Well, well, well, yes, believe it or not, this places is named: Gil’s. This is not my own place even if the name looks like this ;-) This restaurant and bar is located between the walls of the old town and actually did not seems very inviting and service was a bit on the snobs side, so I don’t really know, maybe they look for those kind of customers which I am not, I just know I will not go for a drink here.
Fun Alternatives: In this city, there are thousands of other bars and restaurants which are much nicer and friendlier places to be in; you can check my restaurants and nightlife tips.
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.
Many of the restaurants have slipped cover charges into their menus this year, These can range from 10 to 30 kunas per head, regardless of party size and are a total rip off. I has quite an intense argument with a waiter about such a charge and he said it was to cover the cost of the bread we were given (not ordered) and bizarrely the cost of tablecloths and cutlery!!
Unique Suggestions: The arguments aren't really worth the hassle - what we started to do was to deduct these nasty little charges from the tip.
- Food and Dining
The new cable car - not worth the time and money
At the main gate, you get a lot of advertising on the new cable car to the nearby hill. We took it and it turned out to be a bad idea: the view is a kind of dull, and we could spend our time and 73 Kuna in a much better way. The reasons for the poor choice are: 1. the cables of the cablecar are always in view, 2. there areen't many places that you can go around, and 3. (the main one) is that Dubrovnik is a town to be felt from inside, not from far away.
Fun Alternatives: Much better alternatives are walks on the city wall (about teh same price) and walks within the city (for free)
- Hiking and Walking
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.
When in a restaurant of old town you are asked: would you like to pay cash or credit card? Just know the subtitle: if you pay with credit card you will be charged at least 3% more.
Fun Alternatives: pay cash, ATM machines commissions are cheaper.
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!
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 hotel rates in Dubrovnik
Accommodations in Dubrovnik can be hard to find in the peak season. Beware that hotel rates increase much in the summer time and other peak periods. The hotels knows how to make the most of this situation, and the exploitation of unknown tourists is palpable. Pay the price or leave...! 2-300 USD a night was the average rate for a doubleroom when I came to Dubrovnik in Juli 2008. Check out private lodging as an alternative.
The prices in Croatia has increased lately, and Dubrovnik is also the most expensive city in the country.
- Castles and Palaces
Parking in Dubrovnik
Parking is Dubrovinik is next to impossible in the summer. I spent over 2 hours looking for a parking space and then gave up. tTe only thing on offer at the time was a garage at 10 Euros an hour !
Unique Suggestions: Try to park on the outskirts. If tourists start waking instead of paying outrageous prices then the prices might come down.
Fun Alternatives: Waking from the outskirts of Dubrovnik. This might be a bit of a hassle, but you can enjoy nice views enroute
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.
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.
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
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