Dubrovnik was the first stop in our 10-day Croatian vacay and it was everything I had hoped for and more! With an abundance of fresh seafood, local wine, quaint shops, welcoming locals and Game of Thrones filming locations, the Dalmatian Coast was more extraordinary than I had ever imagined. Dubrovnik has a rich and interesting history, including the Croatian War of Independence, or the war that separated Croatia from Yugoslavia in 1991. Dubrovnik was impacted deeply by the war and many of the locals experienced it first-hand. Although the city is pretty small at only a little over 40,000 people, there is no shortage of things to see and do inside its centuries-old walls. Keep reading for the best sights to see during your week in Dubrovnik!
Croatia takes the Croatian kuna (HRK). Some businesses in touristy areas will take the euro, but kuna is always preferred. Before traveling abroad, it’s always a good idea to download a currency converter on your smartphone to keep track of your spending. Check out my post The Best Travel Apps to Download for Europe for my favorite!
When withdrawing local currency in Europe, never use the currency conversion shops. They’re notorious for horrible conversion rates and will completely screw you over with hidden fees. I always suggest taking cash out with your debit card at a bank ATM, never the Euronet ATMs.
Where to Stay
If you’re looking to stay inside the old city walls, I would strongly recommend an Airbnb over a hotel. Only 500-1,000 people live full-time inside the old city, the rest rent out their apartments to tourists! We found a charming Airbnb in a central location on Za Rokom. It’s very easy to find good deals on accommodation inside the city walls in the off-season…it’s much more difficult in the summer. Thankfully we visited in March!
Our Airbnb was separated into two apartments and included two kitchens, three bedrooms, two bathrooms and two washing machines. We had plenty of extra room between the four of us! The apartments were managed by a company instead of a private owner and they presented us with maps, a lists of restaurants and excursions and a cell phone for emergencies upon arrival. They also coordinated an optional airport pickup for an additional €45.
You can find the listing here.
The Dubrovnik Card
The Dubrovnik Card is a great way to save money on the main tourist sights around the city. The options are 1-Day, 3-Days, or 7-Days and cost 190 HRK, 250 HRK and 350 HRK respectively (although you can get a discount if you buy online). Basically, as soon as you activate it (use it at an attraction), it’s valid one, three or seven full days from that point.
The pass includes the Maritime Museum, the Dubrovnik Natural History Museum, the Marin Držić House, the City Walls, the Art Gallery of Dubrovnik, the Cultural-Historical Museum, the Ethnographic Museum Rupe, the Dulčić, Masle, Pulitika Gallery, the Friars Minor Franciscan Monastery Museum and the Vlaho Bukovac Home. It also includes a bus pass valid throughout the city of Dubrovnik and discounts in certain shops! To pick up or purchase a Dubrovnik card, you can visit the Tourist center located at Brsalje ul. 5, right outside of the Pile Gate.
Find more information about the Dubrovnik Card here.
In my opinion, Croatian is extremely difficult for native English speakers. The sounds required to say the words correctly are unlike anything we have in English, which accounts for a lot of embarrassing pronunciation errors. My advice is to just sound it out phonetically and be ready to give it your best effort. Besides, isn’t it the thought that counts?
*Most of the locals in the bigger cities can speak basic English, but if you plan to do any driving across the country it’s always a good idea to have some useful phrases in your back pocket!
Greetings & Pleasantries
Hello = Bok (bohk)
How are you? (formal) = Kako ste? (kah-koh steh?)
How are you? (informal) = Kako si?
I’m fine, thanks. = Ja sam dobro, hvala. (doh-broh sahm, hva-lah)
Nice to meet you. = Drago mi je. (dra-goh mee yeh)
Good morning = Dobro jutro (doh-broh you-troh)
Goodnight = Laku noć (laa-koo notch)
Good evening = Dobra večer (doh-brah ve-cher)
Goodbye = Doviđenja/Bok (doh-vee-jen-yah)
Please = Molim (moh-leem)
Thank you = Hvala/Hvala lijepa (hva-lah/hva-lah lee-pah)
You’re welcome = Nema na čemu (neh-mah na che-moo)
Yes/No = Da/Ne
Excuse me/Sorry = Oprostite (oh-pro-sti-teh)
I’m sorry = Žao mi je (zhow mee yeah)
Where are the toilets? = Gdje je WC? (gdyeh yeh weh-tseh)
What is your name? = Kako se zovete? (kak-koh seh zoh-ve-teh)
My name is… = Zovem se (zoh-vhem se)
I am… = Ja sam… (yah sahm)
I can’t speak Croatian. = Ne govorim hrvatski (neh goh-voh-reem hurv-ahts-kee)
Do you speak English? = Govorite li engleski (goh-voh-ree-teh lee en-glees-kee)
Can you recommend a good restaurant? = Mozete li preporučiti dobar restoran? (moh-zheh-teh lee preh-poh-roo-chee-tee doh-bahr reh-stoh-rann)
What would you recommend? (food) = Što biste preporučili? (shtoh bee-steh preh-poh-roo-chee-lee)
Check, please. = Račun, molim. (rah-choon, moh-leem)
I will take… = Uzet ću…
A beer, please. = Jedno pivo, molim. (yehd-noo pee-voh, moh-leem)
A glass of red/white wine, please. = Molim vas čašu crony/bijelog vina. (moh-leem vahs chah-shoo suhr-nohg/byeh-lohg vee-nah)
A bottle, please. = Jednu bocu, molim. (yehd-noo boh-tsoo, moh-leem).
Cheers! = Živjeli! (jeev-yeh-li)
Restaurants to Try
For a list of our favorite restaurants in the city, check out my post A Guide to Restuarants in Dubrovnik.
Walk the City Walls
There’s no better way to take in the spectacular beauty of Dubrovnik than walking the city walls! Entrance is included with your Dubrovnik Card, otherwise it’s a 150 HRK entrance fee (around $25), which is a little steep but definitely worth it. There are three entrances to the walls, but the most popular is near the Pile Gate and the Franciscan Monastery. The walk itself takes around two hours, depending how often you stop for pictures, so make sure to wear comfy shoes and bring lots of water in the summer!
The city walls are the oldest standing structure in Dubrovnik, dating back to around the 9th century. They are one of the only structures to have survived numerous earthquakes and wars on Croatian soil. The beautiful views you’ll see on this walk are unparalleled, so make sure to bring a camera and a friend that won’t complain about taking 1,000 pictures of you (sorry Dad)!
Stop for a frosty Pan beer at Cafe Bar Sv. Petar on your way around the walls!
Dubrovnik Cable Car & War Museum
Another way to get breathtaking views of the city is to take the Cable Car to the top of Mount Srd! 140 HRK ($20) will buy a two-way adult ticket, but the views themselves are priceless. The way up the mountain is a little scary if you’re afraid of heights, but just keep it in mind it’s been operating since 1969 and nobody’s fallen off yet!
You can find the Dubrovnik Cable Car at Ulica kralja Petra Krešimira IV, 20000, through the Buža gate. More information about the cable car here.
We stopped for a tasty cappuccino at the Panorama Restaurant & Bar. Unfortunately, it was still early April and the wind left us too chilly to sit outside for long.
After sipping your cappucino-with-a-view, head over to the War Museum behind the Cable Car Station in the Imperial Fort. The museum’s full name is the Museum Dubrovnik in Homeland War and an entrance ticket will cost you 30 HRK ($5). It features photos, videos and other displays of Dubrovnik in the Homeland War from 1991-1995. The photographs are especially powerful, depicting battles raging inside the old city and buildings on fire. It’s terrifying to think many of the locals living in the city today experienced this bloody and devestating war.
Relax on the Stradun
The Stradun is the main street in Old Town Dubrovnik. Although it can get very touristy in the warmer months, it’s the best spot around for souvenirs, cozy little cafes, ice cream shops and bustling restaurants. Spend an afternoon enjoying an ice cream cone and strolling along the cobblestones!
Take a Game of Thrones Tour
If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you can’t leave Dubrovnik without signing up for one of the many GoT tours you’ll find throughout the city. We decided to book our two-hour tour through Dubrovnik Walking Tours. The basic Game of Thrones tour costs 150 HRK (around $25) + 50 HRK entrance fee to the Fortress. If you’ve purchased a Dubrovnik Card, you won’t need to pay the extra 50 HRK unless you have already swiped your card at the Fortress.
Our tour guide, Eva, knew everything there was to know about Game of Thrones and threw in a bit of Dubrovnik history as well. As a bonus, she had actually worked on the GoT set and had stories about all the actors!
Visit the 700 year-old Pharmacy & 14th Century Franciscan Monastery
Nestled in the old city near the Pile Gate is a 700 year-old apothecary hidden in a 14th century Franciscan Monastery. The pharmacy is still in operation and is open to both tourists and customers. Conveniently, the Franciscan Monastery and museum is one of the sites included in the Dubrovnik Card. Although very small, the monastery and attached museum are rich in history and definitely worth a visit if you have the time.
Go Shopping Along the Puča
Only one street away from our Airbnb, the Ulica od Puča runs parallel to the Stradun and is one of the main shopping streets within the city walls. Filled with handmade souvenir shops, leather and jewelry boutiques and quaint shops selling Croatian oils and spices, the Puča is the place to go if you’re hoping to leave Dubrovnik with some souvenirs. The walls are lined with decorative lanterns showcasing the shop names and making the street even more picturesque!
Take a Day-Trip to the Bay of Kotor
Only 40 miles from the walled city, the Bay of Kotor is the perfect day-trip from Dubrovnik! For more information on how to get to Kotor and what to do there, check out my post A Day-Trip to Kotor.
And if you’re planning on traveling up the Dalmatian Coast to Split, don’t forget to check out my city guide The Best of Split, Croatia!
Dubrovnik is the perfect destination for any traveler! Whether you’re looking for spectacular views, delicious food or centuries-old history, Croatia will never disappoint. Hopefully you enjoyed my guide to how to see Dubrovnik in a week!
If you plan on visiting any other countries while in Europe, don’t forget to check out my guides to the continent’s most-popular cities! Like…What to See in Lisbon, How to See Barcelona in a Weekend and The Best of Florence.
As always, thanks for reading and make sure to follow my blog and my adventures on Instagram @madisonsfootsteps.
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