Few cities conjure up the feeling of centuries past like Dubrovnik. With it’s coastal location, towering fortress, narrow alleys and old city sights, you’re spoilt for choice with things to do in Dubrovnik.
Photographers will have a field day capturing the medieval architecture, street scenes and landscapes while historians and Game of Thrones fans can soak up the forts, walls and baroque buildings.
When exploring Dubrovnik, I found it was a city that’s creatively inspiring from all angles. You can make a plan for the day but allow plenty of time for aimless wanderings and extended time when you find a photogenic corner that takes your fancy. It’s very easy to get lost and distracted, in a good way!
I get a lot of messages from travelers docking in Dubrovnik on a cruise ship wanting to know things to do in Dubrovnik if they only have a few hours, along with others who are staying for a week or more. So, below you’ll find experiences and photogenic things to do in Dubrovnik whether you’ve got two weeks or two hours, it’ll just be a matter of prioritizing which one to do first!
Walk the Walls of Dubrovnik
I’d have to say this is perhaps the best thing you can do in Dubrovnik not just for photographs, but for the incredible experience. Climbing up the stairs to commence the journey, you can even expect great views before reaching the top! Admission fees are payable prior to reaching the walls but you’ll find the ticket booth located near the entrance at Pile Gate.
Once up top, you can walk the entire length of the walls, or opt to do just the sea side and then take one of the many exits along the way. You won’t be stuck up here if you suddenly get the urge to do for a swim or have a bite!
If you’re interested in pre-purchasing tickets or booking a tour,this walking tour will cover all of the good spots!
For photographers, walking the walls of Dubrovnik provides a stunning aerial vantage point over the rooftops of the old city with terracotta roof tops aplenty to compose within your shots. On the south-western corner the walls rise above the sea below and provide epic views towards Fort Lovrijenac! Spend some time here waiting for that perfect subject to paddle through your shot, in my case I got lucky with some kayakers but a little boat looks great too!
As you wander the walls look in all directions as there’s plenty of little alleys you can peer down into, gardens built within the city walls and of course so much to photograph along the coastal section.
Take a Kayak Tour in the Adriatic Sea
Viewing Dubrovnik from the sea is one of the best views you can have of the city. Feeling a little splash of the sea hit you while the heat of the sun beams down from above keeps you going as you paddle around the walls of this medieval city.
You can do a 3hour kayak tour from the small bay near Pile Gate and venture off across the channel towards the cursed Island of Lokrum for a snorkel. All guides speak English and if you’ve got a waterproof camera it’ll be a great gadget to have with you to capture not only photos from the water, but attempt some split-level images of the coastline…one of my favourite things to do!
If Red Keep in King’s Landing mean anything to you, this spot is a must visit while in Dubrovnik. Game of Thrones fans flock to this popular filming location, you may even see some costumed fans or guides but even if you haven’t seen the series (my hand is up!), Fort Lovrijenac is still worth at least an hours visit.
The fort has three terraces and played a crucial role in Dubrovnik’s defense against Venetian rule in the 11th century. From the top you can see across the small bay below towards the city walls and over the rooftops of the old town. It’s a great place to get a feel for how tall the walls of Dubrovnik really are especially in the corner directly across from the Fort which rises from the sea!
If you’re one of those fans that has been saying ‘Winter is Coming’ with a new found depth to their voice, you may wish to have a peek at the ‘Full Game of Thrones Experience’, a 7 hour guided tour to ALL the filming locations…and I’m pretty sure your guide will dress up as a character.
Swim in front of the city walls
A number of breaks in the wall let you swim directly beneath the walls, a truly amazing swimming experience and one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik! The Buza Bar is perhaps the most popular place, you can pop your things at a table, order a drink then jump off the rocks into the cooling Adriatic Sea.
Another spot is down by the entrance to the Old Port of Dubrovnik. Wander through the old town then follow the small path along the waterfront at the port, past the aquarium and around to the southern side of the wall. Here there’s a small ladder that lets you gracefully enter the water, or you can of course jump in at your own risk!
For the best chance to photograph Dubrovnik crowd free, I can’t stress enough how important it is to rise with the sun. Hit the cobbled streets at sunrise to experience another side of the city, one a little closer to how it would’ve been many centuries ago rather than the wall to wall pile of tourists it can sometimes be in the summer months.
My number one suggestion for Dubrovnik is to wander at sunrise, take your towel and swimmers then go for a mid-morning dip in front of the city walls before retiring somewhere with a view for lunch while the crowds takeover the city. By about 4pm you’ll notice the city start to get quieter again as cruise ship tourists leave in droves back to their ships and you can venture back out to explore as evening approaches.
Hello! I’m the founder and photographer behind The Wandering Lens. With 14+yrs experience as a professional travel and landscape photographer, all advice found on this site is from my personal experience on the road. I hope it’s useful for your own travels and would love to hear in the comments about your trips and experiences around the world.
I'm Lisa Michele Burns, a professional photographer and founder of The Wandering Lens from Australia. Welcome to your guide to photographing the world, improving your photography and scouting unique and inspiring places to experience with your camera. After three years online, The Wandering Lens has turned into the leading publisher of photography focused travel guides and I'm always so excited to hear from readers as they're travelling and improving their photos!