Tips For Visiting Dubrovnik | Best Place in Croatia
Jason Daniel Shaw
DUBROVNIK | CROATIA
Dubrovnik was our favorite stop in Croatia and definitely one of the top three on our most recent European trip. However, Dubrovnik was a place that when planning our trip through Croatia, we didn’t plan to spend much time in. We allowed for just three night and three full days – we wish we could have stayed longer. It really captured our hearts. We will be back. Follow along to find out some of our favorites from our time in Dubrovnik.
WHERE TO STAY IN DUBROVNIK
We narrowed our search for places to stay down to three areas – the Old Town, Lapad and Babin Kuk. The Old Town is the heart of the city and where you can find many restaurants and shops. It is also the walled part of the city and since we were driving, not an option for us. If you are staying in the Old Town, you have to park your car outside of the city which can be costly. That left us with Lapad and Babin Kuk. Both of these areas are populated with many beautiful resorts. Our planning for Dubrovnik didn’t happen until a few days before we were scheduled to arrive so a lot of our top picks were already sold out. We found a beautiful place in the heart of Babin Kuk called, Villa Filaus. It was managed by Hotel More which allowed us to use all of the amenities of the resort, including the pools and even the cave bar. Being centrally located, Babin Kuk and Villa Filaus is the perfect place for exploring Dubrovnik.
RENTING A BOAT IN DUBROVNIK
One of our favorite activates in Dubrovnik was exploring the city and the surrounding island by boat. We were bombarded by solicitors trying to get us to book a boat excursion in the Old Town of Dubrovnik but after doing a bit of research, we found Gari Transfer. Having experience with boats, we wanted to find a self-drive rental and not hire a captain. Gari Transfer allowed us to do that at a much better price than the solicitors in town. If you have a car, their facility is just 10-15 minutes from Babin Kuk. The staff was friendly and I would highly recommend them. We called them and added a few extra hours while we were out on the water because the day was beautiful and they allowed us to do so for a very reasonable rate. This is not a sponsored ad, they were just great to work with.
One of the major attractions by boat is the blue cave and various other sea caves that you can explore. After coming under the beautiful Franjo Tudjman bridge, we passed the lighthouse Greben and onto Kolocep, where the blue cave is located. You can anchor just outside the cave and swim in, spending as much time exploring the area as you want. After that, we headed over to Sunj Beach on Lopud to stock on “provisions” and enjoy the beach. From Lopud, we made our way back down toward Dubrovnik to explore Babin Kuk and and Lapad from the water. The Old Town of Dubrovnik is as beautiful from the water as it is from the land. Lokrum island is the small uninhabited island that sits just outside the Dubrovnik harbor. It is a great stop after checking out the Betina Sea Cave and all the kayakers that make the journey there. There is even some cliff jumping to be had if you are of the adventurous spirit. There is so much to explore around Dubrovnik by boat that I highly recommend spending a day on the water.
OLD TOWN DUBROVNIK
The historic city center of Dubrovnik is contained within the city walls. It is really the heart of the city. If you have a car, it is probably best to walk or catch a cab as parking can be a bit of a challenge but once inside the walls, the city comes alive. The narrow streets are steep and filled with all of the shops and restaurants that you could ever want to visit. One of favorite parts about visiting the Old Town was getting to walk the perimeter walls. Make sure to time your walk just right so that you get the beautiful golden light but know that the hours vary and they do close the wall down before dark. Make sure to do the entire walk as there are several bars and restaurants along the walk that you can visit.
A great day trip out of Dubrovnik is visiting the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro which I wrote a previous blog about. If you get the chance to visit Dubrovnik, I highly suggest taking the opportunity as it truly is one of our favorite places so far. If you want to follow along with our 25-day wedding / honeymoon trip, you can see more of our adventures in Malta, Italy, the Vatican, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro.