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Famously coined as the ‘pearl of the Adriatic’, Dubrovnik is a magnificent mele of Churches, monasteries and museums. Shielded by a curtain of stone walls, the main pedestrian thoroughfare, Placa, is lined with artistic cafés, shops and outstanding monuments. Beyond the marble streets and stone walls is a paradise landscape of beaches, wooded peninsulas and a sea scattered with lush islands. What more can you ask for in an extraordinary holiday destination?
We recommend visiting Dubrovnik for 3-5 days outside of peak season when the streets are less crowded and the weather more accommodating. High season runs from the beginning of June –August. Here are our essentials, which give you a guide on how to spend your time in this historic slice of paradise.
If you are flying in to Dubrovnik airport there are plenty of taxis waiting outside the airport that can easily and affordably take you on to your final destination. A taxi into the very centre of the city should cost around 260 Kuna (between £25 - £30 depending on the exchange rate). There is also a public bus that runs from right outside of the airport straight into the city centre which costs 50 kuna (around £5).
For affordable luxury, we highly recommend Hotel Kazbek. Constructed in 1573, Hotel Kazbek is a beautifully renovated renaissance castle with all of the modern amenities you’d expect from a luxury hotel. Each of the hotel’s rooms are a work of art, beautifully gesturing to the castle’s turbulent history while maintaining the convenience and elegance of a 21st century 5*hotel. The staff are incredibly welcoming and proud to share their knowledge and experience of the city. Every guest is made to feel like a VIP at this stunning boutique hotel. And, to top it all off – the breakfast is to die for.
Spend the day on the majestic, botanical Island of Lokrum. Sea buses run on the hour, every hour, from the main port in the city. The island offers a great location for swimming, snorkelling, and leisurely walks around the botanical gardens and wild life reserve. If you are lucky, you may also draw the attention of a wild peacock or two.
For the more adventurous traveller, we highly recommend Cafe Buza 2 for an afternoon of rock jumping and deep-sea swimming. A tiny bar clinging to the outside edge of the city walls, Cafe Buza is perfect pit-stop during a day exploring the city. Chill out here with a cold beer and enjoy the sun, or cool off by jumping into the crystal blue Adriatic from the varying heights of sheer rock face.
Famously, Dubrovnik also offers an incredible festival culture. To name a few, throughout April and May Dubrovnik hosts the International Film Festival, followed by the Dubrovnik Summer Festival in July and August, when the whole city becomes a stage and is buzzing with theatre.
You should stay here
Beautifully renovated renaissance castle with all of the modern amenities you’d expect from a luxury hotel.
Great rooms overlooking the water, the Hotel Lapad is a good quality hotel with a pool. Make sure you ask for a room with views of setting sun (with balcony).
You should do this
Cave Bar, Hotel More
In the unique setting of a natural cave, this bar is the kind of place not to be missed. Although slightly pricey, the location and ambiance of this bar are worth the extra pennies. Live music, the spray of the ocean and alcohol. Sold?
Venture off the beaten track
The plethora of side allays and winding streets are where the shiniest and loveliest of Dubrovnik’s gems are hiding.
Your Country Guide
Anouska is a regular writer for Not Just a Holiday, with a special interest in Spain, Italy and France.