I was told that you either love Split and hate Dubrovnik, or love Dubrovnik and hate Split. They are as much similar as they are different. And personally, I prefer Dubrovnik. Perhaps that’s why I visited this fort town on three separate occasions!
Top 5 things to do in Dubrovnik:
1. Get lost.
Upon seeing the old walls, I was instantly transported to an episode of Game of Thrones. Walking inside the draw bridge path, down the stone steps, and into the plaza and long main street lined with shops and restaurants, you feel like you’re on a Hollywood set. Everything is perfect. The buildings are identical with their red roofs and stone faces, the alleys extend as far as you can see with shutters and canopies shading the windows, laundry being dried, and tourists trying to find the picture perfect “shot”. These are my favorite towns to get lost in. Roam free and find a whole-in-the-wall cafe to sit and soak up the atmosphere. Tip: Don’t eat/drink at the restaurants on the main street; prices are ridiculous and you can find the same fare up an alley a few steps away.
2. Walk the outer walls.
After you’ve enjoyed an ice cream and had your fill of the ground-level view, pay the 100 kuna and walk along the top of the walls at sunset. The views are breathtaking.
3. Ride the cable car.
For more panoramic sights, take the cable car up to the top of the mountain and soak in Dubrovnik from the air.
4. Have a drink at Boosha Bar.
You may notice a bar outside the walls as you’re walking around, but how do you get there? It’s difficult to find, but well worth the hunt. As you’re by the cathedral, walk to the left, and head up the stairs. Continue on this path until you see a small inlet. If you’re unsure whether this is the right spot, look for the spray paint on the wall that reads: “No nudists” – that’s how you know you’re in the right place. Enjoy a drink while soaking in unobstructed views of the Adriatic Sea and the dozens of sail boats. Note: They don’t serve food here.
5. Swim at Banje Beach.
On the last day of my trip, the weather gods finally blessed me with a sunny day before sending me back to the U.S.. I wanted to take full advantage of the warmth and head straight to Banje Beach. To get there, walk through the Old City, exit the entrance on the opposite side and follow the side walk down by the water, you’ll come to a pebble beach. You’ll know when you’re there. It’s easy to find.
I had an extra day in Dubrovnik, but the weather wasn’t too promising, so the tourist office suggested a quick trip to Lokrum Island instead of a full-day boat tour to the other surrounding islands. Two hours was enough time on Lokrum Island (80 kuna), if you’re trying to kill time. It’s a neat area, but nothing amazing. I just walked around and explored for a while, but it probably would have been better to island hop instead.
And for my last night, I watched the sun set over the Adriatic sea with the sailboats cruising by and felt my heart full of love, gratefulness, and strength, mixed with a bit of sadness as I knew this journey was coming to an end…
Then, I treated myself to a nice Mediterranean dinner upstairs from the Wine Bar, and had a final toast to an amazing trip with a glass of the Kiridzija at the wine bar downstairs. $8, it’s amazing. Cheers to an unforgettable trip and a lifetime of memories!
Overall, Croatia was a dream. A magical land with beautiful water and so many activities. I will definitely be back to visit again, but this time during high season to ensure the tours and restaurants are open.
- Visit island of Brac and go to the beach Bol
- Blue grotto bisevo
- Pvlitcies lakes in winter time
- Kayak around the wall
- Wine cave – under the Dubrovnik airport – Skycellar museum
- The last tourists are allowed to start walking the wall at 5:30pm, but you must be done by 6:30pm. The cable car doesn’t close until 8pm so you can check that out after – Cable car is 108 kuna /$15USD and worth the views.
- Grab a drink and swim at the bar outside the walls. Hidden but worth it to find. “No nudists”, other than that, no signage. And no food, only drinks.
- If you want to just take a quick dip in the ocean, you can do that from where the bus drops you off outside the Old City walls, but it’s a rock beach. If you prefer to relax for a while, definitely go to Banje Beach where you can lay on the pebbles.
- Burger Tiger off the main street is good and decently priced. Don’t bother with Tex Mex even if you’re craving Mexican food (like I always am).