Looking for a one day in Dubrovnik itinerary to make the most of your trip? Here you go!
Spend a day in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and experience the beauty of this medieval city! It is easy to understand why people get infatuated with the beautiful city of Dubrovnik despite spending only twenty-four hours there.
The Pearl of the Adriatic, which is situated in a world heritage site, simply oozes beauty from every pore, from every corner, and from every crevice.
One day in Dubrovnik Itinerary: See Dubrovnik in a day
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Dubrovnik is located on the southern tip of Croatia and offers many attractions that make it a great destination for a day trip.
From historical sites such as Fort Lovrijenac to local cuisine served in traditional restaurants, there are lots of things to do!
One day in Dubrovnik itinerary: See Dubrovnik in a day (At a glance)
- Breakfast at the Dubravka 1836
- Walk the Old Town City Walls
- Wander Old Town Dubrovnik
- Get on the Dubrovnik Cable car ride
- Relax on the Banje beach
- Old Town at night
- Dinner at Restaurant 360
- Dance away at the Culture Club Revelin
You may have come for a day but we promise you that you may end up staying longer.
Dubrovnik Trip Planning and Hotel Recommendations
Getting to Dubrovnik:
When flying from North America to Croatia, you will easily find flights to Zagreb, the capital city. Once you arrive in Croatia, there are a few different ways to get to Dubrovnik.
Fly: The fastest way is by air, with daily direct flights from both Zagreb and Split to Dubrovnik.
You can travel from Dubrovnik airport through public transport (bus lines 11, 27,31, or 38) or the airport shuttles that run during flight times.
Public Transportation: Alternatively, you can take a bus from either of these cities (Zagreb or Split) to Dubrovnik; although the journey will take much longer (up to 8-hour bus ride in most cases).
Private Transfer: You could also opt for a private transfer if time is an issue. You can book it here
Getting around Dubrovnik:
During your one day Dubrovnik itinerary, you will be mostly spending time in Old Town or Stari Grad which can be easily explored on foot.
If you still have time, use public transport to wander off to places beyond.
Since you have limited time, hire a local guide. Not only will you move faster, but you will also gain valuable insights into the history and culture of the city.
We recommend GetYourGuide to book your guided tour like this one, which also included the funicular or cable car ride (we LOVED it)!
Where to stay in Dubrovnik Croatia?
As far as options for your short stay are concerned, Old Town is without a doubt the perfect place to drop anchor. But hotel prices could be steep during peak seasons.
Depending on your style of travel, some other good places to stay are in Ploce, Lapad, and Cavtat. Use Booking.com for great prices and free cancellations.
Some top accommodation options are:
- Hotel Excelsior (luxury): Located a few steps away from the Old Town with gorgeous sea views, the Hotel Excelsior is a beautiful 5-star accommodation in Dubrovnik. Book your stay here
- Royal Ariston Hotel (mid-range): The affordable luxury Royal Ariston Hotel offers free breakfast, a private beach, and a seaside swimming pool for its guests. Plus you can book suites with Dalmatian Coast views. Check availability here
- Dubrovnik Style Luxury Apartment (mid-range): This apart-hotel is located close to Lapad beach, and the rooms are spacious and clean. Each room also has a nice balcony where you can hang out and relax. Find current prices here
Dubrovnik city is designed for strolling, so make sure you wear comfortable and light walking shoes. Also, there is hardly any shade on the city walls so carry enough water, sunscreen, a hat, and a pair of sunglasses.
Last but not the least, you should consider buying the Dubrovnik Pass that allows you free public transport and skip the line tickets that save tons of time and money, not only for the principal attractions but for the many stores and restaurants as well.
Perfect one day Dubrovnik itinerary
This itinerary for Dubrovnik will show you how to explore the city in one day. It is packed with insider tips and other useful information for spending a perfect day in Dubrovnik.
Breakfast at the Dubravka 1836
Assuming you have arrived in the city the day before or very early on your only day in Dubrovnik, we suggest you start bright and early with a delicious breakfast at Dubravka 1836 Restaurant & Cafe located right outside Pile Gate.
Dubravka 1836 is known to be the meeting place for the Dubrovnik elite, plus you get fabulous sea views. It is the perfect place to fuel up for the long day ahead.
If you have only one thing to do in Dubrovnik, it has to be the Old Town and the picturesque old city walls surrounding it.
Walk the Old Town City Walls
Walking the Dubrovnik castle walls is said to be the best attraction of the city so make sure you reach there as early as possible, especially when the walls open up, in order to avoid the horrible crowds that throng there during peak hours.
The opening times vary with the season (listed below).
There are plenty of vantage points along the walls but the best views come from the highest point of Minceta Fortress from where the Old Town and the waters of the Adriatic Sea are seen in their glory.
The cliff-top fort, a prominent Game of Thrones location, offers mind-blowing views of Dubrovnik, provided you are willing to trudge the 750 odd steps to the top of Minceta Tower.
To access the walls, there is an entry fee, and the hours and prices vary by season and month. To save money you can book a combo saver ticket such as this one
- 08:00 am to 06:30 pm (from April 1 to June 30)
- 08:00 am to 05:00 am (from Aug1 to Aug 31)
- 08:00 am to 06:30 pm (from Sept 1 to Sept 14)
- 08:00 am to 06:00 pm (from Sept 14 to Sept 30)
- 08:00 am to 05:30 pm (from Oct 1 to Oct 31)
- 09:00 am to 03:00 pm (from Nov 1 to Mar 31)
Wander Old Town Dubrovnik
Owing to its compact size, the beautiful Old Town can easily be explored on foot and one can get easily charmed by the limestone-paved streets and the quiet alleyways.
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the place is simply brimming with palaces, churches, monasteries, and charming streets.
One can enter Old Town through either the main entrance at Pile Gate or through the Ploce Gate to the east.
Some must-see attractions in the Old Town include Stradun, Onforio’s Fountain, Franciscan Monastery, Jesuit Staircase, Orlando’s Column Dubrovnik Cathedral, and the 1552 Gothic-style Sponza Palace among others.
Note: If you have time and are a Game of Thrones fan, book a Thrones tour with a local guide who will not only show you the filming locations but narrate interesting behind-the-scenes anecdotes as well.
Lunch with views
A lunch stop at the famous Gradska Kavana Arsenal will add to your one day Dubrovnik experience. Not only is the food good, but the scenery is also jaw-dropping.
If you are near the Pile Gate, consider having lunch at Nautika Restaurant – it is a nice dining place with amazing views.
From the Pile Gate, your next sightseeing spot is just a few steps away.
Get on the Dubrovnik Cable car ride
Take a cable car ride in the Dubrovnik Cable Car up to Mt. Srd to enjoy breathtaking views of the sun setting over the Dalmatian Coast from the summit of the mountain.
The Panorama Restaurant located on top of Mt.Srd is an ideal spot to enjoy a cup of coffee as well as the epic views.
You can hike to the top of Mt.Srd or choose to hire a cab, but no matter what your opinion is, be sure to reach there before the sky bursts into an array of colors.
Plan for this activity at around 3:30 pm, and you can stay up there until the sun goes down.
- Combo Ticket Option: Dubrovnik walking tour with a funicular ride
Relax on the Banje beach
Ride the cable car back to the Old Town but avoid the city walls and instead stroll down Hvarska and further down till it meets the main Frana Supila road.
This fifteen minute walk will take you to Banje beach which will now be filled up with locals who have finished work for the day.
If you are feeling hot, head to the Banje Beach Bar for a cool beer or a cocktail.
Old Town at night
Head back to Old Town, stop at the Luza, and admire the Cathedral without the hordes.
Saunter across to any of the Buza bars that are cut into the cliffside, just below the sea-facing side of the city walls. If you feel like it, you can take a late evening dip into the Adriatic.
Dinner at Restaurant 360
Restaurant 360 is a top Michelin-starred dining outlet known for its delicious Dalmatian cuisine located in the bastion of Sveti Luka.
Not only is the food and service exceptional, but the views over Dubrovnik Old Town are also out of the world.
Culture Club Revelin
Since this is going to be your only night in Dubrovnik, there is no harm in having some party fun as the best DJ club is nearby.
Culture Club Revelin has an international party vibe and is set in historic surroundings which should see you through till the early morning hours.
Alternate tour recommendations for Dubrovnik one day itinerary
Since you are on a tight schedule, we will show you some other places of interest in Dubrovnik, which are mostly off the tourist radar but may suit your taste.
Few people are aware that the secret of the historic wealth of Dubrovnik is the Maritime Museum.
Here you will find an exhibition of classic ship models and seafaring equipment, which has highlighted the importance of merchant shipbuilding over the centuries.
Afterward, descend to the lower level of the museum to discover the underwater world of the Adriatic at the Aquarium.
- Address: Dubrovačke Gradske Zidine, Ul. kneza Damjana Jude 12, 20000, Dubrovnik (2 minutes from Rector’s Palace)
War Photo Ltd
The compelling exhibits, curated by Wade Goddard a New Zealand journalist, provide a compelling experience of the Balkans conflict of the 90s. The aim of the exhibition is to expose the horrific realities of war.
Another permanent exhibition on the upper floor describes the wars of Yugoslavia and covers a multitude of conflicts.
- Address: Antuninska ul. 6, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia (3 minutes from Rector’s Palace)
Museum of Modern Art
Spread over three floors, the Museum of Modern Art near the Ploce Gate is a must for art lovers. This modern building has an excellent gallery that showcases the works of local artists, particularly those of Vlaho Bukovac, who came from nearby Cavtat.
Head up to the terrace for great views of the city.
- Address: Ul. Frana Supila 23, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia (near Banja Beach)
- Hours: 9:00 am to 8:00 pm (Tue-Sun)
- Admission: Adult 130 kn
Game of Thrones guided tour
The Game of Thrones tour takes you to an unforgettable experience at the place where it all happened – Dubrovnik. Experience the real King’s Landing with an expert tour guide.
The highlights of the tour are:
- Visit the film locations of King’s Landing and walk the Walk of Shame
- Visit the island of Lokrum and visit the Game of Thrones museum in the City of Qarth. Stop to capture Instagram-able photos of the Iron Throne
- From Lokrum head to Arboretum Trsteno to explore all the locations from Gardens of King’s Landing
- Here is the 5 hour tour to book
Dubrovnik sunset dinner cruise
Admire the beautiful city of Dubrovnik from a different perspective on a 2.5-hour sunset cruise in a replica of the traditional 16th-century Karka vessel.
Sip a glass of wine as you watch the sunset over the red rooftops of Dubrovnik, and then cruise the length of the UNESCO world heritage city walls and visit the pretty Island of Lokrum as well.
Sightseeing Map: Croatia Travel Guide
Below is a Google Maps link for Dubrovnik one-day itinerary. The purple spots are part of the walking tour of Old Town, blue icons are for food. You can click on the image to access the full map.
Have more time? Read our 3 days in Dubrovnik itinerary
Day trips from Dubrovnik Croatia
Here are some of the cool options for day trips from Dubrovnik,
Catch a shuttle boat from the old port to the small uninhabited island of Lokrum.
Home to an old monastery, surrounded by pinewoods and a garden full of peacocks, you can hardly go wrong exploring its winding pathways for a few hours.
For the adventurous, there are guided sea kayaking tours available for paddling to Lokrum.
Since you have seen most of the top attractions in Dubrovnik, it is high time to venture down the coast to the ancient seaside town of Cavtat.
A regular boat shuttle from the old port operates in summer and takes an hour to reach Cavtat.
Once there, it is a pleasure to see the lovely old town and the cluster of stone houses erected on the small peninsula.
Other attractions here include the Bukovac House, the birthplace of painter Vlaho Bukovac and the Racic Family Mausoleum of the 1920 secessionist, Ivan Mestrovic, in the cemetery.
Lopud – Ferry and boat ride
If you are lucky enough to spare some more time, make a visit to Lopud, one of the tiny islands of the Elfati islets chain.
Catch a ferry from the Gruz Port in Dubrovnik for a one hour ride to car-free Lopud.
On arrival, follow the seafront promenade for twenty minutes across the Isle till you reach Sunj, one of the rare sandy beaches in Croatia. Before you Lopud, look into the Your Black Horizon art installation in a garden above the seafront.
If you want to escape the crowds of Dubrovnik and visit some offbeat towns of Bosnia and Herzegovina then Trebinje will provide you with the answer.
Located about 35 km (21.7 miles) away, it takes an hour to reach there, including time spent at the border crossing.
With a population of just 30,000, no one seems to be in a hurry in this laid-back town. Simply wandering around the old town with its Ottoman architecture, or relaxing in a cafe, is a pleasure in itself.
Head to the Nova Gracanica Monastery on the hill to enjoy beautiful panoramic views of Trebinje and the surrounding areas.
A full day trip from Dubrovnik will take you to Montenegro, where you will be amazed by the main sites of the town.
Your trip will include a scenic drive along the stunning Bay of Kotor from where you can admire the views of the Konavie and Zupa Dubrovacka valleys.
Then go on a guided tour to the town of Persat.
You can take an optional boat trip to Our Lady of the Rocks Island and then continue on a self-guided walking tour of Kotor on the Adriatic Coast.
Before your return ferry trip to Dubrovnik, stop by to take in the views of Sveti Stefan Islet on the way to Budva. The total trip duration is about 11 to 12 hours.
Day tour: You can also book this day tour here
Additional Dubrovnik travel tips
If you are visiting Dubrovnik during the summer, check the cruise ship schedule so that you can plan your one day itinerary when there is NO ship in town. Believe me, your day in Dubrovnik will be so much better because of it.
If you cannot avoid the cruise day, my advice is to visit the Old Town in the evening when the cruise crowds have returned to their ships.
That said, if you yourself are a cruise ship passenger, as soon as you dock make a run for Old Town.
Try your best to beat everyone, especially to the town walls. You won’t regret it!
Ditch Pile Gate and instead enter Old Town through the Ploce Gate. Since Pile Gate is the main entrance, it is the point where the city buses stop and cruise ship passengers alight in large numbers and from where most walking tours start.
Remove your hat and cover your shoulders when inside sacred places. Refrain from using the phone and keep it on silent mode and never sightsee during service.
Dubrovnik residents were deeply affected by the 1991-92 Yugoslav attacks. So be mindful when asking questions about the war. Do not approach this topic in a light-hearted manner.
Budget for a day in Dubrovnik
Make no mistake, Dubrovnik is not a budget destination. The global Game of Thrones-induced fame brings enormous crowds and with it enormous prices to match as well.
If you are traveling alone, depending on your style expect to pay $40 for a hostel and $510 for a luxury hotel.
So if you are alone $87 should suffice, but if you stay near the old town the price will go up to $130.
A reasonable expense trip will come for $130+, but for that:
- Stay in a hostel ($40)
- Use public transport ($2)
- Make your own breakfast and dinner ($14)
- Choose restaurants outside the city center ($9.60)
Dubrovnik has a tight-knit community and moreover, most of the areas are well-lit. The city is therefore safe both during the night and day.
Violent crime is rare but it is advisable to exercise common sense in crowded areas as pickpockets do turn up on occasion.
Croatia is ranked among the top ten safe nations and is high in safety, especially when walking home at night.
Steer clear of areas like shady strip clubs and stay away from political demonstrations.
Is one day in Dubrovnik enough?
How much can you really see in a day? In one day you will be able to see the highlights of the Old Town and tour the Dubrovnik city walls but believe us, you would want to come back. With just twenty-four hours you will realize why the Old Town is so popular and well-known among the locals as well as people from all over the world.
If you are planning a vacation to Croatia, make sure to include Dubrovnik in your itinerary, even if it is just for one day.
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