Last month I made my first visit to Croatia – and it definitely won’t be my last. Croatia is a country that has been recommended to me by fellow travellers for the last few years. When a low-cost airline launched direct flights from my local airport to Dubrovnik this summer, I took that as a sign from the travel gods that I should go. So I booked a seven-night visit in late June.

I stayed just outside of Dubrovnik in a beautiful town called Cavtat but paid two visits to the city (you’ll want to add Cavtat to your bucket list – it’s idyllic and the perfect place to rest weary traveller feet).

Dubrovnik is a pretty small city. The Old City is surrounded by walls and the main street within it, Placa Stradun, is only 300m long. But, don’t let its size fool you – there is plenty to explore inside the walls and beyond. Here are my tips for spending a day in Dubrovnik’s Old City.

Don't let its size fool you - there is so much to explore inside the walls of Dubrovnik and beyond. Read on for the perfect day in Dubrovnik!

Getting to Dubrovnik

Public transport is pretty efficient in Croatia so you can hop on a bus into the city or, if you’re staying close by, then a picturesque walk will get you to the Old City. If you’re staying further afield, I would recommend using one of the many water taxis that take tourists to and from the city by the hour.

Cavtat has a range of boat companies offering return tickets for just 100 kuna (that’s roughly £10). The journey takes around 35 minutes if you go direct or up to an hour if you call into some of the smaller resorts between Cavtat and Dubrovnik. Either way, you can sit back and enjoy what is a truly stunning view. The Adriatic Sea lies in front of you as far as the eye can see – it’s the bluest sea I’ve encountered since the Cote d’Azure in Nice – a blanket of green, turquoise and blue framed by lush mountains and rocks.

The best part of taking a water taxi is the approach to the Old City. Boats enter at Porat and it offers a great opportunity to see the true impact of the city’s walls. The walls’ concrete hostility (they’re quite an imposing view from the outside!) is quickly overcome when you get closer to the bustling port. Packed with bars, restaurants and tour guides, you’ll be absorbed by this welcoming city the instant you step on to solid ground.

Don't let its size fool you - there is so much to explore inside the walls of Dubrovnik and beyond. Read on for the perfect day in Dubrovnik!

Things to do in Dubrovnik

On the map

There are lots of walking tours and private guides to escort you around the city if that’s your thing. I prefer to explore independently – and it was easy to find the key spots to visit.

Pick up one of the free ‘in your pocket’ city guides that are available from shops and tourist information centres. The map inside signposts all of the highlights you’ll want to see – including noting all of the Game of Thrones filming locations within the Old City (there are lots!).

From the air

Take the cable car up to a viewing station 405m above sea level for some amazing views of Dubrovnik Old Town, Lokrum and the endless Adriatic. It takes just 4 minutes to travel the 778m to the top – and there’s a bar there for a drink with a view. There’s also a museum documenting Dubrovnik’s fate during the Croatian wars of the 1980s and 1990s if you want to see how the city survived some horrific bombings.

Don't let its size fool you - there is so much to explore inside the walls of Dubrovnik and beyond. Read on for the perfect day in Dubrovnik!

Walk the walls

A stroll around Dubrovnik’s walls offer a 360-degree view of this beautiful city. There are lots of steps and not many places to hide from the baking heat, but the scenery is spectacular. From Lovrijrnac fort to the endless terracotta roofs of the city’s homes, the 2m walk around the walls provides a glimpse of how Dubrovnik effortlessly combines ancient history with contemporary flare. There’s also a bar up there with a great view of the fort for when the heat gets too much.

Don't let its size fool you - there is so much to explore inside the walls of Dubrovnik and beyond. Read on for the perfect day in Dubrovnik!

Taste the wine

Embark on a wine tour of Croatia at one of the city’s great bars. My favourite was a little place called D’vino but there are a lot of bars offering wine sliders that provide a taste tour of the country’s vineyards without leaving the comfort of your seat. I did this after walking the walls and it was sublime (and life-saving!).

Aside from these great attractions, Dubrovnik is the perfect place for an exploratory wander. Winding alleyways and stepped streets branch off from Placa Stradun in all directions, providing countless routes to discovering the real heart of this city.

It is a challenge to see everything in a day but you’ll be glad you tried – just make sure you leave some time to sit, with a beautiful glass of Croatian wine, and absorb this delightful city!


This is a guest post by Dawn Tindle.

Dawn TindleDawn lives in Newcastle, North East England. She’s in her mid-thirties and works as a marketing and communications manager in the public sector. She runs a book blog (Book and Brew), hates not having at least one trip coming up and always tries to match her reading with her travels. She’s conquered most of Europe and wants to head to South America next.