Nicknamed globally as the “Pearl of the Adriatic”, is the glorious city of Dubrovnik. Located on the coast of the Adriatic in Southern Croatia, Dubrovnik is an incredibly vibrant destination. From familiar film and TV sets, lush scenery, ecology, and fresh seafood, to abundant history and a stunning UNESCO Old Town, Dubrovnik is undoubtedly a city that needs to be on your travel radar. Read on to learn how to create the perfect 2, 3, or 4 Days in Dubrovnik and your own Dubrovnik itinerary.
How Many Days in Dubrovnik?
When planning your Dubrovnik itinerary, a crucial decision will be how long to stay. That leads to the question of how many days to spend in Dubrovnik.
While 2 days in Dubrovnik is ideal to see the main sights, get a feel of the city, and eat delicious food, 3 days in Dubrovnik or even 4 days in Dubrovnik can certainly elevate your trip in this medieval city.
With 3 or 4 days in the city, you’ll be able to see all the main sights, eat plenty of delicious food, head to the beach, explore outside the touristy Old Town, and maybe even take a day trip.
There are a few islands near and around Dubrovnik, as well as other countries, making it the perfect destination for a 3 or 4-day trip in this Croatian city.
Getting To & Around Dubrovnik
The city of Dubrovnik is well connected to Europe as well as other destinations throughout Croatia. If you’re heading to the city by plane, it’s important to know that the Dubrovnik Airport mainly services direct seasonal routes from other European countries.
So if you’re looking to visit Dubrovnik outside of the summer season, you’ll likely fly to the Croatian capital, Zagreb first and then take a domestic flight to Dubrovnik. This makes flights more expensive as well, so if you’re looking to save some money, it’s recommended to travel to Dubrovnik during the summer months.
To reach the city center from the airport, you’ll want to take the shuttle bus. The bus runs 7 days a week, year-round, and every half an hour departing from the arrivals area with drop-off points throughout the city center. Tickets can be purchased online here or within the airport.
If you’re planning on reaching Dubrovnik from other cities in Croatia, there is a wonderful bus system throughout the country connecting Dubrovnik to the rest of the country.
As for getting around the city of Dubrovnik, you’re in luck. If you’re mainly going to be spending time in the Old Town, everything is walkable and there are no buses within the gates of the Old Town.
It is also important to keep in mind that there are quite a few stairs in the Old Town, so if you’re looking to explore more in-depth and want to reach the best views of the city, bring your best shoes and be prepared.
The bus system itself in Dubrovnik is fantastic. If you’re staying outside of the old town or would like to reach one of the beaches outside of the city center, there are bus stops pretty much everywhere for you to hop on and reach your destination.
Keep in mind, the bus system does not show up on Google Maps to route yourself to where you are going, so I recommend downloading the Moovit app to assist you. You can purchase tickets on the bus or at kiosks within the city (where the prices are slightly reduced).
2, 3 or 4 Days in Dubrovnik Itinerary
The city of Dubrovnik is an ideal destination for a 2-4 day trip. Whether you’re looking for a long weekend away or another stop on a Croatian or European itinerary, this city will capture your heart.
Follow this Dubrovnik itinerary to get the perfect glimpse into this Balkan gem as well as other surrounding areas.
Day 1 – Old Town of Dubrovnik
When traveling from the airport to the city of Dubrovnik, you’re in for a treat. Driving right on the Adriatic Coast gives you nothing less than a strong hint that you’re in for a stunning trip. But once the Old Town first peeks at you, that feeling is confirmed.
Dubrovnik’s Old Town became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979 and it’s no surprise why. From medieval architecture to cobblestoned streets and Baroque Churches, it’s an incredibly enticing spot and the best place to begin your Dubrovnik Itinerary.
You’ll enter the walls of the Dubrovnik Old Town through the Pile Gate, the main entrance to the Dubrovnik Old Town. Built-in the 15th century, the gate used to have a drawbridge, but now still retains the original architecture of the gate above what was once a moat. When walking through the gate, you truly feel as if you’ve been transported to Medieval Croatia.
Once you’ve made it through the Pile Gate and main entryway to the old town, you’ll find yourself in the Stradun. The Stradun is the main street in the Old Town, and just like the rest of the Old Town, it’s closed off to traffic.
The Stradun essentially divides the two parts of the old town, while offering a wonderful place to stroll, take in the scenery, and maybe do some shopping or grab an ice cream or coffee at one of its many cafes. You may even recognize the Stradun from Star Wars!
When wandering the Old Town of Dubrovnik, a site that is worth a visit is The Dubrovnik Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. The Cathedral was built in the 17th century in the traditional Baroque style to replace a prior church that was destroyed in the city’s major earthquake.
The Cathedral is quite a beautiful sight, with many valuable gems of art as well as many impressive points of architecture inside and out of the Cathedral. Visits to the Cathedral are free and the Cathedral is open 24 hours a day.
A great place to stop for lunch while exploring the old town is Barba. Barba is located in the heart of the Old Town off of one of the side streets and likely offers some of the freshest seafood in the city.
Seafood is one of the most popular foods in Croatia and especially in seaside Dubrovnik, so you must try it while visiting. Eating in Dubrovnik can be quite costly and this location offers incredibly delicious and fresh food, as well as affordable prices.
Another spot worth checking out that is located on the furthest south end of the Stradun, is the Rector’s Palace.
Built in the 13th century but rebuilt multiple times later to what is it today in classic Venetian-Gothic Style, the Rector’s Palace signifies and showcases the Dubrovnik or Raguza (previous Sicilian name of the city) that once was.
The Rector’s Palace was the home to government and state offices as well as accommodation. Today the palace is open as a museum and is also used as a concert hall. The palace is open daily from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
Day 2 – City Walls, Mount Srd & More
Walls of Dubrovnik
If you’re spending 2 days in Dubrovnik, your second day in the city will begin by exploring the city’s famous walls. But first, I recommend heading to centrally-located Holy Burek to eat a classic Burek. Burek is one of the most famous layered pastries in Croatia and is a great way to load up on energy to help you power through day 2.
Afterwards, you’ll head over to spend the majority of your day wandering the city’s walls. The walls were originally built sometime in the early middle ages but later were rebuilt as the walls that you’ll visit today.
Dubrovnik’s city walls are considered to be one of the greatest fortification systems of the Middle Ages because at no time in history have they ever been breached by opposing enemy forces.
The walls are about 1,940 meters long and on average take about 2 hours to complete. On this walk, you will pass multiple forts, fortresses, towers and more as you see Dubrovnik from the most unique perspective. Bear in mind that the walk can be quite strenuous, especially in the heated summer months, so have ample water and necessary supplies for your visit.
You can either purchase tickets online or at the main ticketing office near the Pile Gate entrance. Tickets are quite costly but can be reduced if you buy the Dubrovnik Pass which gives you access to the city walls, as well as 6 other museums and galleries in the city. You can also purchase a guided sunset tour of the Walls or a guided morning tour.
If you’re not feeling too worn out after wandering the city walls, a great way to end 2 days in Dubrovnik is by heading to Srd Mountain to catch the sunset. Mount Srd sits just behind the Old Town of Dubrovnik and offers one of (if not the most stunning) sunsets in all of the city.
Above the mountain, you’ll also find Fort Imperial, a fort built in the 1800s by the French to assist during the Napoleonic wars. To reach the top of the mountain for the best views, you can either walk, take a taxi, or get a ride on the famous cable car running to the top.
The hike is about 3.5 km and begins on the main Jadranska Cesta road but consists of a steep incline, so keep that in mind if you decide to hike to the top! The cable car takes about 5 minutes to reach the top.
The cable car departs just outside the Old Town entrance and runs until around midnight every day. Keep in mind that the cable car also only runs during the summer months, and is closed from October until April.
For those looking for more of a guided experience during your stay in Dubrovnik, a guided tour is a wonderful option. Spend time with knowledgeable locals guiding you around the city offering information and insight that you may not receive by exploring the city independently. A popular option is this Old Town walking tour.
Due to the famous nature of the city since being used for various filming sets (it’s particularly known for being the site of King’s Landing in Game of Thrones), themed tours such as this Game of Thrones tour are also available in Dubrovnik to learn about the city while also taking you to some of your favorite filming locations.
If you prefer, there are also boat tours such as this half-day tour that will take you around the coast and also to some of the many islands and hidden spots surrounding the Dubrovnik coast.
Day 3 – Lokrum Island or Dubrovnik’s Beaches
To begin 3 days in Dubrovnik, you’ll head to the lush land of Lokrum Island.
Lokrum Island is an island in the Adriatic Sea located just about 600 meters and 10 minutes by ferry from the coast of Dubrovnik. Evidence of this vibrant island goes back to 1023, with an association in the beginnings of the Benedictine abbey and monastery.
No one lives on the island except for a diverse array of plant and animal life, making it a wonderful destination to spend time in nature away from the crowds in Dubrovnik. If you’d like, there are also a few fantastic swimming spots, including a small dead sea right in the middle of the island!
After spending time exploring the island and walking among the wildlife, grab a coffee or lunch at the cafe before heading back to the ferry to return to Dubrovnik.
Ferries run every day of the week, every hour and just run during the summer season. Entry tickets to Lokrum island also include a return trip on the ferry. Alternatively, you can also go on a kayaking tour to Lokrum.
Beaches of Dubrovnik
If you prefer to skip Lokrum Island and would like to save some money while also enjoying time in the sun or in the water in Dubrovnik, the city has many wonderful beaches. Most of the beaches are easy to reach from the city center and are a great place to relax and enjoy the sun the way the Croatians do.
St. Jacob’s Beach (Sveti Jakov)
A well-loved beach by both tourists and locals is St. Jacob’s Beach or “Sveti Jakov”. St. Jacob’s beach is known to have some of the most pristine waters within or outside of Dubrovnik while also offering a wondrous view of the old town.
Take the 5 or 8 bus heading north from the Old Town and then make your way to a long staircase that will then lead you directly to the beach. There’s also a cafe and restaurant once you get there making it a convenient place to spend your day while cooling off and basking in the sun.
Sunset Beach (Uvala Lapad Beach)
Another great beach option in Dubrovnik is the sunset beach, also known locally as Uvala Lapad Beach. This beach is located on the Lapad Peninsula, which is quite central in Dubrovnik, making it easy to reach from your location in the city.
Prices for chairs, umbrellas, and food are all a bit steeper here but it’s worth it. The views are beautiful, there’s plenty of space, and let’s just say there’s a reason why they call it Sunset Beach after all.
Day 4 – Day Trip to Kotor or Mostar
If your itinerary consists of 4 days in Dubrovnik, the best way to spend your last day here is to take a day trip to one of the lesser-known neighboring countries.
If you’re spending 2 days in Dubrovnik, or 3 days in Dubrovnik, this is also a great option if you prefer to skip anything on the other days and head out of Croatia. Also, make sure you have your passport on you especially today as both day trip options include cross-country borders. If you prefer to stay in Croatia, consider taking a day trip to Korcula Island.
Just two and a half hours away by car is a new country and an entirely different world in itself, the city of Kotor, Montenegro. Montenegro, like Croatia, used to be part of Yugoslavia and has only been independent since 2006.
So it’s interesting having the opportunity to discover what makes these countries what they are today. Kotor and Montenegro in general are still quite relatively unknown to most travelers, making it a unique day trip option from Dubrovnik.
The city of Kotor is also brilliantly located on the Adriatic coast and is quite a small city so you don’t have to rush around during your visit, even if it is just for a day.
To reach Kotor, Montenegro you can either rent a car (browse Rentalcars.com for options) and drive independently from Dubrovnik, take a bus service from Dubrovnik to Kotor or go on a guided tour.
The bus service is going to be your cheapest option and it takes just over two and a half hours by bus to reach Kotor. Guided tours are the option if you prefer the least hassle and there are many choices such as this full-day tour that goes to both Kotor and Perast.
Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Another option for a day trip from Dubrovnik, is to make your way to the city of Mostar in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Mostar was originally built by the Ottomans in the 16th century and a large amount of the culture, food, and architecture today still reflects the time that once was.
The city of Mostar is filled with quaint streets, interesting architecture, and delicious cuisine thanks to the Ottoman influence (make sure you try cevapi during your visit!) The Neretva river flows beneath the city and has given us one of the most beautiful and captivating bridges in the country and Balkans, which goes by the name of the “Old Bridge”.
There aren’t any direct buses to Mostar from Dubrovnik, but if you decide to go by car it should take around 2 ½ hours. Another option is to take part in this group tour that departs in Dubrovnik, and also stops in other places on the way to Mostar.
Where to Stay in Dubrovnik
Boutique Hotel Porto — This boutique hotel located in Dubrovnik’s Old Town is a great option for those looking for a chic and romantic place to stay in Dubrovnik. They have a range of clean, comfortable rooms on offer and it comes very highly rated. Click here to see their availability
Hotel Excelsior – For those looking for a plush, luxury option in Dubrovnik, then this hotel is an excellent option. Located within a stone’s throw from the Old Town and boasting phenomenal views over the Adriatic, they have countless luxe rooms available and plenty of amenities to ensure your stay is a great one. Click here to see their availability
Old Town Hostel — If you’re travelling solo or on a budget, then this centrally-located hostel is a great option. Situated in the Old Town, they have both dorm and private rooms available an a good social atmosphere for meeting other travellers. Click here to see their availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik truly is the Pearl of the Mediterranean and after diving into this Dubrovnik itinerary, you’ll understand why. Its dramatic views from the walled Old Town looking over the sea will undoubtedly take your breath away, while the depth of its history and gritted past are enough to move you. Whether you have 2 days in Dubrovnik or 4 days in Dubrovnik, you’ll be waiting for your next visit back.
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Are you planning a Dubrovnik itinerary? Have any questions? Let us know in the comments!