Croatia: 3 days in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik was our first stop in Croatia and I’ll never forget our drive into the city from the airport. We arrived right around sunset and were completely blown away as our car approached the steep cliffs overlooking the Adriatic Sea. We got an Airbnb apartment just outside of the walls of Dubrovnik’s old town, with a beautiful view of the sea and an easy walk into town. We were exhausted when we arrived, having traveled for about 17 hours with only a few hours of sleep, but we were super hungry so that motivated us to wander into town right away to get some dinner. Our first impression was that  Dubrovnik is incredibly clean and pristine but also very crowed with tourists. We wandered the streets a bit and found a cute little pizza place down a tiny alleyway off the main plaza.

 

Day two we woke up to blue skies over orange tiled rooftops and a sparkling blue sea dotted with giant sailboats. We decided to go into old town for breakfast and a little exploring, then make our way to the beach. We wandered around the little streets and alleys that are filled with shops (and tourists) then made our way along the water, up the hill to the stairs that head down to Sveti Jakov beach. As soon as we got a view of the beach from the stairs, we knew it was worth the 30 minute walk. The beach is in a secluded cove facing the old town, which makes for the perfect view of the city. We had some drinks at the little beach bar, swam for a bit, then grabbed some grilled shrimp and a cheese plate for lunch at the restaurant at the far end of the beach. Hiking up the hundreds of stairs to leave the beach was intense, but made us feel better ourselves after all of the drinks and cheese! We headed to our apartment to get cleaned up, then headed into town to Buza bar, where we had drinks while watching tourists and locals jump from the cliffs into the sea. Next was dinner at Moskar Konoba, which was on the other side of the old town, up a bunch of stairs, and down a cute little alley with tons of little restaurants with outdoor tables. We had grilled fish and a goulash type dish, with a cold bottle of dry Croatian rosé.

 

We had planned a day trip to Montenegro for day three, which I booked as a private tour through Cheap Dubrovnik Tours about a month prior. Our driver/tour guide picked us up bright and early and we headed to the Montenegro border, which was a about an hour from Dubrovnik old town. As soon as we crossed the border, we could see that Montenegro was less polished than Dubrovnik, but still very beautiful, especially as we approached the Bay of Kotor. We went strait for the town of Kotor, hoping to avoid the cruise ship crowd. Our driver dropped us off and we spent about 1.5 hours walking around, getting lost in the little alleyways. It was hot so we only did part of the steep hike up the city walls; just far enough to get an amazing view of the bay and the rooftops of Kotor, then hiked back down to find a place to grab a drink and a snack. Our next stop was the beautiful town of Perast, which we walked through and met our driver on the far end. We wished we had more time there to sit and enjoy the views, but we kept moving to the next stop, which was a boat ride to the Our Lady of the Rocks church on an island in the middle of the bay.  After the boat and a quick stop at the church, we met our driver on the other side of the bay and he drove us to our favorite stop of the day, which was a little family run oyster farm just up the road. We were the only ones there, other than the family who runs the place, so we sat at one of their two tables while they brought us drinks, fresh oysters and mussels cooked in white wine and garlic. It was all so charming and delicious – one of those unforgettable travel moments that’s tough to replicate. Back in Dubrovnik after our long day on the road, we ventured into old town for a delicious dinner at Lady Pi Pi, perched up high along the back of the city walls. We happened to time it just right, arriving right before a long line formed; catching the sunset while we drank a bottle of rosé and ate an amazing platter of grilled meats.

IMG_5394
Lady Pi Pi view over Dubrovnik

It’s hard not to love Dubrovnik, but we were ready to move on to the next stop, Split.

 

Dubrovnik Restaurants & Bars

Gradska Kavana Arsenal – sit on the terrace for the most amazing view of the harbor with the city walls as a backdrop

Moskar Konoba – charming little spot with delicious local cuisine

Buza Bar – have drinks while watching brave cliff jumpers

Lady Pi Pi – amazing food and beautiful rooftop terrace overlooking the rooftops of Dubrovnik

 

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