Combining relaxation and exploration in Dubrovnik.

“Those who seek paradise on Earth should come and see Dubrovnik”
George Bernard Shaw

Dubrovnik is booming as a tourist destination, a lot of it driven from Game of Thrones fans, as Dubrovnik old town was used as a filming location. I originally visited for a different reason (I’ve never seen Game of Thrones) and I’m so glad I did.

It happened like this: me and my best friend were looking for a European destination where we could relax in the sun for a week. However, we wanted somewhere neither have been, and Croatia came up as an option. We soon found a beautiful hotel in Dubrovnik (which I’ll get onto later.)

With the hotel booked, I decided to research what could be done in the area. At this point, my love of travel was just beginning, so I was oblivious to just how beautiful Croatia is. I quickly discovered Dubrovnik had the most beautiful old town and plenty of things to do. Soon, our supposedly relaxing holiday was ever so slightly hijacked by my desire to explore.

I’m happy to say we combined the relaxation and exploration aspects perfectly (for us, at least.) So if you’re interested in getting both a few days of sun worship and a few days discovering a beautiful city, you may find the below helpful.


We stayed at Hotel Dubrovnik Palace which we absolutely adored. The entire hotel looks over the adriatic (every room, every restaurant, the pools) and it’s perfectly positioned for sunsets. We didn’t always have the best weather (we visited mid-June) but every second spent at this hotel was fantastic. The staff were friendly and professional, and our stay was so peaceful; we truly didn’t want to leave.

The hotel is positioned 15 minutes outside of Dubrovnik old town, and a bus stops right outside the hotel. This worked perfectly for us. It was so peaceful, but still close to the centre.

Facilities wise, the outdoor pool comes complete with a sea view, swim up bar, and a hot tub. The strawberry dacquiris at the swim up bar were a little bit of heaven. There is also direct access to the sea.  The inside pool is on the top floor, has two hot tubs and is accompanied by a great spa. I had the best full body massage, floated back to my room in a robe and watched the sunset with a glass of Croatian wine. Bliss.

There are several restaurants at the hotel, again, with sea views. The food was good, but perhaps overpriced. It may be worth it for the view, though.



Dubrovnik Old Town

The town itself is absolutely beautiful, and doesn’t need words to sell it at all (but it could do with less touts selling tickets to Game of Throne tours.) If you’re not particularly mobile, you may struggle – there are a lot of steps. It can also get really crowded: if you don’t want to visit out of season I’d strongly recommend looking up cruise ship details. With this, you can ensure the day you visit coincides with a day that has the least cruise ship passengers departing.

It’s also worth noting the history of the city,  the siege of Dubrovnik was only in 1991/1992, which is both devastating to consider, and incredible when you see how well restored it is. A friend of mine has written a poignant account of a family friends experience during the siege, I really recommend reading it by clicking here.  If you’re not familiar with it’s history, I would recommend doing some brief reading into it. It will make you so much more appreciative of what you see.


City Walls

Again, a lot of stairs. I’m pretty unfit, so in 32 degree heat and no shade it was by no means a light walk. However, once you brush the sweat out of your eyes, it will be obvious it was worth it. The combination of terracotta roofs and blue ocean is unforgettable. They do charge for this walk (as I write this, it’s 150KN which is around £18) but I honestly think you’ll regret it if you don’t do it. It took me around 45 minutes to do it, I was going ask quickly as I could as my friend didn’t join me and was waiting down in the city below.  Walking the walls could easily be stretched out for longer; you’ll want to stop and admire the view constantly. I even had trouble picking which photos to feature here.


Dubrovnik Cable Car

Yes the ride is over with quickly, yes it’s pretty touristy, and yes the view is stunning. I’d strongly recommend doing as I did, and going up the cable car not long before sunset. You can see the city from above in the day and at night in one trip by doing this.

The area you can explore at the top of Mount Srd was larger than I expected (I thought there was only one view point at the top of the cable car.) There are views every way you look. They also have a restaurant with a great view (more on this later.) You can hike Mount Srd instead of taking the cable car if you should wish. You can find more information, prices and timetables here.


Island of Lokrum

This lovely little island is a 10 minute ferry ride over from Dubrovnik Old Town. You buy tickets at the port, and it departs regularly. The island, just like Croatia in general, is beautiful. There are no cars on this island, instead you’ll encounter peacocks and bunny rabbits running freely. To find out more about what you can do on the island, you can visit their website. 

Me and my friend spent our time there eating at a lovely restaurant, running from peacocks (my friend has a bird phobia) and attempting to swim in the sea. For some reason, rather than finding a nice shallow bit of water to enter, we decided to climb down the ladder into a very tempestuous bit of sea that the cool kids were cliff diving into. Though this was highly amusing (watching your friend cling onto a ladder while shouting and being swung back and forward by waves is very funny, less so when she somehow does an inadvertent somersault in the water and disappears under entirely) we decided to get out soon after, so that the cool kids could actually exit using the ladder that we were monopolising.



It goes without saying that there are many other things you can do in Dubrovnik, from island boat tours to kayaking. We actually did a full day trip in Montenegro which was incredible, and I’ll cover in another post.



Restaurant & Bars

I’m going to preface this by saying I didn’t really love any meals I had in Dubrovnik, so you’re not going to find many rave reviews for food. I think this was likely my fault, I repeatedly chose beef and lamb dishes, where I think their strong suit is seafood.

Maslina Taverna

Where: Hotel Dubrovnik Palace
Why: Beautiful sea views. It’s really atmospheric around sunset, when daylight starts fading and lanterns begin glowing.
Tips: Book ahead and ask for a table overlooking the sea.
Price: Ranging from around £20-£40 for a main.
More info & menu:  click here.


Panorama Restaurant

Where: The top of Dubrovnik Cable Car
Why: Panoramic views of Dubrovnik.
Tips: Book ahead, requesting a table with a view, for around sunset. Trust me on this one.
Price: Ranging from around £10-£20 for a main.
More info & menu: click here.



Where: On the island of Lokrum
Why: Nice outdoor seating, and the best meal we had in Dubrovnik
Tips: Make sure you go to the right restaurant- we originally sat at the Lacroma snack bar, which does very different food. Also, the wild mushroom risotto is really good.
Price: Ranging from around £10-£25 for a main.
More info & menu: click here.


Restaurant More

Where: At ‘Hotel More’
Why: The outdoor seating area is beautiful.
Tips: Request a seat outside with a sea view.
Price: Ranging from around £10-£25 for a main.
More info & menu: click here.


Cave Bar More

Where: At ‘Hotel More’
Why:  It’s great for after dinner drinks at Restaurant More (above.) Drinking inside an actual cave is pretty unique (and beautiful) and it has a stunning out door seating area along the sea. (A guest actually went for a swim at around 9pm.)
Tips: Get there early-ish to get a good seat outside.
Price: I can’t find a menu online, but I remember a cocktail was around £5.
More info & menu: click here.


Have I convinced you to spoil yourself on a little luxury trip to Dubrovnik yet? Or have I missed out any of your favorite restaurants or activities? Let me know!

8 thoughts on “Combining relaxation and exploration in Dubrovnik.”

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