It’s hard to describe myself but I always say that I am a traveller by soul, photographer by passion and tour guide by profession. I grew up in Dubrovnik and love to spend time here but I also live like a nomad. Half of my time is spent in Croatia and the other half is spent travelling the world.
I love exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations and capturing moments with my camera. Every picture has a story to tell. COVID-19 stopped my international travels at country number 123. But I will resume my travels in the coming years when the pandemic and restrictions have eased.
Working as a Dubrovnik Tour Guide
Spending my childhood and life in Dubrovnik was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. This city is one of the safest and most beautiful places on earth. Everyone knows everyone and the neighbours would even call your parents without hesitation if you didn’t behave well!
After travelling to some poor countries around the world, I really started to appreciate everything back home in Croatia. Today, through my business as a Dubrovnik tour guide, I try to give tourists that insider knowledge of my country as many travellers now want to have authentic experiences.
Since I was a kid, I have collected National Geographic magazines and my walls were once covered by world maps. Somehow I started to capture moments and tell stories. Dubrovnik certainly is a photogenic place. Through gaining knowledge of my city, I started to show visitors the most beautiful places and hidden gems which some locals don’t even know of!
I just love moving away from the crowds and main streets and walking up stairs to the narrow streets and small squares. There are always great photo opportunities in these places and you can discover charming local spots.
Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik
Even after growing up in Dubrovnik, this place still surprises and delights me when I go exploring. Whether it’s the charm of the Old Town, shimmering Adriatic or wonderful locals going about their lives – I never lose that sense of wonder. If this is your first time visiting Dubrovnik, I can recommend the below experiences for an unforgettable trip:
1. Walk the City Walls around the Historic Centre
The Old Town of Dubrovnik, encircled by stone walls, is one of the main reasons to visit this city. These stone walls were recently made famous by the drama series Game of Thrones. Walking around the city walls takes between two and three hours depending on the season and time of day you visit. Get there early at around 8am for the best experience possible.
2. Take the Cable Car up Mount Srd (Srd Hill)
Mount Srd, otherwise known as Srd Hill, is a backdrop looking over the city. You can take a cable car up to enjoy beautiful views over Dubrovnik as well as visit the Dubrovnik Imperial Fortress (built by Napoleon). Visitors have the option of taking the cable car or hiking up which is slightly more difficult. This decision will depend on how much food you have gorged on!
3. Enjoy a Day Trip (By Boat) to Lokrum Island
Lokrum Island is one of the most recognisable places in Dubrovnik as it’s a stone’s throw away from the city walls. Day trips to the island have become a popular activity over the years. You can spend a full or half a day here exploring the island, taking in the beautiful vegetation and relaxing.
4. Discover Dubrovnik on a Game of Thrones Tour
There are a couple of companies in Dubrovnik which offer Game of Thrones tours and they revolve around taking guests to memorable scenes and locations from the series. The tours include exploring the Old Town, taking a ferry to Lokrum, Mount Srd and other destinations around the city.
5. Kayak on the Adriatic Sea around Dubrovnik
A fantastic experience to enjoy in summer on the shimmering Adriatic. Kayaking guides will take you on an adventure starting from the Pile port in the Old Town and heading to amazing places like caves, Lokrum, secret beaches, snorkelling spots and the city walls for more paddling!
6. Have a Game of Waterpolo with the Locals
Waterpolo is a massive sport in Croatia and Dubrovnik locals love it! The pride of the city is a waterpolo team called VK Jug. They have been European champions three times. Beaches around the city have locals playing the game and if you ask politely they will have a game with you.
7. Go Cliff Diving at Buza Bar in Dubrovnik
Buza Bar is one of the best hidden gems in the city, not just for cliff diving but also for watching the sunset. This romantic cliffside offers sweeping views of the Adriatic Sea. Buza translates to “hole in the wall”. You have to walk through a hole in the city walls to locate the spot. There is also a bar here but it’s not as good as seeing the cliff diving and spectacular sunsets!
8. Visit War Photo Limited – War Photo Museum
Located inside the historic old city, War Photo Limited offers visitors insights into war and conflict around the world through the exhibition of powerful photojournalism. The museum aims to educate people on the frightening reality of war – injustices and tragedies which often repeat throughout history. A great way to spend a sober afternoon.
9. Hike Petka Hill for a Majestic Sunset
Forest Park Velika and Mala Petka is located on the south side of Lapad Bay right next door to Dubrovnik. This park provides a unique destination to visit in its own right but more prominently Petka Hill is one of the best places to watch the sunset. Cap off a great trip with a nice sunset.
10. Sit at Cafes and Drink Coffee like Locals
Last but not least, sit at cafes and drink a coffee for a couple of hours watching the world go by. This is a popular activity for locals and this way you can really feel like one too. Two hours is plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere. The Old Town, of course, is one of the best places to do this.
How to Immerse Yourself in the Local Culture of Dubrovnik
Immersing in the culture of Dubrovnik can be achieved by going to the fish markets, drinking beer or ordering coffee in local bars and cafes, not holding a city map in your hands, being a real traveller and breathing in the city, putting your phone away and getting lost in the streets.
Travelling should be slow and not an Instagram competition for the top locations. The best food and drinks are found in the restaurants and bars which don’t have TripAdvisor accounts. Imagine stumbling across a place with great Croatian wine, oysters with fresh bread, people watching opportunities and then necking a Grappa shot for health before you leave!
Croatians love fish and seafood but if you are really hungry we cook some amazing meat dishes too. Sometimes this heavy food can lead to afternoon naps. Don’t be afraid to take your fair share of afternoon naps when visiting Dubrovnik. This is living the Mediterranean lifestyle as it once was.
Where to Stay in Dubrovnik
When you come to Dubrovnik you can choose your accommodation preferences and the level of privacy, comfort and luxury that you want to have. There are many Airbnbs in the historical Old Town but when it gets crowded it can also get noisey from the streets because of the many coffee joints, restaurants, bars and nightclubs which are located there.
I love staying at Airbnbs with views of the city from the beautiful Ploce or Kono area of Dubrovnik. Also, it can be expensive to park in the city, so try to find an accommodation with free parking if you plan on bringing a car. If you love hotels and hostels then there are plenty of options.
Ideally, you want to stay in Dubrovnik for a week because even if you get bored you can take day trips to Bosnia, Montenegro or go wine tasting on the Peljesac peninsula. For more day trips, feel free to contact me!
Need to Know Before you Go
Every season is great to visit. So don’t worry about coming in summer, autumn, winter or spring. Summers are hot and humid. The downside is that summer is busy! Spring and autumn have nice temperatures of up to 25 degrees. You can still swim at this time. And don’t worry about the sea. There is nothing in the sea which can kill you like in Australia!
Winter can be a wonderful and unique time to visit Dubrovnik. It can get very quiet and windy but with over 260 sunny days per year it will never get too cold! You can enjoy attending the Dubrovnik Winter Festival during December/January and also soak up the atmosphere of Christmas time.
If you come to Dubrovnik in summer, autumn or spring then rent a scooter. Also, you should remember that our currency is Kuna and not Euro. The language is Croatian but it’s a hard language to learn and not really something you can learn at home quickly before visiting the country.
We love to kiss and hug people that we know. A bit like how Italians and Spanish do. The only difference is we play football better! I recently gave an interview with Total Croatia News on the link here if you would like to learn more interesting info about Dubrovnik in case I missed anything.