I’ll say it now – Dubrovnik was one of the first places where I truly fell in love with exploring as much as I could in as little time as I had there. Sunsets, sea, old streets and delicious food. What more could you want? (And that’s not even mentioning the tortoises in the apartment garden). This city in Croatia has all the feel of a cultural capital as well as stunning views of the Adriatic Sea.

Dubrovnik was an October break, but the weather couldn’t have been more like summer. Jeans were an extremely bad idea on my part – but I hadn’t been expecting such tropical weather. It’s the perfect destination to mix a city with the sea. Most days, I was able to walk around the city, do a planned activity for the day, swim in the sea and still end up watching sunset before heading into the old town for dinner.

Top 5 things to do while you’re in Dubrovnik

Walk the City Walls
An absolute must in Dubrovnik is touring these walls. You can see both the old town from a new angle, as well as stunning views out over the sea. The walls are open most days, and it is fairly inexpensive experience – though fantastic. It’s an experience that would be difficult to find anywhere else. This is why this remains my top recommendation for Dubrovnik. There are a lot of stairs on the walls so you will need good walking shoes. You should leave at least half a day to walk the walls to fully appreciate the experience.

The City Walls of the Old Town

Fort Lovrijenac
The fort was a fantastic experience as yet another way to see some of the city views. The fort is one of the iconic images of Dubrovnik and worth the number of steps you have to go up. If you liked the wall tour, I would recommend the Fort (image at the top) as a similar activity.

Explore the Old City
You can’t understand the culture of a place better than getting lost in it. The old city of Dubrovnik is no exception, with many lovely restaurants concealed up side alleys and streets. The old city is small and contained so you don’t need to worry too much about getting too lost or being too far away from a group.

Watch a sunset
So far, I am firmly under the opinion that Croatia is Europe’s capital of sunsets. The apartment we rented was situated halfway up a hill (and plenty of steps!) and the sunset views were stunning. I’d recommend an evening walk to truly embrace the beauty of Dubrovnik’s sunsets. I took this photo while walking back to the apartment after a day out.

Day trip to Mostar and Kravice Waterfalls
Okay, I know this technically isn’t in Dubrovnik – it’s actually not even in Croatia. Mostar and the Kravice Waterfalls are in Bosnia, Croatia’s neighboring country. However this trip was one of my highlights. You get to see the Kravice Waterfalls, one of Bosnia’s biggest cities as well as a small local village in Bosnia. The trip convinced me that I had to go on a full trip to Bosnia one day. If you’ve got a free day in Dubrovnik – you don’t anymore. Go to Bosnia.

What Else do You Need to Know?

Dubrovnik has a Good Food Festival that runs in October – and I have been to. I would recommend going. If they have the same system they had a few years ago of buying a food or a food and drink pass, definitely go for the food and drink pass. The drinks lasted far longer than the food and it appeared that you were able to try of myriad of different local wines with the pass.

As you can see below, Dubrovnik has beautiful swimming spots. It’s possible to get to here within about fifteen minutes (walking) from the old town. This rock in particular also had a local bar open in the day just next to it. There are some stairs into the sea if you’d rather not just jump. It is also very deep very quickly so you can swim straight away.

The rock where I swam from most days

While you’re in Dubrovnik, you should try lavender ice-cream. It’s a love-or-hate kind of flavour but it’s everywhere there. Take it as one of your cultural eating experiences and try it.

Dubrovnik is truly one of my favourite European cities, and you can visit the new quarter as well if you realise the Old Town isn’t one hundred percent your thing.

If you’re still undecided on your Croatian destination, check out my articles on things to do in Zadar so you can make an informed decision.
What to do for a week in Zadar, Croatia

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