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Dubrovnik Beyond the Crowds

Dubrovnik Off the Beaten Track: Unique Gems for the Curious Explorers


Dubrovnik’s enchantment is undeniable, and while its beauty draws many, it can sometimes feel a little too loved.

At Funky Tours, our passion is to grasp the essence of the city from an insider’s perspective. We go beyond the surface, uncovering the heart and soul of Dubrovnik through experiences that are as unique as they are memorable.
Here are some off-the-beaten-path and unique things to do in Dubrovnik, curated to offer you a deeper, more intimate connection with this timeless city.

1. Discover The Secret Alleyways of the Old Town

Yes, the main streets are a marvel, but have you ever taken a detour down the narrow alleyways? These hidden corridors are where the real charm of Dubrovnik lies.

Discover quaint cafes, small art galleries, and shops selling handcrafted goods away from the hustle and bustle. Each turn reveals a part of Dubrovnik untouched by mass tourism, offering a glimpse into the everyday life of its residents.

Dubrovnik’s game of walls and hidden alleys: a sunlit maze of mystery and charm right in the heart of the old town.

2. See The Dubrovnik Maskeron

In search of love? Then don’t miss the Dubrovnik Maskeron. This curious gargoyle head embedded in the streets near the Franciscan Monastery is surrounded by myths, including one that promises luck in love to those who can hop onto it and take off their shirt while standing on one foot.

It’s a quirky challenge that promises a fun, albeit slightly embarrassing, memory.

Dubrovnik Maskeron

❐ You will find it near Pile Gate. A curious gargoyle head beckons from a wall by the Franciscan monastery—legend says that balancing on it and shedding your shirt without turning away promises love’s luck.

3. Visit Fort Lovrijenac – The Red Keep

Perched on a towering rock just outside the western wall of the city, Fort Lovrijenac often escapes the notice of the casual visitor.

Known as Dubrovnik’s Gibraltar, this fortress offers some of the best views of the Old Town and the Adriatic. Fans of “Game of Thrones” will recognize it as the Red Keep, but its real history is equally fascinating.

Dubrovnik - Lovrijenac

Perched atop its majestic cliff, Lovrijenac Fortress stands as a silent guardian of Dubrovnik, offering breathtaking views and a whisper of ancient battles and dramas.

4. Enjoy St. Jakov Beach & Kupari Beach

While Banje Beach gets all the attention, Sv. Jakov Beach remains one of Dubrovnik’s best-kept secrets. A 20-minute walk from the Old Town, this beach offers stunning views of the city from a distance, crystal-clear waters, and a much quieter atmosphere.

Kupari is a village in Croatia southeast of Dubrovnik and it is just about 15 minutes of drive from the center of Dubrovnik. It is home to the Kupari Tourist Complex, a disused military tourist resort. The complex includes several large hotels which were severely damaged during the Croatian War of Independence. 

Kupari - Abandoned Hotel

Hey, Dubrovnik boasts some stunning beaches, but the haunting beauty of the abandoned hotel on Kupari Beach offers a mesmerizing contrast.

5. Check Our The War Photo Limited

For those interested in modern history, the War Photo Limited is an impactful museum dedicated to war photography.

This exhibition space provides a profound insight into the conflicts that have shaped the region and the world, offering a different perspective on the beauty and tranquility that now defines Dubrovnik.

❐ Those intrigued by war history, a journey up to Srđ on the cable car will also open the gateway to a museum that captures not just of Dubrovnik’s beauty but its resilient spirit.

6. The Renaissance Gardens of Sponza Palace

Tucked away within the Sponza Palace, a masterpiece of Dubrovnik architecture, lie its Renaissance gardens. Often overlooked by visitors rushing to the city’s more famous sites, these gardens offer a peaceful respite, with beautifully manicured hedges, fountains, and sculptures that transport you back in time. 

Old Town Dubrovnik

Nestled within the heart of Dubrovnik’s Old Town, the Sponza Palace garden remains a hidden gem often overlooked. To discover its quiet beauty, seek out the archway entrance near the Sponza Palace.

7. The Trsteno Arboretum

A bit further afield, the Trsteno Arboretum is a paradise for nature lovers. As the oldest arboretum in this part of the world, it boasts a collection of exotic plants, an impressive aqueduct, and a charming Renaissance garden with stunning sea views.

It’s a peaceful retreat where you can immerse yourself in nature’s beauty away from the city’s clamor.

Trsteno Arboretum

Trsteno Arboretum: a green wonderland by the sea, where you can stroll among giant trees and whisper to ancient plants, just a hop away from Dubrovnik Old Town.

8. Enjoy Dubrovnik Cuisine

Since Dubrovnik lies on the Adriatic Sea, the dominant cuisine is Mediterranean and Dalmatian cuisine is one of the healthiest in the world. Did you know Mediterranean diet was included in the UNESCO list of intangible heritage in 2013?

The basic concept is very simple and includes the freshest local seasonal ingredients that allow the preparation of various specialties in any season and traditional homemade dishes and simple recipes that are passed down from generation to generation.

Dubrovnik - Food

Dubrovnik’s cuisine is a delicious adventure, where fresh seafood meets hearty stews and pasta, all sprinkled with the magic of Mediterranean herbs and the joy of local wines!

9. Have a Glass of Wine at Peljesac

Peljesac peninsula is located 70 kilometers from Dubrovnik, but for those who love a good glass of phenomenal wine, some extra miles will be worth of time.  

Savor the region’s finest wines and meet with the local wine producers who will make sure to take you deep into the world of the unique grape varieties of the area, the traditional methods of wine-making, and the story behind each vineyard.

Experiences in Croatia

Pelješac Peninsula: where wild beauty meets wine wizardry, offering a journey through lush landscapes and ancient vineyards.

10. Meet with the Locals

Take an immersive journey to the heartlands surrounding Dubrovnik, meet local artisans and engage in workshops that range from traditional jewelry making to learning the art of Croatian lace. These intimate experiences offer a deep dive into the region’s cultural heritage.

Moreover, just moments away from the city’s hustle and bustle, you will have a chance to learn about sustainable farming practices, help harvest seasonal produce, and enjoy a farm-to-table meal prepared with ingredients you picked yourselves.

Dubrovnik - Arts and Crafts

Escape the city’s hustle and step into the heart of local life just beyond the city center, where you can meet the farmers and craftsmen whose hands shape the land and traditions.

11. Have a drink at Buža Bar – A Cliffside Wonder

Imagine sipping your favorite drink perched on the rocks, with the Adriatic Sea sprawling before you. Buža Bar, accessible only through a small hole (“buža” means “hole” in local dialect) in the city walls, offers just that.

This hidden gem is the perfect spot for those seeking a serene escape with breathtaking views, especially at sunset.

Buza Bar

Dubrovnik’s hidden gem, a cliffside haven accessed through a hole in the city walls, where drinks and dazzling views create a perfect escape into the Adriatic’s embrace.

12. Discover Serenity while Paddling

For the adventurous souls, sea kayaking around Dubrovnik’s walls and nearby islands offers an exhilarating perspective of the city. Paddle in the clear blue waters, explore hidden caves, and enjoy a unique viewpoint of the Adriatic’s beauty.

For an active adventure, consider a kayaking tour around the island of Lokrum. This not only gives you a unique vantage point of Dubrovnik’s walls from the sea but also allows you to explore caves and hidden coves inaccessible by land.

Kayaking Dubrovnik

 Kayak from the bustling city shores into secret nooks cherished by locals, where sunset paints Dubrovnik’s walls in golden light, guiding you to tranquil swimming spots.

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