Dubrovnik can be enjoyed on a small budget thanks to its stunning coastline, ancient history and unfaltering charm. But, as with most things in life, you need to do some research if you want to avoid paying big bucks. With attractions such as the magnificent city walls, countless fascinating museums and must-visit seafront restaurants, it’s easy to see why holidays to Dubrovnik might burn a hole in your pocket – but that doesn’t have to be the case.

    If you’re watching the pennies and need to resist splashing the cash, then don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. From beautiful beaches and coastal hikes to famous historical sights, we’ve got a round-up of the best things to do in Dubrovnik on a small budget.


    Park Orsula

    Discover historic sights and captivating scenery

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    Experience unrivalled views of the Old Town and Lokrum Island when you pay a visit to the tranquil hidden gem that is Park Orsula. Perched on a clifftop directly opposite Lokrum, you’ll find the well-preserved remains of the 14th-century St. Orsula’s Church, as well as a fabulous 350-seater ancient amphitheatre.

    The park has been known to host summer shows and events at the amphitheatre, but it’s just as magical heading up there when no one else is around to watch the sunset over the Adriatic. It’s a 25-minute walk from the Old Town or you can hop on the no.10 bus.

    Location: Magistralni put 2, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia

    Open: 24 hours


    Mount Srđ

    Reward yourself with spectacular aerial views of Dubrovnik

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    Some of the best bits of Croatia's dazzling coastline can be viewed from Mount Srđ. The highest point in the city at 415 metres, reaching the peak is one of the top things to do when in Dubrovnik, whether by cable car, on 4 wheels or on foot.

    If you’ve got the right gear, hiking is certainly one of the most breathtaking, rewarding and cost-effective ways to reach the top. You can embark on the roughly 1-hour-long walk from the Old Town – just follow the winding Way of the Cross path. Carry plenty of water and sun cream with you and get ready to soak up some magnificent views.

    Location: 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia


    Dubrovnik Cathedral

    Admire impressive architecture and stunning art

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    A magnificent baroque structure right in the middle of the ancient Old Town, the Dubrovnik Cathedral is a sight not to be missed. First opened in 1670, the funding for the cathedral came from none other than Richard the Lionheart after he survived a shipwreck on nearby Lokrum Island.

    The cathedral remains open to the public today, free for you to take a wander inside and admire the striking interior decor. It’s home to some notable features, such as extravagant altars, golden reliquaries and the mesmerising Assumption of the Virgin panel painting. Just as impressive on the outside as it is on the inside, you can get some great views of the cathedral from Luza Square and the city walls.

    Location: Ul. Kneza Damjana Jude 1, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia

    Open: Daily – hours vary by season

    Phone: +385 (0)20 323 459


    Games of Thrones filming locations

    Follow in the footsteps of Lannisters, Starks and Targaryens

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    Anyone who’s a fan of the hit HBO series Game of Thrones will know that Dubrovnik is awash with recognisable filming locations. There are countless tours available that take you around some of the most popular spots, but it’s possible to explore them on your own terms, too.

    The Old Town itself plays the part of King’s Landing in the show. From here, you can easily visit the likes of Blackwater Bay, Minčeta Tower and the Jesuit Staircase – made famous during Cersei’s unforgettable Walk of Shame scene. Download a list of filming locations before you travel, or grab a map when you arrive in the city.


    Get a Dubrovnik Card

    Make the most of your time and budget

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    Make the most of your time sightseeing in the city and save money as you go with the excellent-value Dubrovnik Card. The card gives you discounts, offers and free access into a number of the top attractions, such as the Dubrovnik City Walls, the Cultural Historical Museum, the Maritime Museum and more.

    Available to pick-up at a number of tourist board offices around the city, you can purchase a 1-day, 3-day or 7-day card, saving you up to 50% on attractions in the long run. And did we mention it includes free travel on public transport, too? Save an extra 10% by ordering your card online before you arrive.

    Phone: +385 (0)20 638 207


    Bellevue Beach

    Relax and unwind in the warm, Croatian sun

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    Set to a backdrop of rugged cliffs, Bellevue Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Dubrovnik. No trip to Croatia would be complete without spending some time relaxing on the beach and, aside from being an inexpensive way to pass the time, it’s also one of the most enjoyable.

    Nestled in a sheltered and picturesque bay, close to the Lapad peninsula, the sand may be pebbly, but the crystal-clear waters are beautifully warm and calm. After just a 20-minute walk from the Old Town, you can paddle among the waves, explore the caves and visit the nearby café when you’re in need of some refreshments.


    Pile Gate

    Walk through the historical gateway to the Old Town

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    An iconic sight for anyone visiting Dubrovnik, Pile Gate is one of the main entry points into the city’s bustling Old Town. Built in 1537, the imposing stone structure formed part of the historic defence system and still features a drawbridge and an impressive Renaissance archway that thousands of visitors cross through every day.

    Whether you use the gate for people-watching, as a central meeting point or as a chance to get #qualitycontent for the ‘Gram, a visit here is a must. There’s also a really handy map of the Old Town just through the gate, which you can take a photo of – posting on social media: optional.

    Location: Ul. Vrata od Pila, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia

    Phone: +385 (0)20 323 400


    Memorial Room of the Defenders of Dubrovnik

    Read the stories of Dubrovnik’s war heroes

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    Step inside Sponza Palace and visit the poignant and thought-provoking Memorial Room of the Defenders of Dubrovnik. This fitting tribute features the portraits and stories of all the young men who lost their lives in the city during the Croatian War of Independence between 1991 and 1995.

    The touching display serves as a reminder of what the city and country went through during the civil war, evidence of which can still be seen throughout the Old Town, too, in the form of bullet holes in walls. There’s an entrance fee to pay before exploring Sponza Palace but you can gain access to the memorial room for free.

    Location: Sponza Palace, Stradun 2, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia

    Open: May–October: daily from 9am to 9pm. November–April: daily from 10am to 3pm

    Phone: +385 (0)20 321 031


    Dubrovnik Old Town

    Immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere

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    One of Dubrovnik’s biggest draws is its ancient Old Town, and, best of all, it doesn’t cost a penny to soak up its vibrant atmosphere. It may not be a huge area, but you’ll find countless historic sights and attractions carefully packed within its walls.

    Stroll along the bustling main street, Stradun, admiring the stunning architecture such as the churches, fountains and clock tower as you go. Explore the narrow side streets with their ornate steps and head down to the picturesque Old Port for exceptional views of the Adriatic and the terracotta rooftops behind you.


    Browse the Markets

    Get a taste of local life

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    A great way to gain an insight into a new destination and to delve into its culture is to explore the local markets, of which Dubrovnik has plenty to choose from. Surround yourself in a sea of bright colours, fresh produce and homemade crafts as you browse the stalls and mingle with the locals.

    Arguably the most popular market is Gundulićeva Poljana, held daily in the heart of the Old Town. For a truly authentic experience, visit the larger Gruž Market, or head to the city in winter for a magical Christmas Market atmosphere. Of course, you don’t have to spend any money at the markets, but who doesn’t love a bit of holiday shopping?

    photo by Ardfern (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    Sadie Geoghegan-Dann | Contributing Writer

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