Dubrovnik, often called the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” offers more than just breathtaking coastal views. It’s a city where history whispers from ancient walls, and vibrant culture thrives in its narrow streets.

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Things To Do In Dubrovnik Croatia

So, if you’ve ever dreamt of experiencing Dubrovnik not just as a passing tourist but as a local, you’re in for a treat. This guide will help you uncover the authentic Dubrovnik beyond the beaten paths of the Old Town.

Here, you’ll learn to live in the city instead of just seeing —from greeting locals in

Croatian to discover cozy eateries hidden from the typical tourist’s eye. You’ll discover how to blend in, where to go, and what to do to truly embrace local life in Dubrovnik.

So, let’s begin this adventure together and delve deep into the heart of the city.

Read on!

1. Know Before You Go – Dubrovnik Croatia

Preparing a bit before your trip to Dubrovnik can greatly enhance your experience. Here are three essential tasks to complete:

●       Learn Basic Phrases in Croatian

One of the initial steps is to familiarize yourself with some basic Croatian phrases. Even mastering a few words can significantly improve your interactions.

For example, greeting someone with “Dobar dan” (Good day) or saying “Hvala” (Thank you) shows respect and brings a smile to people’s faces. In essence, it helps you connect with locals right from the start.

●       Learn Polite Communication Tips

Next, learning about how to communicate politely in this city is important. Here, Croatian people are straightforward but also value being polite and respectful.

So, understanding this balance will help you fit in better and make your interactions smoother. A little preparation before your trip can lead to a much richer experience once you arrive.

●       Pre-book Everything

Then, to beat the crowds, booking everything in advance for your trip is essential. Dubrovnik is a popular spot, so you may encounter a heavy crowd, especially in the summer. It means accommodations, tours, and restaurants can fill up fast.

Therefore, plan by securing your lodging and reserving tours. Additionally, don’t forget to book your dubrovnik city walls ticket early to avoid missing out on this must-see attraction. This approach will save you time and ensure you can enjoy the stunning views without any hassle.

2. Getting Started – Things To Do In Dubrovnik Croatia

●       Best Time to Visit

The perfect time to explore this city is the shoulder seasons from April to June and September to October. During these months, the weather is just right—not too hot or cold. This means it’s comfortable for walking around and enjoying the outdoors.

Additionally, there are fewer tourists during this time, allowing you to experience the city without the crowds. This means you can take your time at popular spots without feeling rushed. Also, the sea is warm enough for swimming from late May onwards, making it great for beach days.


●       Where to Stay

When you’re figuring out where to stay, think about checking into local places outside the Old Town. Neighborhoods like Lapad or Gruz are great choices.

Staying in these areas lets you see and live like a local. You’ll walk and shop on the same streets as the people who live there. This gives you a more authentic experience of what life in this city is really like. Plus, these areas are peaceful and less crowded, making your stay more relaxing.

3. Eating and Drinking Like a Local

●       Local Eateries and What to Order

Eating and drinking like a local in Dubrovnik offers a precise taste of Croatian culture. One of the best experiences is dining at Konobas, a traditional Croatian tavern. These cozy spots serve up a range of delicious dishes that are central to the local cuisine.

Here, a must-try is “peka,” a special way of preparing meat or seafood. It involves cooking the food under a dome-shaped lid, often with potatoes and vegetables, creating a flavorful dish.

Another popular choice here is “čevapi.” It consists of small rolls of grilled minced meat, typically served with a special sauce called ajvar.

●       Local Markets and Street Food

For a genuine local experience, you can head to the Gundulićeva Poljana Market in the morning. This bustling market is where locals buy fresh fruits, vegetables, and other produce.

It’s also a fantastic place to sample some street food. For example, Burek, a savory pastry filled with meat or cheese, is a must-try here. You can find it at various street vendors around the city.

Ultimately, this will give you a delicious glimpse into the everyday life of its residents.

4. Daily Life and Culture

●       Local Customs and Etiquette

In Dubrovnik, as in many Croatian cities, respecting local customs and etiquette is highly valued. One common practice here is removing your shoes before entering someone’s home. It’s a sign of respect towards the host and their living space.

In addition, warm greetings are customary and reflect the friendly nature of the local people. Also, tipping around 10% in restaurants is appreciated, but it is not mandatory.

●       Festivals and Events

Festivals and events play a significant role in Dubrovnik’s cultural life. Here, the Summer Festival, which runs from July to August, is particularly noteworthy. This event transforms the city into a live stage.

It perfectly blends traditional and contemporary performances. It includes live plays, concerts, and games. Moreover, attending these festivities will delight you and offer a unique insight into the rich culture of this city.

So, plan your visit around these local festivals and let them deepen your understanding of the city’s heritage. In short, these events will connect you more closely with its people and traditions.

5. Hidden Gems and Activities

●       Lesser-Known Attractions

One of the city’s lesser-known attractions is the island of Lokrum. It’s a home to plants from all over the world. Just a short ferry ride from the mainland, it invites you to explore its enchanting monastery and lush botanical gardens. It’s a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle where you can immerse yourself in nature and history.

Another tranquil spot is Lapad Bay. It is known for its stunning sunsets and relaxing beaches. This area provides a serene escape where you can enjoy the Adriatic Sea’s calming waters and the charm of local life.


●       Local Activities and Experiences

Joining a local cooking class here is a fantastic way to learn about local Croatian cuisine. You can try your hand at preparing traditional dishes under the guidance of local chefs.

In addition, if you’re an adventure seeker, kayaking around the city walls is perfect for you. This activity presents an unparalleled perspective of the city’s defenses. This is a combination of physical movement with breathtaking views.

Alternatively, a guided walking tour can lead you to discover hidden corners and stories that most tourists miss. These experiences will enrich your visit. Plus, it lets you connect more deeply with the spirit of this loving city.

6. Getting Around

●       Public Transportation Tips

Getting around this city is easy and convenient, with excellent public transportation and pedestrian-friendly streets. One of the best ways to move around the city is by using local buses.

These buses are regular, dependable, and reach most places you’d want to visit. Whether you’re heading to the famous Old Town or exploring the stunning beaches, a bus route gets you there. In short, it’s a budget-friendly option that allows you to see the city like a local.

●       Walking and Cycling Routes

If you prefer exploring at your own pace, walking and cycling are fantastic options. The city’s Old Town, free from car traffic, is perfect for strolls through its ancient streets.

You can admire the historic architecture, stop by charming cafes, or simply enjoy the vibrant atmosphere without the rush. Ultimately, it offers breathtaking views of the sea and the city’s natural beauty.


Experiencing this city like a local is about embracing the city’s culture, traditions, and daily rhythms. By embracing the above-mentioned tips, you’ll get a true sense of what life in Dubrovnik is like.

So, dive in, open your heart to new experiences, and let the city reveal its true beauty.

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