View from the walls
Dubrovnik is known as the number one Croatian destination and the most famous symbol of tourism in Croatia. There is a really huge hype around it. Some of the famous world actors and business people visited Dubrovnik. That's why it is considered to be an elite resort. Furthermore, a few episodes of Game of Thrones serial were recorded on Dubrovnik walls.
I went to Dubrovnik for a visit on April 17, 2019.
How did I arrive in Dubrovnik
I went there by car from Split. I took A1 highway from Dugopolje to Ploče, then continued by a local road. I had to pass BiH border crossing in Neum, then continued down the peninsula Pelješac and arrived in Dubrovnik. All the roads were good and the trip was comfortable. I waited less than 5 minutes on the border crossing. Since I am an EU citizen, I needed only government ID to pass the border.
Croatia is currently constructing the bridge called "Pelješki most", which should solve the territory division problem. Neum, a small BiH city has to be surpassed to reach south Croatia, including Dubrovnik.
The trip took me approximately 3 hours (not counting stops). I could avoid the highway by taking local road D8 from Split to Ploče, which features beautiful sights along the sea and places like Omis, Makarska, Tučepi, and Živogošće. But the trip would take me one hour more (it would be totally 4 hours of driving from Split to Dubrovnik). Furthermore, D8 road is occasionally clogged during the summer season due to high traffic.
Dubrovnik features a large underground garage for cars, with parking price of 2.5 euros/hour.
My first impressions
After I left my car in the garage, I immediately went down to the old city (10 minutes walk).
Dubrovnik was already filled with people, despite the fact that my visit was in April. It is one of the rare cities in Croatia with high tourist activity during the whole year.
Since my visit was only a day long, I had only time to do two main activities: take a walk on Stradun and tour of Dubrovnik walls.
The fanciest Dubrovnik's street is called Stradun. You will see crowd walking up and down throughout all day (and probably night). The first thing most visitors do after arrival in Dubrovnik is to take a walk on this street. Dubrovnik's history is highly related to it. It is the site of action for many stories, myths, love, and nightlife during history.
Stradun features the most beautiful architecture art of Dubrovnik. Church of St. Blaise is a Baroque masterpiece of art. Same is palace Sponza, former place of residence of rich Dubrovnik's family, and the Prince's palace, the former prince's residence.
After (or before) taking a walk on Stradun, it's time for a coffee or food in some of its restaurants or bars.
One of the most imposing facts about Dubrovnik is its centennial freedom. Dubrovnik was an independent republic for more than 500 years, which is quite an incredible taking into account the fact that we are talking just about the small city.
The Dubrovnik Republic resisted the Turkish and Venetian attacks thanks to its walls, but above all, thanks to the greatest skills of the Republic's diplomacy. Whenever there was a chance for it, Dubrovnik's politicians would try to negotiate peace with their enemies. It was not uncommon for them to pay notable amounts of money for their freedom.
After sightseeing Stradun, it was time for the best part of my visit: sightseeing Dubrovnik walls. I paid 28 euros for the ticket. That was the most expensive ticket I paid for sightseeing in Croatia, but after the visit, I can say it's worth it.
It took me two hours to finish the walk on the walls. Sights were amazing. It's hard to describe with words my experience. It was really unique. The main attractions were the forts and panoramic view of the city.
The alternative way to explore city walls is kayaking. You can rent a kayak and enjoy a ride around the old city.
I didn't write much about Dubrovnik, and I think there is no real need to write much about it. Dubrovnik is an experience for itself. It should not be tried to hard to explain in words. You can feel its identity, originality, and people only when you arrive there. I urge you to do so.
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