Dubrovnik aerial

Ten fabulously free things to do in Dubrovnik

Give your wallet a rest with our list of wonderful free things to do in Dubrovnik

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Dubrovnik is Croatia's most photographed city and welcomes armies of tourists every day. You won't be able to walk the famous city walls without spending some dosh, and most attractions will have you parting with a handful of coins. While you'll probably conclude that these inimitable sights are worth every penny, you can easily give the spending a break - Dubrovnik's free attractions are some of its finest. Here are some wonderful free things to do in Dubrovnik.

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You can also find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world, or take a look at our list of the 50 best things to do in the world right now

RECOMMENDED: more great things to do in Dubrovnik

Climb mount Srđ
© Artur Bociarski

1. Climb mount Srđ

Mount Srđ looms behind Dubrovnik, lending the cityscape a touch of the sublime. Walk up its sinuous paths to escape the throb of the streets for a few hours; it's a 90-minute thigh-burner of a walk, but its summit offers panoramic views to please the most curmudgeonly climber. Once you're done gazing, you can stop by the mountain top cafe.

Trees give some shade, but for much of the way you’ll be crossing bare and arid patches under the glare of the sun – so bring plenty of water.

(There are also cable cars which whisk you up to the summit for 60 – 100 kuna each way).

  • Things to do
  • Festivals

The Good Food Festival in October is a great way to get an overview of Dalmatian cuisine, find some new firm favourites and soak up the atmosphere of the city streets at their best. Tables lined with every imaginable local delicacy - from traditional fish and seafood servings to cakes, sausages, cheeses and pastries - line the streets and every resident and visitor can be found mingling between them. There are many free tasting sessions and culinary workshops run by locally renowned chefs.

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Explore Dubrovnik's coastline
© dronepicr

3. Explore Dubrovnik's coastline

In summer, Dubrovnik's beaches attract a crowd of sunbathers who tend to stay loyal to their own particular favourite. But, throughout the year, there's plenty of coastline to explore, including half-moon bays which you'll feel lucky to have discovered. On foot, you can admire the old city walls from Sveti Jakov (pictured), a secluded cove that provides a more relaxing experience than Dubrovnik's central beach Banje.

Admire the architecture
© Claudia Schnepf

4. Admire the architecture

The best way to grasp why Dubrovnik's Old Town is UNESCO-listed is to wander around and admire the architecture. Placa Stradun, the central street, has a smattering of gems - enter through the imposing Pile Gate, and get lost in the tangle of alleys and backstreets. If you stroll by in the evening, look out for the ceremonious changing of the guards that happens at 9.30pm every day on Stradun.

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Visit Byzantine churches
© Vladimir Korostyshevskiy

5. Visit Byzantine churches

Streets hum with litanies in Dubrovnik, so numerous are its churches. While the Cathedral's Baroque facade has visitors rightly gawping, serious church enthusiasts will want to search a little further: the ornate St Ignatius's church (pictured) is dripping with Byzantine icons. Although it's priced at 60kn, passing through the Franciscan monastery's cloister is one of Dubrovnik's most transcendent experiences. 

Make time, too, to see the oldest Sephardic synagogue in Europe. Nestled in a side alley, it's easy to miss - but when you enter its elegant interior, you'll be glad you didn't.

Window-shop at the market
© Frederic Maillard

6. Window-shop at the market

A bustling fruit and veg market wakes up the Gundulić Square each morning. Stalls sell fresh food and flowers and traditional craftwork. Soak up the calamity, and then admire the statue of the square's namesake, 17th-century poet Ivan Gundulić. 

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People watch at Luža Square
© anoli50

7. People watch at Luža Square

Luža Square's impressive cast of highlights includes Sponza Palace, St Blaise, Vlaho church and the city Bell Tower. If you're there at the right moment, you might catch a passing procession or public event at this lively focal point but, at any time of day, it's a great place to sit, soak up the vibes and watch the mix of locals and visitors passing through.

Laze around in Gradac park
© Anamaria Mejia

8. Laze around in Gradac park

At 200 metres above the Old Town, Gradac park (pictured) is an elevated escape littered with old stone pathways and steps. It's lined with verdant pines and has a quiet water feature at its middle. From here, you can gaze over the ancient walls and ramshackle rooftops of Dubrovnik. Get there by going uphill on Dr. Ante Starčevića.

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Look out to sea from Dubrovnik's port
© Sergey Strelkov

9. Look out to sea from Dubrovnik's port

Such is its history, Dubrovnik must have sometimes seemed like the gateway to the world and its port still sees hundreds of ships dock and depart each day. Sit at the edge of the quay and let yourself be hypnotised by the rhythms of the bay - watch excited crowds dismount and disperse, as boats sail in and away. For calmer, more traditional comings-and-goings, the passage of the smaller boats from the marina section might be more your thing.

Go Game of Thrones sightseeing
© Anamaria Mejia

10. Go Game of Thrones sightseeing

Dubrovnik served as the location for the fantasy city of King’s Landing since the shooting of series two, when it replaced Malta as the preferred backdrop for the capital of the Seven Kingdoms. The look of the walled city has clearly imprinted itself on the fictional King’s Landing, however many cosmetic changes the set builders and CGI put in place. It is now difficult to think of Game Of Thrones at all without visions of Dubrovnik springing immediately to mind.

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