Solo Travel Advice for Dubrovnik, Croatia

For any backpackers/solo travelers heading to Croatia, here’s some things to know in order to make your time in this wonderful Adriatic city as memorable as possible.

City Wall of the Old City in Dubrovnik, Croatia
City Wall of the Old City in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik is an absolutely beautiful city and has so much to offer. Let me preface by saying that Dubrovnik is the first place I went on while solo traveling and it could not have been better. While the old city is small, you can spend an entire day there and not leave.


The City Wall

The first thing you'll notice and want to do is walk the city wall. The wall runs the entirety of the nearly two kilometer perimeter of the old city. You get incredible views at any point on the wall with sights of the city, the sea, and Mt. Srd. It costs a bit of money for a ticket but there are also a few museums along the wall that you can see.


Shops

There are tons of amazing shops in Dubrovnik both in the old city and the rest of Dubrovnik. In the old city, you can easily walk to all of them within two to three minutes and you'll find both souvenirs and authentic Croatian items. When heading outside the old city walls, you can have a scenic (and not infuriatingly long) walk along the coast to see the rest of the city which has many cool shops. If you’re staying in a hostel or airbnb, you can also head to any of the grocery stores which (by American and Western European standards) are quite cheap.


Food

Fresh Apple Pastry in Dubrovnik, Croatia
Fresh Apple Pastry in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik has some amazing restaurants with cuisines from all around the world. Croatian food is available across the city and is delicious (especially for any seafood lovers). With heavy influence from Italy due to it previously being part of the Roman Empire, Croatia (and Dubrovnik especially) has some amazing Italian food. Some of the best and cheapest pizza and pasta I had during my time in Europe was in Croatia. I would also recommend hitting up local bakeries for fresh and delicious pastries. Plus, inside scoop (it's a pun just wait), the old city of Dubrovnik has without a doubt the best ice cream (gelato) I've ever had in my life. Peppino's Artisanal Gelato is unfathomably delicious and you must try the lemon curd pie flavor, it's to die for. Dubrovnik also has amazing cafés where you can get a cheap (but amazing) cup of coffee.


Game of Thrones

Blackwater Bay in Dubrovnik, Croatia
You May Recognize Blackwater Bay

Of course one of the biggest attractions of Dubrovnik for many people is the fact that Game of Thrones was filmed here in old town. The real life location of King's Landing is quite exciting for anyone who has watched GOT. It’s a lot of fun to see sites that you recognize from the show (they're pretty much everywhere). My hostel was just a ten second walk from the famed stairs of shame and it was pretty cool to see all of these television landmark locations. You can also go to some of the islands where they shot just off the coast. This includes Lokrum Island, where the Iron Throne lies. While I would have loved to see and sit in it, the ferries were down during COVID and I would have had to rent a private boat. Game of Thrones tours are offered however, I was told my several people that it wasn’t necessarily worth it for them. I didn’t take one and I saw pretty much everything except for the Iron Throne.


Island Hopping Tours

While there is more than enough to do by foot, bus, or car in Dubrovnik; you may want to hop on the water and visit some of the surrounding islands. They range in size from being less than a kilometer across to being nearly the size of the entire city. You can arrange to be part of group tours and spend the day seeing the islands and enjoying the breeze. Some of them have fun and small restaurants, bars, and cafés run by locals of Dubrovnik or the islands themselves. You can walk across the islands on beautiful paths through nature and enjoy the surroundings. Swimming is also a must as Dubrovnik (like all of Croatia) has some of the clearest and cleanest water in the world. However, this is really only a good idea from June to August because in other months, the water is absolutely freezing. I tried to go swimming in May and was shivering every moment of it.


Clear Blue Waters off the Islands of Dubrovnik, Croatia
Clear Blue Waters off the Islands of Dubrovnik

Mount Srd

Mt. Srd Tower Lights in Dubrovnik, Croatia
Mt. Srd Tower Lights

The best thing I did in Dubrovnik was undoubtedly climbing Mt. Srd. It’s a relatively easy hike at an altitude of just over 400 meters (1300 feet). There’s really no way to get off the path because all you have to do is go up. The hike takes about an hour, give or take fifteen minutes. Mount Srd is the ultimate viewing spot for sunsets and the top of the mountain is even in some of the lower clouds. The top of the mountain plateaus and then goes downhill at a much lower angle on the other side. If you're really up for the challenge, the border of Bosnia and Herzegovina is just a few kilometers the other way. Although, you may want to take border security into account before attempting that (don't do it). The coolest thing about Mt. Srd is the amazing sight ones darkness falls. The large tower on top of the mountain (I honestly don't know what it is) is lit up in incredible neon colors and makes for a memorable sight.


There is so much that Dubrovnik has to offer even beyond what I mentioned here. It was the perfect place to begin my solo travel career and it’s a destination that is appealing to any individual or group of travelers. The only real way to understand is by visiting yourself.