Dubrovnik is a very popular holiday destination in Southern Croatia, in the region of Dalmatia. It is best known for its stunning, historic old town, within its 16th Century city walls.
More recently Dubrovnik became a prominent Game of Thrones’ filming location, making this Croatian city a must visit for any Game of Thrones’ fan. After all, Dubrovnik is King’s Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms!
Are you thinking of a visit to Dubrovnik, but not sure where to stay? Dubrovnik is a is truly impressive historic town and definitely worth a visit, but the Old Town is very popular with tourists and can get extremely busy. For this reason, we chose to stay 2 ½ miles away in Babin Kuk on the stunning Lapad Peninsula.
If you are wondering Is October is a good time to visit Croatia?, What are the best things to see and do in Dubrovnik? or How do I spend 4 days on the Lapad Peninsula?, this post should answer your questions.
Discover more about what you can do on the beautiful Lapad Peninsula and how we chose to spend 4 days in Dubrovnik in October.
How to get to Dubrovnik
We flew to Dubrovnik from the UK, using Easy Jet. The flight takes 2 hours 45 mins.
From Dubrovnik airport, it is about 14 miles to the Lapad Peninsular, which you can get to by bus or taxi. Lapad Peninsula is just outside the walled-city of Dubrovnik on the Adriatic Coast.
Dubrovnik is a great city for a short trip, as the transfer is so easy.
Accommodation in Dubrovnik
We spent our 4 days in Dubrovnik at the Hotel Neptun, which is in Babin Kuk on the western side of Lapad Peninsula. We booked this through Booking.com. Hotel Neptun is a 4-star mid-range hotel. The hotel overlooks the Adriatic Sea and has a great pool, as well as several restaurants and bars.
We found it to be a great family hotel, as it has suites so we could share without all being in the same bedroom. We have also stayed at the neighbouring sister hotel, Royal Princess Hotel. This is a 5-star hotel and is an upgraded version, as it also has indoor pool and sauna facilities.
When's the best time to visit Dubrovnik?
We went to Dubrovnik in October, which is at the end of its tourist season and it was starting to get cooler then. However, it was still warm enough to wear summer clothes and lie by a pool. We swam in the sea in October, but it was extremely cold.
The average high temperature in Dubrovnik in October is 14 degrees. September and October are good times to visit Dubrovnik, as there are fewer tourists. Also, temperatures aren’t too hot for sight-seeing.
Alternatively, another good time to visit Dubrovnik would be May or June. If you go in the peak season of July and August, expect lots of crowds in the Old Town.
Another of the advantages of visiting Croatia in the low season is that flight prices are usually cheaper and you can get better deals on hotels.
The disadvantages of a trip to Dubrovnik in late October are that the evenings are not as warm and a few of the restaurants and cafes on the Lapad Peninsula were starting to shut for the season. However, there was still plenty of choice for us.
If you want to avoid the crowds altogether, go in the winter months, when you can miss the thousands of cruise ship visitors.
What is there to do in 4 days in Dubrovnik?
Take a tour of Dubrovnik Old Town
The top of your must-do list when you spend 4 days in Dubrovnik should be a visit to the spectacular Old Town.
If you are staying on Lapad Peninsula, the bus to Dubrovnik’s Old Town takes about 15 minutes. You need the number 5 or 6 bus, which will take you to the Pile Gate.
Pile Gate is a grand 16th Century arch and drawbridge and makes an impressive entrance to Dubrovnik’s Old Town. It was one of the filming locations of Game of Thrones (Joffrey’s riot scene).
As you enter through Pile Gate, you will come across the Onofrio fountain and Orlando’s column. This monument was erected in 1418 to help the people defeat invaders in the middle ages.
Stroll through Stradun
Stradun is the main thoroughfare in Dubrovnik Old Town and leads down to Gruz Harbour. You can stroll the pedestrian, limestone streets past historic buildings, palaces and churches.
Everywhere you look there is evidence of Dubrovnik’s rich cultural heritage and history. In 1979 it became a UNESCO World Heritage town and is often referred to as the “Pearl of the Adriatic”.
There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants if you want to stop and watch the world go by. Our best restaurant in Dubrovnik was a Bosnian restaurant called The Taj Mahal.
Cross Luza Square
Luza Square is the main square of Dubrovnik Old Town. It is a lively square with many historical attractions, including the old bell tower, Sponza Palace and the Cathedral. At night the square is buzzing with atmosphere.
Relax at Porat
You can wander along the old breakwater and watch the fishing boats in the old port. Porat is also a good stop for an ice cream
Walk Dubrovnik's City Walls
If you return to the Pile Gate, you will find the main entrance to Dubrovnik’s city walls. There are 2 other entrances, one at Ploce Gate and another at St John’s Fort. You have to buy your ticket before you climb the walls.
Dubrovnik’s 13th Century city walls are 1970 metres long and take you round the whole of the Old Town. You will get breath-taking views of the city, the Adriatic and nearby historic fortifications. The walk around the ancient city walls will take about 1.5 to 2 hours. The time will vary depending on the crowds and how many photo stops you make. You can’t get lost, but if you want more information on the history of the walls and the Old Town, you could take a guided tour.
Dubrovnik's City Walls' Hours of Opening
Dubrovnik’s city walls open at 8am in the summer months (until 31st October) and 9am in the winter months, but closing times vary throughout the year.
Top tip: The best time to visit Dubrovnik’s city walls is early morning so you can avoid the crowds. It can get extremely busy at times, especially when the cruise ships come in.
Tickets for Dubrovnik's City Walls
If you want to avoid queuing, buy your tickets in advance. You can buy them online at the official site.
Admission costs are currently (2020):-
- 200 HRK for adults
- 50 HRK for children and young adults
- Children under 7 have free admission
For more information on Dubrovnik’s history and its City Walls, buy a ticket for a City Walls Walking Tour. This will cost from 150 HRK, but doesn’t include entrance to the Dubrovnik City Walls.
Fans of Game of Thrones can also buy tickets for a special tour of the filming lcations.
Ride the cable car
Another way to get a superb panoramic view of Dubrovnik and the surrounding mountains, is to take a trip up in the cable car. The cable car will take you up 405 m above sea level to the top of Srd Hill. From here, you’ll be able to see spectacular views for miles around.
Once there, you can visit the Napoleonic Imperial Fortress and the Museum of the Homeland Way. Alternatively, you could experience a Dubrovnik Buggy Safari or go for a stroll to Fort Strincjera. If you are there in the evening, it’s a great location to enjoy Dubrovnik’s stunning sunset.
The entrance to the cable car is located an easy 5-minute walk from the Dubrovnik Old Town. Tickets for the ride cost about 22,50 Euros for adults and 11,50 Euros for children from 3-18 years.
Take a dip in the Adriatic Sea
You can’t spend 4 days in Dubrovnik without taking a dip in the Adriatic sea. The waters are crystal clear and were refreshingly (icy) cool, when we went in October!
From Hotel Neptun, we had to access the sea by steps down the rocks, so you must supervise younger children. However, there is a very safe pool at the hotel for them to play in.
Hit the beach
For easier access to the sea, head for one of the three main beaches; Copacabana, Cava and Uvala Bay. They are very pretty, but mostly pebbly with sandy patches. We actually chose to spend more time at the hotel pool than the beach.
Top tip: Take some beach shoes
Follow the Lapad Peninsula coastal trail
The main advantage of staying on the Lapad Peninsula is that you can enjoy Dubrovnik’s natural beauty and escape the crowds.
From Babin Kuk you’ll find scenic coastal walks, with panoramic views over the Adriatic Sea and nearby islands. Our favourite trail was on the southerly promenade “Setaliste Nika I Meda Pucica”. This picturesque walk led us from Hotel Neptun to a main street of restaurants and cafes.
This route followed the Lapad Peninsula coastline for about 2 km and was lined with pine trees. There were a few cafes and restaurants along the way. There are also a number of stone staircases, that take you directly to the sea.
In the other direction around Lapad Paninsula was another glorious coastal walk. We followed the coastal path and then cut through to the Yacht Club Orsan, where we stopped for a drink and watched the cruise ships come in from a distance.
The Chimptrips family loved our 4 days in Dubrovnik, so much that we returned the following year. Lapad Peninsula is a great base for visiting Dubrovnik’s Old Town. It’s also a great base for enjoying the fantastic coastline and natural scenery of the surrounding area. There are plenty of scenic walks and a good choice of hotels if you want to stay there.
We went to Dubrovnik in late October. It was warm enough for the pool and sea (just!), coastal walks and the historic delights of Dubrovnik’s Old Town. By going in October and staying outside the Old Town centre, we were able to enjoy the main sights of Dubrovnik, but avoid the crowds of the summer months.
Croatia is a great place for a family holiday and after our visit to Dubrovnik we were keen to find out what the best things to do in Split.
Pin for Later: 4 days on the Lapad Peninsula, Dubrovnik