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22 Best things to see & do in Dubrovnik

  • Dubrovnik, Dalmatia, Croatia

Last updated: 15 June, 2024
Expert travel writer: Jane Foster
  • Dubrovnik, Dalmatia, Croatia

Couple walk atop city walls

Bucket List Experience

Walk Dubrovnik’s City Walls

For dazzling views over Dubrovnik’s old town rooftops and the Adriatic, this 2km stroll around the battlements is an absolute must.

Among the best-preserved city fortifications in the world, they date back to the 13th century but were reinforced when the Ottoman Turks threatened in the 15th century.

Standing up to 24m high and 6m wide, they have deterred would-be aggressors for many centuries, but today they’re a major tourist attraction.

Good for age: 8+

Duration: 1 hour

  • Dubrovnik, Dalmatia, Croatia

There can be few kayaking tours in the world as spectacular and memorable as this one. See the magnificent medieval walls from the outside, and appreciate how they must have appeared to potential invaders, and access parts of this beautifully unspoiled coastline, away from the crowds.

Starting from gorgeous Sveti Jakov Beach, you’ll paddle around the walls and across idyllic azure blue waters for a picnic lunch on the tiny green island of Lokrum.

For more experienced kayakers – or those looking for more adventure – full-day tours take in more islands, cliffs and sea caves, or explore maritime Dalmatia at length on a week-long tour of the coast and offshore islands.

Adult price: ££30

Min age 6

Good for age: 13+

Duration: 5+ hours

  • Dubrovnik, Dalmatia, Croatia

close up of a cake on a plate

Bucket List Experience

Dubrovnik’s best food & drink

Dubrovnik is part of the coastal Dalmatia region, meaning local cuisine is dominated by fish and seafood. Classic Mediterranean flavours – tomatoes, parsley, garlic and rosemary – are often paired with fish.

Croatia’s Italian heritage is seen in pizzerias and gelaterias on every street, although there are fine dining options; Michelin-starred 360 is the city’s most famous restaurant, set in the Old Town walls.

Good for age: 18+

Duration: -

  • Dubrovnik, Dalmatia, Croatia

Performance at Dubrovnik Festival

Bucket List Experience

Dubrovnik Summer Festival

Every year since 1950, from mid-July to late August, internationally renowned artists take part in music concerts, opera, theatre and dance performances at dozens of stunning open-air venues in Dubrovnik’s Old Town; these include the 16th-century Revelin Fortress and the atrium inside the Rector’s Palace.

Literally thousands of events are staged over the course of the festival, with world-renowned acts and performers. But it’s the atmospheric settings that really make this event special, and like no other.

Adult price: £20

Good for age: 18+

Duration: 6 weeks

When: Mid-July & August

Freq: annually

  • Dubrovnik, Dalmatia, Croatia

Vineyards on mountain slope into coast

Bucket List Experience

Peljesac Wine Region

Croatia has a long history of winemaking, stretching back some 2,500 years, with many indigenous grape varieties still in use. It’s also home to the oak forests that produce most of the oak casks favoured by wine producers across Europe.

A one-hour drive up the coast from Dubrovnik lies Peljesac, a mountainous peninsula where the velvety red Plavac and award-winning Dingac wines are produced on the sunny sea-facing slopes.

Several vineyards are open for wine tasting during the summer, normally offering three to five different wines to sample, with the producer sometimes present to tell you about the history and process of the craft.

If you are driving, stop at Mali Ston – it’s famed throughout Croatia for succulent oysters and mussels, which are served at several local waterside restaurants.

Good for age: 18+

Duration: 4

  • Mljet, Dalmatia, Croatia

Monastery on an island surrounded by shallows

Bucket List Experience

Mljet National Park

For those in search of peace and pristine nature, this stunning national park covers one-third of the remote island of Mljet. Besides hiking and mountain biking through magnificent forests of Aleppo pines and holm oaks, you can swim or kayak in two emerald-blue saltwater lakes; one is home to a picturesque islet crowned by a 12th-century monastery.

Unusually, there’s great food too – there are plenty of small waterside restaurants and cafés within the park (most are in Pomena), serving up the famous Mljet lobster, renowned throughout Croatia.

There is only one hotel on the island (the comfortable, three-star Hotel Odisej), but many locals rent out private rooms and apartments to visitors during the summer.

Good for age: 8+

  • Dubrovnik, Dalmatia, Croatia

Bird's eye view of an island

Bucket List Experience

Elafiti Islands

Covered with pine forests and lush Mediterranean vegetation, and sprinkled with olive groves, vineyards and 16th-century villas, the pristine Elafiti Islands make for a fabulous day-trip from Dubrovnik. The water is crystal-clear waters and there are countless secluded coves to explore.

The three largest islands, Kolocep, Lopud and Sipan, are inhabited all year round, though it’s during the summer months that they come to life, offering a charming selection of laid-back cafés and seafood restaurants.

Beach-lovers should head to Sunj, on the lush green island of Lopud, one of the islands’ few sandy beaches, with warm, shallow waters ideal for children.

One of the best ways to explore the islands is by kayak; numerous tour operators offer guided kayaking day-trips or longer expeditions. If you prefer something a bit more relaxing, you can opt for one a sail- or speedboat, either on an organised tour or a private charter.

Good for age: 8+

Duration: 3+ hours

  • Dubrovnik, Dalmatia, Croatia

This 14th-century monastery centres on a charming late Romanesque cloister, with a lovely hidden garden of orange trees and towering palms.

Highlights include a Renaissance-Baroque church built after the 1667 earthquake, a small museum containing religious art and artefacts belonging to the Franciscan order, and, oddly, the world’s oldest working pharmacy, which was founded in 1318 and is still functioning today, complete with exhibits from the distant past.

Good for age: 18+

  • Dubrovnik, Dalmatia, Croatia

Fresh oyster in plate of bread and lemon on the Raft at Mali Ston

Bucket List Experience

Oysters at Mali Ston

Mali Ston is famed throughout Croatia for its fresh oysters and mussels, served at restaurants overlooking the sheltered bay where the shellfish are grown. The village is made up of traditional Dalmatian stone cottages and makes a great day trip from Dubrovnik.

Above Mali Ston is the sister village of Ston, whose renovated fortified medieval walls, stretch a remarkable 5.5km across the isthmus and link the two villages.

The little-visited peninsula that reaches out from Ston is home to some of Croatia’s finest beaches.

Head for nearby Prapratno Cove or the village of Zuljana at the end of the peninsula, whose stunning beach is great for swimming

Good for age: 18+

Duration: 4

Sveti Jakov Beach

  • Dubrovnik, Dalmatia, Croatia

Parasols and loungers on beach under cliff

Experience

This fine, secluded, pebble-sand beach is sandwiched between rocky cliffs and crystal-clear water. Eat lunch on the waterside terrace of the beach’s rustic eaterie, while admiring the views of Dubrovnik’s handsome walls across the water.

Handily located within walking distance of the Old Town, it’s the perfect spot for when you’ve had your fill of Dubrovnik’s cultural attractions and need some beach time.