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10 Fun Things to Do in Dubrovnik, Croatia

by Silke Elzner

There are many fun things to do in Dubrovnik. It is one of the best cities to visit when you are in Croatia. This article will give you 10 suggestions for fun attractions that you don’t want to miss. From cool drinks to little details, from great views to Game of Thrones, we’ve got you covered.

Here’s a handy Dubrovnik tip: The best way to explore the attractions of Dubrovnik is by purchasing the handy Dubrovnik Card from the official Tourism Office. It’s a great way to save money if you are planning on visiting a number of Dubrovnik attractions. In my list of fun things to do in Dubrovnik I will mention which attractions the Card includes at time of writing.

Have a Cool Drink at Cafe Buža

This fun thing to do in Dubrovnik is our top tip: A cool drink at Cafe Buža on the rock ledges overlooking the sea.

Coming across one of these bars was entirely by accident. An open door in the city wall, a handwritten sign saying “cold drinks”. Curiously and thirsty, we went through the wall, down a flight of stairs and suddenly found ourselves in a relaxed outdoor bar setting with patrons enjoying cool drinks and beers under the shady umbrellas. The location is so secretive I cannot for the life of me remember where we found it, but I can assure you that it does exist. Although the existence might be in a grey zone of semi-legality by the looks of it.

The drinks may not be cheap here but the views are outstanding. The atmosphere is one of open space, sunny views and fun. From this vantage point you can watch the sun seekers and kayakers, the ferries and the birds. The endless blue of the sea, the emerald green island of Lokrum in the distance. Stay for a drink or two, cool down in the shade and enjoy the gentle breeze from the water.

After a busy day of walking the city streets in blistering heat – pure bliss!

A fun thing to do in Dubrovnik is having a drink with a view at Cafe Buža.

A fun thing to do in Dubrovnik is having a drink with a view at Cafe Buža.

Check out the “Hand” Hand Rails at the Rector’s Palace

The most important administrative building in medieval Dubrovnik is the Rector’s Palace. A beautiful building where the Rector would reside during his one-month mandate and where the Minor Council would meet.

Most recognisable is the outside of this Dubrovnik palace. Beautifully carved capitals adorn the shady front porch with its high columns, offering tourists most welcome shade and cooler temperatures on hot days.

Inside, the inner courtyard with the beautiful exterior staircase is well worth a visit. Check out the intricately carved stone hands holding the wooden hand rail of the stairs and also take note of the 15th century fountain. Also, the acoustics are so good inside the atrium that it is the location of chamber music concerts during the Dubrovnik Summer Festival.

The Rector’s Palace is included in the Dubrovnik Card.

Rectors Palace

The Rector’s Palace in Dubrovnik has a beautiful front porch with its high columns that are adorned with beautifully carved capitals.

See the Amazing Blue Sea From the City Walls

Dubrovnik used to be the capital of a rich independent merchants republic with a number of colonies or dependencies around the Mediterranean. In fact, it used to be Venice’s biggest rival in the economic war of supremacy of the Mediterranean region. The City Wall of Dubrovnik, designed to protect the fortunes of the city, surrounds the complete old town. A walk on the wall should definitely be part of your Dubrovnik experience.

You will be granted some very intimate insights into Dubrovnik and its inhabitants. This fun thing to do in Dubrovnik offers glimpses into the private backyard gardens, through opened windows, and over the roof tops. Views of the coast and the Mediterranean are outstanding, and so is the view up the Strada, the main road. Visit the City Walls to see church towers and forts, gates and cliffs. The city in front of you opens up like an oyster shell – there is a lot to take in and discover.

Tip: Visit the city walls first thing in the morning. This Dubrovnik attraction can become very busy during the day and you don’t want to squeeze past other tourists all the time in order to make your way around.

The City Walls are included in the Dubrovnik Card.

Walking the City Walls is a fun thing to do when visiting Dubrovnik.

Walking the City Walls is one of the fun things to do when visiting Dubrovnik.

Just for Fun: Finding King’s Landing Attractions

Dubrovnik is the star in HBO’s crazily successful Game of Thrones show, representing the capital of Westeros, King’s Landing, as well as other locations such as Qarth in Essos. Finding the Game of Thrones locations is one of the best fun things to do in Dubrovnik.

It is actually surprisingly easy to find these attractions if you did pay some attention when watching the show. There’s the Pile Gate and the stairs leading up to the Jesuits Quarter as well as the striking Minčeta Tower as part of the city’s fortifications. All of this you can all see at your own leisure as a fun thing to do in Dubrovnik.

But if you need a bit of guidance or want to have printed out set scenes held against the locations in front of you and hear some stories from people that had been extras on the show, book yourself into one of the Game of Thrones tours. You can choose from walking tours combined with a cruise to walking tours  in small groups to intimate private tours. It’s great fun! (Affiliate Links)

For a self-guided walking tour, check out my post earlier here: Dubrovnik Game of Thrones style.

Fun Fact: The stairs in St. Dominic Street, a popular Dubvronik attraction, feature in TV hit show Game of Thrones.

Fun Fact: The stairs in St. Dominic Street, a popular Dubvronik attraction, feature in TV hit show Game of Thrones.

Fun in the Sun on Lokrum Island

If you want to escape the city for a day then Lokrum Island just off the coast is a great destination for fun in the sun. Lokrum Island is easily recognisable and can be seen from any vantage point in Dubrovnik. A ferry that departs from the city port will take you there, but it is not included in the Dubrovnik Card.

This beautiful green island used to be the refuge for Benedictine monks who founded a monastery here in the 11th century. There is a long history of landscaping, and the established nature reserve adds to the Garden of Eden atmosphere of the island.

Tip: When visiting this Dubrovnik island, don’t forget to pack your swimming clothes. One attraction of the island is a salty lake that is linked to the open sea. It is a popular Dubrovnik swimming spot. There are many fun things to do in Dubrovnik, but if you prefer swimming in the nude, this is the palce to go.

Island of Lokrum

The Church of St. Ignatius

The Church of St. Ignatius in Dubrovnik is probably one of the most surprising churches I have visited so far. When visiting this beautiful Baroque church we were delighted to see that it was all set for a wedding, with shards of broken china lining the aisle and festively decorated chairs readily lined up in front of the altar.

The Church of St. Ignatius’s best known feature is the grotto display in the back of the church. A gorgeous diorama behind iron bars that shows the Lady of Lourdes in a nature setting surrounded by plastic flowers. I know, it sounds pretty amazing.

Tip: Don’t forget that as a sign of respect shoulders and knees of men and women visiting churches in particular in the South of Europe should be covered. If you are visiting on a hot day, pack a silk scarf which is lightweight and which you can wrap around yourself minutes before entering the church. As with many churches in continental Europe, entry is free.

Church of St. Ignatius of Lourdes is one of the most beautiful Baroque churches we have ever seen.

Church of St. Ignatius of Lourdes is one of the most beautiful Baroque churches we have ever seen.

The Cable car to Srd Mountain

Here’s another fun thing to do in Dubrovnik: The mountain Srd which is towering over the city of Dubrovnik is a great destination if you like to view the city from a new perspective. You can catch the cable car which connects Dubrovnik with the 413m high peak of Srd and get rewarded by unparalleled views of the city, the coast and the islands.

On top you will also find the Fort Imperial which was build during the Napoleonic occupation, a stronghold during the Homeland War and now. It is now converted to a museum and a reminder of the lost lives and the terrible ordeals of the victims during the war.

The cable car and entry to the museum are both not included in the Dubrovnik Card.

The Old Port of Dubrovnik

I just love the old port of Dubrovnik, it is one of my most favourite attractions. Rarely do you see a harbour that is so neat and tidy and cute. Yes, cute.

The piers are lined with small yachts and boats. Ferries and little cruise boats depart here for the tourists, some of them mimicking historic seafaring designs.

The Port Gate is really impressive and deserves a closer inspection. Overall, this is a port which is as welcoming as it needs to be, yet it is also heavily fortified to all sides and very sheltered by St John’s Fort and two breakwaters.

Quite a romantic place to be, actually, in particular at night.

Dubrovnik Old Port is one of the most romantic places in Dubrovnik.

Dubrovnik Old Port is one of the most romantic places in Dubrovnik.

Just a few Steps Away: Fort Lovrijenac

An easy hike to nearby Fort Lovrijenac is another fun thing to do in Dubrovnik. Just leave the old town through the Pile Gate. Walk a couple of meters to the isolated 37m high cliff. You will have to climb a number of stairs to get there, but the effort is well worth the views of the city and the sea.

Dubrovnik’s motto can be found above the entrance of the fort: Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro (Freedom is not sold for all the gold in the world). There’s an impressive collection of cannonballs here which are piled up in neat pyramids and which look stunning under the hot summer sun.

Tip: Since the fort is part of the city fortification you can enter this attraction as part of your city wall tour, so keep your ticket for the day and show it at the entrance.

City View from Fort Lovrijenac

Fort Lovrijenac

The Oldest Pharmacy in the World at the Franciscan Monastery

Visit the Franciscan monastery next to the Pile Gate for two reasons. To walk the cloister with the beautiful double columns and the refreshingly green garden in its centre. And also to see the inside of the third oldest pharmacy in the world which is dating back to 1317.

A fun thing to do is to buy your preferred medicines and toiletries here, a wonderful souvenir to take home.

I really loved the peaceful atmosphere of this century old attraction, the green gardens and the monastic artwork along the walls.

Entry is for a fee and the monastery is not included in the Dubrovnik Card.

Why Visit Dubrovnik?

Dubrovnik really is a fun place to visit in Croatia. Recent years of peace and economic stability has seen this regional centre grow and prosper. The picturesque old town of Dubrovnik with its many attractions is once again a magnet for visitors from around the world.

While there are the scars of shell bombardment visible in some places, this city has turned itself into a shiny, polished pearl. It is easily rivalling much more established seaside destinations such as Venice and Barcelona.

Dubrovnik’s old town is a marvellous composition of limestone buildings with red tile roofs and meticulously clean stone floor streets that are traffic-free. No wonder the city is featured on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. The impression is so perfect, it is almost impossible to find flaws. Even if you do find them, they are just adding to the overall character of Dubrovnik.

Conclusion: Fun Things to do in Dubrovnik

As you can see, there are many fun things to do in Dubrovnik. The easiest way to explore all attractions in Dubrovnik is by investing in a Dubrovnik card to get quick and easy access to all attractions. Have a great time!

A word of warning: If you are visiting on a wet day ensure you are wearing sensible footwear. The stone floors of the streets have been polished by generations of feet and may become slippery.

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