Dubrovnik: Your Comprehensive 2023 Travel Guide for First-Time Visitors

by | Croatia, Europe, Featured, Travel

Dubrovnik Travel Tips and Recommendations

An Ancient City Steeped in History

Welcome to Dubrovnik, an ancient city filled with history, cobblestone streets, and stunning city walls. Transport yourself to another era as you wander through narrow alleyways and discover hidden treasures at every turn. As the sun sets over the Adriatic Sea, prepare to be enchanted by breathtaking views that will leave you spellbound. Dubrovnik’s UNESCO World Heritage Site – Old Town and vibrant culinary scene offer an unforgettable experience for first-time visitors. Immerse yourself in the city’s rich history, indulge in delectable cuisine, and enjoy the warm hospitality of the locals.


Our comprehensive Dubrovnik travel blog for first-time visitors will guide you through the top attractions, activities, accommodation, and dining options in this enchanting city. From mesmerizing architecture to the oldest working pharmacy in Europe, Dubrovnik truly captivates. Don’t forget to savour the delicious local cuisine, including fresh seafood and Croatian house wines. The friendly locals are always eager to share their knowledge and make your experience unforgettable.

Planning Your Dubrovnik Adventure: Tips and Recommendations

As you plan your visit, here are some helpful tips: reach out directly for accommodation suggestions, visit Banje Beach for a great swimming spot just a short walk from the City Gate, and don’t miss the unique experience of visiting Bard Mala Buza, a cliff-top bar you can enter through a hole in the wall. Use Uber for transportation, as it is often more affordable than taxis. Let’s begin your unforgettable journey now!

Progressive Traveller in Dubrovnik

Things to Do in Dubrovnik Croatia

1. Dubrovnik’s Ancient City Walls: A Must-Do Experience

Walk the Dubrovnik Walls: Experience the charm and history of Dubrovnik by taking a walk along the ancient city walls. This activity offers incredible perspectives of the city and breathtaking views of the surrounding area. The views of the Adriatic Sea are simply stunning, especially when enjoyed during a sunset stroll along the ancient City Walls. While the city wall ticket may seem pricey, it is definitely worth it for the panoramic vistas and the place to take the best photos.

2. Historic Charms of Old Town Dubrovnik:

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Old Town is best explored on foot. Lose yourself in the narrow cobblestone streets, visit historic landmarks, and uncover hidden gems around every corner. Enjoy a walking tour in the historic heart of Dubrovnik’s Old Town. Visit the city’s major landmarks and hear stories of how Dubrovnik became one of the world’s most prosperous and advanced republics.

3. Stroll Down the Majestic Stradun:

Stroll along the vibrant and bustling Stradun, the main street of the Old Town. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere and take in the beauty of this iconic pedestrian street.

4. Have a Drink from the Onofrio Fountain:

As you enter Dubrovnik’s Old Town through the Pile Gate and turn right onto Stradun, you will come across a remarkable structure known as Onofrio’s Fountain. Designed in 1438 by renowned Italian architect Onofrio di Giordano della Cava, this large polygonal-shaped fountain features a cupola and 16 water taps.

Onofrio, an architect from Naples, was hired to design the town’s waterworks and fountains. He also constructed a remarkable 12 km long water supply system between 1435 and 1442, bringing water from the Knežica spring to the Old Town via the Šumet River in Rijeka Dubrovacka. This water supply system remained in operation until the late 19th century. Unfortunately, the fountain suffered significant damage during the earthquake in 1667 and was subsequently rebuilt.

Onofrio’s Fountain is adorned with 16 stone-carved masks, known as “maskerons,” and features a statue of a dog at the top. Affectionately referred to as the “kuchak” or fountain dog, the statue was severely damaged and replaced with a replica in 2016.

5. Dubrovnik from an Aerial Perspective:

For an unparalleled view of Dubrovnik, take a cable car ride to Mount Srđ. From the summit, you will be rewarded with panoramic vistas of the city and the stunning Adriatic Sea. Thrill seekers must embark on an adventure through the skies of Dubrovnik with a sunset zipline tour. Glide down from Mount Srdj and take in the breathtaking view of the city’s old town and landscape at sunset.

6. Visit Fort Lovrijenac (Fort Lawrence) Fortress:

Explore Fort Lovrijenac, known as the “Dubrovnik Gibraltar,” located just outside the city walls. Step inside the fortress to enjoy magnificent views of the Old Town and the sea.

7. Tour of King’s Landing:

If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Dubrovnik, the real-life King’s Landing. Join guided tours to discover iconic filming locations and delve into the show’s production details.

8. Gornji Ugao Tower:

Climb to the top of Gornji Ugao Tower and admire panoramic views of the Old Town and its surroundings. Located near Pile Gate, this tower offers a unique perspective of the city.

9. Take a Ferry to Lokrum Island:

Hop on a short ferry ride from the Old Port to Lokrum Island and explore its lush botanical gardens, secluded beaches, and rich history.

10. Go Wine Tasting:

Indulge in the local wine culture by taking a wine tour in Dubrovnik and its surrounding region. Taste the unique local varieties and learn about the area’s winemaking traditions.

11. Day Trips:

If you have extra time, consider taking a day trip to nearby attractions. Explore the charming town of Cavtat, visit the stunning Elafiti Islands, or venture to the beautiful city of Mostar in neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina. Visit the dramatic Kravica Waterfalls in the forests of Bosnia-Herzegovina on a full-day tour from Dubrovnik. Explore the city of Mostar with a local guide and learn about the history of the region.

12. More Things to Do:

In addition to the mentioned activities, take a boat tour to explore the Elafiti Islands and the Blue Cave, and attend a live performance at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival for a cultural experience.

Onofrio Fountain Dubrovnik

When to Go to Dubrovnik

The best time to visit Dubrovnik is during the shoulder seasons of spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October). These months offer comfortable temperatures and fewer crowds compared to the peak summer season.

  1. Spring (April to June): Spring is an ideal time to visit Dubrovnik. The weather is mild and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 15°C (59°F) in April to 26°C (79°F) in June. The city’s lush gardens and landscapes are in full bloom during this period. You can explore the city comfortably without the intense summer heat, and tourist crowds are relatively low.
  2. Summer (July to August): While summer brings warm and sunny weather, it’s also the peak tourist season in Dubrovnik. Expect crowded streets, higher accommodation prices, and hot temperatures, often reaching 30°C (86°F) or more. If you can handle the crowds and heat, you can enjoy the beautiful beaches and outdoor activities.
  3. Autumn (September to October): Autumn is another excellent time to visit Dubrovnik. The weather remains pleasant with temperatures ranging from 20°C (68°F) in September to 17°C (63°F) in October. The sea is still warm enough for swimming, and the city is less crowded compared to summer. You can enjoy outdoor activities and explore the city comfortably.
  4. Winter (November to March): Winter in Dubrovnik is the offseason. While the city is less crowded, the weather can be quite chilly, with temperatures ranging from 8°C (46°F) in November to 12°C (54°F) in February. Some restaurants and attractions may have reduced operating hours during this period. However, if you prefer a quieter and more budget-friendly visit, you can still enjoy Dubrovnik’s charm during the winter months.

Spring and Autumn are the best times to visit Dubrovnik for a balance of pleasant weather and fewer crowds. Summer is great for beach lovers but comes with more tourists, while winter offers a quieter experience but cooler temperatures. Choose the season that aligns with your preferences and interests for an enjoyable visit to this beautiful city.

Dubrovnik Bar
Dubrovnik Old Town

Where to Stay: Dubrovnik | Booking.com’s Top Recommendations

For a convenient and authentic experience, consider booking your stay at Apartments Plaza in the heart of the Old Town. Booking.com highly recommends this accommodation option for its prime location and the opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich history and vibrant atmosphere of Dubrovnik’s Old Town. Enjoy the charm of this historic city right at your doorstep by choosing Apartments Plaza as your home away from home during your visit.

Discover More of Dubrovnik With DiscoverCars.com

For those considering a visit to Dubrovnik or any destination in Croatia during the peak tourist months of July and August, it is highly advisable to book your rental car well in advance. Dubrovnik benefits from an extensive network of direct flights connecting it to various European cities, the UK, and Ireland. Consequently, numerous travellers choose Dubrovnik Airport as their point of entry to Croatia.

However, many of these visitors do not intend to confine themselves solely to Dubrovnik during their stay. Instead, they view Dubrovnik as a strategic starting point for their Croatian exploration. To facilitate their travel plans, they typically opt to rent a car. Some use it to journey further north and explore other regions of Croatia, while others prefer to stay in Dubrovnik but rent a car for day trips to the surrounding areas and nearby landmarks. This trend results in a high demand for rental cars during the summer months, making it imperative to secure your reservation well in advance to ensure availability and secure competitive rates.

Renting a car online with DiscoverCars.com was the key to seeing more of beautiful Dubrovnik and its surrounding region. DiscoverCars.com is committed to becoming the world’s most reliable car rental platform, and my experience certainly reflected that. Their website made the booking process clear and effortless, allowing me to choose the perfect vehicle for my exploration of this stunning Croatian destination. With a reliable car at my disposal, I was able to effortlessly navigate the picturesque coastal roads and discover hidden gems in the nearby region.

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About The Progressive Traveller

I am the Progressive Traveller. I've been travelling the world extensively since 2002. My website is full of travel stories, tips, recommendations, resources, offers for you to use and enjoy. Follow my journey on social media and travel the world with me. Happy days.


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