Did you know that Dubrovnik became a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site in 1979? Or that the historical centre is also surrounded by over 2 kilometres of ancient walls – most of which you can walk along!
I learnt these fascinating little nuggets of information during my trip to Croatia. In this Dubrovnik 2 day itinerary, I go through the details of how you can make the most out of your trip to Dubrovnik.
The city is located next to the gorgeous blue waters of the Adriatic, blessed with a warm Mediterranean climate during the summer and mild, yet bright-skied winters. Because of this, you can visit Dubrovnik all year round. Although you could easily spend a lot longer than just two days in Dubrovnik, and really get under the skin of the city, it is possible to see all of the major landmarks in Dubrovnik in two days.
So, what is Dubrovnik known for? Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is Game of Thrones. Confession; I’ve never seen a single episode of Game of Thrones!.. one day, perhaps?! Long before GoT was a thing, I had Dubrovnik on my Croatia Bucket List. I had been swooned by the stunning images of the sandy coloured walls, nestled between the gleaming white streets all against the azure backdrop of the sea.
You’ll also find an abundance of grand and ornate buildings which ooze history and the famous city wall walk which encapsulates the UNESCO listed Historical Centre. The great thing is that Dubrovnik is a fairly compact city, so you can easily see the best of the city with just 2 days in Dubrovnik.
- Staying longer in Croatia, then check out other places of interest in the country here.
- If you’re staying in Dubrovnik for a while, then find out about these great day trips from Dubrovnik.
- If you’re ready to plan your trip, then take a look at these useful Travel Resources.
- You can also download this handy checklist for this article so you don’t miss out on any of the best things to see in Dubrovnik.
No time to read the full article now? Why not Pin it for later
This post may contain affiliate links. To find out what this means and more information visit my disclosure page.
At A Glance - 15 Top things to see in Dubrovnik Old Town
Hands up if you’re wondering is 2 day enough in Dubrovnik? In, short, yes. You’ll be able to see all the main highlights. Or perhaps you’re only interested in finding out what the top famous landmarks of Dubrovnik are? Well, cast your eyes over this list. If you’re not sure what to do in Dubrovnik in two days, or if you’ve only got limited time to visit the city then be sure to add all these places to your Dubrovnik itinerary.
- Dubrovnik’s City Walls
- Onofrio Fountain
- The Church of St. Blaise
- Saint Ignatius Church
- Dubrovnik Old Harbour
- Minčeta Tower
- City Gates – The Pile Gate & The Ploce Gate
- Franciscan Monastery
- Fort Lovrijenac
- Rector’s Palace
- Jesuit Stairs
- Dubrovnik Cathedral
- Lokrum Island
- Srd Hill & Dubrovnik Cable Car
- The resident cats of Dubrovnik (they are everywhere!)
At A Glance - Dubrovnik in two days itinerary
If you’re after a pre-made guide on what to do in Dubrovnik in 2 days, then check out this overview. Here’s a quick rundown of how each day will pan out. You’ll get to see the historic centre, walk the ancient walls, visit Lokrum Island, go up Srd Hill as well as a load more iconic Dubrovnik landmarks, you can download this Dubrovnik landmark checklist here.
- DUBROVNIK IN 2 DAYS – Day 1
Morning – Explore Dubrovnik Old Town
Afternoon – Catch the boat across Lokrum Island
Evening – Cable car up to Srd Hill for a Panoramic Sunset and Sundowner
- DUBROVNIK IN 2 DAYS – Day 2
Morning – Walk the Old City Walls of Dubrovnik & Fort Lovrijenac
Afternoon – Visit Dubrovnik’s fabulous Museums and Cathedrals
Evening – Sunset Kayak Tour
- Bonus Day or Alternative Suggestion
Escape the crowds and head for Cavtat
- DUBROVNIK IN 2 DAYS – Day 1
Dubrovnik, Croatia – History in a nutshell
There have been settlements in the area which date back to Roman times. However, it wasn’t until the 13th century that Dubrovnik began to take on more of an appearance of what we still recognise today.
The walls of Dubrovnik which surround the Old City gave it the name ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’. Looking down from above, the gleaming and light coloured circular-ish shaped city was surrounded by the sapphire colour of the sea.
Historically, a moat separated Dubrovnik City from the mainland and the walls were used as the City’s main defence. The walls of Dubrovnik run for 1940 metres (6365 feet), most of this you can walk around. The Dubrovnik Wall Walk is intersected by forts, lookout towers, portholes and turrets.
Although The Walls of Dubrovnik dating back to the 13th century, additions, earthquakes and of course the civil war in the ’90s mean that it’s changed considerably over the centuries.
In 1979 The City of Dubrovnik became a UNESCO World Heritage Site, then in 1991 was heavily shelled during the breakup of Yugoslavia. This caused detrimental damage to the iconic Old City. During the ’90s and ’00s, Dubrovnik underwent major reconstruction, restoration and repairs to bring the City back to its glory.
Dubrovnik 2 Day Itinerary – How to spend an amazing Two days in Dubrovnik
2 days in DUBROVNIK - Day 1
Day 1 – Morning - Walk around Dubrovnik Old Town
Naturally, this 2 days in Dubrovnik itinerary starts with getting a feel for the city. The best way to do this is by exploring the Old Town.
If you’re visiting during peak season (July and August), I recommend starting early before the crowds arrive. Dubrovnik gets busy, and by that, I mean absolutely rammed! Tourists flock to Dubrovnik Old City in their droves and after several cruise ships and coaches have offloaded, the place starts to resemble Disney Land, rather than a romantic medieval destination. The temperature is also a lot cooler earlier in the day too.
Good to know.
If you’re wanting to get those gorgeous photos without anyone in them, then you and your camera NEED to be there early, we’re talking 6-7 am. I AM NOT a morning person in the slightest, however, I knew I wanted to get images of the city without what felt like the world and his dog in every one of my photos. The light is also beautiful at this time.
To save time during your 48 hours in Dubrovnik, it’s worth either doing a bit of homework beforehand, so you know exactly where to go. alternatively, you can book on to an early morning tour of Dubrovnik. They will show you all the best spots in the city. ensuring you get the most out of the quieter hours by taking you to see all of the must-see in Dubrovnik places before the crowds get there.
If you don’t mind the crowds or hate early mornings then opt for a small group tour of Dubrovnik instead.
Apart from the beautiful cobbled streets, some of the highlights are the main street which is called Stradun and the Jesuit Stairs. If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, be sure to make a bee-line for all the major highlights first, because they get particularly busy.
After doing some early morning exploration, as the crowds start to grow, head to the side streets to chill over a late breakfast or brunch. With such an early start, it’s quite a satisfying feeling to know you’ve got some awesome crowd-free shots and seen loads of Dubrovnik Old Town before the hoards show up.
Day 1 – Afternoon - Catch the boat across Lokrum Island
By the afternoon, the heat in Dubrovnik can get intense. It makes for the perfect sense then to escape the heat of the sun and the crowds by catching the boat over to nearby Lokrum Island. It’s just a 15-minute journey to take a mere 6oo metres from the Old City!
Lokrum Island is a Nature Reserve just off the coast of Dubrovnik Old Town. Various boats to Lokrum Island depart from just outside the Old City Walls at The Old Port
There are lots of different island hopping tours available, however, you only need the return ticket to Lokrum Island. There are lots of vendors selling tickets, so ask around for the best price. Once on Lokrum Island, you will be ushered into the little cottage which is where you pay the admission fee.
This Dubrovnik 2 days itinerary is intense, so visiting the nature reserve is a welcome opportunity to chill in the shade of the pine, olive and cypress trees. away from the crowds. If you had longer, you could easily spend a whole day, just here.
Look out for the colony of very tame rabbits that will come and eat out of your hand if you offer them food. There are also peacocks wandering about too
If you’re worried about tan-lines, fret not, Lokrum Island also boasts its own nudist beach!
Lokrum Island Highlights
- Botanical Gardens
- Fort Royal
- Benedictine Monastery
If you’re are a Game of Thrones fan then look out for one of the props used in the series. You’ll find a Throne in the museum under the Monastery!
After an afternoon of chill, catch the return ferry back to the mainland. It picks up at the little jetty where you paid the entrance fee.
Find out more about Lokrum Island, here.
Scams to avoid - Getting to Lokrum Island from Dubrovnik
Beware A LOT of companies will try and sell you some form of ‘Island Hopping Tour’. If you have longer and aren’t doing Dubrovnik in 2 days, then it’s perhaps worthwhile, but a lot of them seemed overpriced.
Some of the ticket touts will also tell you that you can only get to Lokrum Island as part of one of these day tours. This is absolute nonsense. So, ask around for the best price. Better still, buy your ticket in advance so you know exactly what you are paying for.
Lokrum Island Alternative
If you don’t want to take a trip over to Lokrum Island, but still want to enjoy the shade of the trees somewhere away from the crowds, you might be wondering what to do in Dubrovnik instead. A great option is to visit Park Gardac. It’s located to the west of the Old City walls.
Up a hill and away from the crowds it does offer a break from the heat and the people, there are some nice vantage points along the cliff face here for some nice photos looking back over Dubrovnik Old Town and the Fort.
Not sure which one to visit? Check out these photos of Lokrum Island and Gardac Park here to help you decide.
Day 1 – Evening - Go up Srd Hill and watch the sunset
One of the best times to go up the Dubrovnik Cable Car is about an hour before sunset during ‘The Golden Hour’. There is still enough light to see Dubrovnik Old Town by day, then watch the beautiful golden light hitting the rooftops as the sun begins to set. Wait even longer and you’ll see The Walls of Dubrovnik illuminated as the Old Town lights come on.
To find the station, head out of Dubrovnik Old Town and up the hill, to the well signposted Dubrovnik Cable Car. The cable car goes up Srd Hill, which is where you’ll find the best vantage point for a Sunset over Dubrovnik.
If you are feeling energetic and have the time, you can walk up, alternatively do the roundtrip on the Cable Car. Either way, it’s a 412-metre climb. Alternatively, you could get a taxi to the top
IF you decide to walk, the footpath is a well-defined zig-zag path up the face of Srd Hil. The walk is free to do – but you may be pushed for time on this two days in Dubrovnik itinerary unless you are an exceptionally fast hiker. You could come to a compromise and walk up and get the cable car down or vice versa.
At the top, you’ll find Fort Imperial as well as a museum. You can also go on a 4×4 off-road buggy safari!
There is also a bar and restaurant, although, if you plan on eating here, book in advance, especially at peak times. If not, order a drink and watch the sunset while admiring the view.
The restaurant and bar are attached to the Cable Car station, and offers stunning views of Dubrovnik Old City, Lokrum Island and the surrounding areas; on a clear day you can see up to 60km (37miles).
Best view of Dubrovnik Old Town – the official vs the non-official
Here’s one for lovers of the ‘gram. One of the most iconic and Instagrammable places in Dubrovnik is the view from above. There are the official viewing platforms (the ones with the fencing around them) and then the unofficial ones (the ones out on the rocky outcrops). To find the unofficial ones, just follow the well-trodden dirt paths, out of the back of the restaurant and then around to the shrubland.
Have dinner at a delicious local restaurant
When you’re finished with the panoramic view, take the cable car ride back down to the Dubrovnik Old City. There’s plenty of choice in Dubrovnik. Being a vegetarian, I’m always on the hunt for places to eat with great menu options.
Veggie & Vegan food in Dubrovnik – Top Recommendation
I LOVED a place called Nishta, a cute little restaurant with pretty colourful tiles and décor with a delicious menu that changes daily, the food is freshly prepared and perfect to get a vegetable fix. I found a lot of the cuisine in Dubrovnik very carb and seafood-heavy; I’m a fan of neither! So Nishta this ticked all my boxes for something fresh and healthy
After dinner, take a walk around the city. Don’t forget to go outside of the city walls to see them lit up. If you want to find the best parts of the city illuminated at night, you can join a Dubrovnik at night tour.
To see the best parts of the city illuminations, take a look at this Dubrovnik by Night Walking Tour
Two day itinerary Dubrovnik - Day 2
Day 2 - Morning - Walk the Old City Walls of Dubrovnik & Visit Fort Lovrijenac
Prepare for another early start on the second day of this Dubrovnik two days itinerary.
The gates for the Dubrovnik City Wall Walk open at 8 am. People are queuing to buy tickets and to get onto the walls by 7.30 am! A heads up here, buy a skip the line ticket and bypass the queue.
Most people are queuing at Pile Gate. Here’s a tip I took from a local regarding the entry to the City Wall Walk. Start at the Ploce Gate, fewer people start here AND you get to be on the much more interesting side of the City Walls before the masses get there.
Insider Tip from a Dubrovnikan!
Start at the entrance nearest to the Ploce Gate, this is the much more interesting side of the City Walls with all the towers and turrets. Because of the one-way system, do it thoroughly as you will not be able to come back to it.
The City Wall Walk has a one-way system, it goes in an anti-clockwise direction to keep the flow of people steady. Get the best bit of the Old Wall done first, and do it thoroughly as you will not be able to come back to it. On another note KEEP YOUR TICKET! – I’ll explain why in a minute
To find out more about the walls and their history, as well as information about all the buildings you will see from up here it’s worthwhile booking a Dubrovnik City Walls walking tour which includes your entry fee and an official guide.
Visit Fort Lovrijenac
The Dubrovnik City Wall Walk will take about 2 hours, depending on how many times you stop to take photos! As the morning goes on you’ll notice the influx in other tourists and your once clear view of the wall and now shared with a zillion other people. Time to make a move.
Head back through the Old Town and start the fairly steep climb the hill to the west of the Old Town walls and up to Fort Lovrijenac. On the way up, look back to see Dubrovnik from across the water.
Take a stroll along the shoreline on the way up to the Fortress for the little door in the rock
You know I said earlier about keeping your Dubrovnik City Wall Walk ticket, here’s why; Fort Lovrijenac is free to enter when you show your Dubrovnik Wall Walk ticket. Bargain! If not, you’ll have to buy another ticket to enter.
You might also love….
If like me, you’re a Ruin Junkie with a bit of a thing for ancient UNESCO walled cities, then you’d absolutely adore the walled city of Segovia in Spain. It not only boasts an ancient wall, but also an Aqueduct, Cathedral and Castle. Of course, you won’t do it on this trip, but why not take a look and add it to your Europe bucket list?
Day 2 - Afternoon - Visit Dubrovnik's fabulous Museums and Cathedrals
With this Dubrovnik itinerary, two days gives you enough time to see a couple of the better museums. Most of the museums are indoors, so if you’re not a fan of the heat, these can offer a pleasant rest bite from the heat of the afternoon.
You’ll be spoilt for choice as to which Museum or Monastery you visit, however, some of the better ones are;
- Dominican Monastery
- Rector’s Palace
- Cultural History Museum at the Rector’s Palace
- Franciscan Church and Monastery
- The Old Pharmacy at the Franciscan Church
- Dominican Monastery
Day 2 – Evening -Sunset Kayak Tour
So, you’ve seen Dubrovnik from the inside, from the walls and from above. Now is the perfect time to complete the set and see the Old Town of Dubrovnik view… from the water!
The best way to do this and nicely complete your Dubrovnik itinerary is to opt for a Lokrum Island and Dubrovnik City Walls tour by Kayak. There are few Kayak companies located just outside the Walls of Dubrovnik offering tours that go throughout the day, but one of the best option is the Sunset Tour.
The route takes you out of a small bay, around the outside of the city, across to Lokrum Island (remember from earlier, it’s only 600m from the mainland), in and out of little caves, around Lokrum Island. Watch out for a spot of ‘sausage spotting’ as you row past the nudist beach before finally ending up at a secluded cave beach before heading back to the Old Town for wine.
The cave beach, where you have a break, is only accessible via the sea. Here you can opt to chill on the beach or mingle with the group, you could opt to swim while others try their luck at cliff jumping!
As you row back to the mainland you’ll get to see the sun setting over the Old City of Dubrovnik.
Back onto the mainland and the wine starts flowing as you chill and chat with new friends from the trip. This is a fantastic way to end 2 days in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
I highly recommend: 3-Hour Sunset Kayaking Tour with Snack and Wine (this is the tour I did)
Alternatively, if you don’t want to do the sunset tour, but still experience the coves around Lokrum and the city walls from the water, then this is a great option.
Check availability: Lokrum Island and Dubrovnik City Walls Tour by Kayak
Dubrovnik itinerary 2 days…and a bit! Escape the crowds and head for Cavtat
After you’ve covered all the highlights of Dubrovnik in 2 days, you’ll probably welcome a chilled day. A great option is to head to one of the nearby fishing villages.
This is also a great option if you have a few hours to kill, such as waiting for a flight, or even if you just find the bustle of Dubrovnik Old City a bit too much, then a trip out to nearby Cavtat is a must.
Being only 18.5km from Dubrovnik, it takes about 20 minutes by car/ taxi to get to the seriously cute fishing village of Cavtat.
Things to see and do in Cavtat
Historically, Cavtat was a fishing village and in contrast to nearby Dubrovnik, still has some of this laid-back charm. Pretty galleries and a string of water edge restaurants make this a great place to head for a bit of relaxation. A tree-clad promenade skirts around the peninsula and there are plenty of spots to get a sun lounger.
One great little find in Cavtat was the bakery Peco, selling THE biggest vanilla custard doughnuts I have ever seen. They also do loads of other freshly prepared bread-based products, delicious sandwiches and sweet treats to take out or eat in. It’s worth a visit to Cavtat for the bakery alone!
Getting to Cavtat
Naturally, by taxi is the quickest. However, if you need to use public transport to get there, take the Number 10 bus from near the Dubrovnik Cable Car. The bus takes 20-40 minutes (depending on the time of day) and drops you right in the centre of Cavtat. There are 2 buses every hour.
Another way to do the Dubrovnik to Cavtat journey is by boat. This is by far the longest way to do the journey; it takes approximately an hour, BUT the payoff is that it’s the most scenic way. You can buy single or return journeys from the ticket booths at the harbour in Dubrovnik or Cavtat.
Where are the best places to stay in Dubrovnik?
There are so many options for places to stay during your Dubrovnik two day itinerary. In fact, there’s so much choice that it can be overwhelming to know where to stay in Dubrovnik. Accommodation in Dubrovnik ranges from budget to luxury. As a general rule, if you stay within the city walls, you’ll pay a premium compared to if you stay just outside of the Old Town.
Here are my top recommendations;
- On a budget: Guesthouse Isabel La Catolica offers both a central location as well as an affordable price for budget and solo travellers. It’s located within walking distance to the beaches and the Old Town of Dubrovnik. With a combination of great location, very affordable price and fabulous reviews you’d be hard pushed to find a better budget accommodation than this in Dubrovnik.
- Mid-Budget: Villa Gloria offers the perfect balance of location and value. The villa has an on-site pool, outdoor terrace with sun loungers and well-manicured gardens. The great thing about this property is that it’s just 150 yards from Dubrovnik Old Town and 100 yards from the nearest beach.
- Blow the Budget: Royal Blue Hotel if you’re looking for a break with adult exclusivity, then this hotel boasts adult-only areas, an infinity pool on a beachfront location. It even has an on-site spa. The 5-star resort is located just a short journey from the Old Town of Dubrovnik with easy access via taxi or the local bus (there is a stop right outside the resort).
FAQ & Travel Tips for Visiting Dubrovnik in 48 Hours
Where is Dubrovnik?
Dubrovnik is a city located on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. It’s one of the most southern cities in Croatia and makes up part of the Balkan States, with great access to neighbouring destinations including Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina.
How do I get from Dubrovnik Airport to the Old Town?
The cheapest option is to book a shuttle coach to transfer between Dubrovnik airport and Dubrovnik city centre. Coaches leave approximately 30 minutes after each flight arrival and drop off in either the Old Town of Dubrovnik or at the main bus station in Gruž.
If you’re a bigger group, don’t want to wait for the shuttle or after the more convenient option, then book a private transfer to get from Dubrovnik Airport directly to your hotel door.
When is the best time to visit Dubrovnik?
If you’re wondering what is the weather in Dubrovnik like, then you’ll be pleased to hear that it’s warm summer and mild winters. If you’re purely after the hottest weather, then the best time to visit Dubrovnik is from late April through to October, with the warmest months being June through to August. However, the hottest months also coincide with the peak time for crowds as well as inflated prices.
If you want to take advantage of good weather, fewer crowds and shoulder season prices then plan to go to Dubrovnik between May and June, and then between September and October.
I can’t wait to visit Dubrovnik; how many days do I really need?
If you’re asking yourself how many days should I spend in Dubrovnik? It all depends on your travel style. This 48 hour Dubrovnik itinerary packs in a lot of things in a short space of time. If you prefer to travel slower, then complete this itinerary over several days instead. This will give you a more leisurely Dubrovnik city break. Even if you had a full week in Dubrovnik you’d be hard pushed to run out of things to do, especially as there are a whole load of great day trips from Dubrovnik too.
Is Dubrovnik safe?
On the whole, Croatia, like most of Europe, is an incredibly safe destination. However, as with all major cities, be careful of pickpockets in busy areas. Look into investing in an anti-theft bag to keep your belongings safe. These two here are great options to go for.
What’s the best way to explore Dubrovnik?
Dubrovnik is best explored on foot. The historical centre of Dubrovnik, within the Old City Walls, it’s compact and pedestrianised. There are a lot of steps, so wear comfortable shoes.
Outside of the centre, everywhere else is easily accessed by public transport such as bus and boat. You will not need a car for this Dubrovnik two days itinerary.
Top Tips for visiting Dubrovnik
- Make sure you’re wearing a comfortable pair of shoes with grippy soles. Although you’re in the city, the floor is often smooth and polished (it gleams in the sunlight). Some parts of the city are uneven with gravel or stone floors. Dubrovnik also has plenty of steps, so be prepared for some serious leg work at times.
- Currently, the currency in Croatia is the Kuna. The country joined the EU in 2013 but as yet has not adopted the Euro. There is talk of the country joining the Eurozone. However, some hotels and tourist attractions will accept the Euro.
- If you want the easy option to see the main highlights while getting some insights into the history book onto one of the Dubrovnik Old Town guided walking tours.
- If you are planning on staying a bit longer, then it might be worthwhile taking advantage of the Dubrovnik City Pass which gives you unlimited use of public transport and entry to loads of the city’s top attractions.
Currently, the currency in Croatia is the Kuna. The country joined the EU in 2013 but as yet has not adopted the Euro. There is talk of the country of joining the Eurozone in 2023. However, some hotels and tourist attractions will accept the Euro.
Money-Saving and Eco Tip
The tap water in Dubrovnik is perfectly fine to drink, so save your money and do your bit for the planet and refill at the quirky Onofrio fountains dotted about the city.
There is a huge one near to the main Wall Walk ticket office!
Final Notes on Two Days in Dubrovnik, Croatia
Yes, it can be intense however, Dubrovnik in 48 hours is a totally do-able trip with a nice balance of ancient history, beaches, nature and delicious food. There is of course so much more things to see in Dubrovnik.
It easy to see why Dubrovnik was voted one of the top 25 European cities to visit by the Telegraph. There is a lot crammed into this 2 day itinerary, Dubrovnik has enough places of interest to keep you busy for at least a week. If you have an extended amount of time in the city, then check out these great ideas for Dubrovnik excusions for some inspiration.
- Staying longer in Croatia, then check out other places of interest in the country here.
- If you’re ready to plan your trip, then take a look at these useful Travel Resources.
Save it for later
So are you excited about spending two days in Dubrovnik? It’s a great city and I guarantee you’re going to love it.
If you loved this 2 day Dubrovnik itinerary, or know someone that will, then please share and pin it for future reference?
If you have any questions, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.