The spectacular city of Dubrovnik - nicknamed the Pearl of the Adriatic Sea and established in the oh-not-so-distant seventh century, is home to a sea port of azure-blue waters, happy friendly locals and Croatian wine not to be missed. Since Dubrovnik juts into the sea and is surrounded by thick medieval walls, it provides the perfect haven of traffic-less and cobblestoned Old Town to satisfy the history buff while pristine beaches and clear waters thrill the sun seeker. Oh and did I mention that it’s the location for filming the King’s Landing scenes in Game of Thrones? (here's a link to a self-guided tour so you can check out the spots yourself).
While you're visiting this part of Croatia, we recommend the necessary things to do in Dubrovnik to get the most out of your visit plus some restaurant and bar recommendations for the foodie and socialite!
Top 5 Things to Do:
1. Drink Croatia’s wines - They are DELICIOUS:
2. Head to the beach:
3. Get off the land and into the water - When the city gets crowded with cruise ship dumps (see more on that below), you'll want to escape the mass of people and hit the water:
4. Stroll the old walls of the city - Get a feel for the city early on in your trip by popping up here simply for the views from the top, and at 2km around it takes about an hour to walk. Some parts date back to the tenth century, with most construction taking place in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Big backpacks aren't allowed as some parts of the wall are a tight fit so just come up in comfortable shoes, be aware of the hot sun and simply a camera to capture the spectacular sights. Look out at the (almost) uniform grid plan which was instilled as early as the 1270s and upon rebuilding the city after the 1667 earthquake, when the city was almost entirely destroyed, things were rationalised even further.
5. Gunduliceva Poljana Market (Gundulićeva poljana) - This food and souvenir market has been open since 1892, inside the old city by the Rector’s Palace and Cathedral. Head here (early!) for fresh fruit, veggies and bring home jars of local specialities like honey, olives and oils (Croatian oil is SO GOOD). My souvenir of choice would be some handmade table linen, reminding me of my trip every time we dined. If you're planning to cook on your trip, keep an eye out for seasonal produce like tomatoes, courgettes, peaches and melons in the summer. And for the more daring, pick up a plastic bottle of Rakija, a locally homemade, and very potent, liquor.
Some additional tips for your visit:
Top 5 Restaurants:
For dessert in any traditional location, make sure to try a slice of Dubrovnik Rozata - a flan-type dessert made with Dubrovnik Liqueur Rozalin (a rose liqueur), which gives the cake its special aroma.
Wait til you witness the nightlife of Dubrovnik - you'll see the happy locals out for dinner and wine, excited tourists celebrating a weekend away and generally a friendly crowd of people who know they're going to enjoy a night of imbibing and socialising. The section called Lapad Peninsula is busy all year round, even throughout the winter while many bars and restaurants close down in the Old Town outside of the high season.
Top 5 Bars:
Enjoy your trip to Dubrovnik and don't forget to mention in the comments if you discover any more places to recommend to others travelling there!
As usual, thank you to other travel bloggers, local experts, Twitter chats and more for contributing to our content:
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Siamac and Julieanne are avid world travellers, sun worshippers and enjoy sharing recommendations of treats they've encountered along the way. With this blog and Concierge99's Top 5 Guides, they can help you make the most of your travels, giving you an opportunity to find interesting and unique things to do wherever you are in the world.
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