Dubrovnik is a historic, medieval city in the south of Croatia. The main attraction is the beautifully preserved, compact old town encircled by 2km of ancient walls – it really is a sight to behold. This is also the location for ‘Kings Landing’ in Game of Thrones and I spotted a number of familiar places I’d seen on the show!
Dubrovnik is a small town – if you’re in the area, 2 days is more than enough time to explore the main sights. On the other hand, if you’re planning to stay longer, there are plenty of day trips (e.g. Montenegro and Bosnia), island hopping (e.g. Elaphiti Islands) , beaches and other activities (e.g. kayaking) on offer.
So, here’s what you should do in 48 hours in Dubrovnik!
Take a boat trip to ‘Lokrum‘ which is a 10-15 minute ride from the old town and costs around 120 kuna (£15). The ticket also includes entry to the island itself.
Lokrum is a beautiful island with one of its main sights being a Benedictine Monastery as well other ruins. There is also a botanical garden and a small saltwater lake that is popular for swimming (the beaches here are rocky so bring appropriate footwear). You can also walk (it’s a steep path and not a shocker that it’s called the ‘path to paradise‘) to see views of Dubrovnik from the old fort/tower. A bonus is that the tourist centre on the island houses a replica ‘iron throne’ #GOT – we spent about 3 hours in Lokrum but you could spend longer if you’re planning to swim. Head back from Lokrum and grab a bite to eat in Dubrovnik’s old town. Check out the popular vegan restaurant called Nishta.
NB: Dubrovnik is very touristy so it’s always best to research places to eat before you go or you might find yourself in a tourist trap restaurant. In the afternoon, take the cable car up to Mount Srd for stunning views of Dubrovnik. A return ticket costs 140 kuna (£16). Go at sunset – it was really spectacular. Day 2
Head to the old town city walls which offer beautiful views of the Adriatic and the rest of the old town. Go early in the day (as soon as it opens!) to avoid the crowds. It gets seriously busy throughout the day, especially as more cruise ships arrive. It can also get quite hot so make sure you take water with you.
Buy the 24 hour Dubrovnik Card (£22) for the day you plan to explore the old town. You can pre-order this online and pick it up near the Pile Gate. It is cheaper online and is good value for money as the cost of the card is nearly the same price as entrance to just the city walls alone whereas this comes included with the Dubrovnik Card. It also includes free travel on the buses and entrance to other museums which you can see in a day!To make the most of the Dubrovnik Card, head to the Rector’s Palace and Franciscan Monastery. I wouldn’t have necessarily paid for the Rector’s Palace had I not had the Dubrovnik card but it was nice nonetheless. Both are small and you could easily see them in under a couple of hours. For the rest of the day, just enjoy walking around the old town. Grab some pizza at Oliva Pizzeria. There are also many delicious gelato places all around town. Take your gelato to the old port and enjoy the views! Top tip! I would highly recommend checking the cruise schedule (available on the Dubrovnik port website) before you plan what day you want to do the city walls or just explore the old town. This way, you can pick the day with fewer ships arriving.
Best time to go
I would avoid going during the height of summer. Dubrovnik’s old town is small and it can be really overwhelming with the number of people visiting on a daily basis. Go in spring or early autumn when the weather will still be nice and you’ll avoid the craziness!
Where to stay
We stayed at the Valamar Lacroma in the Babin Kuk area which is a 15 minute bus ride (buses are frequent) from the old town. This was a welcome relief to the crowds of the old town. The breakfast at the Valamar was good and the pools were lovely (plus the views of the sunset are pretty amazing from the hotel!). I would recommend this place if you want a bit more quiet time. The only downside was that the area didn’t have that many restaurant options which isn’t ideal if you don’t feel like going back to the old town at night.Have you been to Dubrovnik? What were your favourite things to do? x