Dubrovnik is one of the most popular Mediterranean tourist locations with scores of cruise ships and coach parties contributing to over 14 million visitors a year. The medieval walled city with its characteristic red clay tiled buildings is what brings tourists from across the globe all year round, with the busiest period between June and August when the densely packed city becomes overrun with tourists. With this in mind it’s important to make sure you’ve done your research and know what and where you want to be to maximise your time in this amazing city. That’s why I’ve put together what I think are the absolutely must see attractions in a 48 hour itinerary in Dubrovnik. Enjoy…..
Day 1 AM - Get your bearings
First thing to do is to get your bearings inside the ancient walled city. As you walk through the main west entrance you feel as if you’re stepping back in time and get your first glimpse of this ancient city. Once inside the perimeter walls from the west entrance you’ll be greeted with the impressive Stradun which is the main street that runs east to west and leads down to the harbour were you’ll see many of the major landmarks along the way including Church of Saint Blaise and the main clock tower. Once you’ve spent an hour wandering the main streets you’ll soon be able to find your way without a map, so make sure you take the time to explore the side streets which are filled with smaller restaurants and shops, not to mention one of the best coffees we’ve ever had.
Day 1 Lunch - Sample the sea food
As you would expect sea food is on nearly every menu in Dubrovnik and well worth sampling. Head down to the main harbour which has a concentration of excellent restaurants where you can sample the regional specialities including locally farmed mussels along with other delights.
Day 1 PM - City walls
This is without a doubt the main attraction in the old town. A chance to get a bird’s eye view over the characteristic red clay roof tops is something not to be missed. Make sure you do this either first thing in the morning or last thing at night as during the middle of the day it can get over run with coach and boat tours that flood the city.
Day 1 Evening - Grab a drink at sun set
Head towards the south side of old town and go through one of the innocent looking archways which lead to the hidden bars perched at the base of the walls. These bars are some of the best places to watch the sun set over the Mediterranean and as expected get very busy so get down there early and relax for a couple of hours.
Day 2 AM - Lokrum
If you only have time for one boat trip make sure it is over to the nearby island of Lokrum which has a rich history and has played a major part in Dubrovnik’s success. Boat taxis leave the main harbour every 30 minutes and cost 100kn for a return ticket. After the 15 minute crossing you’re free to wander around and explore the island on foot. The main attraction on the island is the monastery which has recently been made famous after being featured in Game of Thrones but also has an impressive history making it worth a visit. Don’t miss the exhibition below the monastery which tells the legend of how Richard the Lionheart was shipwrecked on the island in 1192 on his way back from the Crusades.
Day 2 Lunch
After exploring the monastery and its grounds it should be time to head over to Lacroma next to the playing fields for a spot of lunch. This modern restaurant offers a great selection of light lunches and drinks along with excellent service making this a great place to re-charge your batteries. Once you’ve indulged yourself continue to explore the rest of the island making sure you climb up to the main view point Utvrda Royal and paddle in the Dead Sea lagoon.
Day 2 PM - War Photo exhibition or cable car
After coming back to the main land head over to the war photo exhibition which gives you a stark reminder of the violent history this city has seen over the last two decades. The war is an important part of the region’s history which shouldn’t be ignored and highlights how close this wonderful city came to being destroyed. It also helps bring meaning to the bullet holes that still scar many of the buildings throughout the city and gives you a deeper appreciation for the city and its people.
For a less intense alternative and the ultimate view over the city take the cable just outside the northern entrance of Old Town up to the top of Srd Hill. Once at the top you’ll be greeted by one of the most impressive panoramic views over the Old Town and the Elaphti Islands. Make sure you stop off to grab some refreshments at “Panorama Restoran” before starting your journey back down.
Day 2 Evening – Croatia’s finest food
If you want to sample some of the finest foods of the region make sure you book a table at the fabulous Restaurant 360 which overlooks the main harbour. This high end restaurant combines the finest local produce with incredible attention to detail which has led to it winning multiple awards. The friendly and knowledgeable staff only adds to the experience with their enthusiasm for the food and wine being served rounding of what will undoubtedly be a memorable experience to finish off your visit.