With just one full day in Dubrovnik, I decided to spend it in the old town and there is a lot to see! I’ve built an itinerary for you to use should you be heading there any time soon that covers some big sites but also allows for some down time too.
From the historic city walls and monuments, to a nature reserve, and of course the food and drinks, the old town won’t disappoint. Feel free to do everything on this itinerary or pick and choose what you like if you want to venture outside the old town and explore other parts of Dubrovnik as well. I’ll be doing the latter when I hopefully return to Croatia one day!
Get your bearings in Dubrovnik’s Old Town
There is a lot to take in when you first enter the old town through the Pile Gate, it’s main entrance. I would get there in the early morning when it’s less crowded and walk straight down the Stradun, which is the main street, to get your bearings and discover major points of interest.
Definitely check out the Franciscan Monastery and its pharmacy, the Big Fountain of Onofrio, and the Square of the Loggia which sits at the end of Stradun. You can also check out the Church of St. Blaise, the Rector’s Palace which holds the Cultural Historical Museum, and the Dominican Monastery.
There are many streets and alleys to wander up and down off of Stradun. They are filled with bars, cafes, and souvenir shops, many of which are selling Game of Thrones memorabilia as some scenes from the wildly popular television series are shot in Dubrovnik. You can also take a ride on the Dubrovnik Cable Car which links the city walls to Mount Srd and gives you incredible views of the old town.
Shop and sip in Gundulic Square
Gundulic Square has an outdoor market in the mornings selling fresh produce, seafood, and sweets. See what’s in season and do some buying if you like or sit down at one of the many surrounding cafes and take a coffee break. Be warned that since the old town caters mostly to tourists, prices for coffee and food will be higher than other parts of Croatia but just go with the flow for the day.
Walk the famous city walls of Dubrovnik
If you do only one thing in Dubrovnik’s old town, let it be a walk around the famous city walls. Whether you are in Croatia during the summer months or the off-season, I recommend walking the city walls in the morning so as to avoid the crowds in the afternoon. There really is not one bad view as you walk around the entire perimeter so take your time, enjoy the town from every angle, and get all the photos you want! Here is a great resource for opening times, tickets, and tours.
Take a lunch break at Olivia
It should take a little over an hour or so to walk around the city walls if you are stopping to take pictures like I did. With all the walking, sunshine, and fresh air, you will no doubt be hungry for lunch. I loved Olivia Pizzeria but some other recommendations I received from friends were Zuzori and Dalmatino Dubrovnik. And if I wasn’t so full from my pizza pie, I would’ve headed to Dolce Vita directly afterwards for a sweet treat.
Cruise over to Lokrum
Directly behind Sponza Palace is the North Pier and it is here that you can buy a ticket for a short boat ride to Lokrum. Lokrum is an island across from Dubrovnik that is a nature reserve and is the perfect place to wander and go for long walks.
I loved exploring the reserve and following around the many peacocks and bunny rabbits. So yes, this would be a great place to take your kids. You can also walk through the olive grove, take a dip in the Dead Sea, stroll through the gardens of Maximilian or the Botanical Garden. There is so much to do but yet it is still a relaxing place to get away from the city.
Enjoy a cocktail at Buza Bar
I will never forget Buza Bar. However I did forget the directions to get there but trust me that it’s worth seeking out this bar that sits on the cliffs of the old town overlooking the water. Search for Buza Bar on your phone, ask a local, or do whatever you have to do to find its hidden door on one of the streets above Gundulic Square. The drinks may be overpriced but you are paying for the incredible view and the peace and calm that comes with sitting by the water.
Feast on dinner at Taj Mahal
My best friend highly recommended Restaurant Taj Mahal and it’s expert Bosnian cuisine. I got there early and snagged an outdoor table on the cobblestone street. Taj Mahal has delicious grilled meats and vegetables such as lamb or shish kebabs and marinated zucchini and roasted peppers. Along with some of these dishes, I ordered tzatziki or cold cucumber soup for an appetizer and a pot of mint tea and sweet baklava for dessert. I was full and satisfied at the end and the staff were super friendly. It was also nice to have a stray cat curling around the legs of my chair hoping I would accidentally drop some food.
Have you been to Dubrovnik? What are your recommendations? Share in the comments below!