On my recent Mediterranean cruise on the Norwegian Star, we got to spend one day in Dubrovnik, Croatia. While one day isn’t a lot, it’s enough to get a taste for this city in southern Croatia.
Visiting Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik, Croatia is a charming European city on the Adriatic Sea and is becoming a popular tourist destination too (in part because of the popularity of Game of Thrones). While it’s always nice to have a few days to explore, having even one day in Dubrovnik is enough to get a feel for this wonderful town.
Dubrovnik is close to Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, so you can do a day trip to Dubrovnik from some spots in those countries.
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One Day In Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik, Croatia is a hot destination these days for lots of reasons. It’s a beautiful city that was made even more popular by the Game of Thrones series. Regardless of whether or not you watch the show, you’ll find plenty to do. Many people visit Dubrovnik on a cruise, which means you’ll only have 1 day to explore. But don’t worry — that’s still plenty of time to get a taste for what Dubrovnik has to offer.
Here are some of the things you shouldn’t miss if you only have one day in Dubrovnik.
1. Wander Through Old Town Dubrovnik
One of the best things to do in Dubrovnik, Croatia is to spend the day wandering around the streets of old town. You’ll find shops, restaurants, and gorgeous architecture! There are plenty of photo ops and Instagram worthy sites so be sure to bring a lightweight camera that you can carry around all day.
2. Walk The Walls
The stone walls that encircle old town Dubrovnik were completed in the 16th century. These medieval walls have been preserved so well that Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Be sure to take a walk along these walls for awesome views of Dubrovnik. The walk is about 1.2 miles in total, but there are a few entry and exit points, so you don’t have to walk the whole thing if you don’t want to.
Unfortunately, walking the Dubrovnik walls isn’t free — it’ll cost you around $30 USD per person. Tickets can be purchased at the door. There isn’t much shade when you’re walking the walls so be sure to wear sunscreen!
3. Ride The Cable Car
Taking a ride on the cable car in Dubrovnik is one of the most popular tourist attractions there. If you love dramatic views, it’s a must-do!
You’ll need to purchase tickets to ride the cable car. You can purchase them there, but you’ll save a little money by purchasing your cable car tickets ahead of time.
The good news is that the views you’ll enjoy from the top of the cable car are stunning. The bad news is that the cable car can get super crowded (especially in the summer).
Pro Tip: If you’re visiting Dubrovnik during the busy summer season, avoid the crowds by exploring old town in the early morning. You’ll love the cooler temperatures and less crowded streets.
4. Find Game Of Thrones Sites
You’ll love exploring Game Of Thrones sites throughout Dubrovnik which was the main filming location for the fictional King’s Landing. You can find Red Keep, Qarth, Blackwater Bay, and other recognizable scenes from the show in the Dubrovnik area.
If you’d like to dive deeper, try a guided walking tour of Game of Thrones sites.
5. Stop By A Sidewalk Cafe
Dubrovnik is a great place for exploring by foot. After wandering through old town, take a break at one of the many cafes and restaurants that line the sidewalks.
This will be especially important if you’re visiting Dubrovnik with kids — because they always want a break!!
6. See The Dubrovnik Cats
If you’re a cat lover, you’ll love the cats that wander freely throughout old town Dubrovnik. You’ll find them roaming freely in the streets and even in the local shops.
7. Visit The Open Air Market
Gundulićeva Poljana (Gundulić Square) is an open air market in Dubrovnik. You’ll want to wake up early as the market closes in the afternoon. You’ll find a variety of fruits, vegetables, and local products like lavender and Grappa.
Pro Tip: Croatia doesn’t use the Euro — they use the Croatian Kuna. A Croatian Kuna is equal to about 15 cents USD.
8. Swim In The Adriatic Sea
There are plenty of beaches in Dubrovnik to enjoy if you are visiting in the summer. If you don’t want to leave old town, you can take a swim near the pier.
Visiting Dubrovnik On A Cruise
If you are visiting Dubrovnik on a cruise like me you don’t necessarily have to book a tour to explore. Old town Dubrovnik is a great place to wander around on your own. You will, however, need transportation to Old Town. Buses to old town Dubrovnik were provided by our cruise ship for a minimal charge and it was an easy way to get to where we wanted to go.
The main cruise port is about 3km away from the old town so it’s not ideal for walking.
If you’re interested in booking a shore excursion but want to save some money by not booking through the cruise line, check out Viator’s new “Shore Excursion Tours”. These come with a guaranteed on-time return back to your ship!
- Dubrovnik Shore Excursion Game of Thrones Tour
- Dubrovnik Shore Excursion: Private Tour of Dubrovnik and Cavtat
- Dubrovnik Shore Excursion: Best of Dubrovnik
Organized Tours In Dubrovnik, Croatia
If you prefer to explore with an organized tour, there are plenty to pick from in Dubrovnik. Here are just a few options:
- Cable Car Ride plus Old Town and Dubrovnik Walls Walking Tour
- Dubrovnik Sea Kayak Tour
- Game of Thrones Walking Tour of Dubrovnik
- Dubrovnik Food and Drink Walking Tour
- Dubrovnik Old Town Discovery Tour
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