Dubrovnik: December Weather Averages
|Sunshine Hours||5 hrs|
|Chance of Sunny Day||24 %|
|Rainfall days||15 days|
|Chance of Rain||51 %|
|Chance of Cloudy Day||32 %|
|Chance of Windy Day||56 %|
|Chance of Fog Day||1%|
|Chance of Snow Day||2%|
Averages for Dubrovnik in December
December has the second lowest temperatures of the year in Dubrovnik, after January. Luckily, it is slightly less wet than November, so you can still walk around the streets in a heavy jacket without suffering too much cold. The city is very busy as there are a number of traditional events happening in the weeks up to Christmas.
The average daily temperature only reaches a high of around 8°C (about 47°F)and can dip to as low as 1°C (about 34°F). This means that you should take plenty of warm clothing if you are planning to visit Dubrovnik during December. As the risk of rain is also very high, some items of waterproof clothing such as rainproof macs would also come in handy.
There are also only about 9 hours of average daily sunshine over the month, with the length of day essentially constant. The longest day is December 1 with 9:17 hours of sunlight and the shortest day is December 1 with 9:03 hours.
The average rainfall is 178mm over 15 days, nearly 20mm less than November. The probability of precipitation varies from 49 to 53%, more likely occurring in the first week of December. This usually manifests as moderate rain, and occasionally as light rain and thunderstorms.
The average sea temperature is 15°C (about 59°F) so swimming in the sea is definitely not recommended.
The cloud cover over the city are usually 60%, with little variation. The sky is mostly clear about 26% of the time, partly cloudy 14% of the time, and mostly cloudy 38% of the time. The air is generally humid, from 47% (comfortable) to 85% (very humid).
Daily wind speed averages from 3 mph to 22 mph (light air to fresh breeze), or about 8 knots. Winds blow in from the east and increase as the month progresses.
The beginning of December is quite cold and overcast, with about 9 hours of sunlight, factors that remain constant over the month. Average temperatures of 10°C (50°F), highs of 14°C (57°F) and lows of 7°C (45°F). As the month progresses, temperatures drop slightly, to an average of 8°C (47°F), highs of 11°C (53°F) and lows of 6°C (43°F). This decreases further by the end of the month, to averages of 7°C (46°F), highs of 11°C (52°F) and lows of 5°C (42°F).
Things to Do
Though the off-season in Dubrovnik, wintertime in the city is full of festivities. The feast of Saint Nicholas on 6th December is a special holiday, when children’s stockings fill up with presents. It’s also a time for memorial, as this date is the day the city successfully defended itself against a strong Serbian attack in 1991.
In December, the city cosies up with hot coffees, traditional sweets and carols.
Head to the bakery and sample homemade sour orange marmalade pancakes and candied orange peel. Chefs serve delicious cookies, mulled wine, candied nuts, doughnuts and other delicacies. The streets are strung up with Christmas lights, and shops put on display their winter wares: handicrafts, candles, glassware, embroidery and porcelain. Be sure to stop by the Christmas Fair at Sponza Palace, where the market is all hustle and bustle with winter goodies and decorations.
New Years Eve the city turns on with major festivities, spectacular live music, open air theatre, and spectacular fireworks over the harbour. Pair relatively mild temperatures with delicious wine and rakija with live Croatian music until the break of dawn.
Escape the winter chill by diving into one of the city’s many theatres or museums. Star of them all is Marin Drzic Theatre, a repertory theatre built in 1865 that hosts a permanent company. Though most active during the summertime, the productions are year-round and are based mostly on the city’s literary heritage. There is also the Freedom Cinema, which hosts international and local releases with subtitles in a 300-seat auditorium. The Maritime Museum is also worth admission for its extensive exhibit on the nautical history of the city, located in the renovated fortress of Sv. Ivan.
Rent a taxi to the nearby Pomena Bay. Even on an overcast day, views of the harbour are likely to be worth it. This small port hosts small boats and charming yachts and is lined with many cafes.
Brave the rain, put on your best raincoat and head for the thick of it! Watch the stormy waves from the city walls, or climb one of the town’s picturesque medieval towers. Porporela pier on the Lapad Peninsula in particular makes for a great base to watch the wind and wet. Don’t forget to cap off your afternoon with a hot coffee at one of the nearby cafés!
When it snows—as it does every so often—residents like to play on frozen beaches, run around the city streets. Once when the nearby town of Sali got snowed in, the town organised a ramshackle ski team on the spot!
If you can make it to the Plitvice Lakes National Park, you’ll be treated to gorgeous snow-covered woodland paths, glistening icicles and a winter wonderland. Or while you’re out in nature, check out some of Croatia’s natural hot springs nearby—many of which are equipped with thermal spas and accommodation on site.
Dubrovnik City Fortress in December.
Hit the Beach
Winter doesn’t make the beach very desirable, with rough waters and chilly winds. It’s not recommended to be in the water. If you still desire the seaside, Gruz Harbour can be a fun base from where to watch the boats float in—or head out to Babin Kuk Peninsula for perhaps calmer waters in its bays and inlets.
Eating & Drinking Out
During winter many restaurants shut their doors, but those that stay open tend to be authentic, family-run options.
Located in a 450-year-old stone building, Otto Taverna (Ulica Nikole Tesle 8) is a charming tavern reminiscent of French bistro. The chocolate soufflé and onion soup are amazing and the service is comfortably laid-back.
Stara Loza (prijeko 22) serves fantastic seafood with in a quirky setting. The menu is a bit eclectic for Dubrovnik but delicious, from suckling pig and ox bites to slow-cooked monkfish with sweet figs.
Pantarul (Kralja Tomislava 1) is a relaxed restaurant that specialises in delicate and rich dishes like foie gras, steak tartare, duck liver mousse and radicchio risotto. Lucin Kantun (ulica od sigurate) is renowned for its tapas-style dishes of salmon marinade, lobster nibbles, cheese and ham, all served at reasonable prices.
If you’ve had enough of seafood, try Nishta (prijeko bb), the only all-vegetarian option in Dubrovnik. It has limited seating so be sure to book your table early in the day. They occasionally offer vegan and gluten-free dishes as well, from cold and fresh salads to hot soups and samosas. Do note that they are closed Sundays.
After dinner, sip on a disgestif at one of the city’s many wine and cocktail bars. There is a tasty prosciutto bar at the Villa Dubrovnik hotel (vlaha bukovca 6), with views of the isle of Lokrum. The Arsenal Wine Bar (11 St. Blaise Square) offers a romantic setting and local wines in converted boatbuilding warehouse. Try the Crljenak, the original grape that is otherwise known as Zinfandel.
Ready to dance the bad weather away? Head to the Latino Club Fuego (Pile Brsalje 11), which despite its name plays a variety of hip hop music as well as latino and techno.
The Sponza Palace, Dubrovnik.
Where to Stay
For someplace unique, try the beautiful nearby island of Sipan and the small fisherman village of Sudurad. Hotel Bozica is a renovated summer residence offering apartments and doubles with sea views. Each of its 26 residential units have A/C, internet, minibars and satellite. The on-site restaurant serves olives, almonds, figs, and vegetables from the surrounding orchards and farms.
The Argosy Hotel is an upscale accommodation perfect for couples. Situated on the Babin Kuk Peninsula 6 kilometres from Dubrovnik, this four-star hotel makes for an elegant retreat. It offers an indoor swimming pool for those rainy days, restaurants, spa, and nightly entertainment. Most of its 308 rooms offer balconies or terraces, twin and double beds, and bathrooms with full amenities.
Visitors on the lookout for a comfortable yet budget option should book a room at the Lero Hotel. Travellers tend to be business-minded, and won’t mind the 15-minute walk to Old Town and 25-minute transfer to the international airport. The hotel offers 154 standard, family and executive rooms, and one presidential suite, most with sea views as well as an a la carte restaurant and aperitif bar on-site.
A safe bet for some self-catered accommodation is Amoret Apartments (dinka ranjine 5), offering four studios in Old Town. These old-fashioned rooms consist of a bedroom, corner kitchenette and en-suite bathroom with shower, plus A/C, satellite TV and wifi.
Dubrovnik medieval walls lit up and fireworks on New Years Eve.
December events in Dubrovnik
24th December 2015 to 25th December 2015
SPLIT Christmas at Split Cathedral at midnight is held over two days, December 24th and 25th. It's one of the most important feasts on the Roman Catholic calendar.
Christmas In Dubrovnik
25th December 2015
Christmas in Dubrovnik, a magical experience with an excellent atmosphere. Christmas Eve is held in the Old Town. Hundreds of people enjoy live music and celebrate many different events in winter sunshine.