Dubrovnik is a high-energy destination best experienced at a leisurely pace. Its popularity makes the old town full of vitality, but its stories and hidden gems lurking behind every corner beckon visitors to take their time. The air is salty, the locals are friendly, and fragrant baskets of flowers hang from windowsills everywhere.
When to Go
The low season in Dubrovnik is winter, during which time the tourism infrastructure slows down. The high season is July and August, when travelers from far and wide flock to the city. Therefore, a trip to Dubrovnik is best planned in the still sunny shoulder seasons, such as June or September.
While Dubrovnik is home to many festivals, none is more popular than the Dubrovnik Summer Festival. This festival taking place from mid-July through late August characterizes the vibe of the city through theater, music, literature, opera, and ballet performances.
What to Eat
No trip to Dubrovnik is complete without a sampling of the region’s most iconic dishes. Stain your tongue temporarily black with a plate of black risotto (made with squid ink), indulge in a hearty meal such as zelena menestra (green stew), grab a plate of freshly caught mussels or oysters, and don’t forget to treat yourself to a delectable rozata (custard pudding).
Souvenir to Take Home
In a city as rich in culture as Dubrovnik, leave the key chains and shot glasses behind and head for a more culturally specific souvenir. Pick up a bag of lavender, take home a bottle (or two) of your favorite Croatian wine, or purchase a Sibenik button, which is popularly worn as a piece of jewelry.
Sustainable Travel Tip
As Dubrovnik’s popularity has grown in recent years, so has the city’s need to preserve its infrastructure through limiting the daily number of people allowed within the city walls. To make sure you’re let into the old town and to help preserve this majestic city, opt to travel in the shoulder season, and forgo the larger tour or cruise.
While it’s hard to take a bad photo in a place as beautiful as Dubrovnik, in order to take some photos without masses of other travelers in every shot, get to the city early in the morning or for sunset. From there, the most iconic shots will be looking out over the main street of Stradun from atop the walls or from Mount Srd via the cable car.