Travelling alone to Dubrovnik? You’ll be instantly at home. It’s fairytale-romantic, all Renaissance palaces, baroque churches and stately piazzas behind castle walls, framed by mountains and a shimmering bay of islands. Book a boutique hotel in one of the ancient alleys then browse the arty shops and open-air markets. Sunbathe and swim off the pearly beaches that fringe Dubrovnik’s coast and islands, then sip sweet proseč wine at sunset, with the Adriatic at your feet.
What’s the vibe?
Visit between March and October for warm, sunny weather. With al fresco cafes and restaurants at every turn, it’s easy to meet fellow travellers – especially at sunset behind Banje Beach or at the Beach Bar Dodo, above the Adriatic just west of the city walls. A long weekend is enough to take in the sights – it’s a small city, easily explored on foot. In the evening, grab a pew in a bar or restaurant with a sea-blue view.
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Where to stay in Dubrovnik
Not all Dubrovnik hotels are in Dubrovnik. Many are sprinkled along the beaches and peninsulas beyond town, a taxi ride away – as a solo traveller you may feel isolated. To meet people – and for that King’s Landing, within-the-castle-walls atmosphere – stay in the Old Town. Rooms with a view or a location in one of the historic monasteries like St Joseph’s (right off the main Stradun Boulevard) come at a luxury hotel price. But there are cheaper haunts – most of them dotting the cobbled back streets and alleys at the southern end of Old Dubrovnik, less than a 10-minute walk from the centre.
Whatever your budget – and your bag – find inspiration for your accommodation with our guide to the best hotels in Dubrovnik. And check out the best luxury places to stay, backpacker hostels, hip apartments and bases ideal for a local experience.
What to do in Dubrovnik
With a gorgeous medieval-turned-Renaissance walled city to explore as well as mountains, beaches and a scattering of islands on the doorstep, Dubrovnik pushes the boat out in terms of things to see and do. Here are some of our favourite ways to spend the days…
Top of the bucket list is a walking tour of the old city – best enjoyed with a local guide. They’ll unlock the city’s history as a trading point between the Silk Road and Venice, and show you the medieval monasteries, the 17th-century baroque cathedral and those Instagrammable Game of Thrones filming locations.
A walking tour of Dubrovnik’s Unesco-listed Old Town features on Culture Trip’s eight-day small-group adventure Jewels of the Adriatic: the Best of Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast.
The best views of the city? Try the Srđ (pronounced surge) mountain, looming over the old city. You can reach it (with a lot of huffing and puffing) on foot – catch a cab to Staza Prema Utvrdi Imperial, where the trail starts. More sedate is the cable car ascent. Leave it until late afternoon when the light is golden and the crowds are at their thinnest.
Eating and drinking in Dubrovnik
Many visitors hold Croatian food and wine to be as good as in neighbouring Italy. But as it’s harvested or produced small-scale, much of it stays under the radar – and in the country. Juicy Dubrovnik olives and creamy cheeses come from local villages while fish is caught right offshore. Expect myriad wines from artisan family growers who have been producing crisp pošips and hearty, ruby-red dingačs for centuries. Here’s where to sate your tastebuds.
Great over-the-ocean views, a top location at the feet of Dubrovnik’s city walls, delicious seafood at nice prices… Tables at Lokanda can be hard to get in high season, and there’s no booking. Come for an early or late lunch to ensure a table.
Stay safe, stay happy
Croatia has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, so rest assured it’s safe to walk the streets solo day or night in Dubrovnik.
With narrow streets and a pedestrian path around the walls, Dubrovnik is a place to explore on foot – you could walk across the old city in 15 minutes. Cabs are easy to come by for trips further afield – with stands outside hotels, next to the Old Town gates and at the bus station and ferry terminal. Tours and boat trips are easily organised through hotels and hostels.
The people of Dubrovnik are warm, welcoming and easy-going. Most speak fairly good English and excellent Italian, so you’ll find it easy to meet and greet. There are few cultural taboos, but to limit offence avoid speaking about the war with Serbia or making jokes about the Catholic church.
Fancy joining a small group of like-minded travellers to discover the beauties of Croatia? Book a place on Culture Trip’s eight-day small-group adventure Jewels of the Adriatic: the Best of Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast. It includes the guiding hand of a Local Insider.
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