I decided to save the best for last; Dubrovnik was the highlight of our trip to Croatia. We stayed in an amazing Airbnb with a huge patio and a view of the city. The city is the perfect destination, with amazing beaches, islands to explore, an assortment is Michelin star restaurants, beautiful castles, and lots of history.
Like most of Croatia, the city is filled with red-roofed clay buildings and ancient stone walls. Dubrovnik looks very similar to other Croatian cities, but it has the vibe of a big city. It is very lively with plenty of things to see and do.
It is fairly easy to get around, many tourists rent scooters or take the bus. Driving in the city tends to be a bit hectic as there is quite a bit of traffic. We walked to most places and took an Uber anywhere that was more than a twenty-minute walk away. There are quite a few hills, so walking it not for the faint of heart.
Where to Stay
The hotels in Dubrovnik are very expensive, although if you are hoping to have a luxurious vacation it could be worth it to shell out the extra cash and spend the duration of your trip lounging at the resort style hotels.
It really all depends on the experience that you are hoping for on your vacation. We deffinitely wanted to site see, so we opted to stay in an Airbnb in the Pile area, which is a short walk to the Old Town but away from all the noise of the main city.
Areas to Stay
Cavtat is south of Dubrovnik and 30 minutes away from Old Town, but it has a life of its own with bakeries and restaurants.
Gruz is where most of the cruise ships come in, just north of the Old Town. Accommodation and restaurants are a bit more economical in this area.
Lapad is a hilly area that is west of the city. It is a great place for an outdoor enthusiast and couples.
Old Town is right within the walls of all the action, a historical setting that is central to all the main attraction.
Ploče is located on the eastern side of Dubrovnik. It combines the best of both worlds, views of the ocean and historical charm. A short walk away from the Old Town.
Pile is a small suburb outside of the Old Town close to the Lovrijenac fortress.
Must See & Do
Deciding on what to see and do in Dubrovnik, is dependent on your interests. There are wineries, museums, shopping, and the beach. The attractions that I highlighted are the ones that I enjoyed.
A good way to get a taste of everything is by purchasing the Dubrovnik Card. It includes admission to City Walls, local museums and discounted rates on restaurants and hotels. The one day pass is 315 KN which works out to $48 USD or $63 CAD.
Dubrovnik is known for its City Walls, which is the setting from Game of Thrones. I was there during the summer so it was quite hot. I would recommend going first thing in the morning and bringing a hat, sunscreen, and bottled water. The admission to City Walls also includes access to the For Lovrijenac that overlooks the City Walls and is the set of “Kings Landing” from Game of Thrones. The perfect spot for a photo opportunity.
Located a short ten-minute walk from the Old Town, Banje Beach is a beautiful spot located on the Adriatic Sea, with the castle in the Old Town as its backdrop. A great place to relax and enjoy the sun.
Lokrum Island was an enjoyable day trip, not only for the bunnies and peacocks but for the swimming area, botanical gardens, monastery, and fort. The Island is in close proximity to Dubrovnik and there is an outstanding view of the city from the Fort.
There is an iconic rock formation located on the beach, which was made famous via Instagram. It took us a while to find it, I would recommend getting directions from the lifeguard on site.
There are no real beaches on Lokrum, the waterfront is all rock formations with ladders leading into the water. Although there is no sand, the rocks are quite comfortable to lie on and the water is very warm. There is also a private area of the beach that is a nude beach and clothing is not optional.
Cave Bar More
This one may not be a must-see but I thought it was worth mentioning. Our Airbnb host suggested that we check out the Cave Bar More. I found it to be very unique, it is located in a boutique hotel in Lapad. We went for sunset, but I think it would be an enjoyable spot to spend the day. The bar overlooks the water with cabanas and a roped off swimming area. The bar serves snack bar as well as drinks.
While we were there the service was terrible, so although it is a really cool spot to check out, don’t expect the same level of service as you would find in North America.
Dubrovnik is a must-see if you are planning a trip to Croatia. I had heard mixed reviews and don’t get me wrong what people say about Dubrovnik is true. It is very busy, touristy and expensive but has a lot going for it as well and that is probably why it is so popular. I felt like it lived up to the hype and was worth visiting.
If you are planning a trip to Croatia, check out my post on planning a trip to Croatia and my recommendations for Split.
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