Pictures do no justice to the authentic, cozy yet vibrant islands and towns of Croatia. We visited late August/early September of 2017 and were there for about 2 weeks- and 2 weeks was definitely not enough!
Similar to Greece, Croatia is surrounded by over 1000 islands, but only 5% are inhabited, which makes sense if you see them because they’re mostly rocky cliffs and crags. Zagreb is the capital, but the most visited and iconic cities are Split, Rijeka, Hvar, and Dubrovnik.
Now I won’t give you a geography lesson, but some of these details might help you plan your next Croatian adventure! Because there is so much to do, and so I can shamelessly share all of my favorite photos, I'm breaking this blog up into pieces, by cities. Starting with...
Dubrovnik - Our plan was to hit up a few towns/islands in Croatia. Our first stop was Dubrovnik, which you might recognize from TV and movies- (Avengers, Robin Hood, that iconic naked Walk of Shame scene of King’s Landing from Game of Thrones- you know the one!) Right away, I knew this was going to end up being one of my favorite countries. As soon as I set sights on the crystal clear blue mediterranean ocean, cobblestone streets and homes made of rustic stone and clay roofs - I melted. The wine was flowing, the food was freaking delicious, and the people were beautiful inside and out!
We stayed within walking distance of Old Town. Our AirBnB didn't have an elevator, so we had to hike up the stairs. Walking is something you will do a lot of so wear comfy shoes, as you won't just be walking - you'll be hiking up hills! Old Town Dubrovnik is the touristy part, and the one you’ll recognize from the movies.
The past few years it’s become even more popular and after Venice, it’s the #2 destination for cruises in the world. It’s a fortress town with ancient walls and giant gates which let it survive every war in the region for hundreds of years, which is why it’s a World Heritage Site now! I loved just wandering the streets knowing that I was walking on centuries old medieval cobblestones.
Banje Beach is a pebble beach situation near Old Town Dubrovnik and overlooks the Lorum Island. It is known to be super crowded, so you'll have to find a place to lay your towels or you can rent a sunbeds for about 100 Kuna per person. The ambiance is okay, with a DJ playing some tunes in the background. There is a beach restaurant there with a full menu option. You can also rent kayaks, banana boats, parasails, wakeboards and water ski's.
Buza Bar, in my opinion, was a little hidden gem. They don't have much to offer in terms of food or a full bar but the view is to-die-for. Maybe I can't say that it's a hidden gem, as it was really packed right before sunset. In order to get there, you sorta have to walk/crawl your way through a tunnel.
Buža actually means “hole in the wall” so hidden is the vibe they’re going for! And this place is old school, no running water since it’s actually outside the city walls, but cold drinks and snacks are all we needed to enjoy ourselves. There’s cliff diving too, for those so inclined, though not for the faint of heart (or for me for that matter!)
I'm not usually a "raver" but this night club is a must! It's an after-hours dance spot in an arched stone cavern from the fourteenth century that's been transformed into a really one of a kind bar. There were caged go-go dancers and a light show that made the experience that much more of a contrast with the ancient locale. Believe it or not, I have zero pictures from this night but, like every part of this city, the wouldn't have done the place justice anyway!
Ask any local, and they're either grateful or annoyed by the popularity brought to Dubrovnik by Game of Thrones. There are little tourist traps everywhere selling HBO merchandise, and with good reason! The show put a lot of really lovely sections of the city front and center, and I personally was excited to see them in person! (I'm such a fan, I even made this design inspired by the show!) There are over a dozen filming locations around the city that tour guides will be sure to point out, and I just had to see them all!
This restaurant is especially cool because it’s only accessible via a gondola! I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re afraid of heights, but the view is insane. Mediterranean cuisine is generally delicious and it didn’t disappoint here- good thing too, because this was definitely our most expensive meal of the trip! Worth it!
Dubrovnik was overall an amazing experience, and I would 100% recommend it as a must-see city in Croatia. But there were lots of other amazing places we saw that trip, so keep an eye out for the continuation of this Croatian adventure on my next blog!
And, if you liked my wardrobe in these photos, be sure to look for these travel inspired designs from the Wanderlust Collection!
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