Dubrovnik is a unique and beautiful city! During our trip through Croatia we stopped in many places for a short time but we stayed in Dubrovnik for 3 days. 3 days felt like the perfect amount of time to get accomplished what we wanted without feeling rushed. We stayed in a rented out apartment with a local Croatian family. They were very welcoming and so nice! We actually sat on their back deck for about 2 hours the first day there just talking about everything! It was such a great experience being able to talk to a local about the country and get a better view of what it’s like to be Croatian.
Some of you may or may not know that Croatia was in their own civil war from 1991 to 1995. A lot of the country is still recovering from the damage that was done. The house we were staying at was still being worked on as well as several others on the street. Most of the big attraction areas such as Dubrovnik were quickly renovated to accommodate the tourists since tourism is a huge source of income for the country. The city even has rules about when construction is allowed. Starting June 1stthrough August, construction is not allowed as to not to disturb the tourists on vacation.
The house we stayed at was actually just outside the city. We drove our car into the city to a parking deck every day. There are 2 parking decks close to the city center. One of them, the one right next to the city center, is also a hotel parking deck. DO NOT park here even though it says public parking. It is a huge rip off and way too expensive. They charged us 170 Kuna or 30 USD for only 4 hours. The parking deck up the hill from the city center may be a farther walk but it’s much more affordable. We paid 45 Kuna which is about 8 USD for a full day of parking.
Our first day in Dubrovnik started in the evening. We decided to just go to the city and walk around with no real plans. We had eaten a late lunch so we were not hungry for dinner but of course we still got some ice cream. It was a relaxing evening just walking through the streets and checking out the shops. We also went to the tourist center to see what other things they had to offer and how much things were going to cost.
The next morning we decided that the first thing we should do is walk the city walls. The later in the day the hotter it would be and the more crowded it would be so the morning was the best option. Walking the city wall cost 180 Kuna for 2 people so that’s about 32 USD. If you go during a hot time of the year be sure to bring water with you! It is a lot of walking with tons of steps! I’d say it took us about 2 hours to complete the walk. Walking the city wall is definitely a touristy thing to do but definitely worth it. It gives you a great view of the beautiful city and waterfront. If you do walk the walls take a look at the shingles on all the buildings. You can see which ones are old and dirty and which ones are new after being replaced after the war.
Just outside the city there is a cable car that takes you to a high point for a great aerial view of the coast. Taking the cable car cost 188 Kuna for 2 putting it at 33 USD. The view from the top is amazing and well worth the visit. Also at the top there is a war photography museum to view if you’re interested in the history of the Croatian civil war.
Finding a place to eat in Dubrovnik is very easy. There are tons of restaurants inside the city walls and they all had menus in English. The restaurants right on the main walking street are more expensive so go back through the smaller streets to find a unique quaint restaurant. Everyone we came into contact with in Dubrovnik spoke English. They definitely cater to the tourist side of things but I never felt like I was being ripped off (minus that one parking deck).
We felt like walking the city walls and taking the cable car were the only tourist things we wanted to do. We spent a lot of time walking around and exploring on our own. We made sure to walk to the coast and check out the beautiful Adriatic Sea. The coastline is very rocky which makes for some great cliff jumping if you’re into that sort of thing. I am not into that but my husband is. He found a great place to safely cliff jump as I sat, enjoyed the views and took pictures. Sitting out on the rocks and watching the sunset was so relaxing and quiet.
Speaking of quiet places, our last day was actually spent in Cavtat, a small city just south of Dubrovnik. The guy from the house we were staying at actually recommended visiting Cavtat as it was a less touristy place. It was a small quaint and relaxing city right on the water. We went to the beach for a few hours (Croatian beaches are pebbles, not sand) and enjoyed doing nothing. We went into the city area and walked their shopping area and ate a late lunch with some delicious wine. We had ordered wine at other places in Croatia and always felt like we were only given a few sips. Well this place filled up our glasses and had great prices! We sat on these awesome lounge chairs outside and watched the sunset.
Our entire Dubrovnik experience was amazing! We did the typical touristy things, explored on our own, and had many relaxing times together. If Dubrovnik wasn’t so far away I’d definitely go back!