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The 15 Best Dubrovnik Beaches for Swimming + Sunning

The city of Dubrovnik boasts a wealth of cultural sights.

Fantastical palaces, beautiful monasteries and intriguing museums all jostle for space inside its age-old medieval walls. But when you need a break from exploring these big-hitter attractions, the coast beckons.

So perhaps you’re wondering where to swim in Dubrovnik to cool off on a hot day? Maybe you’re looking for beaches in Dubrovnik Old Town itself?

We’ve visited Dubrovnik on several occasions now. We can’t seem to get enough of Croatia!

And we’ve whittled down some of the best Dubrovnik beaches to add to your dream Croatia itinerary – places to sunbathe, swim and simply sit back and soak it all up.

There are beaches in Dubrovnik where you can swim and cool off.
Yes, there are beautiful beaches in Dubrovnik where you can swim and cool off!

Best Dubrovnik beaches

Just a heads up.

When it comes to the world’s prettiest beaches, Croatia’s beaches can hold their own.

But most aren’t sandy beaches like you find in Hawaii or the Caribbean. They’re pebble or rock beaches. Sometimes, they’re just rock or concrete slabs or piers, with ladders leading down into the sea.

The sea is crystal clear though – and you can’t go to Dubrovnik and not swim in the sea!

Beaches near Dubrovnik Old Town

Whether you’re looking for the overall best beach in Dubrovnik to hang out for the afternoon – or you fancy something small, secluded and perfect for a quick swim – here are some of the best beaches in and around the Old Town.

1) Banje Beach

One of the best Dubrovnik beaches is Banje Beach.
One of our favorite beaches in Dubrovnik is Banje Beach

So you’ve walked atop the massive Dubrovnik city walls encircling the Old City.

And you’ve enjoyed coffee and a delicious Croatian cake or pastry at a café.

Now it’s hot. Very hot.

Not to worry. Beach bliss awaits at Banje!

Because of Banje Beach’s proximity to the Old Town (just a five-minute walk from the eastern entrance, to be exact), it’s definitely the most popular Dubrovnik beach.

This stretch of pebbly – not sandy – coastline close to the Old Town harbor offers a stunning vista of Dubrovnik’s Old Town.

It’s not surprising that it’s considered the “main” beach in town.

Now, you do have to walk down a steep set of about 100 steps leading down from the road to the beach.

But once you’ve made it down, you’ll be greeted by a sparkling scene.

Banje Beach, Dubrovnik
Banje Beach is one of the best beaches in Dubrovnik

One part of it consists of a beach club, where you can pay to use the amenities (which include beach loungers, umbrellas and cocktail service).

Or you could just opt to throw your towel down on the pebbles (like we did on one visit) and chill out for a while.

No doubt about it. This is one of the best swimming beaches in Dubrovnik!

Banje Beach, Dubrovnik: See Banje Beach on the map

2) Sulic Beach

It's just a tiny sliver of beach, but Sulic Beach is still a great spot for a dip close to the Old Town
It’s just a tiny sliver of beach, but Sulic Beach is still a great spot for a dip close to the Old Town

Sulic Beach is found close to Pile Gate, the main entrance to Dubrovnik Old Town, so it’s one of the closest beaches to the ancient sights of the city.

The fortresses of Lovrijenac (St. Lawrence Fortress) and Bokar bookend the bay in which it’s located, forming a sheltered spot that’s ideal for swimming.

Don’t come here expecting a wide sweeping stretch of sand or a huge crescent bay, though.

Sulic Beach is almost like a cove. It’s tiny, it gets really busy and it’s lacking in facilities.

Still, this small beach is one of the best places for swimming in Dubrovnik when you want a refreshing dip in crystalline waters, right by the Old Town.

And the beach bar, which is set above the pebbles on a terrace, is an idyllic spot to spend some time with a cold drink or two.

Sulic Beach: Dubrovnik: See it on the map

3) Sveti Jakov Beach

Sveti Jakov Beach is another great beach close to Dubrovnik Old Town
Sveti Jakov Beach is another great beach close to Dubrovnik Old Town

This beach in Dubrovnik is more of a local spot. And it’s quieter than Banje Beach.

Sveti Jakov Beach’s sandy pebble stretch of shoreline is about a 20-minute scenic coastal walk away from Dubrovnik Old Town – along the leafy avenue of Vlaha Bukovca.

A staircase leads down to the beach from Sveti Jakov Church. It’s a beautiful spot to relax, with views of the Old Town and sunlight that lasts ‘til late in the day (in the summer months at least).

There are also plenty of facilities. You’ll find sun umbrellas and lounge chairs for rent, plus a café bar for snacks and drinks.

Find a spot to settle down. It’s another one of the best beaches in Dubrovnik, and it’s easy to stay here the whole day.

Sveti Jakov Beach: See it on the map

4) Dance Beach

Another popular local spot, Dance Beach is a rocky locale lapped by clear azure waters.

It’s close to the Old Town, but far enough away to dissuade more than a few tourists from making their way here. So if you go, you’ll stumble onto something of a hidden gem.

But, we have to be clear. Dance Beach certainly isn’t a sandy beach. It’s not even a pebble beach.

Think instead concrete and rock slabs for sunbathing, with ladders for climbing down into the sea. Just find a flat spot to spread out your towel and you’re good to go.

Beaches in Dubrovnik, Croatia, don’t get much better than this tranquil spot if beach chairs aren’t important for you!

Dance Beach is a great spot for swimming. The water is super clear and people like to dive off the rocks.

It also has showers, toilets and a small café bar serving refreshments. But there’s not much shade.

Dance Beach, Dubrovnik: See it on the map

5) Buza Beach

Buza Bar in Dubrovnik Old Town
Look down when walking around the Old Town walls, and you’ll see Buza Bar and the “beach”

Clinging to the base of the steep cliffs and walls of Dubrovnik Old Town, Buza Beach is one of those picture-perfect Mediterranean beaches that we all dream about.

Part of the charm is accessing it through a wrought-iron gate in a thick defensive wall – so you feel like you’re entering a different world entirely.

One of the more unusual beaches in Dubrovnik, Buza bar is perched on rocks at the base of the Old Town cliffs and walls.
If you feel like it, you can go for a swim at this very cool Dubrovnik bar

Again, it’s not a “beach” in the traditional sense of the word.

But Buza Beach does offer some of the best swimming in Dubrovnik, with diving from the large rocks a popular pastime.

Most people choose to sit at one of Buza Bar’s tables on the terrace, however, and lap it all up, drink in hand.

Buza Beach, Dubrovnik: See Buza Beach on the map

6) Porporela

Porporela Pier
Enjoying Porporela Pier

The first thing you need to know about Porporela is that this Dubrovnik Old Town beach isn’t a beach at all – surprise! It’s a pier.

However, jutting out from the eastern section of the Old Town walls, it’s one of the most convenient places to swim in Dubrovnik – if only for the fact that it’s so close to the Old Town.

Benches along the pier invite you to sit and while away some time. Or just perch on the rocks or lay down a towel on the pier itself.

People sitting in the sunshine on Porporela Pier
It’s pleasant just to sit on a bench and enjoy the sunshine here

You’ll have great views of both Lokrum Island out to sea and the handsome walls of the Old Town itself.

Sun yourself, bring a book and take a dip when you feel like it.

Porporela Pier, Dubrovnik: See it on the map

7) Cave Beach (Betina Beach)

Bettina Cave Beach is a beautiful pebble beach near Dubrovnik which can only be reached from the sea.
Bettina Cave Beach is a beautiful pebble beach near Dubrovnik which can only be reached from the sea

Known colloquially as Cave Beach, Betina Beach is a hyper-photogenic, picture postcard of a beach.

Made up of an almost perfectly round cave opening that half shades the pebbly beach, and sheltered by rocks on each side, it’s another semi-secret beach in the Dubrovnik area.

It can only be accessed from the water.

A good way to reach it is by joining a sea kayaking tour of the coastline, which will see you not only paddling the calm waters to Betina Beach, but also to Lokrum Island and other scenic locales along the craggy Dubrovnik-area coastline.

When you stop at Betina Beach, you’ll have ample time for a swim before clambering back into your sea kayak to continue your kayaking adventure.

Cave Beach, Dubrovnik: See it on the map

Best Lapad beaches

About two miles to the west of Dubrovnik, the tree-clad peninsula of Lapad provides more plentiful options to relax by the coast. The following are some of the best beaches in Lapad.

8) Bellevue Beach

Bellevue Beach,  at the beginning of Lapad Peninsula, is surrounded by steep cliffs.
Surrounded by cliffs, Bellevue Beach is nestled in Miramare Bay

This pebble beach is located right at the beginning of Lapad Peninsula.

Bellevue, which means “beautiful view” in French, is also known as Miramare (literally “look at the sea”) in Italian. Both names are apt.

It’s a great place to while away some time, sunbathing and swimming in this beautiful coastal area near Dubrovnik.

Bellevue Beach is somewhat hidden.

To get there is a mini-adventure: You have to descend a flight of stairs that wind past the Rixos Premium Dubrovnik hotel and down the rocky cliffside to the beach.

It’s also a good spot to gaze at locals diving off the cliffs or watch teams battle it out in water polo bouts – the OMG of water sports.

Bellevue Beach, Dubrovnik: See it on the map

9) Lapad Bay Beach (Sunset Beach)

The long pebble Lapad Bay Beach is lined by beach clubs.
This long pebble beach is a popular spot for beaching on the Lapad Peninsula

The peninsula’s eponymous beach, Lapad Bay Beach (also known by the names Uvala Lapad Beach and Sunset Beach), is a family-oriented spot.

If you’re traveling with little ones in tow, this is a great beach to visit.

With smooth pebbles and clear shallow waters lapping the shore (ideal for swimming), it’s a classic easy-going beach that attracts a mixture of tourists and locals.

If you want to get away from the crowds, check out the small coves in the vicinity. These are easily accessed via a series of winding walking paths leading from the main beach.

Facilities at this much-loved beach include showers, lifeguards, sun loungers and several eateries – everything you need for a happy day at the beach.

And if that’s not enough, there’s also a water slide and children’s play area to keep everyone entertained.

Lapad Beach, Dubrovnik: See it on the map

10) Copacabana Beach

Copacabana Beach Club, Lapad
Relaxing by the beach is pretty chill at Copacabana Beach (Credit: Copacabana Beach Club)

It may not be Rio de Janeiro, but Dubrovnik’s very own Copacabana Beach (aka Kopacabana Beach) still holds its own as among the best in the area.

Mind you, it bears little resemblance to Rio’s Copacabana.

For starters, this Lapad Peninsula beach is pebbly, with raised concrete platforms.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t picturesque. The crescent curve of beach attracts a whole mix of visitors, thanks to the combination of its beauty and the good facilities on offer.

Families like the calm shallow waters, which make for ideal swimming conditions, while adults can indulge in a cocktail (or perhaps a few) from one of the bars and clubs that line the beach.

You can pay to use the facilities at one of the beach clubs (like the Copacabana Beach Club), which feature comfy sun beds and funky soundtracks.

But it’s not necessary. Simply turn up, find a spot to throw down your towel and enjoy.

Copacabana Beach, Dubrovnik: See it on the map

11) Coral Beach Club

This Lapad beach club is waiting for you! (Credit: Coral Beach Club)

Perfectly situated overlooking the sparkling waters of Dubrovnik Bay, this chic beach club offers a laid-back yet sophisticated ambience for a very chilled (and rather stylish) day by the sea.

You won’t be fighting for space on the pebbles. Instead, you can secure a plush sun lounger, cabana or table on the beach or on one of the terraces above it.

The service is friendly and attentive, making it that much easier to slip into a day of indulgence.

Think Mediterranean food, chilled Balearic music and freshly made cocktails. All with a side of sunlight and the chance to swim in that clear turquoise sea.

Coral Beach Club, Dubrovnik: See it on the map

Other best beaches around Dubrovnik

Though plenty of beaches are just a stone’s throw from Dubrovnik, some of the most beautiful beaches in the area can be found on the islands that dot the coast around the city – the ideal getaway from the mainland.

There are also a couple of other great beaches that are a little further away from Dubrovnik (but still quite close and easy to reach).

12) Lokrum Island

Swimming in the sea at Lokrum Island
Swimming in the sea at Lokrum

A lovely day trip from Dubrovnik is taking a 15-minute boat to Lokrum Island – and escaping to some of the other best beaches near Dubrovnik.

This verdant uninhabited island and nature reserve is a popular getaway that feels a world away from the buzz of the Old Town.

To get there, hop on one of the little water taxis that leave Dubrovnik’s old harbor (at Porporela Pier). Boats leave every half hour in high season. (Check the ferry schedule here.)

You have to pay an entrance fee to set foot on Lokrum, but if you’re taking the water taxi ferry, that’s included in the fare.

A water taxi boat docking at Lokrum Island
A water taxi boat docking at Lokrum Island

There’s actually quite a lot to do on the island of Lokrum.

You can hike nature paths through the pine forests – where you may never see another soul.

Fans of Game of Thrones may want to hunt down the show’s filming locations scattered around the island. Part of the show was filmed at the former Benedictine Monastery on the island.

And you’ll want to keep an eye out for the peacocks. There must be hundreds roaming around!

As for the beaches, there are popular ones and hidden ones (the kind that require a hike).

There’s even a nudist beach right at the southern tip and LGBTQ-friendly beaches too.

One of the more unusual spots for a swim on Lokrum Island is Mrtvo More (literally “Dead Sea”). This salty body of water is a natural lagoon that’s perfect for swimming.

Swimmers and sunbathers at Mrtvo More on Lokrum Island
Taking it easy at Mrtvo More

Both times we’ve visited Lokrum for the day, we’ve done some hiking, then searched out a quieter slab of rock to sun on like lizards, occasionally climbing down a ladder into the sea to swim.

There are even outdoor freshwater showers by the rocky slabs that are closest to the water taxi dock.

Swimming at Lokrum - a great getaway island so close to Dubrovnik
Swimming at Lokrum – a great getaway island so close to Dubrovnik

Just make sure to watch out for sea urchins here (as in all of Croatia). Consider bringing along some reef shoes – we purchased some at a shop in the Old Town.

For refreshments, there are a couple of cafés where you can get drinks and a bite in scenic surroundings. One overlooks the Mrtvo More lagoon.

Lokrum Island, Dubrovnik: See it on the map

13) Sunj Beach, Elaphiti Islands

Boats anchored in the turquoise waters off Lopud Island in the Elaphiti Islands
A great day trip from Dubrovnik is a boat cruise to Lopud Island in the Elaphiti archipelago

Sandy beaches in Dubrovnik are something of a rarity. But over on the Elaphiti Islands, there’s an exception: Sunj Beach, one of a mere handful of sandy beaches in the area.

It’s located on the island of Lopud. It takes about an hour to reach by ferry from Dubrovnik. But you’ll love it when you get to Sunj Beach – expect soft sand, shallow seas, a tree-shaded eatery, showers and sun loungers for rent.

Probably the easiest and most fun way to visit Sunj Beach is on a day trip from Dubrovnik.

This full-day cruise to the Elaphiti Islands has it all. Soak up the stunning scenery of the Adriatic Sea as you enjoy a cruise complete with lunch and an open bar.

It includes jaunts to not only Lopud but also the islands of Sipan and Kolocep, with free time to swim and explore old stone villages on the islands. (More than 1,700 happy visitors have rated this tour 5 stars on Viator.)

You could even indulge in a private boat tour to Lopud.

Complete with your very own skipper, this 4-hour tour can be tailored to your whims.

Do you want a whirlwind journey around Dubrovnik’s best beaches or do you just want to swim at the sandy Sunj Beach? It’s up to you.

Sunj Beach, Lopud: See it on the map

14) Pasjaca Beach

Pasjaca Beach is one of the most stunning beaches near Dubrovnik.
This small sand-and-gravel beach is reached by walking down steep stairs that cut through the cliffs

Pasjaca Beach is a bit of a hidden spot.

Located near Popovici, around a half-hour drive from Dubrovnik Old Town, this beach may seem like a wild all-natural spot but it was actually made artificially in the 1950s (though you probably won’t be able to tell).

The beach itself lies at the bottom of a 200-foot cliff, with an equally dramatic route that you’ll have to tread to reach it – it involves stairs that cling to the side of the rock, as well as tunnels cut into the cliff itself.

The water at Pasjaca Beach is clear as can be, but because it’s not that sheltered it can get choppy on a windy day.

Make sure to bring your own sun umbrella with you, as there’s no shade. But for privacy and seclusion, it’s a hidden haven.

Pasjaca Beach, Croatia: See it on the map

15) Mlini Beach

Mlini Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches near Dubrovnik.
Mlini Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches near Dubrovnik

Hop on one of the frequent buses heading along the main road southeast of Dubrovnik, and you’ll reach the small coastal village of Mlini in about 20 minutes.

There are a few beaches in Mlini, connected by a walkway – all beautiful and boasting crystal clear waters.

You’ll find cafés and restaurants too.

Mlini Beach, Dubrovnik: See it on the map

Dubrovnik beaches, Croatia: Frequently asked questions

Does Dubrovnik have sandy beaches?

Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast isn’t exactly renowned for its sandy beaches. But there are a select few to discover.

One such beach is Sunj Beach on the Elaphiti Islands (about an hour’s boat ride from Dubrovnik). Another sandy beach in this small archipelago is the compact sandy bay at Gornje Celo, on the island of Kolocep.

Most Dubrovnik beaches are pebbly though.

The turquoise waters of Lapad Bay Beach, near Dubrovnik
The fact that most beaches in Dubrovnik are pebble beaches means no icky sand in your bikini!

Is the sea warm in Dubrovnik for swimming?

Not exactly. The beaches of Dubrovnik aren’t famed for their warm water (not like, say, Caribbean or other tropical beaches around the world). But the water is definitely not cold in the tourist season.

The water temperature in early summer (June) hovers between 60.8 F and 78.8 F, while in late summer (August) the long hot days produce aquatic highs of 80.6°F.

We’ve gone swimming in Dubrovnik in both early June and late September – and loved it! When it’s sunny and warm outside, you can certainly enjoy a good long dip.

The water is noticeably warmer in September, however, than it is in early summer.

How far is the beach from Dubrovnik Old Town?

Banje Beach is the most popular Dubronik beach that's close to the Old Town.
Banje Beach is the most popular Dubronik beach close to the Old Town

Banje Beach is the closest “real” beach. It’s only about 600 feet from the eastern entrance to the Old Town, so you don’t have to go far to enjoy a day by the sea.

Several other beaches can also be found within a comfortable walking distance from Dubrovnik Old Town.

That wraps up our guide on the best Dubrovnik, Croatia, beaches!

Dubrovnik has it all.

In one day alone, you can explore medieval streets, see some of the real-life backdrops to famous Game of Thrones scenes, eat delicious food and then head to a gorgeous beach for an afternoon of sunning and swimming.

Bring a towel, a good book, your swimsuit (and maybe some reef shoes to protect your tender tootsies from the rocky coastline) – and you’ll be all set to hit the best Dubrovnik beaches like a pro!

Experience more of Croatia!

Split: Where is Diocletian’s Palace? That’s what visitors often ask when in Split. Shopkeepers laughingly reply, “You’re in it!” The ruins of this 1,700-year-old palace are the beating heart of the inner city. And exploring the palace is one of the best things to do in Split.

Brac: From adventurous jeep tours to hanging out on Zlatni Rat Beach, you’ll want to enjoy these fun activities on Brac Island.

Trogir: You’ll love visiting Trogir. It’s nicknamed “Little Venice” for its labyrinth of narrow cobbled streets.

Our top travel tips and resources

Here are our favorite travel resources:

Hotels: Booking.com is great for scoring a “wow” hotel – or at least a decent one. (We especially like their flexible cancellation policy!)

Vacation homes, condos and rentals: We prefer and use Vrbo (Vacation Rentals by Owner).

Tours: For the best local food, walking and other guided tours plus skip-the-line tickets to attractions, check out GetYourGuide and Viator.

Car rental: Renting a car is often one of the best ways to explore off the beaten path. Discover Cars searches car rental companies so you get the best rates.

Travel insurance: SafetyWing is designed for frequent travelers, long-term adventurers and digital nomads. It covers medical expenses, lost checked luggage, trip interruption and more.

Travel gear: See our travel shop to find the best luggage, accessories and other travel gear. (We suggest these comfy travel sandals for city walking, the beach and kicking about.)

Need more help planning your trip? Check out our travel tips and resources guide for airline booking tips, ways to save money, how to find great hotels and other crazy useful trip planning info.

Pssst! If you make a booking or purchase through our site, we may earn a small commission (at no cost to you). Thanks!


Photo credits: 2, 6, 7, 15 to 18 © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase


About the authors

Luxury travel journalists and SATW, NATJA and TMAC “Best Travel Blog” award winners, Janice and George Mucalov are the publishers of Sand In My Suitcase. Between them, they’ve traveled to all 7 continents. See About.

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Sally

Tuesday 3rd of February 2015

Quite an intriguing historic destination I'd love to visit one day. But it's weird how complicated it is to get to Dubrovnik! No problem, that makes it even more adventurous!

Ashley @ A Southern Gypsy

Thursday 24th of July 2014

I loved Dubrovnik and went kayaking there and swimming in one of the beach caves - the water was cold even though it was definitely hot outside! :)

Adelina

Thursday 24th of July 2014

It sure looks gorgeous! The beach with the walled city in the background. Are they sandy or rock beaches?

Janice and George

Thursday 24th of July 2014

Few beaches in Croatia are sandy - no sand in your bikini :-). Most are pebble or rocky.

Sergio

Thursday 24th of July 2014

Dubrovnik is one of the most beautiful cities of Europe. Heritage and beach at the same time like Valencia.

Christa Thompson

Wednesday 23rd of July 2014

Note taken. Thank you! ;)