9 Beautiful Beaches in Dubrovnik

Written by Meagan Drillinger
Jul 22, 2023

Dubrovnik is one of Croatia's most enchanting destinations. The fairytale-style Old Town is legendary around the world as one of the most beautiful spots on the planet. But Dubrovnik has much more to offer in terms of natural beauty, as well, particularly by way of its beaches.

Author Meagan Drillinger on Beach Kupari
Author Meagan Drillinger on Beach Kupari | Photo Copyright: Meagan Drillinger

I spent part of my month-long adventure in Croatia exploring the sparkling white-stone beaches in and around the city of Dubrovnik. It was one of the destinations featured in my article, Croatia Road Trip: Driving the Coast from Istria to Dubrovnik. Each one offered something a little bit different for people who have varied ideas of what a perfect beach scene is.

From the tranquility of beaches like Sveti Jakov to the energetic and boisterous scene at Banje Beach, to the smaller fishing village beaches of the Dubrovnik Riviera, the best beaches of Dubrovnik deliver to all sorts of people.

One thing these beaches all have in common is their natural beauty. Pebble beaches sit at the base of white limestone cliffs, and all have sparkling turquoise and emerald water that flashes like diamonds in the sunlight. Sit on the shore and watch the boats drift by, or jump in for a refreshing dip. Just remember to bring water shoes for the rockier beaches.

June through September are the busiest months to hit the beach in Dubrovnik, but you'll find May to be a lot quieter, yet still warm enough to soak up the sun. The water will be quite cold, so brace yourself.

If you're ready to discover the spectacular Dalmatian Coastline, check out my list of the best beaches in Dubrovnik.

1. Sveti Jakov Beach

Sveti Jakov Beach
Sveti Jakov Beach | Photo Copyright: Meagan Drillinger

Meet Dubrovnik's most jaw-dropping beach. Sveti Jakov is truly a jewel along the Dalmatian Coast and for a number of reasons.

First, it's spectacularly beautiful. Secluded in a calm cove by tree-covered rocky outcrops, the beach is a patch of bone-white pebbles and cream-colored sand. The bright white of the beach makes the turquoise water positively shimmer. What's more, the beach has one of the best views of Dubrovnik's Old Town in the distance, as well as the exotic Blue Cave grotto.

The second reason it's such a treasure of a beach is that it takes a little bit of digging to find it. I had to try three times before I actually discovered the entrance to the beach. That's because Google Maps will take you to the road high above the beach. Twice I drove to the upper road looking for the beach entrance but to no avail.

The secret is that you have to take the lower road, which is a bit of a challenge to find. I recommend putting Grand Villa Argentina into Google Maps first. The hotel sits at a fork in the road and you'll want to take a sharp left at the fork and follow that road all the way down until you reach the tiny Sveti Jakov church.

The church sits at the end of a very narrow road — be prepared to back up if another car is coming from the opposite direction. In front of the church is a small parking lot. Walk around the church to the left and you will see the stairs that lead down to the beach — all 170 of them.

But the effort to find Sveti Jakov beach is worth it for its sheer beauty, lack of crowds, and facilities like lounge chairs and a small restaurant. You'll be glad you made the effort to find it. I certainly was.

2. Copacabana Beach

Copacabana Beach
Copacabana Beach | Photo Copyright: Meagan Drillinger

Considerably easier to find, but beautiful nonetheless, Copacabana Beach sits at the tip of Dubrovnik's Lapad neighborhood. Lapad has some lovely hotels, homes, and restaurants, but infinitely fewer crowds than Old Town, so it can feel like a nice reprieve from the chaos.

Copacabana Beach is a neighborhood favorite beach tucked in a cove of lovely white pebbles and turquoise water. A concrete boardwalk behind the beach has a restaurant with outdoor seating, including sun loungers and daybeds.

Be sure to bring water shoes. The entrance into the water is very rocky, but the water is clean, clear, and wonderfully refreshing. The views of the rolling green hills are certainly a nice touch. If you look to the right you can see the beautiful bridge, and watch the ships move in and out of the bay.

Address: Ul. Ivana pl. Zajca, 20000, Dubrovnik

3. Beach Kupari

Beach Kupari
Beach Kupari | Photo Copyright: Meagan Drillinger

A quick drive south along D8 from Dubrovnik starts the beginning of the Dubrovnik Riviera — a string of beach towns with laid-back vibes and quiet, beautiful beaches. The first town you'll come to is Kupari and its beach is a fascinating stop.

A secluded, pothole-filled road leads the way to a crescent-shaped cove of a beach. But the first thing that greets you before the beach is the ruins of what looks to have once been a grand hotel. It is, in fact, the ghost of the glamorous Grand Hotel, the bones of which are still intact.

Without knowing the history behind the ruins, they can seem fascinating, yet still quite haunting. After a little research, I discovered the sad truth behind the abandoned Grand Hotel. Construction began in 1919 and it was one of the most glamorous hotel complexes throughout the 1960s. From 1998 to 2000, the hotel was used as a base by the Croatian army. When the war broke out, the Yugoslav People's Army bombed the hotel to drive the Croatian soldiers out. Today the hotel is a stark reminder of the atrocities committed in Croatia during the war.

It's an eerie backdrop for a boisterous beach setting, but it's an important reminder for tourists to understand part of Croatia's very real history. In front of the hotel is the white pebble beach, surrounded by limestone mountains and crystal clear water. While the beach is not as broad or lively as it once was, it is now a quiet place of reflection for those in the know.

4. Lapad Beach

Lapad Beach
Lapad Beach | Photo Copyright: Meagan Drillinger

Lapad Beach is the main beach of the Lapad neighborhood in Dubrovnik. Tucked in a cove between two branches of the peninsula, Lapad Beach is surrounded by glamorous homes and hotels, but significantly quieter than the beaches closer to Old Town.

The beachfront is made up of gleaming white pebbles and a concrete walkway, but once you enter the water the floor of the bay is sandy. Leave those water shoes behind! You'll also find beach chairs and umbrellas, as well as plenty of places to get snacks or something cold to drink.

When the sun goes down, the area around the beach gets lively with locals and visitors. Cafes put tables out on the street and it becomes an energetic spot to explore. Plus, the lights reflecting on the water are beautiful. I recommend coming just before sunset and watching nature put on its show.

Address: Masarykov put 5, 20000, Dubrovnik

5. Banje Beach

Banje Beach
Banje Beach | Photo Copyright: Meagan Drillinger

Meet Dubrovnik's "most famous" beach. This stretch of pebbly beach is the closest to Old Town and, arguably, has the best views. It's also one of the top attractions in Dubrovnik. But because of its prime location tucked between Old Town and the string of Dubrovnik's most glamorous hotels, you'll find that Banje Beach may not be all it's cracked up to be.

It's undeniable that it is a beautiful beach. The water, the shoreline, and the buildings of Old Town create that iconic Croatian color palette of turquoise, white, and pinkish red. But nothing in Dubrovnik Old Town is a secret these days, and you will pay a hefty premium to use the facilities at this beach.

The most popular spot on the beach is the Banje Beach Restaurant, with a private pier, dining area, and exclusive day beds and lounge chairs. Guests can book massages on the beach while they gaze out at Lokrum Island.

It goes without saying that this is a beautiful beach with the most enviable location in town. But for someone who wants a more tranquil environment with fewer people and a lower price point, I think any of the aforementioned beaches is much better.

Address: Ul. Frana Supila 10/B, 20000, Dubrovnik

6. Bellevue Beach

Bellevue Beach
Bellevue Beach

On the other side of Old Town, right before you hit Lapad, you'll pass by Bellevue Beach. This lovely beach sits at the base of a cliff right underneath the Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik.

What's great about this beach is that it's close enough to Old Town to be in the heart of the action, but far enough away to manage to thin out much of the crowd. The small beach is made up of shiny white pebbles and the cove is protected by rocky bluffs, keeping the water gentle and calm.

While the beach is open to the public, the majority of the people at the beach are guests at the Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik, which sits directly above the beach. This is one of the best resorts in Croatia, with sublime views and Michelin Guide-recommended restaurant, Vapor, which overlooks the water. If you can snag a reservation at Vapor, it will be worth it.

7. Hotel Excelsior Beach

Tables on the terrace at Hotel Excelsior
Tables on the terrace at Hotel Excelsior | Photo Copyright: Meagan Drillinger

Halfway between Sveti Jakov Beach and Banje Beach is a semi-private beach experience that I recommend looking into. That is the sea terrace beach at Hotel Excelsior. One of the most historic and beautiful hotels in Dubrovnik, Hotel Excelsior has its own private beach for guests that offers spectacular views of Old Town and prime waterfront access.

The dreamy beach pavilion is the stuff of Instagram dreams, from the natural saltwater pool built into the platform to the direct access to the turquoise sea. Plus, Old Town and Lokrum Island feel close enough to touch, and yet, because the beach is only open to hotel guests, you weed out the majority of the crowds.

Terrace at the Hotel Excelsior
Terrace at the Hotel Excelsior | Photo Copyright: Meagan Drillinger

One way to get around the guest-only policy is to book a table at the al fresco restaurant Prora Beach Restaurant. The beautiful seaside restaurant is open to non-hotel guests, so everyone can enjoy the view, even if not everyone can use the lounge chairs.

Address: Ul. Frana Supila 12, 20000, Dubrovnik

8. Mlini Beach

View over Mlini Beach
View over Mlini Beach | Photo Copyright: Meagan Drillinger

Continuing down the Dubrovnik Riviera, you'll hit the small fishing village of Mlini, home to a very dreamy beach within a picturesque bay. Shimmering turquoise and emerald water set the scene at this loved-by-locals beach. Surrounded by green trees and towering mountains, this is a beautiful and tranquil spot to relax.

The beach itself is at the base of a wooded park with walking paths. If you venture south along the beach you'll eventually come to Mlini Harbor, which is dotted with small boats and lined with restaurants and shops. Several hotels can be found here, too.

Mlini Beach
Mlini Beach | Photo Copyright: Meagan Drillinger

It's far less of a "scene" here than on other beaches closer to Dubrovnik, but that's exactly what I loved about it. It's a perfect place for a laid-back afternoon swim before getting back in the car to explore the rest of the area.

9. Srebreno Beach

View out to sea from Srebreno Beach
View out to sea from Srebreno Beach | Photo Copyright: Meagan Drillinger

While you're at Mlini Beach, you might as well walk north to the cove on the other side of the park. This officially crosses over into the beach village, Srebreno. Its beach is also beautiful and just a few steps away from Mlini.

Srbreno is a very long, pebbly beach backed with lots of options for dining and relaxing. A concrete boardwalk makes for strolling along the waterline. This is also a top beach for water sports. You'll find Silverland Sea Kayaking for canoe and kayak rentals and plenty of stand-up paddle boarding.

Srebreno Beach
Srebreno Beach | Photo Copyright: Meagan Drillinger

The boardwalk was under construction when I last visited in May 2023 as it was getting renovated for the influx of tourists during the high season. So if you visit now, chances are you'll be looking at a freshly done boardwalk.

The beach itself is long, but not very wide, and it can get crowded on the weekends. Personally, I would recommend Mlini or Kupari over Srbreno, but Srbreno definitely has more activities to offer.