Heading to Dubrovnik for the primary time? Listed here are 14 issues each native is aware of

Beautiful Dubrovnik bundles Unesco-listed heritage with verdant nature, a shocking shoreline with fascinating villages, an enthralling historical past with Recreation of Thrones-oriented popular culture, and a plethora of choices with a laid-back vibe.

On the southernmost level of Croatia, Dubrovnik is minimize off from the motherland by a small nook of Bosnia & Hercegovina that bisects the Croatian coast, and it is also the nation’s final city earlier than Montenegro. Inside these worldwide borders, Dubrovnik was as soon as an impartial republic, and at the moment, it is the pulsing coronary heart of an thrilling area that requires greater than only a minibreak.

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Head as much as Srđ hill for dazzling panoramas that showcase Dubrovnik past its historic core © Samantha Ohlsen / Alamy Inventory Picture

Plan to see extra than simply the outdated city, and to place in a while

Many guests to Dubrovnik make the error of pondering that there’s not way more to the city than the whitewashed walled metropolis. This Unesco World Heritage web site is the town’s image, and a bucket-list merchandise for vacationers everywhere in the world. 

Spend a day or two exploring the grid of stone streets and taking within the fascinating sights, from palaces, towers and church buildings to the King’s Touchdown backdrops. Marvel on the carpet of terracotta roofs from the town partitions, then head as much as Srđ hill for dazzling panoramas that showcase Dubrovnik past its historic core.

In Gruž Bay, the port, you may roam the inexperienced and fish markets, journey again to the Yugoslav period within the Crimson Historical past museum and dance to DJ-spun beats at Dubina club. Take in colourful sunsets from the seafront of Lapad Bay, and take a dip at one of many many pebbly seashores.

Hop a ferry to close by Lokrum island, or enterprise out to the serene Mljet Island and its forested nationwide park. Sip daring crimson within the wineries on Pelješac Peninsula and uncover folklore within the Konavle valley, all whereas indulging within the easy-going native way of life.

A red car coming around a curvy road with the red rooftops of Dubrovnik in the distance
To keep away from problem and disappointment on the border, begin your planning by checking the entry necessities first © Dallas and John Heaton / Getty Pictures

Watch out for the borders

In the event you’re driving from Break up to Dubrovnik, or in case you intend to go to the Ottoman gem of Mostar, you will should cross the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and visiting the gorgeous Kotor requires crossing the border with Montenegro.

Understand that Croatia is a member of the EU, however not the Schengen Space, so your Croatian visa won’t get you into Schengen nations or its neighboring nations. To keep away from problem and disappointment on the border, begin your planning by checking the entry necessities first. 

For hassle-free journey from Break up to Dubrovnik, contemplate swapping the wheels for a catamaran like Krilo, then island-hopping alongside the best way.  

Have enjoyable sorting your pockets

Although it is an EU member, Croatia doesn’t use euros. The native foreign money is known as kuna (that means “martens”) and the cents are referred to as lipas (elderberry tree). You may withdraw native foreign money from the numerous ATMs round Dubrovnik and change in banks, publish and change places of work, and on the airport.

However in case you plan on visiting Montenegro, deliver some euros – it isn’t an EU member, however Montenegro has been utilizing the foreign money since 2006.

Beachwear, slip-proof footwear and layers are the important thing to sensible packing

The locals in Dubrovnik gown casually, however stylishly. Your suitcase ought to function the summer time classics, from shorts and ethereal clothes to all issues solar and seaside, from bathing fits and flip-flops to hats, shades and sunblock. Do not forget to pack a light-weight scarf and a rain jacket for breezy evenings and summer time showers.

In September and October, layers that account for the wind and rain are the best way to go. Always, deliver slip-proof footwear, because the shiny limestone streets are infamous for being slick on the slightest drizzle.  

E book lodging and eating places prematurely

Arriving to Dubrovnik spontaneously and hoping to discover a place to remain within the excessive season is just about a recipe for catastrophe. Small and in style, Dubrovnik will get busy and absolutely booked simply, particularly in luxurious lodges and in style personal lodging.

Similar goes for in style eating places: in case your palate yearns for a sure place, make a reservation just a few days forward to keep away from disappointment, aside from the Michelin-starred 360°, which it is best to ebook a month prematurely.

Summer scene of the main street (Stradun or Placa), with locals, tourists and a woman eating an ice cream cone
Swap the drive for a stroll – compact and scenic, Dubrovnik is a really walkable © DarioZg / Shutterstock

Stroll or take a bus, however by no means ever drive to the outdated city

One single-lane street results in the outdated city, and at its finish, scarce and costly parking is very unlikely to be out there. So swap the drive for a stroll or a bus experience: compact and scenic, Dubrovnik is a really walkable, and the general public bus community covers the town areas very effectively. 

Within the outdated city, maintain your garments on and thoughts your manners

Whereas it could be simple to confuse all of Dubrovnik for a seaside, the outdated city is a lived-in neighborhood with faculties, church buildings and establishments, so stay respectful always.

An genuine reenactment of Cersei’s stroll of disgrace may sound enjoyable, however guests to the outdated city are expected to stay absolutely clothed always. If visiting church buildings, honor the sacred house by overlaying your shoulders and taking off your hat. Chorus from utilizing your cellphone and switch your ringer off, and by no means sightsee throughout service.

Be conscious when asking questions in regards to the struggle

The Yugoslav assaults and the shelling from 1991 to ’92 left Dubrovnik shattered and deeply wounded. This isn’t a subject to be approached calmly; you could ask questions in a respectful method, however bear in mind that some individuals favor to not speak about it.

Benefit from the homosexual bar, however chorus from PDA

Considered one of Croatia’s most LGBTIQ-friendly cities, Dubrovnik options an unofficial homosexual seaside at Lokrum Island and its first official homosexual bar, Milk, which opened in Might 2022. Whereas heat and welcoming, Dubrovnik can also be a religious Catholic city, so keep away from public shows of affection.

People at Rector Palace on Stradun Street in the old city of Dubrovnik, Croatia
The Dubrovnik card grants entry to the town partitions and museums just like the Rector’s Palace © Roman Babakin / Shutterstock

Get a Dubrovnik Card

Many discover the costs of points of interest round Dubrovnik to be on the upper aspect, however the Dubrovnik Card grants entry to predominant sights, plus free bus tickets and reductions in outlets and eating places. Relying on whether or not you go for a one-day, three-day or seven-day card, it will embody entry to the town partitions and museums just like the Rector’s Palace or the Franciscan Pharmacy, plus reductions for Lokrum and Mljet Island. 

Pay by card however tip in money

Tipping isn’t obligatory, however it’s typically anticipated and far appreciated. In eating places, the magical quantity is round 10%, whereas in bars you may spherical up the invoice.

Apart from Amex, bank cards are extensively accepted, however you will want to hold money for ideas, because it’s hardly ever doable so as to add it to the bank card slip. Don’t be stunned when requested whether or not you’re paying with money or card earlier than seeing the invoice; Croatian tax authorities require enter of that info earlier than the invoice is printed. 

Nurse your espresso and avoid to-go cups

Croatians take their espresso severely. This can be a favourite native pastime and social ritual, so in case you’re invited for espresso, attempt to not go. Whether or not you are taking an espresso or bijela kava (latte), sip it slowly and by no means take it in a to-go cup.

Ditch bottled water and refill on fountains

Faucet water is drinkable in Dubrovnik, and within the outdated city, you may refill your bottle from the fountains, just like the Onofrio’s, with the best water round.

Chill out and revel in, however train widespread sense

With a tight-knit neighborhood and usually well-lit areas, Dubrovnik stays a really protected metropolis, each day and night time. Whereas laborious crime is low, do train widespread sense when in crowds, as pickpockets flip up from time to time.