Complete Guide to Dubrovnik with Kids

Complete Guide to Dubrovnik with Kids

Have you ever seen photos of Dubrovnik and wondered if it really is as beautiful as it looks? Well, I can absolutely assure you that it is and something you really have to see through your own eyes to fully appreciate.

If Dubrovnik is on your bucket list and you want to know everything about visiting Dubrovnik with kids, then this article is packed full of information for you.

We spent 4 days in Dubrovnik with our kids (5 and 2 years old) and found it to be a perfect amount of time. We were able to see and do everything we wanted to without it being too intense.

Of course, I fell in love with the city so much that I could have stayed longer but visiting Dubrovnik is not cheap and we were ready to escape the crowds.

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Looking for an EPIC 2 week Croatia itinerary with kids? Click here to read our family itinerary visiting Dubrovnik, Korcula, Hvar & Split

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Visiting Dubrovnik with kids

Visiting Dubrovnik with kids does come with a few challenges but nothing that should stop you from going.

It’s no secret that Dubrovnik has lots of steps…

Apparently, there are over 5000 steps in Dubrovnik, which can be tiring for little legs or hard work if you are reliant on a pram or stroller.

Dubrovnik with Kids Steps

Don’t panic, there is a way to avoid steps!

You can avoid steps by walking to the old town along the main roads and entering the city walls via Pile Gate or Ploče Gate. Both gates (located at opposite ends) take you onto the main street (Placa or Stradun) which runs directly through the middle of the old town. From here you can explore a good proportion of the old town without the need to climb any steps.

Dubrovnik with Kids Stradun

Tackling Dubrovnik’s steps with kids

We took our 3 wheeler stroller into the old town, which I would recommend for better manoeuvrability. Equally important is making sure your stroller is easy to fold and carry if needed.

We’ve taken our Baby Jogger City Mini all over the place and love it because it’s effortless to push, and easily folded with one strap using one hand.

⭐️ Find out more…

To find out more about why we love the Baby Jogger City Mini so much, read our full review here.

If you really want to fully explore the old town and venture further away from the main street, steps are unavoidable. We chose to leave the stroller when we could and our two year old walked or jumped up and down the steps holding our hands (and of course was carried when she got tired).

Dubrovnik with Kids Steps
For babies, I would highly recommend a baby carrier. Prams are less compact and would be more difficult to get up and down steps if you wanted to explore. I swore by my Baby Bjorn and carried both of my girl’s miles in it when they were babies.

When to visit Dubrovnik

Probably the best months to visit Dubrovnik are May to June or September to October. The weather is still warm (but not too hot) and there is still plenty of buzz without the crowds you get in July and August.

November to April is low season, which means you can really explore without competing against other tourists. However, many facilities are closed and the weather is unpredictable.

If like us you have kids at school, you may not have the luxury of choice. We visited Dubrovnik in August and although it was hot and busy, it didn’t make our experience less enjoyable or more difficult. On the plus side, it gives the city an incredible energy and vibrant nightlife.

Dubrovnik gets crowded in peak season...

During July and August, the number of tourists visiting Dubrovnik soars. It was definitely very busy when we visited in August and although it didn’t prevent us from seeing everything, we were nervous about losing the kids in the crowds.

If your kids are in a stroller, this won’t be a problem but our two year old wanted to run around and wasn’t particularly concerned as to where we were. This was only really a concern around the centre of the old town, down the main street (Placa or Stradun) and the busy Pile Gate entrance.

When it was crowded we agreed to be accountable for 1 child each but I would highly recommend reins for younger children.

How to get to Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is easy to get to by plane, bus, car, ferry or private transfer. If flying into Dubrovnik airport, you can take a shuttle bus to the city for 40 kn (approx. £5). Tickets can be purchased at the airport, on the bus or online where you can also find the timetable (although they run fairly regularly).

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Click here to read a step by step guide to finding the cheapest flights to Croatia.

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To see more information on how to get to Dubrovnik including how to get from Split to Dubrovnik, click here.

⭐️ Find out more…

For more information on how to get to Dubrovnik including how to get specifically from Split to Dubrovnik, click here.

Where to stay in Dubrovnik with kids

There is plenty of suitable accommodation to stay in Dubrovnik with kids!

We stayed just north of the old town, directly inland from the sea and therefore uphill. This gave us stunning views of the medieval city walls, red rooftops and a backdrop of beautiful blue ocean and the lush green island of Lokrum.

Dubrovnik with Kids view

From this area, the quickest way to walk to the old town takes approximately 10-15 minutes down lots of steps. When we didn’t take the stroller, the kids loved finding different sets of steps to go down and we admired the charming little guesthouses that sit behind the narrow walled streets along the way.

However, you can also take a slightly longer route (approx.15-20 minutes) along the road to avoid the steps if you have a stroller.

Dubrovnik with Kids road

❗️ Top Tip

Top Tip – use Google Map’s Street View to explore the street view of your walk from your accommodation into the old town

Staying in Dubrovnik Old Town

Staying within the city walls is handy for kids because it means less walking for the old town but you’ll find it hard to avoid steps. Most of the accommodation is on the stepped streets either side of the main street (Placa or Stradun) and you’ll find the prices are also higher.

Staying in Dubrovnik Suburbs

There is plenty of accommodation in the Dubrovnik suburbs such as Lapad, Gruž, and Ploče. These are a little further out but still within a reasonable walking distance and will be much cheaper. The city also has a good bus network with frequent buses running all day at reasonable prices.

Top Tip – If you buy a Dubrovnik Card, you get 24 hours free public transport.

I’d recommend staying here if you are spending more than just a few days in Dubrovnik and looking to explore further afield. You’ll also get more facilities such as swimming pools for the kids.

Things to do in Dubrovnik with kids

Please note: prices accurate at the time of writing and have used the exchange rate of 1 GBP (British Pound) = 8 HKR (Croatian Kuna) – Sept 2018

Spend an unplanned day exploring Dubrovnik

We spent our first day exploring the old town, finding our bearings and learning more about what Dubrovnik had to offer and what we wanted to do during our stay.

Make sure you allow yourself the time to do this and appreciate the beauty of this amazingly preserved medieval walled city. We spent hours exploring, starting from the beautiful Placa or Stradun (Main Street), working our way down each street, finding new places and incredible architecture with each turn.

Use this time to identify key attractions such as the city Bell Tower, Rector’s Palace, Dubrovnik Cathedral and St. Blaise Church. It’s also a good time to pick out some restaurants to save time in the evening when you’re looking for somewhere to eat.

Dubrovnik with Kids sights

Walk the city walls

You really can’t visit Dubrovnik without walking the truly majestic ancient city walls. The architectural beauty of Dubrovnik is absolutely breathtaking but seeing the entire city from the top of the walls is something you just cannot miss.

Dubrovnik with Kids wall view

The walls are up to 6 metres thick, up to 25 metres tall and approximately 2 km long, so allow yourself a good couple of hours to get around. We have a few tips for walking the Dubrovnik city walls with kids…

Top Tip – Take sun hats and plenty of water

There is little to no shade, so be sure to take sun hats and water. There are a couple of cafes where you can buy refreshments, ice cream and use the facilities.

Top Tip – Don’t take your stroller

Although the walkway is flat and smooth, I would highly recommend not taking a pram or stroller. Firstly, there are places where it is quite narrow. With so many people walking the wall and stopping to take photos, a stroller would be an obstacle for both you and everybody else.

Dubrovnik with Kids wall

Secondly, there are quite a few sets of steps you will need to contend with, which are also narrow and steep. It helps that you are advised to walk the wall in one direction so don’t have to face oncoming traffic.

And thirdly, unless your kids are too young to walk (in this case I would recommend a baby carrier), they loved following the path round, playing in the forts and towers, and looking through the arrowslits. If we’d had our stroller it wouldn’t have been used anyway.

Top Tip – go early in the morning or later in the afternoon

You’ll avoid the peak visiting time and cruise ship tourists by visiting at either end of the day and the sun won’t be as strong.

Top Tip – Buy a Dubrovnik Card online and save

The adult entrance fee for the city walls is 150 kn (approx. £18). You can buy a Dubrovnik Card for 200 kn (approx. £25) and this also gets you into the Maritime Museum, Natural History Museum, Art Gallery, Cultural-Historical Museum, Ethnographic Museum and more (this is worthwhile if you want to see the Game of Thrones filming locations). You also get 24 hours of free public transport which we used to get to the port on our last day.

Buy it online here for 180 kn (approx. £22) and save even more! You just need to show your email receipt at the Tourist Information outside Pile Gate and they will issue you with your Dubrovnik Card.
Children up to 7 years old are free.

Take a DIY Game of Thrones tour

If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, there are plenty of paid tours available taking you to all of the filming locations and sharing stories from behind the set.

Or if you want to save money as we did, there are some great walking tours available for free on Pinterest. If you’ve purchased the Dubrovnik Card, then you’ll get to see plenty of filming locations including…

  • Pile Gate – King’s Landing
  • Jesuit Staircase – those famous steps where Cercei made her Walk of Shame!
  • Minčeta Tower – aka the House of the Undying
  • Pile Bay – aka Blackwater Bay
  • Fort Lovrijenac – aka The Red Keep
  • Rectors Palace – aka the Spice King’s Palace in Qarth
Dubrovnik with Kids GOT2
Dubrovnik with Kids GOT1

Visit Fort Lovrijenac

Fort Lovrijenac sits 37 metres high upon the cliff, playing an integral part in Dubrovnik’s fortification system. Interestingly, the walls of the triangular fortress vary in width with the landward side being 6 metres wide, 4 metres towards the sea and just 60 cm towards the city. This was a precautionary measure to prevent the commander of the fort from overthrowing the government.

There are quite a few steps to climb to the entrance which makes it not ideal for strollers. Once inside, you can wander around and admire the view back over towards the city.

Top Tip – visit at sunset for beautiful views and hardly any tourists 

Dubrovnik with Kids Fort Lovrejic

Take the cable car up Srd Hill

For the most amazing views of Dubrovnik, take the cable car to the top of Mount Srd. The cable cars have glass windows floor to ceiling so the kids enjoyed the ride looking out at the view as we went higher and higher.

Dubrovnik with Kids Srd
It takes just a few minutes to get to the top where you can spend some time taking in the incredible panoramic views. Tickets cost 85 kn (approx. £10) for adults and 40 kn (approx. £5) for kids (4-12 years) and can be purchased from the cable car station just outside of the city walls. This price is for a one-way ticket, return tickets can also be purchased. For more information of ticket prices, click here.
Dubrovnik with Kids cable

You can dine at the restaurant or grab a snack and refreshment from the bar. There is also the Homeland War Museum which is housed in the Fort Imperial. You can visit the museum to learn more about the Croatian War of Independence and the Siege of Dubrovnik.

We chose to walk the 412 metres back down the zig-zag path and really enjoyed it. Some advised us not to do it with young children due to the length of the walk and heat exposure but we were fine.

Top Tip – Take sun hats and plenty of water

We stopped regularly for a rest and drink of icy cold water (pop a bottle in the freezer if you can before you go). I would recommend not to take a stroller unless you have an all-terrain buggy as the path is loose stone.

Dubrovnik with Kids path

Our 5 year old managed the walk down easily, but our youngest had a piggyback for some of the way. Including, lots of stops it took us about 1.5 hours to get to the bottom, bringing you out onto the main road.

Food and Drink in Dubrovnik

One thing that we didn’t anticipate was the high price of food and drink in Dubrovnik. If you like pizza, mussels and squid then you may find it affordable but if fresh fish like sea bass is your thing, then be prepared to pay around 170 kn (approx. £22).

Our evening meals averaged at about 350 kn (approx. £44) for two adults and two kids but we drank sparkling mineral water and chose to buy wine from the supermarkets which was much cheaper.

One thing that is reasonably priced is the ice cream and there is no shortage of delicious ice cream shops. Prices are consistently between 10 and 15 kn (approx. £1.25 – £1.90)

Top 3 Recommendations

  • Azur Dubrovnik – best Mediterranean-Asian restaurant
  • Peppino’s – best ice cream shop
  • Buza Bar – best cocktails and best location hidden through the city walls on the cliffs
Dubrovnik with Kids Buza

Our final thoughts...

Dubrovnik really is a beautiful city that needs to be on your bucket list. We managed to see everything we planned to in 4 days with the kids. However, if you are looking to spend less time, then this 3 day itinerary may be helpful.

I hope I’ve provided enough information and encouragement for visiting Dubrovnik with kids. Our kids absolutely loved and actually, the steps which some may have concerns over, just made it more fun for them!

One thing I really noticed about Dubrovnik is how pristine and well-maintained it is given the hoards of tourists that visit each day.

We loved wandering around its charming stone walled streets, learning its history and of course the ancient city walls are not to be missed.

I’d love to help more, so be sure to drop me a comment if you have any questions.

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