Only one day in Dubrovnik? No problem! Dubrovnik’s historical core is compact and easily explored on foot. With careful planning you can visit Dubrovnik’s top sights and experience Dubrovnik’s restaurants, cafes and nightlife like a local.
Start your day on Stradun, Dubrovnik’s main pedestrian street where the ancient stones are cool in the morning light. Admire the grace and harmony of Dubrovnik’s baroque buildings.
Take a seat outdoors at Cafe Festival, Dubrovnik’s best people-watching cafe, sip a cappucino, nibble a pastry and watch the city awaken.
While on Stradun, visit Dubrovnik’s top sights on the eastern side. Duck into St Blaise Church, Dubrovnik’s most beloved church. Don’t miss the 15th-century statue of St Blaise holding a model of medieval Dubrovnik in his hand.
Take a stroll through the morning market at Gunduliceva Square, right behind the church, where bounty from Dubrovnik’s fertile hinterlands are for sale. On the northern side of the square is Dubrovnik’s Cathedral and Treasury stocked with priceless objects and art treasures from Dubrovnik’s golden age. Don’t miss the polyptych of the Assumption of the Virgin from Titian‘s studio over the main altar.
On the way back to Stradun, the Rector’s Palace is a jewel with an imposing facade that encloses an excellent historical museum that’s well worth a visit. Don’t miss the rooms decorated in period style.
Take Sv Domenica street to the Dominican Monastery. The sober exterior houses Dubrovnik’s finest art collection and a splendid Gothic-Renaissance cloister. Don’t miss Titian’s Mary Magdalene in the art museum.
Leave the old town via the eastern gate at Ploce and admire the old port.
Stop for a quick lunch at Lokanda Peskarija right on the port, a local favorite for the super-fresh fish and seafood served fisherman-style.
After lunch, it’s time for Dubrovnik’s main highlight, a walk of Dubrovnik’s walls. This curtain of stone is punctuated by forts, towers and canons and the views over the Adriatic and Dubrovnik’s red roofs are unforgettable. Recommended starting time for this essential sight is after lunch as there are fewer visitors. Enter at the Ploce entrance and make a complete circuit which will take about an hour.
Back on Stradun, walk west to the Franciscan Monastery which contains the oldest continuously functioning pharmacy in Europe as well as a stunning Renaissance cloister.
In front, is one of Dubrovnik’s most remarkable monuments, the Onofrio Fountain which still provides water to the thirsty after more than 500 years.
Hungry? Stop for a snack at Buffet Skola nearby (Antuninska 1) which serves up tasty, inexpensive sandwiches on fresh, fluffy bread.
Leave the walled city via Pile Gate, noticing the statues of St Blaise protecting Dubrovnik’s entrance.
Finish off the sightseeing day by climbing up to Fort Lovrijenac (St Lawrence Fort) and admiring Dubrovnik’s western walls.
It’s cocktail hour! There’s no better place to watch the sunset than from Cafe Buza high over Buza beach. To get there, return to the old town and turn right on Siroka and climb up through some of Dubrovnik’s less-travelled streets. Climb up as far as possible, turn left and look for the ‘Cold Drinks’ sign. It’s literally a hole in the wall.
Ready for dinner? Dubrovnik has an amazing choice of restaurants. Among Dubrovnik’s best restaurants are: Victoria Restaurant in Ploce where the chef turns out imaginative international cuisine on a terrace overlooking the sea; Restaurant Horizont, a mid-range restaurant also in Ploce with great views; Pantarul in Lapad, which is attracting notice for its fresh, young take on traditional dishes.
And for nightlife, there’s the Skybar disco, Troubadur for jazz, Revelin for dance parties and Park Orsula where locals go for music. More on Dubrovnik nightlife.
For everything you need to know about Dubrovnik from accommodation to getting around to day trips, see my free online Dubrovnik Travel Guide.