Discover the top adventurous things to do Croatia Dubrovnik in this list!
Spending a couple days in Dubrovnik is definitely one of the best things to do Croatia. I only spent 2 days in Dubrovnik, Croatia and I had plenty of time to do everything in this list plus get plenty of sleep to catch up on jet lag.
Pro Tip: Dubrovnik is a small city with lots of tourists so make sure to book any activities immediately so you don’t miss out on any of these adventurous things to do in Dubrovnik!
A Quick Dubrovnik, Croatia History Lesson
Ancient Dubrovnik History
Dubrovnik is an ancient city that dates all the way back to the Greeks. It was once known as the Republic of Ragusa, had its own currency and was a major trading hub in the Mediterranean. Fast forward to the 14th century and Dubrovnik became a powerful city-state known for its diplomacy and wealth. It even had a sophisticated system of government and was one of the first places in the world to have a quarantine for ships during outbreaks of disease. The Republic of Dubrovnik was also one of the first nations in Europe to abolish slavery, way back in 1416. To this day, you can see the Ragusa’s motto carved into the Lovrijenac Fortress (aka the Red Keep from GOT). It reads: ‘Non Bene Pro Toto Libertas Venditur Auro’, which means ‘Liberty Should Not Be Sold At Any Price’.
Communist Rule & Yugoslav Wars
Like much of the Balkan Peninsula, Dubrovnik’s more recent history is pretty tumultuous. From 1945 until the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991, Dubrovnik was under Communist Yugoslavia rule. As recent as the 1990s, the Balkan Peninsula was wracked by the Yugoslav Wars which resulted in more than 100,000 deaths and major economic damage to the entire region. While Dubrovnik was heavily damaged during the Croatian War of Independence, the city has since had extensive restoration efforts to bring it back to its former glory. If you’d like to learn more about this time in Croatia’s history, definitely make time to visit the Red History Museum in Dubrovnik.
Modern Day Dubrovnik
In the present day, Dubrovnik has become a popular tourist destination, mostly thanks to its stunning Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site! You may even recognize it as the filming location for King’s Landing in Game of Thrones. Now that you know more of Dubrovnik’s fascinating history, let’s export it!
9 Top Things to Do Croatia Dubrovnik
This unique list will show you exactly what to do in Dubrovnik, Croatia to have an unforgettable trip. Whether you want to learn the ancient history of Ragusa, see Game of Thrones filming spots in person or spend time in nature, this list of the things to do Croatia Dubrovnik will not disappoint.
1. Breathe the Salty Air on a Dubrovnik Kayak Tour
Renting a kayak in Dubrovnik will easily be one of your favorite activities during your stay. You’ll meet at the kayak spot in the morning, get a briefing, then take off on your kayaks! The route takes you around the city, around Lokrum Island and to Betina Cave Beach where you can take in the surroundings, snorkel and relax. When you kayak Dubrovnik, you’ll definitely want to bring your camera or phone because you can get amazing pictures of Dubrovnik from the water. Plus, the tour includes a dry bag for your belongings.
You can do this tour early in the day or at sunset, when you’ll get a glass of wine!
This tour is perfect for solo female travelers, too! When I traveled Croatia solo, I booked my Dubrovnik kayak tour through GetYourGuide and it did not disappoint! The guide was hilarious and shared tons of interesting Dubrovnik history with us. I had a single kayak and the entire tour was doable, though some parts were definitely challenging and my muscles burned—you’ve been warned. 😉
2. Game Thrones Dubrovnik Tour
The Dubrovnik Croatia GOT tour takes you to all the major filming sites, including the Red Keep, Cersei’s Walk of Shame, Blackwater Bay and more. You’ll get a real behind-the-scenes look at the filming of Game of Thrones, and even have a chance to take a photo in an Iron Throne replica!
On one of the Game Thrones tour Dubrovnik, you take a 15-minute ferry to Lokrum Island, where many GOT scenes were filmed in the city of “Qarth”. It’s the perfect opportunity to relax in nature and go for a swim, too!
3. Walk the Wall of Dubrovnik
The Wall in Dubrovnik is definitely a Croatia must see! You’ll get an excellent tour of the city from above and learn a ton of history about Dubrovnik. I recommend doing this tour in the early morning or at sunset because it can be extremely hot and there’s no shade. One of my favorite parts of the tour is getting a glimpse into the gardens of local Dubrovnik residents. You get a look at their bougainvillea-covered trellises, close line laundry and more.
This tour is also an excellent photo opp because you’re high above the city. You can get wide photos of the terracotta roofs, the ocean behind the city and forts.
4. Sip & Dip at Croatia’s Cliffside Buža Bar
Walk through a literal hole in the wall and you’ll find epic views, drinks and cliff jumping opportunities at Buža Bar. This stunning bar is built right into the cliff lining the city and it’s an absolute must-see in Dubrovnik. Unfortunately, I was solo when I visited this bar so I didn’t feel great about leaving all my stuff alone at the bar even though I REALLY wanted to jump in the water. No worries, I had a delicious cocktail!
If you go during the heat of the day, be sure to wear your swimsuit so you can jump right off the cliff into the crystal blue Adriatic sea! Just be sure to bring a coverup for after your swim since there are not changing facilities on site. Otherwise, this bar offers supreme sunset views and excellent cocktails. It’s cash-only, so make sure you bring plenty of Euros!
How to Find Buža Bar: To find the bar, head to the top of the Jesuit stairs and turn left down the first alleyway. Walk until you see the “cold drinks” signs and you can follow those to the entrance of the bar.
5. Catch Some Rays on Dubrovnik, Croatia Beaches
Dubrovnik, Croatia beaches are absolutely stunning and totally live up to the European beach vibe you’re imagining! Banje Beach is right outside of town so if you’re staying in Old Town, you can walk here in 10-15 minutes. There’s a beach club and bar on the beach so you can thoroughly enjoy yourself with food and cocktails if you want to!
6. Dine at the Best Dubrovnik, Croatia Restaurants
Dubrovnik, Croatia restaurants do not disappoint, but they do fill up fast! It’s such a small city with so many tourists, it’s absolutely necessary to make reservations in advance anywhere you want to eat.
Wherever you end up dining, do not forget to try squid ink risotto (Crni Rižot). It’s a Croatian specialty and is easily one of my favorite travel meals ever!
If you’re a true foodie, Dubrnovnik Restaurant 360 is an absolute must. It’s run by a Michelin-star chef and serves up Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, with five-course meal options and an a la carte menu. Be sure to make a reservation here and be prepared to put down a deposit on your credit card.
Also, you absolutely cannot miss Peppino’s Artisanal Gelato. There are two locations in Dubrovnik and it may just be the best gelato you’ve had in your entire life! I got a cone every day of my stay in Dubrovnik!
If you want a taste of the absolute best of Dubrovnik, do the food tour with a local chef below! You’ll enjoy all the local specialties and delicious wine throughout the three-hour tour.
7. Wander the Streets of Dubrovnik, Croatia Old Town
Dubrovnik, Croatia Old Town is an activity of its own. You can get lost just wandering the narrow corridors and admiring the local life scenes, shops and restaurants. That’s one of my favorite ways to explore a new place. Just wander around with no plan until I find a cute restaurant or shop I want to go in.
8. Dubrovnik by Cable Car
If you want to get a get a bird’s-eye view and enjoy a leisurely activity, see Dubrovnik by cable car! The cable car takes you all the way to the top of Srd Hill next to Imperial Fortress. You can buy tickets right at the Cable Car Station which is located right outside of Old Town, about a 10-15 minute walk.
Alternatively, you can book a tour that includes the Dubrovnik Cable Car and a Walking Tour of Dubrovnik, linked below.
9. Dubrovnik to Montenegro Day Trip
Kotor, Montenegro is another ancient walled city in the Balkans. It’s an otherworldly town where the Adriatic winds in between mountains to give you heavenly views and a little bit of everything in terms of activity. You can swim, do a boat tour to the Blue Cave Montenegro, hike, explore an ancient walled city and so much more.
Getting from Dubrovnik to Kotor is so easy and 100% worth it. The bus ride to Kotor, Montenegro alone gives you some of the best views this planet has to offer! You could easily plan your own day trip and take the bus, but there are plenty of tours available.
I recommend the tour below because it gives you plenty of time to explore Kotor and climb to the top of Kotor City Walls, wander the narrow streets of Kotor and swim.
How to Do Dubrovnik in One Day Itinerary
If you only have one full day in Dubrovnik, this is how I recommend you spend it:
- Wake up and have a breakfast or a snack before you head to the kayak meeting point for your early morning kayak tour.
- Stop by your Dubrovnik hotel or Airbnb to freshen up before heading to lunch (make sure you have a swimsuit on under your clothes, and pack a towel and coverup).
- Enjoy an excellent lunch in Dubrovnik then head to Buža Bar for cocktails and cliffside swimming.
- Head back to your accommodations and freshen up for your Dubrovnik City Walls Sunset Tour.
- After the tour, head to the authentic Croatian restaurant you made reservations at.
- After dinner, wander the streets of Dubrovnik until you find a great place for cocktails or dessert. You definitely want to get gelato at Peppino’s if it’s still open (closes at 8pm).
Dubrovnik, Croatia FAQ
Is a Dubrovnik, Croatia Car Rental Necessary?
A Dubrovnik, Croatia car rental is definitely not necessary if you’re just exploring Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik is a small city that’s completely walkable and you’ll spend most of your time in Old Town which is a tiny area. If you’re exploring all over Croatia and the Balkans, it’s ideal to have a rental car but you definitely don’t need one. The transportation options around Croatia and the Balkans are excellent. You can easily take a bus or ferry almost anywhere you want to go.
If you do rent a car, I recommend you book through DiscoverCars.com to get the best deal.
How Many Days in Dubrovnik Do You Need?
Two to four days is the perfect amount of time in Dubrovnik. It gives you plenty of time to do everything on this list, with the exception of going to Kotor (for two-day stays). The town is really small so you can easily see the major attractions in a short amount of time.
During my solo trip to Dubrovnik, I spent two full days then took a bus to Kotor on the third day and continued my travels there.
Is Croatia Part of Europe?
Croatia is part of Europe and the country recently adopted the Euro as their currency rather than their currency the Croatian Kuna. Croatia is located in the Balkan Peninsula which is the southeastern part of Europe and is surrounded by Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Hungary. It also recently jointed the border-free Schengen zone.
What’s the Dubrovnik, Croatia Population?
If you’re wondering what the population is in Dubrovnik, Croatia, you may be surprised to learn it’s only about 40,000 people! When you arrive in Dubrovnik and see the size of the town, you’ll understand why the local population is so small.