Dubrovnik is an absolutely stunning city along the southeastern coast of Croatia and it is well worth visiting. It is most well-known for its beautiful orange rooftops and whitewash walls. Dubrovnik is an extremely popular location to visit in Croatia and shouldn’t be missed if you’re travelling along the country’s coastline. Spending just one day in Dubrovnik is enough to make you fall in love with the city.
Dubrovnik has so much natural beauty to enjoy and the city is very historic. The Old Town has been so well preserved, giving a rustic and authentic appeal. There are huge stretches of medieval walls still standing around the Old Town of Dubrovnik and the city has some great view points across the Adriatic Sea.
The city is up at the top of my list of places to visit in Croatia along with Plitvice Lakes.
It is easy to see why so many tourists fall in love with Dubrovnik and come back year after year. Having just one day in the city will offer you a small glimpse into Dubrovnik’s beauty and a taster and that will want you coming back for more.
This blog post will give you all the details on how to spend one day in Dubrovnik, listing some of the best attractions you can visit and experiences that you can book.
Is One Day in Dubrovnik Enough?
One day in Dubrovnik is enough to get a good feel for the city but I’d highly recommend staying longer. Two or three days in the city allows you more time to explore at a leisurely pace (which you’ll need if you’re visiting in the warmer months!)
Don’t worry if one day in Dubrovnik is all that your budget or travel itinerary will allow for though! 24 hours in the wonderful seaside city is still guaranteed to be time and money well spent. I have the perfect itinerary for spending one day in the city which will make sure you see all of the top sights and have enjoyable memory-making experiences!
Why Visit Dubrovnik?
Dubrovnik is a city that is very worth visiting if you ever find yourself in Croatia or a neighbouring country. The coastal city has been wonderfully preserved with many medieval buildings and the orange rooftops are the centrepiece of the city.
Dubrovnik has many good beaches for swimming and snorkelling and the ports allow for some amazing boat tours. Taking a boat cruise to enjoy the sunset is one of the best things that you can do in Dubrovnik as it gives wonderful views of the skyline and the city’s magnificent walls.
The walls are an attraction in itself and are a popular place to visit in the city. Walking the walls gives a great view over the city and allows visitors to see how reinforced the city was against incoming attacks.
While some people may consider if cities such as Zadar or Zagreb are worth visiting, Dubrovnik is a no-brainer! If you have the time to visit the city then you have to jump at the opportunity!
What is Dubrovnik known for?
Dubrovnik is most well-known for its Old Town. When travellers post any photos on social media you can bet that the majority of their pictures will include the Old Town and it is understandable why they would do that. Dubrovnik’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a masterpiece of medieval architecture. The city’s cobblestone streets and beautoful historic buildings are the main attraction.
Dubrovnik has a rich and storied history, which is reflected in its well-preserved historic sites such as Fort Lovrijenac, Rector’s Palace, and the Dubrovnik Cathedral. The city hosts a range of cultural events and festivals throughout the year, celebrating its music, art, and heritage. The Dubrovnik Summer Festival is a notable cultural event that features a variety of performances.
Dubrovnik gained international fame as a filming location for the hit TV series “Game of Thrones.” Fans flock to the city to explore iconic filming locations and relive scenes from the show. You’ll find many tour companies offering Game of Thrones themed tours and souvenir shops selling merchandise. The show has really opened the city up to tourism and fans should definitely consider visiting.
When is Best to Visit Dubrovnik?
Summer (July and August) is the peak tourist season in Dubrovnik due to the warm Mediterranean climate. The weather is hot and sunny, perfect for beach goers and outdoor activities. However, expect large crowds, especially in the Old Town and at popular attractions. Accommodation and prices may also be at their highest during this period. Make sure to visit in early summer if you’re determined to explore the lavender fields in the rest of Croatia.
I highly recommend visiting Dubrovnik in September and May. The number of tourists is greatly reduced but the warm weather still remains. The city is far less crowded but all of the businesses still remain open. Shoulder seasons allow you to still experience water activities and enjoy lower prices than peak season.
If you’re planning a trip to Dubrovnik in winter then be prepared for cooler weather and the possibility of rain. Many businesses and tour companies also close in the winter months and so you won’t be able to avail of all of Dubrovnik’s top experiences. Of course, the advantage of travelling in winter is that the city will be very quiet with tourism at its lowest.
One Day in Dubrovnik Itinerary
I’ve split the day up into three sections with activities which are best suited for each time of day. The activities I have chosen do not need to be taken in any particular order but I think they best suit the time slots that I’ve given them!
Here is a condensed version of the best things to do and see in Dubrovnik with timings that you can use to check off your day:
|Morning 🌅||Afternoon ☀️||Evening 🌇|
|Have Croatian pastries for breakfast||Stop for lunch in the Old Town||Book a sunset boat cruise and relax on the waves as the sun goes down|
|Walk the Dubrovnik City Walls||Walk the main street (Stradun) stopping for souvenirs||Enjoy a meal in one of the Old Town’s best restaurants|
|Visit Fort Lovrijenac||Stop off at the Onofrio Fountain, Rector’s Palace, and Sponza Palace||Admire the Old Town all lit up for the evening|
|Visit the Dubrovnik Cathedral||Stop for a gelato or sorbet at a Gelateria on the Stradun|
|Take a dip in the Adriatic sea or sunbathe at Banje or Bellevue Beach|
Get a Delicious Breakfast in the Old Town
Your morning in Dubrovnik should be dedicated to exploring the Old Town. Breakfast in a local cafe is a great way to start off your morning and there are plenty of them around! Indulging in a couple of Croatian pastries and a coffee is the best way to start off your morning in Dubrovnik.
Fear not if you’re sticking to a tight budget though! I can personally vouch that the chocolate croissants available in ‘Studenac’ supermarkets are absolutely delicious and so cheap! They often sell out first from the bakery sections of the stores so get up early and go fast. Mlinar stores also do a great selection of pastries and drinks – comparable to a UK ‘Gregg’s’.
Walk Dubrovnik’s City Walls
Your first activity of the day after fuelling up on a delicious breakfast should be to enter the city walls. Entrance to the walls is 35 euros (which you may be thinking is pretty crazy but it is well worth the money) but as the one-day Dubrovnik Pass is the same price, you may as well opt to pay for it.
The Dubrovnik Pass gains you entry into the walls and other key attractions around Dubrovnik such as Rector’s Palace, the Cathedral and the Maritime Museum. Plus, you get free transport with the Dubrovnik Pass, a huge bonus and money-saver. As the pass is the same price as entry to the walls alone, you should definitely invest in it. Even if you don’t avail of any other attractions, you’ll still get your money’s worth.
The Dubrovnik City Walls provide you with a great view, looking down upon the city at all angles and give a panoramic view of the Adriatic Sea. The walls encircle the Old Town and are taller than most buildings, giving you an unusual but beautiful perspective.
The time that it takes to complete the walk of the walls varies but most visitors are finished in around one and a half to two hours. It’s best to do the walk in the morning before the sun is directly overhead as there are many stairs along the route and the walk can be quite physically demanding in the heat.
Visit Fort Lovrijenac
A visit to a medieval fort should be next on your itinerary. Seen from the Dubrovnik Walls, Fort Lovrijenac is a great location to look back at the city walls. This impressive fort offers more breathtaking views and is often used as a backdrop in Game of Thrones. The fort is included in the Dubrovnik pass but if you pay for the city walls ticket then this also covers your fort entry ticket.
Make a Lunch Pit Stop
After spending your morning getting incredible views of the Old Town, you should stop for a spot of lunch at one of hundreds of restaurants in the Old Town. I recommend that you try some traditional Croatian dishes, such as Peka which is a slow-cooked meat or seafood dish.
Enjoy a Stroll Around the Old Town
The Stradun is the main street in the Old Town and is full of souvenir and gelato shops. Taking a walk along the Stradun to admire the charming buildings of the Old Town is inevitable as it is the main street you will come to after entering the Pile Gate.
On your tour of the Old Town don’t miss landmarks like the Onofrio Fountain, Rector’s Palace, and Sponza Palace. Take time to admire the architecture and history of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you’d prefer to see the city under the care of an excellent local guide then there are plenty of walking tour options of Dubrovnik’s Old Town. A walking tour is a fabulous way of exploring a new city and Dubrovnik is no exception. Just be aware that with specific starting times, you might have to rearrange my itinerary slightly.
With Dubrovnik being the backdrop of many scenes in hit-series Game of Thrones, a walking tour that highlights the city’s involvement in the show would be great for super-fans!
Here are the best walking tour options to take in Dubrovnik’s Old Town:
|Tour Name 🚶♂️||Rating ⭐||Key Information 📝||Book 👉|
|Old Town Walking Tour||4.7/5||– 1.5 hour walking tour|
– Stops at all key buildings in the Old Town
– Begins outside Pile Gate
– Headsets provided to hear guide clearly
|The Ultimate Game of Thrones Tour||4.8/5||– 2 hour walking tour|
– See the steps where Cersei began her infamous ‘Walk of Shame’
– Discover where the King’s Landings riots took place
– Visit the Lovrijenac Fortress * (remove from your morning plans)
* entrance not included – you should use your Dubrovnik Pass or city walls ticket
Head to the Beach
After a walk through the Old Town, heading to the beach is a perfect way to relax. Banje Beach is just a short walk from the Old Town and is a very popular beach with tourists. The beach offers a great opportunity to swim in crystal blue waters or sunbathe on the sand.
Bellevue Beach (a bit further from the Old Town centre) is another beautiful beach in Dubrovnik. After descending the cliff face using the stairs, you’ll be greeted with the sight of a beautiful pebble beach and a sectioned off swimming area. Locals and tourists love Bellevue Beach for its beauty and the hidden gem of the beach is the cave that can be swam into from the shore. Bellevue Beach is a great coastal area to go snorkelling with many different types of fish. They are very friendly too and tend to swim alongside swimmers.
Evenings in Dubrovnik are the most special times of the day. As the sun sets on the city there are beautiful oranges colours across the sky and the lights along the city streets create a wonderful atmosphere.
Take a Sunset Boat Cruise
A sunset boat cruise is the best way of enjoying the beautiful scenery. While there are many tour companies providing cruises throughout the day, there are a few that really stand out for going above and beyond for customers.
Booking a private boat cruise as a couple or in a group is one of the best ways to relax underneath the sunset but can be quite pricey. If you splash out on anything on your trip then it should be a sunset cruise to end your one day in Dubrovnik.
My top pick of a sunset boat cruise in Dubrovnik would have to be this Private Boat Cruise at Sunset with Champagne tour. The tour is operate by Rewind Dubrovnik whose skippers are so kind and accommodating and the sunset route is incredible. Departing from the Old Town Port, you’ll head out to Lokrum Island, circling it and resting in the middle of the Adriatic Sea for the sun going down. This tour comes with complimentary drinks with wine, beer, iced tea, water and champagne all on offer.
The tour allows you a great opportunity to have a romantic evening with a loved one or make wonderful memories with your friends. The skippers have a great playlist on hand to really set the mood and there is nothing more relaxing than lying at the front of the boat with the orange sky above you. You’ll be taken to a gentle sea spot to watch the sunset, away from the rough waves. If you’re ever feeling a little seasick then the skipper is very understanding and can steer you to calmer waters. As an optional add-on you can bring your swimwear with you and have a refreshing dip in the sea using the boat’s snorkelling equipment.
My experience with this tour was just incredible and I highly recommend the experience to anyone visiting Dubrovnik with a decently sized budget. The tour is the best in Dubrovnik and promises to be the highlight of your day! It was definitely the highlight of my stay in the city.
Evening Meal in the Old Town
Dubrovnik spoils you for choice in terms of restaurants with cuisines from all over the world on offer. You’ll find that Italian pizzerias and pasta restaurants are the most common. I highly recommend Spaghetteria Toni for delicious pasta dishes. They have vegan and vegetarian dishes on offer which are quite hard to find in Dubrovnik.
A top tip for travelling in Croatia would be to clarify with servers if dishes contain eggs or dairy as often when things are labelled as vegan, they really mean vegetarian. There isn’t a solid differentiation in many restaurants but if they believe that you are vegan through allergies they are far more accommodating and will try their best to help you find a suitable meal.
Take Another Walk Through the Old Town
After your meal it is a good idea to take another walk through the Old Town and admire it all lit up for the evening. The medieval buildings glimmer in the lights and the streets have such a cosy feel.
Finish Your Day in Dubrovnik With a Delicious Gelato
Skipping dessert at your restaurant is a great idea in favour of some delicious, locally made gelato. There are many gelaterias lining the streets of the Old Town, with hundreds of delicious flavours on offer. Take a walk along the streets comparing prices and flavours before deciding. One unique flavour that you’re unlikely to get at home would be lavender since Croatia is so renowned for the plant but be warned – it has quite an acquired taste!
FAQs: One Day in Dubrovnik
Is Dubrovnik enough for one day?
Dubrovnik has more than enough sights to see and things to enjoy in one day. The city would be best explored in two to three days but if you’re up for a fun-filled, jam-packed day then one day in Dubrovnik is guaranteed to be amazing!
Is a day trip to Dubrovnik worth it?
A day trip to Dubrovnik is worth it if it’s your only option, but to fully appreciate the city’s beauty and history, staying longer is recommended. You can fit a lot into a one day itinerary if that’s all you have time for.
Can you do a day trip to Dubrovnik?
Yes, you can do a day trip to Dubrovnik, but it may feel rushed. Consider staying longer to fully explore the city’s attractions and soak in its atmosphere.
How do you spend an afternoon in Dubrovnik?
An afternoon in Dubrovnik should be spent exploring the Old Town and its beautiful buildings. If you have time, a trip to the beach would also be a great way to spend part of the afternoon. Bellevue and Banje Beach are fabulous beaches for swimming and sunbathing.
Is Dubrovnik a walkable city?
Yes, Dubrovnik is a walkable city, especially in its compact Old Town. Most of the major attractions, shops, and restaurants are within walking distance of each other.
Is it worth it to walk the walls in Dubrovnik?
Walking the walls in Dubrovnik is well worth the cost, particularly if you buy the Dubrovnik Pass. The views from the walls are unmatched and give a wonderful perspective of the buildings and their orange tiled rooftops.
Conclusion: One Day in Dubrovnik
Spending one day in Dubrovnik is guaranteed to be full of fun and you’ll take away memories to last a lifetime. While a longer stay in the city would be preferable, one day gives you enough time to catch a glimpse of the city’s beauty.
A trip to Dubrovnik will not be regretted and you can easily fill an itinerary for one day. The city walls are one of the highlights, both in sightseeing and in experience. Climbing the walls gives a wonderful view point over the city and allows you to see its entire beauty.
A sunset cruise is the perfect way to end your evening and should not be missed out if your budget allows it! I hope you have a fantastic time on your trip to Dubrovnik!