Our first stop in Croatia was the famous walled city of Dubrovnik. Throughout history, the city has long been an important trading and defence point and was even an independent state called the Republic of Ragusa. Unfortunately it was besieged and badly damaged during the 1990s Homeland War in Croatia by Serbian (Yugoslav) forces, despite it being a protected UNESCO site. It has since been repaired and is now one of the most prominent sites in the Mediterranean and sees over a million tourists every year. In addition to this, Game of Thrones (which we have never seen) is filmed here.
Where We Stayed
We stayed at Apartment Talir that is located within the old town, close to the cathedral. It is secluded and private, yet close to everything. Word of warning though as there are no cars allowed in the old town so you’d have to haul your luggage through the streets from the main gate, which would not be fun if you arrive in the middle of the day with all the tourists out and about. Luckily, we got to Dubrovnik in the early morning so it wasn’t an issue.
Where We Ate
Dubrovnik is more expensive than the rest of Croatia due to its popularity as a tourist destination, so be mindful of prices here if you were to come from other parts of Croatia before Dubrovnik. Our best meal was at the “Bosnian” restaurant ‘Taj Mahal’ (no idea why they chose that name as it is definitely NOT Indian food). I use investment commas when I say Bosnian food because the food in Croatia and the former Yugoslavia is complex. Croatia has numerous regional cuisines, meaning that depending on where you are in Croatia, the food will vary greatly. The Dalmatian coast has a heavy Italian influence due to its history as part of Italy and the Venetian Republic, whereas other areas are more influenced by Hungarian or Turkish cuisine due to the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman rule over parts of the country. Neighbouring Bosnia-Herzegovina had the largest influence from Turkish culture and therefore stake a claim to foods such as ćevapi (small, skinless sausages) and burek (a pita pie filled with meat, cheese or potatoes), yet, depending who you speak to, these have become just as much a part of Croatian cuisine. So don’t feel strange about coming to Croatia and eating “Bosnian” food.
What We Did
The “City Walls Walk” is highly recommended for anybody going to Dubrovnik. You walk around the entire old town, with views from various vantage points. It can take anywhere between 1 to 2 hours to walk the entire lap, depending how often you stop and how slow you walk.
We also hired a kayak and paddled around a small island just off the coast. The cost for a double kayak for three hours was 150 kuna (approximately $30.00 AUD) and was a good chance to get away from the crowds.
Favourite Thing About Dubrovnik
Todd: The views of the old town and sea.
Brodie: The Wall Walk