Dubrovnik, a city located in the southern part of Croatia is a hot tourist destination for many reasons. The history of this beautiful city is dark, but the people have come out stronger on the brighter side.
Thanks to Last Minute, our not so last minute break turned out to be amazing! From booking a whole package (flight and hotel) to renting a car, the process was very smooth. The top three filters I always apply to my hotel searches are; spa, breakfast (or all inclusive depending on the destination) and a swimming pool. We ended up staying at Hotel Dubrovnik Palace and we were really impressed with the hospitality we received.
Renting a car can be a headache but I definitely recommend everyone to rent a car in this gorgeous city because you become flexible and we only paid £10 a day for our Volkswagen UP! Cheap, I know! We didn’t have to worry about paying for public transport everyday.
We did quite a few things during our stay in Dubrovnik and I will list them down here mentioning places to visit if you only have 3 and a half days in this city.
Our hotel was in Lapad, a peninsula located outside the Old Town and it was about 25 minutes drive from the airport. If you don’t have a car don’t panic, there are public buses and you can buy tickets from any newspaper kiosk. There’s a Daily Pass ticket which allows you to travel on the buses for as many times as you like throughout the day. They also offer “S” tickets which allows you unlimited rides around the city within an hour.
Lapad has a few well known beaches of the city; Copacabana, Cava and Uvala Bay. These beaches have a few sandy patches but they’re mostly pebble beaches. Because the temperature was in its low 20s, the water was very cold for a swim! So sunbathing at this time of the year sounded like a better thing to do.
In the evening, we decided to visit the famous Old Town and see what the actual hype is all about. I tell ya, this place is like a treasure and it contains secret, hidden and golden alleys and forts! The number of restaurants, cafes, ice cream parlours, juice bars and so much more, believe me you’ll never leave this place hungry, and you will definitely be spoilt for choice. There’s just so much in this place and it really made me feel like I was on a movie set, going into a whole different medieval city and guess what? It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We decided to stay at our hotel during the day and make use of the lovely indoor swimming pool and the jacuzzi on the 10th floor as well as get a relaxing massage therapy done at the spa. The staff were so friendly and always ready to help with anything and everything. There wasn’t much of a language barrier because most of the locals we encountered could speak and understand English.
Later on in the day, we thought of checking out the Tower of Lovrijenac. The tower was built in the 11th Century when the people of Ragusa Republic were resisting Venetian rule. There’s quite a number of steps to climb before you actually get to this tower but the views of the Old Town from the top of this tower are breathtaking. We did book another spa treatment for the next day though. Guys, visit Peppino’s when you’re at Old Town, the ice cream is the creamiest and the tastiest I’ve ever had! I didn’t even have such good ice cream when I was in Venice!
Cable car was the plan today along with visiting one of the many Elaphite Islands. We drove up to Fort Imperial, it was one of the most breathtaking drive in Dubrovnik but the most scariest as well but only because of the narrow lanes. We’ve come back alive though so it’s not that dangerous guys. Luckily enough the waiting time wasn’t bad, in fact we only stood for like 5 minutes before we got into the cable car and made our way down to Old Town. Cable car is totally worth it especially if you don’t have a car because you get to see some stunning views of this gorgeous city. Once we reached Old Town we had some brunch at Gradska kavana Arsenal Restaurant and Coffee House, and I definitely recommend this restaurant to all of you! The setting was gorgeous and most importantly the food was delicious! We headed back up to Fort Imperial and we visited the Homeland War Museum on the ground floor and there was a lot of interesting information on the dark history of Dubrovnik so its definitely worth a visit if you like museums.
We cannot visit Dubrovnik and not go to at least one of the famous Elaphite Islands. There are lots of tours offering round trips to three of the thirteen islands however looking more into the reviews we didn’t find the tours worth it so we ended up going to just the one; Lopud island. We caught a ferry from Gruz harbour and it took us about 50 minutes to get to Lopud. We chose Lopud in particular because we heard of the white sandy beaches (although obviously the weather was slightly too cold for a swim). The port of Lopud is bustling with restaurants and cafes, but overall this beautiful island is filled with greenery. The island has ruins of 2 monasteries, 30 churches and a few palaces. We visited the Fort Spanjol as well, there’s quite a bit of a climb but the view from the top is totally worth it.
For our last meal we went to one of the popular restaurant in the city, Taj Mahal (Bosnian Cuisine) and we thoroughly enjoyed our meal at this particular restaurant.
5 top tips:
Many places accept card payments but a few don’t so we would carry our Revolut card which had the lowest conversion rate almost everywhere we went.
If you want to go to the most spectacular view points then hire a car! It’s really not expensive to rent a car in Dubrovnik and we didn’t have any problems with parking etc.
Don’t forget to pack a pair of walking shoes/trainers etc along with your flip flops. There’s quite a lot of walking to do especially around the Old Town!
Don’t bother pre booking your tickets for the cable car because you will have to wait regardless. You’re better off buying the ticket on the site and avoid any disappointment.
Make sure to call any tour operators and double check on the activity to avoid any disappointment. We did want to try the buggy safari, but luckily before we booked we found out that we don’t get to drive the buggy so we thought that would have been a bit of a waste.
Our trip to Dubrovnik was one of a kind, and I am definitely looking forward to exploring other cities in Croatia. So once again, Hvala Vam Dubrovnik!