Can you believe that one small city in Croatia can be the movie set for Games of Thrones, Star Wars and Robin Hood? Games of Throne and Robin Hood we can imagine, but Star Wars? That city is Dubrovnik, A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Dubrovnik, a city steeped in history with stunning architecture, is located on a stunning harbour. No wonder it is top of the lists for location movie sets.
If you haven’t been to Dubrovnik, we recommend that you put it on your bucket list. It’s a city that today can expect to have over two million visitors per year, half of them from cruise ships. It can be very busy inside the walls at the peak of summer when you may have up to five cruise ships berthed in the harbour on any one day.
Here are a few things to consider when you are looking at Dubrovnik holidays.
The Time of Year You Visit is Important
Timing is of the essence. Enter the city before 11am and after 4pm, and you will miss the crowds. Plus, it will be cooler, especially if you are visiting in the height of summer.
An alternative time to visit is in the spring or autumn period; this is the shoulder period. The cost for accommodation is lower, the crowds fewer, the locals have more time to engage with you and the local tour operators can offer competitive terms.
Finding Quiet Dubrovnik Holidays
The City Historical Walls are impressive at two kilometres in length and circling the entire city. During the initial construction visitors to the city had to bring stone with them to gain entrance. The walls were constructed during the 12th and 17th centuries to protect the city but did not see a war until last century during 1991-1995.
To avoid the crowds, enter the gate and steps to the battlements at 8.15am. There is a fee and best to check at the time of your visit, as it’s likely to change. Plan to wander at your leisure and expect to spend two hours or more taking photos, just enjoying the views of the old city below you and of the islands and the ocean around you.
Don’t Forget the Old Port
There are plenty of restaurants to choose from that overlook the Old Port. Bring water, sunhat and sunscreen and take time to stop at one of the restaurants for a welcome snack and drink.
Within the city walls you can spend time wandering down the Stradun (main street) and enjoy the architecture of Orlando’s Column, City Hall, Bell Tower, Rectors Palace and the Cathedral just to name a few sights. The Old Port still looks the same as it did back in the 15th century.
Enjoy Croatian Wine and Gastronomy
If you enjoy wine, you will enjoy Croatian wine. We love our Australian Wines but dare we say Croatian wine may just beat them. Don’t think that you can go into your local wine shop to try a bottle before you travel there. You won’t find any Croatian wine outside Croatia. The boutique wineries sell locally and do not export. The locals and visitors consume it all. Try the Rosé.
Dubrovnik is also well known for its gastronomic delights. The food is incredible; there are many restaurants to choose from inside and outside the City Walls.
Enjoy a Sunset Dinner or Specialised Tour
We can recommend you take the chairlift up to Mount Srd and enjoy a meal at the Panorama Restaurant in the late afternoon to view the sunset; bookings are essential. You can also take a 20-minute ride out to Cavtat and enjoy a meal at the local Bugenvila Restaurant on the harbour. Both of these restaurants are our favourites and ones that we will definitely return to.
To get a deeper understanding of the importance of Dubrovnik and its position in recent times, consider booking one of the specialised tours: Historical, Games of Throne or War.
With Two Days in Dubrovnik
In two days, you could enjoy the City Walls and its surrounding Old Town as well as enjoy a Games of Thrones, War or historical Walking Tour. You would be able to visit the museums and the cathedrals whilst enjoying the day and night atmosphere of locals and tourists mingling.
One travel tip is to purchase online the Dubrovnik Travel Card at dubrovnikcard.com. The card opens all the doors to the top attractions. There is a 1/3/7-day pass.
With More Time in Dubrovnik
If you are able to spend more time you might enjoy the Island of Lokrum. Every 30 minutes there is a departure from the Old Port. On Lokrum you can experience wonderful scenery as you walk the many hiking trails and stop for lunch or a coffee.
The Island of Korcula is accessible via ferry, bus or car. It is an island full of history, stunning architecture and very fine wines. Another option is a day tour to the Elaphate Islands of Kolocep, Lopud and Sipan to enjoy the local marine life and local cuisine.
You could also do a half day wine tour of the Peljesac region or a day tour to Mostar in Bosnia/Herzegovina.
Have you ever visited Dubrovnik? Do you have plans to visit Dubrovnik in Croatia? If you have been to Croatia, what else did you enjoy doing? What additional sights would you recommend? Please share in the comments.