The best time of year to visit Dubrovnik (and what to pack!)

Bernard Shaw had it right when he said “Those that seek paradise on earth should seek it in Dubrovnik.” As soon as I entered the Old Town gates I felt as if I had been transported back in time…it’s the same sensation I had when visiting Florence and Venice—everything is so beautiful that you feel like you’re walking around in a work of art!

Dubrovnik’s beauty (apart from the gorgeous Croatian coastline) can be attributed to its rich history; this medieval city contains examples of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Dubrovnik was originally known as Ragusa in the 7th century and existed as an independent, merchant republic for 700 years (until Napoleon came along). In the 13th century the city fell under the control the Republic of Venice and after the earthquake of 1667 Dubrovnik was reconstructed in the baroque style. As you explore Dubrovnik’s Old Town you’ll see all these different architectural influences present (P.S. make sure to check out my post “6 Activities you can’t miss in Dubrovnik” – COMING SOON).

Exploring the Elaphiti Islands

Quick tips for Dubrovnik

  • If you can stay for at least two nights you definitely should. The city is gorgeous during the day, but it’s abesolutly stunning in the evening just after sunset.
  • Keep in mind the local currency is Kuna, but many places accept Euros. It’s easiest to exchange your money on the Stradun (main street/promenade)–there are tons of exchange places and the rates are almost all the same.
  • Try to stay in the Old Town (see Airbnb options), but if you end up staying in Babin Kuk (area where most of the hotels are), you can use the bus line 6 to get to and from the center. It costs €2 each way, and buses run 5:30am until 12am. It’s cheaper to buy your bus tickets at the ticket booth across from the bus stop—and you can pay with a card if you don’t have cash. If the ticket center is closed, you can also buy tickets at the little kiosk next to the ticket booth. If you have Kuna, you can pay for your ticket once you board the bus.

The light just after sunset is beautiful

What’s the best time to visit Dubrovnik?

It’s very important to choose your travel dates carefully as Dubrovnik is a popular stop for cruise ships in high season. If you want to avoid the hoards of tourists and “boat people” that storm the city each summer you should consider visiting in April, early May, late September or October.

Spring sunshine in the city!

It’s a gamble to visit in early spring (due to rain), but Javi and I were lucky with good weather and minimal crowds. We visited Dubrovnik over Easter Break (April 12 – 17) and enjoyed sunshine, warm weather and had only one cold day with rain. Keep in mind in the water is too chilly for swimming in April (usually), but it was warm enough to lay out on the beach.

What to pack for Dubrovnik

The weather in spring and fall is always confusing…but espeically along the Dalmatian Coast. During the day you’ll be sweating and searching for shade, and at night you’ll need to use a blanket or sit by a heater to stay warm. If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering what to pack for Dubrovnik…but not to worry! After several spring trips to the Mediterranean coast I’ve finally figured out what to bring. The key to being comfortable is to pack layers for your trip.

Encountered a bit of rain…but that didn’t stop our fun! 

Outer layers:  My outer layers were on the light side—looking back it wouldn’t have hurt to bring something a little more heavy, but my choice of mid layers helped buffer the chilly night air.

Mid layer: I chose to pack lightweight items I could put in my purse if it got too hot.

  • 1 button-up cardigan sweater (cotton)
  • 2 summer scarfs (cotton/linen)

Base layer: The key is to pack items you can easily mix and match with other layers.

Shoes: It was warm enough for sandals, but I always like to bring a pair of closed-toed shoes for rain or cobbled streets (sometime the base of sandals is too thin for this type of road and it gets uncomfortable after a few hours of walking).

  • 1 pair of comfortable sandals
  • 1 pair of flats (Tom’s)

Harem pants + t-shirt + denim jacket + scarf = comfy traveler!

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