Summer in Dubrovnik is swell. The weather is sweet, the city is buzzing with outdoor activities and attractions. But all of these favourable elements create a travel paradox – since summer is a lovely time to visit hordes of tourists descend here, so ultimately that makes Dubrovnik somewhat less desirable destination.
From April to late September, Dubrovnik is overrun with all types of travellers ; families taking advantage of their kids’ summer vacation, cruiser ships passengers, university students attempting the famous ‘Euro trip’… Dubrovnik is crowded and tourist-to-local ratio is way off balance. Locals try to escape the crowds and flee to less-known destinations.
To help you make the most of your summer in Dubrovnik here are a few useful travel tips.
Plan, Plan, Plan!
Even though I’m very supportive to a ‘wait and see’ approach to travel because it leaves the room for spontaneity, if you decide to spend some time in Dubrovnik, during the summer it will require more upfront planning than the popular ‘wait and see’ method of traveling. For more upfront planning read our Dubrovnik things to do article.
Given its popularity, traveling to Dubrovnik in the summer is more expensive than other times of year , so you should book accommodation early to get the best rates and availability. If you’re planning to move around range any buses, flights well in advance to take advantage of early bird discounts, as the prices tend to significantly increase as the date approaches.
Think outside the box.
Standard tourist hotels usually raise their rates during the summer in attempt to capitalise on the Dubrovnik’s many visitors. Alternative accommodation provides significant savings which can be reinvested into other areas of your trip
Renting an apartment can provide more interesting digs than a chain hotel, but is also much cheaper, especially if you have a kitchen where you can make your own meals. Not to mention that in Dubrovnik, you can get an amazing terrace or a balcony with the view for much less than what you would pay for a hotel room with no view.
Think about where you want to wine & dine
Do your research online! Sometimes the establishments in high density tourist spots corrupt the mentalities of owners to pursue a ‘higher cost,lower quality’ strategy. Sometimes, it’s smarter to look for the restaurants in local neighbourhoods that are off the beaten path. To make sure you’re on the right track, follow the locals. Golden rule of dining abroad says that you should look for the places where at least 50% of the people in restaurant is local.
Spend time in lesser known places
Many locals will tell you that the true culture of region can be found in the traditional small places outside of the city’s borders. Travellers flock to the region capital to find the authentic character but often the true essence can be found a little outside. Experiencing the less urban locations will give you a deepened perspective of local life. Why don’t you check out Konavle region? This beautiful area is on southernmost tip of Croatia. It’s famous for the harmonious life of its inhabitants, beautiful nature, precious rural architecture, traditions that are hundreds of years old, costumes, folklore and so much more. Maybe this should be your weekend getaway.
Be strategic when visiting the top sights and attractions
If you’re interested in seeing some of Dubrovnik’s top attractions, like The City Walls or if you want to ride the cable car to the Srđ hill, make sure you do a bit of research in advance, so you don7t have to spend a lot of your time waiting in lines and shuffling trough crowds.
It’s definitely worth looking into Dubrovnik Card pass that can be purchased for a set price and it allows free or discounted entry into a number of locations.
Our advice is to visit these locations at off peak times. Arrive well before the doors open in the morning or right before the final admittance in the evenings when the crowds will be at a minimum.
Story by : Lena Šutić
Photos by: Antonio Bokšić, Vlaho Torić & Lena Šutić