One of Croatia’s most famous cities on the Adriatic coast and in Croatia in general, spending Dubrovnik in 3 days gives you the chance to get a taste of the city as well as the country’s culture.
The historic old town, amazing beaches, lovely nature, and unforgettable food experiences are what to do in 3 days in Dubrovnik to make the most out of your trip. Here, we give you some great tips on the best things to see and do, amazing day trips, where to stay and where to eat.
Top Things To Do In 3 Days In Dubrovnik
The history of Dubrovnik dates back to the 7th century and the city offers many attractions to enjoy. It is not called the “Pearl of Adriatic” for no reason. The town prospered mainly in the medieval times, from its independence from Venice, in 1358 until the dissolution of Dubrovnik Republic in 1808.
The most prosperous years for the city were in the 15th and 16th centuries. That was the time when the major part of the city as we know it now was built.
The main places of Dubrovnik historic center can be explored in a day if your organizing skills are on point. If you are staying only for a couple of days it’s better to stay in the Dubrovnik area and explore it well.
Day 1 – Discover the town center
Dubrovnik is full of history. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, immaculately preserved, and full of wonderful Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque palaces, monasteries, and churches. The best thing is that all of these monuments are located in the town center, which is not so big.
Walk along the city walls
The history highlights: the two km long city walls, Dubrovnik Cathedral, the famous pedestrian street Stradun/Placa, the Sponza Palace and the Rector’s Palace, Lokrum island, Fort Lovrijenac, and the mount Srd. For real tourists and history lovers only!
The main focus is surely on the old walls of Dubrovnik. Walking the city walls is something every visitor should do when in Dubrovnik for three days! Within the walls, there is the old town located and all the city crowd as well.
Duck into Dubrovnik Cathedral
One of the first things to see in Dubrovnik in 3 days is the city’s cathedral. Built between late 17th and early 18th century, in Dubrovnik’s cathedral are kept the relics of Saint Blaise.
After visiting the cathedral, enter also the popular St. Blaise church devoted to the saint patron of the city.
Visit Rector’s Palace
The beautiful 16th-century Rector’s Palace was the administrative center of Dubrovnik. It was built in a Gothic style and following renovations added some Renaissance and Baroque elements.
Today, it’s the city’s history museum displaying a rich collection of daily tools, furniture, coins, old weapons as well as paintings by local artists.
Take a Game Of Thrones Tour
In 3 days in Dubrovnik, you will feel inside the famous HBO series Game of Thrones which was filmed in various locations in and around the town. A true GoT fan would not miss a chance to take a Game of Thrones Tour and recreate the most famous scenes of the cult series.
Day 2 – Just keep swimming!
One of the best things to do in 3 days in Dubrovnik is to take a swim on a beach by your choice, and the choice is big! So depending on your preferences, choose a beach or two that suit you and enjoy a day in the sun. You will find various beaches, including pebbly, rocky, cemented, and even sandy beaches that are otherwise hard to find in Croatia.
The sea is crystal clear, although the sea temperature in Dubrovnik tends to be colder than at other places in Croatia, even the ones that are further north from Dubrovnik. At many places, you will have ample opportunity for cliff jumping.
Banje Beach in Dubrovnik
The most popular Dubrovnik beach among tourists. With its spot-on location, it is the closest beach to the old town. Made of small pebbles and gravel, unless you are used to this kind of beach, you will probably need swimming shoes.
Sv. Jakov Beach
Located further uphill from Banje Beach. (15-20 minutes walking from Banje). Sv. Jakov beach is located very close to the Hotel Villa Dubrovnik, a superb 5-star hotel. This beach is much less crowded and you still get a very nice view of the old town. The beach is rocky and pebble, with lots of stairs to take to reach it. But if you want a less crowded beach and you don’t mind walking, this is a nice beach to spend a day. With kayak and jet ski rental available.
Betina Cave Beach
A small cave beach, only reachable from the sea. The cave makes it cool even during the hot summer days because it gets only a few hours of sun a day. The pebbles are nice and rounded. The best way to reach it is by booking one of the kayaking tours that stop here for swimming and exploring.
This Dubrovnik beach is not very popular, which means it’s also less crowded! The water is crystal clear, and the old town is just meters away. Sulici beach consists of a small pebble beach and cemented plateaus.
Very popular among the locals. It is also the oldest beach in Dubrovnik. You will often see locals playing water polo at the beach. It’s located 200 m from the old town and the beach is mostly rocky.
Located in Lapad Bay, it is the largest beach in Dubrovnik There are many bars nearby as well as beach activities on offer for visitors. The beach is partly pebble, partly cemented and rocky.
A pebble beach located below the Valamar hotels. It is facing the Dubrovnik bridge. It gets easily crowded because of the hotels and campsite nearby.
Whatever beach in Dubrovnik you choose for your second day, you can take a calming kayak tour and experience the beauty of the town from the sea. Its defensive walls and forts look even more majestic and impressive.
If you are looking for more adventurous stuff to do you should definitely go a little outside of the town, take the bus, ferry or rent a car for longer trips. Near Dubrovnik, you can also find rock climbing stations. The most popular one is Brgat – easy access and 15 climbing routes, also suitable for beginners.
For adrenaline lovers, you can explore the coast riding on a jet ski. You don’t need a license or pre-knowledge – you just need to love the speed. Join a jet ski safari group tour and make new friends along. Both kayak and jet ski are available on almost every beach.
Day 3 – Adventure calling: Day trips from Dubrovnik
The city is also a great base to explore surrounding areas and day trips, and this is a great way to round off your 3 days in Dubrovnik.
There are a couple of agencies offering quad safari tours through the Dubrovnik countryside. Escape the city crowd – spend a day on the fresh land air! Book a tour in the morning and start the day in a fun way. The tours usually start in nearby villages, around 30 km away from Dubrovnik.
If you are an animal person, enjoy a horseback ride tour after the quads. Suitable for beginners and very relaxing, the tours also include wine and snacks. For both quad and horseback riding tours visit the village Radocici.
If quad and horses are boring for you, in a forest near the village of Komaji, you can find Cadmos village – an adventure park that offers a three-level adventure course, zip lines, a giant swing as well as paintball.
Talking about Cadmos village, for a unique experience you can book a real treehouse and spend a night with the birds and owls! The treehouse can accommodate 6 persons and is sure a family experience to remember.
A not so popular destination, but offers so much. Only 60 kilometers away, known for its red wine and wonderful beaches it also is the main gateway to the Islands Korcula and Mljet. Enjoy the ride and take in all the beautiful nature surrounding you, don’t forget to stop for wine tasting at Milos or Saints Hills Winery.
Along with Hvar Brac and Krk, Korcula is one of the most visited Croatian islands and sure one of the most popular too. The Korcula Town is also called “Little Dubrovnik” – its layout and architecture resembling Dubrovnik’s old town.
To reach Korcula you can take a passenger catamaran from Dubrovnik, by car through the Peljesac peninsula (a ferry boat from Orebic) or join a guided group from Dubrovnik – which is the easiest way.
Mljet is a quiet and small island in southern Dalmatia. Within an easy reach from Dubrovnik, it’s a nice place to escape for a day or two if you enjoy nature. There are just a few settlements on Mljet. And all of them are just tiny, tranquil villages. One-third of the island is a national park. The national park is Mljet’s main attraction.
The National Park Mljet stretches over 5400 hectares, including the sea area, forests, lakes, islets, and cliffs. The two attractions within the park are Malo (small) and Veliko (big) Lakes – two almost enclosed bays connected to the open sea, thus filled with saltwater. Same as Korcula, a ferry boat and catamaran connects the National Park with Dubrovnik.
An undiscovered, underrated and agricultural area is the Neretva Valley. With olive groves, rugged hills, mandarin orchards, channels, rivers, and the large Neretva River estuary, it provides a different side of the touristy Croatia. This is a famous area for kite surfers and bird watchers. When here, be sure to taste the specific cuisine – eels and frogs.
If you like to visit off-the-beaten-path locations combined with bizarre stories, Daksa, a small uninhabited island near Dubrovnik should be a real find for you. But, only if you find someone willing to take you there because very few locals do. The disturbing history of the tiny island dates back to 1944. Almost 50 people accused of being Nazi-sympathizers were killed on the island.
Since then, very few locals ever visit the island, it is believed to be haunted. Today, the island features nothing but ruins of the 13th-century, a Franciscan monastery, a lighthouse, and a villa, heavily overtaken by nature.
And if you get excited about visiting multiple countries on your holidays, the Montenegro border is only 40 km south from Dubrovnik. Kotor bay and Kotor town are both worth a visit and easy to reach from Dubrovnik. As well as Bosnia’s famous town Mostar and even Sarajevo!
Where to stay in your 3-day Dubrovnik trip
When it comes to accommodation, you sure are able to find something that suits you. Dubrovnik, being the most luxurious holiday destination in Croatia, is full of majestic hotels and villas.
Many celebrities visited the town so you know that it must be something special. If you don’t want to break the bank be sure to plan your trip on time or book your stay in low season – May and September for cheaper options.
Where to eat in Dubrovnik in 3 days
Dubrovnik is known as the most expensive town on the Croatian coast. But also one that offers the most variety, especially when it comes to food. Seafood is the most common delicacy, and most restaurants are fairly good. The most popular seafood dishes you can find are fresh seashells, squid risotto with black squid ink, octopus salad as well as grilled fish. In Dubrovnik, you can also choose between Croatian, Italian, Asian, French, Bosnian and Mexican cuisine. Not too bad!
Restaurant Lokanda Peskerija – located in the old harbor along the city walls. A very popular seafood restaurant. With a limited menu but also good and affordable food, it’s atmosphere will also impress you. The restaurant offers Adriatic simple seafood dishes like fried calamari, octopus salad, mussels in a wine sauce, seafood risottos… Food is served in small cute pots rather than in plates. The interior is small and spreads on two floors. With a terrace right at the seafront, it is very busy. The portions are generous and the service decent.
Restaurant Komin – away from the old town, on the Lapad peninsula you can find a real Croatian cuisine! The restaurant serves traditional Croatian dishes and is worth a drive from the town. With a big open fireplace, it has the charm of an old tavern. Here you can taste Peka – a traditional Croatian way of cooking.
Restaurant Nishta – a 100% meat-free restaurant! It offers vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes. A must for every vegan or vegetarian visitor (or any other too!). With a tiny colorful interior, it provides a special experience!
Restaurant Proto – one of the few restaurants visited by locals! Located just in the town center, near the main street Stradun. This is a more expensive option -with a gorgeous terrace and attentive service, it sure is worth the money!
International restaurant options are Taj Mahal (Bosnia), Sushi & Oyster Bar Bota and Restaurant Azur (Asian).
Except for the various cuisine, many beaches, and other attractions, the main reason Dubrovnik is so loved is because of its small old town that can be explored in a day or two, so you get a chance to see a lot around it. There sure is something for every taste. Whether you like history, relaxing, adventure, or simply exploring on your own, there are excellent options for you to choose. Some of the world’s famous movie stars and athletes enjoyed their holidays in Dubrovnik, so spoil yourself too, in one of the most exclusive destinations in Croatia.
Author bio: Monika and Frank manage the blog Frank About Croatia where they write in great detail everything you need to know to plan a trip to this beautiful European country.
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