Dubrovnik, Croatia is one of the most visited destinations on the Mediterranean. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979 and has been on the top of my *bucket list since I shared a plane with a bunch of rowdy Croatian Olympians and Olympic fans on a flight out of Vancouver in 2010.
*yes… everything is on my bucket list…
I traveled there in June by overnight ferry from the Italian city of Bari and arrived early in the morning. As I often do I went not knowing much about the city but I was happily surprised. I had planned on also visiting Split and Zagreb but I ended up loving Dubrovnik so much that I spent a whole week there and hardly left the walls of the Old Town.
Inside a 6 bed dorm at the Fresh* Sheets Hostel in Dubrovnik.
One of six beautiful bedrooms at the Fresh* Sheets Bed & Breakfast in Dubrovnik
While there I stayed at the Fresh* Sheets Hostel and the Fresh* Sheets Bed and Breakfast both located inside the Old Town walls. They were both reasonably priced and in great locations. However you do need to climb several sets of steps to get to the hostel. They also conveniently own the only laundromat nearby just outside of the Ploce Gate called Sanja & Rosie’s Launderette.
Dubrovnik is the type of city that you can just walk around in forever and get lost. However the Old Town isn’t that big so you can’t get “that” lost, just a bit turned around. The nice thing about it is that there aren’t any cars allowed inside of the walls either so that whole part of the city is pedestrian only. Full of small alleyways with cafes and restaurants everywhere you turn.
One of the first things you should do is the walk along the top of the city walls for stunning views of the city and of course the wall itself. The best time to go is first thing in the morning before the crowds and the heat. I would recommend starting at the entrance near the Ploce Gate, mostly so you get the majority of the steps out of the way first, making your stroll more leisurely and relaxing towards the end.
Another great place to go for a spectacular view of the city is to the top of Mount Srd overlooking the old town. You can ride a Gondola to the very top for views of the Old Town and the surrounding islands as far as the eye can see.
During the day from about 10am to 5 or 6pm in the summer months the Old Town is jam packed full of groups of tourists from the cruise ships. It can get a bit unbearable at times but this is the perfect opportunity to escape the city walls and head to a nearby beach or one of the many nearby islands. You can also go cliff diving at one of the holes in the wall, go kayaking or even take a boat tour.
Conductor Noorman Widjaja conducts the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra in Dubrovnik, Croatia at the Rector’s Palace Atrium.
At night time there are less crowds and there are many things to see and do. If you are lucky the Dubrovnik Symphony might be performing at the Rector’s Palace. If they are get tickets for the cheap seats where you sit upstairs over looking the Symphony. Here you will have the best vantage point and if it was a hot day it is a much cooler place to sit.
In the evenings it also a great time to grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants. One of my favourites is the Taj Mahal that serves Bosnian food. So delicious. It is a popular place so make sure you get a reservation or show up early. There are also many places to enjoy pizza, you can enjoy Rooster at the Kopun Restaurant and enjoy a traditional dalmation dish called – Risotto Orlando – Black risotto with prawns and Dalmation spices. Yum.
Inside the city walls you will also find several night clubs including one called Club Revelin that is actually inside part of the Old Town Walls which is pretty cool. Look for girls walking the main streets handing out fliers for the clubs that will give you free cover.
Inside Dubrovnik’s Maritime Museum.
The Old Town also has several churches and museums you can visit to learn about the history of the city. The Franciscan Friary which is somewhat hidden near Pile Gate in the city has restored alfresco paintings, relics, artefacts and you can also see a hole in the wall from the attack on the city in 1990. Inside Fort Saint John which is part of the city walls is the Maritme Museum where you can learn about the importance of maritime trade and the Mediterranean in the city’s history.
To learn more about visiting watch my video “Dubrovnik in a Minute“. If you plan on visiting make sure you spend at least a few days.
Some of my accommodation costs and entry fees were covered on this trip however all opinions and views expressed are my own.