So you want to visit Dubrovnik Croatia, of course being in a tourist area the accommodation options are expensive and even in shoulder season the area around the Old Town is PACKED with people, so why not consider staying in Lapad? It’s just 4km away from Dubrovnik’s Old Town, which is around a 45 minute walk or a 15 minute bus ride! In this guide I share some of my favourite things to do in Lapad and the Dubrovnik area.
Duration: 7 nights, 8 days (Wednesday – Wednesday)
Month of Travel: May
Things to do in Lapad Dubrovnik
Lapad Beach and Sea Wall
The best part of Lapad for me was the sea wall and pedestrian area, this was one of my favourite things to do in Lapad! The sea is a lovely colour (but damn cold in May!!). I travelled in the off season, one beach had a few sun loungers that were free to use. The beaches were very rocky so this was definitely a must for comfort! In the peak season, there are loungers and umbrellas for hire as well as inflatable ‘playgrounds’ in the sea and stand up paddle board hire. Some of the sun bathing area is just concrete.
If you walk along the sea wall around the bay, there are several more ‘private’ swimming areas hidden between rocks, that had ladders into the water. I loved sitting in these areas to read my book and then jump off the rocks into the water for a swim!
One thing that made me laugh was a concrete slide going into the sea. I climbed to the top of it for a photo but I can’t imagine that it’s great to try and slide down unless you want friction burn on your bottom! Maybe in the summer they do something to make it slippery?!
The SUNSETS are AMAZING!!!! If you keep reading, I share a photo of an awesome sunset that I took from the balcony in my hotel. If that’s not a good enough reason to stay in Lapad, I don’t know what is!!!
Forest Park Velika and Mala Petka
If you walk to the far end of Masarykov Put road (the bus route with all the hotels), you will reach Forest Park Velika with great views of the ocean and surrounding islands! There are a couple of trails through the woods and benches to sit on and relax while you enjoy the views.
View from Forest Park Velika and Mala Petka
Treat Yourself to a Massage
Ultimate of rest days? I went for a massage at the Spa in Hotel Uvala, it was the equivalent of £16 for a 20 minute back massage, too cheap to pass on!
Check out the Port of Dubrovnik
Just for something to do, I took a 25 minute stroll down to the Port of Dubrovnik! Gruz Market is open every morning and is the spot where the locals mainly buy fish, fresh off the fishing boats!
Looking back at the Port of Dubrovnik on the way to Bosnia
Where to Eat & Drink in Lapad Dubrovnik
I managed to find a bargain of a hotel that included buffet breakfasts and dinners, so the only time I really ate out was to snack at lunch times! The hotel was cheap enough that I could have just gone out and bought dinner but that seemed silly wasting the pennies! Lapad is full of different restaurants and bars, many with outdoor seating areas. There are a couple of supermarkets if you are after doing things ‘cheaply’ (I often used the little one next to the Cinema…I’m not sure if they play films in English though, you’ll have to check it out if that’s something you might be interested in! When I was in Budapest, the cinema there played English films only a couple times a week).
The following place is an absolute hidden gem in the Lapad Dubrovnik area:
Cave Bar More
Guests at the Cave Bar More Hotel get priority on the comfy seats next to the sea. It’s also their ‘beach’ so has ladders into the water and a shower. I guess regular customers could have used that part too though!
It’s a shame that the outside ‘water side’ seating area is so nice and that there’s a waiter service, because the main bar area is INSIDE A CAVE! It’s worth wandering in there to have a look…even if you can’t actually buy a drink! I stopped here for several mid day drinks!
Basically a pancake and ice cream shop! It’s located along the Promenade (in the opposite direction from the sea). It has an outside seating area and they sell really yummy HUGE crepes in millions of flavours. Another healthy lunch stop *sarcasm*!
Grab an Ice Cream from the shop next to Casa Restaurant on the sea wall (feature image)!
When they ask if you’d like cream on top of your ice cream cone, SAY YES! You’ll thank me 🙂
Where to Stay in Lapad Dubrovnik
View from my balcony at the Hotel Adriatic in Lapad Dubrovnik
£175 – 7 nights Half Board, inc sea view balcony upgrade.
The Hotel Adriatic is located in Lapad, around 4km from Dubrovnik’s Old Town.
- Location. I loved having a sea view, the sunsets were AMAZING. I preferred being in the quieter Lapad area. The bus to the Old Town takes 10 minutes and stops RIGHT outside the hotel, there is a supermarket nearby, a beach area and a promenade and sea wall walk with restaurants and tourist shops.
- My room’s balcony. I really enjoyed sitting on the balcony each evening and writing up my journal! Definitely worth upgrading to the sea view, park facing rooms do not have a balcony.
- The price. I could not believe the price AND it included breakfast and dinner! I spoke to some fellow travellers I met on the tour and they were saying how impressed they were at the price of their accommodation, I told them mine and they were shocked! The Old Town is expensive, I thought it was worth staying that little further out for the amount I managed to save! The meals were fairly similar each day but again for the price I paid that was fine with me! The restaurant was across the street, closer to the sea, the walk didn’t bother me in the slightest. One day there was a private event in the restaurant and so the hotel guests were sent to the more expensive restaurant next door to have dinner (for free still, WIN!)
Hotel Adriatic is just above and to the right of the yellow building. Forest Park Velika and Mala Petka in the background.
Visiting Dubrovnik’s Old Town From Lapad
As mentioned above, Lapad to Dubrovnik’s Old Town is an easy journey. The bus stops regularly in front of the hotels on the main road leading around the bay, or it’s around a 45 minute walk. There are plaques embedded in the paths to point you in the right direction to the Old Town. They even tell you how long you have left to go!
You may want to only walk one way because you’re probably going to do an awful lot of walking around the Old Town!!
Explore the Old Town and Walk Dubrovnik’s Old Town City Walls
If you only ever listen to one of my tips, it should be this one:
GET TO THE WALLS AT OPENING TIME!
I was there when the walls opened at 8am in the morning. I had the route to myself, I could stop and take as many photos as I wanted without holding people up or being held up myself! The suggested time frame is 3 and a half hours to complete the walk…I managed it in 1 and a half! Even in May, the Old Town was crowded with tour groups and cruise ship passengers. The beginning of the city walls route started getting busy just as I finished, as early as 9.30am!
The Old Town is full of little alleyways packed with restaurants and shops. It’s fun to wander around and explore all the different side streets. There are a lot of steps though! One of my Old Town highlights was:
The Buza Bar clings to the rocks on the OUTSIDE of the city walls on the ocean side! The entrance is literally a hole in the wall that you walk through (follow the sign that says ‘COLD DRINKS WITH THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VIEW’). There are several levels of chairs and tables and a really nice place to just watch the boats and kayaks passing by! A bottle of beer was around £4.
Visit Lokrum Island
It’s worth catching the ferry to the nearby Lokrum Island! The first ferry leaves at 10am from the Old Town Port. There are no cars on the island, it’s a nature reserve with walking trails, swimming spots and lots of peacocks and rabbits!
Things to see and do on Lokrum Island:
- Fort Royal
- The Dead Sea swimming hole
- Clamber over boulders that surround the island
- Attempt to find Pigeon’s Cave!
- Game of Thrones was filmed here…
Related Reading:Tips for visiting Lokrum Island
Head up Above Dubrovnik on the Cable Car
The Cable Car is expensive and there’s not a lot to do at the top other than take a couple of photos, but the view is worth it. Walking up is an option if you’re feeling fit! Again, the queues were very long mid morning.
Day Trips from Lapad Dubrovnik
When you stay in Lapad, you are still classed as Dubrovnik for tour pick ups! Although being further out from the main area, I was usually the first to be picked up and the last to be dropped off! These are the 2 full day trips that I took during my week in Lapad:
Day Trip to Bosnia!
Originally I looked in to how I could get to Sarajevo but after another Viator search, I found a day trip to Mostar instead and fell in love with it!! You can read about the whole trip in my post: Dubrovnik to Mostar Day Trip
- Pocitelj (*Tip* Buy a cone of fruit! Very yummy!)
Take a day trip to Montenegro!
I really wanted to visit Kotor. I debated about getting public buses, staying there for a few days, then returning to Dubrovnik for the flight home. In the end I found a whistle stop tour on Viator for a very reasonable price!
The tour stopped in:
- Perast (5 Euro for boat to Our Lady of the Rocks Church in Kotor Bay – photo above)
- Kotor (where I managed to climb to the top of the city walls and back before the bus left…even though it did nearly kill me. Read my tips for Climbing Kotor’s City Walls)
- St Stephen’s Island (one of the most expensive resorts in the world, we were told it’s 70 Euro a day just to hire an umbrella on the beach!)
- A trip on the car ferry across Kotor Bay
Both tours left just after breakfast (well, I say breakfast, if you are good at speed eating as the hotel buffet opened 10 minutes before my bus pick up) and got back in time for dinner at around 7pm.
Airport bus (takes 30 minutes) – £4.50 (40hrk)
Taxi to the airport – £33 (200hrk)
Number 4 between Lapad and the Old Town – £3 per return trip (15/30hrk)…or taxi for £7.50 (70hrk). In Lapad, you can buy the ticket from the driver, if getting on from the Old Town, it’s best to buy a ticket from the kiosk near the bus stop area!
Lokrum Ferry – £10.50 (80-100hrk)
Cable Car – £13 return (120hrk)
City Wall Walk – £13 (120hrk)
*Tip* Croatia has its own currency, however at the airport, as soon as you pass through security, everything is priced in Euro! (Croatian BEFORE security)
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