What To Pack For Dubrovnik

To know what to pack for your Dubrovnik holiday, what to bring with you in your suitcase and what to wear here depends on what is the weather like in Dubrovnik at the time of your vacation. As the weather in Dubrovnik varies at different times of the year here is an overview of what to expect weatherwise at different seasons.

Passengers in Dubrovnik airport with luggage in early autumn

Above photo: Passengers in Dubrovnik airport in October wearing light clothing

An overview of the seasonal weather in Dubrovnik:

What to wear for the summer season (June, July, August and September):

In the summer season, Dubrovnik town and the area gets very hot. The temperatures in the midday are rising well above 40 °C (104 °F) so lightweight clothing is the obvious and the best option. T-shirts, flip-flops, and shorts are essential clothing. Swimsuits or swimwear, hat, sunglasses, sunblock are absolutely necessary accessories.

If you’re going in summer, every time you go out of the house make sure you put sunblock on, especially between 11 am and 5 pm when insolation and the heath are the highest. It is unlikely that you will need long sleeves in the evening, however, having a light wind/rain jacket should be sufficient for sudden rains or windy nights.

What to wear for the spring and autumn seasons (April, May, October):

In spring and autumn weather in Dubrovnik is unpredictable. It is usually mild but can get chilly and quite wet from time to time. On sunny days, when temperatures can rise into low 20 °C (68 °F), you can walk around the town in the t-shirt and jeans, while in the evenings, when temperatures fall, you will definitely need several layers to keep yourself warm. For this season, dressing in layers is essential as it keeps you prepared for any weather and temperature change or for a rain or wind surprise.

On the rainy days, you will need a good waterproof jacket. Dubrovnik is a windy town all year round. It is very rare that rain arrives here without a wind. As rain is almost always accompanied by strong winds, an umbrella is not enough to protect yourself. You also need to bring a waterproof jacket and good waterproof shoes to keep yourself dry and warm.

What to wear in Winter (November, December, January, February):

In the winter season, Dubrovnik gets pretty cold and often wet too. Snow is very rare but it happens from time to time (see here). The temperatures are falling low, average about 6 °C in the mornings (42 °F) and a warm and waterproof jacket is essential.  Although temperatures here very rarely fall below zero, the wind chill factor has a great impact on the ‘feel like’ temperature.  Strong Bura and Siloko wind, accompanied by low temperatures can make you feel pretty miserable so good and warm clothing is essential if you want to enjoy sightseeing around the town and the area in the winter months. Beach holiday in the winter months here is not really possible.

Packing Guide for Dubrovnik:

Below is a packing list for holiday in Dubrovnik I put together that includes all essential and some optional items. It is based on summer season. If you are visiting the town in other seasons refer to above overview.

For beach:

  1. Beach Bag – bag to carry all your stuff to the beach. You can also use it as your grocery shopping bag. The good one is here.
  2. Swimsuit – I recommend you to pack two swimsuits. They are lightweight and don’t take a lot of space but very handy to have a spare one to change if you feel cold coming out of the sea.
  3. Flip flops – lightweight and open, it helps to have bare feet in the hot summer heat. Get good ones as you will probably end up wearing them for the most of the days. See very good ones here.
  4. Sunglasses – reflections of the sun from the sea surface and from the white city walls can be overwhelming for your eyes. Locals here wear sunglasses for the most of the year.
  5. Sunblock – a must-have item. Local pharmacies sell sunblocks so you can always buy it once you arrive here. I recommend you to bring it with you as it will most probably be much cheaper than buying it locally. This is the basic one but it does the job (I use it all the time).
  6. Lightweight beach towel – In most of the cases, towels provided in your accommodation will not include beach towels but just a regular bath, shower and hand towels. That’s why you have to bring your own one for a beach. The best ones are microfiber ones made of special materials that are lightweight and dry quickly. I have this one that is easily packable in the small bag.

For sightseeing:

  1. Casual Clothing – a couple of t-shirts and shorts should be sufficient. It is very unlikely you would need anything else. Casual clothing is accepted in restaurants too.
  2. Hat – an essential item for anyone visiting Dubrovnik in the summer. Get one with a wider shade, like this one here.
  3. Sandals – good and sturdy sandals are a must. If you intend to walk around museums, churches, walls, parks and beaches in the summer, the comfortable sandals are the best choice. The recommended ones are here.
  4. Walking Shoes – the essential piece of the clothing if you intend to climb the City Walls or to get to day trip to Mljet national park, Peljesac or Mostar. Doing it that is flip-flops is not a good idea as they are slippery and not sturdy enough. As you are going to be doing a lot of walking, comfortable walking shoes (like these) will help you endure all this sightseeing. There is no need for hiking boots as most of the streets and paths are paved.
  5. Daypack – handy for day trips and sightseeing. Keep inside your water bottle (essential!), camera, town map, sandwich, fruit, wallet and anything else that comes to your mind. Choose one with strong zip to keep things safe inside. The very good one of my choice is this one.
  6. Packable rain jacket – It is unlikely you will need this jacket but just in case of the rain, it is a good idea to have it ready in your bag. Get the small, lightweight as this one.
  7. Laundry bag – a lightweight laundry bag where you can keep all your used clothes separated from fresh ones. Also good if you intend to use public laundry.

If you intend to rent a car or scooter:

  1. Don’t forget your driver’s license – you can not rent a car nor scooter without it. Renting a car or scooter for a day is a good idea if you intend to do day trips in the vicinity of Dubrovnik in your own arrangements.
  2. Offline SatNav GPS device like TomTom or similar is a good idea if you intend to drive around. It will save you a trouble checking your maps apps on your smartphone and will keep your phone batteries fuller and ready for possible important phone calls. Also, the offline facility is very good as there are a lot of areas around here where mobile networks are not available. The alternative is a good paper map.

For your smartphone, tablet or laptop:

  1. Mains Adaptor / Travel Plug – Euro 2 pin mains adaptor is the right choice for Dubrovnik and Croatia. You will be able to charge your gadgets by this one fine. Get one here.
  2. USB Battery Pack / Solar Power Bank – as Dubrovnik is very sunny town, the solar charger is something that is getting very popular around here.  With this device, you can keep any of your USB gadgets powered without having to rely on a battery or mains power supply. I use this one here all the time. Just put it in the sunny position while swimming or sunbathing and by the time the day is finished, the battery will be full. With this solar charger, you will not waste your time waiting at home for your phone to charge. And it for free!
  3. Smartphone waterproof case – in my opinion, this is also the essential part of the kit if you intend to spend a time on the beach. These waterproof cases are not expensive and good value for money as it gives you peace of mind while using your phone around the beach where everything is wet and slippery. Here are two in the pack.

Other, non-essential items:

  • Guidebook – a good Dubrovnik guidebook will be nice to have. You can choose Kindle or paperback option, depending on your preference. My recommendation is a Rough Guides or an Eyewitness travel guidebook.
  • Camera – as nowadays most of the people have smartphones, cameras are not essential anymore. But in case you insist to get one in your suitcase, I can recommend the one that I  already have for several years and I’m very happy with it. It is not an expensive one and does a very good job (most of the photos on this website are taken by it) – have a look here.
  • Insect Repellent, Bug spray or stick – if you are allergic to bug or mosquito bites it is a good idea to pack this in your bag too. Alternatively, you can always buy it once you arrive here but it will definitely be more expensive. Generally, most of the things are much more expensive here then if you buy it on Amazon.

This is not the most exhaustive packing list for Dubrovnik but the one that came straight into my mind as it reflects my own packing list when I go to Dubrovnik. If you have any additional idea, let me know, so I can update the list.