Day Trip to Dubrovnik: A Journey Through the Pearl of the Adriatic

Set against the backdrop of the shimmering Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik beckons you with its rich tapestry of history, architecture, and gastronomy.

This article offers a curated guide to a day’s exploration in this ancient city, from the cobblestone streets of the Old Town to the sun-kissed shores of Banje Beach.

Alongside historical insights, you are introduced to culinary delights and vibrant local experiences. Embark on this day trip and let Dubrovnik’s charm unfold with every step.

How to Get to Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is a popular travel destination with various transportation options. Travelers can reach Dubrovnik by:

Plane: Dubrovnik Airport (Čilipi) is about 20 km south of the city. It offers both domestic flights connecting with cities like Zagreb and Split, and international flights from countries such as the UK, Austria, Germany, and more.

Ferry: Ferries provide a scenic route to Dubrovnik. Routes include Bari (Italy) to Dubrovnik and connections from Croatian cities and islands like Split, Makarska, Hvar, and Mljet.

Driving: Travelers can drive to Dubrovnik from places like Zagreb and Montenegro. The new Pelješac bridge allows direct access to Dubrovnik, bypassing the Bosnia and Herzegovina border at Neum.

Bus: Buses connect Dubrovnik with Croatian towns such as Zagreb, Zadar, and Split. International buses also operate from neighboring countries.

Morning Visit

  • Location Name: Dubrovnik Old Town
  • Brief Description: Dubrovnik Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its beautifully preserved medieval architecture and rich history. From its vast stone walls to its vibrant shopping streets, it offers a journey into the past, showcasing the city’s grandeur and former prominence in trade.
  • Highlights:
    • The Stradun: Dubrovnik’s primary shopping street bustling with markets and eateries.
    • Historical Landmarks: Dubrovnik Cathedral, Church of St. Blaise, Orlando’s Column, Onofrio Fountain, and the famed Jesuit stairs.
    • City Walls: Provides a panoramic view of the Adriatic Sea.
    • Themed Tours: Especially for ‘Game of Thrones‘ enthusiasts.
  • Practical Information: It’s best to visit early in the morning, especially in summer, to avoid crowds. Some attractions may have entrance fees.

Lunch Spot – Two Alternatives

  1. Restaurant/Café Name: Pizzeria Tabasco
    • Brief Description: Located above the Old City core, this restaurant offers delectable pizzas in a relaxed setting.
    • Recommended Dishes: Traditional Croatian pizzas.
    • Practical Information: Located in Hvarska street 48. Work hours: 10 AM – 11 PM TUE-SUN. Closed on Monday. Reasonably priced. Accessible by buses 5 or 8. Parking available.
  2. Restaurant/Café Name: Pizzeria Oliva
    • Brief Description: A renowned restaurant with a legacy spanning over 15 years, Pizzeria Oliva is a blend of tradition and innovation. It’s recognized for its high-quality pizzas, pastas, and salads.
    • Recommended Dishes: Traditional Croatian pizza and their specialty pastas.
    • Practical Information: Open daily from 10 AM – 11 PM. Pizzas range from €15-20.

Afternoon Visit

  • Location Name: Banje Beach
  • Brief Description: Located adjacent to the Dubrovnik Old Town, Banje Beach offers a blend of natural beauty and modern amenities. With clear waters, pebble stretches, and views of historical landmarks, it is a must-visit.
  • Highlights: Views of the Old City walls, Lokrum island, and a range of water activities.
  • Practical Information: Easily accessible from the Ploce Gate of the Old Town. Facilities include lounge chairs, beach bars, and a restaurant. Arrive early during peak season for the best spots.

Late Afternoon Activity

  • Activity Name: Strolling Stradun
  • Brief Description: Journey through Dubrovnik’s history and culture on Stradun, the city’s main street. Flanked by historic landmarks, it offers a blend of shopping, dining, and architectural wonders.
  • Highlights: Onofrio’s Fountain, Saint Saviour’s Church, and the Bell Tower.
  • Practical Information: Free to walk. Individual attractions might have fees. Best time to visit is early in the morning.

Dinner Spot – Two Alternatives

  1. Restaurant Name: Proto Fish
    • Brief Description: Established in 1886, Proto Fish offers a luxurious dining experience with a range of seafood and meat dishes. Located in the heart of Dubrovnik, it celebrates traditional culinary delights.
    • Recommended Dishes: Fresh catches of the day, especially seafood.
    • Practical Information: Located at Široka and Vara streets intersection. Open from 11 AM – 11 PM daily.
  2. Restaurant Name: Nautika
    • Brief Description: Boasting unparalleled views of the Adriatic, Nautika offers a fine dining experience with a rich history. With seafood as its specialty, the restaurant provides a blend of traditional and contemporary dishes.
    • Recommended Dishes: Lobster from Vis, and other fresh seafood delicacies.
    • Practical Information: Located by the Adriatic at Pile. Open from 6 PM – 12 AM.

Evening Entertainment

  • Activity/Venue Name: Culture Club Revelin
  • Brief Description: Housed within a 500-year-old fortress, Culture Club Revelin is a renowned nightclub offering world-class entertainment. With state-of-the-art interiors and a rich history, it promises an unforgettable nightlife experience.
  • Highlights: International DJs, themed nights, and special events.
  • Practical Information: Located near the eastern edge of Dubrovnik’s Old Town. Summer hours are 10:30 PM – 5:30 AM daily, and winter hours are on Fri-Sat and for special events. Free entry before midnight, and €10 after.

Three Alternative Activities

For those seeking more unique experiences in Dubrovnik, there are plenty of other options to explore. Dive into the history, culture, and magic of the city with these alternative activities that promise to enrich your visit.

Activity Name: Cable Car to Srđ Mountain

  • Brief Description: Elevate your Dubrovnik experience by soaring to the top of Srđ Mountain via the iconic Cable Car. Established in 1969, this ride promises breathtaking views of the Old City, the shimmering Adriatic Sea, and a constellation of islands.
  • Highlights:
    • Stunning panoramic views of Dubrovnik and the Adriatic coastline.
    • The “Panorama” restaurant & bar for culinary delights.
    • The Museum Dubrovnik in Homeland War for a slice of history.
    • Thrilling activities like Buggy Safari and hiking.
  • Practical Information: Depart from the station just outside the eastern entrance to Old Town Dubrovnik. Be wary of weather conditions as operations cease during high winds or lightning.

Activity Name: Maritime Museum

  • Brief Description: Dive deep into Dubrovnik’s illustrious maritime legacy at the Maritime Museum. Located within the historic Fortress of Saint John, the museum charts Dubrovnik’s maritime journey from the ancient world to the steam age.
  • Highlights:
    • Rare art exhibits and sunken treasures.
    • Immersive tales of ancient maritime adventures.
    • Transitioning eras showcasing Dubrovnik’s maritime evolution.
    • Engaging sections for children.
  • Practical Information: The museum is located within the Fortress of Saint John. It’s essential to note that there’s no elevator, and the museum spans two levels.

Activity Name: Game of Thrones Tour

  • Brief Description: Walk in the footsteps of your favorite Game of Thrones characters through Dubrovnik, the primary filming location for King’s Landing. This tour offers a rich blend of fictional tales and historical facts, making it a treat for fans and non-fans alike.
  • Highlights:
    • Relive iconic scenes such as Cersei’s Walk of Shame.
    • Pose on the Iron Throne for a memorable snapshot.
    • Insightful stories from knowledgeable local guides.
    • Exploration of famous locations like Lovrijenac Fortress (Red Keep).
  • Practical Information: The tour involves walking and climbing, so it’s best suited for those comfortable with a moderate level of physical activity.

Discover More of Dubrovnik’s Charm

While a day trip to Dubrovnik offers a tantalizing glimpse of its beauty, there’s so much more to explore in this Adriatic gem. Dive deeper into the heart of the city with my guide on unique things to do in Dubrovnik, where you’ll uncover hidden treasures and local secrets.

If you’re looking to venture beyond the city walls, this curated list of exciting day trips from Dubrovnik will lead you to enchanting destinations nearby. For those sun-soaked days, the pristine beaches of Dubrovnik await, each offering a unique blend of relaxation and Adriatic allure.

And after a day of exploration, retreat to one of the luxurious hotels in Dubrovnik, where comfort meets Croatian hospitality. Let Dubrovnik’s magic unfold with every new discovery.

About the author

Tomislav is the main contributor and creator of Croatia Wanderlust. With a deep appreciation for his homeland, he dedicates his time to sharing detailed stories and insights about Croatia's rich culture, scenic landscapes, and historical landmarks. His writings aim to provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of what makes Croatia a unique and must-visit destination. Through his articles, Tomislav hopes to inspire travel enthusiasts and curious minds alike to explore the beauty of Croatia.

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