Except for finding a parking spot, you will not go wrong anywhere else in this town; situated in the southern most edge of Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, it’s a 11th century walled city preserved to perfection; a port-of-call by many cruise ships and a prime Balkan destination for all other travelers. We hopped all around Balkans by road & ferries but, Dubrovnik became our favorite main-land destination while Hvar island being the most favorite of all of Balkans. No wonder, UNESCO named Dubrovnik the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’!
What To Do in Dubrovnik (Top Things To Do in Dubrovnik)
Here is the list of things you should do in Dubrovnik and the list does not portray any priority or order, whatsoever.
Stay inside the Walled City Limits
We stayed at a VRBO apartment right in the town square by the clock tower and it was worth it, with sea view on one side and town square on the other. The old town is amazing and lively from dawn to next dawn; lots of activities, fabulous restaurants with bars and local shops. Spend an evening sitting at one of the outdoor bistros, people watching. Old town is also a great place to purchase antiques and local artwork (more about purchasing antiques in Balkans in a different blog).
Vehicles are not allowed inside the walled city, so you will have to park your car outside the Old City, but its all worth it. All travelers staying inside the Old City drag their bags across the town to their hotels and we did it too.
Take a city tour and walk on the wall
City Tour is a must in Dubrovnik as there is so much of history to learn and understand – from Illyrians, Slavics, Byzantines, Greeks and the most recent detachment from Yugoslavia. The city is surrounded by a wall which makes an Old town.
Walking on the wall surrounding the city is another great activity to do, where you will circumnavigate the entire town in about 2 to 3 hours of walk. Its a great early morning exercise with sun still behind the Dinaric Alps mountain ranges in the east, that provides perfect golden light for pictures of red roof tops of the city.
Eat Seafood (Tuna at it’s best)
Tuna is one of the most famous and sought after fish anywhere on the Dalmatian Coast; It is served fresh and typically roasted on a grill called Rostilja with their local olive oil. Take every opportunity while in Dubrovnik to eat tuna in all different forms. Another great seafood dish to try is – Brodet (Fish stew), but any type of seafood is jaw-dropping-and-clinching in Croatia. I recommend to have an ‘all seafood’ diet while in Croatia rather than trying any of their meat dishes, mainly because of Adriatic Sea’s famous nutrient rich waters!
Have breakfast at a Pekara
Pekara is bakery in Croatian, as Panaderia is in Spanish; they are all over the New Town or anywhere you go in Croatia. You must have at least 1 breakfast at one these Pekaras’ – freshly baked bread woven with local Pag cheese (from sheep milk) and topped with local wild berries and washing it down with hearty coffee that will require to a real spoon to stir rather than a plastic wand.
Drink at Buza Bar
One of my top bars in the world, the Buza Bar, I visited at least 3 times, the atmosphere was – open sea winds, situated on a rocky cliff on the shore, access through a semi-natural tunnel passing beneath the walls of the Old city. It is rated as one of the top bars in the world, just for it’s location. It doesn’t matter what you drink here, its the atmosphere!
Take Old City Picture from Jadranska Cesta
Even if you do not have a vehicle of your own, get a taxi and drive on Jadranska Cesta road to take the panoramic picture of the Old Town. Its a story book picture and very unique.
Go Island Hopping
Visit a local tourist company and organize a day trip for Island Hopping, its lots of fun and you will visit some amazing islands, and wonderful beaches including – Lastovo, Korcula, Miljet, etc. The beaches are perfect. They also organize tours to Hvar and for deep sea fishing.
Visit Kotor, Montenegro
Visit to Montenegro will require a full-day trip; we covered Kotor and Budva. On the way we visited a prehistoric cave of Nearderthals, skip it if you are not into prehistoric ruins. Left early in the morning and returned back late in the night, but it was worth it. Kotor has Europe’s southern fjords as well as a walled city similar to Dubrovnik. The walls were built to evade the invasion from the Ottomans. The drive around the Bay of Kotor was one of the most beautiful drives I have done in the world, with an Orthodox monastery in the middle of the bay. The Old Town of Kotor has great restaurants and filled with tourists.
Visit Mostar, Bosnia
Visit to Mostar will also take you an entire day, it is in Bosnia and Herzegovina; but worth a visit – the conglomeration of Christianity and Islam, influence of Orthodox and Ottomans. Great place to see the after effects of the Yugoslav war as well as purchasing some amazing World War II and Austro-Hungarian antiquities. We drove back to Zagreb, Croatia via Bosnia, so we did a one night stay in Mostar. More about Mostar in this blog –