Dubrovnik is ideal for al-fresco dining. The weather is almost always picnic-friendly here, and the magnificent cityscape is the perfect view to marvel at while you eat. While it’s tempting to dine out for every meal in Dubrovnik, where classy restaurants vie for tourist attention, a few days of luxury can have your wallet groaning, so why not gather a few fresh treats from the market, and take your basket to the open air? These wonderful spots will make the most humble picnic a meal to remember.
This is probably one of the most tranquil places in Dubrovnik, making it the perfect escape from the throng of the city centre. The elevated park is a magnificent viewing point, and at around 200 metres above the old town, it offers views of all the landmarks. It’s also one of the greenest areas in the city, making it an appealing place to lounge with a picnic for hours. Trees providing cooling canopies, and water features trickle away in the background.
A climb up the small-ish mountain that sits on Dubrovnik’s horizon is a refreshing way to pass an afternoon. While the Panorama Restaurant waits with doors flung open at the summit, there’s no need to spend money to have a memorable meal. You can choose your own dining spot on your way up to the top, throw your rug over a rocky perch, and gaze out across the spectacular panorama while you eat. The views from Srđ can make the most ordinary picnic seem like the food of the gods.
Just a 15-minute ferry trip from Dubrovnik’s port, the island of Lokrum is utterly other-wordly. That’s largely thanks to its ban on cars, which means it always maintains a level of blissful peace and quiet. At less than a mile wide, the island is one of Croatia’s smallest, and one afternoon is plenty of time to enjoy it. Stroll around its old monastery and admire its resident wildlife before settling down to dine in solitude at your chosen spot along the rocky shore. Take a trip to Gundulićeva Poljana, the fruit and veg market in the Old Town, to fill up your picnic basket before departing.
Aside from a small risk of getting your lunch a little sandy and wet, Dubrovnik’s most popular beach is the perfect setting for a picnic, especially of the rowdy, family-friendly variety. Frequented by tourists and locals alike and near the centre of town, it’s not exactly one of Croatia’s most secluded coastal spots, but it has a fun, lively atmosphere, and unrivalled views of the old fortifications.
Sveti Jakob (St.Jacob) beach
This one’s a little out of town, but, if you’re after a secluded spot then it’s worth the 15-minute walk or bus ride (or if you’ve opted to rent a car, it’s an easy drive). You have to descend a hefty staircase to reach the beach – so bear in mind that you’ll have to climb it on the way out – but once you’re down and have set up camp you’ll feel utterly serene. With views of Lokrum and of Dubrovnik’s Old Town, and with the kind of blue waters you see in the brochures, this quiet beach has to be one of the finest alfresco dining spots in the city.