Top things to do in Korcula with kids

Top things to do in Korcula with kids

Locally referred to as ‘Korčula’ and pronounced ‘Kor-chew-la’, this beautiful Croatian island is a great choice for families. There are plenty of things to do in Korcula with kids and you can make your stay as adventurous, educational or relaxing as you like.

It’s easy to understand why the old town is often referred to as ‘mini Dubrovnik’. The perfectly preserved medieval town and its stone-walled streets are surrounded by high defensive walls and towers.

Unlike Dubrovnik however, Korcula is much quieter and has a calming sereneness to it. We visited Korcula after spending 4 nights in Dubrovnik and found it a welcomed contrast to the crowds of tourists and scorching heat.

Korcula with Kids - Old Town Entrance

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How to get to Korcula with kids

There is no airport on the island of Korcula so you will need to take the ferry to get there. You can also get by bus but will still need to take a short ferry ride to get to the island.

We took the 1 hour 50-minute Krilo ferry from Dubrovnik to Korcula, which cost 130 kn (approx. £16) per person. Children under 3 travel free.

To check out the ferry timetables, click here.

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

Korcula with Kids - Ferry

The best thing about using the ferries to travel around Croatia is that it makes travelling exciting for kids. They’re easy, fun and have food and drink, and toilet facilities on board.

If you worry about sea sickness (like me), take a travel sickness tablet, but we were all absolutely fine. You can check the sea conditions at the tourist information the day before (we found the marine weather forecast to be fairly accurate).

As this was our first ferry journey in Croatia, we bought the tickets from the Krilo office at the port in Dubrovnik. After realising how easy, convenient and punctual the ferries are, we booked the rest of our ferry journeys online. I would highly recommend doing this because it saves a trip to the ticket office and the websites are super easy to use.

Check the timetable here, make a note of the ferry company offering the journey you want (which is normally 1 of 2) and book directly at Krilo or Jadrolinija. In peak season, I would recommend booking the day before as popular routes often get fully booked.

⭐️ Find out more…

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

Where to stay in Korcula with kids

During our travels in Croatia, Korcula was certainly the cheapest for accommodation. We took advantage of the cheaper prices and stayed right in the centre of Korcula Old Town. Our Airbnb was a top floor apartment, directly opposite St. Mark’s Cathedral and really was a perfect location.

Korcula with Kids - Airbnb

Unlike Dubrovnik, which is starting to get busy with tourists at 7am in the morning, sleepy Korcula is only just waking up.

First thing in the morning, we enjoyed opening our beautiful sash windows and listening to the magnificent bells of St Mark’s Cathedral. Luckily the windows were sound proof so didn’t disturb us during the night, given that the bells chimed every 15 minutes.

Korcula with Kids - Street

One afternoon, we’d returned to our apartment to get ready to go out for dinner and noticed a wedding celebration outside the cathedral. We rushed down to join in with the singing and dancing. It was so nice to experience a traditional Croatian wedding and the girls were so excited to see the ‘Croatian Princess’ in her beautiful dress.

Popular hotels in Korcula Old Town include Hotel Marco Polo, Hotel Liburna and Port 9 Hotel. Hotels are a great choice if you are looking for dining options and a swimming pool but we often find apartments offer more room for families and better locations. Use the search tool below to check out what accommodation is available.

Things to do in Korcula with kids

We spent 3 nights in Korcula and although we did lots, we also relaxed after our busy few days in Dubrovnik.

If you want to spend longer, there is certainly plenty to do. The island has lots to offer from beautiful coastal coves and bays for swimming and relaxing, to a wealth of history and educational attractions. And for the more adventurous, popular activities include cycling, hiking, boat rental and diving.

Explore Korcula Old Town

Using a map to explore the fortified medieval town of Korcula is easy thanks to its simple architectural design.

The streets are cleverly designed in a fishbone pattern, with its main street running right through the middle of the town, representing a spine. Its angled streets running off the main street are strategically built to allow a light westerly sea breeze to pass through in the summer; whilst protecting the town from cold northeast winds in the winter.

We certainly found the town a much more comfortable temperature compared to the stifling heat in Dubrovnik.

Korcula with Kids - Map

Every single street in the old town is quaint and pristine, some decorated with beautiful flowers, plants and hanging herbs.

Korcula with Kids - Herbs

Just like Dubrovnik, there are plenty of steps in Korcula. With our accommodation being so central and the town being small enough for our 2-year-old to walk around, we didn’t need the stroller.

If you do have a stroller, you’ll find it much easier to get around than Dubrovnik. Many of the steps are spaced far enough apart to push a stroller down or there are a few steps followed by a flat stretch.

I swear by our Baby Jogger City Mini which has travelled all over the place. I love it because it’s effortless to push, and easily folded with one strap using one hand.

The shopping streets have a real chic and style to them with charming little boutique shops with pretty window displays.

One lady sells crayons from a lovely little bright and airy workshop called ‘Boya Shop and Atelier’. The shutter windows and doors were wide open and inviting when we stumbled across it.

Inside you can make your own piece of artwork and experience using the crayons and their multi-functional effects. The kids would have stayed here for hours!

There are plenty of places to visit whilst exploring the old town such as Marco Polo’s house and museum. There are also lots of restaurants and cafes to stop and enjoy a refreshing drink, local wine or bite to eat.

Korcula with Kids

After you’ve explored the old town, head back out of the main entrance and down the impressive steps to the lower market square. To the left is a small market with souvenirs, fresh fruit and veg. If you continue walking you’ll find tourist agencies, local wine shops and more cafes and restaurants.

Exploring further towards the Eastern side, you’ll head closer to the marina and Banje Beach. This is a great place to take the kids – there is a pebble beach, inflatable play park in the sea and an outdoor swimming pool.

Climb the Bell Tower of St Mark’s Cathedral

This is another top thing to do in Korcula, purely for the spectacular views from the top. Our youngest was having a nap, so I took our 5-year-old up to the top which she found very exciting!

The first part involves climbing up a narrow stone, spiral staircase inside the building. Some may find this a little claustrophobic but only takes a few seconds before you come out at the top of the steps, where you will start your climb up the bell tower.

Top Tip – Wait for the green light before entering the staircase…

There is a man sat at the top flicking a switch from green to red to let you know when it’s clear. This avoids the risk of meeting others halfway up/down and having to reverse back out. This is where you will also pay your entrance fee before proceeding up the bell tower.

Korcula with Kids - Red Light

Entrance to the cathedral is free but to climb the bell tower, there is a small but worthy fee of 30 kn (approx. £3.75). For our eldest, we were charged 15kn but I don’t think there is a set price as such for children.

Once you reach the top, you are protected by a high wall but on the way up there are some openings that you need to be careful of. Although it’s fairly safe, I would not recommend taking small children up and I don’t think they would allow you to either.

Korcula with Kids - Bell Tower

There’s not much room at the top, we spent about 5 minutes admiring the spectacular panoramic views and taking photos before carefully making our way back down the steps.

Korcula with Kids - View 2

Visit the Marco Polo Museum

You can’t escape a visit to Korcula without coming across the world’s most famous traveller, Marco Polo. Right in the very centre of Korcula Old Town is allegedly Marco Polos’ house.

With a hotel, konoba (traditional restaurant), house and museum dedicated to his name, Marco Polo certainly has a very strong presence in Korcula.

The Marco Polo Museum is definitely a top thing to do in Korcula with kids. You really can’t leave without learning about Marco Polo and his adventures. The museum is great for kids of all ages, we even managed to get around and take in all of the information with our 2-year-old! There are a few steps and there is not much room but you can get around with a stroller.

Korcula with Kids - Marco Polo

Upon entrance, you are given an audio guide and headphones. We even got one for our youngest, although in hindsight I’m not sure whether this caused more trouble than it was worth!

Surprisingly, the story of Marco Polo and his explorations held our eldest daughters attention for the whole way around. She wouldn’t have understood everything but she got the gist of his life story.

It takes about 30 minutes to listen to the audio guide and make your way around the exhibitions in each room. Our youngest enjoyed looking at the wax models in each scene depicting a different milestone in Marco Polo’s life.

Korcula with Kids - Marco Polo Museum

If you’d rather not listen to the audio guide (or get distracted with young children as we did), the commentary is also written on boards in each room.

The admission price is 60Kn (approx. £7.50) for adults and 30kn (approx. £3.75) for children.

Swim and relax

There are not many places I’ve visited where the sea is such a vivid turquoise blue and so crystal clear. The Adriatic Sea is certainly one you cannot resist swimming in. We had access to swimming pools during our time in Croatia but the kids chose the sea nearly every time.

Korcula with Kids - Ocean

We found a beautiful little spot about 1 mile west of Korcula Old Town. It’s a lovely walk that takes about 20 minutes along the seafront. Looking back, you get stunning views of Korcula Old Town.

As you walk further along the road, there are lots of steps down to pretty little coves that are secluded and great spots for swimming. Eventually, you come to Medvinjak Beach, a little pebble beach with stone slabs for sunbathing. When we visited they had a slide which we made good use of (not sure who had more fun… Daddy or the kids)?!

Korcula with Kids - Swimming

We spent a good hour or so swimming and relaxing here and the great thing about Korcula is these beauty spots are not overcrowded. If you prefer somewhere private, there are plenty of coves you can claim all for yourself.

Cycle to Lumbarda

Hiring bikes is a great way to explore the island and something the kids really enjoy. We only had one free day to explore on bikes and a storm was forecasted for later on in the afternoon; so we opted for just half a day bike hire. It cost us 250 kn (approx. £31) for 2 adult bikes, 1 child’s bike for our 5-year-old and a child’s bike seat for our 2-year-old. We were also provided with helmets and a cable lock. There are a handful of tourist agencies located just outside of the old town, most of which offer bike hire.

Our 5-year-old was very excited and although she hadn’t long been able to ride, she soon got the hang of it. Given our limited time, we chose to cycle to nearby Lumbarda, approximately 6 kilometres from Korcula Old Town.

Korcula with Kids - bikes

Unfortunately, there is no coastal path so the only way to get there is by road. Although the route is smooth, fairly flat and part of it has a cycle lane, there was quite a bit of traffic. We sandwiched our eldest in between us so we could keep an eye on her.

We noticed a couple of wineries along the way…

If we’d had more time, we would have definitely paid them a visit (although, I wouldn’t recommend cycling after consuming large amounts of wine)!

When we arrived in Lumbarda, we chained our bikes up and sat near the sandy beach to eat our picnic lunch. Sandy beaches are rare in the Adriatic with most beaches being pebble. We hadn’t brought our swimming costumes so the kids had to settle for an obligatory paddle.

Lumbarda is a small fishing village with a handful of cafes and bars….

With more time, we would have explored further and I would recommend hiring bikes out for longer if you can. We had a little walk around and then fuelled ourselves with ice cream before heading back to Korcula Old Town.

On our way back, the sky started to darken and before we knew it, we were caught in the start of the storm. At the time, I envisaged us arriving back in Korcula Old Town looking like drowned rats but luckily it only lasted about 5 minutes. With the heat and breeze, we soon dried out and made it back safe and dry to drop the bikes off.

Only an hour or two later, the storm really set in with the rain coming down by the bucketful, so we escaped lightly.

Other things to do in Korcula

I had researched and planned to visit the paradise island of Mljet. Considered to be one of the most beautiful of the Croatian island, the unspoilt national park is covered in dense forest and has two beautiful salted lakes.

Getting to Mljet is easy using the high-speed ferries but the day we planned to go was when the storm hit. We were advised that the sea conditions were not good and I didn’t want to risk us getting seasick so chose not to go.

I guess I have a good reason to go back!


Food and Drink in Korcula

Korcula is not short of places to drink locally produced wine and eat traditionally prepared dishes, fresh fish and of course, pizza.

Local wines produced on the island include Plavac (red), Pošip and Grk (white) – Pošip was my personal favourite. Make sure you sample these wines either from the local shops or wineries on the island.

Food and drink prices are cheaper than Dubrovnik but fish is still a little pricey. We found the cheaper restaurants are located towards the marina and Marco Polo hotel.

Korcula with Kids - Fish

Our evening meals averaged at about 250 kn (approx. £32) without wine. We often drank sparkling water with our meal and bought wine from the supermarket to drink before we went out. For the kids, just take their own water bottles filled with bottled water (although apparently, you can drink the tap water in Croatia. Our eldest accidentally drank some served at a café one day and she was absolutely fine).

Our Recommendations

Konoba Skver – for freshly prepared authentic Croatian dishes

Konoba Marco Polo – for fish dishes and ambient setting (down a narrow street in the old town)

Fish & Go – for amazing fish and chip platters (also located next to a playground so great for kids)

Massimo Cocktail Bar – quirky bar located at the top of a fortress in the old town and accessed by climbing up some ladders. We didn’t actually have a drink here as they wouldn’t allow small children up due to health and safety (although, my kids are probably safer than me after a few cocktails)!

Definitely worth a drink at sunset if you can.

Korcula with Kids - ladders

Our verdict...

After 3 nights, we felt like we had done everything we wanted to in Korcula Old Town and enjoyed the Marco Polo Museum and bike ride to Lumbarda.

If we had more time, and for those of you who prefer to slow the pace a little, we would have loved to explore the island more.

There are so many beautiful places to combine a day of exploring and relaxing by the sea. Little boats are also cheap to hire out and visit the nearby islands and are great fun for the kids.

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