Everyone knows Dubrovnik for it’s beautiful walled Old Town. And it is absolutely stunning and worth a trip there. But sometimes we just crave a beach and getting into the sea (especially Billy), so we decided to take a day and venture outside of Old Town. I highly recommend doing the same if time allows for you to. Here’s an itinerary for you to enjoy a day, or a few hours, away from the hustle-and-bustle of Old Town Dubrovnik. For our adventure, we headed to Lapad Beach.
Ok. So if you’re anything like us, you want (need) a coffee to start your day so you aren’t a cranky cow (ok, that’s just me and not Billy). Depending on where you are staying, there is a cute little coffee shop at Ploce Gate that has pastries and coffee to take with you. It’s actually listed on Google maps as “Dubrovnik b&b” but it was just a tiny shop called Laura’s. It was cheap and just fine for a morning jolt.
Take a Walk
In all likelyhood, you’re going to be staying at an Airbnb or hotel near(ish) to Old Town. You have a few options to get to Lapad Bay:
- Walk: From Ploce Gate, wanted around (or through) Old Town and follow the main street (Ul. branitelja Dubrovnika) away from Old Town. You’ll see signs for Lapad Bay and the ferry terminals. You’ll pass some beautiful residential neighborhoods, and some cheap grocery stores if you’d like to stock up for your rental apartment. The road hooks right towards the ferry terminals. It’s about a 30 minute walk to the first stop, which isn’t open until 11:30AM.
- Hire an Uber (it will be about $20 Canadian) or taxi
- Take public transit – A one-way ticket is 15kn ($3 CAD) on the bus, or 12kn if you purchase at a kiosk ahead of time. From Pile Gate, you could take Bus #1, 1A, 1B, 2, 3, 6, 7, or 9 towards Gruz. Get off at the stop right at/before the water.
Since we walked, it took us a while to get to our destination, but I’m so happy that we chose it for lunch. Based on reviews I had read ahead of time, we wanted to visit Taverna Otto, which should be your first stop on the way to the beach (OR you could also choose it for a later lunch or supper). They have a beautiful patio, but the inside is even better. It resembles a cave and was apparently used for weapons storage during the war. The chef wasn’t ready when we arrived (I can be a bit of a keener) but the server was so friendly and offered us wine and bread fresh from the oven.
Both B and I ordered the roasted chicken breast with hummus and salad of celery root, parsley and tomatoes. It was un.real. This delicious dish cost around $18 CAD, so not exactly cheap, but totally worth a splurge. Since it started to rain, we decided to wait out the storm and have ginger cheesecake for dessert as well. Again, totally worth it.
This place does get busy, so if you’re looking to go for supper I would suggest making a reservation!
To The Beach!
After lunch (or in whatever order you prefer) finish the 10 minute walk to Lapad Beach. Turn left outside of the restaurant and follow the road to the beach.
We arrived just as the clouds were clearing, so the beach was virtually deserted. We sat down at a table at one of the multiple beach bars (note: they only take cash so be sure to bring some with you) and had a bravery beverage for our first beach activity: the most ridiculous, wipe-out-style inflatable water playground called “wibit”.
For 50kn ($10), you can have an unlimited 30 minutes on this playground. The cool thing for us was no one else was there, so they didn’t tell us to get off and we probably ended up with over an hour of play time. I don’t know the last time I laughed so hard. If you’ve never been on one of these, you MUST GO! It’s hilarious, hard, and totally a great workout.
So you’ll be exhausted and probably want a reward after all of your hard play. Head up to the main walking street (when you’re facing the water, it’s to the far right side of the beach) and visit Caffe Bar Promenada. They have free wifi, cheap beverages, and there is an ATM nearby for you to get cash.
Get on the Water
After your break, head back to the water to rent a stand up paddleboard or paddle boat. I believe we paid 45kn for an hour of SUP rental. It’s so beautiful out on the water, I highly recommend it. The waves are small and you could even venture out to a small island in the middle of the bay. At one point I lay down on my board and just felt the waves and looked around at the beautiful surroundings. It was totally surreal. When we returned the boards, we rented a paddle boat with a slide to play in the water even more. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, rent a jetski! There are young guys manning the rental station, and they are really flexible with timing and where you go.
Rent a Lounger
While we didn’t do this, there is the option to rent a beach lounger for the day for about $7 CAD. Since we arrived later in the day, we didn’t do this but I would totally do it if we had more time. There is also a public beach (although rocky) that you could just put down a towel or blanket to relax on.
Grab a Snack, Beverage, and a View
Final stop in Lapad: Cave Bar More. I suggest getting a cocktail on the patio, but the inside is literally a cave and is also something to experience. Watch the sunset from the patio and soak in all the fun you had today.
Catch a taxi or an uber back from the taxi stand on the main street. You’ll probably be exhausted!
What else would you recommend for visiting outside Old Town?