Known as ‘the pearl of the Adriatic’, famous for its history, and a UNESCO World Heritage site – Dubrovnik, Croatia is by no means underrated. Its harbor is the quintessential Croatian image: crystal blue waters, red rooves, cream walls, cobbled streets and medieval stone. It is a beautiful city with an enticing energy. Although it is the southern point of the country, every traveler in Croatia is eventually heading here. Let Dubrovnik lure you in, and prove that it lives up to the hype.
Experience the Old Town of Dubrovnik, Croatia
The medieval city walls define Dubrovnik. They contain the old town, preserved in history yet saturated in energy. The past is respected, but not boring. Young travelers are drawn to it just as much as mature couples and older holidaymakers. The beauty of the old town is timeless. When a place is this beautiful, everyone wants to witness it. Old, young, poor, rich, classy traveler or slumming backpacker, it does not matter. Dubrovnik will capture you.
Unlike many places, Dubrovnik is not amazing because of what there is to see or do. There are not particularly renowned museums or galleries. There is not an extensive list of tourist attractions to check off. Instead, all its greatness is in the city streets. Strangely, especially the shape of the old town. The base is the center, at sea level, where the streets are flat and full of market stalls. All along the sides, long narrow staircases take you to the top entrances. These are where you can find hidden restaurants and bar gardens overlooking the rooftops. It is a place to walk and to explore. Indeed, there is no other way than by foot as the streets are too old to accommodate present day transport.
Walk the city walls
You can walk the stunning raised pathways that encircle the town. You have to pay, and tickets are well overpriced. Yet ultimately, the experience is well worth it. Be sure to bring a student card – if you have one, it is about a quarter of the price. Once you climb up the city walls, all questions of money dissipate. The next moment is encompassing as the beauty of Dubrovnik lies all around. It is in the bustling city streets you look down upon. It is in the surrounding ocean in the shadow of coastal mountains. It is in the red-roofed layered architecture that extends into the distance. And it is in the traditional, smooth stone beneath your feet.
Changing, yet invariably magnificent, views keep presenting themselves as you move along the walls. It’s difficult to choose which way to look. Outside the town, you have vast, natural beauty in the crystal blue waters surrounding you. Red, sailed ships pass slowly by. On the other side, you have the old town and a privileged view of its tiny streets and wandering people. Keep traversing the city walls; you will experience uneven steps and previous battle towers. You can climb inside and look through old cell windows.
Stray cats follow you along the way. The use Dubrovnik as their own personal playground. The layered, overlapping buildings are perfect for them to navigate playfully.
Be sure to take this city wall experience in the evening. In the dimming light, you gain a powerful perspective of the town with the changing, lowering sun. The air becomes soft and hazy, settling into the fresh evening. You have the perfect view to watch the sunset between the houses and watch shadows creep into the center of town.
Visit the harbor
The port of Dubrovnik is classic image of the country – the front cover of every Croatia Tourism book. The actual port is on the other side of the city. This is where modern cruise liners and ferries come in. Yet, the old town harbor is the historic hub. Now, you can still get boats out from here, but only for local industry or tourism tours. One ride you can join takes place on a pirate ship. Watching this white-sailed, wooden-bodied boat pull into the harbor is an epic moment. It takes you around the surrounding scenery of Dubrovnik, lining the city walls and encircling the nearby island.
If you prefer to stay on land, there is a lot to do here. Take it easy – grab an ice cream and sit on the harbor side. Alternatively, have a drink in one of the waterside bars, classy but expensive. Continue around the corner and climb the rocks at the base of the walls. Jump off and swim in the refreshing cool waves.
Relax on the beach
If you want more space to swim, there is a beach just outside the old town. It is easily accessible and popular for its view of the harbor, white sands, and perfect waters. Where is Croatia? It lies in the heart of favorited European climate. Its shores are technically part of the Mediterranean Sea. The Adriatic is a joy to swim in, and Croatian weather is as good as it gets. Swim in the crystal, clean ocean, with huge mountains behind you and a classic historical scene in front.
There is also a bar to enjoy some day drinking. It gives the beach a humming energy that is not overpowering. There is music but peace, people but space. This is the perfect place to relax, the finest of Croatia beaches.
Take a tour
Dubrovnik contains a rich cultural history. It has strong medieval roots and is full of stories of battles and defensive fortresses. Various travel guides detail the accurate history. However, of course, the best way to discover it is through experience. Taking a tour can be a great way to do this. There are many around – look like a tourist and someone will jump out and talk to you about joining one.
Or, just take your own tour. Wander the streets, soak up the culture and appreciate the many architectural treats. Old churches, medieval steps, heavy wooden doors, colorful glass windows, art galleries, museums, markets – you will find all the classic cultural beauties in Dubrovnik. Wandering around, you might be lucky enough to catch a wedding. They are busy and hard to miss, taking over the central town church.
The city streets are iconic for many reasons. Many people know Dubrovnik for its setting of shows and movies, like Game of Thrones and Star Wars. There are many opportunities to embrace the fandom. Specific tours cater to showing you the real life version of fictional places. Join in – they are fun to follow and easy to find.
Dubrovnik is the place to go
The tourism of Croatia is gaining momentum. Its beauty and culture have inspired a movement, and the popularity of the country is only growing stronger. Beautiful, old, welcoming, natural, cultural, fresh, chilled, and lively: these are the words of this place. If you seek a new travel destination or a vacation getaway, look no further. Dubrovnik, Croatia is the place for you, indeed – for anyone.