Planning a solo trip to Dubrovnik? Here’s everything you need to know for your visit:
- Located on the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik has a population of around 43,000.
- The city of Dubrovnik has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979.
- Dubrovnik is the jewel in Croatia’s tourism crown and a regular port of call for for cruise and sailing trips. In 2010, over 900,000 tourists arrived via cruise ship.
- Considered one of the best medieval walled cities in the world. Recently, made even more famous as the filming location for King’s Landing in the Game of Thrones TV show.
- Nicknames: Pearl of the Adriatic.
- Currency: Croatian Kuna (HRK). 10 HRK = 1.3 EUR.
- Spoken languages: Croatian (English widely spoken by those in the tourism industry).
- Best time to visit: the weather is nicest during the summer months (from June until early September). Nevertheless, the city is still a joy to visit in September and October, when tourist volume is down -and weather is still great.
- Arriving via airport: beware the people trying to sell you rides to town – check the estimated prices first (indicated on the yellow board). A taxi into Dubrovnik Old Town will cost 350 HRK (an Uber will be cheaper), while a bus ride will set you back 65 HRK (bus rides are about 45 minutes).
WHERE TO STAY
- Best hostel for solo travelers in Dubrovnik: Villa Ivan. This is a friendly bed and breakfast run by a couple (Ivan & Kate) who will make you feel right at home. Very clean, with comfortable beds, hot showers, and stunning sunset views daily. 30 minute walk to the Old Town (or a 5 Euro Uber ride) – buses also available but not frequent.
- The Old Town is the centre of Dubrovnik and is a popular place to stay due to its proximity to shops, restaurants, cafes and bars.
- Just a short walk from the Old Town, the neighborhoods of Ploce and Pile offer sea views and a quieter atmosphere.
- Walking is arguably the best way to see Dubrovnik!
- If you get tired of walking, the bus system is the easiest alternative. Tickets can be purchased at a kiosk for 12 HRK, or on board (from the driver) for 15 HRK.
- Uber is generally cheaper than local taxis.
- Drinking age is 18, and last call is 1 AM (some establishments are open all night).
- The cozy bars in the walled part of Old Town may be small, but what they lack in size they certainly make up in numbers – with crowds often falling out into the street.
- Great bars for solo travelers: Fontana Pub Dubrovnik (cheap!), Irish Pub Karaka (to watch sports), Tata’s Burgers & Cocktails, D’Vino (wine tasting).
- Night club: Culture Club Revelin (it’s the only one – but it’s good!)
UNIQUE LANDMARKS TO VISIT
- City Walls: built sometime between the 13th and 16th Centuries, this historic wall frames Dubrovnik Old Town and stands some 25 meters tall and 6 meters thick. Spread out within are four fortresses, all worthy of a look in their own right.
- Old Port: the old harbour is one of the oldest parts of this ancient city and one of the most beautiful. The view across the harbour looking up over the walls is spectacular – don’t forget your camera!
- Rector’s Palace: this palace was built in the late 15th century to take the place of two former standing palaces (destroyed due to an accidental gunpowder explosion).
- Walk the walls: expose yourself to some of the best views of Dubrovnik as you circumnavigate the Old Town. The walk is roughly 2 km long. Once you’ve teetered around the edges, wander along the cobblestones and see the views you’ve just admired from above at eye level.
- Lokrum is a tiny uninhabited and unspoiled island (a 20 minute ferry ride from the Old Port). Hike amongst the greenery, stroll along the water’s edge and then take a dip to cool off.
- Tip: avoid the sunbathing tourists that crowd Banje Beach (Dubrovnik’s city beach) and get some quality beach time where the locals go. Sveti Jakov is a 20 minute walk away and although it is a favorite beach, it is hardly ever crowded.
- If you’re swimming, be wary of sea urchins – wear rubber shoes or watch where you put your feet, especially in rocky areas.
- Keep your eyes peeled for a sign saying “cold drinks, beautiful views” around the base of the west wall in the Old Town. If you spot the sign, follow it! You will find yourself at one of the two Buza Bars (Buza is Croatian for “hole in the wall”). These two bars have been carved into the cliff face and offer customers the chance to swim, jump off cliffs (although this is very dangerous) and enjoy a refreshing drink or two, all with an amazing view. The sunsets are spectacular!
- Great restaurants to try in Dubrovnik: Proto Fish Restaurant ($$), Restaurant Kopun ($$), Nishta ($$ – vegan).
- Where to find good cheap eats: as Dubrovnik is a hot tourist destination, you will find most restaurants are quite expensive. Head to Konoba Tabak, a cheap local favorite. Gluten free option: IGRA street food.
- Dangerous areas: despite the rumors, Dubrovnik is a generally a safe place to visit. You are more likely to injure yourself on the slippery stone footpath (take extra care when it’s raining) or trample on a sea urchin than to run into any real danger. Dubrovnik is a mega-popular tourist destination – keep your personal belongings close and watch out for pickpockets.
Recommended trip duration: 2-3 days