Dubrovnik is a real pearl of the Adriatic sea. Not only is the city’s Old Town one of the most picturesque places on the whole Earth, but it’s also home to some amazing beaches, crystal clear waters and tons of great restaurants and bars. Seems like everyone’s talking about Dubrovnik these days, and there really is a lot to talk about. Although it’s recommended to spend at least 3 days in Dubrovnik and the area around it, one day in Dubrovnik is still enough time to explore the most exciting sights. There’s no way you won’t fall in love with it!
What’s the best time to visit Dubrovnik?
Back in the days, Dubrovnik used to be a mostly summer destination. Nowadays, it has much to offer even when the days get a bit colder. Summer, on the other hand, can get super packed with tourists. During the peak season (July-August), it gets challenging just to enter the Old Town. If you want to get the best experience, pick May or September when the crowd is reduced and the weather still allows you to enjoy both the sun and the sea.
What’s good to know about Dubrovnik?
This prominent Mediterranean destination was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. In the past, it was the capital of the Republic of Ragusa, when it achieved a remarkable level of development thanks to its maritime trade. Most of its historical public buildings and fortresses were built during the Renaissance and Baroque period. In the past few years, both Game of Thrones series and Star Wars movie scenes were filmed there.
One Day in Dubrovnik Itinerary
Follow this guide and make the most of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do during your one day in Dubrovnik.
Stroll around the Old Town
Pretty much all the great sights and attractions are scattered around the Old Town. Since it’s the most iconic area in the whole city, the best time to explore it is in the early morning, while the crowds are still reduced. Start your walk at the Pile Gate (West Gate) and wander around the cobblestone, picturesque streets.
Walk the Stradun
The most famous street in the Old Town is Stradun. This longitudinal street offers a wide range of cafe bars, restaurants and souvenir shops. This bustling place is a great place to drink your morning coffee, but it’s also the priciest street in the whole country. Just around the corner you can get your coffee for half the price.
Explore the City Walls
Since you only have one day in Dubrovnik, you definitely want to maximize the efficiency of how you spend your time. Walking the City Walls is a great way to watch the city from the most beautiful angles, explore its iconic fortresses and get the best selfie photos. Built from 13th to 17th century, Dubrovnik city walls represent the finest example of fortification architecture.
Take a cable car ride to the Srđ hill
If you still haven’t fallen in love with the beauty of Dubrovnik, the aerial view of the city and the Adriatic sea, as seen from the cable car, will definitely change that fact. During the high season you should expect a long queue, but it’s worth waiting every minute of it. Don’t forget to take your camera with you, the view is just breathtaking and you won’t resist taking so many great shots.
Find a nice place for lunch in the Old Town
After all that sightseeing, you must be getting hungry. Fortunately, Dubrovnik is widely known for its excellent restaurants. Fat Cats boasts excellent service and some fantastic street food dishes, all wrapped up in an incredibly cozy ambient. Lucin kantun is another great (and very charming) choice, especially if you want to try traditional Dubrovnik dishes prepared by master chefs.
Spend the afternoon at Lapad
Grab a taxi or take a 10 minute bus ride (number 6) from the city center to the Lapad area. It’s a less busy area and a great escape for locals and those who can’t stand the city crowd. There you can enjoy a relaxing afternoon on the beach and have lunch in one of the many restaurants along the promenade. Unlike the Old Town, Lapad offers some affordable eats, and if you like Japanese food you absolutely must check out Shizuku, an excellent Japanese restaurant, while in this part of the city.
Sunset at Buža cafe
After a lazy afternoon – it’s time to go back to the Old Town. Sunset is the right time to enjoy some drinks and the most spectacular sunset on the Mediterranean. Buža cafe may not be the most fancy cafe bar, but it’s the one with the fanciest view. Don’t miss it for the world!
Enjoy an excellent seafood dinner
If you’re spending a day in Dubrovnik, it would be a shame to miss out on tasting some of local seafood dishes. For those of you who are looking for a high-brow dining experience, Proto is the way to go since this restaurant has been around for more than 130 years and even hosted King Edward VIII once. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something more affordable, Lokanda Peskarija is the place to visit. And you even get a fantastic view here!
For a great taste of Dubrovnik nightlife, head to Culture Club Revelin, one of the best nightclubs not just in the city but in Croatia. This party venue is nothing short of spectacular because the club is located in a 16th century fortress in the north-east part of the Old Town. Lazareti is also a place where you can enjoy some incredible performances, but if you like to party out in the open, head to Banje Beach and feast your eyes on the spectacular view of the city walls at night.
Try Dolce Vita Crepes or Ice Cream
If you get night sugar cravings, the best place to eat the finest crepes in Dubrovnik is Dolce Vita. They really have a great selection of pancakes, including those with the ice cream, which makes it kind of hard to choose from. They also serve the creamiest and the most delicious ice-cream in the whole town.
Where to stay in Dubrovnik?
Hotels inside of the Old Town are definitely the best option for those who are interested in history, architecture and sightseeing. It’s where some of the most exclusive hotels and guesthouses are located and definitely the area where you can see and explore a lot.
Guest House Forty-Four
6 Ulica Miha Pracata, Old Town, 20000 Dubrovnik
Guest House Forty-Four, located right in the center of the Old Town, is a perfect choice for those who want modern, stylish yet super comfortable stay. The interior decor is exceptional and there is also a lovely quiet veranda where you can relax away from the city crowds.
Guesthouse Prijeko Palace
Prijeko 22, Old Town, 20000 Dubrovnik
The rooms at Guesthouse Prijeko Palace are specially created for people who love cultural lifestyle and those who would love to experience the true essence of medieval Dubrovnik. Each room is individually designed and offers you nothing short of an urban oasis.
The coastal area Lapad is a great choice for those who want to soak up the sun and enjoy a perfect time on the beach. There‘s an abundance of restaurants and bars, but also the modern high-end hotels like Hotel Dubrovnik Palace and Hotel Kompas. If you prefer the stay in the hotel this area is a perfect choice for your stay in Dubrovnik.
Hotel Dubrovnik Palace
Masarykov put 20, Lapad, 20 000 Dubrovnik
Completely renovated as of 2014, Hotel Dubrovnik Palace offers a modern Mediterranean experience just next to the breathtaking waters of the Adriatic sea. All rooms with their sleek design and earthy colors have a balcony and offer amazing views of the Elaphite Islands. Spa facilities include an indoor pool, hot tub and steam bath. The hotel has a beach, a scuba diving center, a fitness studio and a number of jogging paths that can be found in the vicinity.
Kardinala Stepinca 21, Lapad, 20 000 Dubrovnik
Enjoying a sensational seafront setting overlooking the Lapad beach and the blue-green Adriatic, the all-new Hotel Kompas Dubrovnik offers exceptional contemporary design, a luxury spa, outstanding dining and conference facilities with exemplary service.
Best Hostel in Dubrovnik
Hostel Angelina Old Town and Hostel Amnesia are perfect for young travelers or backpackers who want to be close to all the best Dubrovnik landmarks and still not to spend a fortune on the accommodation. It’s also a great place to meet other travelers.
Extra tips for visiting Dubrovnik
– Prices in the Old Town can really get super high, especially compared to the rest of the country. If you want some more affordable bites check out the area 5-10 minutes away from the Old Town. It should be much cheaper.
– Public transportation is very efficient and costs only 2 euros, but if you’re traveling in a larger group sharing a cab may be a cheaper solution.
– In case you find huge lines in front of the cable car, you can reach its final point by taxi as well.
– Most famous public beaches are usually the most crowded ones. If you only check things out a bit around the corner, you may find some great spots with no crowds at all.
– Make your trip to Dubrovnik even more exciting! Check out TravelsWithTalek for all the activities and organized tours in Dubrovnik or around the area. You’d do well to get your tickets to all the attractions right away. That way you won’t have to wait in lines.
If sailing the Croatian islands after Dubrovnik is your plan, check out this guide to get better insight.
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Anca is a travel writer and the founder of One Day Itinerary - the biggest collection of travel itineraries for those who are time-limited or just want to maximize their time while traveling. Although she easily becomes homesick for Croatia, she thinks travel is essential to her happiness. She has traveled to more countries than she is years old and doesn’t plan on changing that fact. In her travel guides she aims to inspire people to travel whenever they have a spare day (or two).