We chose Croatia for our summer holiday because we’ve only heard great things about it – the romantic Old Town, the fresh seafood, the marble floors, the sun and beaches. We spent three full days in Dubrovnik, a city known for its distinctive Old Town. We stayed at an Airbnb studio located about 15 minutes walk from the Old Town, which was a big mistake when we decided to tow our luggage to the studio at 11pm at night. Who knew the city was very hilly with numerous steps? But we loved the lemon trees and grape vines on our studio’s terrace. The lemons made for the freshest lemonades we’ve ever tasted.
Although we aren’t much of a sun and beach holiday type of couple, we ended up swimming a couple times in Dubrovnik simply because the heat was very intense. We trespassed Hotel Bellevue to go to a nearby beach. Initially I had some reservations about rocky beaches but Croatia changed my mind. The water among rocky beaches were so clear that we could see our own hands and feet when they were submerged into the water. My ugly plastic water shoes which cost 50 kuna turned out to be one of the most useful purchases of the trip, along with a straw hat.
Hands down, the best part of Dubrovnik was the sunset sea kayaking tour. It was a 7.5km trip and even though we run every weekend, our fitness level was horrendous when it came to kayaking – out of the entire group, we were struggling at the back and occasionally had the oars the wrong way round. However, that did not destroyed the trip; we kayaked along the calm water, sometimes asynchronously, passing by scenic caves, Lokrum Island, and even a nudist island. The yellow yolk of the sun dipping into the ocean as we kayaked back to the old city walls was one of the best sunsets we’ve seen in a very long time.
Some excellent restaurants we tried include:
- Moskar Konoba – Cuttlefish ink risotto
- Shizuku – Amazing Japanese food at a fraction of the prices compared to London
- Azur Dubrovnik – Asian Mediterranean fusion food within the Old City walls
- Barba street food – Fried fish, great place for a casual lunch
- Magellan – We came here on the recommendation of our host, excellent Mediterranean food and outdoor dining atmosphere.
- Cafe Buza – This is a bar wedged into the cliff walls. Good for an alcoholic drink but terrible for coffee or tea because it was not fresh. We came here more for the view – excellent view of the sea.
- Lady Pi-Pi – You have to climb many staircases to get here but it was well worth it as the restaurant has lots of great seafood at economical prices. In case you were intrigued about the name Lady Pi-Pi – the owners took inspiration from a statue of a woman peeing proudly at the front of the restaurant.
Other than the casual lunch or drink places, most of the restaurants above required reservation as the tables were filled on the nights we went.
In hindsight, two full days in Dubrovnik would’ve been sufficient. We would suggest fellow travellers to opt for a day trip to Mostar or Kotor instead of spending three days in Dubrovnik. Also, we found prices in Dubrovnik comparatively more expensive than other cities such as Hvar and Split. The city really does thrive on tourism!