Croatia – what can I say about the place? Ruddy loved it. Last Sep/October, we spent 15 days travelling around the mainland as well as some of the Islands (Korcula, Vis & Hvar).
First stop in Croatia, was Dubrovnik.
Getting to Dubrovnik from Montenegro was relatively cheap and easy. We took a bus from Kotor (Montenegro) to Dubrovnik taking around two hours costing us €15. From there, we needed to get to the Old Town so jumped into a taxi. It took around 10 minutes. Regular buses were also running into the Old Town for a more cost-effective option.
Depending on your travel style, this can differ for most. We wanted to travel on a budget where possible. Location was also key, with that in mind we found a great place at £19 per night, which was a private room/w en suite rather than a whole apartment. It was perfect for us as the room was spacious, we had a great balcony view which got the sun in the afternoon and a shared kitchen. Best of all, we were a 8 minute walk from the City Walls!
Do – City Walls
You can’t really come to Dubrovnik without visiting the City Walls. It’s the cities biggest attraction. As we were here in shoulder season – the wether and crowds were much more bearable. We rocked up early afternoon and queued for less than 5 minutes to get tickets / get in. Not being a die hard of the Game of Thrones, we skipped the filming tours. Albeit, we were still in amidst of them whilst walking around on our own. But hey, taking around 1.5 hours we made our way around the perimeter, stopping off every corner to take in the views (and get snap happy of course). Even if history isn’t your thing, you can definitely appreciate the sheer scale of this place and imo get some of the best views you’d see of the city. If you need a history run-down, then find out more here.
Do – Old Town
Again, close to the City Walls is the Old Town – which is also sort of big deal. We head over here late afternoon and spent a couple of hours wandering around, soaking up the culture and drinking way to much coffee (way). Stradun is the main street which runs through Dubrovnik. I came across this in typical me fashion, wearing inappropriate footwear and slipping on the limestone floor! But if you’re sensible, you can appreciate this street all the same.
Tip: Besides wearing sensible footwear, so you’re not resembling Bambi – visit at night when the streets all lit up. It’s like something out of a medieval fairytale (if there was such a thing).
Do – Sunsets
Ok, well this one isn’t a revelation. Nor is it limited to Dubrovnik (because we had some epic sunsets throughout the whole trip) but it was pretty special. After a first day in the city, casually exploring the Old Town – we headed to Buza Bar. It’s a not-so-secret cliff edge bar located within the City Walls. Finding takes a little effort (or if you’ve got data, then google maps helps you out all the same). We grabbed a few overpriced bevvies and popped ourselves on the rocks below the seating area ready to watch the sun come down. Us and the other 100 people there. A group of guys bought their guitars and just started singing, others started joining in. It was a moment.
Do – Sea Kayaking
We booked this when we got to Dubrovnik as we knew it easy enough to haggle prices from different activity boards. This was on the itinerary before we even got to Croatia – so heading out on the day I was a tad excited.
We opted to do it in pairs, I took the back seat (less effort needed apparently) and out of sheer fright, I kept my camera in the bag the whole time so sadly there’s no action shots of the route up to the cave. We did an 8km kayak in total going round to get views of the City Walls before heading over to Lokrum, the Island which is visible from the Old Town. The final stretch was the cave, where we saw the most crystal clear waters. If you’re a whimp like me, you’d save the jumping in until now. Visiting late September has its downside and that’s that the open sea is normally a little COLD.
Tried and Tested
- Particularly lunch and dinner, if you want food without being overcharged for it, head outside the city walls. Like most tourist traps, the prices are always higher for usually mediocre food. We had dinner in the City Walls on the first, it was the most expensive of the trip. So that’s tried and tested for you.
- Try the pizza. It’s ruddy good.
- Visiting in shoulder season is all well and good, but it doesn’t stay warm when the sun goes in. Take a jumper. You’ll thank me later.