croatia, dubrovnic, sea

How to make the most of 48 Hours in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, the beautiful city on the Adriatic coast

Dubrovnik is a beautiful Medieval city in Croatia on the Stunning Adriatic coast. The city boasts a wealth of attractions to explore and is becoming an extremely popular place for tourists to visit. But is 48 hours enough time in Dubrovnik?

Many commercial airlines offer cheap flights from UK airports direct to Dubrovnik, and with a flight time of approximately 2 hours 30 minutes, it makes for an ideal weekend getaway.
If your thinking about booking a mini-break to Dubrovnik (highly recommended) and you want to make the most of your time there, I hope to save you a little time by showing you how to spend 48 hours in Dubrovnik. Our time is priceless so I hope my guide takes some of the stress away from trying to plan your trip.

Dubrovnik or also known as the “pearl of the Adriatic” is a beautiful, historic city that really is worth a visit. It’s becoming ever more popular for a mini-break. The city is one of the most walled cities in the world, in fact, the walls that surrounded the historic center are 2km long. Dubrovnik is a perfect blend of past, present, and culture.

I would suggest flying into Dubrovnik early in the morning or later in the evening so you can get 2 full days here. For a 2 night stay in Dubrovnik, I would recommend staying at the Rixos Premium hotel Dubrovnik.

The gorgeous view from the hotel room balcony

This 5-star hotel features 310 luxury rooms, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, 3 restaurants, an award-winning spa, live music, and a casino. The hotel is just a 15-minute stroll to the center of the historic old town and overlooks this beautiful city. Get a room with a sea view, you won’t regret it, the views from the rooms are simply stunning as you look out over the Adriatic sea.

Day one

Morning

Rise early and after breakfast head out to see the old city walls. The reason it’s best to head here first is to try and beat the main crowds and avoid the busiest time of day. These huge limestone walls were built to protect this beautiful medieval city from foreign attack, as well as safeguarding its independence. The city walls are Dubrovnik’s claim to fame and you can see why. If you’ve ever watched the tv series Game Of Thrones, you will be sure to recognize some of the scenes while walking along the walls.

The city walls of Dubrovnik date back to the 13th century and run 1,940 meters and at its highest point stand at 25 meters. To walk all the way along the walls will take you approximately 2 hours but take the time to admire the stunning panoramic views of the city and the Adriatic coast. The walk can be fairly strenuous as its quite steep in places so be prepared and take drinks with you, especially on hot days.

There are 3 different entrances to the city walls, there is The Pile Gate, Ploce Gate, and St John’s fort. The Pile Gate is the main entrance and tends to be the busiest, the entrance used to be a wooden drawbridge that was pulled up at night to stop any unwanted visitors to the old city but has now been replaced by a stone one. You can walk along the city walls by yourself or you can do the guided tour, highly recommended if you want to learn more about the walls and its history.

The walls are open daily all year round, except 25th December. The entrance to the walls is 200 HRK ( Croatian Kuna), for adults, this is approximately £24 and 50 HRK (£6) for students and children. If you can buy your tickets in advance.

The stunning views of the Adriatic from the Dubrovnik city walls
The stunning views of the Adriatic from the Dubrovnik city walls

Lunch

By now you may have worked up an appetite and fancy a bite to eat and something to drink so head to Stradun in the old town. Stradun is Dubrovnik’s main thoroughfare And runs right through The old town. The completely pedestrianized street stretching from The Pile gate to the old town’s port, Is surrounded by the city walls. Both sides of the streets are lined with cafes, restaurants, and souvenir shops. The street is easy to find, just follow the crowds, in fact, nearly all the old town streets lead here anyway.

Stradun in Dubrovnik’s old town

If you wanted a quick lunchtime snack, a light bite, or a pastry try the Babic bakery, here you will find a selection of fresh pastries and bread as well as tasty coffee and sweet treats. This is one of the cheaper lunch options. If you would prefer a more relaxing sit-down lunch try Gradska Kavana Arsenal. This cafe/restaurant is a must-visit, come and sit on the terrace on a lovely sunny day, directly overlooking Stradun, and people watch with a coffee while you’re surrounded by beautiful history and splendid architecture. You can enjoy some delicious food here at a reasonable price, including burgers, steaks, and fish. It’s also very popular with the locals, and if the locals like it, it must be good.

Afternoon

Stick around the old town and spend a few hours just wandering the streets here looking at some of the famous sights like the Church of Saint Blaise, the Assumption Cathedral, the City Hall, Orlando’s column, Franciscan Monastery, and many more. I suggest picking up a map from your hotel to help you get your bearings. The old town is quite small so you will be able to cover most of it in a couple of hours.

Orlando’s column Dubrovnik

Visit the Fortress of St John, your city walls ticket will get you in here. Located near the old port, St Johns fortress was built as part of Dubrovnik’s defense system, to protect the entrance to the city’s harbor from attacks coming in from the sea. Construction of the Fortress started in 1346 and has had many updates since. Recognizable by the steep incline walls on one side and the round curved shape walls on the other side. Today the Fortress St John is home to the Maritime Museum and the Aquarium, but you will have to buy a separate ticket to get into these.

Fortress of St John, Dubrovnik

Evening/Night

After freshening up back at your hotel I recommend heading back to the old town for a meal and a few drinks. The old town looks exceptionally beautiful at night with its medieval streets and alleyways and candlelit restaurants and bars. There are a couple of restaurants I would recommend for you first night, the Restaurant 1836 and the Restaurant 360.

Restaurant 1836 – restaurant 1836 is located near Pile Gate and the entrance to the city walls. This splendid Mediterranean restaurant is set in a stunning location overlooking the Adriatic coast and the Fortress Lovrijenac. A truly spectacular place for an evening meal and drinks, Sample some of the finest Dubrovnik cuisine and some of the highest quality wines while watching the sunset over the calm Adriatic waters. Dishes include fish dishes, fresh pizzas, vegetarian and meat specials, With the Beefsteak Dubravka a personal favorite. The cocktails here are delicious too, Weather you like alcoholic and nonalcoholic.

Restaurant 360 – restaurant 360 is located at the world heritage site UNESCO, close to Dominican Monastery. The stunning dining terrace runs along the old city walls with an unrivaled view of the sea and the port. This is a Michelin starred fine dining restaurant that offers two 5 course tasting menus and an A La Carte menu and a huge selection of the finest wines from the major wine regions. The menu here is a little bit more pricey than other restaurants around, but the restaurant’s atmosphere and surroundings make it well worth it.

Day two

Morning

There is no time to lay in when you are on a mini-break, it’s all about making the most of your time here. So again get up early and head to the Dubrovnik cable car, and experience quite simply the best views of Dubrovnik. Take the cable car to the top of Mount Srd and experience the breathtaking views of the city’s old town, the Adriatic coast, and on a clear day, you can see up to 37 miles. It is possible to hike up the mountain, but take the cable car, even if you are scared of heights. The trip to the top in the cable car only takes a few minutes and when you reach the top there are plenty of activities for you to do, As well as having a cafe and restaurant. You could have an evening meal in the restaurant if you decided to come later in the day, the views are simply incredible at sunset, although I didn’t get to see this as I already had something else planned out for my last evening here.

There is more to do up here than to simply just admire the view. You can visit the Homeland War Museum that highlights the events of the civil war between 1991-1995 that culminated in the break up of Yugoslavia. Or if you’re looking a bit more adventure take the buggy safari, where you can drive a buggy off-road and see sights such as former minefields left from the war, lots of wildlife, and an amazing 360-degree view of the city of Dubrovnik. These are not included in the cable car ticket.

  • A round trip will cost £18 (€20) per adult
  • A single trip £10 (€11) per adult
  • A round trip for children between ages 4-12 £7 (€8)
  • A single trip for children £4.50 (€5.30)
Stunning view over Dubrovnik and the Adriatic coast

Afternoon

Time to visit another of the city’s stunning and historic locations, the Fort Lovrijenac. This impressive fortress lies to the west, outside the city walls and the setting for many scenes from the fantasy drama series Game Of Thrones. Fort Lovrijenac stands 37 meters high on a sheer cliff overlooking the sea. The fort took only just 3 months to build but was constantly updated. Some of the walls of the Fort are a staggering 12 meters thick. The fortress has 3 terraces and was defended by 10 huge cannons that are still there today.

There are lots of steps here but the view from the top is simply stunning so it’s worth the sore legs the next day! If you love taking photos you won’t want to miss the opportunity to get some great shots here.

Evening

If you don’t mind being on the water then I highly recommend the 3-hour Sunset Kayaking tour. A memorable way to spend a warm summer evening exploring caves, beaches, and drinking wine. The sun setting on the Adriatic coast is one of the most beautiful sights and it’s not to be missed. Get a different view of Dubrovnik as you paddle past the city walls and some of the city’s best sights including exploring the nearby island of Lokrum before reaching the Betina cave. Paddle ashore and grab your free snack which is included in the tour price, and consists of a sandwich, fruit, water, and a glass of wine, before doing a bit of snorkeling.

The tour guides are excellent and put anybody who has never kayaked before at ease. So even if you have never been in a kayak, I highly recommend this 3-hour sunset kayaking tour. Oh and don’t forget your go-pro!

The 3-hour sunset kayaking tour costs £32 (€35.50) and your snack is included.

3-hour sunset kayaking tour in Dubrovnik
3-hour sunset kayaking tour in Dubrovnik

Other useful information for your trip to Dubrovnik

If you haven’t got an airport transfer already booked with your flight and hotel then you will need either a taxi or a bus. A taxi from the airport will cost you between 250-300 KN, roughly £30-35, and will take about 20 minutes. The bus from the airport to the city center will cost approx 55 KN or £6.50 and takes approximately 30 minutes.

The currency used here is the Croatian Kuna or KN and the current exchange rate is £1 = 8.39 KN and €1 = 7.56 KN

The most expensive time of year to visit Dubrovnik is June to September and this is also the hottest time of year to visit with temperatures often 30 degrees Celcius and above.

Looking down on the city walls of Dubrovnik

There you have my guide to spending 48 hours in Dubrovnik, I hope this has given you an insight into this beautiful city and all it has to offer. I would love to hear stories of your trip to Dubrovnik, leave a comment down below.

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