Just like that, it’s February. Did you even feel January pass you by? I sure as hell did not. It’s been one crazy month and my husband and I were totally wrong when we thought 2018 would become a little less busy for us. But like I always say – busy is good. And we always find time for fun anyways. Today’s post, however, is another one of my Throwback Travels. It’s 1°C outside in Berlin today with some sun peeking out so I thought I’d bring you over with me down (not so distant) memory lane to Dubrovnik in Croatia.
Dubrovnik where the weather was pure perfection when we went last summer. Where the water was just the most exquisite shade of blue. Where people were as bright as the sun and the food was just spectacular. I’ve bookmarked this place for my dream retirement. That’s how much I loved it.
You see, we arrived in Berlin in April last year. It was right smack in the middle of spring yet the weather wasn’t anywhere near pleasant. There was even a day when the weather decided to freak out and it snowed. I was, of course, ill-prepared for it and it resulted in a horrible bout of the flu. #TropicalGirlThroughAndThrough
So, once summer rolled in, I was itching for some time in the water. While Berlin does have lakes, they weren’t enough to satiate my craving for some sun, sea, and sand. Enter the upcoming end of the last season of Game of Thrones last year and the impending purgatory of a wait for season 8. That really was the push that my husband (who’s not a beach person, by the way) needed to get out of the city, file a one day leave, and get his wife the weekend beach trip she’s been begging for.
And boy, did we enjoy.
History, culture, the beach, food, architecture, and a bit of geekery. If Dubrovnik was food, it would be pizza with all the different toppings we love, blending in beautifully over that perfectly done pie and crust.
I’m not going to talk about the must-sees in Dubrovnik in this post anymore. I already wrote about that for The Binge.
But I will share some more tips towards the end of this article to make your trip more fun and budget-friendly.
Tips for Your Visit
If you want to save some serious Kuna, you better buy the Dubrovnik Card. It’s available in one, three, and seven-day versions starting at HRK171 (USD28.56). It gives you free public transport and lets you enter the major attractions – including the top of the city’s walls. My favourites such as the Maritime Museum, Fort Lovrijenac, the Franciscan Monastery, and the Cultural Historical Museum are also included so it’s such an amazing deal.
Just for the Dubrovnik City Walls and Fort Lovrijenac will already set you back HRK150 (USD25.05) so might as well get the card that lets you take the bus to and from your hotel as well.
Take the boat tour during lunch hour. Yes, around 12nn or 1pm while everyone is busy eating. We paid around EUR10 (USD12.42) and ended up having the glass bottom boat to ourselves because nobody else booked a tour for that time.
Where to Stay?
I can highly recommend the Valamar group of hotels. We stayed in Valamar Lacroma which came out pretty affordable at that time because we were able to book a few months before our trip. Luxury at an affordable rate should be my middle name. But that’s just one too many words.
I like their breakfast buffet as well with all the choices available. They have two swimming pools and staying at Valamar Lacroma also gives you access to the beach area of Valamar President which is right beside it.
How’s the swimming?
If like us, you’re used to powdery, soft sand, well you’re in for a bit of disappointment. Dubrovnik’s beaches are rocky but I ended up enjoying myself anyway. I just needed to swim with my flip flops in tow and get over the fear of jumping off the ledges that bring you to really deep parts of the water.
It was easy once I saw little kids doing it. They brought out my competitive gene.
You can also swim near the Old City. There are lots of rock formations by the sea where you can just leave your clothes and jump into the water – if you’re brave enough.
I urge you to shop and support the locals. Most of the Croatians in Dubrovnik make a living through the arrival of tourists in their city. Also, your hard-earned cash goes a long way. I didn’t see one shop that sold overpriced goods. Even some of the Game of Thrones and Star Wars collectables were affordable.
Their handmade items are of really high quality and the skin care they sell at the Franciscan Monastery is just amazing. Get the lavender cream if you’ve got sensitive skin!
What do we eat?
Seafood, seafood, seafood! Oh, and pizza at this really small place called Tomato Pizzeria – just outside the Old City (through Pile Gate). It’s near the bus station to Babin Kuk.
But make sure you get it with anchovies because why are you even near the Adriatic if you don’t want to have some? But seriously – they’re so good!
There are lots of choices inside the Old City and it’s such a lovely place to dine at for dinner.
You sit outside, under the stars while you have a lovely dinner and drink some good wine. Bring a shawl as it can get windy at night, though.
If you’re someone looking for affordable options, I can assure you that you will find fancy restaurants inside the Old City that are extremely affordable. Especially if you compare the prices to like Berlin or Amsterdam.
Oh, and another thing – it’s good to note that as soon as you step out of the Old City, prices would drop even more. Even for that bottle of water or that scoop of ice cream you’ve been craving for due to the hot and humid weather.
And there you have it. My Dubrovnik photo diary! 🙂 Hope you enjoyed and once again, if you need any more information. Check out the links I posted above for the other articles I wrote and the video made about Dubrovnik.