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Winter in Dubrovnik: Why to Go & What to Do in Dubrovnik in Winter

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Dubrovnik in winter goes for sunny and serene winter days in the town full of fascinating history on the Adriatic Sea.
Winter in Dubrovnik means tranquility, serenity, leisure time, relaxation, and peacefulness.
Need more reasons why you should visit Dubrovnik in winter?
Find out why to spend your winter holidays in Dubrovnik.

Sunny Dubrovnik in winter
Dubrovnik, Croatia © World Travel Connector

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLAIMER FOR MORE INFO

Winter in Dubrovnik

winter in Dubrovnik
St. Saviour church in Dubrovnik

1. WINTER IN DUBROVNIK – WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT DUBROVNIK IN WINTER 

Dislike crowds of tourists in summer? Prefer to feel the unique spirit of the place without rush and crowds?

Looking for Mediterranean winter sunny days? Craving for a few-day escape from cold, wet, foggy, or snowy winter?

Looking for a perfect European winter weekend break in a city full of fascinating history? Want to immerse yourself in the Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque in the silence of off-season vibe?

If your answer is yes, you should consider taking a vacation in Croatia in winter and visiting Dubrovnik in winter, ‘the Pearl of the Adriatic and one of the most beautiful cities in Europe frequently featured as a top European bucket list destination.

While Dubrovnik can be explored in one day or two, 3 days in Dubrovnik will rejuvenate your mind and soul in such a way that you’ll want to come back as soon as possible.

Take a winter holiday in Dubrovnik and check out why Dubrovnik has been voted as the Culture Capital of the World for 2019 by more than 100.000 travelers!

2. ACCOMMODATION IN DUBROVNIK

As a Croatian who comes from Dubrovnik-Neretva County, I am familiar with all the neighborhoods in Dubrovnik. So, here is my recommendation of your stays in Dubrovnik:

2.1 Luxury

  • The Pucić Palace – the Pucić Palace is a superb luxury option located in the heart of Dubrovnik Old City. Check here more details and latest prices 
  • Hotel Excelsior – located just a 10 min walk away from the Old City, the Hotel Excelsior offers picture-perfect panoramic views of the Dubrovnik Bay and the Old City. Check the latest prices 

RELATED: 15 Amazing Holiday Villas in Dubrovnik

2.2 Mid-range

2.3 Budget

  • Hostel Angelina Old Town – located within the Old City’s walls, the Hostel Angelina is a great option for solo budget travelers. Check the latest prices
  • Apartments Midnight City – a half-an-hour walk away from the Old City, with spacious and comfortable rooms, the Apartments Midnight City offers a great value for the money. Especially recommended for couples. Click here for more details and the latest prices

3. WINTER IN DUBROVNIK – WHAT TO DO IN DUBROVNIK IN WINTER

And although Croatia is a popular summer destination famed for the breathtaking coastline dotted with gorgeous 1000-plus islands, historic architecture, fabulous island hopping, and sensational sailing, you might be surprised to find out how easy it is to fall in love with Dubrovnik in winter too.

Best things to do in Dubrovnik in winter

3.1  Take a leisure walk along the Old City’s walls 

winter in Dubrovnik
A view of the Adriatic Sea from Dubrovnik Old City walls

Winter in Dubrovnik gives a unique opportunity to leisurely walk along Dubrovnik old city walls with highly pleasurable views of the walls, forts, and gates without exhausting heats and hardly bearable crowds of tourists.

A slow walk along 1,9 km (1,3 miles) long old city walls followed by unpretentious gazing into the blue serenity of the Adriatic Sea on a sunny winter day in Dubrovnik is one of the best revitalization treatments you can treat yourself with.

winter in Dubrovnik
View of Dubrovnik from the old walls

3.2 Relax in the tranquility of the Old Harbour

winter in Dubrovnik
Old harbor in Dubrovnik in February

Winter in Dubrovnik offers the special tranquility of Dubrovnik’s Old Harbour, where the only ‘noise’ is made by small local fishermen’s boats and sporadic chats of local fishermen.

winter in Dubrovnik
Me on a bench on Porporela pier in sunny Dubrovnik’s Old Harbour in February

Looking at the Adriatic sea from Porporela pier in Dubrovnik in winter comes as a true blast of serenity, as the whole scenery takes a shape of a visual manifestation of the greatest mediation for relaxation.

3.3 Indulge in the serene atmosphere of Stradun 

winter in Dubrovnik
Stradun, or Placa in winter

Winter in Dubrovnik allows you to take a stressless walk along Stradun and truly indulge in one of the most beautiful pedestrian main streets in the World. Quite opposite to Stradun in the summertime when it becomes the most crowded place in Dubrovnik!

The 300 m (1.000 feet) long renaissance promenade with lined baroque stone houses with green shutters is the main all-year-round gathering place in Dubrovnik. Stradun is a perfect place for slowly sipping coffee while watching people passing by. Taking a Dubrovnik walking tour is always a good idea. But, in winter without summer crowds and heat, it is a perfect idea. Discover the Old Town Walking Tour is among the best Dubrovnik tours. Check Discover the Old Town Walking Tour out!

3.4 Go for a laid-back stroll around palaces in Dubrovnik

winter in Dubrovnik
Sponza Palace in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik in winter grants a peaceful leap into history to enjoy glorious artifacts of past times to the fullest.

Winter in Dubrovnik is the ideal time for strolling around Dubrovnik palaces such as Sponza Palace and Rector’s Palace and appreciating their elegance.

The Sponza Palace is a Gothic-Renaissance palace recognizable for its beautifully carved ornamentation above the upper Venetian-Gothic windows. Once the Customs House of the Republic of Ragusa is today’s State Archive.

The Rector’s Palace also dates back to the Gothic-Renaissance times.  It was the seat of the government and the rector (premier) of the Dubrovnik Republic. Nowadays the palace seats the Cultural History Museum.

winter in Dubrovnik
Rector’s Palace, or Knežev Dvor in Dubrovnik

3.5 Marvel at the Baroque and Renaissance architecture in the quiet atmosphere

winter in Dubrovnik
St Blaise church with Orlando Pilar

Winter in Dubrovnik gives you a quiet and contemplative atmosphere in which you can comfortably marvel at the Gothic and Renaissance architecture of the St. Saviour church, St. Blaise churchJesuit church, and the Cathedral.

St. Blaise is the saint patron of Dubrovnik. The main church in Dubrovnik is dedicated to St. Blaise and you can find it at the end of Stradun Street. The St. Blaise statue stands in the middle of the three statues on the top of the church as the personifications of Faith and Hope.

The Orlando’s (or Rolland’s) Pillar is a column in front of the St. Blaise church. It pictures a medieval knight keeping in his arms a sword and a shield. The knight is a symbol of freedom. In the Dubrovnik Republic freedom was considered to be one of the greatest values in life. Officially motto of the Dubrovnik Republic was ‘Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro‘, meaning ‘Freedom cannot be sold for all the gold of the World‘.

3.6 Enjoy the meditative ambiance of the Dominican and Franciscan monasteries

winter in Dubrovnik
Dominican monastery in Dubrovnik

Winter in Dubrovnik provides meditative ambients of the monasteries. The harmonious architecture of the Dominican monastery takes you back to the Gothic and early Renaissance aesthetics.

But if you want to visit a genuine Renaissance pharmacy, then head to the Franciscan monastery of Little Brothers.

The monastery holds the third oldest pharmacy in Europe. It has been offering a great deal of good-quality products prepared according to ancient Franciscan recipes for over 700 years. Yes, it is the oldest working pharmacy in Europe!

winter in Dubrovnik
The Franciscan monastery of Little Brothers, or Samostan Male Braće in Dubrovnik

3.7 Act like a local and drink tap water on the historic Onofrio’s fountain 

winter in Dubrovnik
Onofrio fountain in Dubrovnik Old Town in February

Winter in Dubrovnik is sunny. And long winter walks in sunny Dubrovnik seek refreshment.

You can satisfy your thirst with drinkable water at Onofrio’s Fountain, the most famous fountain in Dubrovnik, without tourists waiting in lines in front of the fountain – unlike Dubrovnik in summer!

The Onofrio’s fountain is a part of the city’s original water supply system built in the 15th century. The aqueduct has been bringing water from a 12 km (7,3 miles) distant spring to the old town for more than 600 years.

3.8 Chat with local people at the market and buy some local products

winter in Dubrovnik
Gundulić Square, or Gundulićeva Poljana in Dubrovnik

Winter in Dubrovnik offers unrushed visits to the open-air market at Gundulić Square.

Early mornings are the best time to buy fresh fruits and vegetables from the local producers in the open-air market at Gundulić Square. Treat yourself to some tasty Mediterranean vegetables and fruits from the vendor stalls at Gundulićeva Poljana. Or buy some fresh flowers! In February in Dubrovnik, you can buy yellow bunches of mimosa flowers.  Fluffy mimosa branches with seductive scents announce the upcoming spring.

winter in Dubrovnik
Open-air market at Gundulić Square in Dubrovnik

3.9 Absorb the timeless beauty of Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik in winter

Most of all, winter in Dubrovnik with no tourist rush lets you explore the narrow and steep medieval cobbled streets of the old town unchanged for ages, and soak up the timeless beauty of Dubrovnik completely.

As a result, experiencing the rich history of Dubrovnik by foot in winter allows the magnificence of Dubrovnik’s winter silent streets to steal your heart and inevitably make you wish to come back to Dubrovnik.

4. EVENTS IN DUBROVNIK IN WINTER

If you are in a festive mood, then visit Dubrovnik at Christmastime or February.

Are you interested in some tours in Dubrovnik in winter? Click here to check out some fantastic tours! 

Activities in Dubrovnik in winter:

4.1 Dubrovnik in December and January

Dubrovnik Winter Festival brings a special magic to Dubrovnik. The festival starts with the lighting of the first Advent candle and a concert in Stradun bringing the light and joy of Christmastime to Dubrovnik.

During the Festival, you can enjoy various concerts of popular pop and rock singers, classical music concerts, traditional Christmas carols, and Croatian klapa songs.

Dubrovnik New Year’s Eve in Stradun with live music and fireworks above the Old City Walls is one of the most spectacular New Year’s Eve celebrations in the World.

Dubrovnik Christmas Fair, as a part of the Dubrovnik Winter Festival, starts on St. Nicholas Day. At the fair, you can buy Croatian traditional handmade Christmas ornaments or taste some of Dubrovnik’s traditional delicacies such as kotonjata (the quince cheese) and arancini (candied orange peels).

The full program of the Dubrovnik Winter Festival Programme you can find here

4.2 Dubrovnik in February

February in Dubrovnik is exciting for the feast days of two saints – St. Blaise and St. Valentine.

On February 3 Dubrovnik celebrates St. Blaise Day, the day of Dubrovnik’s saint patron. 2009 UNESCO declared the Festivity of St. Blaise in Dubrovnik as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Witnessing the celebration of St. Blaise Day in February in Dubrovnik is one of the best things to do in winter in Dubrovnik.

The 14th of February is St. Valentine’s Day, the day when love is celebrated. Showing love and admiration to your partner in fairy-tale Dubrovnik on St. Valentine’s Day undeniably brings some of the most romantic moments of your life.

4.3 Dubrovnik in March

Dubrovnik Carnival, the same as Venice Carnival in Italy, starts two Saturdays before ‘Ash Wednesday’ and ends 40 days before Easter on ‘Fat Tuesday’. Officially the Carnival starts with the ceremony of handing the keys of the city to the Carnival’s master and with that act, the Carnival symbolically takes the rule over Dubrovnik.

The most exciting masquerade of the Dubrovnik Carnival 2021 will be on the weekend from 13- 14 February 2021 with the peak on Tuesday, 16 February.

Grab your Carnival mask and head to Dubrovnik to enjoy ‘Waltz in Masks’ in Stradun.

5. DUBROVNIK WEATHER IN WINTER

Although the daily average temperatures in Dubrovnik during winter months (December, January, February, and March) go around 10°C (50°F), Dubrovnik is blessed with plenty of sunlight in winter.  Sunshine in Dubrovnik in winter might not be strong as in summer, but believe me, you won’t miss vitamin D in Dubrovnik in winter.

6. VISITING SPLIT FROM DUBROVNIK: GETTING FROM DUBROVNIK TO SPLIT 

If you are interested to visit Split in Croatia, you can read my quick guide to Split in Croatia: What to See in Split in One Day

How to get from Dubrovnik to Split

The distance between Dubrovnik and Split is about 102 miles (165 km)

✓  A bus ride from Dubrovnik to Split takes 5 hours. Buses go daily. Timetables and prices check here. Or check out Dubrovnik Main Bus Terminal.

✓  A car drive from Dubrovnik to Split takes 3 hours. Check here Car Rentals at the Dubrovnik Airport.

7. VISITING SARAJEVO FROM DUBROVNIK: GETTING FROM DUBROVNIK TO SARAJEVO

If you are interested to visit Sarajevo in Bosnia, I suggest reading my quick guide to Sarajevo in Bosnia Best things to Do in Sarajevo

How to get from Dubrovnik to Sarajevo

The distance between Dubrovnik and Sarajevo is about 173 miles (280 km)

✓  A bus ride from Dubrovnik to Sarajevo takes 6 hours. Buses go daily. Timetables and prices check here. Or check out Dubrovnik Main Bus Terminal.

✓  A car drive from Dubrovnik to Sarajevo takes 4 hours. Check here options to rent a car at the Dubrovnik Airport. Note: you don’t need a special border crossing car to enter Bosnia from Croatia. Your car rental insurance company will supply you with a green card that covers traveling to neighboring countries. More info read: the National Green Card Bureau.

P.S.: Do you know what’s the worst thing that could happen to you in Dubrovnik in winter? Any clue??
To end up on a filming set!

Photos of turning Dubrovnik into Nottingham for filming Robin Hood in February 2017

STEPS AND TRAVEL RESOURCES FOR YOUR PERFECT TRIP
1. Find and book your flight: Skyscanner
2. Find and book your stay: Booking.comHotelsCombined.com
3. Find and book the best car rentals: Discover Car Hire
4. Get travel insurance (insure yourself against any accident, sickness, theft, and canceled flight): WorldNomads.com
5. Find and book great guided day tours: GetYourGuideViator

Dubrovnik in winter
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Milijana
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Maria

Monday 27th of February 2017

This is really a great idea. The weather is good and we can escape the crowds and enjoy everything in a more relaxed way. And I bet the prices are much more attractive.

Galia.Vu0107

Monday 27th of February 2017

It's cool! The ancient architectural heritage here is great! And Thanks for your guide in this article.

Claire

Sunday 26th of February 2017

Wow, what gorgeous pictures! It really does look amazing and I've love to visit! There were a lot of articles everywhere about its Christmas Market so I should try and get there later this year :)

Bruce Schinkel

Sunday 26th of February 2017

Really great info! This trek around Dubrovnik look like the perfect way to spend a couple of days in a location that has recently been added to my "must do" list

Caroline @ The Travelling Sloth

Sunday 26th of February 2017

What?! Winter in Dubrovnik still looks like summer! The streets look so empty as I'm guessing the tourists tend to only come in the warmer months... but you've got the entire place to yourself! The walls and buildings are massive, I'd feel like they were towering over me the entire time. Great post :)