Why visit Dubrovnik in winter time?
January 1, 1970
by Andrea Zenunovic
Destination: Dubrovnik, Croatia. Creation of history and beauty!
What this overwhelming home of princes actually has to offer?
Dubrovnik has a very wealthy history, some of theories say that it’s been there since 5th century. It’s located in south of Croatia. The city itself has been trough a lot, it survived many foreign occupations and wars, and fortunately is still standing proudly. One thing that makes this city on the shore of Adriatic sea so famous and uniqe, are of course the Great Walls of Dubrovnik. The Walls were built from 13th to 17th century, and they are 1940m long. The Walls go all around the city center, protecting it from North, East, West and South. You can buy your ticket to go all around the walls at the very entrance to Old town, and it costs only 15€. It’s worth every penny. The view from up there is overwhelming. I do not recommend drinking coffe or eating in the restaurants and cafes that are placed on the Walls with a limited budget. It’s just too expensive.
Famous Dubrovnik Cathedral was destroyed in a major earthquake that hit Dubrovnik in 1667. Cathedral that you can visit now in the heart of old town was built from 1667.-1703. There are also st.Dominik’s church, and st.Vlaho’s church – one prettier than another. The amazing “Onofrio’s fountain” welcomes you at the very entrance to Old Town.
Palace “Knežev dvor”, that was once home of the prince of Dubrovnik Republic, is now a famous historical museum which you can also visit in Old Town. These historical buildings and towers make Dubrovnik look like you visited a fairytale, or a movie about old kingdoms.But, enough about things you can read on Wikipedia, let me share my experience with you. I wisited Dubrovnik in summer time, about a year ago, and again in the winter time, about a month ago .
Why is it better to visit Dubrovnik in off-tourist-season time?
This is why: thanks to award-winning TV series “Game of Thrones” which, as you probably already know, was filmed in many different locations in Dubrovnik, the city became a top tourist destination. Not just for GOT fans, but for everyone that heard about it. In summer time, city center and Old Town were LITERALLY occupated by tourists, people were on every corner and you could hardly enjoy the beauties of this amazing city. You have to push your way trough when walking down the Walls. Another “bad” circumstance is that temperature in the summer can reach up to 45°C, which makes it difficult to explore city during the day. That’s why I decided to go in November, when it’s still warm enough for all day walking and exploring.
What about accomodation and transport?
I found very cheap accomodation, a studio-apartment near cove called “Lapad”. That is also a good thing about visiting in winter time, accomodation prices are much, much cheaper. It was around 40 minutes walking from Old Town, but if you are without your car, the transportation is not a problem. There are bus stops on almost every corner, and the bus that leads to Old Town goes every 15 minutes. Twoway ticket costs around 3,5€ .
On my first day in Dubrovnik, I decided not to go straight to Old Town, but just to walk around cove Lapad, which is a beautiful place to see, especially for young couples. From there, you can rent a small boat that takes you toisland of Lokrum, 10minutes from Dubrovnik, which is teriffic to see, and maybe have a little picnick there.
How to spend some quality tourist time?
The rest of my time in this astonishing city i spent mostly in City center, the famous Old Town. First thing you see and fall in love with, is Stradun. The longest street in OT, and the most beautiful one. Honestly, there is so much to see and take awesome pictures by the way. I enjoyed drinking my coffe there, even when it rained. Prices of food and beverages in OT are above the average, regular espresso coffee costs around 3€, and you just cant find a cheap restaurant with “normal” price menues. But, I was lucky enoug to find a great Fast food place, in one of the little streets on the left side of Stradun. It’s called “Tutto benne” and their pizza was so delicious! But, mostly I was buying food from markets and making my own dinner and breakfast at home, just to save money for “more important” stuff. If you want to try some tipical Dubrovnik food, try “Rožata”. It’s a delicious cake you can find in every corner. If you decide to visit this city in the summer time, there is famous Dubrovnik beach called “Ploče”, and you can even enjoy it when you can’t actually swim in the sea. There are some pretty cool bars and caffes right on the beach.
Dont be afraid to explore beyond the walls and at the bottoms of towers. There are many hidden places without any people that are just breath taking! I recommend using Google Maps for tracking down most of the towers, churches, Game of Thrones places, fountains etc. Or, you can just ask any townsman, the people were so friendly and helpful! For GOT fans, there are many souvenir shops at Stradun, and also an official copy of HBO’s Iron Throne. It’s also in one of the little streets of Stradun, you can come in and take a picture sitting on it, and itcosts just around 4€.
If you want to see Dubrovnik from bird’s perspective, there is a cable railway that leads up to mount of Srđ. It’s the best Dubrovnik panorama and the view is jaw-dropping! Ticket for the railway costs around 12€.
I haven’t experienced much of a night life here, but I can recommend visiting “Banje Beach Night Club” and also “Skybar” at the very exit of Old Town.
DO NOT DO:
… anything stupid, like throwing away cigarette butts or climb up the tower ropes. Whole City center is protected by UNESCO, and any damage you make is a felany.
If you want to catch up with some festivals and celebrations, here are some of them:
Famous events that happen in Dubrovnik every year are: Dubrovnik Summer Games (a great festival founded in 1941.starting every year in the mid July), St.Vlaho’s fest (starts on February 3rd, whole town comes to Stradun to celebrate) and also Libertas Film Festival founded in 2005.
And, finally, my personal impression:
For me, to experience the beauty of this city during autumn/winter time was so relieving. I got to know the difference between a tourist and a traveller.
Just one more friendly tip: don’t sleep much when in Dubrovnik, or waste time on reading books and stuff. There isso much to see, so drink your coffee and walk, walk, walk!