Croatia seems to be off the grid for many euro-jetsetters who choose to venture to more mainstream travel destinations in Europe. However, in the last few years, the Adriatic Coast has seen a rise in tourism, particularly in places such as Dubrovnik, Split, and the Adriatic Islands.
It’s easy to see why anyone would want to visit Dubrovnik. Nearby islands entice party-goers or those in search of a tranquil retreat, while on the mainland, Dubrovnik offers cultural insight, cobbled corners and caverns or week’s worth of delicious delicacies served in local restaurants and bars.
The beaches in Croatia are also a top attraction, with crystal clear waters and limestone caves offering refuge from the Mediterranean sunshine. Dubrovnik’s coast is swarmed by aquamarine water and there are many different coves to explore when you’re ready to cool off and unwind after a morning sightseeing.
Top Tip for Traveling in Dubrovnik
For travelers who want to travel economically, bring a refillable water bottle and use the ancient stone fountains that still work today. The water is drinkable and means you save both money and the environment by not buying plastic water bottles!
Island Hopping Dubrovnik
There are lots of islands to visit nearby Dubrovnik, which makes it even more of a travel magnet. Those who plan an island-hopping holiday might like to swing by Dubrovnik for a day or two, whereas those who prefer to spend most of their time exploring this ancient city might take a day trip to nearby island paradises such as Koločep, Lopud and Mljet.
Each island has its own charm but by far our most recommended if looking to spend more than a day somewhere is Mljet. Most of the island is a national park and you can cycle almost everywhere. Shake the hustle and bustle of tourism off, leave your bags at your hotel and spend the day exploring the nature that thrives on the island. There are plenty of other activities to do as well, such as kayaking, scuba diving and more!
Dubrovnik Old Town
A medieval city preserved to its finest detail, Dubrovnik Old Town is visited by many travelers every year. Situated on the coastline and surrounded by the glistening Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik used to be Venice’s rival as a trading port. Between the 11th and 17th century, it was considered one of the sturdiest city-states.
Although some of the Old Town has been restored (after the Yugoslavian War) you can still walk through Dubrovnik Old Town and discover the Baroque churches, palaces, and monasteries, as well as Renaissance facades and fountains. The majority of the Old Town is covered in marble-paved squares and is home to many ancient buildings on narrow cobbled streets that tell a tale themselves and will remain unchanged for centuries, as Dubrovnik’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Interesting places to visit and things to see in the Old Town:
- Dubrovnik Cathedral
- Church of Saint Saviour
- Sveti Vlaho (St Blaise) Church
- Palace Sponza
- Palace Knezev Dvor
- Monastery Museum
- Franciscan Monastery
- The Cloister
- Dominican Monastery
- The Pharmacy (used to be a monastery)
- The Bell Tower
- Dubrovnik’s Old Port
- Pile Gate
- Jesuit Stairs
- Orlando’s Column
- Onofrijeva Cesma
- Placa street (main street)
- Luža Square
- Gundulic Square
One of the best ways of seeing Dubrovnik’s Old Town and most of the monument’s squares and buildings listed above is by doing a walking tour. You can walk the city walls of Dubrovnik Old Town on your walking tour and soak up the sea air as you peer over winding streets and white marble squares. Many Games of Thrones fans visit Dubrovnik to see many of the famous film sets used in the notorious series.
Explore the cobbled streets of Dubrovnik (you could get happily lost here) or enjoy a cool refreshment in the square while you take in the ancient ruins and stunning Venetian architecture. If you’re a fan of music festivals and plan to visit in the summertime, be sure to stick around for Dubrovnik’s summer music festival, held in the Old Town.
If walking isn’t your favorite holiday activity, contemplate taking the cable car over Dubrovnik to view a miniature medieval city from above. The views are impeccable and you can even wine and dine at the panoramic bar and restaurant whilst enjoying the view and treating yourself to a cocktail or some homemade ice cream (or both!).
From Dubrovnik, there are plenty of options for your next stop on your trip and lots of transport options to weigh up, as well. Read through the following transport methods and route options to get an idea of where you can go next!
Boat: If you’re keen to get out onto the Adriatic and explore the islands, you can buy a boat ticket on the same day you plan to depart and get a catamaran or ferry (depending on the journey) to your next idyllic island.
Plane: Dubrovnik airport has connections with many European locations (particularly during high season) and you can find economic flights to many diverse destinations.
Bus: Connections for buses in Croatia are boundless, as bus is the main form of public transport here. The railway network in Croatia is limited, so if you plan on using public transport, you’ll have much more luck with buses. You can get buses out of Croatia too if you’re keen on exploring more of Europe.
Car: If you choose to rent a car, you can choose between more of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina or even Montenegro and further south down the coast, Albania!