Eastern Europe’s best-kept secret is out. Dubrovnik, Croatia is a medieval marvel on the Adriatic Sea. The incredible seaside, ancient medieval structures and palaces, eclectic mix of cultures and overwhelming fortress walls that line the maritime city-state of Dubrovnik create an atmosphere of fantasy and fairy tales. It’s no wonder the city has earned the nickname “The Pearl of the Adriatic.”
As the city grows more popular among tourists and traveling adventurers, nows the time to visit this gem decorating a peninsula of the Dalmatian coastline. When planning your trip, know when to go, what to see, and book your flight and hotel early because this destination is a growing attraction for globetrotters year-round.
When to Visit
According to the Telegraph website, the most popular time to visit Dubrovnik is in the summer months of June through August. The best time to visit Dubrovnik is between May and June or September and October. During these times, the weather is still warm and it’s beautiful at the seaside, but there are less crowds and travel is significantly less expensive. The low season of November through April can still be beautiful, but the weather is colder and less-reliable and some attractions may not be available.
What to See
The sights to see in Dubrovnik are endless so, depending on how long your stay is, you’ll have to pick and choose. Old Town is a popular spot for locals and tourists, offering shops, restaurants, entertainment and attractions that showcase the culture and history of the city. If you happen to be visiting in the summer, you will have the pleasure of enjoying the events, entertainment and nightlife of the famous 45-day Dubrovnik Summer Festival. Don’t miss a historical tour of the intimidating 13th-century city walls originally built and re-enforced to protect from invasion. For uncrowded lounging on the beach, take the short half-mile trip to Lokrum Island. This scenic spot is also home to the 19th-century Napoleonic Fort Royal and a Benedictine monastery built in 1023.
Where to Stay
The city is more catered to tourists now than a couple decades ago, and there are accommodations suitable for all preferences. For a luxurious celebrity-like stay, try the Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik. This hotel is located on a cliff with spectacular ocean views on Miramare Bay offers first-class service and convenience as it’s walking distance from several popular tourist attractions. For a smaller boutique experience, stay at Villa Dubrovnik, which is conveniently located near Old Town and Lokrum Island.
What to Eat
The cultural melting pot that is this mysterious city makes for some diverse and delicious cuisine choices. Proto is perhaps the most popular and bragged-about restaurant in the city, and for good reasons. This revered eatery has been around since 1886 and has had over a century to perfect its seafood menu. Lokanda-Peskarija overlooks the ocean in Old Port and continually gets rave reviews for its delicious local fare, affordability and amazing views. Speaking of which, for some of the best views in the city try Buzza Bar. Not much food to offer but it’s the perfect place to sip cocktails while sitting atop a cliff above the breathtaking city walls.
What to Remember About the Culture
Like any place that’s foreign, remembering and respecting that there are different customs and cultures is important when visiting. Dubrovnik is meshed together with several different cultures from around Europe, which creates a unique and interesting atmosphere. The main languages spoken are Croatian and English but there are influences of French, Italian and even Latin. According to Telegraph, don’t be alarmed by the nudist beaches sprinkled along the coast usually marked by a sign that says “FKK” which stands for a German word (Freikörperkultur) that means “Free Body Culture.” Also remember that the war in this area of Croatia isn’t very old and a sensitive subject among some locals, best not to bring it up.
Contributed by: Amber Sanchez