Buying a drink on the walls
In the summer the sun is quite intense and there is almost next to no shade. Purchasing a small (500 mL) bottle of water and a can of Coke from a snack bar cost us 7 euro.
Unique Suggestions: Bring lots of water and wear a hat!
Avoid the Stradun for food
Not so much a trap but advice. The stradun is absolutely packed in August and tables are not easy to come by on the main route. Take one of the small side passages and find something a lot quieter. There are plenty of places to choose from.
Boat Trip to Elaphite Islands
I wanted to spend some time on Sunj beach on Lopud, so we shelled out the 22 kn for the excursion. I don't mind the price for this, but the islands were disappointing. A bit plastick-y feeling at the harbours (which is pretty much all you have time to see of Kolocep and Sipan) and not much to do. As for Lopud, you get there at the hottest time of day and it's a long-ish uphill walk across the island to Sunj with very little shade. Sunj itself was indeed sandy with warm and shallow water, but very busy and again, a bit artificial feeling. Very disappointing.
Unique Suggestions: Make sure to pay the extra money for lunch on board the boat, which was delicious grilled sardines and very fresh salad.
Fun Alternatives: Go to Lokrum - the beaches aren't sandy but there are plenty of places for swimming and it's easy to find plenty of places where there is no one else around. The inland bit of the island is incredibly beautiful and as most people seem to go for the beaches, it never feels crowded and you can walk for ages without seeing anyone. Also it only costs 35 kn from the old harbour and boats run every half hour until 20:00.
Restaurant Orhan- garnish, what garnish?!
I'd read several recommendations for this restaurant so I was anticipating a great meal and nice ambience. What a disppointment! It was pricey in comparison with lots of the other places we ate and the food was mediocre at best. Worst of all - I had the fried fish fillets and was told they came with a garnish of chips. I ordered some vegetables as well, which turned out to be a small pile of Swiss chard with a couple chunks of potato - no sign of chips until I ate one fillet of fish and underneath I found two (count 'em) chips!
Unique Suggestions: Just have the salad bar.
Fun Alternatives: Moby Dick konoba on Prijeko did the best squid I tasted while in Dubrovnik.
I love churches and religious art and was really looking forward to seeing all the reliquaries. It doesn't cost much to see the treasury - I think it was 7 kn as of July 2004 - but for that, you only get to peek into a glassed in room. It is full of the most amazing gilded kitsch, but everything is piled in and virtually nothing is labelled in English, so you end up having no idea what you are looking at. I was quite disappointed.
Unique Suggestions: Just take in the huge amounts of gold and OTT-ness of it all. Ask the ticket peron to point out Jesus' nappy.
Fun Alternatives: The best religious building we visited was the Dominican Monastery (up the staircase near the Ploce gate) which was 10 kn and had loads to look at, all well labelled, and a beautiful church and cloister as well.
VT is a trap!!
Considering I was a little banged up from my visit to Split, I spent a little more time than usual cruising the internet while in Dubrovnik. For 20-50kn depending on where you go (less than 10USD for sure), you can surf the web for an hour. There are two places just off of Stradun on the northern end (up the hill).
Don't let the ticket fool you, there really aren't many fish displayed here besides the one pictured on the ticket :) Easily the biggest tourist trap I came across in Croatia. Hardly worth the price of admission to watch the aquarium's lonely sea turtle suffer in it's tiny enclosure. I truly hope things have changed since my last visit. Avoid this sight at all costs !!!
- Budget Travel
- Work Abroad
Restaurants in the Old Town (Prijeko street)
The restaurants in the Prijeko street (and some other areas in the Old Town) all appear to be soooooooo nice, BUT trust me you won't taste national cuisine, and you will get ripped off. Don't EVER go to places that are packed with tourists only.
Fun Alternatives: Instead always go where local people go, trust me - we care deeply about what we eat and of course decent price is a must for most of us too.
Actually, this doesn't apply ony to restaurants, it applies to everything (bars, clubs,...)
- Budget Travel
Swimming - be prepared
Swimming in the Adriatic off Mlini was brilliant but....
do not rely upon buying what you need at the resorts. Because of the pebble beaches and spiny urchins, take swimshoes.
Unique Suggestions: To enjoy the clear waters even more, take snorkel gear - kit at the resort is often cheap quality and limited choice. Lilos are available for weak swimmers to "snorkel" from and lack of currents and waves mean low risk to floating away.
Excursions in Croatia - there isn't that much
While on holiday near Dubrovnik, we found the excursions expensive and limited. We did a half day at £10 per person (the cheapest) then found that the drive through delightful countryside was the few kilometres to the village next to the airport, taking an hour to do as we stopped to collect at hotels en route. So 4 hours became 2 of picking up and dropping off, 1 hour of guarding seats int he shade to see a half of country dancing (very good) in Cilipi and half an hour in the village.
Unique Suggestions: Consider sharing a taxi (between 4 a saving on coach fair) and you control the timetable. Take water and maybe snacks and a cushions for the stone steps. Calculate where the shade will be when the show starts and guard that spot.
- Arts and Culture
The only down side to to...
The only down side to to Dubrovnik or Croatia as a whole is getting there. Your best bets are the bus down the croatian coast or the ferries that run from Rijeka in the north travelling along the coast to Dubrovnik then across to Bari Italy. With appologies to the people of Bari. Bari is a pit. You don't want to spend any more time in Bari than you have to. *key tips* the ferries don't run on sundays. Arrive on sunday and you will find yourself trapped for a day. Another key tip is that the ferries leave at midnight the ticket windows don't even open till 7pm. You are not doing yourself any favors hopping on the 6am train from Rome to arrive in Bari early.
Underwater view boat
This boat costs you about 10 EUR and all you get to see are rocks and grass, so not really worth the money (or the time).
- Diving and Snorkeling
This is not a tourist trap
After long day(s) in exploring Dubrovnik you need quiet place and still night to rest your tired body!
Cavtat can provide it to you.
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