Has anyone ever arrived in a city and the moment you caught your first glimpse you looked around and simply said yup, I’m never leaving? That was exactly how I feel in Dubrovnik… but before I get there let’s talk about how I even discovered Dubrovnik.
Planning travel for myself and other people is my job. It became my job right after this huge trip abroad, when I decided to live in San Remo, Italy and travel throughout Europe before and after my time in San Remo. Now, many of you are surprised to find out that when I travel its very low maintenance and a lot of it is spontaneous. We were wrapping up our trip, we were on our way to Vienna from Budapest and in order to break out the train ride we spent a night in Croatia. That train ride was an experience on its own.
Once we got to Zagreb, we did what we normally did which was ask the front desk or concierge tips on what to do they gave us tips for Zagreb but they also said you have to go to Dubrovnik. It’s a beautiful coastal city, not discovered by tourism yet, and it has access to many islands so you can spend a day at a different island relaxing by the water. At this point that’s all my sister and I wanted to do relax and enjoy ourselves we had been traveling for 2 and a half months at this point. Keep in mind that when we were there Croatia had just become a part of the European Union for 3 weeks.
After spending 2 nights in Zagreb we took a late night flight to Dubrovnik, which only took about 45 minutes. Upon arrival we took a transfer to the Hilton Imperial Hotel. The ride from the airport to the hotel was through the mountains and every time we caught of glimpse of the lights of Dubrovnik we knew we were in for a treat. That night we weren’t able to do much but we knew we had found our place.
The next day we woke up bright and early and decided to start exploring. Since the hotel is literally within blocks from the Old Town we were there within minutes. We spent the first day trying to figure out things to do and exploring all of the shops and the winding streets, hidden restaurants within the old town and we immediately fell in love. That same night we extended our stay for 5 more nights in Dubrovnik canceled our flight home and told our family will see you in a week if we ever decide to leave.
The next few days we took a ferry right from the Old Town in Dubrovnik to the Elefite Islands. We bought a ferry pass and spent each day discovering a new island, laying on the beach sometimes it was sand other times it was a big ol’ rock. The water in the Adriatic sea was a lot colder than we were accustomed to however, it was still very refreshing.
Dubrovnik was a city of many firsts, it was the first city where we spent about a week in just to enjoy and relax before heading home. It was the first time we experience island hopping, it was the first time we climbed up any sort of wall, and it was the first time we rode in a submarine. We merely went about 10 feet under water but it still was an experience non-the-less.
We also spent a day climbing the Walls of Dubrovnik, which were made famous by Game of Thrones. The walls are a series of defensive stone walls, that were built to protect the city. Now they are mainly a tourist attraction, which tourist can climb the stairs and walk around the old town which is great to see the city from that point of view.
Dubrovnik is a city made famous by Game of Thrones, however, visiting back in 2011 compared to visiting in 2016 was like visiting 2 separate places. Dubrovnik is a city that will always have a special place in my heart, even if it’s crowded with tourism. But I’m happy for the people of Croatia and its budding economy. They deserve for other people to see the beauty of their country.