Croatia has been on my travel list for years. I think I wanted to visit Dubrovnik before I’d ever heard of the Amalfi Coast, but it seemed so unattainable back then. So imagine my surprise once I spent some time in Dubrovnik, and well, it was just meh. I no longer had a desire to at least record vlogs, as I do in all countries, and opted to nix that idea and simply write down a list of things to know before visiting Dubrovnik, Croatia. These things aren’t necessarily good or bad, but rather tidbits of information I’d like to share.
It’s an un-walkable, walking city.
I pride myself on how far and how long I tend to walk. I almost always skip the bus and decide to set off on foot, especially if the walking distance is anywhere around an hour one way. But when you are expected to walk up several flights of narrow stairs in unmarked alleyways with your luggage and small person sized backpack, well I’m drawing the line for everyone. Luckily if it gets too bad I have the option of calling a car service to take me home, but I’ve been up and down many a staircase where there are hidden apartments and the thought of a car getting you anywhere near your doorway is laughable.
There is nothing to be done when a car, moped, or bus isn’t an option. Well, there is something. You must walk. While opting to avoid the bus after my first day in Dubrovnik and getting my cardio in by hiking on the highway (because there aren’t many sidewalks or enough space to walk along the road) I realized why I rarely pass people in the alleys in the hills. They aren’t crazy like me! However, the closer I get to the old city, the more people I see walking along the ever so narrow sidewalks.
They Have Their Own Currency
The Croatian Kuna was definitely a shocker for me. I assumed that because neighboring Montenegro used euros, surely Croatia would as well. I was wrong. Thankfully I’ll be visiting several other countries where the euro is king, but if Croatia was my last stop on my journey, I would have had to exchange my euros for kunas and ultimately taken a loss.
1 Croatian Kuna is $0.16 and €0.14. I’m starting to believe that that’s a great thing in all other Croatian cities outside of Dubrovnik. I felt as though Dubrovnik was unnecessarily expensive but now as I write this post from Jesla, on the island of Hvar, Croatia, I see that not all Croatian cities want to take all of my money.
Uber Is An Option!
Again, coming from Montenegro I assumed that Croatia would also not have uber, even with Dubrovnik being a major tourist destination. I was wrong. While rides 10 minutes or less ran me over $6, it was sometimes worth it. I mean, imagine walking 30+ minutes uphill with 6 liters of water and two huge bags of groceries. You’d call an uber too.
Uber is a great option when coming from the airport or bus station. It can be tricky getting to your airbnb, hostel, or hotel that first time around and you really don’t want to get lost with luggage. Trust me on this.
The Old Town May Be Overrun With Tourists
Some of my favorite cities on earth are complete tourist traps. And I don’t mind one bit. However, I do need to warn you that Dubrovnik is overcrowded with tourists. Visit the Old City at any time of day and you’re sure to have to squeeze and maneuver you way through crowds. While this doesn’t bother me, it might annoy the hell out of you. I recommend visiting the Old Town in the morning. It’ll still be crowded, but definitely less crowded than in the afternoon. Hopefully the visitors stay a little longer on their cruise ship for breakfast and the tour busses get stuck in traffic or at the border.
It’s SUPER Expensive
Expensive is definitely relative. If you’re Swiss or fresh off of the plane from somewhere like Iceland or Singapore, then Dubrovnik may not be all that bad. I just couldn’t imagine paying $12+ for a tiny smoothie and vegetable wrap a second time, no matter how delicious it was. I mean come on, a tortilla with a piece of lettuce, tomatoes, two olives, and a few beans should not be 45 hrk. It just shouldn’t be. Even when walking further from the old city I didn’t spot many restaurants but the prices were lower.
Dubrovnik as a whole seemed a little pricey to me. The bus rides, the lodging, the groceries, you name it. Nothing but lodging may actually break the bank, but I didn’t see anything to justify such high prices. Now it by no means makes my list of most expensive places I’ve traveled to, but it cost a few more bucks than I anticipated.
Have you visited Dubrovnik? What are some things you think people should know prior to traveling?