3 Days in Dubrovnik: The BEST Places to Explore
Ah, Dubrovnik. Perhaps you’re enticed to visit because of the Game of Thrones. Or, maybe it’s the photos you’ve seen of the picturesque old town overlooking the Adriatic Sea. Regardless of your reason, you’re here because you have 3 days in Dubrovnik and I’m here to show you how to make the most of your time. So, without further ado, let’s jump in!
Accessible Travel Note: Are you a wheelchair user? If so, don’t miss our guide on wheelchair accessibility in Dubrovnik.
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3 Days in Dubrovnik Chart
You’ve got 3 days in Dubrovnik. That’s two travel days. Two nights. And one full day.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a visual kind of person. So, let’s break down your three day stay in Dubrovnik in a chart.
|Day 1||Arrival in Dubrovnik||Take a walking tour (general or Game of Thrones)||Dinner & independent exploration time|
|Day 2||Walk the old town walls||Cable Car and/or Mount Srđ Hike||Sunset cruise|
|Day 3||Lovrijenac Fort OR Lokrum Island||Final exploration of old town OR scenic walk||Departure from Dubrovnik|
Obviously, this Dubrovnik itinerary might not perfectly fit your schedule. Ideally, you’d arrive on your first day in the morning and depart on your last day in the late afternoon or evening.
But if you can’t, don’t fret- the activities on this list are nearly entirely interchangeable to fit your schedule and/or interests.
Now, to the good stuff. Let’s take a look at these activities listed in closer detail.
Day #1 of your 3 days in Dubrovnik
Welcome to Dubrovnik! Let’s begin your itinerary with what to expect when you arrive.
Day 1: Morning
Arrival to Dubrovnik by plane
The Dubrovnik Čilipi Airport receives international flights and is located about 15.5 km (less than 10 miles) from the city center. The drive takes about 20 minutes, or so, depending on traffic to get into the old town. If you’re on a budget, you can take a shuttle bus to the old town, although it would cut into some of the time you have today.
Arrival to Dubrovnik by bus
The main bus station in Dubrovnik is located in the Gruž district, by the ferry terminal. It’s about 3 km from the old town, meaning that you can either take a taxi, public bus, or walk (in order of fastest to slowest).
Day 1: Afternoon
Take a Walking Tour
Dubrovnik is full of great walking tours. Whether you’re looking for a “free” (tip-based) tour, one that’ll take you to Game of Thrones filming locations, or one that’s private and custom to your liking, taking a walking tour is one of the best ways to get acquainted with Dubrovnik.
Walking tours are popular in Dubrovnik. As such, most tours run multiple times a day, including in the afternoon. Depending on how early you arrive, you might even be able to catch a later morning tour.
Generally speaking, Dubrovnik walking tours last around 2 – 3 hours. You can get a feel for the tour options available here.
Day 1: Evening
Dinner & Independent Exploration Time
After you’ve put your legs to work, settle in for a nice dinner. There’s no shortage of restaurant options to choose from; whether you’d like to dine on a quaint alleyway in the old town or up on the cliff overlooking the Adriatic Sea, your eyes and tastebuds will thank you.
Seafood is a must-try when in Dubrovnik. They’re particularly well known for their black risotto dishes, which is made from squid ink.
After you’ve filled up on dinner, put your legs back to work (perhaps with an ice cream in hand) and re-explore the old town. It’s incredibly safe to wander around and with lights dotting the pedestrian streets, it offers a different feel than the daytime.
Looking for nightlife? You’ll find some cool bars in the old town, particularly on the side with the steep hill (opposite the ocean). However, most bars and clubs are located outside the city walls. Give the neighborhood Lapad a try (Copacabana Beach in particular).
Day #2 of your 3 days in Dubrovnik
Your full day in Dubrovnik has arrived! Let’s get you making the most of it with this exciting schedule today.
Day 2: Morning
Walk the old town walls
A word of warning- some of the walking tours include walking the old town walls. So, if you choose a tour that does, your itinerary on Day 3 will give you options for how to fill your time this morning.
Regardless of how you visit the old town walls, the important thing is that you do so. The views from the walls offer the most iconic views of Dubrovnik’s old town and the Adriatic Sea.
While there will be plenty of guides willing to give you a tour, in my opinion, your money is better spent elsewhere. By exploring the old walls independently, you can go at your own pace, fill your camera with photos, and not have to push through crowds within your group (you’ll get your fill of crowd-pushing without them).
Do yourself a favor and beat the crowds by arriving first thing in the morning. The walls open at 8:00am during high season and 9:00am during low season. You can expect it to take about two hours to walk around the entire circumference, and more than that if you stop at one of the restaurants overlooking the Adriatic Sea.
Day 2: Afternoon
Cable Car and/or Mount Srđ Hike
Let’s start with a no-brainer: If you enjoy scenic hikes, check out this guide on taking the Mount Srđ hike. I stumbled upon a nearly abandoned trail which turned out to be my favorite memory of Dubrovnik. I’ve yet to see information about it anywhere else online, so make sure to read about the best way to hike Mount Srđ so that you can see if it’s a good fit for you.
As a little teaser, this would be your view when hiking back to Dubrovnik via this secluded hike:
If you’re unsure about whether or not you’d be able to complete a full hike, rest easy. Dubrovnik’s famous cable car can take you up the mountain, offering jaw-dropping views of the old town along the way. Then, you can hike back down the mountain, using the instructions in my guide. This is both an easier hiking option and one that would offer you views from the literal off-the-beaten-path hiking route.
Finally, there’s the option to enjoy views looking down at Dubrovnik’s old town by means of taking the cable car round trip.
Due to a long-standing city issue involving concession fees, the cable car is sometimes closed. The disagreement has been around since 2010, so check the Dubrovnik Cable Car website before you go to make sure the cable car will be operating.
Day 2: Evening
Life in Dubrovnik revolves around the Adriatic Sea. So naturally, you should aim to get out on the water during the 3 days you have in Dubrovnik. Taking a sunset cruise is the perfect way to do this.
There’s no shortage of agencies offering sunset cruises. Some are short, sightseeing only cruises. Some are dinner cruises. And others are private, romantic ones.
The tours shown below will help give you a start on understanding your options and pricing.
Day #3 of your 3 days in Dubrovnik
It’ll soon be time for you to say your goodbyes to Dubrovnik, but hopefully not before getting the chance to explore a bit more. Below are suggestions for how to spend your final day.
Day 3: Morning
Lovrijenac Fort OR Lokrum Island
Whether you choose to visit Lovrijenac Fort or Lokrum Island depends on a couple of things:
- Whether you already visited Lovrijenac Fort as part of your walking tour (this is likely the case if you took a Games of Thrones walking tour).
- How much time you have (Lovrijenac Fort is a quicker visit than Lokrum Island).
Let’s start with Lovrijenac Fort. The fort is located just outside the old city walls, near Pile Gate. Make sure to save your ticket from the city walls, since you’ll get free entry.
Travel Tip: If you opt out of walking the city walls, I still recommend visiting Lovrijenac Fort. Simply walk up the steps to the ticket booth. You’ll get amazing views of Dubrovnik without needing to pay the entrance fee.
The Lovrijenac Fort is an easy place to visit if you’ll be leaving Dubrovink in the late morning or afternoon since it’s so close to the old town. However, if you’re not leaving Dubrovnik until later in the day, consider a trip to Lokrum Island.
Lokrum Island is a fifteen minute ferry ride from the old town. The ferries typically depart every half hour and your return ticket is valid for anytime, offering great flexibility for you to spend as long (or little) as you’d like once you arrive.
The pedestrian-only island is the perfect place to hike, soak in views of Dubrovnik, relax in a park, and explore old buildings (Game of Thrones fans will find sites of interest here, too). And, of course, taking a selfie with the friendly, wild peacocks and rabbits is a must!
Day 3: Afternoon
Final exploration of old town OR scenic walk
Once your final hours in Dubrovnik arrive, you’ll be the best judge on how to spend the rest of your time. You could easily feel like exploring the old town one last time. However, if you’re looking for something new to do, consider taking a walk down Frana Supila Street.
Frana Supila Street stretches away from Dubrovnik’s old town and isn’t very frequented by tourists- or, at least, not much of it. But you’ll be rewarded with beautiful views of the old town, Adriatic Sea, and pretty, seaside houses if you take this walk.
In order to start this walk, simply exit Ploče Gate and follow Frana Supila Street up along the coast. There’s a gentle incline but overall it’s an easy walk. You can walk along Frana Supila Street for miles, depending on how much time you have.
And, depending on your time, you can easily combine a walk along Frana Supila Street with a final exploration of the old town.
Day 3: Evening
Departure from Dubrovnik
Time goes too quick when you’re on vacation, doesn’t it?
I hope you’ve made it this far. But I get it. Realistically, it can be tough to arrive early or depart late, let alone both. Hopefully, though, Dubrovnik isn’t the end to your exploration of the Balkans, for there are so many incredible destinations to visit.
3 Days in Dubrovnik: Is it enough time?
It’s a heck of a lot more time than many people spend (looking at all you day-trippers). And enough time to see the most popular highlights of Dubrovnik.
But in my humble opinion, if you can spare an extra day or two, it’s worth adding to your three-day trip. There are a lot of great day trips you can take from Dubrovnik- truly manageable day trips- so it’s a great place to base yourself from if packing and unpacking every couple of nights isn’t up your alley.
Is it best to stay inside or outside Dubrovnik’s old town?
With 3 days in Dubrovnik, you’ll have more time than many, but far from an endless amount of time for thumb-twiddling.
Staying in Dubrovnik’s old town is convenient but expensive. If it fits with your budget, by all means, go for it.
Otherwise, book a place within walking distance from the old town. Dubrovnik’s public transportation system is generally good, but even so, it likely isn’t worth taking the time to use it.
Public Transportation in Croatia
Dubrovnik is stunning, but there are dozens of other beautiful destinations in Croatia worth exploring. Buses and ferries are known to fill in advance, especially during the high season for tourism, so I recommend booking your ticket in advance.
For great deals on public transportation in Croatia, I recommend checking out Bookaway. They’ll show you the bus and ferry times you have to choose from and they offer competitive rates so that you don’t have to take precious time during your trip to figure out transportation logistics.
Thoughts & Questions
There’s no doubt about it- Dubrovnik offers an array of activities and endless, stunning scenery to absorb. The places discussed in this post are my personal recommendations for how to spend 3 days in Dubrovnik, but they’re far from the only ones! Share your suggestions for how to spend three days in Dubrovnik or any questions you have about visiting Dubrovnik in the comment section below.
Wishing you a wonderful stay in beautiful Dubrovnik!
P.S.- Thinking about exploring outside of Dubrovnik? Check out our post on taking a day trip to Cavtat.
P.P.S.- Zagreb is Croatia’s stunning but overlooked capital. Learn about what to do with 36 hours there using our Zagreb Itinerary.
Laura’s love for traveling started with a trip to Jamaica. Since then, she’s spent over five years living in Latin America and four years wandering the globe. She’s an early bird and backpacker at heart and can often be spotted with a dog or ten that she’s befriended along the way. Much of the content Laura writes on A Piece of Travel includes details on wheelchair accessibility, with the support of her brother-in-law and sister. You can learn about their accessibility endeavors here.