Traveling to Dubrovnik requires a longer drive south down the coast if you’re going by car, but if you’re looking for the typical tourist experience in Croatia, drive no further.
With just over 40,000 people calling Dubrovnik home year round, there is plenty of room for visitors. A maritime town once rivaling the mighty Venice in size, Dubrovnik’s population has been shrinking due to a faltering economy and a recent war, but is slowly coming back as tourists bring back a little bit of life and a lot of money to the city.
Dubrovnik is a coastal city, historically a port town, and its current popularity among tourists has given it a special relationship with its history. Although void of any independent industry, Dubrovnik preserves some of its medieval charm while offering great nightlife and accommodations. Walk along the intact city walls and feel connected with the sheer age of the city, or tour the old town and learn about the Dubrovnik’s special status as the only city to retain its independence throughout Croatia’s history. Modern Dubrovnik is built alongside the old town part of the city, and tourists can walk the drawbridges at Ploče Gate and Pile Gate as they explore the city, or head out on a day trip to get away from the crowds.
In Dubrovnik, like most of Croatia, outdoor activities are plentiful. Hiking, sailing, fishing and hunting are all an easy excursion from the city and numerous tour companies will take the hassle out of setting up your trip. With its clear, calm sea, Dubrovnik is an ideal place to learn to scuba dive, and more experienced divers can explore the Elafiti Archipelago and several shipwrecks near the city. Just don’t swipe any coral or rocks as a souvenir on your way up for air.
If you’re looking for less adrenaline out of your time off, some hotels have private beaches, or check out one of the public beaches in Dubrovnik, like the Brazil inspired Copacabana at which you can rent a jet-ski, parasail, or watch your kids enjoy one of the many sea-slides.
Traveling late in the tourist season could save you the trouble of fighting through too many tourists, but come September the rainfall nearly doubles. Traveling early in the year is a better idea as Dubrovnik begins to warm up from its short winter in February.