For some reason, Dubrovnik had never been very high on my list of cities to visit. It was certainly on there, but it was often outranked by places like Budapest, Reykjavik, Barcelona and Rome. As soon as we booked our trip to Croatia, however, we knew straight away that a day trip to Dubrovnik would definitely be on the agenda. We popped over on the lunch time ferry which takes around about an hour from Lopud, where we were staying, and after just a few hours in the city, I knew I wanted to go back for more. Dubrovnik, and Croatia in general, totally stole my heart.
After hopping on a bus from the ferry port to the old town we were greeted with a beautifully historical metropolis that's hard to put into words. It was teeming with people, but not unbearably so, and the beautiful view from the Adriatic Coast was just one of its many charms. We spent our afternoon wandering the cobbled streets - that were so clean and shiny they looked wet - before ducking down a random alley to grab a bit to eat in a hidden restaurant. Once we'd filled ourselves up for the day we joined the path around the city walls to take it all in from above. The view was just breathtaking, and I don't think I could ever get tired of gazing down on those iconic orange rooftops.
We spent roughly two hours making our way around the entire perimeter of the Old Town admiring all of the winding alleys and spying on cats (obviously). Once we'd walked the length of the walls we headed back to ground level to grab a drink in a cliffside bar we'd spotted on our walk where we spent a bit of time resting our feet and taking in the view over the water.
There's so much to the Old Town that even though it occupies a relatively small area it feels impossible to see it all in one day. Each corner brings a new sight, with hidden churches and monuments as well as hundreds of cosy little restaurants and bars. We indulged ourselves in not one, but two fantastic ice creams, as we were too tempted by the lure of Kinder and Tiramisu flavours to resist.
Top Tips for a Day in Dubrovnik
- If you do one thing in Dubrovnik it has to be the walk around the city walls. You'll get the best views of the city, but try to do it early to avoid the crowds if you're there in high season. It'll cost you 120 kuna to get up there which is roughly £15, and you can get discounted entry if you're a student too.
- There's an option to buy a Dubrovnik City Card which will offer free entry to numerous attractions in the city as well as free public transport and some discounts in local shops and restaurants.
- There are lots of cats in Dubrovnik so that's obviously a real bonus when visiting the city. Check out the #CatsofDubrovnik hashtag for some excellent examples, or I have hundreds of pictures if you need more convincing. #catladyforlife
- If you spot a sign near the seafront side of the Old Town offering "cold drinks & great views" follow it. You won't regret it.
- The restaurants on the main streets of the Old Town can be a little pricier, so head down the alleys to find a better deal. The food is mostly Balkan, with a hint of Italian and Greek influence too.
- Dubrovnik Old Town is one of the main filming locations for Game Of Thrones and they certainly take advantage of it! If you're a fan of the show, you'll find plenty of tours to see the best spots in the city, or you can just take it at your own pace and stumble across them like we did.
- There's a cable car leaving from just outside of the Old Town that takes you to the top of Srd Hill for a whole new vantage point over the city. On a clear day you can see for nearly 40 miles, and I imagine the sunsets must be pretty incredible too.