Dubrovnik is usually at the top of everyone’s list on a trip to Croatia. This city on the Adriatic Sea may be small, but it’s one of the top tourist destinations on the Mediterranean. What makes Dubrovnik so appealing is its Old Town still protected by the city walls which date back to the 12th century. Stepping foot in Dubrovnik’s Old Town truly feels like stepping back in time. Here’s the perfect Dubrovnik two day itinerary covering all of the city’s highlights.
Day 1: Arrive and Explore Old Town
Day 1 will be spent getting acquainted with Dubrovnik. We left Split early in the morning and arrived at the ferry port in Dubrovnik around noon. For those arriving by ferry, I recommend getting a taxi for the 10-minute drive to Old Town. We made the mistake of walking which left us drenched in sweat and somewhat lost. If you’re visiting Dubrovnik in the middle of summer, you’ll likely want to avoid being in the sun at noon – it gets very hot! After checking into our hotel, the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik, we got our first glimpse of Old Town at the Pile Gate.
Walk the City Walls
The city walls of Dubrovnik are the best-known attraction so why not start there? The walls were built to defend Dubrovnik from attack mainly by the Venetians and Ottomans.
Dubrovnik’s city walls completely enclose Old Town and take about 2 hours to walk depending on your speed. You will need to purchase tickets to walk the city walls. The ticket also includes entrance to Fort Lovrijenac (more on that later). There are three entrances to Dubrovnik’s city walls at the Pile Gate, Ploče Gate, and Maritime Museum.
While walking the city walls, you will encounter five bastions, two round towers, fourteen square tours, and a fortress. A highlight of the city walls is Fort Minčeta which Game of Thrones fans might recognize as the exterior of the House of Undying in Qarth.
From the city walls, you’ll have great views of the city. You can see Onofrio’s Fountain which was built in the 1400s and is still used today.
You can also see Fort Lovrijenac which doubles as the Red Keep in Kings Landing.
If you choose to walk the city walls midday, keep in mind that it can get extremely hot and crowded!
Take a Game of Thrones Tour
After walking the city walls, head to Onofrio’s Fountain to meet your guide for a Game of Thrones walking tour. The tour guide will show images from Game of Thrones to point out how different places in Dubrovnik were transformed into Kings Landing.
Highlights include this iconic spot near Dubrovnik’s west harbor.
You will also visit Fort Lovrijenac (aka the Red Keep) as part of the tour. Hold on to your ticket from the city walls since it includes entrance to the fort!
After visiting Fort Lovrijenac, you’ll head back into Old Town to see the Jesuit Stairs where Cersei had her walk of shame.
Dinner in Old Town
After the tour, find somewhere to eat in Old Town. We had a delicious meal at Gradska Kavana, a restaurant in the heart of Old Town with a huge terrace for outdoor dining.
Day 2: Beaches of Dubrovnik
On Day 2, spend your morning exploring Dubrovnik’s various beaches. While these aren’t your traditional sandy beaches, on a hot day in Dubrovnik, you’ll want to spend most of your time in the water anyway!
The first place stop is right outside of Old Town’s city walls near the old pier called Porporela. If you get hot while exploring Old Town, this is the perfect place to jump in for a swim.
Located near the south side of Old Town, Buza Bar is a literal hole in the wall…the city walls that is. On the other side of the wall, you’ll see a set of stairs leading down the cliffs to a bar area with seating. If you keep heading down the stairs, there’s a ladder to the water. For those who are feeling adventurous, cliff jumping is popular here. I found the water to be kind of rough and it was hard to get in and out. Instead, I recommend coming to Buza Bar if you’re in the mood for a drink and want to watch the cliff jumpers.
Šulić Beach is located outside of Old Town near Fort Lovrijenac. If you’re looking for more of a traditional beach, this is a good option. While the water was nice and calm, it was also extremely crowded.
Last but not least, keep walking farther outside of Old Town toward Gradac Park to Danče Beach. While there is no sand in sight, there is plenty of space to lay out on the concrete. This was my favorite spot of the day with calm water and lots of space to swim around. Danče also has a lifeguard on duty, two beach bars/cafes, and public showers and toilets.
You can read more about Dubrovnik’s beaches here.
Old Town Walking Tour
After a day of swimming, get cleaned up and head back to Old Town for yet another walking tour! Unlike the Game of Thrones tour, this one focuses on the history of Dubrovnik.
For dinner, you can’t go wrong with a meal at Taj Mahal, a Bosnian restaurant in Old Town. This place is super popular so be sure to make a reservation. We went early that morning to make our reservation and were lucky to get one the same day.
Have an Extra Day in Dubrovnik?
If you have another day to spend in Dubrovnik, here are some ideas of what to do:
- Ride the Cable Car for views of Old Town
- Visit Lokrum Island
- Visit Trsteno Arboretum
- Sea kayak in the waters around Old Town
Dubrovnik isn’t huge, but you need at least a day or two to explore Old Town, swim at the many beaches, and check out the surrounding area. For history buffs and Game of Thrones fans alike, Dubrovnik is a must-see destination. Be sure to follow this Dubrovnik two day itinerary to get the most out of your time in Dubrovnik!