To help with your planning we’ve highlighted our top things to do in Dubrovnik
Why visit: Crystal clear water, uninhabited virgin islands, fresh seafood and Mediterranean weather.
Where to stay: We stayed at Neptun Hotel in Babin Kuk, which is just 15 minutes away from the Old Port. This upscale hotel has a spa, four swimming pools and three in-house restaurants serving delicious local cuisines. The seafront room we stayed in was literally ten feet from the Adriatic and it doesn’t get better than that.
What to Do:
1) City Walls: All the guidebooks tell you that the City Walls is a must-do – and it’s true. If you hike up the serpentine staircases of these historic walls, you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the sea, changing in hue from azure to emerald by the shadows cast by the clouds above. There’s nothing quite like the joy that accompanies the sight of the endless horizon.
2) Hidden Coves: If you want to escape the heaving crowds, then this is the perfect thing to do. We found several secluded coves around the city, but the one next to the Nautika Restaurant is breathtaking, to say the least. A beautiful idyll that feels like a world away from the hustle and bustle of the Old Town. There’s a dizzying flight of stairs with a metal railing that leads you all the way up to the vantage point. We spent the day swimming in the crystal-clear waters and basking in the beauty of this hidden gem.
3) Island Hopping: Dubrovnik offers plenty to explore, a day trip to the neighbouring islands is an experience unlike any other. Roughly 15 minutes from the city, Lokrum is ideal for snorkelling or hiking up the vertiginously sloping paths. This uninhabited island is home to pines and cypress trees, which fills the air with a lilting scent. There’s an idyllic salt-rich lake that’s perfect for those of us who are not brave enough to swim in the sea.
4) Cable Car: While the cable car ride is all too brief, the view is nothing short of sublime. We booked a table at the Panorama Restaurant and watched the sky turn hues of gold and amber as the sun went down. The food, the ambience and the pavonine sky made it a surreal affair. It was a magical experience. Anything I say would be too little, so I’m going to let the pictures do the talking.
5) Boat/Ferry/Yacht Ride: You can opt for a private yacht tour or hop onto a boat cruise to go island-hopping. We visited Elaphite Islands, which is a small archipelago consisting of several islands. We made quick pit stops at Šipan, Koločep and Lopud – although they aren’t very different from each other, they are beautiful nonetheless. The highlight of the cruise was the freshly cooked meal we had aboard while basking in the sun.
6) Cliff Bar: Nestled in the tiny bylanes of the old walled city, Buza Bar provides sweeping views of the Adriatic sea. Buzzy music, local beer and friendly staff make this place an absolute must-visit. This hole-in-the-wall dive bar is perpetually crowded, so get there early if you want a table with a view. Or can grab a drink and sit on the cliff to watch the waves roll in against the sunset.
7) Game of Thrones tour: This walking tour takes you to many filming locations of the HBO series Game of Thrones. Some of the guides appeared as extras in the show and they bring the whole thing to life with first-hand experiences and juicy anecdotes.
What to pack: Hiking shoes, summery dresses and a chic pair of sunglasses. You can read about what I packed here.
Where To Take A Great Instagram: There are plenty gram-worthy spots, but my top two recommendations are the charming stone alleys of Old Dubrovnik and the rock staircase carved through the cliff near Brsalje.