Dubrovnik in 2 Days: everything you need to know

If you plan to spend your vacation in Croatia, you have to make a quick stop in Dubrovnik. Two days will be enough to discover the medieval charm of this city.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

9 min read

Dubrovnik in 2 Days: everything you need to know

Dubrovnik Cable Car |©Dennis Jarvis

Dubrovnik is a magical and versatile city, known for its medieval charm. Many people come here attracted by its small streets and preserved spaces. To make the most of your stay, I suggest you plan your trip in detail, to define where you plan to eat and sleep. Transportation should not be a concern in this city, as most sites are within walking distance.

If you have two days available, the best option is to start with the old town and its surroundings. This way, you will discover the essence of the Adriatic Stone and take advantage of the best things to do in Dubrovnik. In addition, you will have the opportunity to get to know the most popular and traditional places. On the second day you can relax on the beach or visit the most popular islands.

Day 1: Visit the Pile Gate, the old town, the city walls, the Fortress of St. John and the Dubrovnik cable car.

Pile Gate|©Carlo Columba
Pile Gate|©Carlo Columba

The Adriatic Coast is a city that can be toured in a short time, so it is perfectly suited for quick visits. The streets have shortcuts, and also the city is interconnected through the gates and its walls. I recommend that on your first day you take advantage of Dubrovnik' s best activities that are concentrated in and around the old town.

Pile Gate

The Pile Gate is a must-see, as it is an emblem of the Ragusa Republic. Years ago they were the main entrance to the historical part of the city. It is very popular, as some of the best Game of Thrones tours in Dubrovnik visit this location where multiple scenes were filmed.

It is an excellent starting point if you want to walk around the city. It was built in the 16th century and is a very busy place. It is one of the best preserved medieval defense systems. During the tour you will pass by drawbridges, moats and the statue of Dubrovnik's patron saint, known as St. Blás.

This is one of the best activities in Dubrovnik, as it is educational and recreational. I recommend having a map handy to easily locate the medieval gates and buildings. A few streets away you can stumble upon the Ploce Gate that offers incredible views of the city's Old Port.

Book a Game of Thrones tour of Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik Old Town

From the Pile Gate you can access the Old Town, in less than four minutes on foot. The best Dubrovnik tours offer guided tours to get to know the area in depth. It is a very complete area that I recommend you explore thoroughly. Some of the places you cannot miss are:

  • Stradun Street: it is a small street with multiple shortcuts that interconnect the city. It is very bustling and touristy, as it is home to the Orlando Column and the Onofrio Fountain. You will also find traditional stores, restaurants and locations where scenes from Games of Thrones were filmed.
  • Sponza Palace: it is a multifaceted building that served as a mint, school, customs house and armory. You will find many interesting facts about the Croatian War of Independence, so it is ideal if you are planning things to do in Dubrovnik with children. It is a two-minute walk from Stradum Street.
  • Museum of Natural History: this is one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik, as you can learn about the fauna and flora of the area. You can explore embalmed animals and very famous exhibits. It is a three minute walk from the palace.
  • Dubrovnik Cathedral: here are the remains of the city's patron saint, so it is a mythical space that you cannot miss. It was built in 1713 and its dome can be seen from different points of the city. It is located two minutes walk from the museum.

Undoubtedly, the Adriatic Stone will fascinate you with its monuments and emblematic sites, connected to medieval history. The old town is one of the areas that can be appreciated in a short time, so it is ideal for short itineraries.

Book a guided tour of Dubrovnik's Old Town

Dubrovnik City Walls

On the Adriatic coast you can get anywhere on foot in a short time, so I suggest you continue the tour and head to the Dubrovnik Walls. Specifically, they are located a five-minute walk from the cathedral. They were built in the 15th century to protect the city from external threats and clashes during wars.

Every nook and cranny is steeped in history and was one of the main locations for the filming of Games of Thrones. As you walk around the area, you will come across the fortresses of San Juan, Minceta, Bokar and Revelin. These are high points that offer breathtaking panoramic views. The walls offer fully preserved ancient areas, restored spaces and new areas, this can be noticed as some roofs are new.

Book a Game of Thrones tour of Dubrovnik

St. John's Fortress

In mid-afternoon you can walk to St. John's Fortress, located less than ten minutes from the city walls. Cabs are also available in the city for no more than 5 euros, in case you don't want to walk too far. Upon arrival you will find an impressive structure that was built in 1346 to protect the city's port.

Note that part of the fortress was demolished years ago, but it was rebuilt and currently spins the port's chains. There is also an older section that was preserved. It is an ideal activity if you are looking for things to do with children in Dubrovnik, as it houses an aquarium and the Maritime Museum.

Also, from the night cruises you can see the fortress raised above the city. It is an ideal plan if you are looking for a quiet walk or want to take advantage of the best tours of Dubrovnik.

Book a night boat tour in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik Cable Car

To end the day I recommend you to go to the Dubrovnik cable car, located nine minutes walk from the fortress. Here you can live an unparalleled experience from the top of the city. After a ride of about four minutes, you will be 778 meters above sea level.

It is one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik, as at the top level you can enjoy zip-line jumps, ATV rides, a revolving restaurant and a viewing platform that offers views of nearby islands, the city walls and other landmarks.

The best time to experience this experience is at sunset, which is around 7:30 pm. If you are planning things to do in Dubrovnik in June, keep in mind that it tends to get crowded, so I recommend arriving early. Another option is to take advantage of the local terraces, such as Buza Bar which offers Mediterranean-style views.

Book a zip line experience in Dubrovnik

Day 2: Tour Lovrijenac Fortress, Buza Beach, Mljet National Park and Elaphiti islands.

Lovrijenac|©Davi Barbosa
Lovrijenac|©Davi Barbosa

On the Dubrovnik coast there are hidden treasures that you can explore in a short time. You can start your day at Fort Lovrijenac or Fort St. Lawrence, where you'll get amazing views of the city. Later, get your sunscreen ready and enjoy the sun's rays at one of the best local beaches. You can also venture to Mljet National Park and the Elaphiti Islands, located just a few minutes away by ferry.

Fort Lovrijenac

To start the day I recommend you to climb one of the most important fortresses of the city, it is the Fort Lovrijenac or Fort of St. Lawrence. It is ideal at any time of the year, because it offers panoramic views of the medieval streets and nearby islands. The best Game of Thrones tours will take you to see this building in a guided experience, as multiple scenes from the series were filmed here.

It is located on the entire tip of the coast and was built in 1018, so it tends to be very crowded. To enter you must cancel a fee of approximately 13 euros per person, usually audio guides are offered to help you learn more about this rock formation and its historical implication. It is open from 10:00 a.m., so it's a great option to start the day.

Note that if you pay the entrance fee to the ramparts, you can access this fortress completely free of charge. The best boat tours also offer breathtaking views of this fort, but from another perspective.

Buza Beach

To continue your trip, I suggest you explore the colorful beaches of Dubrovnik and go to Buza Beach. It is located less than twelve minutes walk from the fort, you can also take a cab. Nearby there are residential areas where you can spend the night, for convenience. It is ideal if you are planning things to do in Dubrovnik in September, as you can take advantage of the last rays of summer sun.

At Buza Beach you will find some of the best things to do in Dubrovnik, as there are beautiful coves, restaurants and passages through which you can escape to the old town. You can take advantage of cliff jumping, in case you have previous experience. You will also find banana boats, canoeing, and jet skiing.

There are guided experiences that offer aquatic adventures, such as kayaking or diving into the depths of the sea. Remember that in order to snorkel or dive, a reasonable amount of time must pass before and after boarding a plane. At least twelve hours, since you absorb nitrogen and can suffer heart or respiratory diseases.

Book a kayak snorkeling tour in Dubrovnik

Mljet National Park

If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Dubrovnik, I propose a different plan. For this you need to drive from Buza Beach to the port where the ferries depart. The cost of the ticket per person is around 10 euros, but it is worth it. Mljet National Park is located about an hour from the coast, taking ferry 9807. Specifically, it is located west of the island Mljet.

The best excursions from Dubrovnik take you to the Croatian national park. It has striking lakes and other nature offerings. The entrance fee per person is about 13 euros. During this excursion you will come across mountains, cliffs with crystal clear waters and lots of green areas.

If you enjoy outdoor sports, this park is for you as it is ideal for hiking. You can also take advantage of a bike ride to get to know the area comfortably. In addition, you will find ruins that belonged to communities of the Pomena people, which is currently consolidated as the tourist center of the area.

Book an excursion to Mljet National Park

Elaphiti Islands

Before returning to the city, I recommend a quick stop at the Elaphiti Islands. First you must take a cab from the park to the port, to board ferry 9807 again. The trip usually takes thirty minutes, but it is well worth it as you will pass by small islets. In addition, you will enjoy the calm waters of the Adriatic Sea.

You can also take advantage of the best Dubrovnik cruises, which offer guided experiences that take you to see the most beautiful islands in the surrounding area. It can be considered a three-in-one excursion, as it features three stunning coves that you can visit on the same day.

You are not allowed to take cars on the ferries, but they can be covered on foot in a short time. In this archipelago you will find quiet trails as well as beautiful beaches. You can take a boat to the surrounding islands of Koločep, Lopud and Sipan. From here the sunsets are breathtaking and there are picturesque villages not to be missed. To return to Dubrovnik keep in mind that the last ferry of the day leaves at 6:30 p.m. and takes approximately forty-five minutes to reach the destination.

Book a cruise on the Elafiti Islands in Dubrovnik

A comparison between the different things to see and do in Dubrovnik in 2 days

Buza Beach Bar|©Aleksei Kavasin
Buza Beach Bar|©Aleksei Kavasin
  • Day 1: Visit the Pile Gate, the Old Town, St. John's Fortress and the Dubrovnik cable car.
  • Start the day at the Pile Gate which provides access to the whole city, continue exploring the old town, the passages of Dubrovnik's walls and one of the most important fortresses. You can finish the day enjoying the views of the coast from the top.
  • I recommend you to move on foot and take advantage of the city's cable car.
  • Day 2: Tour Lovrijenac Fortress, Buza Beach, Mljet National Park and the Elaphiti islands.
  • Use the day to explore the Fortress of Lovrijenac, as well as Buza Beach and some of the surrounding islands.
  • You can travel by cab, bus or ferry.

Undoubtedly, this hidden pearl is a dream city that will probably leave you in awe. There are many things to do, the best thing is that most attractions are very close. You can even travel to the nearby islands in a short time, using the ferry. If you still want to continue exploring its wonders, I suggest you take at least 7 days in Dubrovnik and make the most of your time.