6 day trips from Dubrovnik is what this article is all about. Dubrovnik is a pretty walled city on the Croatian and many things have been written about it already. We’re sure you can find tons of pictures and articles about the city with its Unesco World Heritage centre, all about how beautiful it is. Spoiler: we don’t share this enthusiasm about Dubrovnik. Cruise ships unload their guests from about 10 am. From that moment on, until about 5 pm., the old town is crawling with tourists. This makes it almost impossible to explore the city. Not to mention all the groups of Game of Thrones fans. It’s just too crowded which makes is hard to see the beauty of Dubrovnik. To explore the old town set your alarm clock very early in the morning and start your day before all the cruise ship tourists enter the city. We think half a day to 1 day is enough to explore Dubrovnik. Did you book a longer stay, like we did, then check out this article filled with tips for great day trips.
Unfortunately we found out too late that Mostar, a city about 80 km from Dubrovnik, in Bosnia and Hercegovina, makes for a great daytrip. The historic part of the city is a must visit. Neretva river divides Mostar in 2 parts. Stari Most is the well known bridge which connects the 2 parts of the city. We really hope to visit the region again and Mostar will be on the top of our list.
Trebinje is about 30 km from Dubrovnik. It’s located in the south part of Bosnia and Hercegovina. To get to our next apartment from Dubrovnik, we were planning on driving via the Ostrog monastery (Montenegro) to Petrovac na Moru (also Montenegro. We were pleasantly surprised the shortest drive took us through Bosnia and passed Trebinje. When crossing the Bosnian border, it’s just like the old days in Europe when there was no European Union yet: you have to show your passport and the green card if you have a rental car. On Fridays it can be busy at the border crossing so it can take some time to actually cross the border. We really loved exploring Trebinje: for a small city it has quite a bit to offer. In Trebinje there’s a historical bridge, which looks just like the well known bridge in Mostar. We loved the colourful houses in the centre, with a morning market, a park and a pink church surrounding it. There’s a small old town with city walls and there are terraces and friendly people everywhere. It’s really cheap compared to Dubrovnik. Nothing would make you think there was a war going on here just 20 years ago.
From Dubrovnik Herceg Novi is also a short ride into Montenegro. The border is about 30 kilometres from the city and it’s an adventure crossing it. We expected a lot of tourists in Herceg Novi, because it’s mentioned a lot online and in travel guides. Nevertheless the old town was almost completely empty: hardly any tourists and the old town is also car free. Herceg Novi is a beautiful village, picturesque and wandering around is a joy. It offers a few small restaurants and bars, situated on the main square: the perfect place to enjoy the silence, a drink and the atmosphere. Locals drinking beer and playing a card game. In the lower part of Herceg Novi you’ll find shops, lots of restaurants, the beach and of course the sea.
Kotor is also located in Montenegro. It’s slightly bigger and more touristic than for example Herceg Novi, but nevertheless worth visiting. Put on a pair of good sneakers (or other walking shoes) to climb the steps all the way up to San Giovanni fortress. Once at the top you can enjoy a breathtaking view over Kotor city and the bay. According to the information online the walk up to the fortress takes about an hour. I walked it (on bare feet because my flip flops and the slippery steps didn’t go well together) in half an hour, but some people say I’m some kind of Speedy Gonzalez when walking ;-). If going up on a hot summer day, don’t forget to bring a bottle of water or buy something to drink along the way from 1 of the sales persons on the stairs. Back at the bottom, in the centre of Kotor? Then take your time to wander around through the narrow streets, have a drink at one of the many terraces and enjoy everything there is to see.
Just like in Dubrovnik, big cruise ships will unload many tourists. So the best time to discover Kotor is before 10 am or after 4 pm in the afternoon, when it’s relatively quiet again.
On your way to Kotor is a small village called Perast. This is the village that charmed us the most: it’s so picturesque! Definately worth exploring for the breathtaking views and nice cosy terraces on the water side. You’ll probably need at least an hour or two to explore Perast if you want to also sit down and have a drink or a bite to eat.
Because we were suddenly overcome with a bout of thriftynes, we decided not to go to Lokrum. Lokrum is a small island near Dubrovnik and mostly famous for Game of Thrones being filmed there (the both of us are not fans). It takes about 15 minutes by boat to get to the island. On the island you can find a Benedictine monastery from the 12th century and nature is supposed to be beautiful at Lokrum. If Lokrum is too small for your taste, you might want to consider going to the Elafoto islands: Lopud, Sipan and Kolocep. When in Lapad, you’ll probably find some people offering boat tours to the islands. In front of our apartment in Dubrovnik there was a sales man too, who took a lot of effort convincing us to book his tours. We took a lot of effort to hide 😉
After our stay in Montenegro we went back to Dubrovnik (airport) for our flight back to The Netherlands. Conveniently located, nearby the airport of Dubrovnik, there’s a pretty little village called Cavtat. Cavtat can be easily reached from Dubrovnik by bus for example. Eventhough it’s very touristy, it’s worth spending an hour or two: it’s located along the water so you can take beautiful pictures.
Have you ever visited Dubrovnik and did you go on a day trip too? We would love to hear your suggestions!