You have finally set foot one one the most beautiful cities in Mediterranean region: Dubrovnik. Famously known as the ‘Adriatic Pearl’, Dubrovnik is located in the South part of Croatia close to to the border of Montenegro. In this guide, I will help you out on finding the best things you could do in Dubrovnik with your family.
The city of Dubrovnik is on the wish list of many travellers due to its rich history and the incredible view you get from the Old Town and the fortified walls.
Historically, Dubrovnik used to be called Ragusa and was built probably around the 7th century under the protection of the Byzantine empire.
After a major earthquake in the 17th century, the town was severely damaged before being under the control of Napoleon armies. It then became part of the Kingdom of Dalmatia, Yugoslavia and finally Croatia in 1939.
Fast forward, the city of Dubrovnik is fairly small with a population of over 40,000 citizens but attracts over 1.5 million visitors each year.
So without further do, let’s go and explore all the things you can do with the family in Dubrovnik. Idemo!
1. The Walls and the Old Town
Let’s get right into this popular attraction in Dubrovnik: the Dubrovnik City Walls. If you have seen pictures of Dubrovnik before, there is a good chance you’ve already spotted these walls.
With such a strategic location on the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik has been a magnet for lots of conflicts in old or modern history. No wonder why the town was fortified by these walls with no less than 6 fortresses.
If you are visiting Dubrovnik with the family in peak season like July or August, I would recommend to get up early and walk the walls in the morning at 8am. You will avoid the crowd but also would feel much cooler than in the afternoon where temperature can reach 30°C.
With young kids, you can expect to make a tour of these walls in 2 to 3 hours. So make sure to wear comfortable shoes (no flip flops).
> Book a Morning Tour of the City Walls
2. Maritime Museum
You might be unlucky on your visit to Dubrovnik if it rains. Fear not, there is a nice small museum dedicated to vessels and ships. You and your children will learn about the maritime history of Dubrovnik.
Nestled on the city walls, this little museum is not very well known and can be hard to spot. So don’t miss it and take lots of pictures from the different windows.
📍Dubrovačke Gradske Zidine, Ul. kneza Damjana Jude 12, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
All right! Let’s be honest here, this aquarium is not the most extraordinary venue to spot the sea life. However, your children will certainly love it and you might enjoy it too, especially in the afternoon after a good lunch on the terrace.
The Dubrovnik aquarium was reopened in April 2022 after a major renovation that lasted 18 months. So expect to find well-maintained tanks with lots of fishes to spot during your visit.
📍Ul. kneza Damjana Jude 12, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
4. National History Museum
Here is another museum to visit in Dubrovnik with your family. This time the venue offers different taxidermic collections with also a few exhibits on environmental issues.
The museum is set on 3 different floors and can easily been visited in 1 hour. I wouldn’t place it on your ‘must do’ list of things to do in Dubrovnik. However if you have purchased a Dubrovnik card, there is a good chance that entrance is included in the pass.
📍Androvićeva ul. 1, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
5. Take the Dubrovnik Cable Car to Mount Srd
Please note that Dubrovnik Cable is closed and reopens on 1st April 2023
If you are looking for a stunning sunset on Dubrovnik Old Town, I can’t recommend enough to take the Dubrovnik Cable Car in the evening that leads you to Mount Srd.
You will be truly amazed by how beautiful this city with a clear sky and lots of warm colours. In the summer, you can take the cable car from 9am until midnight. So lots of photos opportunities for sure.
📍Ul. Kralja Petra Krešimira IV. 10A, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
6. Red History Museum
You remember that Dubrovnik was part of Yugoslavia before it became Croatia. So if you need to refresh your memory and learn the history of communism in former Yugoslovia.
You will see plenty of objects and artefacts representing how life was in a communist regime led country. Rooms have been recreated as well such as the typical living room of Yugoslavian family with retro 80s objects.
Overall, the Red History Museum is probably one of the best museums to visit in Dubrovnik with family with an immersive experience and plenty to learn on this specific history of the country.
📍Ul. Svetog Križa 3, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
7. Spend the afternoon at Lokrum Island
Located within a 15 minutes journey on a ferry from Dubrovnik Old Town, Lokrum Island is a beautiful little island where you can visit an old monastery with a Games of Thrones exhibit and spots different animals such as peacocks and rabbits.
There are different spots such as the Dead Sea where you can swim in clear waters. Just be careful with children as you would need to walk on rocks to reach the little lakes.
There are also botanical gardens not to be missed with a collection of cactus and other plants.
Finally, there is a restaurant café where you can have lunch with the family or sip your favourite drink before exploring further the island.
8. Outdoor Cinema at Slavica and the Jadran
Need an evening activity after an early dinner in Dubrovnik with the family? You can just relax and watch a movie al fresco at Slavica or the Jadran. These two venues organises outdoors cinema called Kinematografi Dubrovnik with blockbuster movies in the summer.
Have a look at the program when you arrive in Dubrovnik and see whether there is a family movie you can watch together.
9. Lovrijenac Fortress (Games of Thrones TV location scenes)
Situated on the west side of the Old Town, the Lovrijenac Fortress is accessible through steep stairs where you will be rewarded with a beautiful view over Dubrovnik. So extra caution if you are visiting with young kids.
This location is known to have used in the Game of Thrones TV series so you might recognise it once you are there.
If you have purchased your tickets to visit the city Walls, you already have access to this fortress. No need to pay extras.
📍Ul. od Tabakarije 29, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
10 Spend a Day at the Beach
Visiting Dubrovnik by day in the Summer could be quite tiring with the crowd but also with the increasing high temperature. So you might be tempted to take a pause and relax by the beach.
I would be lying if you could find long sandy beaches in the Dalmatian city but there are still a few spots to find.
So take your swimming costume, your beach towel and let’s explore 3 beaches to go to in Dubrovnik.
- Lapad Beach
Lapad beach has a bit of sand path with pebbles to make it easier to go down the turquoise water. You can find beach loungers and parasol to rent as well. If you need a place to eat, the beach restaurant serves nice pizzas too. Otherwise, you can find seafood restaurants nearby too.
- Sveti Jakov Beach
If you are looking for a quiet beach with sand and pebbles, you can head to Sveti Jakov beach. However if you are traveling with young children, beware that the access is a bit challenging with many steps going down the area. As always in Croatia, maybe equip your children with swim shoes to make the experience smoother.
- Banje beach
This pebble beach is probably the most popular due to its proximity of the Old Town of Dubrovnic. The beach is clean with calm waters and you can find sunbeds and umbrella to hire for the duration of your stay. On the left side of the beachfront, you can find the free zone where you can lie down for the day. Try to come before 1pm to avoid the crowd.
BONUS (if you have more time)
Mljet National Park
If you spend a few days in Dubrovnik and enjoy slow travel, you have to visit Mljet National Park for a perfect family day out. You have been warned, this place is a Croatian paradise with incredible blue waters and wildlife.
Don’t forget to pay a visit to Pomena village and bring back home some souvenirs. Also take the time to explore the island and find the beautiful Mljet beaches
Mljet island is only 100m² (38 sq miles) and can be visited by bike or foot once you’ve arrived at the island by boat. The ride along the lake is very pleasant too.
Make sure to pencil down the last ferry back to the mainland and plan accordingly your visit to the island.
For a more relaxed experience, you can choose to stay in a hotel on Mljet island for 1 or 2 nights.
That’s a wrap! I believe there is plenty to get you started on your visit to Dubrovnik with your family. This wonderful city never fails to impress tourists all year round.
With so much history and tough times through multiple wars and conflicts, the city of Dubrovnik is now crowned of being one of the best European city destinations. Happy Travels!
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