Even though I only stayed for a few days in Dubrovnik, it really stole my heart. This not-so-hidden gem on the Adriatic sea proved to be the perfect mix between a sightseeing and adventurous holiday, and a relaxing and chill one.
I planned to go to Dubrovnik at the end of July. It was my first time visiting Croatia and, more importantly, the first time I travelled to a new country since the beginning of the pandemic. How exciting!
In total, we stayed for 2 whole days and 2 half-days (one afternoon and one morning) and, at first, I thought it would never be enough to visit and see everything, but it was actually perfect! The centre of Dubrovnik is actually very small and you don’t really need a whole day to discover everything. Here is what we did!
We arrived there in the afternoon and started exploring the old town by walking around the numerous streets, trying not to get lost. We walked up and down the main street, Stradun, then decided to grab a drink to enjoy the sunset.
We went to the bar Buža, a bar that is a bit hidden away behind the city walls. Its main feature is the fact that it is set up right on the rocks in front of the sea, so you can almost feel the waves touching you, while you admire the beautiful view on the Lokrum island, the closest one to Dubrovnik.
For dinner, we went to the restaurant Bistro Tavulin, which serves traditional Croatian food, which was absolutely delicious. I had octopus salad and fried calamari, while my boyfriend enjoyed one of the most famous traditional dishes: black risotto (or crni rižot in Croatian).
Our second day started early in the morning with an 8-am visit of the Dubrovnik City Walls. They are almost 2 km long and encircle the entire Old Town, dotted with towers and fortresses, and they are still very well preserved nowadays.
The visit of the Walls was absolutely beautiful as they overlook the beautiful blue sea and the colourful red-brick roofs of the Old Town. Needless to say, I took hundreds of pictures but they aren’t nearly as stunning as the views from the walls. If you go there in the summer, make sure to go early in the morning or in the late afternoon as it gets really warm very quickly.
After this tour, we stopped for some coffee and decided to try the short walk that my guide book suggested. We had obviously been through all the streets, but it was really nice to actually know what the monuments we passed in front of actually were. Then, we went on a Game of Thrones-themed walk that we found online, to check all the filming spots of this famous series. Even though I saw the series and loved it, I couldn’t really recognize some of them, but it was still a fantastic and entertaining way to discover new spots in the town.
In the afternoon, we went to the Old Town’s harbour and hopped on a ferry that took us to Lokrum Island, the small island that is located right in front of Dubrovnik. Within 30 minutes we were there and spent the entire afternoon wandering around nature. I will do a more detailed blog post about it as there is actually a lot to say about this beautiful island!
In the evening, we had dinner at the Dalmatino restaurant and ate truffle pasta (a Croatian specialty from the Istria region). On the way back, we stumbled upon rehearsals for the Summer Festival that was taking place and enjoyed watching what seemed to be traditional fold dances!
I won’t go into too much detail for this day, as I will talk about it in a separate blog post as well, but most of our third day there consisted of a boat trip around Dubrovnik’s closest islands, the Elaphiti Islands.
During this tour we visited Lopud, Koločep and Šipan and got some time in each to explore, relax and swim a bit. It was a fantastic experience and we got to see wonderful views and swim the clearest water.
In the evening, back to Dubrovnik, we enjoyed a fresh Mediterranean dinner with some delicious food, right in front of the “Walk of shame” stairs from Game of Thrones!
We had our flight in the afternoon so had only a few hours in the morning. Since we didn’t have anything booked, we spent a very chill morning strolling around the centre and stopped for a delicious brunch in a super cute little street, parallel to the main street. After that, we took the bus to the airport and left sunny and warm Croatia to go back to a rainy and cold Belgium.
To sum up, this trip to Dubrovnik is definitely one of my favourite memories from the past two years. Even though it felt a bit odd to go back to “regular” travelling and discovering a completely new place after many lockdowns and closed borders, it was also absolutely amazing.
Dubrovnik, despite being quite touristic, is a stunning city, and truly a Mediterranean gem. Even though we only stayed there for a couple of days, I really loved it, its narrow little streets filled with plants, the freshly-washed clothes hanging to dry in front of each window, the delicious food and warmd and sunny atmosphere. I would go back in a heartbeat!
Have you ever been to Dubrovnik? What did you think of it?