Dubrovnik: welcome to paradise!
Viviane Vaz for Id International
Croatians and travel bloggers love to quote Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, who once said: “those who are looking for paradise on Earth should come and see Dubrovnik“. Well, if your idea of paradise is being surrounded by beautiful beaches, native vegetation, sunny skies, kind people and good food… you will agree with them. I also agree with them. Yes, welcome to paradise!
Dubrovnik is also well known as the Pearl of the Adriatic Sea and is one of the most celebrated tourist destinations in the Mediterranean, counting with a suitable size airport and seaport that receive new visitors nearly everyday. The city has around 45,000 inhabitants and a hotel accommodation capacity of 12,619 beds. (If you get indecisive, we can help you find the perfect place for your sweet dreams! 😴)
The prosperity of the city was historically based on maritime trade. As the capital of the old Republic of Ragusa, it achieved a high level of development particularly during the 15th and 16th centuries, as it became notable for its wealth and skilled diplomacy. In 1979, the city of Dubrovnik joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
Dubrovnik is definitely the perfect destination for your next leisure or business travel and all kinds of events. We prepared a list of some must-do activities and travel tips to inspire you:
1. First things first: get some kuna
Croatia officially became the 28th European Union member on 1 July 2013. However, the country has not adopted the euro yet and Croatia is expected to participate for at least two years in ERM II, a mechanism aimed to ensure currency stability before joining the euro zone. That’s why the Croatian Central Bank keeps kuna currency in a narrow fluctuation band, roughly at between 7.3 and 7.7 to the euro. So, be ready to exchange your dollars or euros into kunas, get some cash at an ATM machine or simply use your bank card! :-$
2. Walk around the medieval walls
The old center of Dubrovnik is small, but you will never get tired to go around the medieval walls. The astonishing views out to sea and over the old town are always changing under the sun or the moon light. The walls back to the 13th century and received several towers in the 15th century, to protect the city against the Ottoman Turks. Bring your hat, sunglasses and a bottle of water and go round those walls. If you are not fit, take a deep breath and take it easy. Slowly but surely you will get to the top and be amazed by the view.
3. Straight to the top: take the cable car
You don’t need to climb the hill to enjoy the beautiful landscape views from the old town of Dubrovnik. A modern cable car departs from a lower station near the main entrance gate and can carry up to 30 people, promising good fun for single travellers and families. But if you prefer hiking, the choice is on the table and we can help you finding your way to the top 🙂
4. Row a kayak, enjoy a boat ride or just dive
A great way to explore the Adriatic coast is by kayaking. If you are the adventurer type, you can go around the Elafiti islands of Lopud and Šipan and take some free time to swim, snorkel or cliff-jump. If you love sea caves, we recommend you to go on a dive and we can assist you with some extra tips on this activity.
5. Taste a Croatian wine and relax
If you are a wine lover, you should come to Dubrovnik surroundings to discover an enchanting wine region. The hills of Pelješac produce some of Croatia’s best red wines, made from the indigenous Mali Plavac grape. Another must-drink is Dingač wines, that come from steep seaward-facing vineyards close to the village of Potomje.
If you love sea food, we can also bring you to Ston, where you will combine all these fantastic wines with oysters, while enjoying medieval fortresses views.
6. Rector’s Palace: real-life power x fictional power (read Game of Thrones)
The Rector’s Palace in Dubrovnik used to be a political building, acting as the seat of power for the Rector of the Republic of Ragusa and later on for the Minor Council. Today the building is a beautiful palace to be visited if you love historical museums… Or if you are a Game of Thrones fan (you may recognise the setting for some Qarth scenes in season two).
7. If it reminds you of Venice…
One of the stories that explains the origin of Dubrovnik’s name tells that, in ancient times, the mountain of Srđ featured a dense oak forest called Dubrava (dub:oak, dubrava:oak grove). Another tale says the Turkish invaders called the city “Dobro-Venedik” meaning “Good Venice”. They considered the people of Dubrovnik were less hostile to them than the Venetians.
8. Feeling dizzy or sick? Try the old pharmacy!
Perhaps you will get dizzy after being exposed to so much beauty. Perhaps the departure day will arrive and you get sick to leave paradise on Earth. Unfortunately your holidays, your special event or you incentive travel in Dubrovnik is coming to an end. I’m afraid there’s not much to do. As a final tip, we advise you to go to the old pharmacy, get another glimpse of History and take hold of some natural medicines, beauty products or whatever your doctor prescribes you. This time you won’t get home sick, but sick to go back home! 😱 If you miss Dubrovnik, we can prescribe you with another travel to look forward.