We began our Balkans holiday by flying into Dubrovnik. Easyjet do a load of flights there and they were really affordable from Gatwick (even if we did have to be up at 4 for the 7am flight time!). As soon as we arrived and headed in the car to the hotel, the beauty of the place hit me! With the bright orange rooves (roofs?! The word avoids me) and some of the clearest and blue-est water I’ve ever seen, I knew that this was going to be an awesome place to visit. So let’s get into it, with the top 4 things to do in Dubrovnik.
1 Walk the City Walls
Without a doubt, the first thing you will see when you enter Dubrovnik is the old town surrounded by its city walls! It, along with a heap of other towns along the adriatic coast were built by the Romans, meaning the impressive traditional wall surrounding the town. The Dubrovnik walls are particularly special as they surround the entire town and give you amazing views. You don’t get the feel for the town until you have been up.
The walls themselves take about 2 hours to stroll around and do include a whole lot of steps! We had a good wander, staring out over the sea to the nearby Lokrum island and to the other direction staring across the orange roofs. With the war in Croatia taking place in the 90s, Dubrovnik did get bombed which is why the roofs look so orange and new! Trust me, get walking the walls then it should hopefully go at least a little way to burning off all the amazing food and wine (and the wine is goooood in Croatia!).
2 Go Sea Kayaking
Now I’m going to caveat this one with 2 things, one you should like water, and two you should have some form of upper body strength. Now, I happen to lack both of these things but I still had it in my head that I reeeeally wanted to sea kayak. After seeing the waves on day 1, I was convinced I would never do it on day 2, though luckily they had definitely calmed by then! We did a sunset paddle which takes you from the old city, to a beach cove where you can swim and snorkel, off to Lokrum island and then back.
It is an awesome way to get a really amazing view of the city, and there is something special about being out on those waves. Even with all the bobbing, you do feel very safe when you are in the kayak itself. The water itself was cold but definitely bearable, even went for a little dip. I did however end up with no energy to paddle my way back home!!
3 Get the Cable Car to the top then walk down
You will notice when you get to Dubrovnik, the cable car snaking its way up from the old town to the top of hill overlooking Croatia. On our first day it was closed due to being a bit blowy, but we jumped on before sea kayaking and took the trip to the top! It is a very quick ride and a nice cable car – I didn’t get scared of the height luckily. Once you are on the top, you can go dune buggying, or we just walked the same trails which winds you through the greenery to some other gorgeous views. We walked up here for about an hour. There is also a zig zag trail which makes its way up the hill, I would have liked to have walked down but we were running to our sea kayaking adventure.
When you are up there, I also really recommend the restaurant for the view. It sits on the top of the mountain staring down, and is definitely the best view I’ve ever had with lunch! It does get blowy up on the mountain but they are very helpful with blankets if you need. The steak sandwiches were also delish and even if it is one of the pricier restaurants, it’s still a whole lot cheaper than a London lunch!
4 Go on a day trip
Now this one is a litttleee bit of a cheat, but just hear me out. Dubrovnik is a pretty small town and there is a heap to do there, but one of the beauties is its proximity to other awesome Balkans destinations. I totally think you could do a long weekend here and sneak in a little day trip. We decided to do a day trip to Montenegro and it was amazing!! (whole post to come soon!). But there are a heap of other options, to nearby islands, up the coast, to wineries and into neighbouring Bosnia.
Dubrovnik Basic Stats –
Where we stayed – We stayed at the Kamara Dubrovnik, it took around 20 minutes to walk into the Old Town but it is down / up quite the hill! The hotel itself was nice, clean and pleasant rooms at a reasonable price.
How we got around – Walking! There isn’t the need for much more though there are buses if you don’t feel like taking the hills. We got a taxi from the airport to the hotel which cost around 30 euros.
Where we ate – The food was goooood in Dubrovnik! We went to Pantarul which was near our hotel on the first night (+ top on tripadvisor!). It was really delicious and so affordable for what we got (bread, starters, mains, wine, beer and a bottle of wine for under £50!). Panaroma restaurant at the top of the cable car, and Dubravka 1836 for the views and great pizzas.
Average spend – In general meals were cheap, around £7 per meal per person in the local kuna. The tours were both around 35 euros each.
Overall, Dubrovnik was an amazing city to visit and I’m so glad we started off our trip here. The perfect place to make you forget about work and ease you into an awesome trip.
Have you been to Croatia?
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