When to Go in Dubrovnik

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In order to decide when to visit Dubrovnik, it is important to assess your priorities. Each season comes with new opportunities to make the most of your time in Croatia.


The summer is by far the most popular time of the year to visit Dubrovnik. The water is warm and the beaches (or rocky outcroppings as the case may be) are full. The architectural and historical sites are busiest during this “high season”, open consistently with long hours. Tour companies run numerous day trips and excursions to tourist attractions outside of the city center. The weather can be very warm, but since many summer visitors want to enjoy the Adriatic, this is considered ideal. A full program of exhibitions, performances and events is organized as part of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival.


Summer on the Adriatic coast extends into the months that may be considered autumnal other places. The sea usually stays warm enough for comfortable swimming into September and sometimes even early October. Typically, the weather is milder than in the summer, but still generally good. The exception to this is the “bura” winds that come from the Dinaric Alps; they are strongest in the late fall and can interrupt transportation schedules (especially plane and  smaller ferries).  “Bura” winds can make sea crossings nearly impossible.


The Dubrovnik Council for Tourism has very clearly defined the “high” and “low” seasons for public attractions such as the City Walls, the Rector’s Palace, the Sponza Palace, the Aquarium and the Maritime History Museum. The “low” season begins November 1st and continues until April 1st. While lodging prices are usually reduced, tourists visiting during this time may also find that attractions are closed or have limited opening hours. Locals that rent holiday apartments or rooms during the summer often do not do so during the slower months. In the smaller towns surrounding Dubrovnik, particularly in the Elafiti archipelago, one will find many shuttered businesses, restaurants, and holiday apartments.


Early spring can be rainy in Croatia and since so many of Dubrovnik’s sights are outdoors, this is less than ideal. The tourist season begins around the Easter holidays, although many hotels and resorts consider this “mid-season” and offer intermediate prices. Spring dips in the Adriatic, even the southern Adriatic, are not for the faint of heart; the water temperatures can be chilly through mid-May. Many restaurants, tourist offices, and visitor amenities do not resume their full slate of offerings and services until June 1st.

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