Dubrovnik is known as the number one Croatian destination.
It has always been known as a symbol of tourism in Croatia. But recently it has become widely popular all around the world thanks to Game of Thrones.
GOT created a huge hype around Dubrovnik.
I went to Dubrovnik for a visit on April 17, 2019. Read my impressions.
Accommodation in Dubrovnik
The best platform for accommodation is booking.com
How did I arrive in Dubrovnik
I went there by car from Split. I took A1 highway from Dugopolje to Ploce, 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.
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 summer due to high traffic.
The city 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 the town 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 the town.
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 the town is its centennial freedom.
Dubrovnik was an independent republic for more than 500 years.
It's 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, politicians would try to negotiate peace with their enemies. It was common for them to pay notable amounts of money for 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 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 can't be explained in words. You can feel its identity, originality, and people only when you arrive there. I urge you to do so.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best time to visit Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is great all year long! The highest tourist activity takes place in period March - October. If you want to avoid crowds, you can visit in February. If you find yourself in the town on February 3, you can celebrate feast of Saint Blaise together with locals. It's the biggest feast in the town all year long, and a great chance to have authentic experience of the town and feel its vibe.
Can I visit Plitvice Lakes from Dubrovnik in one day
Unfortunately not. The distance between those two places is too long for a day trip. You would need to book overnight accommodation in Plitvice.
Can I do day trip to Split from Dubrovnik?
Yes, it is possible. Especially, It's a good idea outside the high season when there are no many cars on the road.