Beautiful Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik
Somehow I had never wanted to visit Dubrovnik. In the 1980s only old people from Germany went here. Then the war came and big parts of Dubrovik were destroyed. Only then I thought of it as a normal town with people actually living there, not some kind of "Disneyland for Pensioners". They rebuilt everything rather quickly and Dubrovnik came back to the people's minds. And it came back to mine. I heard a lot about the city and slowly I felt I needed to go there (Maybe it was just me growing old ;). So when we planned our trip through Croatia I made sure that Dubrovnik was on the itinerary.
I enjoyed sitting on the rocks behind Buza 1, taking pictures at nights, sitting at the little port - with piano or without. I loved leaving the main street to escape the tourists and looking up the steep steps to where the "real people" live. So yes, I liked Dubrovnik, it's spectacular!
However, the usual problems spectacular towns have occured also here:
Prices are higher than anywhere else in the country, the quality, however, is usually lower. You constantly have the feeling of being ripped off. It feels like everybody here wants your money, especially annoying guys who want to make you sit down in restaurant A whereas on the next corner the girls want you to eat in Restaurant B. Luckily we had prepared ourselves on VT and in our guesthouse so we escaped the tourist traps quite well.
There are too many tourists in town which ruins the atmosphere a bit (I really enjoyed Dubrovnik in the evening hours when most of the cruises had left again and when the locals reappeared!) I wouldn't want to see it in summer, in May there were more than enough people here!
To cut a long story short: Dubrovnik is a great town and it deserves to be a tourist magnet. So go there! Everybody should have seen it. And when everybody will have seen it - I will go again to see all the nice areas that we missed during our stay! ;)
You must go up onto the wall and circle the city if you are physically able. This is a fantastic experience. Cost is 30 Kuna Croatian, which is less than $US10.
Fondest memory: Views... From every point the views are spectacular.
Favorite thing: Just walk in the streets, main street Stradun is nice, but also the rest. Enjoy various artists performing at the open spaces and feel the good atmosphere. Lots of restaurants. Lots of tourists in July.
Favorite thing: Arriving at Dubrovnik by the airport your onward journey to the walled city will invariably be via the high coast road and as you approach you get these wonderful visitas of Dubrovnik old town jutting out into the adriatic. A great way to start a visit here.
Favorite thing: The Rector's Palace deserves closer scrutiny from the outside - so much detail, the more you look the more you notice - its probably the most ornate of the buildings in Dubrovnik. It has ornate gothic arches with intricate carvings on them - all different. My camera had a happy time here ! Two of the capitals are from the original Palace, such as the one of the Rector administering justice to the citizens - shown in pic 4.
Favorite thing: Lapad peninsula (See map pic 2)is regarded as one of the most beautiful parts of Dubrovnik. Its beach is the largest beach in Dubrovnik and is located in Lapad bay, very close to the Lapad walking Zone and in the near vicinity of several hotels, many restaurants, cafe bars, tennis courts, children playgrounds. Inbetween Lapad nad the Babin Kuk peninsula is Uvula Bay. Unfortunatelt we only got to sail past this area on a boat trip but it did indeed look very pleasant.
Favorite thing: Dubrovnik is just as beautiful at night, maybe even more so. One of the best things about staying in Dubrovnik is being able to wander the street at nightime - see how quiet it is now and the from the lamp reflections along the Stradun the polished marble floor glistens almost like gold. Other buildings like the Cathedral and Rector's Place are also beautifully illuminated. We even had a full moon to enhance our enjoyment of a night stroll here :-) Please see more night scenes in the travelogue below.
Dubrovnik is situated in the southernmost part of the Republic of Croatia. It is rich in cultural and historical monumenta and is included in UNESCO World Heritage List. Nature lovers can find here a true Mediterranean landscape, sailors will find marinas and blue sea, it has also excellent sports and recreational facilities and air, sea and road links with the rest of Europe and the world.
Fondest memory: The city of Dubrovnik is the most southerly Croatian town. Its climate is Mediterranean with average yearly temperature of 17C degrees, characterized by very mild winters and very dry, sunny summer. The average temperature is about 10C in winter, and about 26C degrees in the summer.
Favorite thing: The Stradun is the main Dubrovnik's street. It is inside the walls of the ancient city and you can find many shops, bars, cafe, restaurants and so on. It is full of tourists and it's absolutely lovely.
Stradun used to be a channel dividing two settlements. It was filled up in 12th century - joining together two small communities. The building of city walls begun at that time, too, because of frequent attacks by Venetians, Arabs, Serbs, Macedonians and some other intruders.
Surrender and enjoy. Evening is the right time for slow walk up and down (because it isn't very long, of course).
Take a walk to Trubadur bar, and check if there is some jam session announcement for that evening. In that case, don't even think about getting a seat after 20.00. Grab one comfy bamboo chair and order something good. I'll have Pina Colada, please.
And after the music stops echoing through narrow streets, there will still be many smiling souls wandering up and down Stradun promenade.
I was in Dubrovnik in the off-season, but even in February it is a beautiful place to visit. The weather is mild and the tourist crowds are absent, although you'll definitely sacrifice some of the ambience that the crowded cafes and improved nightlife in the summer months provides.
In July and August, Dubrovnik hosts a high brow Summer Festival featuring concerts and plays (think Shakespeare, not Broadway) in many of the city's beautiful courtyards and palaces.
Outside of the city walls, Dubrovnik is no more remarkable than most coastal Croatian towns. I was surprised to learn that its population is only 30,000. After all, it is probably the best known tourist destination in the country (although here on VT there are more Zagreb tips than Dubrovnik ones), but most of what you're likely going to be interested in is located inside the Old Town.
Rising above the Old Town, you'll find Mount Srd and the now empty Fort Imperial, which was built by Napolean's occupying army in 1808. I didn't make it all the way up the hill, but even half-way up, the views are spectacular.
Favorite thing: Photos of Dubrovnik right here on VT are the reason that I packed my bags and decided to visit Croatia. The moniker, "the Pearl of the Adriatic" may actually be an understatement (maybe a diamond would have been more appropriate?). I took this picture from the back window of the Croatia Airlines bus as I was leaving town, so it's not the best example of what inspired me, but hopefully something on this page will inspire you in some way.
Dubrovnik is rich in cultural and historical monuments and is included in UNESCO World Heritage List.
The very favourable geographical position of Dubrovnik made its development based on maritime and merchant activities very successful through its history. From the entrance to the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik is the first port protected by islands on the maritime route to the West, and by way of the Neretva Valley, it has the fastest connection with its hinterland. New archaelogical excavations in the foundations of the present City prove that a settlement existed in the 6th century or even earlier.
Favorite thing: Like pretty much everywhere else in Croatia, Dubrovnik presents endless wonderful opportunities to sit at outdoor cafes and enjoy the world passing by. We took in a few glasses of Croatian wine and lovely sunset at one of the sidewalk cafes in the old city's Placa. The clock tower at one end can be seen in the background.