March 18, 2013 2

West Balkan trip part 4: Croatia (Dubrovnik)

By in Balkans, Croatia, Travel

Dubrovnik
From Mostar we took a bus to return to Croatia and reached the famous Medieval coastal wall city of Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik is the most famous tourist destination of Croatia, hence it’s the most touristy and expensive leg of this trip. Most tourists arrive here via giant cruise ships. At the time we went which is May, there were already 4-5 cruise ships docking nearby everyday. I heard it became unbearable during the peak season in the summer.

View from hill
Here’s a view of the old city from on top of a nearby mountain which is reachable on cable cars. Just like most of the city, the cable cars was destroyed during the 1990s war. It has only reopened in recent years.

Dubrovnik was also the filming locations of the HBO series Game of Throne, particularly all the “King’s Landing” scenes. If you know the story you’ll understand why it’s the perfect location. Now whenever I watch the show it’s fun to be able to recognize the backgrounds.

Celenga ApartmentCelenga ApartmentThere’s no hotel inside the old wall city but there are plenty apartment rentals. I think it’s best to stayed within the walls because it’s charming to stroll around the city at night when all the Cruise shippers are gone. We stayed at Celenga apartment. It is situated on a quiet scenic narrow street located at the center of the city. The location was perfect: close to a dozen of markets, coffee shops and easy access to both gates of Dubrovnik. We could walk to everything.

View from Minceta Fortress
The best sight of Dubrovnik is taking a walk around the walls of the city. The views are simply spectacular!  You get incredible scenic view of both the city and the sea. Here’s a view of the Old city, Lokrum Island and and the Adriatic sea from the Minceta Fortress at the wall.

Fort Lovrijenac
Here’s a view of Fort Lovrijenac from the walls: I love this Fortress which is right outside of the walls of the old city! A lot of tourists miss it but I think it’s worth to visit.

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There’re churches, palace and monasteries (most are converted into museums) inside the wall. The city is pretty small so you can walk from one end to another pretty fast.

Bar on a cliffBuza
There’s a cool bar right outside of the wall by the cliff called Buza and it’s tricky to reach. you have to look for a simple sign that says “cool drinks” and walk through many small narrow streets toward the walls. At some point you’ll see a gate and you go through it, you’ll find yourself to be outside of the wall and the bar is really right by the cliff. The vibe was really great. However the wine we had  were pretty bad.

old city at night
I love to walk around the old city at night. By nightfall most of the cruise shippers disappear and it’s nice to get lost in all the narrow alley and stairways.

oyster for lunchYou can get fresh Oysters at most restaurants in Dubrovnik. Since it is such a tourist oriented city, most of the dining options are boring and overpriced. There’re lots of expensive seafood restaurants, the cheaper options are pizza joint. There was one Bosnian restaurant which is good but it was quite pricey. There’s a vegetarian joint a lot of guidebooks rave about but we found it quite bad.

Dinner at Lucin Kantun
The best meal we had at Dubrovnik is at a homey restuarant call Lucin Kantun. The interior looks like someone’s home with an open kitchen where you can see the chef prepare each dishes. The menu offers lots of small plates as well as main entrees. We opt for trying the small plates so we could try everything.

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Dalmatian ham - really good! I could eat these all day.

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Stuffed squid – one of the best dishes of the night.

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Octopus salad and Grill Beef

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Lamb broshette with honey and Lavender – another favorite of the night.

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Fresh anchovies and Risotto

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Smoke Salmon with caviar

Lucin Kantun
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Lokrum Island
One of the best experience of Dubrovnik is sailing in the Adriatic sea and do Islands hopping. However it was not sailing season yet so we only went to the nearby Lokrum Island, an Island that’s 15 minutes ferry ride away from Dubrovnik.

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The island is absolutely gorgeous! The water is so incredibly blue and clear.

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The Island is filled with Peacocks and boy do they make the most annoying sound! They’re completely unafraid of people and the ones near the cafe area would harrass you for food.

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A beautiful natural pond on the island. It was cool and refreshing to dip our feet into it after a day of hiking. There are several nude beaches on the island too.

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2 Responses to “West Balkan trip part 4: Croatia (Dubrovnik)”

  1. Rachel says:

    love the imagery especially the architecture and cobbled streets. reminds me a little of Havana, beautiful blog thanks!

  2. oysters and sea view pics are great thanks!

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