Things to know and ideas for your own excursion on the Dalmatian coast
Excursion Offers and Tickets for Dubrovnik
- Regular berth: Port of Gruž
- Regular berth: anchoring in front of the old town
- Harbour shuttle: available for a fee
- Taxis: usually available at the jetty
- Buses: well-developed bus network
- Car rental *: Sixt, Liechtensteinov Put 3 and at the airport
- Car rental *: Hertz, Obala Stjepana Radića 38 and at the airport
- Car rental *: Avis, Ul. Iva Vojnovića 4 and at the airport
- Car rental *: Europcar, at the airport
- Car rental *: Budget, at the airport
- Post office: Vukovarska ul. 16
- Tourist Info: at the southern end of the Gruž cruise port, Obala Ivana Pavla II 1 and on the street Brsalje ul. 5
- Banks and vending machines: in the city and old town centre
- Cruise Ship Berths
A cruise in the Adriatic Sea often includes a stopover in the Croatian port city of Dubrovnik. In most cases, the cruise ships there head for the Port of Gruž, which is located in a sheltered bay and provides an almost uninterrupted quay for cruise ships, totalling 1600 metres in length. At the berths there are souvenir shops, a lost property office, a supermarket and, in the southern area, a tourist information office where, among other things, city maps can be obtained. At the harbour exit, passports or identity cards must be presented for inspection. An ATM has been installed directly at the harbour area at the central bus station, and an exchange office helps with the exchange of the national currency. Not necessarily at the best rate, the euro is also accepted as a means of payment in some places in the city.
- Cruise Ship Berths
As an alternative to the cruise port, some cruise ships anchor at the gates of the historic old town, i.e., they lie in the roadstead. In this case, the guests are brought ashore by tender boats. This often means that excursions or shore excursions, which are undertaken on one's own initiative, may be delayed. In order to be able to keep to the time schedules of the tours booked and carried out with the respective shipping companies, these excursionists are preferably brought ashore first. The destination of the tender boats is one of the piers in the Old Harbour, directly at the thick city wall.
- Transfer to the Old Town
The charming old town of Dubrovnik is about 3.4 kilometres away from the Gruž cruise port. For this distance, you can plan around 45 minutes on foot in each direction. If you don't feel like walking or don't have the opportunity to walk, you can also take one of the shipping companies' shuttle buses, which cost between 9 and 15 euros per person per day, depending on the provider. These buses usually shuttle between the pier and Brsalje Square, which is near the Pile Gate on the wall to the old town. At the bus stop, you will also encounter another office of the local tourist information. A transfer by taxi should cost 70 to 80 kuna each, or about 10 to 11 euros, with the taximeter on. Signs at the moorings often advertise fixed prices of 13 euros. This is valid for up to four people and per direction. You can also reach Brsalje Square by public bus on lines 1a, 1b, 1c, 3 or 8. A single ticket costs 15 kuna, or about 2 euros, from the bus driver.
Taxis are already waiting for the arriving cruise passengers at the port area of Gruž. In Dubrovnik, taxi drivers are obliged to use the installed taximeter for regular transfers. The basic charge is 27 kuna and 9 kuna per kilometre or part thereof. Large pieces of luggage cost 2 kuna extra, and one hour's waiting time costs 150 kuna each. Round trips, on the other hand, are charged by the hour. For 60 minutes, you should plan on paying 385 kuna, or about 50 euros. Before starting the tour, the itinerary and the costs should be discussed with the driver.
The city's public buses are air-conditioned and operated by the transport company Libertas Dubrovnik. They operate during the day on a well-organised bus route network. The central hub is the small Brsalje Square at the gates of the old town, where all lines meet. Single tickets are valid for one hour after validation in the vehicle, cost 12 kuna in advance and are available at the tourist information office, at kiosks and at some larger stops with ticket counters. A surcharge of 3 kuna is demanded from the bus driver and it should be paid as appropriately as possible. Day tickets are also available at the official sales points for 30 kuna each.
- Dubrovnik Card
For visiting several sights and museums, it is a good idea to purchase a tourist card. The Dubrovnik Card available here is available as a 7-day, 3-day and 1-day version. For most cruise guests, the latter is probably the most interesting. It costs 250 kuna and offers, among other things, free use of public transport. Entrance to the city's most important attractions is included and there are discounts in participating restaurants and shops.
- Sightseeing Tour
On the streets of Dubrovnik, a local operator will take you on an 80-minute Panoramic Tour with its convertible buses, with 2 short photo stops. Departures are from Pile Gate / Brsalje Square at 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00 and 18:00. As the tour also passes the cruise port, there will be a small stop in front of Hotel Petka about 50 minutes later in each case. The required tickets can be purchased from the driver on the bus for 20 euros. There are no audio guides on the buses themselves. Unfortunately, there are no explanations about the sights of the port city during the tour.
- Red History Museum
Right next to the cruise port at Ul. Svetog Križa 3, you can gain insights into the lives of people in the former Yugoslavia. The interesting and interactive exhibition of the Red History Museum focuses on the modern history of Croatia from 1945 to 1990. Additional and partly hidden information can be accessed for better understanding with the free smartphone* app. After visiting the exhibition, you can browse for various things in the integrated museum shop. The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and admission costs 50 kuna, or about 7 euros. Students pay 40 kuna each and schoolchildren 20 kuna on presentation of a valid ID. Children under 10 are admitted free of charge when accompanied by a paying adult.
- Fortress Lovrijenac
Located to the west of Dubrovnik's old town, a massive fortress was built on the 37-metre-high rock there. Lovrijenac was built to protect the city in the early 11th century and within a very short time. Except for the relatively thin eastern wall, the remaining ramparts were built with thicknesses ranging from 4 to a massive 12 metres. Well recognisable from ancient times, the motto "Non Bene Pro Toto Libertas Venditur Auro" (For no gold in the world we sell our freedom) is carved in stone for eternity at the main entrance to the castle complex. Today, the structure is the annual venue of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, was the backdrop in the TV series Game of Thrones and offers a fantastic panoramic view of the city and Adriatic Sea. A visit is possible daily from 08:00-19:00 and costs 50 kuna per person. With a valid ticket for the Dubrovnik City Wall, access to the fortress is free of charge.
- City Wall
For centuries, Dubrovnik's historic old town has been protected by a massive wall. Originally built of wood at the end of the 8th century, the structure was completely rebuilt between the 13th and 17th centuries and given its present appearance. The closed defence system has a total length of almost 2 kilometres, is as much as 6 metres thick in some places and reaches heights of up to 25 metres. A leisurely walk around the old town is possible in about 90 to 120 minutes and is only permitted in a clockwise direction. In addition, due to the manageable location, you get the best views in all directions almost all the time. The access points to the elevated circular walk are open daily from 08:00-19:30 (in winter until 15:00), are not barrier-free and are located at the Pile Gate and the Ploče Gate, at the old harbour. Tickets are available at the on-site counters for 200 kuna (about 27 euros) per person. Children under 18 pay 50 kuna each.
Directly at the Pile Gate, one encounters the large Onofrio Fountain from the 15th century and the beginning of the Stradun (Placa) promenade, which stretches eastwards, right through the car-free old town. Numerous shops, restaurants and cafés can be found along the approximately 300-metre-long street. Especially during the summer months, the local restaurants offer their customers a variety of shady outdoor places. The eastern end of Stradun finally leads into Luža Square, where a 31-metre-high bell tower and the Church of St. Blasius, along with Orlando's Column (Roland's Column), are located. Not far away are the Old Port and Dubrovnik Cathedral.
- Cathedral of Dubrovnik
Not far from the Stradun in the south-east of the old town, stands the building of the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary of Dubrovnik (Velika Gospa), with numerous statues. Sponsored in large part by King Richard the Lionheart and built between 1672 and 1713, it is the third church building on this site. The previous cathedral was completely destroyed in the devastating earthquake of 1667, and in the meantime much older foundations have been discovered, which have been assigned to the 7th century. The rather plain interior conceals paintings by Italian and Croatian artists from the 16th to 18th centuries, such as a work by Titian above the main altar. The integrated treasury houses 132 relics of saints and other valuable pieces, all dating back to the 11th to 19th centuries. Dubrovnik Cathedral has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979 and is open daily free of charge. To visit the treasury, however, a fee of 20 kuna, or about 3 euros, is charged. In addition, the exhibition is open from Monday to Saturday from 09:00-17:00, and on Sunday from 11:00-17:00. During the winter months, it is closed in between from 12:00-15:00.
- Dubrovnik Aquarium
At the Old Port, within the medieval walls of the fortress of St. Ivan (Sveti Ivan), there is a small, manageable, and atmospheric aquarium. The entrance is on the ground floor below a reddish flag with the golden inscription Akvarij. In the 31 tanks of the Dubrovnik Aquarium, the flora and fauna of the southern Adriatic can be discovered. The aquariums, with a total volume of 115 cubic metres, are continuously flushed with fresh seawater. Depending on your interests, you can plan to spend between 30 and 60 minutes there. Admission charges are 60 kuna each for adults and 20 kuna each for children. It is open daily from 09:00-19:00, during the winter months until 16:00.
- Maritime Museum
Above the aquarium, the exhibition rooms of the local Maritime Museum extend over two more air-conditioned floors. Since 1949, the museum has focused on the maritime history of Dubrovnik. With explanations in English, numerous ship models, paintings, uniforms, cannons and historical maps, among other things, are on display. A visit to the exhibition takes about 60 minutes and is possible Tuesday to Sunday from 09:00-16:00. In summer also until 19:00. Free admission is available on presentation of the Dubrovnik Card. Without a tourist card, adults are charged 130 kuna and 50 kuna per child. The ticket is also valid for the Cultural History Museum, the Ethnographic Museum, the Natural History Museum and the archaeological exhibition in the Revelin Fortress.
- Local Mountain Brdo Srd
On the outskirts of Dubrovnik, the local mountain Srd rises to a height of 412 metres. Sometimes it is also called Sergius Mountain. From the viewing terraces at the top, you get a fantastic view of the old town and the adjacent Adriatic Sea. On a clear day, visibility of up to 60 kilometres is possible. In addition to the panorama terraces with installed binoculars, you will find the mountain station of the cable car, a good restaurant, a souvenir shop, toilets, the renovated summit cross and an amphitheatre with space for 120 spectators. In addition, there are the remains of the old Imperial Fortress, which houses an interesting museum on the civil war in the early 1990s, and free Wi-Fi reception. Besides, you can use one of the two Steora solar park benches to enjoy the view and charge your smartphone*.
- Cable Car
The most comfortable and fastest way to get to the top of the Srd is to use the cable car, which has existed since 1969 and was completely renovated in 2010. The valley station is not far from the old town, and can be reached in a few minutes on foot from the Ploče Gate, for example. Both gondolas can carry up to 32 people each and cover the difference in altitude, or the 778-metre route, in 3.5 minutes. A single ride currently costs 90 kuna. The return fare is 170 kuna. Children between the ages of 5 and 12 pay half price and infants up to the age of 4 are transported free of charge. Tickets are payable locally only in local currency or by credit card. The opening hours of the cable car are variable. The cable car operates from 10:00-16:00 in winter and from 09:00-23:00 in summer. It is closed in February. During strong winds, operation may be temporarily suspended.
- Hiking Trail
A narrow and approximately 2-kilometre-long gravel path leads from the northern outskirts of the city over several serpentines to the summit of the Srd. Assuming you are fit enough and have sturdy shoes, you can plan on 30 to 45 minutes for the ascent. There are only shady places near the town, so you should have enough drinks with you, which is not unimportant, especially in summer. If you start the hike at the valley station of the cable car, the additional kilometre will of course require a little more walking time.
- War Museum
Strategically well placed is the Imperial Fortress, located on the top of the Srd. The structure was built at the beginning of the 19th century and today houses the Museum of the Croatian War of Independence of Dubrovnik (Homeland War Museum). It was founded in 2016 and evolved from the Museum of Contemporary History. In the exhibition, visitors learn everything about the events and the course of the civil war from 1991-1995 in the Dubrovnik region. Individual objects and explanations are in English. The museum is open daily from 09:00-17:00 and during the summer months extended until 20:00. Admission is 30 kuna for adults and half price for children.
- Lokrum Island
About 600 metres from the old town of Dubrovnik lies the approximately 81-hectare Island of Lokrum. It was declared a nature reserve in 1963 and a forest reserve in 1976, is criss-crossed with many idyllic hiking trails and is quite popular with visitors due to a number of destinations. In the middle of it are the walls of a former Benedictine monastery dating back to 1023, where a restaurant and café now invite visitors to take a break. The adjacent Botanical Garden has over 800 different plant species and has been welcoming visitors since 1959. For fans of Game of Thrones, the small exhibition opened in 2015 is certainly interesting. You can also try out a seat on the Iron Throne.
On the highest point of the island (93 metres), French troops built Fort Royal in 1806, the ruins of which are freely accessible and offer a good view. Bathing is possible on one of the numerous rocky beaches, some of which are equipped with ladders. There is a designated nudist beach in the south-east of the island and the saltwater lake Mrtvo More (Dead Sea) in the south-west. Ferry boats shuttle between the Old Port in Dubrovnik and the Lučica Portoč pier on Lokrum Island. During the high season in summer every 20 minutes and in low season every hour. A return fare of 60 kuna per person is charged locally. The crossing takes about 10 minutes.
- City Beach
The popular Banje beach (Plaža Banje) is only about 250 metres from the Ploče Gate. On the way there, you pass two supermarkets, ideal for getting snacks and drinks at a reasonable price. The beach itself has an upscale restaurant and bar. Over 200 seats are available here and a DJ often provides the appropriate acoustics. The beach area has partly sandy sections, but mainly consists of a mix of large and small pebbles. Over a width of about 100 metres, the water is relatively shallow but stony. Bathing shoes* are helpful here.
There are also changing rooms, showers and toilets, some of which you have to pay for. You won't find any natural shaded areas. However, sunshades with sunbeds and beach beds can be rented. Prices range from 100 to 400 kuna, depending on the choice. Especially during the summer months, when Banje Beach is usually well frequented, there are numerous and diverse water sports available. Unfortunately, there is no barrier-free access.
- Excursion Portals and Excursion Providers
Through the tour and excursion providers GetYourGuide*, My Shore Excursions* and Viator*, you can book various excursions, activities, tours, tickets and entrance fees in Dubrovnik, which are often offered at much lower prices than comparable excursions by the shipping companies. Thus, if you book in good time, you can realise a large number of excursions on your own.
A small selection of independent excursions for, in and around Dubrovnik can be found under Excursions on your own.
- Cruises and Special Offers
If you haven't booked a Mediterranean cruise yet, but would like to get to know Dubrovnik personally and go on excursions on your own, you will find great offers with the major cruise operators in the German-speaking countries. Aida*, Costa* and Tui Cruises - Mein Schiff* offer charming itineraries with their modern cruise ships, along with other interesting destinations. Book your next dream holiday directly with your favourite cruise line at fair conditions.
All ocean and river cruises can also be booked conveniently and inexpensively online with the cruise specialist Kreuzfahrten-Zentrale Astoria*. You can choose from a wide range of daily offers from various shipping companies. These include AIDA Cruises, Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean and TUI Cruises. The popular special offers are also attractive, with which you can travel particularly cheaply and possibly also get a great bargain.
- Museum opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 09:00-17:00. Occasionally closed Monday or Tuesday.
- Post office opening hours: Monday to Friday from 07:00-19:00. Saturday from 08:00-12:00
- Bank opening hours: Monday to Friday from 08:00-16:00
- Opening hours of the tourist information at the port: Monday to Friday from 08:00-15:00, Saturday from 08:00-13:00
- Tourist information opening hours in the city: Monday to Saturday from 08:00-19:00 and Sunday 09:00-19:00
- Shop opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 08:00-20:00
- Country code: +385
- Taxi Dubrovnik: Tel. +385 (0)20 970 (Taxi Service Centre)
- General emergency call: Tel. 112
- Police: Tel. 192
- Emergency doctor: Tel. 194
- Fire brigade: Tel. 193
- Vaccination recommendation: Tropical Institute Croatia
- Security advice: Foreign Office Croatia
- Bus schedules: Libertas Dubrovnik
- Bus network: Libertas Dubrovnik
- City map: Dubrovnik Map
- Climate table: Dubrovnik Climate
- Port occupancy: Cruise ships in Dubrovnik
- Official language: Croatian
- Local currency: Croatian kuna, 1 Kuna (kn) = 100 Lipa
- Conversion: 1 HRK ≈ 0,13 EUR
More port information on popular cruise destinations in the Mediterranean