Dubrovnik is a fantastic destination for families with kids. From toddlers to teens, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Whether you’re exploring the city walls, many beautiful beaches, crystal clear warm sea or medieval forts you’re sure to create unforgettable memories with your little ones. Although exploring the Old Town and doing all the regular touristy stuff might sound fun to you, your kids might not share your enthusiasm (especially during crazy hot summer days). To keep the family holidays fun, try to incorporate some interesting activities for the kids too!
If you are travelling to Dubrovnik with kids, make sure to do a bit of research and planning as it is a very popular and touristy place. In this guide we made for visiting Dubrovnik with kids we will share some of our local tips for avoiding the notorious summer crowds & planning a perfect Dubrovnik family holidays!
If you are visiting Dubrovnik with kids, there are a few things you will have to keep in mind while planning your stay. We know it’s hard to travel with kids, we have two of our own and are always trying to involve them in different activities.
Here are some local tips to increase your chances of having grumpy-free holidays.
First and foremost, check the cruise ship arrivals to Dubrovnik to avoid huge crowds of people all coming in at the same time to the Old Town. Visiting Dubrovnik when there are a lot of cruise ship arrivals is no fun at all. Crowds can be huge and very hard to navigate. Just to get an idea, in the Old Town there are around 2000 people living, while that number can quadruple with cruise ships.
In the recent years, the situation is not as bad as before since the port limited the number of daily passengers to 6000 in an effort to reduce the negative image associated with this type of unsustainable travel.
You can check the cruise ship schedule here & try to plan activities outside of the old town for the time the ships are in port.
If you are staying outside of Old Town, its better, simpler and cheaper just to get a taxi (uber is the most affordable) or bus to town. Parking is scarce and expensive.
The area around Old Town is reserved for tenants only, and if you are not careful where you park, you risk getting a very high ticket. Usually if you see a ramp, it is pay parking and, considering you are lucky enough to find a spot, you can park there.
There is also a public garage parking, around 10 min walk from the Old Town, which doesn’t sound bad, but after a day of sightseeing and walking around, you might have problems dragging your kids back up the hill.
Even if you came to Dubrovnik to enjoy the hot summer days, you will still want to stay away from the sun between 11-17, when the sun is at its strongest. You don’t want to get sun burnt or sun sick. Keep in mind also that The Old Town stone can make that heat slightly more intense.
It’s much better to plan sightseeing or even the beach early in the morning and to finish by 11, when you can have some well deserved rest and lunch. If you do must go out, try to keep it short and please have a hat, at least for the little ones.
It is easy to get dehydrated in the sun, and having a headache while on family holidays (or even worse, having your kid sick and cranky) is no fun at all.
You do not need to buy bottled water all the time, just take an empty bottle and fill it up at any fountain. The water is perfectly clean & oh so refreshing.
Since the entire Old Town is a car-free zone, the only mode of transport are your two feet. If you really want to soak in all the beauty, be prepared for lots of walking. In case of rain, the stone gets slippery so mind your step.
Even if you plan to do just one of the touristy attractions (walking the Dubrovnik walls, going to Lokrum or visiting museums), its definitely worth getting the Dubrovnik pass.
You can buy a 1 day, 3 day or 7 day pass which includes free local bus transport, free entrance to city walls (regular price 35 euro), free entrance to museums and galleries and 20% discount for Lokrum with 3 day pass (regular price 27 euro). The offer includes plenty of discounts on other activities such as restaurants, daily tours, excursions, escape room etc.
Full list of discounts is available at Dubrovnik pass website. Children up to 7 years do not need to buy a pass, if accompanied by an adult entrance to museums and public transport is free.
Here are our local recommendations on family friendly activities & top things to do in Dubrovnik with kids so you can have an unforgettable holiday the whole family will enjoy and talk about.
The list is ordered somewhat geographically, first covering the most popular Old Town and all the things you can do there, before going to other areas of interest.
The entire Old Town is kid-friendly as no cars are allowed on the streets so you can have a stress-free stroll with your little ones. As soon as you walk through the drawbridge into Old town, you will feel like you stepped into a castle.
The place is very scenic and abundant with postcard photo material. Our favourite picture spots are Pile Bay with Lovrijenac fort, Porporela pier next to Old Harbour and the stone bridge on Ploče Gate.
Dubrovnik City Walls are a must-see for anyone visiting the city, and they’re particularly fascinating for kids. The walls date back to the 13th century and are one of the most impressive fortification systems in Europe. Walking along the walls with your children will give them a sense of the city’s history and let them experience it firsthand.
The walk takes around 1.5 hrs (1 hr for adults) and is included in the Dubrovnik pass. You don’t have to do the whole loop if you get tired, as there are multiple entrances to the city walls.
If going on the Dubrovnik city walls with kids, we recommend starting at Ploče gate, not Pile gate, for numerous reasons:
The best time to visit Dubrovnik city walls in the summer is definitely early morning or just before close.
Since there is a lot of walking (and probably sun) involved, make sure to have lots of water (expensive to buy on the city walls) and potentially some snacks for the little ones.
Because ice cream is aways a good idea 😃 Trust us, you will loooove this delicious gelato, that is creamier and yummier than an ice cream. Their location is close to Ploče gate, so you can use this to motivate your kids to push a little hard to finish those city walls.
Short 15 min boat ride away from the Old Town lies a real natural paradise Lokrum, a great day trip destination for families. This beautiful island is a perfect escape from the city heat and crowds since it’s filled with trees and shady pathways, with plenty of room to move around. The boat for Lokrum goes from the Old port and you can check the schedule online.
Your kids will love to see the peacocks and bunnies running freely around. They are used to people, so maybe you can even make some new friends as they are not too shy.
There is plenty to see on Lokrum, so you easily plan to spend half a day here. Besides the botanical gardens and the Monastery, you can visit the real Iron Throne from Game of Thrones that was filmed in Dubrovnik. Our favourite is the exhibition on Lokrum curse and King Richard the Lionheart shipwreck.
Go swimming in the dead sea, snorkelling and exploring the sea life, play in the kids park or just hide in the shades of the forest and enjoy the serenity of this island. Indeed it is a true gem & our favourite thing to do in Dubrovnik with kids!
Although modest, the Aquarium’s cool location in the stone vaults of St. John’s Fortress makes it a nice escape from the crowds and heat of the city. Expect to spend 20-30 minutes observing diverse Adriatic flora and fauna. See lobsters, octopus, seahorses, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, shells, crabs…
While there, you can also visit the Maritime Museum, exhibiting old maps, sailing equipment, ship models from different times…
Every day exactly at 12:00, when the bell strikes, hundreds of pigeons land on Gundulic square (old town market place) & wait for their lunch. Come a bit earlier to see them nesting on the rooftops and eagerly awaiting. The locals bring a bucket of grains and the entire scene is spectacular to see.
There are plenty of cats everywhere, they are friendly and love to be pet. The cats in Old Town are well cared for and healthy enough so you can feel comfortable interacting with them.
Fun fact: Dubrovnik cats are one of the oldest residents of the city as they were introduced in the 14th century when Dubrovnik was a major trading port between Europe and the Ottoman empire. The cats greatly helped fight the plague by killing the rats that spread the disease. That’s the main reason why the cats are well fed and respected!
The only children’s playground in the Old Town town is Pile park. It’s a small park with a few swings, slides, seesaw and small climbing props. There is not much shade so try not to stay much there in the peak of the sun.
If you are looking for shade, go to Gradac park, that is a 10 minute stroll from the Old Town. When you walk up the hill, you will have beautiful views of Fort Lovrijenac.
Although there is no playground there it is a nice escape from the city hustle and a good place to let your kids roam around free. At the beginning of the park is a small fountain with turtles swimming in it. The forest provides enough shade for a pleasant walk during a hot summer day, while soaking up the view of the Adriatic.
For a breathtaking view of the city, take a cable car ride up to Mount Srd. The ride is quick and takes only a few minutes, but it offers an unforgettable panoramic view of Dubrovnik’s old town and the Adriatic Sea. Your kids will love the cable car ride and the views from the top.
Older kids (10+) might enjoy a more adventurous Dubrovnik activity. Take them to Buggy Safari, a thrilling ride where you get to explore ancient fortresses and the countryside.
Coming from the point of view of a local with two small children, Lapad is definitely our favourite place to go in Dubrovnik with kids.
It is a very nice part of Dubrovnik with children activities your kids will enjoy; they can roam around free on the beautiful promenade by the sea, play arcade games, jump on the trampoline or the inflatable slides. The only sandy beach in the area is in Lapad (Sunset Beach) and it’s an ideal place to experience breathtaking sunsets.
This place is locals favourite for different family activities as parking is easier to find, there is shade and not as many crowds. If you get hungry or thirsty, there are plenty objects offering refreshments and food.
Dubrovnik’s escape rooms are not your average escape rooms. They are inspired by the city’s rich history, as well as the popular TV series, Game of Thrones. The themes and settings of the escape rooms are unique, creative, and totally immersive, making them a must-do activity for families visiting the city.
Playing an escape room in Dubrovnik is a fun and interactive way to learn about the city’s rich cultural heritage, while also developing important skills in your kids. These skills include problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, communication, teamwork, and time management.
It’s a great way to bond over a shared challenge and create lasting memories with your kids. So if you’re looking for a unique and exciting activity to do in Dubrovnik, be sure to check out the city’s amazing escape rooms!
Find out more why an escape room is a must do experience in Dubrovnik !
Best suited for kids 3-10 years old, expect to find many coin operated kiddie rides from horses, to dinosaurs, helicopters, motors and cars. Whether your kids are into small merry-go rides or into hammering in a whack a mole arcade game, it will surely be hard to leave this place. Expect to spend at least 30 minutes and a good amount of coins here.
If you have older kids they can either test the strength of their kicks in football kicking or sit back and ride in a racing video game.
Adventure park in Konavle, Cadmos Village, is fun for the whole family. Stay in the first treehouse in Croatia and enjoy fresh air on a 7m high open terrace and beautiful views of Konavle valley. Try homemade specialties and local wines in the family restaurant.
Adrenaline lovers will certainly enjoy park features and activities: 4 zip lines, giant swing, slingshot, fields for archery and paintball, sack jumping, pulling the rope, biking… This family activity is near Dubrovnik, around 30 minutes driving north.
Take a 1 hour boat ride from Gruž port to Lopud island (check the daily departures schedule) . No cars are allowed on the island, so you can truly relax & enjoy the nature. Take a stroll to the other side of the island (or hire a golf cart) in order to discover the best sandy beach in the whole county – Šunj beach.
Kids will love this beautiful sandy beach, because it is very shallow so they will have plenty of space to run and splash around. Take snorkelling gear, rent a kayak or pedal boats, swim and dive or just hide in the shade of parasols or the local bar, while your kids roam around joyously.
This family friendly beach is the locals favourite place to escape Dubrovnik in the summer.
Although the Old Town is beautiful and charming place to stay, we wouldn’t recommend it if you are staying in Dubrovnik with kids.
Parking in the Old Town is notoriously difficult to find, even for locals that have special permits and designated parking areas. If you have lots of luggage (which is difficult not to have when traveling with children) you are better off staying in a place that has close by parking, especially if you plan to do grocery shopping and some cooking at home. With kids, it’s hard (and very pricey) to eat every meal out.
The Old Town accommodation is expensive, and usually includes lots of stairs, which can be burdensome to climb after a long day out. It also tends to be very crowded, especially in the summer months. Since the entire place for built hundreds of years ago, the sound proofing isolation is poor and you might hear drunk tourists having the time of their lives in the nearby bars and streets.
The best place to stay in Dubrovnik as a family is Lapad peninsula. It is like a second, more modern city center, where most of the hotels and city beaches are, spaces are wider and parking is much easier to find.
Lapad is a great neighbourhood that is very kid-friendly. There is a long promenade, numerous beaches, bars and restaurants, children’s playground, arcade games and much more.
For more detailed info on Lapad area and why its a great place to visit in Dubrovnik with kids, check out the section above.
We hope these ideas of things to do in Dubrovnik with kids will keep all of you happy during your stay, kids and parents alike.
If you tried one of these, please leave a comment bellow and tell us how it was. Or tell us what other cool and interesting activities you would recommend other travelers to do when traveling to Dubrovnik with kids!