Top Tips from Gillie
If you need an ATM use the OTP Banka in the centre of town for the best rates.
Avoid the free standing ones, they are the worst rip-off.
The Peco bakery in the centre is great for bread, easy snacks and coffees with plant based milks. Also take-away sandwiches, freshly made, for a cheap and easy lunch.
In the little alleyway in front of the supermarket (between bakery and bank) every morning there is a mini farmers market and they also do fresh fish each morning !
The tap water is fine to drink , in fact it’s amazing. It passes through the limestone on the way from the mountains and the limestone acts as a natural filter so it’s already filtered!
Everywhere is generally within walking distance and this is the best way to move around. Take the coast paths to avoid traffic, but give yourself plenty of time for stopping to breathe in the views and taking photos.
If you are going shopping take a rucksack or something as it could seem like a long walk with bags to carry.
In the centre of town there is a bus which goes regularly to Dubrovnik and the next town of Mlini which is also super pretty. The schedule is at the bus stop or here.
You will need kunas to pay (no contactless!) and best to have some change (around 50 kunas).
At the bus stop there are many taxis but always agree a price in advance, so no nasty shocks. Way cheaper is to get an Uber, you can download the app and they are available everywhere.
The cafe bars don’t tend to sell any food at all, apart from the bakery. But they don’t mind you taking in your own, for instance a croissant for your coffees in the morning or even a takeaway pizza from nearby restaurant.
Many don’t take cards, so always have cash on you.
In my opinion, Cafe Bar Amor is the best place by far to sit and watch the world go by. It’s on the “Riva” which is the name of the street running in front of the water where most of the boats are. Only residents are allowed to drive down there so there isn’t much traffic, but watch out for people on scooters!
It’s where the locals go and it’s reasonably priced and best place to catch the sunset. It’s the second one along opposite where the boats go from.
I like a Gemisht there at sunset (white wine with sparkling mineral water), it costs about £1.50 and doesn’t dehydrate you too much
However taking time over coffee is the culture in Croatia, you’ll see people take hours over coffee. There’s no rush. Polako, as they say here.
Top End / Treats
Bougainvila – my favourite, walk away from centre from Amor and it’s 50m on your right. So special. Great deal on 3 oysters and a glass of Prosecco! 😊
Leut – right on the corner near the bakery but by the water . Super fresh fish, really good quality in everything
Ludo More – in the middle bay, near the water, great for insulation dishes and fresh fish they catch themselves
Konoba Kolona – it’s not on the water, it’s on the corner opposite the bus stop, so it’s not a tourist trap but it’s a hidden gem for fresh fish. The owner goes out fishing each morning
Ankora – also on the “riva”, the main strip of harbour, it has great Mediterranean food, good brunches etc, super menu with healthy options and reasonably priced.
Domizana – on the other side, if you end up there, the most northern bay. Lovely for sunset if there’s no wind, it’s right on the water . Good for breakfast, amazing pizzas , or soup / salads for lunch.
The most amazing wild beaches within walking distance are beyond Domizana , head towards the Hotel Epidaurus and there is a coastal path (not well marked so you might need to ask someone).
When you hit the first beach continue to the other side of the bay and keep walking. The beaches get better and the third one is my favourite and an FKK beach so watch out for the nudists!!
Also the beach at the point of the second “finger”, the peninsula which looks out to Supertar island, is special.
That path is my favourite part. There is a beach bar called Beach Bar Little Star which is like a shack but it may not be open yet. Still it’s a great swimming spot and place to chill out.
Continuing the path around that headland there are some other amazing swimming spots. You can also take the wild path up to the Mausoleum from there which is a beautiful viewpoint!
For beaches further afield check out Luka Beach, Pasjaca Beach, Coco Beach, Robinsons Bay, and Kupari. These will require transport but if you are interested, ask me.
Take Sealine to Dubrovnik Old Town from either the main Riva in front of Amor, or from Eve Lounge Bar. Ask if it’s Dado and if it is say hi from me. He’s a good friend.
This boat will also stop at Lokrum island which is a stunning nature reserve. It’s not cheap 200 kunas I think so you probably want to spend the day there. Take your swim suit and dip in the lake in the middle of the island , with the peacocks and other wildlife. Rabbits are running free, it’s such a special place.
Anita with the long blonde hair does the 3 island tours. It’s a great trip but most of the feedback is that it’s a long day so be prepared for that. It should be easier as it’s not too hot yet. Anita can also advise about Lokrum island.
There is one Watersports centre located just below Hotel Croatia next to the Spinnaker restaurant.
It’s run by my two friends – brothers Antonio and Ivo – I love them! Tell them I say hi!! They will help you with the kayak, SUP, Jetski, and advise on where to go etc. SUP or Kayak Hire is around 100 kunas per hour, paid in cash.
Either around to the reef to the left of the bay or if the weather is favourable Supertar island is possible.
The Spinnaker is also a great spot for a bite to eat after kayaking too. Gazpacho and Calamari are hot favourites.
You can also walk around the headland of the hotel and there’s an alternative view, some swim spots, another nudey beach.
Another place for paddleboards is close by in Obod, at the end closest to town, the beach where Eve bar is. A more challenging paddle will take you to the nearby wild FKK beach.
For some truly unique and exhilirating experiences on the water including boat hire, diving, ringos, jet skis and parascending, trot along to Epidaurum in Obod. They are great, although it’s worthwhile booking in advance to avoid disappointment!
Ah, Dubrovnik, the pearl of the Adriatic, one of the most beautiful and historic cities in the world.
You may be surprised how small it is, and how that you can actually do it easily in a day. In my opinion, any longer and it becomes tiring anyway.
By far the best way to get there is by boat from Cavtat, it will literally take you right into the Old Town, and the journey is breath-taking especially as you arrive.
From the boat, you will see Dubrovnik straight ahead of you, but keep your eyes right as you approach and watch out for the beautiful caves in the rocks, and just before you get into the harbour you will see on the right The Lazereti, the original place of quarantine in Dubrovnik.
This is one of my favourite places. During the day you can walk around, drop down by the water, have a coffee and look around the craft shops, and by night, it’s a cool nightclub.
It’s just outside the City walls at Ploce Gate, and just a 5-10 minute walk from where the ferry drops you off. If you would like a quick stretch of leg after the boat trip, head round to the right as you come off the ferry and through the arches and this is a nice little amble before heading into the busier part of the Old Town.
Just above the gate as you enter the Old Town, there is a fantastic gift shop called “Life According to Kawa” with many local artisan products, much better than some of the tat they sell in the tourist traps in the Old Town. Be sure to check this place out if you want to buy gifts or if you are a foodie.
After your little sidetrack to the Lazereti, come back to the Old Town and head for the Cathedral Square, this is where it’s all happening.
There is a gallery on the right usually with some kind of exhibition, but as you walk to the left of the cathedral you will see Gradska Kavana, the absolute best coffee shop in Dubrovnik, in terms of location, quality and service, it’s part of the local culture here, sitting there watching the world go by. They have also great value brunches here, everything they do is fantastic, but even if just for a coffee, don’t miss it.
Once you are refreshed, head down the Stradun, the main street of the Old Town, in front of the cathedral and just soak it all up.
NB If it is raining make sure you have good soles on your shoes as it can get very slippy.
There are many lovely stop offs, museums, and historic sites, one of my favourites is The Oldest Pharmacy, a hidden gem at the other end of The Stradun. Outside you will see bullet holes in the walls, which is a stark reminder of the difficult past of the place. It’s well worth at least dropping your head in, but also it’s a quite reasonable entrance fee and the shop there has some great purchases like their Rose Cream!
Of course, some people like to walk the City Walls. Personally I think it’s a lot of money for what it is (about 29 euros for a ticket), especially when it’s busy. Do it at sunrise or sunset for the best experience. Or save your money and just walk around the outside of the city walls!
What is in my opinion worth the money is a little hike up Fort Lovrijenac, on the other side of the Old Town.
When you get to the other end of The Stradun, go up the steps and you will end up at Pile Gate (get taxis / buses here if you need them and there’s also a tourist information centre, a great meet point).
On the left is a Café Restaurant called Dubravka 1836 in one of the best locations in Dubrovnik. It looks like a tourist trap, but it’s good value, good quality and just an amazing setting. The food is good and the wine is too! Also a good breakfast here. For something more fancy you have Nautika just next to 1836, go check out the menu outside. It’s pricey but apparently amazing.
Be sure to head over to the water though and take a look.
On the right you will see Fort Lovrijenac, and you will see the path that goes up to it.
To join the path, head towards the Tourist Info Centre and there are some steps on your left going down towards the water. Just follow the path around to the right, and you will find the track. There are some other lovely stop offs here by the water.
Entrance to Fort Lovrijenac is about 50 kunas per person, and make sure you go right to the top to get the view!
Also in this area is the famous Love Stories Museum, and one of my favourite swim spots Sulic Beach. Whenever I go to Dubrovnik I always take my swim suit as after a while in the town, I feel the need to jump in the sea and this is one of the best places. You can get some refreshments and the best view in Dodo Bar which is overlooking the beach, a really cool place to hang out!
As you enter back into the Old Town, I would take it easy from here and just meander the back streets, and soak it all up. One of the most iconic areas ) especially for Game of Thrones fans) are the Jesuit stairs which ascend from Gundulic Square to the Church of St Ignatius which is a lovely place.
At the other end of the stairs, you will connect to the south side of the walls, where all the cats hang out in little cubby holes in the walls. Please say hi from me!! 😊
From this section of the walks there are some amazing views out to the Adriatic and Lokrum Island, and there are two Buza Bars placed right on the edge of the walls. They are a bit hidden away, but look for some home-made signs about Cold Beer and Good Views, go through the arches and down the steps and both of these places are about the best spots to refresh yourself whilst escaping the madness of the Old Town (they may not be open until June, I’m not sure). Another reason to take your swimsuit, this is one of the best swimming spots in Dubrovnik in my opinion.
Some people cram this into a Dubrovnik day out. Personally I think that’s a bit too much as it’s best to take your time here.
From Cavtat the bus will take you very close to the cable car which takes you up to the top of Mount Srd, you can get a return ticket for 200 kunas and is quite an experience, although what is at the top is the best part.
The War Museum at the top is very good, and an essential part of the visit to Dubrovnik, for to understand the place at all, you need to understand it’s history. It’s a great place to get perspective.
And the view!!
There is a restaurant at the top which is pretty good, but it does get busy so it’s best to make a reservation or take a back-up picnic with you!
An alternative to the cable car is to hike to the top, stunning in Spring and Autumn, but in summer, best done at sunset or sunrise! It takes 1 1/2hours approximately and it is used as a pilgrimage to get to the white cross on the top. A zig-zaggy path with so many stop offs for photos and some history, it is a really breath-taking experience. You can walk back down the same path, a more complicated way back into Dubrovnik, or jump on the cable car.