After spending 8 days in Montenegro, we decided to make a short 48-hour trip out of our stop in Dubrovnik, Croatia before we boarded our flight back to New York. Since we only had a short amount of time in this historical city, I organized our itinerary to fit in as many historical sites, one-of-a-kind experiences and top-notch restaurants as physically possible. Read on to see what we saw, did and where we ate during our 48 hours in Dubrovnik.
Things to Know: Dubrovnik is significantly more expensive than the majority of Croatian cities, so expect to spend a bit more here, especially if you’re dining and shopping in the Old Town.
Check into your apartment. After arriving in Dubrovnik around 11:45am, we headed straight to our rental apartment, conveniently located right across the street from the entrance to the Old Town. When booking a place to stay be conscious of its walking distance to the main sites. Dubrovnik is a very large city with an abundance of hills so it’s definitely worth it to stay closer to the Old Town if that’s where you plan to spend most of your time. You can check out the apartment where we stayed here – the sunset views of the Old Town from the balcony were gorgeous!
Take a Walk through the Old Town. Once we were all settled in, we headed out to explore the narrow streets of the Old Town. Given that we were there at mid-day, the streets were packed with tourists from that day’s cruise ships but luckily winding through the city’s hidden pathways we were able to find some spots completely void of crowds.
Stop by Lady Pi-Pi for lunch. Situated a number of steps up from the plaza, Lady Pi-Pi is the ideal place to escape the crowds and enjoy a tasty, homemade lunch. The restaurant has a beautiful outdoor space where diners are seated among the flowers and the outdoor BBQ pit, which emits such a delicious smell that you never want to leave. I recommend ordering the half roasted chicken dish!
Soak up the Sun at Banje Beach. Once we were sufficiently fueled, we headed out to Banje beach, conveniently located only a short walk from the Old Town. Though we were under the impression that it was a local spot, a guide on a later tour told us otherwise. Either way, the rough beach stones lead right into some of the most beautiful blue water I’ve ever seen so local spot or not, it was a great choice in my book.
Head into Town to Watch the Sunset from the Infamous Buza Bar. Located through a small doorway on the city walls, Buza Bar is built on a cliff right outside of the city walls overlooking the Adriatic sea. While it is something that I definitely think is worth seeing, it doesn’t quite live up to the hype. The day we were there the bar was packed with people to the point where you could barely move, and on top of that the local beers that we ordered were almost three times the price of those at other bars within the Old City. Since the bar does empty out significantly after sunset, I recommend heading there right before, grabbing a drink and waiting for the crowds to dissipate. If you want to go earlier in the day you’re able to jump off of the cliffs into the dark blue water of the Adriatic so pack a swimsuit if you’re up for it.
Put on Your Best Clothes for Dinner at Gradska kavana Arsenal Restaurant. One of the more expensive restaurants in town, we came here out of conveniency on our first night and was relatively happy with our experience. Though we felt a little pressured by our waiter who insisted on the more expensive bottle of wine, the food was decent and with its location on the water, the ambiance was great. Overall, I think you’d have a better meal somewhere else but all in all it was a pleasant experience.
Pop by The Bar for a tasty cocktail. We stumbled upon this place while wandering around after dinner and were pleasantly surprised not only by the cocktails, but also the company of the staff. We had such a great time here that we ended up coming back the next night as well.
Wake up Early to take in the Sights of the Old Town Sans the Crowds. On day two, I woke up early to wander the streets of the Old Town before the crowds descended upon the city. It was so beautiful to see the town in all of its glory and wonder what it might have been like when it was built all those years ago.
Stop by the Dubrovnik Farmers Market. Right as we were ending our morning in the Old Town, we popped by the farmers market to check out the local goods like their fruits, vegetables, herbs and homemade oils. I left with a local blend of essential lavender oil that I still can’t get enough of. Pro Tip: Head there early to avoid the crowds!
Grab Local Pastries at Babic Bakery. Located just outside of the Old Town, the Babic Bakery is a local spot that dishes out some really tasty pastries. This was our go-to spot for an easy, on-the-go breakfast.
Pop by Cogito Coffee for a Fresh Cappuccino. An independent coffee shop established in Zagreb, Croatia, Cogito Coffee is a great way to get your coffee fix while also supporting local Croatian businesses.
Head out on a Dubrovnik Sea Kayak Tour. This was by far one of my favorite experiences of the trip. For only $28 per person, we enjoyed a sea kayak tour outside of Dubrovnik, giving us the chance to view the Old Town from the water. We then cruised over to the Lokrum island to hear more about its history and then stopped in a secluded bay with a cave to enjoy some sandwiches for lunch. Though the lunch left a lot to be desired, the tour itself was fun but also educational, and offered some pretty impressive views of Dubrovnik. I highly recommend booking this experience if you’re in Dubrovnik.
Give Yourself a Much-Needed Break at Beach Bar Dodo. Recommended by our kayak tour guide, Beach Bar Dodo is set on the side of a cliff and offers stunning views of the sea and Lovrijenac, the 16th-century fortress. Luckily, it was relatively empty when we arrived so we were able to snag some great seats, and even took a walk down to enjoy the water between drinks. Though it’s a little off the beaten path, I highly recommend it for a relaxing afternoon cocktail, but don’t forget that it’s cash only!
Take in the Old City at Night. What’s better than seeing the Old City without all of the crowds? Seeing it night. With the city lit up only by the golden street lights, restaurant candlelight and the lights of the city reflecting off of the water, it really is a magical setting.
Reserve a Spot at Taj Mahal Old Town for Dinner. Though we didn’t have the best experience here for a number of reasons, the food itself is really tasty and the restaurant, located right in the center of the Old Town, offers a really unique dining experience.
Finish off Your Trip to Dubrovnik With a Cocktail (or two) at The Bar. What better way to end your trip than with a good cocktail and good company? I think it’s safe to say that this won’t be my last time here.
Have specific questions about Dubrovnik? Leave them in the comments!4