Dubrovnik Coastal Fortress
Coastal fortress (Photo credit: Ivan Ivankovic)

Dubrovnik Travel Guide

QUICK FACTS

  • Located on the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik has a population of around 43,000.
  • The city of Dubrovnik has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979.
  • Dubrovnik is the jewel in Croatia’s tourism crown and a regular port of call for for cruise and sailing trips. In 2010, over 900,000 tourists arrived via cruise ship.
  • Considered one of the best medieval walled cities in the world. Recently, made even more famous as the filming location for King’s Landing in the Game of Thrones TV show.
  • Nicknames: Pearl of the Adriatic

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

  • Currency: Croatian Kuna (HRK).
  • Spoken languages: Croatian (English spoken by those in the tourism industry).
  • Best time to visit: the weather is nicest during the summer months (from June until early September). Nevertheless, the city is still a joy to visit in September and October, when tourist volume is down (and weather is still great).
  • Arriving via airport: a taxi into Dubrovnik Old Town will cost 320 HRK, while a bus ride will set you back 35 HRK (bus rides are about 45 minutes).

WHERE TO STAY

The Old Town is the centre of Dubrovnik and is a popular place to stay due to it’s proximity to shops, restaurants, cafes and bars. A short walk from the Old Town, the neighbourhoods of Ploce and Pile offer sea views and a quieter atmosphere.

GETTING AROUND

  • Walking is arguably the best way to see Dubrovnik!
  • If you get tired of walking, the bus system is the easiest alternative. Tickets can be purchased at a kiosk for 8 HRK, or on board (from the driver) for 10 HRK.

DUBROVNIK NIGHTLIFE

  • Drinking age is 18, and last call is 1 AM (some establishments are open all night).
  • The cozy bars in the walled part of Old Town may be small, but what they lack in size they certainly make up in numbers – with crowds often falling out into the street.

UNIQUE LANDMARKS TO VISIT

  • City Walls: built sometime between the 13th and 16th Centuries, this historic wall frames Dubrovnik Old Town and stands some 25 meters tall and 6 meters thick. Spread out within are four fortresses, all worthy of a look in their own right.
  • Old Port: the old harbour is one of the oldest parts of this ancient city and one of the most beautiful. The view across the harbour looking up over the walls is spectacular – don’t forget your camera!
  • Rector’s Palace: this palace was built in the late 15th century to take the place of two former standing palaces (destroyed due to an accidental gunpowder explosion).

INTERESTING WALKS

  • Walk the walls: expose yourself to some of the best views of Dubrovnik as you circumnavigate the Old Town. The walk is roughly 2 km long. Once you’ve teetered around the edges, wander along the cobblestones and see the views you’ve just admired from above at eye level.
  • Lokrum is a tiny uninhabited and unspoiled island (a 20 minute ferry ride from the Old Port). Hike amongst the greenery, stroll along the water’s edge and then take a dip to cool off.

LOCAL WISDOM

  • Tip: avoid the sunbathing tourists that crowd Banje Beach (Dubrovnik’s city beach) and get some quality beach time where the locals go. Sveti Jakov is a 20 minute walk away and although it is a favourite beach, it is hardly ever crowded.
  • If you’re swimming, be wary of sea urchins – wear rubber shoes or watch where you put your feet, especially in rocky areas.
  • Keep your eyes peeled for a sign saying “cold drinks, beautiful views” around the base of the west wall in the Old Town. If you spot the sign, follow it! You will find yourself at one of the two Buza Bars (Buza is Croatian for “hole in the wall”). These two bars have been carved into the cliff face and offer customers the chance to swim, jump off cliffs (although this is very dangerous) and enjoy a refreshing drink or two, all with an amazing view. The sunsets are spectacular!
  • Where to find good cheap eats: as Dubrovnik is a hot tourist destination, you will find most restaurants are quite expensive. Try to negotiate a discount!
  • Dangerous areas: despite the rumours, Dubrovnik is a generally a safe place to visit. You are more likely to injure yourself on the slippery stone footpath (take extra care when it is raining) or trample on a sea urchin when swimming than come into serious harm. Keep in mind that Dubrovnik is a popular tourist destination – keep your personal belongings close by and watch out for pickpockets.

RECOMMENDED DUBROVNIK GUIDE BOOKS

Recommended trip duration: 2-3 days


SEE ALSO:
Dubrovnik Travel Guide was last modified: September 28th, 2016 by Nick
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