What To Do in Dubrovnik, Croatia
I came to Dubrovnik via overnight ferry from Bari, Italy. I didn't know what to expect nor had anything planned but as I was arriving at the port, I saw the beautiful port and city that was Dubrovnik and knew the next few days would be very enjoyable and relaxing. I spent 3 full days here and it was the first time in all of my travels, even my weekend ones during exchange, that I was able to just relax and do nothing. I didn't have the hustle and bustle of a busy city to get me up early each day with a jam-packed schedule. The biggest thing I did miss out on was truly appreciating the city for its presence in Game of Thrones. I personally don't watch the show so it did not dawn on me how amazing being on the actual backdrop of the show was but the city definitely took full advantage of it and there were tons of souvenir shops and tours that were specific to GOT.
Anyhow, there isn't much to do or see in Dubrovnik regards to historical sites. Don't get me wrong, there are a ton of magnificent buildings, churches, etc. but I've had enough of them from visiting countless places in Europe. So I knew coming here, I was only going to hit the main attractions and then relax on the beach, which was exactly what I did.
Old Town: this is enclosed within the city wall and basically where all the tourist attractions are. It's a really cute and quint little place but it was overcrowded by tourists and was geared towards tourists so you lose the genuine feel of the city. Regardless it was beautiful with tiny alleyways and uphill buildings, and amazing squares. There are a ton of restaurants all lined up in the square. I was lucky enough to stay in a hostel right by the center so getting around was really convenient.
City Wall: like I mentioned, this was enclosed the old town and you can pay to walk along it. It took be about 2 hours to walk the entire wall and it gives you an awesome view of the Old Town and into the port. There's a hugest discount for students so don't forget your ID!
Banje Beach: This beach is right outside of the walls and the most popular one in Dubrovnik. Since the days I was in the city it was sunny, I was able to lay out all three days and get a little (or a lot) of tanning done. Apparently this beach gets really crowded during the summer and they even have day clubs here.
Sveti Jakov: This is a more secluded beach but a bit further down the coast, about a 25 minute walk from Old Town. It's a really small enclosed beach by a tall cliff with the most beautiful view of the water. This is definitely worth going to if you want some beach and quiet and to get away from all the touristy-ness of Dubrovnik.
Fort Imperial: this is a fort built on top of the mountain, the very highest peak of the city. This is the best place to watch the sunset and it overlooks the entire city. You can either go up by Cable Car which is about 15 euros or you can walk/hike up, which is what I did. It took us about an hour but the view from up top was definitely worth the trek. You should wear tennis shoes and bring some water. The beginning are just stairs so I thought it was going to be a pretty easy way up but halfway through you'll be walking through the trees and uneven path so having closed-toed shoes definitely helped. It was also a pretty nice day out so I worked up a bit of sweat hiking up.
Kayaking around Lokrum Island: I meet up with Kenneth, Mandy, and Ken's brother and cousins to do a like 3ish hours of kayaking along the coast of Dubrovnik and around the island nearby, Lokrum. We stopped by some nice caves to get off and swim, aka me going in the water with my lifevest, and got a good warm workout. Since I kayaked awhile prior in Amalfi Coast, I was pretty used to it and didn't feel tired from it. But I think everyone else around me felt it in the arms the next day. They made us sandwiches but since I was getting broke, I didn't eat it to save it for later. I put it down on my kayak and 5 minutes later a seagull flew in and took my sandwich!!
Split, Croatia: I heard split is beautiful and the perfect spot to start island hopping in Croatia.
- Visit different islands: I didn't plan it out well enough and also didn't want to spend money so I didn't visit any islands around Croatia but it's definitely something I want to do next time.
- Mjlet: I heard this is the hidden gem since the water is warm all year round and it still has the serine beauty to it. When I went, they didn't have any ferries that went in the morning and came back and night, basically to do a day trip there. They only did night ferries there and came back in the morning so you had to stay there over night for at least 2 nights to get a full day there.