Have you ever visited somewhere and you just weren’t that sure about it? That’s how I felt after my short stay in Dubrovnik.
Admittedly I spent less than 48 hours in Dubrovnik, so there is definitely a lot for me to still see and do there. Nevertheless, my short visited has led me to have quite a strange opinion of the place. My parents were looking at going there for a holiday and it was only then I realized that while it isn’t somewhere I would ward people away from, it also isn’t somewhere I would recommend people to go.
Dubrovnik is undoubtedly a beautiful place. The crystal clear waters of the Adriatic surround it, and the old town is one of the nicest old towns in all of Europe. The big, towering walls make it a real sight to behold, and while you are exploring within them you will find yourself lost down narrow alleys in a series of adventures.
The part about Dubrovnik I wasn’t too keen on were the crowds. I’m talking hundreds and hundreds of people and they were just everywhere. We had to queue to get into the gates of the old town, something that we were not used to from places like Montenegro. The worst part about the crowds was that they were mostly from cruise ships so when you actually wanted them around to create a buzz at night they were all gone and the old town was almost eerily quiet come nightfall. It’s also a lot more expensive than everywhere else (both in Croatia, and it’s neighbouring countries) but honestly I can’t begrudge them of that because it is also one of the best kept old towns I have visited so money is clearly going back into it’s restoration.
In saying this, I definitely enjoyed my stay. There is no doubt that it is a beautiful part of the country and I think I would like to go again down the line and give it another chance. There are also an abundance of activities to do while you are there and plenty places to visit.
If you’re a big Game of Thrones fan they run tours of the city showing you all the different places from the show. We caught one while we were visiting Fort Lovrijenac (which is the Red Keep!) and they tell you so much about the place, and the show which is great. While you are at the fort you also have the amazing view shown above of the Old Town. It’s 37 metres above the Adriatic so the view you get from there is amazing – and I think it only cost about €3 to go in and look around.
Within the Old Town there is so much to do. The ‘pile gate’ which is the main entrance into the city still to this day is a sight to behold, and once you get in you are faced with the main area called the ‘Stradun’ shown in the image above- the perfect spot for people watching, passing time and exploring the restaurants and cafes along it. A small warning if you get ice cream before you go into the Old Town and go near the parrots they often show off… they will try and steal it from you!
There are a range of different places to discover within the old town walls, such as The Square Of Loggia which acts as a central gathering point for both visitors and citizens. The day that I visited here there was a play being re-enacted on the steps as almost a hundred people watched. The big fountain of Onofrio and St. Saviours Church are both a short walk from the Pile Gate. Although usually quite crowded with people, it is still a lovely sight to behold and definitely something to look out for on your adventures. Before leaving the old town you can also take a stroll along the top of the city walls! Unfortunately it was too expensive for me at the time, and with such a beautiful view of the old town from Fort Lovrijenac we opted against it.
After our short stint in Dubrovnik we took a short bus ride to Mostar in Bosnia which is only about 2 and a half hours of a drive away. We took a bus which took 3 and a half hours and cost €15 one way. If you have a long stay in Dubrovnik I would definitely recommend visiting here for even one night as it is really beautiful and reasonably close!
Have you ever been to Dubrovnik? Or is it somewhere you would like to visit?