Are you considering a trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia with kids? We went there with our three kids in August 2021, and in this post I’ll share with you my honest review of great things to do in Dubrovnik with kids. I’ll also offer a few tips on what NOT to do based on our experiences. We absolutely loved our trip to Dubrovnik.

We did not stay in a hotel, so this review won’t include hotel inclusive experiences, rather it will focus on what’s available in the town and surrounding areas. We stayed in a lovely apartment we found on Airbnb. We had never been to Croatia before and had no idea what to expect.

As great a location as our accommodation was (close to a bus route and close to the marina side of town), it did not have a pool. It was BOILING hot for the week we were there, and because we didn’t have access to a pool we headed out and about every day. I think we’d have saved ourselves a fair amount of ‘wandering around money’ by booking accommodation with a pool, and next time we go back this will be the main thing we do differently.

8 Things to do in Dubrovnik with kids

The Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik With Kids

In no particular order, here are 7 of our personal recommendations of things to do in Dubrovnik with kids.

A Day Trip To Lokrum Island

Lokrum Island is one of the largest islands within sight of Dubrovnik. It’s a 15-minute ferry ride from the old town port and you can buy your tickets, anywhere really. There are loads of tour company touts in town. We bought ours right in the old town port.

Lokrum Island is worth a day trip or even just a half-day trip with kids, but the pace of life in Dubrovnik is really chilled and really slow so no need to rush anything. There are no cars or transport on Lokrum Island, but it’s small enough to walk around – only 1.5 miles long. It has an uneven terrain so I’d recommend comfortable walking shoes – trainers are fine. When you get there you need to go to the main office to pay your visit entry fee (which they don’t tell you about when selling you the boat ticket) but it’s a nominal fee.

Lokrum island is inhabited by wild (but tolerant of humans) peacocks. It’s a beautiful island teeming with nature and you can swim just about anywhere. Do note that there is a nudist beach if you veer off to the far left of the island (from the arrival port) but it’s well signposted so no surprise moments.

Other highlights of Lokrum Island include

  • ‘The Dead Sea Pool’ which is a natural salt water pool in the middle of the island. The high bouyancy of the water makes it very easy to float.
  • The Botanical Gardens
  • Ruins of the Benedictine Monastary
  • Hike to Port Royal – the highest point of the island and a former French garrison.
  • Have lunch at one of the restaurants – there aren’t many but the ones that are there serve really delicious food. However, you are welcome to take your own food as there are loads of picnic benches and chairs there.
  • Visit the Iron Throne! If you’re a Game of Thrones Fan you will want to visit the Iron Throne. I’ve never watched it, but I still knew about the throne so when we got to the island it was on my list to get a picture sitting on the throne! And I did! Excuse the hair … I can only blame the humidity!

Walk The Dubrovnik City Walls

The hub of Dubrovnik is the Old Town. When you drive toward Dubrovnik from the airport you can’t miss the spectacular sight of the old town of Dubrovnik. The old town of Dubrovnik is surrounded by a wall. As a resident of York in the UK for many years, I can see the similarities between the two towns. The walls in both are thick, wide, built to protect their inhabitants. Whilst York has its own unique Yorkshire beauty, Dubrovnik’s walls have views of both the stunning Adriatic sea on one side and the red roofs and preserved beauty of the buildings of the old town Dubrovnik on the inside.

The Dubrovnik City walls are 1940 meters long and it’s recommended you put aside 2 hours for the walk, but if you have kids this would take longer. You do need to pay for your entry which you can do at Pile Gate (the main entrance to the Old Town), the Ploče Gate and the Maritime Museum. One other thing to consider is that you need to walk the walls in an anti-clockwise direction. It can be really busy, and I wouldn’t want to be the family carting a pushchair around either. It’s not all one level there are steep steps in certain parts.

Also … here’s a big one: If any of your party are scared of heights, don’t waste your money! Either leave them behind to do something else and go without them, or don’t go. It’s high up, It’s steep. It’s medieval. And it’s imperfect. But it’s 100% worth doing if you’re not terrified of heights. The kids and I loved it – read into that what you will. He knows!

Top Tip For Visiting Croatia: Whilst they are part of the EU, they have their own currency in Croatia – Croatian Kuna. When you’re paying in cash, they prefer Croatian Kuna and often don’t accept other currencies. However, cards are widely accepted in attractions, bars, restaurants and shops.

3. Hire a Speed Boat in Dubrovnik For a Day

Without a shadow of a doubt, this was our adventurous ocean-loving family’s favourite experience of our trip to Dubrovnik with the kids. If you splash out on one specific thing to do in Dubrovnik with kids, it’s this! We hired a speedboat for a half-day exploration of the Elaphite Islands. We had a local guide as the boat driver so he knew where to go to give us the best experiences based on what we wanted.

What did we want? Snorkelling spots, no crowds (remember, this was during the pandemic) and a certain amount of privacy. He took us to the famous ‘Blue Hole’ but as expected on arrival it was very busy so we didn’t stay long. Instead, we went to other lesser-known islands with great safe swimming spots (recommended by locals), that were perfect for our family to explore.

The boat hire included a guide, our fuel, drinks for all of us (local beers, sodas and water). The half-day hire was about 4 hours of our day. We only did this towards the end of our trip, and in hindsight, we should have done it twice. The cost is worth it. We went during the peak season and it cost us around £290 for the half-day – expensive but worth it.

4. The Cable Car Experience

If you exit the walls of Old Town Dubrovnik, you can walk up to the Cable Car base point and catch the cable car up to the summit of Mount Srd. The views from the top are absolutely breathtaking. There’s a restaurant up there and an amphitheatre that offered the relief of the shade when we went up.

There are crazy people who hike up and down the mountain to reach the summit – but that wasn’t for us in the middle of August! You can also hire a buggy up there to go on a buggy safari. We didn’t do that this time, but next time we’ll definitely be doing it. Check out this amazing video from the Dubrovnik Cable Car company themselves:

5. Take the Day Trip to Lopud Island By Ferry

On our first day in Dubrovnik, we took the ferry from the marina to Lopud Island. It’s a beautiful island, about an hour ferry from Dubrovnik marina. It’s not luxury travel, but it serves the purpose. My top tips for visiting Lopud island are to pack plenty of water, and a picnic for the day. When you get to the island there are quite a few tourist types of shops, which are crazy expensive, capitalising on the day-trippers. However, the further down the promenade you go, the cheaper they get. There’s a monastery to explore too, which is beautiful.

There are a few lovely restaurants and hotels further down, as well as a small park/garden to explore. We were told you can walk over to the opposite side of the island to a sandier beach (which we actually went to via speedboat on the day we hired the speedboat) and next time we’d probably make the trek, but for our first day whilst still adjusting to the heat we were happy with the front of the island.

The beaches in Croatia aren’t very sandy, and they are quite narrow so there isn’t a lot of beach space. You can hire sun loungers and parasols for a small fee on the beachfront. The water in Croatia is so beautiful and clear. We bought the kids goggles and a snorkel and they spent hours looking at the fish under the water. It’s that clear.

The ferry left fairly early in the morning, around 9.00 am, and returned at around 17.30. There are a couple of runs each day both ways, but on the way back, the earliest one at 17.30ish is quite late in the day with kids so you really need to go prepared, especially if you’re going with kids. On reflection, we’d probably have gone over a bit later as it was a long day waiting for the first ferry home. But the day was brilliant.

6. Explore The Old City

This might not be high on your list of things to do in Dubrovnik with kids, but if you’re there you need to spend some time exploring the old city of Dubrovnik itself. It’s such an awesome city to just walk around and soak up the ambience. You can visit the churches, museums, all the gorgeous little shops and of course, stop for coffee, gelato and vino. The buildings of Dubrovnik have retained their old-world charm, every corner your turn, every staircase, every alleyway, is just gorgeous.

If you’re a fan of Game Of Thrones, you will be able to catch glimpses of the movies set in unexpected corners of this vibrant city. GOT is a major commercial aspect of Dubrovnik, but if (like me), you’ve never watched it, you somehow still know some of the scenes and still get caught up with the vibe of it all. You can even go on GOT guided tours, and there’s merch available all over the city.

Another thing to remember is that Dubrovnik has a vibrant port and marina, and when the cruise ships dock the city can feel a bit overcrowded. Like other extremely hot destinations such as Dubai, you’ll find the town quieter in the middle of the day as everyone seeks refuge from the heat. But it comes alive in the evenings and nights!

7. Take The Kids To Captain Candy

Not one to promote specific stores or too many sweets, but as spoils for kids go when on holiday, if you do visit Dubrovnik with kids a visit to Captain Candy is a must. Check out the video I made which shows you exactly why you need to take your kids there. You can watch it on Instagram, please do like and share it!

8. Get an Ice-cream / Gelato every day.

Dubrovnik gelato or ice cream is just amazing! They give you massive portions and we had one just about every day. On the last day, we were there, we were getting the bus into town and recognised the guy from the ice-cream shop getting on the bus with us. The girls said hello to him, which took him a bit by surprise. When we got to his ice cream shop later that day he gave us all an ice cream on the house. Somehow that girls enjoyed the free ice cream more than the ones we’d paid for! Funny how kids do that isn’t it! lol

Obviously, I’m sure there are loads of other things to do in Dubrovnik with kids, but these are our 8 favourites to share with you. If you visit Dubrovnik with your family, do share your tips and favourite spots with me in the comments below to help others who are planning a visit to Dubrovnik, Croatia.