Looking for the perfect vacation or a honeymoon destination? Dubrovnik could be what you are looking for! Dubrovnik has always been on my bucket list and everyone I spoke to before I went had said it was either on their bucket list or they had been and loved it. Not one bad report! And I see why, it’s amazing! It’s also the perfect mix of activity and relaxation if you want to be a tourist and learn about the area for a day and chill out on the beach the next. My brother and his family were visiting Dubrovnik from New York as part of their Europe trip so my Mom and I joined them for the 4 days. Hopefully some of the information below will help you and by the end of this post you will be booking those flights to Croatia!
Flights: We flew with Aer Lingus, Dublin – Dubrovnik €200 each, carry on luggage. I got a text the day before that we could check in our carry on for €5 each which was handy for liquids! Coming back we could check them in for free. Flight time is about 3 hours and Croatia is 1 hour ahead.
Transfers: Dubrovnik airport is only 30 mins from Lapad, the area just past the Old Town where we stayed. We arranged transfers with our accommodation, the host’s husband collected us and brought us to the apartment, explaining a few things about Dubrovnik and things to do along the way, he even drove down by the Old Town for us to see where the bus stop was. He also collected us from the apartment to come back to the airport the day we were leaving, so there was no hassle in going out in the heat to get a taxi or bus. It was €70 return for 2 of us.
Currency: Local currency is Croatian Kuna. I would advise getting some cash before you travel. Lots of places seemed to prefer cash and the bus and the tours will only accept cash. I also used my Revolut card, I exchanged my balance to Kuna through the app before I left and didn’t have to worry about getting stung with the exchange rate over. There are ATM machines everywhere in the Old Town in Dubrovnik but be prepared to lose out on the exchange rate. €1 = 70 kuna
Accommodation: I booked Greystar Apartment through Booking.com The apartment sleeps 3 with a sofa bed in the living room and a double bed in the main bedroom. Absolutely everything was in the apartment, full kitchen including cooker, kettle, coffee maker, microwave and the host Irena had even left water and orange juice in the fridge. There was also a combo washing machine & dryer which was so handy for doing laundry on the second last day so you can go home with a suitcase of clean clothes! Yes, I did that! Washing powder was also supplied! Honestly, there couldn’t have been more. There’s also a supermarket across the street so you can stock up the fridge.
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Location wise, it was great. A 30 second walk around the corner and we were on the promenade which is full of restaurants and takes you right down to Lapad Beach. If you are visiting Dubrovnik, I would recommend that you stay in Lapad and travel to the Old Town when you want rather that staying by the Old Town. There are a number of hotels & resorts along the cliffs of the beach which looked amazing. These include Royal Princess & Royal Palm if you want to have a look. I wasn’t inside them but they looked great from outside and had a pool and were also very close to beach.
Transport: We were told about the 1, 3 or 7 day travel card when we arrived which includes bus and 7 attractions however when we looked into it, it didn’t make sense financially for what we wanted to do. Lots of the attractions included in this ticket were for museums. The bus is 15 kuna per trip, cash only, and the number 4 bus went from the top of our road Ul. Žrtava s Dakse to the Old Town, only about a 7/8 minute bus ride. If you are to walk it’s about 35 minutes and if in summer, it’s too hot!
What to do:
Day 1: Our flight was an early one at 7.20am so when we got to the apartment it wasn’t ready. We strolled down the promenade and had lunch in Agora which was really nice and service was good. Food was easy as it’s such a tourist destination there is so much choice. After checking in and freshening up, we jumped on a bus to explore the Old Town. We strolled around the stone pavements as we waited for a dragon to fly overhead breathing fire 😂.
The main street Stradun is very expensive so look around if you are wishing to eat or drink. A small cappuccino cost €7! There is a nice bakery called Mlinar if you are looking for a pastry to keep you going. We had dinner in Dubravka by Piles Gate. Pizzas are huge and Rosé is good!
Day 2: We got the bus down to the Old Town again and after a little walk around, enjoyed a cocktail at Bistro Revelin down by the harbour. Revelin Fort is also a nightclub now if you are looking to party the night away! We headed down to the harbour to get the boat over to Lokrum Island. You can buy tickets for the boat on the pier, 150 kunas each and remember cash! It’s a 15 minute boat ride out to the island and you should allow at least 4 hours to visit Lokrum. You can roam around the island for as long as you want but the island closes for the night so make sure you don’t miss the last boat! Some of the things to visit on the island are the Dead Sea pool, THE throne from Game of Thrones which is in the visitor centre in the wing of the Monastery and Fort Royal – be prepared for this, it’s 97m summit uphill in the heat. There are great views from all sides of the island while you are there. Plenty of cafes and restaurants too, we had lunch at Lacroma Restaurant – really good chicken salad!
When we got back to the island, we headed for the Cable Car ride. Head out the Ploches gate at the harbour end of Stradun and walk along the street at the back of the wall and you will see a sign for the cable car up to the right. 170 kuna each for return trip. The views at the top are gorgeous and it’s one of the top things I recommend you to do while in Dubrovnik. There is a restaurant at the top called Panorama (it’s a sister one to Dubravka), would recommend you book if you are looking to eat. Do have a cocktail though standing and looking out at the view! There’s a spot at the back to the cable car entrance that is a popular spot for watching the sunset every evening.
There is also an option to do zip lining and ride in a buggy. We did the zip lining, 2 turns of 130m each. The 2 guys working there drive you down to a lower point to do it. If you have someone to take a photo, it’s a great shot. Here’s a perfect one of me protecting my face before the brake hit my helmet! 😂 The other go was much better! It was about €23 for this and was a bit of fun. Cable car closes at midnight.
Once back down in the old town, we went to Restaurant Klarisa by Onorfijeva fountain for dinner outside. It was a round of veggie and beef burgers and all were great. Service was good but while we were there a thunderstorm hit so the waiters got soaked trying to get umbrellas up so quickly. We had to make a dash at one stage into the restaurant cause it got so bad with wind, rain and lightening but eventually we got out to get on a bus back to the apartment. So if a storm starts…head for home while you can.
If you are okay with steps, make sure you visit the Walls. You can purchase a ticket in the ticket office by Onorfijeva fountain and there is an entrance opposite the fountain. It costs 200 kuna and takes at least 1 hour. You walk around the whole outer walls of the Old Town and some of the views are incredible.
Walking tours are the best way to learn more about the city. GetYourGuide.com run a Game of Thrones tour (2 hours) and a Historical tour (1 hour). Both can be booked online or pay by cash on arrival. Look out for the red umbrella at the Onorfijeva fountain. We did the historical tour and my brother and family did the Game of Thrones tour and we all thought both were great. Depends what you are into! A couple of items the tour guide pointed out to visit are the 704 year old operational pharmacy at the side of the Franciscan Monastery and the Rector’s Palace. We didn’t have enough time to visit inside the Palace as they were closing and it takes about 40 minutes so make sure to do a walking tour at the beginning of your trip so you can decide what you want to do and you know where everything is.
Dinner was at Veritas in the square by the Spanish Steps – built as a replica of the Spanish Steps of Rome, also known as Cerise’s Walk of Shame for GoT fans. The pasta carbonara was really good however the service was shocking. Overall across Dubrovnik, hospitality service was one of the worst I have come across in the world and given the amount of tourists, I couldn’t believe it. Don’t get me wrong, not everyone in service industries were rude but a lot were. Ireland really has a very high standard of service.
On the night of the 10th, the Summer Festival was opening. This runs each year from 10th July to 25th August. To mark the opening, there were fireworks at the harbour so if you are there on that date, head down to Poklisar Reataurant to have chocolate brownie for dessert and a drink so you will have a good spot to watch. They also supply blankets if it’s a cool evening.
Day 4: We walked along the promenade and continued along the cliff walk. If you bring your swim gear, you can sunbathe along the rocks and jump into the sea. Lots of restaurants along the cliff that are the perfect spot for lunch or a cocktail. We enjoyed lunch and drinks at Sunset Beach Bar, the falafel was delicious! Grab a couch after and relax. There are vip sun loungers available to rent for 140 kuna and cabanas for 700 kuna. Ideal if you are looking for a spot for the day and you can get waiter service too.
While we were living our best life having cocktails in the sun, my brother and his family rented a speedboat for the morning. It cost €250 for 4 hours and the driver took them to 3 different islands, sandy beaches, the blue cave and they did snorkeling and cave diving. Just the four of them on the boat and they loved it. They booked via Zaton Water Sports if you are interested in doing.
We rounded off the holiday with a visit to Cave Bar More. Head down the cliff walk and when you see Restaurant More on the right take the steps down to the left for the bar. It’s a bar in a cave and make sure you check out the glass floor after you enjoy an Aperol Spritz! Stop off at Tuttobene on the promenade after for the best french fries in Dubrovnik! You can sit in or takeaway. This is a chain and I spotted it in the Old Town also. Nothing like a few drinks and a trip to the chipper to round off the holiday!
Prices are similar to Ireland, just check the menus before you go in. You will pay from €12 and up for a main dish like pizza or pasta. Drinks like Rosé and beer at places we ate were about €6. Cocktails €10+. Divide by 7 is a guide to working out pricing. Bring your own water bottle and fill up with water at the Onorfijeva fountain, water is safe to drink.
So now that you have all the info…are you booking that flight?
Let me know if you have been to Dubrovnik or if it’s on your bucket list. Make sure to check out the Dubrovnik highlight on my Instagram here to see more of my trip.
Love from my world,