Dubrovnik Gay Travel
wolfyy’s Dubrovnik gay travel guide to hotels, beaches, restaurants, gay nightlife & LGBT safety.
The Gay Travel Experience: Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik is a wonderful city known to be one of the most gay-friendly places in Croatia. The charming walls of Dubrovnik and the maze-like old town pathways gave me chills.
It is important to know, however, that Croatia as a whole is not so comfortable with homosexuality when compared with the rest of Europe. Loads of gay tourists nonetheless continue to visit Dubrovnik every year.
A high density of international tourists dissipates any anti-gay sentiment that you may encounter. Many Dubrovnik nightclubs and sightseeing locations are mostly tourists, so you should be very comfortable. Make sure to read the Croatia gay safety section below for some more advice.
Gay travel in Croatia usually starts or ends in Dubrovnik, which was home to the famous Game of Thrones set. The Croatian islands are between Dubrovnik and Split, perfect for day trips or a gay sailing expedition after you explore the city.
Book a Croatia Gay Sailing Trip
Sailing the Croatian Islands with a group of gay friends was one of the most memorable trips of my entire life! Are you interested in doing the same? I can help you organize your first trip for gay sailing in Croatia or gay sailing in Greece!
If you’re interested in seeing what the trip was like for me, head to my Instagram (@laffaloui) and check out the highlights section. There are a bunch of shots and videos from my gay sailing trip!
Gay Dubrovnik: Hotels & Where to Stay
Hotels in the Old Town are quite chic, though they tend to be more expensive than those outside the Dubrovnik walls.
Quaint vacation rentals in the Old Town are another super stylish option that can give you an even more authentic experience.
For budget travelers, staying in a vacation rental in Pile (the neighborhood just outside the Old Town walls) will be super affordable. Sometimes staying within the walls can cost more than what it’s worth.
Tourists also flood the plazas within the Dubrovnik Old Town, so escaping to a quieter area is something else to consider. Here are some options for affordable hotels in Ploce, the neighborhood outside the Old Town walls.
A vacation rental in Babin Kuk or the Lapad neighborhood is the best budget-friendly option. I stayed two nights in Babin Kuk and loved the residential vibe.
Also browse hotels in Lapad Bay and Babin Kuk, where you’ll find some gorgeous accommodations along the shore, northwest of the Old City. For those who prefer standard beachside hotels, this area is also a great bet. Below are a few of the most popular hotels in the area.
Going sailing? You may find convenience and value in booking a VRBO rental near the ACI Marina. Many travelers leaving Dubrovnik by sailboat stay in this area so they have easy access to the Marina the morning of their trip.
Dubrovnik Gay Travel Experiences
Lokrum & Dubrovnik's Gay Beach
Go to Lokrum Island (Otok Lokrum) to see some beautiful clear water while visiting Dubrovnik. It’s only a short ferry ride away!
The eastern side of Lokrum Island is a nudist area called FKK Strand that’s known as Dubrovnik’s local gay beach. It’s not exclusively gay, but you’ll definitely find other gay travelers hanging out in this popular spot.
It’s perfect for a day trip. You can catch a ferry at the Old Port and spend either a few hours or a whole day there. The beach is fantastic.
Book a Croatia Island Tour
Plenty of popular tours of the Croatian islands leave from Dubrovnik. You can visit the nearby Elaphiti Islands, explore stunning caves, or take a day trip to the gorgeous Korčula Old Town.
Dubrovnik Old Town & King's Landing
King’s Landing is fantastic at sunset. Walking through this area and the rest of the Old Town is a must. Many travelers experience this iconic part of the city via popular guided kayak tours. You’ll definitely see the signature red and yellow kayaks while walking along the water.
Many of the Game of Thrones filming locations are around King’s Landing. Check out to see where to pass by and grab some awesome photos.
You can book a cheap guided Game of Thrones tour if you want to see some of the most secret locations.
Swim at the ACI Marina
You might be near ACI Marina Dubrovnik if you plan to catch a sailboat. Luckily, there is a swimming pool free of charge located right in the marina compound.
It’s spacious and was not too crowded when I visited. Even if you aren’t going sailing, you can still enter and use the pool.
Take a Day Trip to Montenegro
If you haven’t yet visited neighboring Montenegro, you have the opportunity to do so from Dubrovnik. Full-day Montenegro tours will show you some epic local villages as well as the popular and culturally historic region of Kotor.
Dubrovnik isn’t one of those “off the beaten path” gay travel destinations anymore. Tourists are everywhere, so you should be judicious with where you eat! Prices can be very high, especially in the Old Town.
The Dubrovnik Old Town is great for dinner one night. I recommend Restaurant Café Royal. The service at Café Royal was the friendliest I experienced while in Dubrovnik.
Our waitress loved my gay friends so much, she tried to introduce us via Instagram to a gay friend of hers. It was very cute.
What is Croatian Food Like?
Local food in Croatia is primarily fish and other seafood. The Croatian culture also borrows significantly from the Italians. Pizzerias are the second most common type of restaurant you will find in Croatia.
Most high-end restaurants will have a “catch of the day.” The menu will include a price per kilogram of a specific type of fish, or scallops for example.
Dubrovnik Gay Bars & Gay Friendly Clubs
Milk is now Dubrovnik’s first and only official gay bar. They recently opened in the beginning of May, 2022! It’s super exciting and a fantastic step forward for this epic Croatian city.
Already hugely popular, there’s no doubt that Milk is now the top local spot for LGBT travelers. Named after the American activist Harvey Milk, the bar is located right in the middle of Dubrovnik’s Old Town.
Culture Club Revelin
I saw quite a few gay travelers at Culture Club Revelin in the Old Town. Culture Club Revelin is an enormous Dubrovnik club built inside of a Medieval fortress! The arches inside are spectacular.
The DJ played international dance hits and remixes all night. Note that this place is on the expensive side, so plan accordingly.
Remember that homosexual public displays of affection are not always tolerated well. Many locals support homosexuality, but then again many do not.
Use your judgment while exploring Dubrovnik’s nightlife, especially while out in situations where people are drinking alcohol.
Is Dubrovnik Gay Travel Safe?
In general, Dubrovnik travel is perfectly safe. It’s just as safe as visiting most large European cities. Dubrovnik Gay travelers specifically should exercise some caution and social awareness for a few reasons.
Although Croatia is part of the European Union and is a popular gay travel destination, there is still a formidable anti-gay sentiment among some locals.
I encountered a few homophobic scenarios a couple of times while on a trip with a group of gay friends. After showing some affection in a couple of restaurants and bars, there were some uncomfortable situations for our group.
In short, one restaurant told our friends that two men could not kiss each other while sitting and having dinner. One other instance involved a group of young local men throwing a lighter at a group of us while in a local bar.
We handled both situations, but it was very disheartening to experience.
In my opinion, this information should not deter you from visiting Croatia. Firstly, isolated incidents like these could have happened anywhere. Many locals do support homosexuality and equal rights for LGBT individuals.
Homophobic comments can be made in any country, but gay travelers in Croatia should still make sure they are in a safe environment before displaying any affection.
Dubrovnik Gay Travel Tips
Rental Cars in Dubrovnik
Discover Cars is the best platform for finding a rental car in Dubrovnik. You can also pick up your car in Dubrovnik and leave it in Split if you’re traveling between cities.
Is Dubrovnik Expensive?
Croatia in general is no longer cheap! Dubrovnik, Split and the Croatian islands are all so popular with international tourists, that prices are have inflated tremendously.
Prices at most Dubrovnik Old Town restaurants rival those of expensive world cities! Inexpensive food is hard to come by. For the cheapest food, street-side pizza shops are best.
Uber & Buses in Dubrovnik
Public buses in Dubrovnik are cheap and fast! You can save a lot of cash using them. They arrive frequently, so they are quite convenient. The main bus center is Pile Gate, near the entrance to the Old Town.
Uber does exist in Dubrovnik. However, taking Uber or other private cars will be quite expensive. Remember, Dubrovnik isn’t so cheap anymore! I only took Uber when a bus route was inconvenient for my destination.
You can buy a bus ticket at the small convenience shops on the street. Make sure to bookmark this easy-to-use Official Dubrovnik Bus Map.
Bus from Dubrovnik to Split: Do You Need Your Passport?
Buses that travel from Dubrovnik to Split (and vice versa) must cross through Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosnia and Herzegovina occupies a small stretch of coastline, and so there will be two border checkpoints during the journey.
At the border, you likely will not need to exit the bus. An officer will board the bus and visually check your passport. They probably will not stamp it since they know the bus is bound for another Croatian city. My passport wasn’t stamped.
Dubrovnik Trip Planning Links
Flights: Skyscanner has the most advanced interface for finding the lowest-cost flights and comparing options.
Sightseeing: Viator and GetYourGuide are two of the most trusted and reliable platforms for tours and activities.
Hotels: I always use Booking.com, undeniably the world’s best hotel platform.
Hostels & Apartments: I’ve used Hostelworld dozens of times while backpacking. For vacation apartment rentals, I like finding deals on VRBO.
Buses & Trains: FlixBus is my favorite company for bus travel. They always have clean buses with excellent Wi-Fi. Or, to compare different bus services, use Busbud.
Car Rentals: I have always had good experiences with Europcar. If you’re not sure which rental company you prefer, compare them with Discover Cars.
Travel Insurance: Insure your trip against delays, luggage mishaps, and medical issues with Travelex.
Swimwear: Look your best at the beach or hotel pool with wolfyy’s suggestions from top gay swimwear brands.
Luggage: Bring the right kind of luggage for your trip with ideas from my favorite suitcases, backpacks, and day bags.
See wolfyy’s complete collection of gay travel guides for more gay destination ideas around the world.