Croatia’s Dubrovnik is becoming one of the hottest destinations on the holiday map and remains surprisingly easy on the pocket. We have a look at what’s to love about Dubrovnik and the top 10 reasons to consider visiting this year.
1. View the sights from old town walls or in a cable car
Walking around the old town is like stepping straight onto the set of a historical drama – expect ornate arches, baroque splendour and ancient medieval lanes. You can walk around the 16th-century town walls to get a birds-eye view of the streets, squares, stunning architecture and domes that rival the best in Florence, Italy. You can also take a trip up in the cable car which has a fabulous restaurant at the top. So you can dine while taking in incredible views over the town, along the coast and far out to sea.
2. It’s a living UNESCO World Heritage Site
The UNESCO sites make Dubrovnik the ideal destination for culture fans, as pretty much everywhere you walk is centuries old. Some of the best spots to take a look at are the Medieval Franciscan Monastery which has one of the oldest pharmacies in the world, the spectacular grandeur of St. Blaise Church and the imposing turrets and high walls of St. John’s fortress.
3. Celebrities visit a lot, so take your selfie stick
Dubrovnik was where Wallace Simpson and Edward, Duke of Windsor sometimes spent holidays, but these days it attracts the likes of Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Kevin Spacey and Richard Gere. So there’s definitely a special element to Dubrovnik that you can soak up and enjoy just like a celebrity.
4. Game of Thrones lives on at the location of King’s Landing
It’s easy to see why Dubrovnik was chosen for several scenes in the hugely popular Game of Thrones TV series. The Medieval vibe here needed very little added except the iconic characters strutting around in their costumes. You can even take tours around the set locations to make sure you don’t miss a thing.
5. Han Solo and Chewbacca have strolled along the high street
If you’re a fan of Star Wars you’re also in for a treat as Star Wars: Episode VIII was filmed here. For a while the old town streets were full of stunt actors hurling themselves about, exotic aliens, smart robots and light sabres. The Millennium Falcon won’t be there, sadly, but you’ll be able to spot the exact film locations and there are sure to be detailed guided tours to help you out.
6. There’s drama, dance and music in the summer
The annual Dubrovnik Summer Festival is held during July and August as a celebration of Croatian culture. There are ballet performances, folk dances, plays, classical music concerts and outdoor film screenings. It’s the perfect opportunity to find out more about Croatian culture and join in with the festive atmosphere.
If you’re visiting in September there’s the annual International Jazz and Wine festival which takes place in the sumptuous Rector’s Palace in the old town. It’s ideal for connoisseurs of rich, complex sounds to snap your fingers and tap your feet to, and a fabulous way to sample some delicious wines.
7. Dubrovnik nightlife comes with a side of with amazing views
If you’re looking for quiet and relaxed evenings with spectacular views you’ll find them during the winter months in Dubrovnik. In the summer it’s a different story and there’s a lively vibe as visitors flock here to have fun and party. There’s a swanky and elegant side with sleek candlelit wine bars like D’Vino Wine Bar as well as several superb late-night venues such as Eastwest and Cave Bar More.
8. The food and drink are well worth dining out for
Croatian cuisine features grilled and barbecued fish and seafood which has often been caught the same day, so it’s literally sea fresh.
Pair your dinner with one of Croatia’s celebrated red or white wines and you’re set for a dinner experience to remember. You can enjoy sampling the cuisine from a fine selection of traditional-style restaurants, like Porto, which attract film folks such as director Francis Ford Coppola when they’re in town. There are relaxed, family-friendly spots too such as Kamenica, offering easy favourites such as pastas and pizzas alongside Croatian specialities.
9. It’s the ideal base for island hopping boat trips
Just off the coastline of Dubrovnik are small islands which are easy to reach by boat and make a fantastic day trip for a bit of secluded sunbathing, snorkelling and uninterrupted relaxation. There are several to choose from including Lokrum with its beautiful botanical gardens and old monastery, while Brac remains is a favourite spot with windsurfers and scuba divers.
10. Oh, and you’ll love the beaches
Some of the hotels have their own private bits of beach, so if you fancy that it’s worth looking out for. There are public beaches too, so either way you can head for the gentle waves and take a dip.
Banje Beach is a sandy and pebbly stretch with good facilities such as showers and sunloungers, so it’s a good spot to take the kids. There are watersports such as jet skiing too if you feel like getting active. You can also try Sveti Jakov beach which is five minutes by bus from the old town. This is a quieter spot which rarely gets crowded and is accessed by stairs on a hillside leading down to the shingle shoreline.
There are some amazing deals on Dubrovnik holidays which we’re always updating, so you may want to take a look to see what we’ve got for you.
Aminess Lume Hotel
Korcula, Dubrovnik and Islands, Croatia
Sensimar Kalamota Island Resort
Kolocep Island, Dubrovnik and Islands, Croatia
What do you like best about Dubrovnik as a holiday spot? We’d love to hear your thoughts.