Is 3 days in Dubrovnik enough?

Dubrovnik is a gorgeous coastal city in Croatia known for its old town encircled by medieval stone walls. With its picturesque setting, historic architecture, and Mediterranean charm, it’s no wonder Dubrovnik is a popular tourist destination. However, with limited time, you may be wondering if 3 days is enough time to properly experience this city. Here’s a quick look at what you can realistically see and do with 3 days in Dubrovnik.

How much can you see in 3 days?

While you could easily spend a week or more fully exploring Dubrovnik, 3 days is enough time to visit the main attractions in and around the old town. With efficient planning, you can see highlights like:

  • Walk the historic city walls
  • Stroll down Stradun, the main pedestrian street
  • Visit Dubrovnik Cathedral and other baroque churches
  • See Orlando’s Column and Bell Tower
  • Tour the Rector’s Palace
  • Visit Fort Lovrijenac and Revelin Fortress
  • Take a cable car up to Srđ Hill for panoramic views
  • Day trip to nearby towns like Cavtat
  • Go on a boat cruise to Lokrum Island
  • Tour galleries and museums like War Photo Limited
  • Enjoy the beaches, like Banje Beach just outside the old town

While a longer visit would allow you to take a deeper dive into each attraction, this list definitely provides a solid introduction to Dubrovnik’s highlights. The key is being selective about what you prioritize seeing, as you won’t have time for everything.

Pros of 3 days in Dubrovnik

Spending just 3 days in Dubrovnik has some advantages:

  • You can see the top attractions. With efficient planning, you can see the main sights in and around the old town within 3 days.
  • Less time in crowds. Summertime crowds can overwhelm the narrow alleys and walls, so a shorter visit means less time dealing with long lines and packed streets.
  • Lower accommodation costs. Shorter stays mean paying less for lodging, which can add up quickly in this tourist hub.
  • Allows pairing with other destinations. Dubrovnik can be combined with places like Split, Hvar Island, or Mostar for a wider experience of Croatia and the Dalmatian Coast.
  • Provides a good taste test. You’ll get a solid overview of Dubrovnik in 3 days, enough to know if you’d like to plan a longer return trip.

If your main goal is to see the highlights and get a feel for Dubrovnik’s atmosphere, 3 days can work well.

Cons of 3 days in Dubrovnik

However, there are some drawbacks to spending only 3 days in Dubrovnik:

  • Rushed pace. Trying to fit all of Dubrovnik’s top sites into 3 days means a hurried schedule without much downtime.
  • Limited time to relax on beaches. With so much sightseeing, you may not be able to spend much time swimming, sunbathing, or enjoying beach bars.
  • Less flexibility if poor weather. Rain or storms could halt outdoor plans. With just 3 days, you have little room in your itinerary to shift activities around bad weather.
  • No day trips farther afield. It’s hard to take a full-day trip to a place like Mostar or Kotor and still see Dubrovnik’s highlights in just 3 days.
  • Less immersion into local life. From sampling Croatian wine to attending cultural performances, a longer visit allows getting a better feel for Dubrovnik beyond the tourist sights.

If relaxation, day trips, or in-depth cultural experiences are your priority, 3 days may feel too rushed.

Maximizing 3 days in Dubrovnik

To make the most of 3 days in Dubrovnik, keep these tips in mind:

  • Stay in or near the old town, minimizing transit time between accommodations and attractions.
  • Book tours and tickets for major sites like the city walls in advance to avoid long ticket lines.
  • Take advantage of early opening hours at popular spots to beat the biggest crowds.
  • Have a plan for each day whether self-guided or on a group/private tour.
  • Allow time to just wander and take photos without having to rush to the next scheduled activity.
  • Consider one day trip, either by land or cruise ship, to see sights outside Dubrovnik.
  • Chat with locals and learn about their lives and culture beyond the standard tourist sites.

Even with limited time, visiting Dubrovnik’s museums, churches, and galleries provides meaningful insight into local history and arts. And the Croatian cuisine shines through in restaurants around the old town. Focus on a few key experiences that speak to your interests rather than racing to see everything.

An ideal 3 day Dubrovnik itinerary

This sample 3 day Dubrovnik itinerary focuses on must-see attractions paired with leisure time to simply soak up the atmosphere:

Day 1

  • Morning: Walk the city walls first thing in the morning when crowds are lower. Spend 2+ hours taking in 360° views.
  • Midday: Appreciate baroque architecture at Dubrovnik Cathedral and Church of St. Blaise. Grab lunch at a restaurant like Nishta overlooking the cathedral.
  • Afternoon: Stroll down Placa (Stradun), stopping to browse shops and cafés. Climb the town’s main thoroughfare through Pile Gate.
  • Evening: Take the cable car up Srđ Hill before sunset for panoramic views. Have dinner at Panorama Restaurant.

Day 2

  • Morning: Learn about Dubrovnik’s history at Rector’s Palace and War Photo Limited.
  • Midday: Tour Fort Lovrijenac, watching for Games of Thrones filming locations. Have lunch at Restaurant 360° with cliffside views.
  • Afternoon: Relax on Banje Beach, on the rocks or at Banje Beach Bar. Swim and sunbathe.
  • Evening: Take an evening stroll along the city walls for beautiful golden hour views. Have dinner at Amfora restaurant.

Day 3

  • Morning: Take a day cruise to Lokrum Island and the Elaphite Islands. Swim and snorkel at stops.
  • Midday: Explore ruins on Lokrum Island. Have lunch at the Botanical Garden Restaurant.
  • Afternoon: Return to Dubrovnik’s port. Visit boutique shops and cafés around the old port.
  • Evening: Watch the sunset over the sea walls with cocktails at Buža Bar. Have a farewell dinner at Azur.

This itinerary covers top attractions while leaving time to simply wander and enjoy Dubrovnik’s enchanting setting. You could also opt for a day trip to Mostar, Montenegro, or Cavtat instead of the island cruise on Day 3.

Where to stay in Dubrovnik for 3 days

With just 3 days, staying inside or right outside the old town walls eliminates transit time to and from attractions. Recommended accommodations include:

  • Guesthouse City Walls – Charming guest house along the walls with views. Easy access to Pile Gate.
  • Villa Margareta – Small boutique hotel inside the walls. Rooftop pool and bar have sensational views.
  • Villa Dubrovnik – Upscale waterfront hotel outside the walls with subterranean spa, pool, and fine dining.
  • Apartments Amoret – Overlooks Pile Bay just steps from the walls. Great value apartments with amenities.
  • Fresh* Sheets – Modern boutique hostel with friendly atmosphere. Easy access to attractions.

There are also many private vacation rental apartments scattered around the old town for those looking for space to spread out. The closer your accommodations are to Pile Gate, the quicker you can get out exploring each morning.

Getting around Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik’s old town is very compact, making it easy to get around on foot. No public transportation is needed to see the main sites. Wear comfortable walking shoes as you’ll spend most days hoofing it on cobblestone streets. Beyond the old town, you have a few options for getting around:

  • Taxis – Readily available for airport transfers or day trips farther afield. Agree on rates beforehand.
  • Buses – Inexpensive way to reach surrounding villages and beaches. Buy tickets and passes at kiosks.
  • Boats – Ferries and water taxis useful for island-hopping day trips.
  • Cable car – Quick way up Srđ Hill for overhead views. Runs until late evening.
  • Tours – Easy way to see sights with guides handling logistics. Options range from group to private.

When you need a break from walking, Dubrovnik’s efficient bus system provides access to attractions like the cable car station and area beaches.

Where to eat in Dubrovnik

Dining in Dubrovnik centers on fresh seafood, Mediterranean produce, local wines, and Croatian cuisine. Atmospheric settings range from beachfront terraces to candlelit stone interiors. Can’t miss culinary experiences include:

  • Octopus salad, grilled sea bass, and other coastal dishes at Barba
  • Upscale tasting menus at cliffside Restaurant 360°
  • Decadent breakfasts on the Stradun at Dolce Vita
  • Wine flights paired with cheese and charcuterie at D’Vino Wine Bar
  • Cocktails and Asian fusion dishes at trendy Azur Restaurant
  • Romantic waterfront dinner at Pantarul with live music
  • Mediterranean fast food like cevapi at Atlas Club Nautika
  • Gelato from Dolce Vita while strolling the Stradun

Reserving tables is recommended for popular fine dining spots like 360° and Nautika. Don’t miss trying Croatian wines from the Dalmatia region like Dingač, Pošip, and Plavac Mali.

Dubrovnik 3 day itinerary map

This map outlines an efficient route to hit the top attractions in 3 days while minimizing backtracking:

All accommodations choices are within or just outside the old city walls. Each day focuses on a different region, working clockwise around the old town. This allows easy access back to your hotel each afternoon or evening.

Day trip options from Dubrovnik

If you have time for a day trip, consider these easy options accessible from Dubrovnik’s port and bus station:

Lokrum Island

Just a 10 minute ferry ride from Dubrovnik, this forested island has hiking trails, beaches, botanical gardens, and peacocks roaming freely. Fun for swimming, snorkeling, or a picnic escape.

Elaphite Islands cruise

A boat cruise through this small archipelago lets you swim at secluded beaches and visit sleepy villages on islands like Lopud and Koločep.


This charming coastal town near the airport has an old town and waterfront promenade to explore. It’s home to ancient sites like St. Nicholas Church.


The famous arched bridge in Mostar’s old town can be seen on this full day bus trip, which also includes stops like Kravice Falls.


Perast and Kotor make for scenic stops along the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro, reachable via tour or private transfer.

When is the best time to visit Dubrovnik?

Peak season in Dubrovnik is summer, roughly mid-June through August. This is when weather is sunniest and warmest for enjoying beaches and boating. However, crowds swarm the old town, accommodation rates skyrocket, and lines at major attractions like the cable car and walls can top 2 hours. For a balance of nice weather and fewer tourists, target shoulder seasons:

  • Spring (May-mid June): Pleasant weather before peak crowds arrive. Accommodations are cheaper and attractions are less busy.
  • Fall (late September-October): Warm sunny weather and fewer crowds. Sea is still swimmable. Hotels and flights generally cost less.

During the winter months between November to April, many hotels and restaurants close or operate shorter hours. Attractions can close too, especially in January and February. The weather is cooler and rainfalls more frequent. However, hotel rates and flights are at their lowest if you bundle up to sightsee. Holiday markets during December add festive cheer.


Is 3 days enough time to visit Dubrovnik? While you may have to pare down your wish list, it does allow you to see the highlights at a quicker pace. Focus on the top sites and experiences that appeal most to you rather than racing to fit in everything. Optimal planning and efficient use of time also helps you make the most of a shorter visit. Just be ready for a fast-paced schedule trying to pack it all into 3 days. For a more relaxed experience, extend your trip by a few more days or visit during the shoulder season when crowds are smaller. With its ancient alleyways and beautiful Adriatic vistas, Dubrovnik offers boundless magic whether you stay for 3 days or 3 weeks.

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