Our sweet Dubrovnik is internationally well-known and appears on must-visit lists every other day. With that comes one thing many of us dislike about travel – crowds. So how do you enjoy the ancient city and beat the crowds?
Here are a few tips, that’ll get you started:
Avoid The Cruisers
Giant cruise ships are the biggest source of over-crowding in Dubrovnik. Cruise ships don’t come every day (not yet anyway), but the key thing to know is that when they arrive, most cruise ships dock for only a single day. They genersally dock early in the morning, passengers disembark and make a beeline for the Old Town in the morning and stay until the late afternoon.
The Old Town is fairly small and a few thousand extra people does not go unnoticed. Here are two tips to beat the cruisers:
Visit the old city after 4 pm. A large number of the passengers vacate the city around 2 pm, while most are gone by 4pm.
Check with the local Port Authority on what days cruisers are arriving. You can do that by checking here. (Select the month you want – they are in Croatian, but numbered – and click on ‘Prikaz izvješća’ and you’ll get a list in English of cruisers with times and sizes of visiting ships.)
Choose Wisely When to Visit
Peak season in Dubrovnik is July-August, and unless you need to be here then try to visit during the shoulder seasons of May-June and September-October. Though they are also starting to get very busy, you’ll get the holiday vibe without your feet being trodden on quite so often.
If your vacation in Dubrovnik is during the peak summer months, think about avoiding Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays – the city see’s a lot of local tourists on those days, with many traveling from Zagreb to bask in the summer sun! Those days also tend to be the busiest for cruise ships. So, spend a Monday in Dubrovnik instead!
Wake Up Extra Early or Stay out Late
The best tips to beat the excited crowds is to wake up early, grab a coffee and a walk through the Old Town before everyone else wakes up.
Not a morning person – no worries with bars and restaurants open late, enjoy an afternoon nap and stay up extra late. Watch the sunset, get a cocktail and wander the streets after dark – which is, by the way, very safe.
Head Out on Open Water
Say goodbye to the Old Town, and trade in the churches for a kayak. The inviting turquoise Adriatic Sea won’t disappoint you. There are caves and deserted beaches waiting to be explored! If you have another crowd-busting tip, let us know!