Dubrovnik, Croatia is sometimes billed as the Jewel of the Adriatic. What they don’t tell you is it’s a place any single person should scratch of their travel list. If you’re hesitating about popping the question, don’t take your significant other here. Dubrovnik is the stuff romantic comedies are built on. Beautiful cafes, seaside breezes, blooming flowers. Did I mention you can’t walk ten feet without running into someone on their honeymoon? Terrible.
In all seriousness, Dubrovnik is a lovely place for singles and couples alike. With it’s well preserved Old Town, sea side location, and relatively affordable prices, Dubrovnik is poised to move beyond a cruise ship stop and supplant Paris as the city of romance.
Dubrovnik is a port town. So naturally their are cats EVERYWHERE. Relatively tame and approachable, be prepared to quickly succumb to their cuteness. Especially if you’re eating one of Dubrovnik’s famous fish dishes by the water.
Fort Lovrijenac aka, the Red Keep (Game of Thrones) in Dubrovnik Croatia. Pile Harbour, stand in for Blackwater Bay, is easily accessible by stairs. You can rent canoes and small boats in the bay for the day. Cost are about 300HRK or 40Euro. Also consider taking a tour. As the premier location of the Old Town area it deserves a visit.
What makes Dubrovnik truly special is how well preserve it is. Here you see stairs leading up from the main street to one of the several leading through the Old Town. Remember, THE ENTIRE CITY of Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage site. As one of the best preserved medieval cities in the world dating back to the 16th century, you can see why.
Croatia’s are VERY proud of their heritage and tradition. After years of war and turmoil in the region they have a zest for life rarely seen is such a tourist heavy destination. I met several Croatians that were in Dubrovnik for holiday as well. Choosing it over other coastal cities as they felt their culture is on full display in Dubrovnik.
One thing that’s inescapable, the crowds. Just go with it. Tourist arrive daily by the thousand. Especially with several major cruise lines porting here. Here you see the main strip. Although it may look like people are thinning out, in reality they are starting to come out as many hid inside to beat the heat as it quickly reached 35 Celsius in the summer.
Fort Bokar, built in 1461, looms over Pile Harbour. This is where Game of Thrones shoots scenes for Blackwater Bay. Totally accessible and beautiful. The small beach to the left is covered by kayaks during the day. Around 5pm they start to clear them out as the tides change. You can then walk down and watch the sun set and Old Town Walls light up.
Dubrovnik Old Town and Lokrum Island (in the background) at Sunset. You can also see a bit of the Old Town Harbor to the left where the Dubrovnik Aquarium is. From there you can take a ferry over to Lokrum Island. Takes about 15 minutes and 70HRK or 9 Euro. There you can swim in the Dead Sea and observe Peacocks.
In the background you’ll notice a pirate ship. YES A PIRATE SHIP!!! Dubrovnik has some stunning sailing options. As Dubrovnik has several ports in and around the center of the city, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to see some very cool ships. Consider taking a day trip aboard one to the surrounding islands. I recommend the Elaphites.
A two kilometer circuit, the Dubrovnik Old Town walls offer by far the best views of the city and Adriatic sea. This is sun setting behind Minčeta Tower. Best time to see the walls is about a hour before they close. The weather is cooling off and the sun is setting. Great photo ops. What really impressed me was how diverse the views are around the wall. Especially observing the people who actually still live in the Old Town.
TIP: If you’re a student BRING YOUR ID or ISIC card (I highly recommend getting one). The walls admission cost is 90HRK for adults or 12 euro and 30HRK or 4 Euro for children. Students get in for children’s price. This ticket includes admission to Fort Lovrijenac as well so hold on to it.
The attention to detail is what makes Dubrovnik stand out. Many of the homes here are maintain by their residents still. While there we observed some contractors repairing roof tiles on some homes. During the Croatian War of Independence, Dubrovnik was heavily shelled by the Yugoslav Peoples Army. Dubrovnik buildings sustained heavy damage but the walls held strong. Today you’ll notice the mismatch roof tiles from repairs.
Kayaking is a huge draw for tourist. Several companies and hotels offer rentals. Although tiring, it can be a great way to explore the islands and coast. Just be careful. Things can get choppy fast. I recommend you rent a jet ski for the day. Cost between 80-260 Euro +fuel. Depends on how long you rent and what model. Prices are similar with most companies.
Prior to arriving in Dubrovnik I visited Zagreb and Split. The other two major cities in Croatia. I was constantly told how expensive Dubrovnik is. I have to disagree. I found Dubrovnik prices VERY reasonable. Finding a small guesthouse for around 16 Euro. Food wasn’t anymore expensive than in the rest of Croatia with meals running around 10-20Euro. The major cost you’ll incur is activity based. Island cruises, tours (although there is a free walking tour), and rentals can be a bit pricey. But still cheaper than comparable places like Greece, Italy, or Spain.
If you’re looking for a great couples retreat or weekend with friends I highly recommend Dubrovnik.
High Res Images available on SmugMug or upon request.