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Best Day Trip/ 1/2 day trip from Dubrovnik? Also restaurants in Dubrovnik?


We are going to be in Dubrovnik for three nights in early May. We were hoping to get to Mijlet park for a hiking day, but the ferry schedule is still in low season and unfortunately does not work with our schedule. Similarly, our hotel quoted a VERY expensive price for private transfer. I tried explaining that we just needed transfer and not an entire tour, but there seemed to be some confusion. We are staying just outside the city for two nights at the Sheraton, and one night in the city before we continue on. So I guess I have three questions:

1) What day trips would you recommend? We enjoy hiking and being outdoors and prefer non-touristy things, but are open to them if they seem really great.
2) Does anyone have any good restaurant recommendations for Dubrovnik?
3) Does anyone have any good recommendations or experiences with a moderately priced private transfer?

Thanks in advance.

Posted by
9463 posts

We hiked on Lokrum Islamd and it was nice, though hot in June. I think we had trouble with the schedule to Mijlet, too, so, Lokrum was our back up. We used Dubrovnik Riviera Tours for a lovely day trip on the Pelješac Peninsula and loved it! You can read my blog about the whole 8 night trip here.

FWIW, we found the restaurants outside the old city to be far superior to those inside the walls in Dubrovnik.

Posted by
17379 posts

Is it Mljet park on the island of Mljet? I suspect what you're running up against is the sheer travel time to Mljet. ViaMichelin estimates just over 2 hours each way in a private car; I don't know how it calculates the waiting time for the ferry. Your driver would either need to wait on Mljet for you to be ready to return (so a full-day trip) or travel round trip in the morning and again at night (so over 8 hours on the road). I would expect it to be quite expensive either way.

Perhaps someone else will have a useful suggestion.

Posted by
5010 posts

Kotor is easy, and although I'd make more than "half" a day out of it, it doesn't take all that long to get there and back. We arranged for a car rental for the day (via the owner of the B&B we stayed in; easy, not super expensive, all smooth); met the car owner for the handoff in the morning, drove to Kotor, spend the day exploring, climbing the walls, had a nice lunch, drove back to Dubrovnik and turned the car back in well before sunset/dinner time. Kotor is great (although Kotor is now apparently quite overrun with cruise ship passengers, too, as is Dubrovnik - see if you can get lucky by arranging your time in either/both cities when there are fewer cruise ships in port rather than stacked up like cordwood).

That said, you may be hard pressed to find much that isn't "touristy" in or near Dubrovnik - prepare for serious crowds.

BTW, all of your questions are answered in good detail in the Rick Steves book for Croatia.

Posted by
21 posts

Thanks all for the helpful advice so far. Lokrum sounds great, I'll definitely be looking into that! Re: Rick Steves book, I have it and have read it, but I find it is also helpful to get "real time" tips from people that have been there. We got some wonderful advice for our trip to Scotland that way. I also understand that Dubrovnik itself is touristy, but it did seem like a fair amount outside of the city center was a little calmer.

We already have a Peljesac wine tour scheduled with Petar - he seems so great! Thank you for your tip about restaurants outside of the city. There was one recommended by the NYTimes that seemed a quick taxi ride away Northwest of the city, so we may try that the night we are in Dubrovnik city center.

Posted by
2235 posts

We spent our last 2 nights of our tour in Dubrovnik (Lapad). Our favorite last evening dinner was at the Boutique Kazbek Hotel restaurant in Lapad. Beautiful 16th century country villa. We ate in the lovely courtyard. It was one of our favorite meals in Croatia!

Posted by
569 posts

We had two wonderful dinners INSIDE the Dubrovnik walls. One dinner was at the Taj Mahal. It's not an Indian restaurant; it's a Bosnian restaurant. You need to make reservations. Many of the dishes are meat dishes, which is a nice change from the ever-present seafood dishes. I love seafood, but Taj Mahal was a nice change.

Another excellent meal was at Kopun. We did not have reservations, but they were very crowded when we showed up. We only had to wait about 10 minutes but it might be a good idea to make reservations. This was in September. Kopun was recommended in a newspaper article I read about Dubrovnik. The hostess gave us a complimentary drink while we waited for our table. Our fish and seafood was very fresh, and one of the best on our trip.

Posted by
569 posts

Also forgot to add that we spent 3 nights in Dubrovnik, and we did a day trip around the Bay of Kotor on one of our days. We hired a private driver. This trip does take a whole day, but we were back in time for dinner in Dubrovnik. You mention that you enjoy hiking. While in Kotor, you can hike the walls above the city to get exceptional views. We did not do that because we are older and not in the best shape. It was also very hot when we were there, but we did see a lot of people hiking the walls. We also stopped in Budva and Perast. Perast was our favorite.

Posted by
927 posts

I also had an absolutely lovely meal at Kopun, in June 2018. Beautiful setting, attentive service, super fresh and delicious food.

Posted by
21 posts

Thanks so much for all of your tips and suggestions, everyone. We've decided on Lokrum for a day trip and are having fun looking through all the great dinner selections!

Posted by
132 posts

In Summer 2017 my spouse and I had a wonderful dinner at Kopun (as mentioned by some other respondents).

When we left Dubrovnik we drove through the Peljesac Peninula and took the ferry from Trpanj to Ploce .
I think a day trip to wineries on the peninsula could be interesting. Here is excerpt from my trip report:
"Visited 2 wineries. One was a big US-style new winery [GRIGIC] that we learned catered to busloads of (mainly) American tourists in the afternoon. It was nice but not so different from an experience one can get in the US. The drive to the other winery, and the winery itself, were great:
- We drove the narrow road along the steep vineyards of the southern coast of the peninsula from Trstenaki to Potomeje. Beautiful views with almost no traffic. Then one takes (not on all maps) the small one-lane tunnel to Potomeje, takes an immediate right and arrives at the wonderful small [Boris M.] VIOLIC WINERY (with Rick Steves sign out front). We mentioned to Boris, the owner, that we learned of him through Rick Steves; Boris took great care of us."