I knew a bit about Dubrovnik before I went there: it’s the tourist capital of Croatia and a cruise ship hub, the old town is full of day-trippers from all the cruise ships that stop there, it’s hot, it’s expensive (well not really unless you’re living in Spain like I was), it’s beautiful, you may recognise it as King’s Landing. I could go on, but if you’re reading this then you probably know the exact same things that I’m telling you.
However, there was one thing that I knew before going to Dubrovnik that was more important than all the other things: don’t stay in the old town, stay in the new town and travel in to the old town when you want to. Then you can escape the heat and the hordes and enjoy lovely beaches which you’ll be sharing with very few other people.
Do you really still need to be convinced? Surely these sunsets look look pretty good to you?
How about the idea of starting or ending your day with these views?
Would you really prefer walking out of your hotel into a beautiful place with every other man and his dog (or in this case every other tourist and his guidebook and camera)?
Would you really prefer finishing your days by pushing through crowds of sweaty people just so you can get back to your hotel?
Ok, so I visited at the very start of August, which was probably the worst time to visit because of everything I mentioned before. But when you’re meeting someone flying from New Zealand and it’s easier for them to get to Dubrovnik than to somewhere else in Croatia, then you just go there, regardless of season or timing.
Sweltering heat and swarms of people aside, I liked Dubrovnik. It is pretty, kept in pristine condition and loved by locals and visitors alike. There are throngs of tourists throughout Dubrovnik, but I was often surprised to turn a corner or stroll down an alleyway and find a moment of solitude.
However, it was during these moments of solitude that I would reflect on the fact that I was in fact a part of the hordes and contributing to the tourism that overruns this city.
I left Dubrovnik happy that I’d been there and seen everything that I had, but happier that I’d stopped in Split and seen another side of Croatia. While I would have loved to stay and discover more of Croatia, I had to push on with my trip across through the Balkans – Bosnia was waiting to be explored.