I'm just mid flight returning to Dublin from Dubrovnik after an amazing week away.
Dubrovnik isn't somewhere that was really on my radar or somewhere I considered going before but after speaking to my god mother and cousin and hearing how beautiful it was I had to check it out for myself.
It certainly did not disappoint, infact I'm already researching other parts of Croatia to check out for our next trip abroad.
I've said this before but when I'm booking a holiday I spend a couple of weeks researching the best location to stay in, the best restaurants to try etc and I haven't been disappointed with any of our trips over the years. I would never recommend somewhere to stay unless I was really happy with it. We decided on The Dubrovnik Palace Hotel which I would highly recommend. Every room has a beautiful balcony and sea view, there are 3 outdoor and 1 indoor swimming pool and a private beach ( this was our favourite part) the water is crystal clear and you can see little fish and crabs swimming close to the shore. It's so nice to be able to walk out of your room and to be swimming in the sea in under a minute.
Breakfast was amazing with a huge selection of choices, actually out of all the places we have stayed it was probably the nicest.
Every 15 minutes a bus stops outside the hotel and brings you to the Old town which is about a 10 minute bus journey away.
I would actually recommend this Hotel for honeymooners as it's so fab and I know a lot of brides to be follow me. It's great for families too and the staff were lovely and helpful. It wasn't the cheapest hotel in the area but if you keep an eye online you can get a better price.
The Old town is the main place to go for dinner and there are loads of restaurants to choose from. We would be quite fussy when it comes to food and would always try and go for the less touristy options and see where the locals are eating.
If you go to Dubrovnik you have to go to this restaurant
1.Lucin Kantun : When you enter the gates into the Old town there is a Main Street, some of our favourite restaurants were up the alleyways to the left of the Main Street.
This one was both of our favourite and we went twice. The food is fresh, local produce and the best value of all the restaurants we ate in but also the best food!
It's tapas style so order 4/6 dishes to share and you can always order more.
You will not be disappointed.
2.Lady Pi Pi : Up one of the alleyways to the left at the very top of the stairs is this hidden gem, it's quite a few steps so don't where heels for this one. It's really popular and we did queue for an hour to eat here which is a little annoying but the food is good. All barbecued meat and fish that you can see being cooked in a huge barbecue, it's reasonably priced too and. A gorgeous setting.
3. Lokanda Peskarija : We ate here twice too, once for lunch and once for dinner. It's over looking the harbour and if you are fan of really fresh fish you will love this. The portions are big so you can definitely share. I highly recommend the cuttlefish risotto and the prawns. It's a nice place to sit even with a coffee and people watch. Again this was good value for really good fresh food cooked perfectly.
4.Orsan Yacht Club
We got the bus to Babin Kuk (5 mins from our hotel) and walked to the yacht club which took another 5 minutes. It's another nice little harbour and this restaurant is lovely for lunch or dinner. We went for lunch and then walked the scenic walking route all along the coastline of Babin Kuk. The Copacabana beach is on the route which is really nice to go and lie in the sun or have a drink. We walked all the way around which took about two hours but the views where unbelievable and it's nice and quiet too so you can take it all in. We finished the walk in the cave bar of the More Hotel and had a couple of drinks and watched the sunset. We actually went here a couple of evening for drinks and it's really nice. It's another lovely hotel with gorgeous views and a private beach too. There is a strip of bars and restaurants about two minutes from it.
Note: The old town gets quite busy with tourists and some of the restaurants take advantage of this with high prices and not so amazing food.
Things to do
The island of Lokrum
This was our favourite place and we got the boat over twice. It's the most beautiful island only about a 20 minute boat ride from the harbour of the old town. You can just walk around the island and admire its beauty and wildlife or find a spot on the rocks and swim in the most beautiful clear sea. There are a couple of places to have a drink and relax but I recommend bringing a picnic and sitting by the sea. There is also the Dead Sea lake which is a gorgeous spot to sit or swim.
If you are going bring carrots and bird food as there are bunnies and peacocks everywhere and it's so cute to feed them especially if you have kids or are an animal lover like me.
The City Walls
This was actually a gorgeous way to spend a few hours. The initial steps up to the top of the walls are quite steep and there are quite a lot of them so definitely wear comfortable shoes or you won't be able to enjoy it. It takes about 2 hours to walk around the city walls, you are up quite high so the views are unbelievable. There are lots of places you can stop along the way for a drink and take in the sights too.
We got the boat here from the harbour and it took about 45 mins. It's another gorgeous spot to walk around or take a swim. There are loads of restaurants and cafes facing the harbour where you can sit and watch the amazing yachts come in. Seriously some of the yachts we saw were insane, definitely over the 30 million mark so if you are nosy and like to people watch ( like me) you will enjoy! We went to the prosecco and oyster bar on the harbour which was lovely.
Note: get the boat over one-way and buy a return ticket in Cavtat it just means you can leave when you want and you aren't tied down to a certain time. There are boats leaving every 20/30 mins.
- Kuna is the currency in Dubrovnik, we exchanged some euros in the airport in Dublin and you can exchange euros over there in lots of banks for 0% commission.
- The bus system is really convenient and cheap. We got buses everywhere for about €3 return to the old town. There is genuinely no need to get taxis.
- I know I sound like I'm 100 years old but definitely bring comfortable shoes or you won't enjoy it. There is quite a bit of walking and steps so you will need them. I will 100% pack runners next time.
- The beaches are rock or shingle beaches and there is no sand so most tourists wore sea shoes which made walking in and out of the sea easier. You can buy them everywhere over there.
- Go off the Main Street of the old town and wander up the alleyways especially along the coast side as you will find some hidden gems along the way like bars built into the coastline.
- There are cats and kittens everywhere so if you are animal lover like me buy some cat food and feed them, I couldn't cope looking at the little kittens wandering around.
I have literally written about everything I can think of so I hope this helped anyone travelling to Dubrovnik or thinking of going.
As I said we will definitely be back , it's a beautiful part of the world with the most stunning views and coastlines.