A sea of terracotta rooves, ancient stone walls, the glimmering Adriatic – welcome to Dubrovnik, the Croatian city that’s causing a stir. This sun-kissed destination along the Dalmatian coast has been catapulted into stardom of late and is one of the country’s most visited locations.
Croatia is renowned for its beauty and it reaches its pinnacle in Dubrovnik. Known as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’, this city dazzles all that set foot here with its treasure trove of history, scenic beaches and vibrant restaurants.
Not sure what to do in Dubrovnik? Explore the best of the city with our guide:
- City walls
- Old Town
- Cable car
- Rector's Palace
- Fort Minceta
- Dubrovnik Cathedral
- War Photo Limited
- Sponza Palace
- Franciscan Monastery
1. City walls
Pull on a pair of comfy shoes and explore the ancient thick-set walls designed to protect Dubrovnik. They encircle the Old Town for nearly two kilometres, with parts of the walls dating all the way back to the 10th century. Inland, they’re up to six metres thick, demonstrating their true might.
Wandering the complete circuit takes around two hours. Meander along the battlements, peering down into the streets of the Old Town and gazing out to the shimmering waters of the Adriatic.
2. Old Town
Fall head over heels for this Croatian city when you spend an afternoon strolling through its medieval Old Town – it’s one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik. This UNESCO-listed site is brimming with baroque churches, Gothic monasteries and elegant palaces, giving you a glimpse into the city’s rich past. Together, the secret passageways and bustling squares create pure magic.
Stradun, the main throughway, divides the Old Town in two. Follow this pedestrianised stretch to see Onofrio’s Fountain, Sponza Palace and much more.
3. Cable car
Enjoy a bird’s-eye view of Dubrovnik when you hop aboard the city’s cable car. This scenic ride will take you above the Old Town, providing panoramic views out to sea as you head towards Mount Srd. Towering more than 400 metres above the city, it’s Dubrovnik’s highest point. Here, you can dine on Mediterranean cuisine at Panorama Restaurant and wander the fascinating exhibits at Museum Dubrovnik in Homeland War inside Fort Imperial.
4. Rector's Palace
Uncover a blend of Gothic, baroque and Renaissance architecture at this dazzling 15th century palace. The former residence of the rector, who was elected to govern the city for just one month, now serves as Dubrovnik’s Cultural History Museum. You can tour around the living quarters and see nearly 10,000 objects spanning the 15th to the 20th century. Paintings, photographs, furniture and old weaponry feature among the collection.
There’s only 600 metres of water separating this tiny island and vibrant Dubrovnik, but the two are worlds apart. Nature is what draws visitors to Lokrum, with free-roaming peacocks and rabbits, as well as towering trees blanketing the island in a layer of emerald green. Swim, snorkel or simply hike around through the island.
As it was a key filming location, there’s even a small Game of Thrones exhibition and a replica of the Iron Throne here. Plus, don’t miss the 11th century Benedictine monastery complex that boasts breathtaking cloister gardens and the adjoining exotic botanical gardens.
6. Fort Minceta
Originally built in the 14th century, this circular tower forms part of the city walls, a stronghold in one of the four corners. It was the highest point in the defence and therefore offers incredible sweeping views of both the sea and the Old Town. Game of Thrones fans may recognise it as the filming location for the House of the Undying in Qarth.
7. Dubrovnik Cathedral
A masterclass in baroque architecture can be found in the heart of the Old Town. Dubrovnik’s Cathedral of the Assumption was built in the 17th century after a devastating earthquake destroyed the original. Admire the ornate façade before heading inside to see the treasures that lie within. See Titian’s Assumption of the Virgin Mary and discover precious relics inside the treasury.
8. War Photo Limited
A different perspective of history is on show at War Photo Limited. This contemporary art gallery exhibits a permanent collection of images taken during some of the darkest moments of the modern age. Spend a couple of hours walking through the moving collection of war-time visuals from around the world, including the display of works from the Yugoslavia conflict.
9. Sponza Palace
Showcasing Gothic and Renaissance styling, this 16th-century palace started life as a customs house but has taken multiple guises during its time, including a mint and an armoury. Today, it’s where the State Archives can be found. Originals aren’t on show, but you can get an up-close view of copies, as you soak up the beautiful architecture. We’re talking Corinthian columns, Gothic windows and carved inscriptions.
10. Franciscan Monastery
Last on our top things to do in Dubrovnik, but certainly not least, is this photogenic monastery. The complex was revamped after an earthquake in the 17th century and has a series of gorgeous architectural features. Best of all is the jaw-dropping Romanesque cloister, surrounded by lush greenery. Don’t forget your camera!
Use our list of the top ten things to do in Dubrovnik to inspire your next getaway. Plan a trip to this Croatian gem now with Jet2holidays!
Posted: 1st Jan 2019. Updated: 17th Mar 2023.