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Croatia: The best thing to do in Dubrovnik

The highlight of a stay in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

What is it about age?  Already I feel all of my (almost) 33 years in my bones: nights out equal aching joints and puffy eyes the next morning, and heightened “wisdom” renders me overly gun-shy– unable to make decisions on even the smallest things without a lot of deliberation and hand-wringing. With age has also come germaphobia, an increasing level of inflexibility, and a resistance to change. (Gosh, I don’t sound that fun, do I?)

With regards to travel, age has also reared its ugly head: I’m no longer able to rough it in hostels (goodbye, 18-bed mixed dorm I slept in in Prague!) and I have a growing distaste for large crowds.

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Mexico City, 2007. When I was young and unbothered by germs, crowds… and nude protesters, evidently

The latter is why Dubrovnik, Croatia was not my favourite place.  A major stop on the Mediterranean cruise summer circuit, Dubrovnik could be re-christened “Overrun Tourist City” from June through to August. Dubrovnik’s Old Town, its main attraction, becomes a maddeningly packed maze of tiny streets where shops and restaurants peddle over-priced wares and food, and where shuffling through narrow laneways shoulder-to-shoulder with other tourists is an expectation rather than an eventuality.

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But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit. After all, it’s gorgeous– see my pics above! And really, despite all my natter, all you need to do to get (some) peace and quiet is to go… up.

Walking the Walls

Dubrovnik’s ancient defensive walls encircle the city like giant hug.  Constructed mostly in the Middle Ages and stretching over 6,000 feet, the sheets of stone once acted as a fortification system in times of war.  Now? Restored to pristine condition, the walls are a great place for pretty photos and for bird’s eye views of both the red-roofed old town and the cerulean waters of the Mediterranean.  Not bad, huh?

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To be honest, there’s not much to say about the walls beyond the above.  They’re open pretty much every day from from 9am to 6pm (check here for exact times as they change depending on the season). Cost is a steep 100 Croatian Kuna (about $15 USD), but the Instagrammable views make it an experience worth forking out your hard earned cash for. Moreover, getting here is pretty straight forward as there are three entrances: on Stradun by the Pile gate, by Fort St. Johns, and by Fort St. Luke, Od sv. Dominika street. And just because I’m feeling generous, a tip for you: Dubrovnik in the summer is a dream, but the intense sun and the risk of sunburn (or worse!) are not. The walk is uncovered so make sure you bring sunscreen and/or a hat!

Have you done a wall walk before?

http://citywallsdubrovnik.hr/

http://timeoutcroatia.com/dubrovnik-and-islands/dubrovnik/sights/city-walls/

 

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Melissa | Suitcase and Heels
    May 8, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    I loved Dubrovnik but after one visit I think I’m done. I visited in September ’12 and thankfully it was the shoulder season so it wasn’t jam packed with tourists every day. The nicest part though was after supper when the cruise ships left and the town was cozier.

    Somewhat unrelated: I stayed in my first hostel just this past fall at the age of 35. 😛 Only two so far: one 8-bed with curtains on each bed and one 4-bed room. Generally, they’re not really for me though.

  • Reply
    Jay
    May 9, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    We were in Croatia this April and Dubrovnik was by far the most touristy city we visited but thankfully, visiting in the off season made it much quieter than I’ve heard it is in the summer. We do a lot of off season travel to avoid the crowds.
    My husband did a guided walk of the walls which was interesting. I visited the next day and just walked on my own – both great experiences.

  • Reply
    gsutiger
    May 11, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Jay – I’m with you. I do most of my traveling off season. The weather gods have been with us each and every time thus far. You save TONS of money and you have streets/squares to yourself. I also find that shop owners/restaurants have better service during this time.

    Melissa – I stayed in my first hostel this past March in Budapest, Zagreb, Croatia, and Ljubljana. I totally loved it. We however, opted for private rooms with baths. Saved tons of money. It was no different than staying in a hotel and I felt the locations were 10 times better. As a side note – I did do tons of research to find the best hostels.

  • Reply
    Uelito @ Flashpacking the World
    May 18, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    Hi Oneika! Love your throwback to the 2007 when you’ve been with all the nude protesters! Haha, funny! Thank you for the useful info about Dubrovnik. I have heard alot of positive about this city. You make it now clear, it’s definitely worth a visit. I love the orange color of the roofs. Beautiful!

    • Reply
      Oneika
      May 26, 2015 at 3:39 am

      Thanks Uelito! I figure a nude pic is always a good addition to a post.. 😉

  • Reply
    Emme Luck
    May 28, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    Wow, these photos are beautiful. It is incredible that such history and culture can be preserved from as far back as the Middle Ages and even before that. Croatian society seems to work well together with the surrounding environment. Thanks for the post! – Emme @ Green Global Travel

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