Dubrovnik, Croatia is 100% THE most beautiful place I have ever visited! ☀️🇭🇷
If anyone is thinking of visiting or planning a trip I can make plenty of recommendations- It was such a fun trip packed into a few days. The weather was gorgeous (apart from one crazy storm!) the people were friendly and the food was INCREDIBLE!
This is what we did…
We flew out on Saturday morning from London Gatwick using Monarch airlines – we got the flights for under £100 per person back in January – I can’t remember the exact amount but they were pretty cheap! The flight takes 2 hrs 30 mins from London.
We arrived around 11am and caught the Atlas coach transfer from the airport into the city which cost 70 Kn which is around £8.50 and that is for a return trip. The coach drops you off at ‘Pile Gate’ which is the main gate entrance to the old city.
We stayed in an air B and B called ‘2 friends Dubrovnik Palace’ we actually booked it on booking.com so didn’t have to pay until we arrived – The owners actually let us pay at the end of our stay – It was cash only though so we have to keep enough cash until the end. the apartment was so nice – clean modern all decked out in pretty IKEA furniture. The hosts provided water and juice etc in the fridge and gave suggestions for food and excursions – they were so lovely! A huge thing to note is the old town is basically on a giant steep hill. Lots of the accommodation is almost built into the steep walls of the city so we had to climb almost vertical steps to get to the apartment door – around 50 plus steps- It was a work out! There are other apartments on the lower levels of the city mixed in with the shops and restaurants though.
The first day we explored the old town and walked around to the harbour, the city itself is so stunning – it is contained within the walls and has lots of tiny side streets with hidden gems of cafes, shops and historical sites – Also Game of Thrones was filmed there and you can take tours of the key sites – we didnt do this but there was plenty being advertised! We also wandered out of the old town a little, past the Pile Gate, and down to the shore- We stumbled across a bar called Beach Bar DoDo which has swing seats over looking the sea- we ended up going back there again on the last day it was a great spot.
The first evening we ate at a place called Lucin Kantun which we had seen online as it has amazing reviews and was in lonely planet / time out magazine – it is a small home cooking style place up in the steep side streets hidden away and the tables are in the open kitchen so you can see them prepare the food – We were so excited because it was so highly rated and we are such foodies, but sadly it didn’t quite live up to expectations 😦 we had tapas and the food was well made and yummy but portions were very very small and padded out with leaves which was a shame. Plates were around 40kn which is about £5 but by the time you get lots to share it is quite expensive and wasn’t enough food.
After dinner we went to a bar on Stradun, which is the ‘main street’ of the lower area of the city. I had an amazing ‘Game of Thrones’ cocktail – They use rose as a flavor quite alot in Dubrovnik and I love that because I love Turkish Delight so that was ideal. When we were in the bar there was a HUGE storm… so much rain, thunder and lightening, we had to wait in there for a while until it stopped – it was crazy – Cocktails were around 100kn which is £12 – very expensive! as much as London prices!
The next day we looked around the local market near the port, had some breakfast in a cafe in one of the squares, then caught the ferry to the Island of Lokrum which is just off of the old city- You can buy tickets on the day from a man on the pier in the port next to where the boat docks – I think it was 130kn (about £15) per person but that included return ferry and entry to the island. The ferry only takes around 10-15 mins.
On the island it is like a huge nature reserve with peacocks and bunnies roaming around – we hiked around the island and took advantage of the amazing photo opportunities. There is also the ruins of a monestary on the island and a mini game of thrones museum – The iron throne is there for you to sit on! There is a large grassy area for kids to play on and a lagoon area called ‘the dead sea’ which you can swim (and float!) in.
We ate at Lacroma restaurant which is very highly rated on trip adviser, we booked in advance. The food was amazing – we got a mushroom and shrimp pasta to start to share and then the mixed fish special platter for 2 – it was so fresh and delicious – I also had another incredible cocktail – rose gin and tonic with real rose petals! The whole meal was around 600kn which is about £75 but it was well worth it if you like fine dining. There are other cheaper food options on the island.
That evening we took the local bus from Pile gate (the main old town entrance) To the Lapad bay area where the hotel resorts are on the coast. The buses are easy to navigate – they are numbered and you can find time tables online – we printed them before we left – you can buy tickets as you get on the bus for 15kn which is about £1.80. We got off near the Dubrovnik Palace 5* hotel and went inside to look around and walk along the coastal bay area – it was so stunning – I would 100% go back to a hotel like this in the area for a relaxing beach break.
We walked back into the main hub area of Lapad as we had reservations and Panterul restaurant which again was very high on trip adviser – We had the tasting menu which was 5 courses and 350kn (about £42 each) it was great food, and a great place to eat – very modern and fab staff – worth the journey out for sure! There are a tonne of bars and alternative food places in the Lapad area – there is a big promenade to walk down to the beach with lots of choices.
On Monday we walked down to a pier near the Lovrijenac fort which is just outside the old town walls and then got the local bus from the old town to the main larger port, Gruz port, and bought tickets for the local ferry out to the Elephiti Islands. We only had time to go to one island – Kolcep and the ticket cost 23kn return (around £1.50). The trip to Kolcep took around 30 mins and the ferries leave around every 4 hours in low season and more frequently from July – Sept.
Kolcep was stunning. We wandered around the island , sat in the sunshine and i even went swimming on the nudist beach in my underwear because we didn’t bring swimming costumes and couldn’t find any for sale hahaha luckily I dried off quickly in the sunshine. We had lunch at Villa Rose – again highly reviewed. It used to be called Villa Ruza but was taken over this May – Villa Ruza is in the old city now. Lunch was amazing – The best pasta and risotto we have ever eaten for sure! Again it was expensive for a budget traveler and some of the menu items were crazy expensive as in £70 for a steak! Our meal ended up being around 700kn i think so again about £80 they included a per head service charge too and I think it was worth it! After lunch we sat in the sunshine taking in the views before getting the boat back.
That evening we caught the cable car from the top of the old city up into the mountains – it costs 130kn for a round trip per adult (£15) you get great views from the car! When we got up there we went to Panorama restaurant – I had emailed in advance to book using their website and it said to wait for a confirmation which never came to me – I should have phoned to check because of course we didn’t have a booking confirmed with them when we arrived 😦 We had to put our name on a waiting list for a table with a view of the city and waited for around 40 mins – We got SO lucky and a reservation cancelled, leaving us with the best table in the house! The food was incredible and the service was excellent – again expensive 700kn (£80) but that included alcoholic drinks.
We watched the sunset then got the cable car back down and got some ice cream – the ice cream in the old city is amazing!!! The best place we had it was at the shop just outside the city walls at pile gate at Dubravka.
On our final day we grabbed some breakfast and then walked the city walls. You buy tickets as you enter, I think it was 150kn per person, so again around £16. The walls are amazing to walk and you get great views! It is longgggggg though and has lots of stairs so pack lots of water – We had to buy more as we went along. The walls go around the entire old city and port. You also get entrance to the Lovrijenac fort included in the ticket price, so we visited that once we had walked around the main walls. The views are stunning- You can see the entire old town from the top of the fort!
After the walls we went for lunch at Taj Mahal which specializes in Bosnian food – it was recommended by our Air B and B host and we had seen it online before hand – We got the traditional meat sharing platter and flatbread – it was really good! it cost around 400kn for the meal (£45) Lots of people were booking for dinner reservations, so I would suggest booking unless you are going for lunch – In high season you might need to book lunch too!
Our Air b and B hosts had stored our luggage for us, so we went to collect that then got the coach back to the airport. The coach leaves from the gate at the very top of the old city so be prepared to walk up stairs!
Overall Dubrovnik and Croatia in general was SO STUNNING. Seriously we were not expecting the beauty of it! It was fairly cheap to fly there and stay there but in the old city prices are very high as it is a tourism bubble – However the standard of food was worth the money most of the time! Also our travel style pretty much revolves around food – It is huge for us – so we are prepared to spend on it – You could go to cheaper places / fast food for sure, there was tonnes of options on offer!
The air b and b i can’t recommend enough! local buses are so easy to use, do some research on time tables before you go.
Packing wise take good shoes – sooo much walking to be done! The scenery is gorgeous so if you want to take photos like I did don’t be scared to pack pretty outfits haha
What I wore:
The red and white dress is actually from a charity thrift store in London so no label.
The blue and white backless dress is from BooHoo.com
The off shoulder blue and white floral is from H and M.
The blue off shoulder top is New look.
The pink top with pom poms is from MissPap.
My shorts with lace around the leg are by Betsy Johnson but I bought them many years ago in an outlet store!
The blue stripy top with lace around the neck is from a market in Spain so again no label.
The blue and white skirt is from Zara 2016 line.
The white lace keyhole back top is from M and S but I borrowed it from my Mum and I think she’s had it since around 2006 hahaha
In summary: everyone go and visit Dubrovnik. eat amazing food and immerse yourself in the beautiful scenery!!! I hope this was helpful to some of you! ❤