Top Travel Tips for Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, in the region of Dalmatia on the Adriatic Sea, is the perfect mix of great climate, and

Famous for its historic walls with it’s system of turrets and towers, that surround the Old Town, it is this area that is also used as the set of ‘King’s Landing’ for the popular TV show ‘Game of Thrones’. The local airport is less than half an hour away by convenient and affordable shuttle buses, or indeed private transfer, and the whole city is connected by a very accessible bus system.

When packing to travel to Dubrovnik, remember comfortable walking shoes, swim-wear, and sun-cream. In the picturesque Old Town area there are no cars, bicycles, or public transport allowed, and it being very hilly, there are hundreds of steps should you wish to explore it fully. It allows for wonderful views, but very tired feet should you not bring adequate foot-wear. With it’s Mediterranean climate, the average temperatures are more than pleasant, generally peaking from May through to September. We visited mid-June, and being used to the mild British weather, and with our significant pallor, we found it positively tropical, humid, and the sea a real delight to take a quick dip in. As for travel money, we took only a modest amount of HRK that we’d changed up at the airport, just to get by the first few days, and easily found cash-points, which obviously automatically convert to the local currency, whilst out there.

As there is a lot of choice as to where to stay, we have reviewed a number of hotels in the Adriatic Luxury Hotel group for you in further posts, as well as a more modest apartment from AirBNB. We found that your choice of accommodation there, should really be motivated by two factors- 1)What you enjoy doing on holiday and 2) How central to everything you like to be.

Dubrovnik is spread across x5 major areas. These are- ‘Grad’ which is the historic centre of Old Town, again, no transport is aloud inside the walls, but it is the cultural hub for all the museums and attractions. You will find a few hotels, and many small apartments to rent, but be prepared to carry luggage uphill, up sometimes hundreds of steps. Then you have ‘Pile’ which is essentially just the gate outside Old Town, but this is the main spot that transport connects with other areas of the city. ‘Ploče’ which is the area just past Old Town where many luxury hotels and residences line the coast with their private beaches. Then ‘Gruž’, which is a more residential area, with many apartments, as well as the main bus station, the port where the cruise liners arrive, and where you can find boats and ships to sail to nearby islands. Plus finally there’s Lapad, which is very scenic with it’s promenades, greenery, and the majority of hotels. Whilst this makes Dubrovnik sound very large, technically from area to area, it should only take you roughly x10 minutes by bus, and as such it is very accessible and wonderful to explore.

Many hotels have their own pools, and access to private or shared beaches nearby, whereas apartments around the city, especially those in the Old Town, will not. We love the contrast of culture and relaxation on a holiday, and with Dubrovnik providing you the opportunity to do both, we liked the choice a hotel gave us to lounge by the pool or sea in the morning. The ease of wandering up to our room to get ready, before venturing out to explore and adventure in the afternoon was very convieniant. Of course, apartments are generally great value, and you could easily find a beach you could access should you be in the Old Town, or inland slightly, but the compromise is having to travel to do so.

With the temperatures reaching their hottest around midday, locals strongly advise you utilize these hours between say 12-3pm to relax and enjoy the ambiance. This is an excellent tip, not only to avoid the midday sun, but in the more tourist prone areas like the Old Town, this is when many of the cruise ships, or tours take place, and it gets very crowded indeed.

As mentioned before, the bus networks are great. They work slightly differently to British buses, as you purchase a ticket either beforehand from a machine, or from many hotels for 12HRK (roughly £1.20), or for slight more at 15HRK (approx. £1.50) if you buy directly from the bus driver. As far as we could tell from conversations with the locals, you can use that ticket for up to an hour to travel around Dubrovnik before having to purchase another. Taxi’s are everywhere, particularly around Pile Gate, which is for example, a place the shuttle bus can stop from the airport (also stops at the bus station in Gruz, and it costs 70HRK or about £7 return). They work on a meter system, and the pricing is generally comparative to London taxis. However, do ensure the meter is working, or it is not set to a high amount before you travel, as when we arrived, we didn’t realize our hotel was so close and ended up paying the equivalent of £15 to travel what should have been a less than x3min journey. That kind of cost should take you the whole distance of the city, and once we realized, before any further taxi journeys, we began to ask the hotel desks, or a local, how much they would roughly pay for the journey we were about to make. The bus is definitely the best method of transport, but when dragging your luggage from hotel to hotel, sometimes a taxi is sometimes preferable. If your aim is to travel around a bit, and hire a car to do so, be aware that parking, particular around the Old Town, is sparse. Especially as that area does not allow cars. Do check in advance if your hotel or apartment has space before you book.

If venturing further afield, we were recommended to consider day trips to Montenegro, Mostar, and any of the gorgeous islands off the coast of Dubrovnik and further along. We sadly didn’t have time to explore any of these options, but it is certainly on our to-do list when we are lucky enough to holiday there again.

Do check in over the next week or so for a few more posts about Dubrovnik, where we will be reviewing a few of our favorite hotels, and offering guides of things to do, and places to eat in the city.

We travelled to Dubrovnik with British Airways, via a really efficient direct service, being only around 2hr 25mins from London, and we were even early!

 Pics copyright of Whim Biscuit blog 2015.