The perfect Dubrovnik itinerary | How to spend 2 days in Dubrovnik

Rustic red roof tiles, marble streets and the lapping blue Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik is a picture-perfect city that has to be on everyone’s travel bucket list. And whether you’re there for a few days or a weekend, there are plenty of great activities to keep you busy while exploring this Mediterranean paradise. Not sure what to do in this Balkan beauty? After spending time travelling through Croatia with friends, we decided to create the perfect 2 days in Dubrovnik itinerary.

What’s more is that, in case you want to extend your trip, or interested in day trips from Dubrovnik, we have options for that too, along with recommendations for the best places to stay, where to eat, travel tips and so much more!

So, read on for all the details you need for your trip to Dubrovnik or if you’d like some more details, get in touch with us here.

The perfect 2 days in Dubrovnik itinerary

What does the perfect 2 days in Dubrovnik itinerary look like? Well we’ve incorporated the best attractions and activities from around the city to make sure you make the most of your time. Here’s a quick snapshot:

Day 1 in Dubrovnik

  • Fort Lovrijenac
  • Exploring the Old Town
  • Game of Thrones Tour
  • Sunset drinks at Buza Bar

Day 2 in Dubrovnik

  • Walk the city walls
  • Trip to Lokrum Island
  • Cable car ride to Srd Mountain

Getting to Dubrovnik

Flights

The obvious way to get to Dubrovnik is to fly! When we last travelled to Croatia, we flew into Split and island-hopped our way to Dubrovnik, but we’ve even started in Zagreb and made our way down the country too.

Make sure that you check out the cheapest options with Skyscanner!

Ferry

If you are travelling around Croatia and looking to head from Split to Dubrovnik, then we’d recommend that you look at the ferry options. We love booking with Bookaway, they have great 24-hour support. They also have other routes around Croatia, so a great way to plan your whole Croatia itinerary.

Book your ferry with Bookaway here!

Travel Insurance for your Croatia holiday

Got your travel insurance booked? We promise to never push a brand or product we don’t personally use, and the travel cover from Safety Wing is a policy we don’t just use, but we highly recommend. They offer some of the most flexible policies, amazing customer service and are affordable too.

Check out the latest travel insurance prices with Safety Wing here.

Day 1 in Dubrovnik

Fort Lovrijenac

One of the great landmarks of Croatia is the perfect place to start your 2 day Dubrovnik itinerary! Construction of the Fort, often referred to as Dubrovnik’s Gibraltar (it’s on a rock), started sometime in the early 1000s. Although the first record of the fortress was upon the appointment of the Commander of the Fort, which was recorded in 1301. So, it’s pretty old.

Legend has it that the fort was built by the city of Dubrovnik to fend off the Venetians, who planned to build their own fort on this spot, and control both the road and sea route into Dubrovnik. But they were beaten to it, by the people of Dubrovnik. 

Also named St. Lawrence Fortress, the 37m impressive structure dominates the area to the west of the Old City Walls. And, like many of the beautiful old parts of the city, was used in the blockbuster Game of Thrones series!

The cost for a ticket to Fort Lovrijenac is 50 KN per person (7.50 USD/6.00 GBP).

Location: Ul. od Tabakarije 29, 20000, Dubrovnik

Open: 8.00am to 7.00pm daily

Explore Dubrovnik Old Town

Rivalling the beauty of Venice old town, there really are not that many places like Dubrovnik. And for your second stop of the day, it’s actually many of them rolled into one with a short walking tour to see some of the best sights in the Old Town. Very much a walking tour that you can do yourself, although if you’re keen to understand some of the history of the city, it’s well worth checking out some of the guided Dubrovnik tour options.

Some of the places not to miss…

Main Street in Dubrovnik Old Town

One of our favourite streets in Europe, the main street in Dubrovnik Old Town, or Stradun as it is better known, is a stunning off-white limestone-paved street running from the Pile Gate to the Ploce Gate, and East to West across the city.

The main street was originally laid in around the 13th century, although the houses that surrounded it were pretty much decimated in a serious earthquake and fire that hit Dubrovnik in 1667. And the city council decided that the re-building of the houses should be done in a uniform way with specific layout, to help limit the spread of fires in future.

At each end of the main street are the Onofrio’s fountains from the 1400s, that survived the earthquake and subsequent fire, which are also definitely worth a quick snap.

Saint Ignatius Church

In the southern part of Dubrovnik Old Town, you’ll find the beautiful Church of St Ignatius, which was constructed in 1725.

Accessed by the equally stunning Baroque staircase (that is apparently based on the Spanish Steps in Rome), the church can be found just off Gundulic Square.

Location: Poljana Ruđera Boškovića 7, 20000, Dubrovnik

Open: 7.00am to 8.00pm

Dubrovnik Cathedral

As a Brit, I had no idea that our King, Richard the Lion Heart (yes, he of Robin Hood fame), was actually shipwrecked near Dubrovnik while returning from the Third Crusade! And as part of his thanks for surviving, put up much of the funds to build the Dubrovnik Cathedral!

Although the building was also destroyed by the 1667 earthquake, and suffered damage from the shelling of the city during the Siege of Dubrovnik, it has thankfully been rebuilt and restored to what is now one of the most stunning Catholic churches in the region.

Location: Ul. kneza Damjana Jude 1, 20000, Dubrovnik

Open: Mon – Sat 9.00am to 5.00pm, Sun 11.00am to 5.00pm (summer hours)

Franciscan Monastery & Museum

Another must-see place on any tour of the Old Town is to visit the monastery just inside the city walls, close to the Pile Gate and the start of the Placa (another name for the Main Street).

The monastery was built in the 14th century, although it has been rebuilt many times over (another victim of the 1667 earthquake). It also houses Europe’s oldest functioning pharmacy (impressively it’s the third oldest in the world).

Then it’s also worth viewing the 17th century library, which is home to over 20,000 books and many valuable artefacts.

Location: Poljana Paska Miličevića 4, 20000, Dubrovnik

Open: 9.00am to 6.00pm daily

If you’d prefer a guided tour to take you around the Old Town, then we’d recommend you look at this one with Get Your Guide.

Game of Thrones Tour

If you’re an avid Game of Thrones fan, then you’ll know that King’s Landing was originally based on Dubrovnik. And much of the first series was actually filmed in Dubrovnik, before the show became a little too popular and they had to build a replica in the docks in Belfast!

Now although some of the suggestions of what to do on this Dubrovnik itinerary overlaps any Game of Thrones Tour, we believe there is definite merit in seeing some of the places twice! Once to check out the places for their own historical value and beauty, then a second time with your Game of Thrones hat on, taking in the famous spots and scenes that are now viewed as now household names, like Red Keep, Cersei’s Walk of Shame and Blackwater Bay.

There are a load of great tours available but given the amazing reviews, we’d strongly suggest that you check out this 2 hour tour.

Sunset Drinks at Buza Bar

And what better way to finish your first day in Dubrovnik than to have drinks at one of the most popular spots in town, Buza Bar, while watching the sunset over the sea?

You’ll only find this secret little gem by exiting the city walls through a hole, but when you’ve arrived you’ll have panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea, quite literally the perfect watering hole.

Make sure you get there nice and early to get a great spot to enjoy sunset, it can get pretty full in high season.

Photo Credit: Colleen Elizabeth/Flickr

Location: Crijevićeva ul. 9, 20000, Dubrovnik

Open: Mon, Wed, Thurs, Sat & Sun – 8.00am to 2.00am, Tues 12.00pm to 5.00pm, Fridays – Closed!

Day 2 in Dubrovnik

Walk the City Walls

Of course you can’t come to Dubrovnik without spending time walking the loop of the Old City Walls. You’ll also want to get to the walls just before 8.00am so you can pretty much have most of the walk to yourself. Trust us, this is definitely a massive plus!

The wall is just shy of 2km in length and unsurprisingly was another of those filming locations for the Game of Thrones.

The cost of walking the city walls is pretty expensive, costing 200 KN per person (30.00 USD/24.00 GBP), but we still think it is well worth it. If you’re keen to beat the crowds, we purchased our tickets the evening before, so didn’t have to queue. Entrance is close to the Pile Gate – you can’t miss it!

Open: 8.00am to 7.30pm daily

Venture over to Lokrum Island

Finished with wandering around the city walls? Now it’s time to head out of Dubrovnik’s Old Town and across the brilliant blue sea to Lokrum Island, only 600m off the Dubrovnik coastline.

Home to a Benedictine abbey and monastery from 1023, it then became a summer home to Archduke Maximilian Ferdinand from the mid-1800s, who added peacocks and botanical gardens to the island.

Some of the places to explore on the island:

The Benedictine Monastery: the most important part of the island to visit and for any Game of Thrones fans, where you’ll find a replica of the Iron Throne.

Charlotte’s Well: the pond left from Archduke Maximilian’s time on the island.

The Dead Sea: is a salt lake on Lokrum which is super popular with tourists and scuba divers!

The Botanical Garden: Over 200 species of local and overseas plants to be explored.

You can book your ticket on the Dubrovnik Lokrum ferry in the old port in Dubrovnik Old Town. You can find the latest Lokrum ferry times in this Lokrum boat schedule here.

Keen to get more details about the role Lokrum Island played in GOT series? Check out this tour…

Cable car to Srđ mountain

And, once back onto the mainland, it’s time to head over to Srd Mountain for the best view of Dubrovnik.

Not far from the Ploce Gate, you’ll find the base for the Dubrovnik Cable Car which will whisk you up 415m to the top of Srd Hill. Providing you not only another of the best spots for watching the sunset, but also amazing views back down to Dubrovnik, to Lokrum and of the Elafiti Islands.

Atop the hill, you’ll find the Fort Imperial, built by Napoleon Bonaparte in the early 1800s, who controlled Dubrovnik for a few years, before it was then held by the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It’s well worth visiting the Homeland War Museum in the Fort which gives you a much better understanding of what the city went through in the war.

Tickets for a return trip on the cable car cost 100 KN (15.00 USD/12.00 GBP) and to the War Museum cost 30 KN (4.50 USD/3.60 GBP).

Cable Car location: Ulica kralja Petra Krešimira IV, 20000, Dubrovnik

Opening hours: 9.00am to midnight daily

Interactive 2 days in Dubrovnik itinerary Map

Bonus activities to add to your Dubrovnik itinerary

Sea Kayaking Tour

Want to test those sea legs? We’d recommend that you check out a sea kayaking tour around Dubrovnik as an excellent way to explore the city.

Taking you around the old town walls, out to Lokrum Island and to explore hidden caves, the sea kayaking tour is a really fun way to get a totally different perspective of this city.

Check out the best sea kayaking tour options here!

Explore the Beaches

Now you may actually be coming to Dubrovnik and want to relax on the beaches instead of touring the town? Or, you just want something free to do? Well if you’d like to add some time on the beach into your Dubrovnik itinerary then we’d recommend that you check out the following:

Danče Beach: Around 5 minutes from the Old Town, Dance beach is very popular with the locals.

Sveti Jakov Beach: In our opinion one of the prettiest beaches in the area, located about a mile from the Old Town, it’s definitely worth a visit.

Banje Beach: Looking back towards the Old Town, Banje Beach is right by Ploce Gate and so very accessible, but definitely one of the busiest too.

Day Cruise to the Elaphiti Islands

Keen to spend a day island-hopping in the Adriatic? Well we’d suggest that you look at one of the tours that takes you around the 3 Elaphiti Islands: Koločep, Šipan and Lopud.

If you’re looking to get away from the crowds (yes Dubrovnik can get busy at certain times of the year), and explore cute little towns, then this is definitely the day trip for you.

Lopud Island part of Elaphiti islands, perfect as part of a Dubrovnik itinerary

Check out this three islands tour of the Elaphiti Islands.

Where to stay in Dubrovnik

We’d strongly recommend you try and find accommodation in and around the Old Town, especially if you are only in Dubrovnik for a couple of days! It’ll save you loads of time getting to all the main attractions.

Budget: Our reasonably priced places would definitely be a guest house like Villa Four Winds II or Villa Four Winds III, both have fantastic reviews, are modern, well-appointed and are in great locations!

Mid-range: Looking for slightly higher end? Then one of our top hotels in Dubrovnik has to be the stunning Dominus Little Palace. Views of landmarks and high-end amenities, what more could you want?

Luxury: Located a few minutes walk from the Old Town, Villa Glavić is a world-class 5* hotel. Amazing views, reviews and a pool… go on, treat yourself.

Best places to eat in Dubrovnik

We were amazed at just how many great restaurants there are in Dubrovnik, so we had to provide a few of our firm favourites in case you weren’t sure where to eat!

Best Secret Spot: Well not really a secret spot as it’s got a host of reviews, but it’s a little bit out the way, and not the easiest to find. If you’re looking for a really reasonably priced local place, Lady PiPi is the restaurant for you!

Best for Pizza: There are a load of really great pizza places in the Old Town, pretty much sit down at any that you come across and you’re in for a decent meal. You’ll quickly notice that there is also a premium for eating in the Old Town, but we’d definitely go back to Storia again and again. Great pizza…

Best High-End: If you’re really wanting to push the boat out and find a place for a special meal, then Nautika is the place for you. Stunning location, stunning food.

Getting Around Dubrovnik

Walking

If you’ve read any of our articles previously, you’ll know that we love to hike around cities, and the great thing about Dubrovnik is that most of the best attractions are within walking distance of each other.

Not just that, the old town is only accessible on foot, so make sure you pack some comfy shoes for your Dubrovnik itinerary!

Public Transport

However, if you’re staying further out from the Old Town, then you may want to make the most of the local bus routes which are really easy to use and reliable.

The most common route that you’ll take is the 1a, 1b or 1c which connects the harbour with the main Pile Gate at the Old Town. You can check out all the bus routes and timetables here.

The ticket will cost you around 12 KN (1.80 USD/1.50 GBP) and are valid for 1 hour after they’ve been stamped on the bus.

Note: You can buy the tickets on the bus but need to pay with cash…

Car

If you’re looking to drive around Croatia (and trust us this is a great way to explore the surrounding areas), then check out RentalCars for the best deals. We’d definitely recommend that you explore the car rental option if you want to do day trips into neighbouring Montenegro or Bosnia and Herzegovina!

Check out the best prices and latest options with RentalCars!

Dubrovnik 2 day itinerary - old town

Getting from Dubrovnik Airport

The Dubrovnik airport is a little southeast of Dubrovnik old town in Čilipi, which is about 22km (13 miles) from the city.

Bus

There are two options for getting the bus to and from the airport, the first is the Shuttle Bus that goes from Dubrovnik Airport straight to Pile Gate, then on to the main bus station in Gruz (where the main port is). The journey is around 30 minutes and costs 55 KN (8.25 USD/6.50 GBP).

You can buy your tickets on the bus, but if you’re keen to purchase up front, you can also do so on their website.

It is good to point out that the Shuttle Bus only goes to the Western Gate of the Old Town (Pile Gate) and if you need to get across to Ploče Gate at the eastern end of the Old Town and don’t want to drag your luggage then a taxi is maybe a better bet.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for the cheapest way from Dubrovnik Airport into town, you can look at the other bus option – the local bus. There are 4 bus routes from Dubrovnik to the Airport and vice versa. Routes 11, 27, 31 and 38 are the options and you can check out the local timetables and routes here.

The cost for the local buses is 18 KN (2.75 USD/2.15 GBP). Although we’re not sure it’s worth taking these options for the money you’ll save – it’s just much more tricky!

Taxi

If you’ve arrived into Dubrovnik and don’t want the hassle of getting onto a bus, then getting a taxi is the alternative option. There is a taxi rank right outside the arrivals hall and you’ll be charged around 300 KN (45 USD/36 GBP) for the journey to the old town, maybe more depending on where you are staying.

Alternatively, download Uber and book your driver as you’re clearing customs…

Private Transfer

Want to arrive in style? Then you have to check out private airport transfers, which will get you from the airport to the town in a little over 30 minutes.

2 Days in Dubrovnik itinerary - Roof tops

When is the best time to travel to Dubrovnik?

As we mentioned earlier, Dubrovnik can get super busy at certain times of the year, so we’d definitely suggest avoiding the summer holidays. It can also be stiflingly hot in July and August, so your best bet is visiting Dubrovnik in those shoulder months.

April, May and even early June or September and October are probably the best of the bunch for a couple of days in Dubrovnik.

Read next: Interested in other great European cities for weekend or short breaks, read our guides on Cologne (where we used to live), London (our current home), Budapest (where we got engaged) or Paris (our favourite city for a short break).

Great day trips from Dubrovnik

So, you’ve got your 2 days in Dubrovnik itinerary sorted, but actually are interested in exploring the surrounding area? We’ve put together some of the best day trips to add to your Dubrovnik trip.

Korcula

Actually our favourite place in Croatia, we’d really recommend that you try and spend at least one day (and ideally a few!) on the island of Korcula, but if you only have enough holiday for a fleeting visit, then catch the morning ferry out to Korcula city (yes a little confusing) and then return back to Dubrovnik on the last ferry out.

The old town is another picture-perfect town, with a much quieter, laid back feel in comparison to Dubrovnik. And must-see attractions include the Cathedral of St Mark, and if you’re looking for a unique bar experience, head to Massimo’s – a bar in a fortress turret where they use a pulley system to bring up your cooling cocktail!  

Check out the latest prices and times for ferries between Dubrovnik and Korcula.

Head to Korcula, after a trip in Dubrovnik Croatia

Split

Another start early and end late adventure, Split is around a 3-hour drive from Dubrovnik, so right about the edge of a decent day trip limit. Again, it’s a city where we’d highly recommend that you spend more than a few hours in.

Split is the largest city on the Dalmatian coast, there are great restaurants, bars and Diocletian’s Palace and Bell Tower are beautiful.

If you need some tips on what to do in Split, then we have a full Split city guide and 2 day itinerary for you to check out.

Definitely head to Split after Dubrovnik

Kotor

Surprisingly less than a 2-hour drive from Dubrovnik is the World Heritage site of Kotor, in Montenegro – it’s one of the best places to visit near Dubrovnik.

It’s a beautiful drive from Dubrovnik, passing Hercej and Perast, both of which are worthwhile stops on the drive, especially the latter where you can see (and visit) the famous Lady of the Rocks island.

Kotor Fort and Old Town are both beautiful landmarks to visit and definitely worthwhile additions to your Dubrovnik itinerary. 

Kotor Montenegro is a perfect one day trip from Dubrovnik

Mostar

In recent years Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina has become pretty famous, thanks to the Instagram-worthy Old Bridge. Built by the Ottomans in the 16th century, it’s worth visiting Mostar to see this alone.

Check out this full day tour from Dubrovnik to Mostar and the UNESCO city of Pocitelj.

Day trip from Dubvrovnik - Mostar Bosnia Herzegovina

Budva

A little further away from Kotor into Montenegro, is the seaside city of Budva. With a growing reputation for a great nightlife and a historic old town to rival Dubrovnik, it’s a great addition to any trip to the region.

Kravica Waterfalls

The dramatic Kravica waterfalls (not Kravice as often incorrectly spelled) in Bosnia & Herzegovina is 2.5 hours away from Dubrovnik, but a trip to these stunning falls won’t disappoint.

With emerald green waters, this is the perfect spot to enjoy a refreshing swim and lazy day out.

Head to Kravica Falls in Bosnia, as a day trip from Dubrovnik Croatia

What camera equipment and other gear do we use?

We’re living proof that you don’t need the most expensive gear to travel the world and take good photos. Here are some of our must have items that make it into the packing list for all our travels.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the currency in Croatia?

The Croatian Kuna is the currency used in Croatia, its official abbreviation is KN or kn.

How long do you need in Dubrovnik?

We’d recommend that you spend a minimum of two days in Dubrovnik, making it a perfect city weekend getaway, or even better a stop while travelling around Croatia. Many people ask if 2 days in Dubrovnik is enough – we think so but it would be ideal if you could spend longer.

Is Dubrovnik an overrated tourist destination?

Absolutely not! Dubrovnik should be on everyone’s bucket list. Although if you’re just looking for 2 days of lying on a beach, then maybe there are better places in Croatia. However, the city is beautiful and there are loads of amazing attractions to keep you entertained in the city.

What are the best things to do in Dubrovnik?

We think we’ve covered all the best places to visit in Dubrovnik in our 2 day itinerary post. These include, walking the city walls, exploring the old town, going on a Game of Thrones Tour and going up Mount Srd.

So, what did you think of our Dubrovnik city guide? However you decide to spend your 2 days in Dubrovnik Croatia, we hope this little itinerary has given you some direction on how to cram all the sights into two days, or more! Did we miss anything? Do let us know in the comments below.


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