Dubrovnik holidaysThe sample prices are per person based on two people travelling!
Dubrovnik has Croatian, a Slavic language spoken in southern Europe, as its primary language. Even with the city’s history involving Latin speaking-rulers, Dubrovnikans have always been native Slavic. English is taught in schools so locals are familiar with the language in varying degrees. Other European languages are also spoken in the city.
The official currency used in Dubrovnik is the Croatian kuna (HRK, Kn). Obtaining money from an ATM, locally called bankomat, is easy as machines are widely available, even in the old quarter. Money is easily exchanged in banks, bureaux de change and post offices. Credit cards are widely accepted, with American Express, Diners Club, Visa and MasterCard being the most popularly used. Travellers’ cheques, preferably in pounds sterling, euro or US dollars, can be used in Dubrovnik.
The entry requirements for Croatia apply to those wishing to visit Dubrovnik. Nationals of the UK and other EU countries need only present a valid national identity card or passport in order to be eligible for a 90-day, visa-free stay. Nationals of the US, Canada and Australia need only present a valid passport and return ticket for visa-free visits of up to 90 days.
Being a Mediterranean city, Dubrovnik has a largely Mediterranean climate. Winters are mild and wet, while summers are warm and sunny. Bora winds flow through the Adriatic from October to April, making the city cold and wet. Summer temperatures in July and August average from 22 to 28°C. Meanwhile, winter temperatures in January average a chilly 7 to 13°C. The best time to visit is spring or autumn when conditions are comfortable.
Dubrovnik Airport, also called ÄŒilipi Airport, is the main gateway to Dubrovnik. This international airport is located nearly 10 miles from Dubrovnik city centre. It is the second largest airport in the country in terms of passenger throughput, processing around 1.3 million people annually. Only a few airlines run regular flights to Dubrovnik Airport. Most are seasonal or charter.
The main carrier at Dubrovnik Airport is the national airline of Croatia, Croatia Airlines. It connects Dubrovnik to the Croatian capital, Zagreb, and other European destinations such as Frankfurt and Paris. Other than Croatia Airlines, only three other airlines fly here regularly. British Airways flies from London-Gatwick, Monarch from Manchester and Lufthansa Regional from Munich. Airlines that seasonally ply the London to Dubrovnik route are EasyJet, Monarch and Thomson Airways. A London to Dubrovnik flight lasts around 2 hours, 40 minutes.
Dubrovnik’s winter low season sees discounted hotel prices and reduced airfares. Savings can be made by flying to Bari, Italy, and then taking an overnight ferry to Dubrovnik. Visitors coming from Dubrovnik Airport can take a taxi to their hotel or the Old Town, or a bus to Dubrovnik’s main bus station in Kantafig, a journey which takes 45 minutes.
Buses are particularly useful for visitors coming from other destinations in the region as Dubrovnik is connected via bus to many other major cities in Croatia, such as Zagreb and Split, and to Sarajevo and Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Cruises through the Mediterranean and ferries travelling the Adriatic also stop at Dubrovnik, with the route from Bari, Italy, to Dubrovnik one of the most popular.
Dubrovnik, especially the touristy areas, is easily navigable via public transport. The centre of everything, the Old Town, is, however, a pedestrianised zone. City buses, run by Libertas, are cheap, comfortable and useful. Car rental is widely available but driving in the city centre is not recommended. Dubrovnik has no railways, metro lines or tramways.
Visitors not staying inside or near the Old Town will be glad to know that just about every bus serving Dubrovnik stops at the Old Town. The entire network is run by Libertas. Fares are cheap and bus tickets can be purchased at kiosks, with day bus passes available for those who plan to travel multiple times by bus in one day. From the main bus station or the harbour, comfortable, air-conditioned buses, particularly numbers 1A and 1B, take visitors to the Old Town.
Taxis in Dubrovnik can be expensive, even for rides that only cover a short distance. The flag-down rate is heavy as well. Visitors should be aware that cab drivers may try to rip them off by taking them on unsolicited daytrips. There are taxi stands at Pile and PloÄe gates, Gruž and Lapad. Taxis can also be ordered by phone.
Major international car hire companies are available. However, while hiring a car is possible, it is not the most practical way to get around the city. The main tourist attraction, the Old Town, is pedestrianised and roads tend to be congested and parking space scarce. Car hire is, however, useful for daytrips outside the city.
With its long history as a republic and its beautiful romantic architecture and stunning seaside setting, it is easy to see why Dubrovnik is a major Mediterranean tourist destination.
A good place for tourists to get their bearings is to climb, drive or take a cable car up Srd Hill. At the top, visitors can take in the romantic views of the old city set amidst the turquoise waters of the Adriatic.
The main tourist attraction in Dubrovnik is the Old Town. Dubrovnik’s historic old quarter is so beautiful that UNESCO has inscribed it on its World Heritage list. Here, visitors will find narrow lanes, stone houses and old fortifications that hark back to the days of the Republic of Ragusa.
Apart from for Dubrovnik’s historic sites, people also come to this Mediterranean destination because of its beaches. Right outside the Old Town’s eastern gate is the neighbourhood of Ploce. This area has some of Dubrovnik’s most upscale hotels as it is where the main public beach in the city, Banje Beach, is found. Located only two miles from the Old Town, Lapad Beach, is another beach which tourists like to visit as it is complete with restaurants and wide areas for sunbathing.
The island of Lokrum, just 10 minutes by boat from Dubrovnik, is a good place to find peace and calm as the island is a preserved nature park. It is also home to a monastery, gardens and nudist beaches.
Visitors to Dubrovnik will find it easy to fill their itineraries with historical attractions and religious landmarks. Most of these sites are in Dubrovnik’s Old Town, the entirety of which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Visitors can begin by climbing and walking on the City Walls, which span 1.2 miles. Here, visitors are offered dramatic vistas of the city and sea.
One of the most beautiful landmarks in the city is Minceta Fort, one of the many fortifications which used to guard this Mediterranean capital. Built in 1463, the fort features an imposing round stone tower which signifies the former wealth and power of Dubrovnik.
Sponza Palace might be worth a look as it contains relics and exhibitions from Dubrovnik’s rich, sometimes sombre, past. This former customs house is now home to a memorial to the city’s defenders during the 1991 Siege of Dubrovnik.
While the heart of Dubrovnik is the Old Town, the heart of the Old Town is Stradun, the main thoroughfare that snakes through the old quarter. The cafés, shops and restaurants which line this street are sure to ensnare tourists one way or another.
The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is the main religious landmark in the city. It is said that the English King Richard the Lionheart donated the money to build this Roman Baroque cathedral during the Third Crusade.
Another must-see religious site in Dubrovnik is the Jewish Synagogue, said to be the second oldest synagogue in Europe that is still in use. The synagogue is also the site of a museum which features the history of the city’s Jewish community.
Nightlife in Dubrovnik, while not as lively or as exciting as in many other Mediterranean destinations, can still provide visitors a good time. Most tourists begin their evenings with a meal at any of the Old Town's fine restaurants, capping off their meal with a walk around the district with an ice cream cone in hand. Bars, clubs, live music venues and even theatre take care of after-dinner entertainment.
A concentration of watering holes can be found in a tiny square near the Ploce gate. Pubs and bars make up the establishments in the square and some offer outdoor seating, drinks―especially cocktails―and live music. Several establishments can be accessed via Pile gate as well.
A recommended place, especially on summer evenings, is Cafe Buža. The café's tables and chairs are set out on the cliff side, and are the perfect place to see the sunset. Another recommended place for live music is the Dubrovnik nightlife institution Troubadour Hard Jazz Café, which offers relaxed, pub-style drinking and jazz and blues bands most nights.
Those looking for a night out that is a bit livelier can head to any one of Dubrovnik's dance clubs, most of which can be found right outside the Old Town. Located in Banje Beach, EastWest is a beachside party venue that plays all kinds of music. Meanwhile, young tourists like to head to Latino Club Fuego, located right outside Pile gate.
For the more sophisticated traveller, Dubrovnik has Rector's Palace, a well-known venue for classical concerts, especially in the summer, and the Marin Držič Theatre for dramatic performances.
Although there are many restaurants in the Old Town, tourists will find that much the same fare is served at most of them. However, this is not to say that Dubrovnik is bereft of good food. In this part of the world, pasta, grilled meats and especially seafood are the stars of the dining table. Dining out tends to be expensive in and around the Old Town.
Dubrovnik cuisine tends to favour the traditional over the modern. Thus, tourists will most likely be offered menus with simple, traditional fare. The popular dishes are those typically eaten in the Dalmatian region of Croatia, with influences from Dubrovnik’s neighbours across the Adriatic, the Italians.
Visitors can order a brujet, also called a brudet or brodetto, which is basically a fish casserole with tomatoes and onions thrown in. The dish has a version made with pasta and beans called pasta-fazol na brujet, a speciality from the island of Vis. Crni rizot is a risotto dish that is particularly interesting because it uses cuttlefish ink, which lends it a jet black colour.
Meat dishes here are basic but still very good. Visitors can try janjetina s raznja, which is lamb roasted on a spit over an open-wood fire, pasticada, a meat sauce made with red wine and usually served with vegetables or the Italian soft dumplings called gnocchi.
As for dessert, it does not get any better than dubrovacka rozata, a Dalmatian version of crème caramel or flan, a widely popular custard dessert.
Visitors to Dubrovnik like to head to the beaches in the area to relax after exploring the many historical and cultural sites this walled city is famous for. The main public beach is Banje Beach. Many hotels, restaurants and clubs are here all tourists’ enjoyment. Lapad Beach is also surrounded by hotels and is equipped with beach facilities such as showers and lounge chairs. A short walk from Pile Gate is Sulici Beach, considered Dubrovnik’s cleanest stretch of sand.
Even with all the tourists that visit Dubrovnik, a quiet and romantic holiday can still be had by couples and honeymooners. Couples can book a stay at a five-star villa with private beach and pool and a stunning cliff-top location overlooking the Old Town and the brilliantly blue Adriatic. At night, a trip to a wine bar with an intimate ambiance and old-world charm is sure to spell romance.
If taking the kids exploring the fairytale-like city walls and castles of Dubrovnik is not enough, then perhaps exploring the city in 5D is the answer. One of the new attractions in the city, Visia Dubrovnik 5D Teatrum, is a 35-minute hologram and laser show about the city’s rich history. A family beach holiday can also be had at kid-friendly Copacabana Beach with its water slides and banana boat rides.
Tourists looking for an active holiday in Dubrovnik may want to consider the area’s perfect conditions for sea kayaking. The waters of the Adriatic are shallow and protected by the harsher elements of the wider sea. Visitors can kayak to Lokrum Island, a nature park with pine and cypress trees as well as quiet and isolated coves and beaches.