Dubrovnik is a gorgeous, very relaxing and romantic place. They have the friendliest immigration officers and taxi drivers I have ever met, in fact everyone was very friendly and this made the travel experience even more enjoyable. Unlike many other places I have visited they actually enjoy having tourists around as it creates jobs for the locals.
I was also impressed how affordable Dubrovnik is; we had amazing meals with fresh fish and seafood which cost us around €60. As the big coffee chains and fast food restaurants haven’t invaded the country yet coffee and small snacks are incredibly cheap, we paid €1 for a latte and to be honest it tasted much better than any coffee from Starbucks I have ever had.
Most places open only during tourist season which usually lasts from May through November. When we talked to some locals there they told us they worked nonstop all summer, saved as much money as they could and during winter they travelled around Europe.
We visited Dubrovnik during the Easter holiday and unlike previous years, the weather wasn’t very good, and many of the attractions such as the cable car and some of the tours were closed. However that didn’t affect our holiday much, and we still had an amazing time. The streets were almost deserted and we had the chance to explore the city’s medieval glories pretty much on our own.
Transport in Dubrovnik
There is a bus available from the airport to city center which costs around €6 per person and leaves every half an hour. The problem with the bus is that we would have to take a cab from the bus station to the hotel, so it wasn’t worth it but for anyone staying near the old city it is definitely a good deal. We decided to take a cab to the hotel which cost us around €35, our cab driver was extremely friendly, and the cab driver taught us about the culture and history so it was totally worth it.
Public transport is generally good in Dubrovnik, buses usually come every 15 minutes. Our hotel wasn’t close to the city center so on our first day there we took the bus to the old city which costs about €2 per person.
They also have the Dubrovnik card which gives access to all museums, some of the attractions including access to the walls of the Old City and also public transport. It costs around €25 for 3 days and it is a very good deal for people that intend to spend the holiday near the old city. As the weather wasn’t great, attractions were closed, and as we don’t enjoy spending too much time in museums we decided to not buy it, rent a car and drive round instead.
Things to do in Dubrovnik – Off-Season
Wander Around the Old Town
The old town is a very particular and special place; very different from anything I have ever seen I felt as if I was in a different era in this hidden place full of secrets. The architecture is so different from all I am used to; walking around the city we found these little hidden churches and cute houses that we could only see there.
We spent the whole afternoon wandering around the narrow roads climbing up and down the stairs, searching for hidden places and watching the locals. The Old Town is stunning during the day and very romantic during the night.
This tall wall which used to protect the city many moons ago is still very incredible, and locals are very proud of it. Walking next to the wall we found this passage (which looked very creepy from the outside and most people would be scared to go through it) which took us to an area outside were people can go swimming, and we had an amazing view of Lokrum island from there.
From the top of the wall we could see everything around the old city. There are still some cannons which were used in the past.
Ston – City Walls
One of the staff members at the hotel was born in Ston and kept talking about the place so we almost felt obligated to visit it, and I am glad we did. Ston is a cute little town and as we visited it beginning of April there were no tourists or nothing happening around there, so it was very peaceful and quiet.
Ston has the second longest defensive walls in the world after the Great Wall of China and the wall is well worth the time and effort to walk, and be prepared because it is a lot of steps and walking. I have to say I do a lot of exercising and my legs were very sore after that. The view from up there is quite amazing.
Near Ston there is another town called Mali Ston (literally means little Ston) which is famous for its Oysters. We stopped by this restaurant called Bota Sare where we had an amazing seafood meal. I will post a review of the restaurant later.
Mljet Island – The National Park
Visiting the Mljet Island was probably one of my favorite things we did while in Dubrovnik. As the tours to the island were closed we had to take the ferry with our car from Ston and drive around the Island. The ferry leaves three times a day, 7am, 12am and 3pm.
Mljet has the reputation of being Croatia’s most beautiful island. With very few people living there and no tours working because of the weather we pretty much had the island to ourselves, it was an amazing experience. We drove through the island all the way to the national park.
The national park is beautiful, the lakes are sky blue and super clean; we could see the bottom of the lakes. The vegetation is very well preserved; we hiked some trails through the forest for about 2 hours without meeting anybody else, all we could hear was birds and the wind. I saw some beautiful flowers, and even found a flower that looks like wild orchid.
Although the weather didn’t cooperate I still had an amazing time in Croatia, it was a very relaxing holiday. I definitely want to go back but this time I will make sure I book my tickets for summer time so I can do everything I couldn’t last time ;).
- Scenes from Dubrovnik (triciaannemitchell.com)
- Dubrovnik On The Rocks (iamsheglobal.com)
- Dubrovnik Delights (gallivance.net)