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How to spend 3 days in Dubrovnik – A perfect itinerary

This awesome article that I have put together will help you plan out your 3 days in Dubrovnik. It contains all the information you need on the best things to do in Dubrovnik, the key attractions in Dubrovnik, where to stay in Dubrovnik, the best hotels in Dubrovnik as well as the best apartments in Dubrovnik. 

Dubrovnik Old Town
Evening at Dubrovnik Old Town

Everyone who knows me or has read my article on how I manifested a trip to Dubrovnik knows that Dubrovnik is my most favourite place on earth.

I know that over the years it has become over-crowded and highly commercial. But these factors do not take away from the fact that it is still one of the prettiest places in the entire world.

In fact, the Old Town of Dubrovnik with its many stairs and small lanes continues to impress modern tourists. Similarly, the best beaches in Dubrovnik, even though crowded and pebbly fascinate its visitors thanks to the stunning blue waters of the Adriatic Sea. 

Dubrovnik  Itinerary – Frequently Asked Questions

Are 3 days in Dubrovnik enough?

If you are in Dubrovnik only for tourism, 3 days are enough. In fact, most travel companies recommend a first-time tourist to spend 2 days in Dubrovnik.

However, no matter how many days you choose to spend in Dubrovnik, I urge you to spend one day in Dubrovnik Old Town alone. Thereafter, depending on your taste, you can either travel to other parts of Dubrovnik or head out to nearby towns on day trips.

What are the best areas to stay in Dubrovnik?

The best area to stay in Dubrovnik is definitely inside the City Walls in the Old Town of Dubrovnik. However, you should note that the hotels and apartments air Airbnbs inside the Old Town are expensive.

Out of the two hotels inside the Old Walls of Dubrovnik, the one that I would recommend you to stay in is the Stari Grad. 

Its location and quality of service make the price worth it. However, it has only 8 rooms that are mostly sold out. So make sure you book at the earliest.

However, if you are a solo traveller or someone who loves to stay in hostels, the Old Town Hostel in Dubrovnik is one of the best hostels in Dubrovnik. It is located right in the heart of the Old Town and the vibrant, lively vibe of the place will make you extend your stay there!

View from our apartment in the Old Town
View from our apartment in the Old Town

When I visited Dubrovnik, I stayed at an Airbnb in the Old Town. My experience was really positive as the stay felt more personal, unlike the otherwise commercial accommodation options.

But as I stated earlier, no matter what type of accommodation you book inside the Old Town, you will be paying a premium for the location. If you want to save on that amount, you could choose any of the accommodation options outside the Old Town.

How many airports are there in Dubrovnik?

There is only one main airport in Dubrovnik, Croatia that operates both international as well as domestic flights. The airport is half an hour away from the city centre of Dubrovnik or the Old Town of Dubrovnik.

You could easily hail a cab from outside the airport. Alternatively, you could even take an airport bus from Dubrovnik airport to the city centre.

If you would like to book your airport to city centre transfer in advance, you could simply book it here now.

What is the average temperature in Dubrovnik?

The average weather in Dubrovnik is like any other typical Mediterranean region. Dubrovnik summers are from June to September.

The average temperature during this period is about 21 degrees celsius. July is the hottest and the driest month of the year. Summer is also the best time to visit Dubrovnik with the shoulder season (June and September) being particularly pleasant.

Winter in Dubrovnik is between December and February with average temperatures of approximately 10 degrees celsius. November is the wettest month of the year iN Dubrovnik.

How to spend 3 days in Dubrovnik?

This Dubrovnik 3 day itinerary will help you plan your time in Dubrovnik in such a way that you not only cover all the best places in Dubrovnik but you also get a feel of the social and cultural side of Dubrovnik.

Day 1

The first day of your trip to Dubrovnik must be spent exploring the Old Town of Dubrovnik. The best of Dubrovnik attractions are situated inside the walls of the Old Town.

So first things first, enter the Old Town from the Pile Gate which is the main gate located at the bottom of the Old Town. Right next to it is where you can buy tickets to the City Walls. Alternatively, you could also buy a Dubrovnik Card. It is available in 1-day, 3-day and 7-day variants. A 1-day card should be perfect for you.

City Walls

Views from the City Walls
The stunning views from the City Walls of Dubrovnik

A walk around the city walls should be the first activity that you venture on in your 3 days in Dubrovnik itinerary.

You need to start the walk from the stairs next to Pile Gate end of Stradun. From here, you will walk all across the entire length of the wall taking in the best views of Dubrovnik.

You will be amazed to see the beauty of the Adriatic sea seen from the top of the City Walls.  Likewise, the panoramic views of the Old Town seen from the top of the walls will be equally enthralling.

You should note that the walk can take up to 1.5 to 2 hours. You will find yourself stopping at a number of places to click photos of what would be the best views in Dubrovnik.

Make sure you carry enough water. There are a few cafes on the walls but they are expensive and unless you are really exhausted, it is best to avoid these completely.

Do not forget to wear sunglasses. (I forgot and I can’t even tell you how much I regretted it!) Make sure you wear comfortable shoes.

Expect huge crowds all along as this is the most popular tourist attraction in Dubrovnik. The earlier in the morning you begin your walk around the City Walls the better in terms of avoid crowds and harsh sunlight.

Tour of the Old Town

Stradun or the main street in the Old Town of Dubrovnik
Stradun or the main street in the Old Town of Dubrovnik

After you are done walking around the City Walls, you should follow that up with a walking tour around the Old Town.

Of course, you can take a lunch break or an icecream break to recharge yourself.

Now, you can always check out the primary attractions in the Old Town yourself. But if you book yourself a guided walking tour, you will end up understanding a lot more about this beautiful medieval town and its rich history.

A typical walking tour takes about 1.5 hours. You will walk across all the main areas of Dubrovnik Old Town and visit all the main attractions of the Dubrovnik Old Town such as –

  1. Onofrio’s Fountain
  2. Franciscan Monastery
  3. Sponza Palace
  4. Orlando’s Column
  5. The City Bell Tower
  6. Rector’s Palace
  7. The Church of St. Blaise

In my opinion, this tour is a fantastic tour for tourists looking to explore the Old Town in a limited amount of time.

Game of Thrones tour

West Pier, Dubrovnik
West Pier or the Pile Bay, Dubrovnik (where Salsa and Littlefinger discuss and next to it is also the place where Cersei bids goodbye to Myrcelle)

If you are one of the tourists who are in Dubrovnik because it is the primary filming location of the Game of Thrones, you could follow up your walk around the City Walls by booking yourself a GOT tour. Now, if you are a true GOT fan, you will easily be able to identify a number of filming locations in and around the Old Town even without a guided tour.

But, you should still invest in a special guided tour (in particular this one) because the tour is super fun. It is usually led by guides that not only share exciting anecdotes about the filming of GOT but are also at times those that have been extras on the famous show. 

The walk is super exciting as it will remind you of so many iconic scenes from Kings Landing such as Cersei’s Walk of Shame, Myrcelle leaving for Dorne, Cersei watching the Mountain train, Salsa conspiring with Littlefinger, Tommen’s jump to death and many more. You will realise how extensively the Old Town and the area outside the Old Town were used for the filming of this show. 

I recommend that you book yourself this particular tour as the guide is super informative and I loved the way in which he narrated the many filming anecdotes. Plus, the fact that we were only a small group meant that the tour did not get super tiring and turned out to be really engaging.

Alternatively, you could also check out these popular tours –

Fort Lovrijenac

View of the old town from Fort Lovrijenac
View of the old town from Fort Lovrijenac

After you are done exploring the Old Town and its many historically significant monuments, make sure you visit the Fort Lovrijenac. Preserve your ticket to the City Walls as it also grants you entry to the Fort.

On similar lines, if you are planning on booking yourself a GOT tour, a visit to the Fort will most likely be included. However, if it is not included or if you are not planning on booking yourself a GOT tour, make sure you visit the Fort.

The Fort located right next to the Old Town offers terrific ‘outside’ views of the Old Town and is definitely one of the best places to visit in Dubrovnik. The Fort dates back to the 11th Century and has played an important role in the history of Dubrovnik. You could either read up about it before visiting or hire a guide to give you detailed insights.

Cable Car

The best sunset in Dubrovnik is seen from the top of the Srđ mountain. From the top, you can watch the setting sun while marvelling at the outstanding view of the Old Town and the islands near the Old Towns (Lokrum Island and the Elaphiti Islands).

This mountain is accessible by a cable car ride that starts from a parking lot opposite the Buza Gate (top-end gate of the Old Town). The cable car ride is a bit too expensive compared to the other touristic attractions in Dubrovnik.

However, if you are a fan of stunning sunsets and panoramic shots, you just can’t afford to miss it.  Target to reach the booking office (next at the starting point of the cable car) about an hour and a half before sunset in order to make sure that you get tickets and that you reach the top on time to witness the spectacle of the setting sun.

Day 2

This is the day when you could visit the best islands near Dubrovnik Old Town, check out the beaches in Dubrovnik or enjoy some terrific water-sport activities or kayaking in Dubrovnik.

Lokrum Island

Overview of the Lokrum Island
Overview of the Lokrum Island

This beautiful, lush green island is just a short 10-minute boat ride away from the Dubrovnik Old Town. Visiting this island is a great way of escaping the crowded Old Town of Dubrovnik while still being able to soak in the beauty of the Adriatic.

The best way of reaching this island is by taking a ferry from the Dubrovnik Old Town Port. In addition to the nominal cost of the ferry, you will also have to pay an entrance fee for Lokrum Island.

Alternatively, there are also kayaking day tours that take you to Lokrum Island.

No matter how you reach the Lokrum Island, expect to spend about 2-3 hours there. From the many types of birds and the peacocks, the sight of this idyllic island will immediately please you.

In terms of what you could do at Lokrum Island, there is plenty that this small island offers. Once you alight at the port, you could start by visiting the Samostanski Monastery complex or by taking a walk on the Rocky Coast. You could even spend some time swimming in the Dead Sea which is essentially a saltwater lake.

You could also spend some time at the Botanical garden which is home to an impressive variety of trees, both local and imported.

If you are in a mood to hike a bit, you could hike up to Fort Royal. The Fort offers spectacular views of the sea and of Dubrovnik, in general. However, be prepared for a rather challenging hike.

Banje Beach

Banje Beach, Dubrovnik
Banje Beach, Dubrovnik

The Banje beach, Dubrovnik is located just a few minutes away from the eastern end of the Old Town. The best way to reach this beach is by simply walking for about five minutes from the Ploce Gate of the Old Town.

Given that it is the closest beach to the Old Town, it is the most popular aka crowded beach in Dubrovnik. Now, like most beaches in Dubrovnik, the beach is made up of small pebbles lining the shore and may not be the most suited for those interested in a long stroll.

However, it is a great place for those that would just like to sunbathe for a few relaxed hours while sipping on their own drinks.

If you reach this beach close to sunset, head to the famous Banje Beach Club Dubrovnik. It is an upbeat place which is great to hang out with friends while enjoying a few drinks. The private pier has lounge chairs where you could spend hours relaxing. The club also serves terrific seafood!

Uvala Lapad Beach

Lapad Beach
Lapad Beach

The best way to explore parts of Dubrovnik that are not close to the Old Town is by taking a bus to the Lapad Bay and heading to the Uvala Lapad Beach.

This beach is surrounded by plenty of homestays and hotels. The beach itself is home to a few cafes and restaurants. The shore is also lined with plenty of sunbeds for you to enjoy a quiet afternoon soaking in the sun.

You could also spend some time exploring various water sport activities here with your family.

Day 3

It’s your final day in Dubrovnik. This means that it is the time to either explore the parts of the town that you liked a bit more in detail or head out on some of the best day trips from Dubrovnik.

Elaphiti Islands

If you want to stay close to Dubrovnik and yet experience the beauty of this stunning archipelago just a little away from the Old Town of Dubrovnik, you must opt for the day trip to the Elaphiti Islands.

Out of the 14 islands that form part of this archipelago, only 3 islands are inhabited. A day-trip usually involves visiting these 3 islands. Koločep is the first stop on your 3 island tour. This is the place that is home to two small villages. This car-free island provides the perfect ambience to relax and enjoy some serene tranquillity.

Koločep Island on Elaphiti Island tour
Koločep Island on Elaphiti Island tour

After Koločep, you will visit Šipan. This is the largest island of the Elaphiti archipelago and this where you will see numerous monuments and churches here. Although this island is not car-free, it is still relatively quiet. You will also enjoy a sumptuous seafood lunch here.

The final island on your trip will be Lopud. This could easily be one of the most beautiful islands you will ever visit in your life. The Sunj beach here is perfect to unwind on a slow sunny afternoon.

This 3 island tour Dubrovnik is particularly popular. It is affordable, can be easily booked in advance and the quality of service onboard is excellent. 

Montenegro day trip

Kotor Bay, Montenegro
Kotor Bay, Montenegro

Instead of spending a day in Dubrovnik itself, you could take advantage of Dubrovnik’s location and venture out of Croatia and into Montenegro on a day trip. A day trip to Montenegro furnishes a fantastic insight into one of the most unique countries in Europe.

The trip begins with a drive along the splendid Bay of Kotor.

It is followed by a halt at the Old Town of Kotor. This town, although, similar to the Old Town of Dubrovnik, is not as properly maintained as the latter. However, it is a great place to learn more about the Balkan and Montenegrin history.

The final stop on the trip is at Budva. The beach of Budva is scenic and is particularly famous amongst tourists and it is a fantastic place to laze around.

Read more about what to expect on your day trip to Montenegro here.

Bosnia and Herzegovina day trip

Bosnia and Herzegovina, although a neighbouring country of Croatia, is much different than the other Balkan countries. Its unique blend of cultures attracts many a tourist.

The first stop on this trip is usually in Počitelj. This place is replete with historically significant monuments. A stroll along the streets of Počitelj is a great way to educate oneself of the cultural and historical importance of this town.

The next stop on this trip is usually at Medjugorje. This place is one of the most important pilgrim destinations in Europe. What’s interesting is that its prominence grew as recently as 1981 when some children claimed that they were visited by the Virgin Mary.

Mostar bridge
Mostar bridge

The final and the most important stop on the trip is at Mostar. This historical town’s highlight is the bridge that connects the Catholic side to the Muslim side. Watching people dive from the bridge is also quite amusing.

These three tours are great for heading out on the above-mentioned day trips from Dubrovnik –

 

Additional information on Dubrovnik

What are some of the other places that you could add to your 3 day Dubrovnik itinerary?

Dubrovnik has an immensely rich history. The best way to understand it thoroughly is by visiting one of the museums situated inside the Old Town. One that is a particular favourite amongst tourist is the Homeland War Museum.

If you are an art lover, you could also visit the art gallery Dubrovnik houses in the Old Town or also visit the MOMAD (Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik) close to the Banje Beach.

If you are a music lover, keep a tab on the musical performances that regularly take place in the Old Town. We attended the evening performances forming part of the Summer Music Festival held at Rector’s Palace and were left spellbound by the quality of the performers as well as the ambience that the historical venue offered.

What are some of the best restaurants or cafes in Dubrovnik?

Dubrovnik, in general, is a foodie’s delight. Here are some of the places that you must eat at on your trip to Dubrovnik –

Proto: This place serves the best seafood in Dubrovnik

Lady Pi-Pi: Great seafood, terrific views.

Nishta: The best restaurant for a vegetarian

Buža Bar: The most famous bar inside the Old Town offering unmatched views

D’vino wine bar: Taste the best wine in all of Dubrovnik here

Pizzeria Mirakul: Hands down the most authentic pizza place in Dubrovnik

Sladoledarna Dubrovnik: Best ice cream in Dubrovnik

Final Word

Dubrovnik is a busy town and the rise in the touristic footfall over the years has made sightseeing and accommodation in Dubrovnik quite expensive. It is also true that visiting Dubrovnik requires one to be quite fit. In fact, any ordinary day out in Dubrovnik spent sightseeing usually involves a lot of climbing and walking.

However, the beauty of Dubrovnik makes all of these factors seem petty. It is a place that is bound to create rich travel memories in your heart. Whether it is the historical significance of Dubrovnik, the charm of the Old Town, the splendour of the Adriatic blues or simply the GOT craze, there is some appeal to Dubrovnik that is bound to massively impress you.

Therefore, even if visiting Dubrovnik for just 3 days may seem to be too short a time period, make sure you include it in your Croatian itinerary.

 

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