Dubrovnik, Croatia cruise holidays

Sailing into the beautiful 12th century Croatian walled city of Dubrovnik is one of the great cruising experiences. The spectacular Old Town - with its pretty harbour, towering ramparts, creamy stone pavements and red-roofed buildings - is crammed with architectural wonders like Onofrio's Fountain - constructed in the 1430s - and the 14th century Franciscan Monastery, home to a wonderful statue of the Pita carved in 1498, and the world's oldest pharmacy (est. 1391).

Top sights and attractions

Explore the Old Town

Historical, fascinating, charming and cool, Dubrovnik has it all. The Old Town UNESCO World Heritage Site has one attraction after another along the marble lanes and gleaming pavements. Stroll the beautiful Stradun high street to find palaces, churches and cobbled squares all adding to the magic of this enchanting walled city. Follow the Spanish-Steps-style stairs to the Jesuit church of St Ignacius where a grand square has a great choice of restaurants and bars. 

Lokrum Island by boat from Dubrovnik

Just ten minutes from the old port of Dubrovnik takes you by boat to Lokrum Island. On this lush paradise for nature lovers, you can spend your time discovering the botanical gardens and the saltwater lagoon or take a dip from one of the rocky beaches. Little Lokrum also has Benedictine monastery ruins and a Napoleonic fort to explore, so it’s well worth a visit on your cruise holiday to Dubrovnik.

Dubrovnik’s Franciscan Church and Monastery

Located within the city walls, the Franciscan Church and Monastery is an architectural masterpiece showcasing the Gothic-Renaissance style with its stunning leafy cloister and ornate interior. Take a moment to admire the Piéta sculpted over the church door by local masters back in 1498 – it’s all that remained after the earthquake in 1667. You’ll also see one of the world’s oldest pharmacies that has operated here since the 1300s and a museum of relics, paintings, chalices and jewellery.

Things to do in Dubrovnik

Walk the City Walls of Dubrovnik

Walking the city walls is probably THE must-do experience for all those who are able to in Dubrovnik. See the UNESCO World Heritage Site in around 90 minutes on a stroll along the ancient fortifications, allowing a cold drink stop along the way. You'll be treated to breathtaking panoramic views across the Adriatic Sea and the red roofs of the city jumbled below.

Take the Cable Car to Mount Srđ

For an even more exhilarating thrill and even better views of this already stunning destination, take the cable car ride over 400m up to the top of Mount Srđ. From the summit you’ll see all the glory of Dubrovnik and, on a clear day (which is most days here in one of Europe’s sunniest coastlines), the Elaphiti Islands ahead and the Dinaric Alps behind. This is a great place for fantastic photography to wow your friends with when you return from your Croatian holiday. Hikers can climb the mountain for free, of course.

Visit Dubrovnik’s Fort Lovrijenac

It’s not only Game of Thrones enthusiasts who delight in visiting Fort Lovrijenac, although it was a prominent and very recognisable filming location in the epic series. The huge 14th-century fortress stands just inside Dubrovnik’s Pile Gate and hosts outdoor productions and festival events throughout the summer months. You can climb the 165 steps for a good look at the Old Town. GOT fans take selfies on the location of iconic scenes shot in the imaginary realm of Westeros in this fort that was once the centre of the maritime Republic of Ragusa in real life.

Food and drink in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik's delicious food and drink is just as varied and exciting as the city itself. Each dish has its own story to tell of the history and cultural influences through the ages. From traditional dishes to locally brewed craft beers, there’s something tasty to hit the spot no matter what time you find yourself exploring ashore. So, when you’re walking the ancient walls or strolling through the charming streets, here are just some of the city's culinary successes and local delights to look out for on your Croatia holiday…

• Black risotto (crni rizot)

Let's start with the mouth-watering Black Risotto, locally known as Crni Rizot. This unique dish gets its dark colour from squid ink that locals say ‘makes your teeth black and your heart sing’. Bursting with flavours of the sea, and usually including cuttlefish and prawn, enjoy the rich taste of the stunning Adriatic coast.

• Dirty macaroni (šporki makaruli)

Next up, we have dirty macaroni, or šporki makaruli in Croatian. Don't let the name fool you – this hearty dish is a true comfort food delight. Made with tender macaroni, ground meat and a medley of spices, it will leave you wanting more.

• Sweet treats in Dubrovnik

For those with a sweet tooth, rožata is an absolute must. You can cool down on a hot day with this cold custard pudding, Croatia’s answer to crème caramel. It’s a delectable dessert with a velvety texture and delicately dark caramel sauce. Indulge with some sweet krafne doughnuts or try a deep-fried fritule surprise with a brandy-filled centre. The heavenly almond and maraschino cherry-liqueur-flavoured imotska torta with prošek sweet dessert wine in the shortcrust pastry is a Bakewell tart, but not as we know it!

• Wine and local drinks in Dubrovnik

As you’ll discover on your Croatian holiday, the climate is perfect, just like neighbouring Italy, for making olive oil… and wine! Excellent regional Croatian wine to try includes Pošip white, originally only made on the island of Korčula. This crisp white has apples, almonds, vanilla and citrus notes. Those who prefer red can try an earthy Teran or Plavac Mali, which describes the ‘small blue’ grapes used to make this bold red wine, with blackberry, dark cherry, figs, carob and pepper flavours.

• Rakija

If you're feeling adventurous, don't miss out on the local favourite, rakija. This is a traditional fruit brandy that packs quite a punch! Sip on this strong sweet spirit made from various local fruits like plum or grape and experience the warm fuzzy feeling it brings for an extra buzz on your incredible Croatian cruise holiday.

• Croatian craft beers and café culture  

Take time out to join the locals in the laid-back Croatian café scene. Croatian kava (coffee) is very good too and Croatians see coffee time as a way of socialising, connecting with people in piazza cafés and bars, so don’t rush…

Find a spot in the sun (or the shade) for people-watching with a cold pivo (lager) or one of the up-and-coming Croatian craft beers brewed right here in Dubrovnik. With a number of growing craft beer labels, you can indulge in unique flavours crafted by passionate local brewers who take pride in their creations. Try a selection of traditional tasters like pickled peppers, local cheeses, olives and oily fish like mackerel, tuna, salty sardines and anchovies on crusty fresh baked bread.

Shopping in Dubrovnik

Don’t miss Dubrovnik’s fantastically colourful, lively and mouth-watering food markets on your Croatian cruise. Gundulić Square in the Old Town has a mini market compared to the much bigger one near Gruž Harbour. As well as the usual souvenir shops, you’ll discover innovative creations from Croatian designers and artisans. The narrow side streets of this walled city have some hidden gem shops and art galleries so it’s worth a wander to see what you find. Lacework, oil paintings and ceramics are good buys in Dubrovnik. Croatian currency made the change from Kuna to Euros in January 2023 and it’s a good idea to have cash with you, as some shops may not accept credit cards.

Culture and history of Dubrovnik

On a holiday abroad many of us like to learn a little about the country’s culture and history. On a cruise holiday, you’ll usually visit a few different countries so you can gain even more knowledge about the world each time you sail. Dubrovnik's past is one of conquests, trade and resilience. From its origins as a Roman settlement to its status as a maritime power during the Middle Ages, the city has witnessed countless chapters of human triumphs and challenges. Today, Dubrovnik stands as a living testament to its past. As Croatia’s top destination, Dubrovnik gives you every opportunity to get to know this land, even at the top of Mount Srđ. If you take the cable car to the summit, you’ll find the Napoleonic Fort Imperial’s Museum of Croatian War of Independence.

Dubrovnik cruise terminal

We usually dock at Dubrovnik’s port in the Gruž area around 3km from the city’s Old Town and shuttles are provided to take you straight to the heart of things. Occasionally your ship will anchor off the Old Port from where guests take a tender transfer in smaller boats. Even with just a few hours in Dubrovnik, you’ll have time to take in this stunning walled city and some of its immediate highlights as so many are so easy to see when you go exploring ashore. The cruise terminal has ATMs, a supermarket and restaurants, bars and cafés within easy walking distance.

Frequently asked questions about Dubrovnik, Croatia

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