Only got three or four days to spend in this dazzling Croatian city? No problem! We’ve done the hard work for you and planned out an all-singing, all-dancing itinerary that’ll keep you busy during a long weekend and help you tick off all those must-see sights and attractions. You can thank us later!
Get stuck into our Dubrovnik guide and really try to make the most of your time in the city…
You’ve just landed, so it’s time to head out, explore and get your bearings. The entire old city of Dubrovnik, UNESCO-stamped may we add, is encircled by fortified walls. These are one of the main draws of the city and a walk around them will give you a sneak peek of the amazing views and enchanting history you’ll experience during your weekend away.
In total, the walk around the historic walls is around two kilometres in length, so it’s a good idea to allow approximately two hours to take it all in. You’ll also need some comfy shoes and a bottle of water as the path can get steep and it gets very warm during the summer months. That leaves plenty of time to pause and take in the terracotta-hued views and grab a drink from one of the cafés.
Stick to the Old Town as it’s even more magical at night when its cobbled streets are lit up with twinkling lights. Think live music venues, stylish rooftop cocktail bars and restaurants that have that cosy, hidden-away feel.
For the ultimate fine-dining treat, why not book a table at a Michelin-starred or Michelin-recommended restaurant? Think gourmet dishes from around the world with a local Croatian twist. Afterwards, make a beeline for a quaint wine or cocktail bar to sip a drink under the stars.
Spend Saturday morning learning all about the city’s rich history by hopping from one museum to the next. Begin at Rector’s Palace which is now home to the Cultural History Museum. The building itself is something to admire. The original gothic façade has stood the test of time since the 15th century, being rebuilt and repaired each time it was damaged. Inside, you can explore regal rooms and grand chambers that are filled with portraits and elegant antique furniture.
Next, stop by the brilliant Baroque-style Dubrovnik Cathedral, before heading to the fascinating Franciscan Church and Monastery. This sizeable complex is home to the oldest active pharmacy in the world and a library that contains more than 20,000 books! If you’ve still got some time to spare, it’s worth checking out the history at the Maritime Museum.
After an action-packed day, is there anything better than resting those tired legs and soaking up the magical atmosphere that flows through the streets? From quaint café-bars that let you dine under the stars to underground family-run restaurants, whatever mood you’re in, you’re sure to find something to suit.
As a country, Croatia produces some spectacular tipples, so don’t miss out on a tasting session right here in the city. Learn how these well-crafted wines go from grape to glass and sample a range for yourself to discover your new favourite.
On your last full day, take it easy with a spot of shopping and sightseeing – it is Sunday after all. Stradun, the main street that runs through the city, stretches for around 300 metres and is home to hundreds of narrow alleyways and winding staircases. Look up to spy the intricate wooden balconies and rows upon rows of laundry hanging out to dry.
Grab a bite to eat in a charming restaurant – fish and seafood is big around these parts so you can sample everything from octopus and mascarpone baguettes to as-fresh-as-they-get oysters. After a quick re-fuel, it’s time to carry on exploring. Any Game of Thrones fans out there? You’ll be in awe of how many filming locations you’ll spot! Think the Red Keep in Kings Landing and the House of Undying.
If you’re feeling adventurous, why not ride the cable car from the top of Mount Srdj and take in the most stunning panoramic views?
Set sail to the neighbouring island of Lokrum where you’ll get to admire the stunning seascapes over the Adriatic. It’s super simple to get there and only takes around 15 minutes by boat. Plus, in summer, boats leave every half an hour.
Once on this lush green island, you can stroll the botanical gardens which are filled with exotic flowers and plants or uncover the ancient ruins of the Benedictine Monastery. Upon return, you can watch as the sky fades from orange to pink and purple. It’s a great experience for both couples and groups of friends alike.
The Elaphiti Islands are also a popular choice if you want to jump from one island to another – 13 islands in total to be exact. Kolocep, Lopud and Sipan are the main ones and the only ones that are populated. They’re famed for their beautiful sandy beaches and gorgeous greenery.
On your last morning, why not squeeze in a visit to Trsteno Arboretum? If you’ve missed open green spaces while holidaying in the city, this is the perfect choice for you. You can get there and back in no time as buses travel there regularly and the journey time is only around 20 minutes.
It’s a peaceful and tranquil park that spreads across 25 hectares and is home to ponds, fountains and Asian plane trees. There’s a stunning 15th-century house too that was once used as a summer residence by the Gučetić-Gozze family, the most distinguished and noble family in Dubrovnik. Plus, another scene from Game of Thrones was filmed here!
While you’re north of the city, why not sample some of the local delicacies for lunch? The area’s renowned Ston oysters come from the nearby village of Mali Ston and they’re the perfect accompaniment to a glass of Pelješac wine.
Just before you head home, bob in and out of the boutiques within the city walls and do a spot of souvenir shopping. There’s everything from handmade silk ties to traditional boxes of Croatian chocolates to squeeze in your suitcase.
And if you fancy a final pit-stop on your way to the airport, Cavtat is conveniently located along the route! It’s a charming town with a picturesque beach where you can soak up the last of Croatia before your flight.
Feel inspired to plan a city break to Dubrovnik after reading that?
Posted: 17th Aug 2021. Updated: 15th Mar 2023.