Notes on Dubrovnik

May 01, 2018  •  4 Comments

I've been lucky to have some really great trips in the past year or so, and in preparation for these trips I read quite a lot of blogs - I love getting tips from people and hearing their stories when we're planning where to go, what to see and what to eat (pretty big priority for me). I thought I'd write about my trips in case they are of interest or help to other people planning their trips - it's something I've been meaning to do on all my recent holidays but it's that typical thing where photography is my job but photos for my own pleasure always come last and I never seem to have the time to process all the pictures I take when I'm away.

This Easter Tim and I went on a brilliant trip - we flew to Dubrovnik and travelled by bus to Mostar, Sarajevo, and Zagreb, spending a few days in each before flying back from Trieste. I thought the easiest thing would be to do one blog for each stop on the trip.

Part one: Dubrovnik

 

Day one: General wandering

We flew from Stansted to Dubrovnik on Easter Sunday - Jet2.com lived up to their claims and were very friendly and cheerful so early in the morning! We got the shuttle bus to the Old Town and headed straight to our hotel, the Prijeko Palace - a great location with friendly and helpful staff and a room absolutely full of art (and a 3 foot Jesus). It was a little drizzly when we arrived but quite nice weather for walking (and probably made it a little quieter). We took our handy Rick Steves' guide to Croatia and Slovenia and headed out to explore. 

Pigeon in the city walls, DubrovnikPigeon in the city walls, DubrovnikPigeon in the city walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia. Easter Window display, DubrovnikEaster Window display, DubrovnikEaster Window display, Placa Stradrun, Dubrovnik Dubrovnik alleywayDubrovnik alleywayDubrovnik alleyway Sponza PalaceSponza PalaceSponza Palace, Dubrovnik

Door and steps, Luza Square, DubrovnikDoor and steps, Luza Square, DubrovnikDoor and steps, Luza Square, Dubrovnik, Croatia Marin Držić StatueMarin Držić StatueMarin Držić Statue, Dubrovnik, Croatia Sponza Palace and City Hall, DubrovnikSponza Palace and City Hall, DubrovnikSponza Palace and CityHall, Dubrovnik Fish-shaped doorknockerFish-shaped doorknockerFish-shaped doorknocker, Dubrovnik Old Town Dubrovnik alleywayDubrovnik alleywayDubrovnik alleyway

Prijeko PalacePrijeko PalaceDubrovnik Old Town, Croatia Hotel window viewHotel window viewHotel window view with mop, Prijeko Palace Dubrovnik Palace Artificial flowersArtificial flowersArtificial flowers, Prijeko Palace Hotel, Dubrovnik Dubrovnik alleywayDubrovnik alleywayDubrovnik alleyway, Old Town Rick Steves mentions the cliff-side bars in his guide - we found where Buza I should be, but there wasn't a bar there at that time, I'm not sure if it's just open in the summer or if it had closed down. It's a great location though - found by going through the entrance daubed with 'No topless, no nudist'. We spent a bit of time here watching the sea crashing against the rocks. People obeyed the rules and didn't take their clothes off.

Doorway to Buza I, DubrovnikDoorway to Buza I, DubrovnikDubrovnik Old Town, Croatia

View from Buza IView from Buza IView from Buza I on a stormy day, Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia View from Buza IView from Buza IView from Buza I on a stormy day, Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia Yellow plantersYellow plantersYellow planters, Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia ShrineShrineShrine with flowers at Easter, Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia White cat, DubrovnikWhite cat, DubrovnikWhite cat, Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia

There are a lot of cats in Dubrovnik, a LOT. Here is one to illustrate that.

Window with orangeWindow with orangeWindow with an orange, Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia

We managed to find Café Buza - the other cliffside bar, which was open, found by following the 'Cold Drinks with the most beautiful view' sign. We enjoyed an Ožujsko and waited for the rain to reach us. The sign was right - it was beautiful.

Signpost to Cafe Buza, DubrovnikSignpost to Cafe Buza, DubrovnikDubrovnik Old Town, Croatia Storm approaching Buza IStorm approaching Buza IStorm approaching Buza I, Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia Twilight in the Old Port, DubrovnikTwilight in the Old Port, DubrovnikTwilight in the Old Port, Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia

We wandered all around the Old Town and the Old Port. We're Game of Thrones watchers so we did enjoy the many filming locations in Dubrovnik, like the Jesuit Stairs (they feature in season 5). Jesuit StairsJesuit StairsJesuit Stairs, Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia

For dinner we turned to trusty Trip Advisor and opted for Lucin Kantun, which was near our hotel. The food was delicious! We shared stuffed squid and carpaccio tapas to start, I had pork with a honey mash and Tim had beef pasta. Really tasty! I did take a picture but it was on my phone and the light wasn't great so it doesn't look as appetising as it really did - I was on holiday!

Lucin Kantun, DubrovnikLucin Kantun, DubrovnikDubrovnik Old Town, Croatia Evening view from Jesuit StairsEvening view from Jesuit StairsEvening view from Jesuit Stairs, Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia

 

Day two: City Walls, Gradac Park, Fort Lovrijenac, Cable Car

Monday was much better weather! We headed to the Old Port entrance to the City Walls and followed the route round. It's 150kn which is about £19 at the moment, but it also includes entrance to Fort Lovrijenac outside the city walls, something we didn't realise at first. The weather was absolutely perfect, sunny and warm but not too hot (though pretty bright for photos) - I imagine in the summer the heat gets pretty tough! Allow plenty of time for this as if you're anything like me you'll most likely be stopping to take photos every few steps. There are incredible views across the Old Town (King's Landing), the Adriatic and the Stradun.

Old PortOld PortOld Port. View from the City Walls, Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia View across the Old Town, DubrovnikView across the Old Town, DubrovnikView across the Old Town from the City Walls, Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia

LizardLizardView from the City Walls, Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia View across the Old Town, DubrovnikView across the Old Town, DubrovnikView across the Old Town from the City Walls, Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia View across the Old Town, DubrovnikView across the Old Town, Dubrovnik, through a window in the City WallsView across the Old Town from the City Walls, Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia View of the Stradun (Placa) from the City WallsView of the Stradun (Placa) from the City WallsView from the City Walls, Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia View across the Old Town, Dubrovnik, through a window in the City Walls.View across the Old Town, Dubrovnik, through a window in the City Walls.View across the Old Town from the City Walls, Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia View from the City Walls, Dubrovnik Old Town, CroatiaView from the City Walls, Dubrovnik Old Town, CroatiaView from the City Walls, Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia View from the City Walls, Dubrovnik Old Town, CroatiaView from the City Walls, Dubrovnik Old Town, CroatiaView from the City Walls, Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia Café Buza, viewed from the City WallsCafé Buza, viewed from the City WallsView from the City Walls, Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia

View from the City Walls, Dubrovnik Old Town, CroatiaView from the City Walls, Dubrovnik Old Town, CroatiaView from the City Walls, Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia Shadows on a pink wallShadows on a pink wallView from the City Walls, Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia View from the City Walls, Dubrovnik Old Town, CroatiaView from the City Walls, Dubrovnik Old Town, CroatiaView from the City Walls, Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia

Circuit complete, we headed out of the Old Town and grabbed a sandwich for lunch. I'd seen on the Frank About Croatia blog that there was a park nearby so we set out to find it - Gradac Park, a peaceful shady park with gorgeous views for sandwich eating and an extra GoT location too. It was whilst sitting here looking at Fort Lovrijenac (and Googling it) that we discovered it was included in the ticket for the City Walls, so we had a look round that too for more amazing views.

Gradac ParkGradac ParkDubrovnik Old Town, Croatia

View from Gradac ParkView from Gradac ParkDubrovnik Old Town, Croatia Fort Lovrijenac, DubrovnikFort Lovrijenac, DubrovnikFort Lovrijenac, Dubrovnik, view from Gradac Park, Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia

Fort LovrijenacFort LovrijenacFort Lovrijenac, Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia Dubrovnik Old TownDubrovnik Old TownDubrovnik Old Town, viewed from Fort Lovrijenac, Croatia Detail at Fort LovrijenacDetail at Fort LovrijenacFort Lovrijenac, Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia Dubrovnik Old TownDubrovnik Old TownDubrovnik Old Town, viewed from Fort Lovrijenac, Croatia Fort LovrijenacFort LovrijenacFort Lovrijenac, Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia View from Fort LovrijenacView from Fort LovrijenacView from Fort Lovrijenac, Croatia Detail at Fort LovrijenacDetail at Fort LovrijenacFort Lovrijenac, Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia

Because we like to get as much out of each day as possible, we then headed to the Cable Car on Mount Srd. We love a cable car/chairlift/funicular and always seek them out on holiday! It's 140kn (about £17.50) for a return trip or there's also a hiking trail if you're feeling energetic. We'd already clocked up a significant amount of steps so we went for the return. The trip itself is lovely and the views at the top are incredible - of Dubrovnik Old Town, Lokrum Island, and turning around you get a great view of the mountains. I think Tim said you can see 3 countries at one time.

Lokrum Island and Dubrovnik Old TownLokrum Island, Dubrovnik Old Town and the cable carView from Srd Hill, reached by the Dubrovnik Cable Car, Croatia. Panorama BarPanorama BarView from Srd Hill, reached by the Dubrovnik Cable Car, Croatia.

There's a lovely restaurant at the top called Panorama - they have an inside area and an outside one, where we managed to secure an edge seat for a couple of coffees and beers. Although it was a hot day it gets pretty windy so the blankets they provide were appreciated! View from Srd Hill, reached by the Dubrovnik Cable CarView from Srd Hill, reached by the Dubrovnik Cable CarView from Srd Hill, reached by the Dubrovnik Cable Car, Croatia. View from Srd Hill, reached by the Dubrovnik Cable CarView from Srd Hill, reached by the Dubrovnik Cable CarView from Srd Hill, reached by the Dubrovnik Cable Car, Croatia. View from Srd Hill, reached by the Dubrovnik Cable CarView from Srd Hill, reached by the Dubrovnik Cable CarView from Srd Hill, reached by the Dubrovnik Cable Car, Croatia. Croatian Flag, Lokrum Island, Old Town DubrovnikCroatian Flag, Lokrum Island, Old Town DubrovnikView from Srd Hill, reached by the Dubrovnik Cable Car, Croatia. View from Srd Hill, reached by the Dubrovnik Cable CarView from Srd Hill, reached by the Dubrovnik Cable CarView from Srd Hill, reached by the Dubrovnik Cable Car, Croatia. View from Srd Hill, reached by the Dubrovnik Cable CarView from Srd Hill, reached by the Dubrovnik Cable CarView from Srd Hill, reached by the Dubrovnik Cable Car, Croatia.

We should really have come up slightly later and we'd have had an amazing view of the sunset, but having stretched out our drinks for as long as we realistically could, we headed back down and went for pizza at Oliva Pizzeria - tasty and very reasonable pizzas were just what we needed after all that walking! We even managed to catch a glimpse of sunset and the dance of the swifts (or swallows?) by whizzing over to Café Buza.

Oliva PizzeriaOliva PizzeriaDubrovnik Old Town, Croatia

Sunset from Buza ISunset from Buza ISunset from Buza I, Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia

Day three: Lokrum Island

Another glorious day - we grabbed some pastries from the local shop and headed to the Lokrum ferry - a return ticket is 150kn (approx. £19) and includes entry to the island - from what we saw online, if you use a company other than the official ferry that goes from the Old Port, you may also have to pay entry to the island, which is a nature reserve, so be aware of that. It was a lovely short boat ride across and although the boat was really full, once you get to the island you can easily get away from the crowd (although we did keep crossing paths with the same couple over and over and doing that polite/awkward nod thing). We got off the boat and popped into the pink building (the forest ranger's house) where we picked up a free map before having our breakfast picnic on the rocks. The map was useful but for some reason Lokrum is quite disorientating. I'm generally pretty good with directions but we quite frequently weren't exactly sure where we were. Not that it particularly mattered as we were just wandering.

Dubrovnik City Walls from the Lokrum ferry.Dubrovnik City Walls from the Lokrum ferry.Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia Tim on the Lokrum ferry.Tim on the Lokrum ferry.Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia Lokrum Island ferryLokrum Island ferryLokrum Island, Dubrovnik, Croatia. View from Lokrum IslandView from Lokrum IslandLokrum Island, Dubrovnik, Croatia.

View from Lokrum IslandView from Lokrum IslandLokrum Island, Dubrovnik, Croatia. PeacockPeacockLokrum Island, Dubrovnik, Croatia.

There are a LOT of peacocks, peahens and rabbits on Lokrum, particularly near the Benedictine Monastery of St Mary, where there is a play-park and picnic area. It's also where most of the people are. There's an interesting exhibition on the history of the island and of Game of Thrones (yup, it's another location!) and you can take a photo on an Iron Throne (for free, unlike the one in Old Town)

A rabbit eating a bananaA rabbit eating a bananaLokrum Island, Dubrovnik, Croatia. Green door in the Benedictine Monastery of St MaryGreen door in the Benedictine Monastery of St MaryLokrum Island, Dubrovnik, Croatia. Flowers at the Benedictine Monastery of St MaryFlowers at the Benedictine Monastery of St MaryLokrum Island, Dubrovnik, Croatia.

We headed through the olive grove, up the Path of Paradise (Rajski Put) to Fort Royal for more stunning views and a great place for today's sandwiches. View from Lokrum IslandView from Lokrum IslandLokrum Island, Dubrovnik, Croatia. Path of Paradise (Rajski Put)Path of Paradise (Rajski Put)Path of Paradise (Rajski Put), Lokrum Island, Dubrovnik, Croatia. View from Fort Royal (Utyrda Royal)View from Fort Royal (Utyrda Royal)Lokrum Island, Dubrovnik, Croatia. View from Fort Royal (Utyrda Royal)View from Fort Royal (Utyrda Royal)Lokrum Island, Dubrovnik, Croatia. Path from Fort Royal (Utyrda Royal)Path from Fort Royal (Utyrda Royal)Lokrum Island, Dubrovnik, Croatia. The LazaretThe LazaretLokrum Island, Dubrovnik, Croatia. The LazaretThe LazaretLokrum Island, Dubrovnik, Croatia. PeacockPeacockLokrum Island, Dubrovnik, Croatia.

After a short rest back at our hotel (and an ice cream en-route from Sladoledarna - delicious and super-cheap, yes, we had one every day) we decided on Azur for dinner, a 'fusion' restaurant with absolutely delicious food and wonderful service. We shared a starter of chicken and chorizo tacos (a food highlight of the holiday), I had meatballs in curry coconut sauce, Tim had chicken curry with button mushrooms, we had a gorgeous bottle of wine recommended by our really helpful waitress (who also gave us some tips for Zagreb) and we even went for dessert - chocolate orange cake for me and tapioca for Tim. It was an amazing meal and real treat for us (wine by the bottle is not cheap in Croatia). We wandered around for last looks at Old Town by night. The Old Port at nightThe Old Port at nightDubrovnik Old Town, Croatia

Day four: Last looks

Another beautiful day for our last morning in Dubrovnik. We had our breakfast on a bench in the Old Port and walked around to make sure we hadn't missed too much. We went out of the Ploče Gate and looked back over the Old Town and the beach - I'll never forget the gorgeous colour of that sea!

Hotel viewHotel viewHotel window view with mop and dishcloths on clothesline, Prijeko Palace Dubrovnik Palace Sponza Palace and City Hall, DubrovnikSponza Palace and City Hall, DubrovnikDubrovnik Old Town, Croatia Ploce, DubrovnikPloce, DubrovnikView of Dubrovnik Old Town from Ploce, Croatia Ploce, DubrovnikPloce, DubrovnikView of Dubrovnik Old Town from Ploce, Croatia We still had time before we had to leave to catch the bus so we went back to Buza I and sat against the wall in the sun, watching the sea, wandered around the streets a bit more, stopped for a coffee and people watching on the Stradrun. 

Buza I, DubrovnikBuza I, DubrovnikDubrovnik Old Town, Croatia City Bell Tower, DubrovnikCity Bell Tower, DubrovnikDubrovnik Old Town, Croatia Stradun (Placa), DubrovnikStradun (Placa), DubrovnikDubrovnik Old Town, Croatia

Then it was time to leave for our next destination - Mostar! The bus station is a little way out of the town, in the main port. There is a bus that goes there but as we had a couple of bags we got an Uber from outside the city walls. We'd allowed plenty of time so we didn't miss the bus, which gave us time to go to the supermarket next door and get some lunch and snacks for the bus. The bus was then half an hour late. It was a pleasant journey with plenty to look at through the window, but having to go through several borders took time.  View from the bus, leaving DubrovnikView from the bus, leaving DubrovnikView from the bus, leaving Dubrovnik, Croatia View from the bus, leaving DubrovnikView from the bus, leaving DubrovnikView from the bus, leaving Dubrovnik, Croatia View from the bus, BosniaView from the bus, BosniaView from the bus, Bosnia

Handy things to know:

  • There is a shuttle bus that goes from the airport to the Old Town - buy tickets from the Atlas travel agency counter inside the airport.
  • A ticket to the City Walls includes entry to Fort Lovrijenac which is outside of the walls.
  • Using the official ferry to Lokrum from the Old Port includes entrance to the island - using a different company may mean you have to pay an entrance fee, it wasn't something I saw happening, but worth checking if you are taking a different route.
  • The bus station is a bit of a way out of the town so factor that in if you're travelling onwards by bus.
  • Don't make any plans for immediately after you arrive by bus if you're doing a trip like this - I think most of our bus journeys arrived an hour later than we'd thought - border crossings take a while.

 

Dubrovnik was absolutely beautiful and I highly recommend visiting. I hope you found the blog interesting and I'll be back again soon with my Notes from Mostar!

Lomo'Instant Square holiday snapsVideo of 1Fuji Instant Square prints from Dubrovnik, Mostar, Sarajevo, Zagreb and Trieste

This post is not sponsored (it was just my holiday!) but I have included some affiliate links - if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. These are all companies I have used myself, recommend and think will be of use.


Comments

Jayne Lloyd
Thank you Brian - really glad you enjoyed it!
Brian Harris(non-registered)
Thank you for sharing your holiday photography adventure
I enjoyed this very much and particularly the way you have captured the old buildings
looking forward to future adventures

Brian Harris
Jayne Lloyd
Thanks Akila - glad you enjoyed it! It's a truly beautiful place.
Akila(non-registered)
What amazingly breathtaking pictures! And very informative blog - thank you
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