Dubrovnik Croatia Travel Guide and weekend Trip Itinerary
- by Ari Travels
Mid-evil magic is the definition of Dubrovnik. This picturesque orange-roofed old city is full of incredible history, turquoise waters, beaches, and delicious food, just to name a few. Dubrovnik has been the Game of Thrones staple and has walls surrounding its old town because they were created so intruders couldn’t get in years ago! Croatia gives off both Greece and Italy vibes and is becoming a trendy tourist destination this summer for many reasons. The stories this town has to tell are genuinely one of a kind. Dubrovnik can easily be explored in just a few days, which makes for an excellent option for a weekend trip. In addition, Croatia is affordable compared to its more popular cousins, such as Greece and Italy.
Things to know about Dubrovnik, Croatia
Make sure to have Google maps AND data on your phone to use for maps
The streets here are slightly confusing in Old Town because there are so many alleyways. It can be difficult to find your accommodation or popular areas in or around Dubrovnik that you want to see without Google Maps, so make sure to have data on your phone ahead of time and download Google Maps (not apple maps). I would highly suggest getting the Airalo App and downloading an eSim Card instead. Airalo is an app that allows you to have affordable cell data plans worldwide without needing a physical Sim Card, which makes using your phone without wifi extremely convenient. Use my code ARIAHN516 for $ off!
Tap water is safe to drink!
In fact, the main square has an old water fountain where you can fill up! Make sure to bring a reusable water bottle to save money.
European outlets are used here
Eating out can be quite expensive. However, if you want to save money, one market in the old town has essentials for simple meals.
They do NOT use euro or take the euro
They have their own currency, which is the Kuna. Credit cards are mostly accepted but always make sure to have a debit card on hand for ATM usage.
I would recommend the Charles Schwab Debit Card to withdraw cash from ATMs to avoid paying ATM fees. The Charles Schwab Debit Card will reimburse ALL your ATM fees at the end of the month. It's saved me hundreds and probably thousands of dollars. When using your credit card to book accommodation or transportation etc. I recommend using a card that doesn’t charge international transaction fees, such as the Capital One Venture card.
Prepare to walk
Taxis do not come into the old town, so be prepared to get your steps in! The old town is not very large, but you will be walking a lot. Bring sunscreen! The sun gets hot here.
To save money on accommodation, consider traveling during shoulder season
Yes, Croatia is a more affordable country than Greece or Italy, but it's still Europe with high price tags in June, July, and August. Consider traveling here either in April-May or September-October. The weather will still be warm, but the prices will significantly decrease as tourism is not as flooded.
How to get to Dubrovnik, Croatia
Don’t take a taxi. They will charge at least €40 one way IF traffic doesn’t get in the way. Instead, Dubrovnik has a great airport shuttle service that drops off right in Old Town, which will most likely be where you are staying. For $13 you can get to and from the airport.
When you exit customs, there will be an official shuttle service stand called Platanus Travel Agency. You can purchase a ticket there and hop on the next available one. It’s simple.
To get back to the airport from old town via the shuttle, you can go to the shuttle station, located across from the cable car office, and buy a ticket. Most days, it starts operating at 4:30 am every hour, but I would go to the shuttle center and check one day prior to what the schedule will be for the next day because it does change. I have linked the GPS coordinates for where the shuttle service is in old town here!
Where to stay in Dubrovnik, Croatia
Below are hostel recommendations for a budget traveler willing to stay in a dorm-style room. I always book through Hostelworld for the best prices. Again, going to Croatia in April-May or September-October, prices for accommodation will be decreased by about $20.
Hostel Options (click for more)
Rooms City Central Old Town: $50/night in peak season
Hostel and Rooms Ana: $60/night in peak season
If you aren’t into hostels, there are plenty of affordable options on Booking.com
Major Apartments: $110/night- Can sleep up to 4
Adriatic Apartments: $120/night- can sleep up to 4
The Steps of Old Town (where I stayed): $240/night- can sleep up to 4
Day 1: Old Town
Walk the Walls of Dubrovnik
The walls highlight this old city and are the most iconic things to do when visiting Dubrovnik. Entry into the walls will cost $25 per person. I suggest going right when it opens around 8 am to beat the crowds!
There is a reason why this beach is the most popular because it’s also the most breathtaking beach in Dubrovnik. The beach can get pretty packed due to obvious reasons, so I suggest after walking the walls, you head over to the beach to reserve a free lounge chair, and swim in the turquoise waters of the Adriatic Sea and enjoy the sun and vibes for a few hours! There are also restaurants here in case you get hungry. Don’t forget sunscreen as it gets hot!
Get Lost in Old Town
In Old Town itself, there are many alleyways and incredible architecture to explore when wandering around Old Town. From point A to point B only takes about 20 minutes to walk, so the town can easily be explored. Make sure to visit the Game of Throne Stairs.
Grab Dinner at Mia Culpra Restaurant
This restaurant is slightly pricy, but it’s worth it to treat yourself for one nice meal, right? They have hands down the best pizza, pasta, and appetizers you could imagine. If you decide to go here, you must get the pesto pasta, margarita pizza, and bruschetta with prosciutto meat. The portions are large, so you and a friend could easily get two items and share.
Day 2: Take a day trip to a neighboring country
Spending more than one day in Dubrovnik makes it worth taking a day trip to a neighboring country. I went to Montenegro, and it was a great way to see a new place without having to fly or drive myself (you can’t drive here over the borders because Montenegro is not a part of the European Union, so it’s almost impossible to cross). The tour only costs $55, which includes transportation, a boat ride, and a free walking tour. Montenegro is a beautiful little country full of untouched landscapes. It’s a lot less crowded than other countries around it. Don’t forget to bring a swimsuit because you can take a dip in the ocean here and there is a little beach club too! During your tour here, you will visit the famous Lady On the Rock church and the old town of Kotor. Do not pass up this opportunity to visit Montenegro.
I hope this post has convinced you to incorporate the wonderful country of Croatia into your European backpacking route. From the people to the vibes and the activities, I truly had a wonderful time here and look forward to my next visit! Please feel free to comment or ask me any questions regarding your upcoming trip. For more information about traveling to Croatia, you can book a consultation call with me or request a custom itinerary by heading to this page. Happy traveling!