere), Komarda (just outside town's walls, excellent view over the old port).

Vegetarians should head for Nishta, small, cozy restaurant with veggie and vegan dishes and a hippie vibe. Taj Mahal (regardless of its name) serves traditional Bosnian dishes. Bota restaurant, located at the very romantic corner of the old town, offers yummy oysters & sushi. Fine dining establishments in the old town are 360 degrees by Jefrey Vella, fish restaurant Proto, and Nautika.

Restaurant Proto sidewalk terrace
Restaurant Proto sidewalk terrace

Walk Dubrovnik city walls

Dubrovnik, Croatia: City Walls
City Walls

If in Dubrovnik, you need to take leisurely walk around city walls. Enter the walls near Pile Gate. The promenade is one way only, so once at the top, you will head left. This is actually excellent as all the main spots you will pass in the first half round. If you ask me, there is no need to make a full circle around the town. Half will do just fine.

Dubrovnik, Croatia: Bokar Tower
Bokar Tower

It is steep, but it is not extremely difficult climb. First steps up are the hardest to climb, later on it is mostly flat. Views over the town, red roofs, sea and walls themselves are stunning.

Have you visited Dubrovnik? What have you enjoyed the most? Let us know in the comments below.

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57 thoughts on “In Dubrovnik, like a tourist”

  1. Frank
    I enjoy reading your post and I am now planning a trip in Aug.(the only time I can travel) There is so much that I want to see and experience but I am afraid time will not permit all. I would love your advise on 1.MUST vist places I am open to suggestions adn nothig is set in ston yet. I would love to see Dubrovnik, Rovinj, Split, Korcula, Peljesac,Zadar 2. How much time do I need in Dubrovnik. My thought is since it will be over run with tourist and hot. To get up early explore and then head out of the city while tour boats are in and come back in the late afternoon. What can we do from there? We enjoy water activities, kayaking, finding off the beaten path destinations and food of course !!

  2. We went to Dubrovnik almost at the beginning of our trip and we liked it, it’s a very charming city. What we didn’t enjoy so much was how crowded it was and how some places were extremely touristic, it kind of ruined a bit the magic of the city. I need to go back when it isn’t high season, it would probably be more relaxed and less crowded.

    • Thanks for your comment, Franca! You are so right about the crowd. Too many people in such a small place. We always avoid it in summer. Unbearable :)

    • Have just returned. Dubrovnik is now limiting cruise ships to two daily rather than six……crush still happens but guess it is much improved

    • Thanks for stopping by, Catherine! Haven’t heard about daily cruise ship limit, but it’s certainly a great idea. We’ve also been in Dubrovnik last week, and there weren’t too many people. Just enough.

  3. Dubrovnik has been at the top of my travel wish list. It just looks so beautiful and glad to see there are so many great things to do there. I can spend days exploring that old port or walk the city walls. Lucky you to spend so much time at this gorgeous setting.

  4. Very cool site. I went to Dubrovnik about 10 years ago and LOVED it…hoping to return. But I now am in Belize (and have been for the past 7 years) and I do a site…similar but different about Belize. Love yours.

    • Thanks Rebecca! I love your site. Will use it sometimes for the ideas, if you don’t mind. I’ve been to Belize also some 12 years ago. Went cave tubing, and also it’s the place where I’ve seen a cashew fruit for the first time.

  5. I love visiting my home cities as a tourist! I went to school in NYC, but some of my best experiences in NYC came when I was showing around visiting friends.

  6. I’ve been to Dubrovnik only once and only for few hours (between Kotor and Mostar). I loved it big time! It was a beautiful Saturday at the end of September so of course it was crowded but once I went off to some back streets it was like a different world! I really would love to come back there and you just convinced me that April might be a good option!

    • Thanks, Kami! Dubrovnik can be a real hustle when there are lots of people in the town. Glad you’ve enjoyed it, though! At the moment we decided to have a break from Dubrovnik for a while, but we cannot deny its beauty. Safe travels!

    • Thanks, Nicole! Glad you’ve liked it. If you do come back, let us know. We will be happy to show you around. Safe travels, and good luck with your blog. We love following your adventures.

  7. Great photos of Dubrovnik, Frank! We’d been thinking of visiting Croatia while we were living in Amsterdam, but then we embarked on our long-term American adventure and it got pushed back. Hope to make it there one day. Lovely post! Good luck!

    • Thanks, Lunaguava! I like that you did embark on that American adventure. You make us travel along with you through your blog. Safe travels, and hope to have you here in Croatia one day.

  8. Great post! We really loved Dubrovnik – especially the views from Mount Srd and fresh grilled squid for lunch :) So often travelers try to get off the beaten path we often forget that it’s beaten for a reason. Glad you had such a wonderful time being “touristy” in Dubrovnik!

    • Hi Travis, thanks! You are right, there are places and sights you just need to see. Even if you are more of “off the beaten path” kind of a traveler.

    • Thanks, Sammy! Don’t forget that now you have friends here. So it should be easier to visit (crashing at our place is totally fine with us; plenty of space)

  9. Mid-spring always seems like the best time of year to visit big summer attractions, provided you don’t mind keeping out of the water. Dubrovnik is still one of the most photogenic places I have encountered, what a lovely city.

  10. This loks amazing. I love the sunsets at Dubrovnik especially because the sun set so late. My favourite part was taking a walk along the city walls so that’s a great suggestion :)

    • Hi Christine,
      thanks a lot for your comment. I checked your blog and it is great. I saw Dubrovnik on your bucket list – are you actually planing on visiting it anytime soon? Beside Dubrovnik, check also Rovinj in Croatia. It is a lovely seaside town, and Istria is the top destination in Croatia for foodies.

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