July 24, 2018

A Love Letter to Croatia




This post is coming way too late. I planned on doing posts on my Croatia and Italy trip last Fall but just never got around to it. I'm finally putting together pics and recommendations on one of the best trips I've ever taken. I went with 4 friends and we spent 2 weeks traveling thru the two countries.

I don't know what to expect in Croatia. I've heard its a must see and that it is gorgeous but not much more than that. After our first day, I truly fell in love with Croatia! The country has everything I want in a European vacation destination: history, sights, incredible food and gorgeous views. 

We spent a week and visited 3 of Croatia's gorgeous cities: Dubrovnik, Split and Hvar.  It's hard to narrow down each city into just one post so I'm working on one for each. To keep the posts from becoming a book I'm narrowing it down to any notable sites, discoveries and places to eat.

I'm starting off this series with our first stop in Croatia, Dubrovnik. Many of the sites of Dubrovnik are pretty familiar to any Game of Thrones fans because many of the King's Landing locations are filmed in Dubrovnik. 

Dubrovnik is surrounded by mountains on 3 sides and the Adriatic Sea on the other. This has helped preserve the city from many of the wars this area of the world has scene. 

Sites

Walls of Dubrovnik - If you go to Dubrovnik you must walk the walls. Not only do you have gorgeous views but you are really walking on history. Parts of the walls are over 800 years old. A history nerd like me was in heaven.  You can take as long as you want to walk the walls but I would give yourself around 1.5 hours to fully enjoy it. If you go during the summer, get there early before its too hot.  

All Game of Thrones fans will want to pay special attention when they walk the walls because several scenes in "King's Landing" were filmed there.




Buza 1 or 2 - There are two cutouts or Buzas in the city walls and each of these lead to incredible views. Once you walk thru the cutout the only thing between you and the Adriatic Sea is the cliff you are on. One Buza has a nice bar with seats to enjoy the view. The other one is has a more relaxed vibe where you can get in the sea or layout on the cliff. We spent a whole afternoon enjoying the sun, the view, the water and a few beers.



Stay 

I don't have a recommendation on exactly places to stay but I would recommend staying within the walls of the city. We rented an airbnb inside the walls and it was one of the best parts of Dubrovnik. Just be prepared to walk up and down lots of steps if you stay in the walls but its so worth it. The atmosphere is really incredible and it's unlike anywhere else I've ever stayed. 



One of the things I love about air bnbs is how it immerses you in the culture of wherever you are. In many cases to the host can recommend local spots. Our host told us about the Buzas and how to get to them easily.




Eat/Drink

Top of the mountain - Overall I don't have any specific recommendations for places to eat in Dubrovnik. But I would recommend taking the gondola ride to the top of the mountain to get the best views of the city and the Adriatic Sea. There is a beautiful restaurant at the top where you can have dinner (highly recommend getting a reservation) or a drink.

One of my girl friends and I decided to check out the views from above and have a glass of champagne. It was one of those moments that pictures don't do it justice so you snap a few and then just take in the moment. The champagne didn't hurt either!





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