48 Hours in Dubrovnik Croatia
The walled city of Dubrovnik in Croatia is an incredible place to visit with its cobbled streets, terracotta-roofed buildings and its stunning beaches.
Game of Thrones fans will be excited to visit all the sites used in the series. Ensure you have comfortable shoes and at least two days in Dubrovnik and follow my bucket list for things to do and see while you are in this incredible city.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Dubrovnik
When to travel to Dubrovnik
Late Spring/Summer months – the weather is more pleasant, and the sun is out – If you travel in July/August be prepared for lots of tourists, especially from cruise ships.
Autumn – I visited in September – the weather is still warm and sunny, and there are fewer crowds. A lovely time to wander around Dubrovnik’s walled city.
Winter – Dubrovnik can be cold, so wrap up well.
Where to Stay in Dubrovnik
I stayed at the Boutique Apartments La Boheme. Clean, comfortable and in an excellent location overlooking the city walls.
How to get from Dubrovnik Airport to the City Centre
Pre-book a private transfer and arrive in comfort straight to your hotel door.
Day One – Exploring the Old Town
Morning – Walk Along Dubrovnik’s City Walls
The walls of Dubrovnik date from the 13th century, are 2k long and consist of 17 towers and the St John Fortress.
- Arrive either early morning or late afternoon to miss the hoards of tourists during the day.
- An entry fee is required.
- It takes around 1 – 2 hours to walk, depending on fitness levels.
- Remember, there are only three access/exit points around the walls, so make sure you grab a map to know where they are should you need to get off.
- Although there are a few cafes along the walls where you can stop for refreshments, bring plenty of water.
- Bring your camera for the fantastic shots over the rooftops of the old town and out to sea.
Afternoon – The Old Town of Dubrovnik
Walk around Dubrovnik’s Unesco World Heritage Site, and you will feel like you are on the Game of Thrones film set.
- Don’t have a plan just go for a wander. You won’t get lost as all streets seem to lead back to the centre.
- Walk up and down the Placa (Stradun), Dubrovnik’s main street. It is mesmerising in the evening when the lights illuminate the buildings.
- Visit the Rector’s Palace, once the siege of the government and the most important public building.
- Be amazed by the treasures and artwork in the Cathedral.
- Stop for lunch or a chilled glass of wine at one of the restaurants lining the back streets.
- Check out the artisan coffee shops hidden down the side alleyways.
- Visit Sponza Palace built in 1520 and housing the most important documents about Dubrovnik’s history.
- Join a Game of Thrones tour if you are a fan. I recognised several locations and had fun taking photos in these spots.
- Be amazed at how many cats you will see. Hundreds live in the city, and we even spotted a cat sanctuary on one of the streets.
Evening – Take the cable car to the top of Mount Srd.
For the best sunset spot in Dubrovnik head to the top of Mount Srd
- Give yourself at least an hour before the sun is due to set to queue for the cable car. For obvious reasons, it gets jam-packed.
- Make sure you have your camera for the stunning photos you can take during the day, of the baked clay tiles on the houses and at night of the sun setting over the Elafiti Islands.
- Don’t stay with the crowds on the viewing platform but instead walk around the back of the building along the road and find yourself a piece of cliffside to sit and experience the sunset in your own space.
- If you want to eat at the restaurant, make sure you have a reservation otherwise take your picnic with you.
- When the sun has set, wait a while before heading back down on the cable car. We queued for 40 minutes to get back down and in hindsight wish we had waited for the crowds to disperse.
- Take something warm with you. At 412 metres above the city, it can be a bit chilly when the sun goes down.
- If you don’t want to take the cable car then there is a great hike up Mount Srd that you can do.
Day Two – Excursions and Beach Time
Morning – Sail over to Lokrum Island
See the roaming peacocks, the monastery ruins, and the Dubrovnik Game of Thrones Exhibition.
- Hop aboard a ferry from Dubrovnik’s old harbour and enjoy the 10-minute ride to the island. The first boat departs at 10 am, and the last boat leaves at 4 pm. They run every hour.
- Explore the abandoned 15th-century monastery and the botanical gardens.
- Visit the Game Of Thrones Exhibit, sit on the replica iron throne and imagine you are the ruler of everything!
- Marvel at the peacocks brought to the island by Maximilian, the 19th-century Austrian Archduke who roam around quite freely alongside the rabbits!
- Take one of the walking paths through the green pine forests that lead down to the coast. You will discover rocky coves with waters ideal for swimming.
- Take a picnic with you or grab a bite from one of the several cafes on the island. Then sit under a tree and admire the azure waters that surround the island.
- Take the steep trail, which leads to the ruins of Fort Royal castle. The reward will be the stunning 360-degree panoramic view but remember your water; it’s a tough walk to the top.
Afternoon – Sail to one of the Elafiti Islands
The three inhabited islands near Dubrovnik all offer a different experience.
- Consisting of Kolocep, Lopud and Sipan, all the islands can be reached by Jadrolinija ferry from Dubrovnik. You can use each island as a jumping-off point for another one.
- Organised day trips will take you to all the islands and provide activities such as snorkelling and lunch.
- If you enjoy hiking, visit Kolocep, which offers several different routes around the island.
- After your hike, enjoy a glass of Croatian wine at the cafe by the ferry terminal.
- Make sure you give yourself enough time to buy your ticket before you board. The ferries are very punctual arriving and departing.
- If you want to enjoy a sandy beach (one of the rare few in the area), visit Sunj beach on Lopud.
- For a small fee, golf buggies will take you to the beach if your legs aren’t quite up to it. I walked, and it is quite a trek, especially on a hot day.
- Visit the church and gardens on Lopud.
If you have time when you return to Dubrovnik Town then head to Banje beach, the most popular beach in Dubrovnik and finish your day off with a spectacular view of the harbour and the city walls. The perfect way to end your 48 hours in Dubrovnik.
Would I recommend two days in Dubrovnik?
Yes, regardless of how much time you spend here, I think it is a place you will want to return to. It is steeped in history, has some stunning beaches and offers the traveller so much to explore. It can also be used as the starting point to discover some of the other best places to visit in Croatia.