The last month, I’ve been writing about my time in Dubrovnik. I loved exploring but I definitely learnt some things in my week there that would have been useful to know beforehand. Today I’m sharing with you my top ten tips for exploring Dubrovnik, along with ways to make sure you’re not caught out.
They’re so cheap and easy to use. One bus ticket costs 12 Kuna which is the equivalent of £1.40. It’s a one way ticket that you have to validate on the bus but you can buy them in advance from any shop that sells a newspaper. As my hotel was in Lapad, I used buses to get back from the Old Town and it was really quick. The locals do tend to cram on to them so I would avoid travelling between 5pm-6pm!
A point that I wouldn’t always make but I found Dubrovnik to be one of the safest places I’ve ever travelled. Even though it was sometimes crowded, it never felt like tourists were being targeted or anything nasty was happening. I’m naturally quite protective of my belongings in big crowds, (think it’s a London thing), but I actually felt really safe really quickly there. I felt like I could walk up to a local and ask for help, tourism is a huge industry there so they all seem to really support it and want to help if they can.
This became a running joke with my friend and I because we’d go somewhere and then realise it had rubbish reviews. We went to what must have been the worst restaurant in the Old Town. We sat down and thought to check Trip Advisor, it turned out that there were 200 terrible reviews of this place. (It’s Korta Bistro and Wine bar, so do avoid if you’re going!) Saying that, we did find a lot of really amazing restaurants in Old Town.
We were silly and paid for water for the first day until we were told on our tour that the fountain water, along with the tap water is amazing in Croatia. We could fill our water bottles up at the fountain if we wanted but we mainly stuck to the tap water. Every restaurant also will only serve you bottled water which is strange but just a way to make money.
We found that a week in Dubrovnik might have been a little longer than necessary to explore everything. We crammed a lot into our first two days then were a little stuck as it was raining and we didn’t want to do a day trip to Montenegro in the rain. If you are thinking of going to Dubrovnik, I think 5 days would be enough. Also if you are heading there for a week, have a look at my post here as I plan the perfect week for you.
As demonstrated by our early morning walking tour, the earlier you’re in the Old Town, the better. Most places don’t open until 10am and cars are in there making deliveries but it’s pretty quiet. We were there at 9am a few times and it was just so much more pleasant then at 1pm. Considering we went of season too as it was end of April, when it gets to summer I think an early morning will be so much nicer than an afternoon walk around the Old Town.
There is more to Dubrovnik then the Old Town, it is stunning and I could see why people want to spend most of their time there but Dubrovnik is actually really pretty. Lapad beach is beautiful and you also have the stunning viewpoints out across the water.
I mentioned this in my week in Dubrovnik post, but if you are going to walk to walls of the Old Town, it is worth purchasing the Dubrovnik card and getting it included. You can then visit a whole load of museums and as you enter each one you just show your card and they tick it off. Any Old Town walls ticket, will also get you into Fort Lovrijenac which is just a short walk, (and a lot of steps), away. Basically save yourself some money and get a Dubrovnik pass for the same price as a Old Town walls ticket.
This tip is mainly for the Old Town, as well as the above point about always checking Trip Advisor for any scams, I would say make sure that you have a good look around first. Generally speaking the restaurants on the main road in Old Town known as Stradun, are the most expensive. If you walk a street back, they’re slightly less and if you go even further back to another street they’re a lot cheaper then the ones on Stradun. If you’re looking to save some money, then taking an extra five minutes walk is worth it.
Having a revolut card came in really handy here. I converted to the local currency and just drew that out, but my friend had euros which were still accepted. Most tourism heavy places took both but I think that kunas was easier for the smaller things like bus tickets. We only really used euros for the boat trips we took and bigger payments. I’d recommend having ⅔ of your money in kuna and the remaining ⅓ in euros, just in case.
So there you have, my top ten tips for exploring Dubrovnik in Croatia. I’d love to head back and explore more of Croatia, maybe Split or Hvar. To see more of what I got up to in Dubrovnik click here and here.
I post once a week covering topics such as solo travel, working and living abroad and also creating Gabriella’s Guides to places I have been. I cover topics under the following categories such as Planning and Packing, The Travel Diary, Travel Inspiration, Photo Diaries, Gabriella’s Guides and Working Abroad.