11 Unforgettable Day Trips From Dubrovnik, Croatia (2024)

by Sam
View of the iconic Stari Most (Old Bridge) in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, seen from the banks of the emerald-green Neretva River. The historic arch bridge connects two medieval towers against a backdrop of bright blue skies, while visitors enjoy boating activities on the river.

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Looking for the best day trips from Dubrovnik?

Dubrovnik is, without a doubt, a dream destination for all travellers. Whether you are jetting off here for the medieval rush of Game of Thrones or a coastal experience on the Adriatic Sea for sun, sea and a relaxing holiday, it is one of Croatia’s most beautiful places to visit.

While Dubrovnik has many attractions and cultural activities, such as its City Walls and medieval Old Town, it is easy to forget that there are many places near Dubrovnik that are also worth visiting.

Maybe you want to explore the UNESCO Old Town of Kotor in Montenegro, escape Dubrovnik’s hustle and bustle in the serene beauty of Kravice Waterfalls in Bosnia and Herzegovina – Or see the Roman ruins of Split. Might I go on?

I have been lucky enough to visit all of these places on the list, which are easily accessible by car, bus, or on a day tour.

And it’s important to consider that I would only recommend visiting some of the places if you are spending more than a few days in Dubrovnik, because who wants a rushed trip, right?

That being said, continue reading below for where to go for your day out from Dubrovnik.

1. Kotor and Perast

Kotor is one of the best places to visit near Dubrovnik. This Montenegro crown jewel has one of the finest natural harbours in the world in Kotor Bay. It is adorned by its nearby Old Town, a remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The town is full of medieval aesthetics with cobbled stone streets and well-preserved architecture. 

Start your day in the Old Town by visiting St. Tryphon’s Cathedral and then have a wander around.

Exterior view of St. Tryphon's Cathedral in Kotor, Montenegro, showcasing its Romanesque architecture with twin bell towers against a backdrop of rugged mountains, under a clear blue sky.

If you’re a big fan of cats, you’re in luck. The little felines roam around Old Town and have become a symbol of the area for protecting it from rats, mice, and snakes. They are very approachable and love a good fuss!

For the best view of the town, head up to the Kotor fortress!

This requires a steep 280m climb over a 2-hour hike but is steady and easily done by beginners. It costs €8 to access the fortress, which you pay during the hike.

I recommend heading up there as soon as possible before peak temperatures hit. This ensures you have enough time to soak in those lovely views and spare time for drink stops. 

Aerial view of Kotor Old Town in Montenegro, displaying the historical red-roofed buildings densely packed together, surrounded by the winding Bay of Kotor and dramatic limestone cliffs, on a sunny day with clear blue skies.
This hike gives you the most picturesque view across the Old Town and Bay of Kotor.

Away from the Old Town, on the coast, is also the charming coastal town of Perast, enhanced by its small artificial island, Our Lady of the Rocks.

Visitors can reach Perast and the islet by boat from the Bay of Kotor or by taking a bus from the bus station to Perast and then heading over to the islet.

Plan a day trip to Kotor from Dubrovnik

How much time: I recommend allocating at least a day to explore Kotor and its surrounding areas

What you need: A Passport and patience..a lot of it, for crossing the border. 

How to get there:

  • Car: The easiest way to Kotor is by car. Driving from Dubrovnik to Kotor only takes 1 hour and 50 minutes. However, I recommend allocating at least 1-2 hours extra time for the border crossing.
  • Bus: To get to Kotor by bus, you can take a bus from Dubrovnik Bus Station. Tickets can be bought online from GetbyBus or Bus Croatia.
  • Tour: There are so many tours from Dubrovnik to Kotor. I recommend picking one that has the biggest time frame. 

Read next: My full guide on a day trip from Dubrovnik to Kotor

2. Kravice Waterfalls

The Kravice Waterfalls in Bosnia are one of the best places to visit from Dubrovnik. Imagine a sequence of majestic cascading waterfalls and turquoise waters cornered in by a tropical paradise – It is a fantastic day trip for the senses. 

As you head down the steps from the ticket office, you’ll come across one of the best vantage points of the waterfalls.

Be sure to grab as many photos as possible; there are no better-placed spots than this! 

The serene Kravice Waterfalls in Bosnia, with its lush greenery and multiple cascades flowing into a emerald lake, viewed on a sunny day with a clear blue sky above.
One of the best sights you'll see on a day from Dubrovnik.

Kravice Waterfalls is also one of the few famous waterfalls in the world where you can swim at its base. You can hop right in from June to September, so bring your swimming gear!

With temperatures reaching the mid-30s in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a swim in the cold, refreshing water feels amazing, to say the least.

Many restaurants are also on-site, so you never need to worry about food. You can easily spend the whole day here, sunbathing and swimming.

If you need to be on the move, there are many mini trails around the waterfalls, with vantage points to see this national beauty in different angles.

Note: It costs €10 to enter

Plan a perfect day trip to Kravice Waterfalls

How much time: You should allocate at least half a day. However, a full day is easy to spend here. Visitors typically combine a trip to Kravice Waterfalls with half a day in Mostar. I recommend doing this through a tour.

What you need: Passport and swimming gear if you’re visiting from June to September. 

How to get there:

  • Car: It takes 1 hour and 50 minutes from Dubrovnik to Kravice Waterfalls. Parking is also on-site and free!
  • Tour: You can only take a guided tour from Dubrovnik that combines both Kravice Waterfalls and Mostar.

Note: Public transport from Dubrovnik to the waterfalls is very difficult, so I highly recommend a guided tour if you’re not driving.

Find the best day tours to Kravice Waterfalls from Dubrovnik.

3. Cavtat

To escape the crowds, take a day trip from Dubrovnik to Cavtat, a much quieter area on the Adriatic coast.

Although there isn’t an instant hit of things to do in Cavtat, it is one of the best places to visit near Dubrovnik for views, budget travel and sunny, relaxing days out.  

Sunset view of Cavtat marina in Croatia, framed by ancient stone archways, highlighting the tranquil sea, moored boats, and historic coastal architecture in the soft evening light.
Recommendation: Cavtat is a brilliant option for a budget-friendly base area when travelling to Dubrovnik.

There are many restaurants, bars, cafes, you name it, all with a much cheaper price tag, where you can almost expect to pay double in Dubrovnik.

Best beaches

Cavtat has over four beaches. Beach Zal is the best choice for families, with an Aqua park that can soon keep the kids entertained.

Meanwhile, Beach Cavtat is the best for couples looking for a sunny, relaxing day out.

Activities and hikes

If you want to participate in water activities, there are rental stations around the coast where you can hire jet skis.

For a picturesque hike, I recommend venturing along the coast on a circular route around the town’s outer section – lovely views are always guaranteed.

Nighttime view of the calm sea at Cavtat, Croatia, with the moon's reflection creating a shimmering path on the water, as seen from a tree-lined promenade illuminated by a street lamp.
Cavtat is even prettier at night!

Plan a day trip to Cavtat

How much time: You need at least half a day to see everything. However, I recommend a whole day if you plan to adventure the coast, sunbathe and eat here.

What you need: Anything you need for a sunny beach day out!

How to get there:

  • Car: It only takes 25-30 minutes to drive from Dubrovnik to Cavtat, and parking is available all throughout the town.
  • Bus: To get to Cavtat from Dubrovnik, take the #10 from the Dubrovnik bus station. Tickets cost €4, and the journey takes 40 minutes.
  • Ferry: From the Dubrovnik Old Port, visitors can travel along the Adriatic Sea to Cavtat. You can buy tickets and check the latest ferry prices here.

Going by bus is by far the cheapest option!

4. Lokrum Island

One of the best things to do from Dubrovnik is take a day trip to Lokrum Island. It is a truly stunning place to visit to escape the city’s hustle and bustle.

Once you arrive in Lokrum, you’ll find a laminated map at the port, displaying points of interest. This map will help you navigate the island and plan your amazing day.

What to expect;

Lokrum is home to a botanical garden, a highly concentrated salt lake, medieval masterpieces, and a history with a TV phenomenon, all of which make for a busy day trip.

The well-preserved Benedictine Monastery of St. Mary is an absolute delight, with its lush gardens, medieval aesthetics and stunning courtyard.

It’s no wonder it was used as Qarth for Game of Thrones, where the showrunners must have seen the area’s allure and just thought,

“Yep, that’ll do”.

A sunny gravel path winding through the geometric hedge maze at the Benedictine Monastery of St. Mary on Lokrum Island, framed by lush trees with the Adriatic Sea in the background.

If you are visiting for the show, head inside the monastery where The Iron Throne sits. HBO gifted this replica of the throne to the island as a thank-you for hosting them.

You’ll get a chance to sit and take pictures of yourself on the throne, + there is a little Game of Thrones exhibition. 

The island also offers opportunities to spend time in the sun. I recommend heading to what the locals call “The Dead Sea.” The sea’s erosion activity formed this highly concentrated salt lake. 

The serene salt lake known as the Dead Sea on Lokrum Island, Croatia, with its tranquil waters mirroring the rugged reddish-brown cliff and green foliage that adorn its banks.

Visitors can hop right in and go for a swim. The water is so salty that you can just sit in it and float away like a crisp packet.

Plan a day trip to Lokrum Island

How much time: I recommend at least a day to visit Lokrum Island. However, half a day is enough time to explore its main attractions.

Due to its close proximity, the island can be visited even if you only have one day in Dubrovnik.

What you need: Anything for a sunny day out! 

How to get there:

  • Ferry: To get to Lokrum Island from Dubrovnik, you’ll need to take take the ferry from Dubrovnik’s old port. A return ticket and entry to the island cost €27 (concession discounts are available). 

Insiders tip: Those who have purchased the Dubrovnik Pass for three days or more are entitled to a discount on their Lokrum Island trip.

5. Mostar

For the second part of your Bosnian travels, visit the metropolis of Mostar. It offers a busy day of historical learning and fun-filled activities.

To start your day in Mostar, head to the famous UNESCO Heritage Site The Old Bridge

The bridge was built in the 16th century and is at the city’s centrepiece, connecting the city’s two parts across the Nerveta River.

Note:  You can walk along the bridge, although I do warn you, it is very slippery. I highly recommend that you bring some shoes with a good grip.

For the most picturesque landscape view of the bridge, climb to the top of the Minaret in Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque.

Or, you can head down right next to it at the banks of the Neretva River.

The Stari Most bridge arching over the emerald waters of the Neretva River in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, with spectators lining the railing and historic city buildings in the background under a clear blue sky

Next, continue your day in Mostar by walking around the Old Bazar. Here, you’ll find the city’s main establishments and the best place for souvenir shopping. 

From hand-made crafts to local clothes, you’ll find just about anything to take back to Dubrovnik and remember your unforgettable day trip to Mostar. 

Plan a day trip to Mostar

How much time: I recommend at least half a day, but a day or even two is possible.

What you need: A passport.

How to get there:

  • Car: Renting a car is the best option for getting from Dubrovnik to Mostar. The journey takes 2 hours and 17 minutes. Put aside at least 1-2 hours for border crossing.
  • Tour: This is the next best option if renting a car is not possible, as buses from Dubrovnik to Bosnia and Herzegovina are really scarce.

That said, I couldn’t recommend this combined guided tour of Kravice Waterfalls and Mostar enough! Our tour guide was attentive, informative, and humorous throughout.

*Important note: If you are planning a guided tour from Dubrovnik, I recommend opting for small group tours when you travel to Bosnia and Montenegro.

You’ll pass the borders much faster, as you’ll avoid going in the coach lanes at the border – leaving you more time for exploring! 

6. Korcula Island

Korcula Island is one of Croatia’s best-hidden gems, earning its nickname “The Little Dubrovnik” through showcasing all the elements that make Dubrovnik a sought-after destination for tourists across the globe.

The island racks up fewer visitors than Hvar and Brač and is the perfect getaway from Dubrovnik’s hustle and bustle. 

Start your adventure in Korcula Island by exploring the historic Old Town. Like Dubrovnik, this is a setting of many Venetian-style buildings with the famous orange rooftops. 

The historic Korčula town with its medieval fortified walls and towers overlooking the Adriatic Sea, as people enjoy the nearby beach and vibrant streets under a clear sky in Croatia.

As you enter the town, you’ll see its medieval ambience on show, with its cobbled stone streets and old, well-preserved architecture.

For the best view, climb the bell tower of St Mark’s Cathedral, which offers a postcard-worthy view of Old Town. 

A dive into history

After a view to savour, head to the Korcula Town Museum for a history dive.

This exhibition traces the history of Korcula and how it has developed over the years as a formidable town.

The Korcula Town Museum in Croatia, showcasing Gothic-Renaissance architecture with weathered stone walls, adorned with a balcony and arched windows, flanked by other historic buildings under a cloudy sky.

But don’t just stop at the museum; have a wander around.

There are plenty more views, monuments, and more exploring for the ultimate day trip from Dubrovnik!

Plan a perfect day trip to Korcula Island

How much time: I recommend at least a day here to make the commute time worthwhile. 

What you need: Anything you would take for a sunny beach day out and also exploring. 

How to get there:

  • Ferry: The only way to get there other than by a guided tour is by ferry, which takes 2 hours from Dubrovnik.
  • Tour: You can only get to Korcula Island through a combined guided tour experience that includes visiting other areas near Dubrovnik.

Find the best day tours to Korcula Island from Dubrovnik.

7. Peljesac Peninsula

Peljesac Peninsula is one of the best places to visit in Croatia. With its rugged mountainous landscapes, charming villages, and well-preserved architecture, there are more than enough things to see and do to fill up a day’s itinerary from Dubrovnik.

The best place to start is by visiting the well-preserved town of Ston, famous for its city walls and salt pans.

The Walls of Ston are huge! They connect and surround Mali Ston and Ston and have gained the nickname ‘The European Wall of China’ for their grandeur.

Walking around them takes at least 2 hours and costs €10 to go on them. 

Ancient stone city walls of a ston, Croatia, winding through lush green hillsides, overlooking a serene lake in a valley, under a clear sky.

Peljesac Peninsula is also famous for its oyster and mussel farms, so you won’t need to go far for some delicious seafood. Even better, it specialises in its wine production, with Dignac and Postup being its most notable collections.

I recommend taking the oyster and wine tasting tour to sample all the oysters and wine on the Peninsula.

Plan a perfect day trip to Peljesac Peninsula

How much time: I recommend spending at least a day here. There’s so much to cover in a short little time. Renting a car is highly advisable to explore the peninsula leisurely.

What you need: Anything for a sunny and adventurous day out! 

How to get there:

  • Car: Travelling by car is the easiest way to get here. It takes only 1 hour to reach Ston from Dubrovnik, and the other areas of the Peljesac are all within a short driving distance.
  • Tour: There are plenty of wine-tasting tours from Dubrovnik. However, if you’re not a lover of wine, there are combined day tours that includes a trip to Korcula Island.

Find the best day tours to the Peljesac Peninsula from Dubrovnik.

8. Trsteno Arboretum

The Trsteno Arboretum is a must-visit from Dubrovnik, with only a 20-minute drive separating them.

It’s one of the oldest Arboretums in the world, built in the late 15th century by the Gozze family as a summer retreat.

Pathway through Trsteno Arboretum in Croatia
Fun fact: The Gozze family sent their ship captains across the globe to find seeds and plants from wherever they visited. These became the foundations for the gardens.

While you’re here, take a stroll around its tranquil surroundings. There is so much stunning Renaissance architecture to see, with sculptures and fountains adorning its setting, including the Neptune fountain at its centrepiece.

Trsteno Arboretum was also one of the key filming locations for Game of Thrones in Dubrovnik, where it played the part of High Garden. 

For fans visiting for the show, head to the Pavillion!

The Trsteno Arboretum Belvedere Pavilion in Croatia, showcasing a stone pathway leading to the historic open-air structure with a red tile roof, surrounded by verdant tropical plants, with the tranquil Adriatic Sea and distant mountains providing a picturesque backdrop.

It was at this very spot that Olenna Tyrell heavily hinted to Margaery about her involvement in King Joffrey’s death. 

The pavilion also has the best view in town, with a picturesque overview of the Adriatic Sea.

Plan a perfect day trip to Trsteno Arboretum

How much time: You can walk around the gardens in as little as an hour, so it’s the perfect place to visit if you have only one day in Dubrovnik.

What you need: A packed lunch, as no restaurants are on-site.

How to get there:

  • Car: The best way to get to Trsteno Arboretum is by car. It is only a 21-minute drive from Dubrovnik.
  • Bus: Only two buses leave the bus station for Trsteno Arboretum, one at 10:59 and one at 20:59. Therefore, I recommend coming here by car or on a day tour.
  • Tour: Unfortunately, for non-Game of Thrones fans, joining a Game of Thrones tour is necessary to see Trsteno Arboretum if other transportation options aren’t feasible.

However, your tour will allow you to explore some of the most beautiful parts near Dubrovnik, so it’s a win-win situation.

9. Elaphiti Islands

The Elaphiti archipelago is a set of islands located just northwest of Dubrovnik. It is perfect for a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Visitors can only visit three of its main islands, Koločep, Lopud, and Šipan, all within touching distance and accessible via ferry from one another.

Each of the islands has its unique qualities;

Kolocep –  This has several beautiful beaches around its shores. I highly recommend visiting Blue Cave. It can only be accessed via a boat trip that stops right outside the cave, and you’ll need to swim towards it.

Just under the cave are some of the most sight-worthy turquoise waters!

Lopud – This is the most developed of the three islands, with plenty of establishments nearby. It is your go-to for a beach day out, with the gorgeous sandy beach of Sunj.

Sunny day at Beach Sunj on Lopud Island in Croatia with visitors enjoying the clear blue waters, white boats floating nearby, and a backdrop of green, rugged coastline under a bright blue sky.

Šipan – This is the largest Elaphiti Island, home to two small picturesque fishing villages. Each village has a few establishments, a hotel and beaches to accompany them.

You can hike to both or take a bus!

Note: Kolocep and Lopud are both car-free. You can simply walk straight through them without a worry in the world.

Plan a day trip to the Elaphiti Islands

How much time: At least a full day.

What you need: Everything for a sunny and adventurous day out. 

How to get there:

  • Ferry: You can take a ferry from the Dubrovnik Gruz port to the Elaphiti Islands. Ferries depart daily from Dubrovnik and are most frequent from June to September. Check out the latest ferry schedule.
  • Tour: The easiest and most convenient way to explore the Elaphiti Islands is by taking a guided tour from Dubrovnik.

Going by boat yourself without the tour will be challenging because you’ll need to plan around the ferry schedules for each island you’re on.

Find the best day tours to the Elaphiti Islands from Dubrovnik.

10. Mljet

A trip to the island of Mljet is easily one of the best day trips from Dubrovnik, with guaranteed sights to savour coming your way. 

The entire island is isolated from mainstream Dubrovnik, so from a ferry trip away, you can be out of the hustle and bustle of the city in no time. 

On the island, you can visit the Mljet National Park, which covers the entire northwest of the island.

The national park covers a large area of lush greenery and picturesque beaches and boasts its two salt lakes, Veliko (Big Lake) and Malo Jezero (Small Lake).

Aerial view of Mljet island in Croatia, showcasing the green forest canopy, winding blue saltwater lakes, and distant islands on the horizon under a clear blue sky.
Montokuc Viewpoint offers the best view on the island of Veliko and Malo Jezero.

In addition to exploring the island, I recommend taking a short ferry trip to the enchanting small islet known as St Mary’s Island.

On the island, you’ll find the architectural masterpiece Benedictine Monastery, one of the oldest church buildings in the Adriatic. However, this wasn’t my main highlight.

As you walk around, you’ll find its main resident, the donkey, in the monastery’s gardens. 

A donkey forages in the Benedictine Monastery gardens on St Mary's Island, Croatia, with the ancient stone structure adorned by a blue scarf and shaded by verdant trees.

You’ll be happy to know you have many opportunities to pet them. Of course, this is my main takeaway in any setting!

Getting around the national park

The national park boasts some of the most scenic hiking trails in Europe. With 53 km of lush greenery, hikers have a busy day ahead. If you look to visit both salt lakes, you can access them via a 2-hour and 30-minute hike from Pomena. 

Pomena is the best arrival point on the island. It is the hotspot for bike rental shops, car/scooter rentals, and kayak/canoe rentals. 

Electric train tours to explore the island are also available from May to September. Check out the latest schedule.

Plan a day trip to Mljet Island

How much time: At least a full day.

What you need: Anything and everything for a sunny and adventurous day out. 

How to get there:

  • Ferry: Visitors can take a ferry from the Dubrovnik Ferry Terminal (Port Gruz) to areas around the island. However, ferry times are scarce in most seasons, making a day trip there awkward. It takes 1 hour and 30 minutes from Dubrovnik
  • Tour: There are many day tours to Mljet from Dubrovnik. If you’re not visiting during peak seasons, this is the best way to travel around the island to avoid the limited ferry availability.

Find the best day tours to Mljet from Dubrovnik.

11. Split

Split is the second largest city in Croatia, with a massive, diverse range of ancient and modern history.

There is so much to do there!

From exploring its UNESCO World Heritage monument and Old Town to soaking up the sun on its scenic beaches, there will be no time to spare after a day from Dubrovnik.

To start your day in Split, visit Diocletian’s Palace, one of the world’s best-preserved Roman ruins.

Interior view of Diocletian Palaces historical stone archway leading to a small courtyard, with cobblestone pavement and a clear blue sky peeking through. The ancient walls show varying textures and patterns of brick and stone, creating a sense of old-world charm

It was initially built in 305 by Emperor Diocletian as a retirement home and is half the length of the Old Town.

I’d just be content with a shack, to be honest!  

Make sure to venture around its highlights: The Peristyle, The Cardo, and, of course, the Diocletian’s Cellars, which was used as a filming location for Game of Thrones.

The cellars of Diocletian's Palace in Split, showcasing the architectural heritage with its sturdy Roman arches and columns. The vaulted stone ceilings and the serene ambiance hint at the palace's storied past, with a modest stone display in the foreground adding to the historic experience.
These were where Daenerys kept her fire-breathing dragons.

If you’re visiting for the show, be sure to also head to Klis Fortress, just outside the city, which was the filming location for Meereen.

On your day trip to Split, continue your tour of the rest of the Old Town. Stroll around its cobblestone streets and stop at one of the local cafes or restaurants.

I recommend stopping off at NoStress Bistro, which has excellent views of the square next to the Karepic Palace.

Then, for the city’s best views, climb the 200 steps up to the top of the bell tower in Saint Domnius Cathedral. 

This offers a wide panorama of the entire city of Split and its surrounding mountains.

Saint Domnius Cathedral Bell Tower Stairs
Saint Domnius Cathedral Bell Tower View of Split

For those visiting Split for its beaches, there are over 10 to choose from, and all are worthy of the top spot.

Bačvice Beach is one of the best beaches in Split. It is perfect for families and those looking for water activities. Plus, it’s sandy..which, as many know, is hard to find along the Adriatic coast!

Plan a day trip to Split

How much time: At least a full day, but many spend two or three days here.

What you need: Pack light and enough euros for the activities and any food while you’re here. 

How to get there:

  • Car: Driving from Dubrovnik to Split takes around 3 hours. I recommend this option if you want to prioritise flexibility.
  • Ferry: Getting from Dubrovnik to Split is possible by ferry, but it is difficult. You’ll need to allocate at least 4-5 hours each way.

I only recommend going by ferry if you plan to stay in Split for more than a day.

A day from Dubrovnik Overview

Best day trips by car

  • Trsteno Arboretum
  • Peljesac Peninsula
  • Split
  • Kravice Waterfalls
  • Mostar

Best day trips by boat

  • Korcula Island
  • Elaphiti Islands
  • Mljet Island

Best day trips by bus or car

  • Kotor
  • Cavtat

Best half day trips from Dubrovnik

  • Cavtat
  • Kravice Waterfalls
  • Mostar
  • Lokrum Island
  • Trsteno Arboretum

A map of the best Dubrovnik day trips

Here is a compiled map of the day trips from Dubrovnik to help you navigate the region.

Conclusion

Dubrovnik is a fantastic place for exploring the rest of Croatia and beyond. With so many day trips just a short commute away, you will surely have a busy itinerary ahead of you.

But of course, visiting all these places from Dubrovnik at once is impossible. It will likely require extended stays or multiple visits.

Rest assured, these places will still be available whenever you are ready to continue your adventures in the Adriatic! 

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