We spent 3 nights in the beautiful city of Dubrovnik and completely fell in love.
The historical walled old town lays on the water’s edge and is a maze of pretty cobbled streets, beautiful buildings, monuments and the views from the walls themselves are breath-taking.
It’s easy to see why Dubrovnik has become so popular and attracts thousands of tourists every year.
In our gay guide to Dubrovnik we will cover how we found the city as a gay couple, if a gay scene exists, all the incredible things to do during your visit, where to stay and practical tips – we highly recommend that you visit!
Gay Dubrovnik Guide
Is Dubrovnik Gay Friendly?
As a country, Croatia is not particularly well known for being progressive and gay friendly, however when visiting the tourist hot spots, like the case in many countries, we felt very safe and had no trouble at all.
In fact, our trip to Croatia starting in Dubrovnik was for a gay sailing trip (which goes each year) and we had a huge pride flag flying for the whole journey and never had an issue!
Thinking specifically about Dubrovnik, we did find that there were many other gay couples in the city when we were walking around, some showing PDAs and some not but again with no issue which made us feel comfortable.
The key places in Croatia that attract gay travellers and locals alike are Dubrovnik, Split and to an extent (inherent to it being the capital city) Zagreb.
Our advice would definitely be to visit but be mindful that you aren’t in the most out and proud country in the world.
Gay Bars Dubrovnik
Alas, Dubrovnik may be one of the more popular gay destinations in Croatia but there are no official gay bars.
Like many places in this situation there are reports of certain bars being more popular with the gay crowd including The Troubadour Jazz Café however on our visit there was no around.
No matter, there are plenty of beautiful little bars throughout the city to sit back and enjoy a cocktail.
Dubrovnik Gay Beach
We found the gay beach in Split and were told by our captain that there is also a gay beach in Dubrovnik.
You need to get the boat to Lokrum and on arrival turn left heading along the coast to the nude beach (denoted as an FKK beach which translate from German as ‘Free body culture’).
Once at the nude beach continue a couple of hundred metres further to find the gay area. Depending how busy it is, this should become obvious!
Dubrovnik Gay Trips
We visited Croatia as part of a 7-day gay sailing trip with Pride Sailing Holidays which started at Dubrovnik and finished in Split.
Along the way we visited a beautiful new island each day and did not want to leave!
If you want to join the trip next year take a look and book: Croatia Gay Sailing Trip.
What to do in Dubrovnik?
There are so many incredible things to do in Dubrovnik, plenty to fill a 3-day or 4-day visit.
We highly recommend the following activities:
Explore the Old Town
The best free activity to do in Dubrovnik is to explore the picturesque walled old town.
We spent a couple of hours simply getting lost, exploring all the small streets, grabbing some gelato and taking lots of photos.
There are no cars inside the walls which is definitely a bonus but we have been told that if we were to visit in peak season, the streets are packed with a huge number of tourists.
Our suggestion is to get up early and explore whilst its cool and quiet.
If you are staying outside the walls there are two main entrances you can walk or get a taxi to, Buzo Gate or the Pile Gate.
Walk the walls
One of the things we loved about Dubrovnik Old Town was the view of all the beautiful terracotta coloured roofs from above.
You have to pay an entrance fee to walk the walls of 200HRK and they are normally open from 08:00 until 19:30.
The walk is approximately 2km so we suggest allowing 1-1.5 hours to walk around and most importantly do it at the start or the end of the day as there is no relief from the sun (plus take water).
Do a Historical Tour or a Game of Thrones Tour
We are big fans of Game of Thrones and had to do a GOT tour to see all the filming locations.
The tour cost 150HRK each (plus entry to the fort of 50HRK) and lasted about 2 hours – it was easy going, informative and fun.
If GOT is not your thing then take a look at one of the historical city tours, there is so much history here and so many beautiful spots to see and explore.
Again, it can get so hot so we would opt for the morning or late afternoon.
Visit Mount Srđ
Mount Srđ overlooks the old town of Dubrovnik and if you are looking for spectacular views we highly recommend you take the time to visit.
For visiting, you have two options, you can either:
Hike Mount Srd
if like us you like to overindulge on wine perhaps you might want to hike the mountain?
This is the option we took and the benefit we found was that you had much more time to stop and take in the views on the way up.
The hike takes about 45 minutes from the main road and you can find the start of the trial easily on Google maps by typing ‘Staza Prema Utvrdi Imperial’.
Take water and wear sensible shoes as there are many loose rocks along the way.
Take the Cable Car
If you want to take the easier option (since you are on holiday) there is a cable car which frequently runs from the old town (near Buzo gate) to the top of Mount Srd.
Tickets cost 160HRK return or 90HRK one way if you want to hike up and get the cable car back down.
Easiest way to purchase is face to face on the day.
Once at the top there are many lovely view points and a restaurant.
We went during the morning (because of the heat) but were recommended to do it for sunset.
Go Swimming outside the Walls
One of the things that really stood out about Croatia was the clarity of the water, it is incredibly blue and inviting.
If you exit the walls to the east of the city (where the boat goes to Lokrum) and follow the wall around you will find dedicated swimming spots which are ‘fenced’ off with buoys.
After an active morning we headed here to cool down and top up our tans.
Enjoy a cocktail at Sunset from a ‘Secret Bar’
When we were exploring the old town we came across a small open door in the outer walls of the city.
Being curious we had to pop our heads out and found that outside the walls where the rocks meet the ocean is a bar which is the perfect spot to grab a drink at the end of the day.
The name of the bar is Buza Bar which you can Google to find the exact location although the entrance is not very obvious!
This is something we would have loved to do but we did not have enough time.
We saw groups of people heading out to sea on a kayak tour to explore the nearby coasts and caves.
According to our tour guide this is a very popular activity and one not to miss.
Get the Boat to Lokrum Island
From the old town you will spot Lokrum Island which was described to us as a paradise with the option to walk around the island or hire a bike and explore further.
If you have had a busy few days in the city this is also considered the place to escape and have a little bit of relaxation.
We did not get a chance to go ourselves, however the boat from the old town runs frequently and costs 150HRK at the time of writing even though the top result on Google says 20HRK (which must be out of date).
Where to stay?
Personally, we would recommend that you stay in the old town if possible. It is where all the action is and the surrounding area is quite hilly to be walking back and forth.
There are also quite a few hotels surrounding the old town which are in easy walking distance including the only 5 star hotel, the Hilton where all the cast of Game of Thrones stayed during filming.
Below we have provided a couple of recommendations/options:
Villa St Vitus
This is where we stayed in the heart of the old town.
We stayed in two different rooms during our stay and highly recommend the King with City View – the view alone makes it worth it (see the photo under the section for ‘walk the walls’).
It was a perfect location and the king with city view was a huge apartment with much needed air-con.
The price (which was very reasonable) included breakfast at a café on the main street.
Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik
If you are more of a 5* kind of traveller, the Hilton Imperial is located on the doorstep of Dubrovnik’s Old Town.
It boasts an indoor pool and a wellness centre with saunas, a hammam, fitness and massage facilities.
- The water in Dubrovnik is drinkable, including from the fountains in the street.
- The currency is the Kuna denoted by HRK.
- It is the most expensive place in Croatia, bear this in mind when budgeting.
- The old town is not wheelchair friendly except perhaps the main street by access from the west entrance.
- Temperatures in summer soar, pack light clothes and take plenty of water on every activity.
- A taxi from the airport to the old town costs about 190HRK via Uber and takes 25 minutes – Uber is the cheapest transport option.
We loved Dubrovnik, if it is not already on your list, we encourage you to add it as soon as possible!
Please feel free to message us with your own personal experience and tips.
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