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Fun Things to Do in Dubrovnik Croatia: View of Fort Lovrijenac viewed from city walls

A Dazzling One Day in Dubrovnik Itinerary

Croatia

With its dramatic terracotta rooftops, stunning views of the Adriatic Sea, and explosive international fame thanks to Game of Thrones, it’s easy to see why people become infatuated with the Pearl of the Adriatic after spending even one day in Dubrovnik.

This is a city that is dripping beauty from every corner and adventure from every crevice–the kind of place where you show up to spend a day and end up staying a week.

Of course, that’s not always possible… and that’s where this one day Dubrovnik itinerary comes in.

Trying to see as much as Dubrovnik as you can and only have a day to spare? This is how to absolutely rock your one day in Dubrovnik.

One Day Dubrovnik Itinerary: View of Dubrovnik from Minceta Fortress

A Word on Crowds & Prices

With Dubrovnik’s global, Game-of-Thrones-induced fame has come enormous crowds and enormous prices to match. Is Dubrovnik worth it? Absolutely–we adore this city, enough that we returned for a second trip that lasted two whole weeks.

However, don’t make the mistake of thinking of Dubrovnik as a budget destination, nor as an offbeat one. If you’re visiting independently during the summer, we recommend checking the cruise ship schedule and planning your one day in Dubrovnik for a day when there’s not a ship in town if you can.

If you’re visiting as a cruise ship passenger… literally run off the boat as soon as you dock (okay be careful, but other than that) and try your best to beat everyone else to Old Town and especially to the town walls–your day in Dubrovnik will be so much better for it.

Fun Things to Do in Dubrovnik Croatia: Boats in Harbor from above

The Perfect One Day in Dubrovnik Itinerary

Start your morning by heading straight to the city walls.

If there’s one thing that you absolutely have to do in Dubrovnik, it’s walking the city walls: the views of both Dubrovnik and the surrounding Adriatic Sea are absolutely unparalleled from these vantage points (don’t forget to climb the Minčeta Fortress while you’re up there!) and walking the walls is a truly unforgettable experience.

Like most things in Dubrovnik though, it is both expensive (200 kuna/around 30 Euros per person when we last visited in early 2019) and often crowded. During the summer/on season for Dubrovnik, the walls open at 8am, and we recommend being there right when they open if you can!

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There is no shade on the city walls, so be sure to bring sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to the top with you.

You can walk the walls in as little as 45 minutes if you move fast, but on both our visits, we were happier with closer to 3 hours up here. If you don’t like to rush, we’d recommend dedicating at least 2 hours of your one day in Dubrovnik to enjoying the city walls.

Fun Things to Do in Dubrovnik: Kate Storm and Jeremy Storm on Dubrovnik city walls
I loved wearing this dress on the Dubrovnik city walls. It’s comfortable to wear and easy to pack!

Explore Old Town… and possibly take a Game of Thrones tour.

Dubrovnik’s Old Town is absolutely beautiful and is surprisingly densely packed with things to do considering how small it is.

If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, this is the perfect opportunity during your one day in Dubrovnik to take a Game of Thrones tour: the tours are extremely popular, and since they take you around to so many filming locations that are also genuinely interesting spots in Dubrovnik, they act as a sort of combo Dubrovnik-walking-tour-plus-fun-geek-out-fest.

This popular Game of Thrones tour is very affordable and has been reviewed more than 500 times–it has definitely been tried & tested!

Fun Things to Do in Dubrovnik Croatia: Square with Round Fountain

If you’re not into dragons and fictional wars, a more general walking tour of Dubrovnik is still a great way to see the sights around Old Town, many of which are easy to miss if you don’t know what you’re looking for!

This walking tour is a great, non-Game-of-Thrones-themed tour option!

However, if you’re more into independent exploration, here are a few things in Dubrovnik’s Old Town to be sure not to miss.

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Jesuit Staircase

Some say the beautiful Jesuit Staircase is reminiscent of the Spanish Steps in Rome, and there’s no doubt it’s a beautiful spot–though as a Game of Thrones fan, I have a hard time looking at it without hearing faint echoes of “Shame!”.

Fun Things to Do in Dubrovnik Croatia: Empty Jesuit Staircase

Rector’s Palace

This 14th-century palace makes quite the interesting stop during your day in Dubrovnik: home to art, and armory, and an infamous prison, you can cover quite a few aspects of tourism during a visit here!

Church of St. Blaise

Be sure to step inside this church to enjoy its gorgeous interior as well as its opulent exterior!

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Franciscan Monastery

Tucked into Dubrovnik’s Old Town, it’s easy to walk right by the Franciscan Monastery without noticing it–but if you’re interested in visiting a museum to the third oldest pharmacy in the world or just enjoying a bit of peace and quiet for a moment, the Franciscan Monastery is not to be missed.

Dubrovnik Cathedral

Dubrovnik’s Baroque Cathedral is quite impressive–as is the Cathedral Treasury located right next door!

Fun Things to Do in Dubrovnik Croatia: View of Dubrovnik Cathedral from side

If you have time, pay a quick visit to Lovrijenac Fortress.

Depending on what time you finish visiting Old Town, you may or may not have time to squeeze in a quick visit to Lovrijenac Fortress when you’re trying to see Dubrovnik in one day–but if you have time to spare, consider heading up for another great view of the city, an interesting fort, and a fun walk to the top that takes you past the quirky West Harbour doors (one of many Game of Thrones filming locations in the city).

Your ticket from the city walls will get you into Lovrijenac Fortress as well, so be sure to hold onto it!

One Day in Dubrovnik Itinerary: Close Up of Lovrijenac Fortress

Hit the water with a kayaking tour around Lokrum Island or a quick swim.

Our kayaking tour around Lokrum Island is one of our favorite things we have ever done in Dubrovnik–sure, our shoulders were sore the next day, but we really can’t speak highly enough of the adventure of paddling in the Adriatic Sea, admiring the city from the water, visiting caves around Lokrum Island, and cliff jumping into the beautiful sea.

This kayaking tour is incredibly popular (book ahead of time if you can) and follows a very similar path to the one that we took–it’s an absolutely incredible experience!

However, if the idea of committing to a few hours of physical exertion doesn’t sound like your idea of a perfect day in Dubrovnik, you can always soak up the sun another way and hit the beach!

Dubrovnik’s beaches are made of pebbles, not sand (they may not be the most fashionable choice in the world, but I’m always much more comfortable on pebble beaches when I bring water shoes along for the ride), but the views are fantastic–Banje Beach is a popular spot.

Fun Things to Do in Dubrovnik Croatia: Girl on Kayaking Tour
Exploring this cave near Lokrum Island via kayak was so much fun!

Head directly to Mount Srd to watch the sunset over Dubrovnik.

There’s no end to amazing spots to watch the sunset over the Adriatic Sea in Dubrovnik, but arguably the best of them all is at the top of Mount Srd: ride the cable car up for an absolutely majestic view of both the city and the sunset.

If your wallet is hurting by this point from trying to see Dubrovnik in one day, a more budget-friendly option would be to hit one of Dubrovnik’s cliff bars, literally named Buža Bar I and Buža Bar II, for a (fairly) inexpensive drink a gorgeous sunset view.

One Day Dubrovnik Itinerary: Sunset over Adriatic Sea with boats in front

Don’t forget about the Dubrovnik Card!

I suspect that these numbers may change again at some point, but as of the time of writing, a one-day Dubrovnik Card costs 200 kuna (even less if purchased online!), which is the exact same price as a ticket to the Dubrovnik city walls, which are included with the card.

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This price structure makes buying a Dubrovnik Card an automatic win, as the card also allows you to access several other small museums around town (including the Franciscan Monastery I mentioned above), and public transport around the city.

You can check full inclusions, updated prices, and get a discount for purchasing the card online here.

One Day Dubrovnik Itinerary: Sunset over Lokrum Island

More Time in Dubrovnik?

It’s impossible to cover all the best things to do in the city with only one day in Dubrovnik, so if you’re lucky enough to have longer, you definitely won’t be bored!

The day trips from Dubrovnik alone could fill up a week in the city: for example, Montenegro, Bosnia, and the Elafiti Islands are all within easy reach.

Also be sure to consider taking a sunset boat ride, paying a visit to the Trsteno Arboretum, hiking down Mount Srd, heading out to Lokrum Island, and checking out all of Dubrovnik’s beach beaches and swim spots.

One Day Dubrovnik Itinerary: View of Church Bells in Dubrovnik

Where to Stay for One Day in Dubrovnik

Budget

Guest House Amalija — You’ll need to catch the bus to the Old Town (a must for staying on a budget in Dubrovnik), but Guest House Amalija is the perfect retreat from the hecticness of the city center. The spacious rooms, fast wifi, and lovely views are all great selling points for the property.

Check rates & book your stay at Guest House Amalija!

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Mid-range

Old Harbour City Center Apartment — We adored staying in this apartment during our second trip to Dubrovnik! It’s set on a quiet street but is a less than 5-minute walk from Pile Gate and the main entrance to the Old Town, and mere steps from the West Harbour.

The apartment was spacious, easy to live in, had a strong wifi connection (a must for us), and we would definitely stay again.

Check rates & book your stay at the Old Harbour City Center Apartment!

Luxury

Grand Villa Argentina — If you want to feel like royalty during your trip to Dubrovnik, book yourself into the Grand Villa Argentina immediately. It’s hard to say what the best feature of this hotel is, but the palatial atmosphere, the direct access to the beach, fantastic included breakfast, and the swimming pool with a stunning view of Old Town are all in the running. A stay here is one that you’ll never forget.

Check rates & book your stay at the Grand Villa Argentina!

The Ultimate One Day in Dubrovnik Itinerary #dubrovnik #croatia

2 Comments Write a comment

Kate has been traveling the world full-time for more than 3 years. She tries to keep a balance between going on new adventures and exploring favorite destinations (like Italy!) in depth, and is always on the lookout for the next beautiful overlook and delicious meal.

2 Comments

  • April Scott July 26, 2019

    I have a question about the city walking tour vs. the GoT walking tour. My husband and I have only one day in Dubrovnik and I want to make sure we see the most important sights in the city. We are both GoT fans and would enjoy that tour but I’m concerned that if we do the GoT tour, we will miss some important things in the city that we might see if we go with a regular walking tour. I looked at the websites for the the various tours but the info there doesn’t really help me with my question. Thanks for any help you can provide. And thanks for the great tips on what to do with one day in Dubrovnik.

    • Kate Storm July 27, 2019

      Hi April! It really depends on your priorities–a walking tour will tend to include more real-life history, and a GOT tour will of course focus on GOT. However, Dubrovnik is very small–you should see most of the important sights on either tour, as there’s a lot of overlap. You should also have time to close any gaps on your own either way, as most tours only last a couple of hours. Hope that helps and you guys have a great time!

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