WHAT TO DO – 2-DAY DUBROVNIK ITINERARY
Are you ready to make the most out of your 2-day Dubrovnik itinerary? Look no further! In this post, I’ll share tips on how to explore Dubrovnik in 2 days and have some helpful tips on how to get around, and more.
Dubrovnik – the stunning coastal city in Croatia, boasts ancient walls encircling its well-preserved medieval Old Town. Renowned for its distinctive terracotta roofs and captivating Adriatic Sea views, Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Rich in history, the city offers architectural gems like the Rector’s Palace and Sponza Palace, along with vibrant cultural festivals and a picturesque waterfront.
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TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR 2-DAY DUBROVNIK ITINERARY
Is Dubrovnik worth visiting? Yes, Dubrovnik is worth visiting. It is one of the most unique places in Europe. I have to say – visiting Dubrovnik did not disappoint. Was it busy? Yes. Was it expensive? Yes. Was it touristy? Yes. Do I recommend visiting Dubrovnik? Yes.
Before discussing your Dubrovnik itinerary, here are some important travel tips for the city.
Dubrovnik is the most southern city in Croatia. It was an independent republic for a long time, and even today, it feels different from the rest of Croatia.
Located on the Adriatic Sea, it is also known as the Pearl of the Adriatic and has been a tourist magnet for decades. While it was partly damaged in the war in the 1990s, it is almost completely rebuilt and is a super safe and clean city. Did I say city? I am not actually sure if Dubrovnik qualifies as a city, as it has less than 50,000 inhabitants.
The area of Dubrovnik is separated from the rest of Croatia by another country – Bosnia-Herzegovina.
In the late 17th century, when the Ottoman Empire ruled Bosnia-Herzegovina, Dubrovnik was an independent republic. Dubrovnik, known for its trade and lacking experience in warfare, was scared of the Venetians’ attack, so they agreed to give up some land to the Ottoman Empire. By doing this, they hoped to be protected from attacks – and it worked (until Napolean came, but that is another story).
This is just a short explanation of the unusual geography and why, now, about 20 km of coastline still belongs to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
How to Get to Dubrovnik
These days, you can easily drive from Split to Dubrovnik. Until recently, you had to cross borders (Bosnia-Herzegovina) but now a bridge connects Dubrovnik to the rest of the country.
- Check out my Croatia road trip itinerary for more info.
Driving in Dubrovnik is okay, but finding a parking spot that does not cost you an arm and a leg is difficult. You cannot drive in the old town (it is car-free), but you have to pay a high price to park your car in front of the old town.
- Some hotels offer parking for about 40€ a day. Parking in a garage next to the old town is around 40€ a day, too. I found a parking spot next to the Pile Gate for 10€ – AN HOUR. For Europe, this is a LOT of money. Alternatively, you can find free parking about 3km outside the old town center. I saw many more free parking spots when driving up Srd Mountain, where you can park and take a bus to get to the old town.
- I parked in Babin Kuk (just type that in your GPS) and then took the #6 bus to the Pile Gate (about 15 minutes, the bus ticket is about 2€ one way). Unfortunately, when I wanted to get back, I was denied admittance to the bus because apparently dogs are not allowed on, and since I had some luggage with me, I had to take a taxi (about 15€ for a three-kilometer drive).
- However, if you stay longer in Dubrovnik, free parking is the way to go. And yes, it is actually quite safe to leave your car on the street if you do not leave valuables on display.
By Plane: Dubrovnik Airport is located near the village of Cilipi, 20 km south of Dubrovnik. There are many flights within Europe from April to October.
- An airport shuttle bus frequently departs after every scheduled flight. They also stop at the Pile Gate, at the main entrance to the old town. It takes 30 minutes (a one-way ticket costs 45 Kuna, or about 6€).
- You can also reach the town by public bus.
By Bus: You can easily reach Dubrovnik by bus from many places in Croatia.
- Public transportation to main destinations like Dubrovnik is good, and the bus network is reliable in Croatia.
- It takes about 9 hours by bus to reach Dubrovnik from Zagreb and around 4 hours to reach Dubrovnik from Split. Check out schedules on the Dubrovnik Bus Terminal website.
Pssst… Here is my Zagreb itinerary with tips on how to spend a weekend in Croatia´s capital.
By Ferry: You could also take a ferry from Split.
- A catamaran takes four and a half hours each way (including several stops on the islands of Brac, Hvar, Korcula, and Mljet en route).
How to Get Around Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik’s old town is a car-free zone, so you can leave your vehicle at home!
Since the city is relatively small, you can easily explore the main attractions and landmarks on foot.
If you choose to stay outside the old town, don’t worry – there’s a reliable public transportation system that you can use. And, if you plan on doing several activities during your visit, consider getting a Dubrovnik Card. With this card, you’ll get unlimited rides on public transportation and free entrance to the city walls for 1, 3, or 7 days – it’s a great value!
When you head up to Srd Mountain, you can reach the top by taking a cable car (I’ll tell you more about that later), hiking up the mountain, or driving. No matter how you choose to get there, the view from the top is absolutely breathtaking.
Best Time to Visit Dubrovnik
- I always say there is no reliability when it comes to seasons and weather. Even in the Balkans, weather cannot be predicted.
- However, I recommend visiting during the shoulder season, meaning April, May, and early June, or September and October.
- I visited in May. The weather was moody, but it was not too crowded. So, I probably would visit again around this same time of year (the weather was moody all over Europe, so this year is just crazy).
Where to Stay in Dubrovnik For 2 Days
I suggest staying in the old town of Dubrovnik. Normally, I book accommodation spontaneously, but it was actually not easy finding something good last-minute in Dubrovnik (and it was just early May). After staying at my hotel for one night, I wanted to book another night. However, it was fully booked, so I had to switch hotels.
The Pucić Palace, an 18th-century baroque palace located in the heart of Dubrovnik Old Town, offers a restaurant and a wine bar for guests to enjoy. This 5-star property seamlessly combines contemporary conveniences with traditional stone walls and upscale furnishings. The palace is just a few steps away from the Stradun Promenade. Book your stay at Pucić Palace here.
Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik is located just outside Dubrovnik’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and offers an array of luxurious amenities. The hotel boasts an indoor pool and a wellness center complete with saunas, a hammam, and fitness and massage facilities. Guest rooms are situated within a historic building, constructed in 1897, that elegantly blends the late 19th-century charm with modern technology. Check out the Hilton in Dubrovnik.
La Vita e Bella III is located in the heart of Dubrovnik, offering air-conditioned rooms with complimentary WiFi and private parking. The property is conveniently situated near several popular attractions, just 275 meters from Pile Gate, and a 5-minute walk from Ploce Gate. The property is non-smoking throughout and is only an 8-minute walk away from Buza Beach. Book your stay at La Vita e Bella III.
Where to Eat
Nishta Restaurant: A vegan restaurant on a side street with delicious food. It is a bit expensive though and had minimal seating. So my tip is to avoid getting there between 1 pm and 2 pm and head there earlier or later for lunch.
How to Book Tours and Activities in Dubrovnik
- You can buy your Dubrovnik Card at the tourism center right outside the old town and in some old town shops. I recommend buying the 1-day Dubrovnik Card that is valid for 24 hours. The entrance to the city wall is included. Before buying the card, you should calculate for yourself whether it is worth it or not.
- If you want to buy tickets for the city walls only, you can get them at the entrance gate of the city walls or book them online in advance.
- For tours, I normally use GetYourGuide – they are great. You can visit most places in Dubrovnik independently and explore the city on your own. Still, there are some fun tours, and with GetYourGuide, you can cancel up to 24 hours in advance without any cancellation fee, and they are very helpful with questions.
More Tips for Your Dubrovnik Itinerary
- Bring cash. Cards are accepted in some restaurants and stores, but I had to pay cash once in a while.
- Also, euros and dollars are not accepted widely, so change some money to Kuna.
How Many Days to Spend in Dubrovnik?
You could see the main attractions in 1 day, but with two days in Dubrovnik, you can see most attractions and also you can experience without the crowds. During the day, Dubrovnik is crowded. Busy, hectic, partly unpleasant. If you are here before the crowds arrive (normally before 10 or 11 am) or once the crowds leave (after 5 to 6 pm), it will be much more fun.
ULTIMATE THINGS TO DO IN DUBROVNIK IN 2 DAYS
Now, let´s talk about your Dubrovnik itinerary.
DAY 1 – DUBROVNIK ITINERARY
Here is what the first day in Dubrovnik could look like.
Walking the city walls is an absolute must-do when visiting Dubrovnik! In fact, it was my favorite activity. These walls are among the best-preserved and most impressive fortification systems I’ve ever seen, and I’ve walked many walls in medieval towns and cities.
You’ll be amazed by the stunning views of the city and the Adriatic Sea from the top of the walls.
Don’t let your budget hold you back from walking the Dubrovnik city walls! While ticket prices may be a bit steep, I still highly recommend this activity.
TIPS FOR VISITING THE CITY WALLS
ℹ️ The walls include three forts (Minceta, Bokar, and St. John), 16 towers, 6 bastions, 2 corner fortifications, and 2 citadels. Some of the walls are as high as 25 meters – and the views are as impressive as these stats.
ℹ️ The city walls are almost 2 km long. You will walk along the whole old town, and while it is “only” 2km, it took me about 3 hours to walk them. This included many breaks to take pictures and have a coffee – and then some more short breaks.
ℹ️ While “medieval” normally means narrow streets and city walls, this city wall is actually quite wide. There are definitely some stairs you have to climb. If you are not very fit, you can always skip the fortress, which has even more stairs.
ℹ️ It is not very stroller-friendly, though (but at least it was dog-friendly, and they can get up there for free).
ℹ️ The walls open at 8 am. You can start from several entrances, but the most common is probably from Pile Gate. There is no way to get up without a ticket – you will have to show your ticket at every entrance.
ℹ️ It gets busy here quite quickly, so I really recommend getting here at 8 am, when it is still quiet and the day trippers have not arrived in Dubrovnik yet, or around 5 pm when most visitors have left. Just make sure to double-check the opening hours!
Find Love in Dubrovnik
Wow, finding true love in Dubrovnik? That’s definitely a unique activity worth trying! And the best part is, it doesn’t require too much effort on your part. All you have to do is complete one challenge, and if you pass, true love could be right around the corner.
It might sound a bit unusual, but who knows? This could be your chance to find your happily ever after in the beautiful city of Dubrovnik!
- All it takes is finding the gargoyle head protruding from a stone wall next to the Franciscan Monastery (near the Pile Gate).
- Get on the head (while not falling), take off your shirt while facing towards the wall, and voila… the love of your life will come into your life.
- Okay, the head sticks out only fifteen centimeters, and its top surface is polished like marble, so it is almost impossible to succeed, but you won‘t know if the myth is true or not if you do not try!
After walking the city walls (which should take about 1.5-3 hours) and looking for love, head to Fort Lovrijenac. King´s Landing! That is probably the fort’s unofficial name outside the city walls and is known as the Dubrovnik Gibraltar. It is also part of the fortification system and offers beautiful views of the Adria and Dubrovnik.
I will be honest, I have not watched any episodes of Game of Thrones (yet), but I realized that many people at the fortress tried to recall which scene was filmed in which part of the fortress.
- The good news: If you have a ticket for the city walls (or the Dubrovnik Card), you do not have to pay an additional entrance fee here.
- If you are ready for a break, sit down at the “beach section“ that you will find between Fort Lovrijenac and the city walls. It felt great to listen to the waves and take a break before jumping into the commotion of the old town.
Stradun (or the Place) is the main street in the old town and one of the most beautiful places in Dubrovnik. According to reviews, it is even one of the most beautiful streets in the world. Strolling it – for sure – is a treat for your eyes!
It is impressive to stroll the Stradun, sit down in one of the (overpriced) cafes, and have a drink.
- If you enter via the Ploce Gate or Pile Gate, you are right on the street – so, no way to get lost here.
- You have the Onofrio Fountain at the western end of the street and the Bell Tower at the street’s eastern end.
- I, unfortunately, did not witness people dancing here, but if you are lucky, you might see people showing off local dances, and you can enjoy a bit more of the local traditions.
Dubrovnik Old Town
Exploring the streets of Dubrovnik’s old town is another top activity that won’t cost you a dime! It’s a fun and enjoyable way to soak up the atmosphere of this historic city.
While not all the streets may be as vibrant as you’d like (maybe because you’ve spent too much time in Italy, where colorful buildings and decor are everywhere!), there are still plenty of charming corners to discover. Keep an eye out for colorful flowers and flower pots – you’ll find them scattered throughout the city, especially in the quieter, less-trafficked areas.
- The residential streets were actually quite picturesque and less visited.
- Head towards Za Rokum – the most colorful street I found – and then get lost in the streets on that side of the old town.
- You will also find the Rector´s Palace, the Church of St. Blaise, the Dominican Monastery, and the beautiful Dubrovnik Cathedral in the old town – beautiful buildings that are well worth a visit (there is an entrance fee for Rector´s Palace).
Dubrovnik Boat Tour
I totally understand – I’m a repeat offender too when it comes to boat cruises! So, it won’t come as a surprise when I tell you that you should definitely go on a boat cruise while in Dubrovnik.
It’s an amazing way to see the city from a different perspective and enjoy the beautiful coastline. Whether you choose a day trip or a sunset cruise, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the Adriatic Sea and the city’s charming architecture.
Plus, on a warm day, this is the best way to cool off!
- The good news is: boat cruising can be comparatively affordable (around 20€ for a 45-minute cruise), but you will see the city from a different perspective.
- The cruises start outside the city walls at the old port, and you can buy tickets there or buy them online in advance. They run quite frequently.
You can also do a sunset cruise and end the day this way. However, if you are up to spend some more time outside, here is what you can do afterwards.
Old Port of Dubrovnik
While the old town of Dubrovnik is undeniably stunning, the old port is also a sight to behold. So, make sure to venture beyond the main shopping street, Stradun, and take a stroll along the waterfront.
Here, you’ll find a vibrant and lively atmosphere with plenty of restaurants, boats, and yachts to admire. It’s the perfect place to relax and soak up the coastal charm of Dubrovnik – even in the evening.
- This is also where the boats sail from.
One of the most famous spots in Dubrovnik is the Buza Bar – and for good reason! This unique bar is located on a cliff outside the city walls, offering an incredible view of the ocean.
Finding it may be a bit tricky, but it’s definitely worth the effort. After strolling through the old town, look for a small door or hole in the wall that leads to the bar.
It’s true, there are several cliffside bars in Dubrovnik, but Buza Bar is definitely the most popular – especially if you want to catch the sunset. If you plan on watching the sunset from the bar, be sure to arrive early to secure a spot, as it can get quite busy.
ENDING DAY 1 IN DUBROVNIK
With all the amazing activities to do in Dubrovnik, you can easily fill a full day with adventure and exploration! Of course, how long you spend on each activity will depend on your pace and schedule, but I recommend starting your day early to make the most of your time in this beautiful city.
Whether you’re walking the city walls, strolling the old port, or watching the sunset at Buza Bar, you’re sure to have an unforgettable day in Dubrovnik.
DAY 2 IN DUBROVNIK
Whether you want to start your day relaxed or want to come here during the day, spending some time at the beach in Dubrovnik is a great way to chill.I am not much of a beach person, and it was definitely too cold for laying out at the beach at the beginning of May (when I visited), but Dubrovnik does have some nice beaches – many close to the old town.
Banje Beach is the most popular, just a few minute’s walk from the old town, but there are apparently some more that are less busy and a bit farther away (including Pasjaca Beach).
- Be aware that Croatia and Dubrovnik beaches are mostly pebble beaches, not sand beaches.
Kayak or Snorkel
Do you want to be more active? Then, kayaking is the right activity for you. Kayaking is one of the three sports I hate the most – yes, I tried it and disliked it, but others enjoy it, and it is a big thing in Dubrovnik.
You can see the city from the other side and can even kayak to Lokrum Island. Check out kayak tours in advance – click here to find out more and get prices.
Your eyes will probably catch this small, green island quite quickly when walking the city walls. You can visit this little, uninhabited island. Lokrum Island covers 72 hectares and is located on the eastern Croatian coast, near Dubrovnik, and you can get there either via boat or by kayaking.On the island, you can discover the botanical garden and visit the Benedictine Monastery. Apparently, some garden scenes in Game of Thrones were filmed at the botanical garden and the former monastery (of course). This is also where you will find the Iron Throne (at the monastery). Game of Thrones tours show you the Iron Throne and King´s Landing – click here for more information.
Though I wish I could be a walking encyclopedia, I often learn about the history and culture of a place in-depth only when I do a walking tour – whether it is a free tour or not.And while the city is small, there is a lot of history and information that a local guide can best convey to you.
Tours take about 60-120 minutes, and you can get valuable insights. So, if you are in Dubrovnik for more than one day, then book a tour to complete your itinerary for Dubrovnik. Check out guided Dubrovnik tours here – and here is some information on the free walking tour.
Game of Thrones Tour
Dubrovnik was a tourist magnet long before the war in the 1990s and long before the TV show Game of Thrones.
However, apparently, 30% of visitors now come because of the show. And so, it is no surprise that a guided “Game of Thrones” walking tour is one of the most popular activities in Dubrovnik. To find out more about Game of Thrones Tours, click here to get the prices and more information.
Srd Hill / Mountain
Last but not least: I am all about the views when I travel. So, of course, if you ask me about what to do in Dubrovnik, I will tell you to add a trip to Srd Mountain to your Dubrovnik itinerary and end your first or second day in Dubrovnik here.
It stands at 413 meters above sea level, and the views are incredible. The red roofs, the ocean, Lokrum Island, Elaphite Island…this is a million-dollar view.
- There is also a panorama restaurant where you can have a drink or dine (you also get the views for free if you don’t sit at the restaurant).
- Next to the restaurant is a museum to find out more about the war in the 1990s and information on the Dubrovnik Republic.
- There is – normally – a cable car that takes you up. The cable car station is just a stone’s throw from the old town. Check out their website if you consider taking the cable car.
- You can also hike up (it should take between 45-90 minutes to get up), take a taxi, or even drive in your own car. I drove up there. The street (one-way mostly) is narrow, and it gets busy. It is not for the faint-hearted. Though I do not recommend it for inexperienced mountain drivers, there are much worse streets in the Balkans, Italy, and other parts of Europe to drive on. And if I can do it, you can do it, too.
So, getting on top of Srd mountain is another must-do in 2 days in Dubrovnik.
Tours and Activities to Book in Dubrovnik
CONCLUSION: 2 DAYS IN DUBROVNIK ITINERARY
Dubrovnik – one of the most unique cities in the world! I was totally smitten when I visited Dubrovnik – despite the crowds and the price tag. And yes, Dubrovnik in 2 days is a good amount of time to spend in this incredible city. But if you want to do day trips, plan some extra days because there are many more beautiful places to see close to Dubrovnik. I hope you can create your amazing 2-day Dubrovnik itinerary and have a great trip.
Spending 2 days in Dubrovnik is worth it!
- Explore Trogir in one day (one of my favorite places in Croatia)
- Rovinj is completely different than Dubrovnik- find out more about this Croatian city here
- Check out my Croatia itinerary
- Here are the best places to stay in Croatia