Sailing into the beautiful 12th century Croatian walled city of Dubrovnik is one of the great cruising experiences. The spectacular Old Town – with its pretty harbour, towering ramparts, creamy stone pavements and red-roofed buildings – is crammed with architectural wonders like Onofrio’s Fountain – constructed in the 1430s – and the 14th century Franciscan Monastery, home to a wonderful statue of the Piéta carved in 1498, and the world’s oldest pharmacy (est. 1391).
Visit the magnificently Gothic Sponza Palace and the 18th century Baroque Church of St Blaise, Dubrovnik’s patron saint.
And, when you have had your fill of sightseeing, you will find pretty restaurants and cafés tucked away on Dubrovnik’s narrow side streets – worth exploring as they also contain offbeat shops and art galleries.
Lacework, oil paintings and ceramics are good buys but take plenty of cash with you, as some shops do not accept credit cards.
If visiting in the summer months temperatures can get well into the 30’s.
You can dock or tender depending on how many ships are in. The shuttle bus takes you to the Pile Gate (the old Town), this is about a twenty minute drive away. At the terminal in Dubrovnik there is a sign with taxi prices, including €10 to the Old Town. If you tender it takes you through an archway to the town.
For a Taxi tour ( they wait were you will dock) ask the diver to take you to the top cable car station, on the way he will stop at various advantage points down the coast road. When you get to the top they usually have a walk around with you again pointing out and telling you about the war, when you are finished he will take you back down and offer to drop you of at the city walls or back to the ship. Four people in a taxi €50 great experience.
You can just do the cable car. You can purchase a ticket for the cable car at a small newsagent that is on the way to the boarding gate. You can then please yourself what time you go up. Relax in the cafe at the top and admire the stunning views.
Just a nice place to wander around with little outdoor cafes near the harbour and the weather was beautiful; it is a lovely sleepy town with beautiful old buildings.
A walk around the walls is very good. From Pile Square, walk through the city gate (there is an outer gate and an inner gate). Once in the inner gate you will see the main street in front of you. As you are looking down the main thoroughfare of the city which has the tower at the end of it, on the left opposite the fountain there is an opening, go through there and it’s here you buy your ticket to do what is arguable a very good tour. There are two types of ticket an audio and no audio, the price of the audio was 120 kuna. Note: you cannot use any other currency other than their own or you had to use a credit card, specifically said ‘you could not pay with Euros’ in big letters. Be careful you only buy a wall ticket from one of the official ticket-offices, as there are often ‘scammers’ trying to sell cheap ones around the entrances to the walls.
Once on the walls every one walks in the same direction so you do not have to pass people. For those a little wary of heights, the walls are roughly roof-height, but solid stone with chest-high walls. There are some cafes on the wall so you can stop for a breather. The views are amazing, so my advice would be to have a look at the steps before you buy tickets and I think I would consider how hot the weather is. Even if it is busy, it’s worth it!
Do look for Buza, a bar just through the walls of the city with the most amazing views, follow the sign for ‘ cold drinks’ expect to pay about 38kuna for a local beer and 40 for export.
If you decided to stop for an ice cream be warned; DO NOT get a double. A single cone costs 10kuna (2014) and is perhaps the biggest ice cream cone you will ever have. Secondly a tip; take a spoon.
For something different try a trip to the little town of Cavtat, You can either go on an excursion or get a boat from the harbour at the far end of the main drag, it is a really lovely little place, very oldie worldly with a gorgeous picturesque cove with lots of yachts and a promenade with tropical plants, benches, flowers and a fountain.
Another good DIY excursion is a boat for a trip around Lokrum Island, a little way off shore from Dubrovnik. It is €10pp, 2016, for a lovely trip which lasts about 50 minutes. Lokrum is beautiful.
By Peter Dagnall
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