As a travel blogger and slight control freak (I must admit) I like to know exactly what I’m going to be doing on holiday in fear of fomo, which is why I wrote this post a few weeks back. Much to my surprise I not only stuck to my travel diary, but it actually turned out really useful as Croatian public transport is a bit of a shamble – but more about that in a separate post.
I’m starting my Croatia island hopping series at the very beginning in Dubrovnik. Of course there’s a lot more to this city than just the Old Town, but I wanted to focus on this particular area as this is where we spent the majority of our free time including every evening; and that’s because we absolutely fell in love with it’s atmosphere.
The moment you step foot inside the city walls you’re transported into another era. It feels as though the Old Town homes it’s own world, a million light years away from reality. The high stoned walls keep you warm and at a distance from the outside in a way that only feels safe. Any lane you choose to walk down smells of delicious home-cooked cuisine, whilst live music on every corner relaxes your soul. And these feelings are only intensified when the sun goes down.
I’d definitely recommend walking the city walls on your first day as you really get to appreciate the beauty of Dubrovnik from this perspective, as well as it gives you an insight as to the size of the Old Town and where you’re going to be wandering in the coming days of your travels.
The above photo shows the main entrance into the Old Town with the stairs to the left which is where you start the walk of the city walls. You can book a tour that gives you small perks like entrance in less crowded zones, however I personally prefer exploring places solo as this gives you limitless time to take photos and just enjoy the scenery.
Croatia as a whole has so many creative photo opportunities if you keep your eyes peeled.
The city walls take around two-hours to walk depending on how often you stop which in our case was many – but just look at these views! I couldn’t stroll any slower if I tried.
As you continue walking the walls your eyes are instantly drawn to the Adriatic sea and the heavy sun’s reflection in it’s waves. Then at the end of this passage you’ll come to a cafe which I definitely suggest making a pitstop at as it’s your only chance of a fresh drink during this walk.
Other Old Town Attractions
- Palaces: Palace Knezev Dvor, Palace Sponza
- Churches: Church Sveti Vlaho, Church of Saint Saviour, Dubrovnik Cathedral
- Monasteries: Dominican, Franciscan, The Cloister, The Pharmacy, Monastery Museum
- Squares: Stradun, Luza Square, Gunduliceva Poljana
- Monuments: Onofrijeva Cesma, Orlando’s Column, Jesuit Stairs, Bell Tower
- Towers and Fortresses
- Old Port
If you walk through to the Old Port and follow the path around to the right, you’ll come across a viewing spot with benches overlooking the harbour. If you come here at night it’s a beautiful place to lie on the ground and stargaze. The sky is so clear and there are countless stars. You can even spot Mars from many places around Dubrovnik.
Another tip of mine is to allow yourself to really get lost inside the Old Town. It wasn’t until a few days in that myself and my boyfriend did this and we were so thankful for it. There’s so much more beauty and character inside these narrow pathways, plus the deeper inside you go the cheaper the food and drink is (we’re talking half the price). There’s also loads of gift shops – my favourite being the Christmas shop!
It was also allowing ourselves to get lost inside these pathways that led us to the Spanish steps by Saint Ignatius Church. For any Game of Thrones fans reading this (I’ve never seen it) this is where ‘The Walk of Shame’ scene was filmed. Also the most expensive scene in the series as they had to pay all of the shops, bars and businesses for a full day’s work while they closed down, alongside privacy guarantees to the locals.
Old Town at Night
Dubrovnik’s Old Town comes alive at night and is a great place for people watching. We sampled several cocktails and beers in many bars and restaurants but our favourite tipple spots have been narrowed down to two. The first is where I got this awesome exotic cocktail in a very cool aztec glass, however I’m so annoyed at myself for not writing down the bar’s name and I can’t find it anywhere online. The second however is called Congo and was our all time favourite bar as it has the best and most extended cocktail list I ever did see. Overall cocktails and beer across Croatia are really nice, but every wine I tried tasted worse than your local Wetherspoon’s home own.
Hope you enjoyed this first segment into my Croatia island hopping series. I have quite a few more destinations, national parks and experiences in the schedule, so make sure to keep an eye out for those if you’re planning on travelling to any island south of Split soon.