Another destination from my bucket list, Dubrovnik was to be my next solo trip. A medieval walled city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and right at the coast with the crystal clear Adriatic Sea – what’s not to love? I was obsessed with it before I even arrived. This was my second time in Croatia (I visited Petrčane and Zadar in 2010 for a music festival) and I had been desperate to see more of the country ever since then. Game of Thrones fans – did you know King’s Landing is actually in Dubrovnik?
I rented an apartment (Apartments Dubrovnik Seven) about a ten minute walk from the Pile gate, wanting to be as close to the Old Town as possible, without being right inside it. I chose an apartment with an amazing view of the Adriatic and the Old Town (cos I’m all about that view).
I arrived after pulling an all nighter due to an extremely early flight and headed straight to walk the walls, as the forecast for later in the week was rain. Walking the walls costs 100Kn (about £9.60) and you can take as long as you want – there are several cafés along the way to sit and enjoy the view.
Stradun is known as one of the most beautiful streets in Europe and it’s easy to see why. The limestone pavement looks almost polished and at night it seems to glitter under the street lights. This was early October and you can see how busy it still is – at the height of summer I can imagine it being spoiled somewhat by throngs of people pushing to get past. For the best gelato, head to Gossip and eat a cone by the fountain (you won’t get any further before it melts everywhere!).
Later in the week it was stormy and the streets were slippery, but not even some bad weather could detract from the charm of the Old Town.
For the best view in Dubrovnik you have to head up Mount Srd. I chose the easy route and took the cable car (108Kn/£10.16 for a roundtrip) but you can hike it if you’re brave. Going up at late afternoon to watch the sunset is the best time, because you cannot beat a Croatian sunset. There’s a restaurant/bar at the top and I had a lovely meal here with some travellers I met and we drank prosecco while watching the sun go down (sidenote: it was freezing – but they provide blankets!).
There are many islands near Dubrovnik reachable by boat, Lokrum Island (below) being one of the closest. Unfortunately the weather turned bad and I didn’t get a chance to do any island hopping, which just gives me yet another reason to return one day.
Dubrovnik, like most ports, is known for its amazingly fresh seafood however I didn’t get to sample any (another reason to return? Like I need any more). I did however eat great pizza at Mex Cantina Bona Fide, traditional lasagne at Mea Culpa (Croatian food has strong Italian influences) and some Bosnian cuisine at the oddly named but highly recommended Taj Mahal.
There are many day trips and excursions you can do when using Dubrovnik as a base – and not just to the surrounding islands. Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina are easily accessible by car or bus and I visited both, which meant I covered three countries in three days! Read about my day in Montenegro here and a day in Bosnia and Herzegovina here. I booked both of my day trips through Viator.
Dubrovnik is an ideal solo destination as there really is something for everyone, it is easy to get around and feels safe. Croatia is a country I feel drawn to and I believe I will keep going back to – I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface and there is so much I still want to see. Plitvice Lakes National Park will be top of my list when I return!
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Brianna 14/11/2015 8:19 pm
Your pictures have just added to my desire to get to Croatia. One day!View Comment
Meg Jerrard 16/11/2015 5:19 am
Dubrovnik was one of my favorite locations when I was traveling through Europe, and while I went with a group I totally agree that it’s a fab spot for solo travelers too. I loved walking around the fort and finding hidden bars – we found one place which was really special, a bar hidden into narrow streets and it went out onto the cliff – we could jump off into the sea and then climb back up the fort walls with a ladder. Was so much fun!View Comment
Dan 05/04/2017 10:10 am
Great write. I like you have fallen in love with Croatia and have now visited four times in the last ten years from Australia. It’s an absolute gem of a country from north to south , east to West. I have now been to every corner of the country and still there is more to this country. You must visit Plitvice lakes and also the Krka falls there smaller sister on the coast, probably the most stunning natural wonders in the world and I have travelled most of Europe and Asia. When visiting I recommend flying into Zagreb and basing yourself there for four days. Do the Plitvice lakes as a day trip but on your way there visit one of my hidden treasures…the town of Rastoke , a town built on waterfalls. You will need a whole day for thus trip it’s a huge park, but at the minimum do the six hour route as thus covers the majority of the must sees. I also recommend a day trip to Trakoscan castle and the town of Varazdin. The outskirts of Zagreb or the Zagorje region is also stunning. Back on the coast google these hidden treasures and you will be booking your next trip before you can say 2017. Island Vis and Stiniva cove. Rovinj, island Murter and Kornati archipelago, island Losinj, Istrian hinterland. Oh and Makarska Riviera and Sibenik region are a must in Summer with gorgeous towns and beaches in the area . There’s just too much beauty in Croatia the whole country should be declared a National park. Check them outView Comment
ESTELA 16/07/2017 8:34 am
Hi Jackie, I’m going to Dubrovnik in August and we have only time for a one-day trip. We can’t decide between Montenegro and Bòsnia. Could you help us to decide? Thank you!View Comment
Jackie 16/07/2017 8:44 am
Hi Estela! I would recommend Montenegro, purely for the beautiful scenery and on that particular day trip I would say there’s more to explore. Hope that helps and enjoy Dubrovnik!View Comment