I am really excited to be in Croatia!! Every time I was telling my plans to people that have already been in the country, they were showing a shy smile and telling me that I would never forget the days I would spend in there.
My first stop was Dubrovnik. Although the most common trip route is from north to south I decided to change it and so start from the south (basically for the flight tickets that were much more cheaper).
So there I was with all my energy, motivation and my huge rucksack to push me through this new adventure.
From getting to the airport to Dubrovnik was really easy: there are two couch companies that work on it. There is a couch every time some aircraft lands. Therefore, there will be always public transport without the necessity to pay for a taxi. Basically, once you land, you will find a small window on the right-hand side where you can buy the bus ticket
TIP: if you are coming back to the same airport it is better to buy the two tickets at the same time as it is a little bit cheaper.
When I was on the couch I was talking to a really nice guy from Sweden, he was also a solo traveler and I honestly lost the track of time so I cannot guaranty you how long does it really take driving from the airport to the city center but I would say not more than 40 minutes.
Croatia is a really safe country in all aspects: I have been walking till late night through tiny streets and nothing happens neither when I had to take the bus to get to the ferry about 5 in the morning.
But this does not mean all locals are happy with tourists. Some of them will not be really pleased to help you so try to ask to touristic places rather than to a familiar local business. In Croatia there is less than 10% of immigration.
Although Croatia is part of the European Union now, kuna still remains. There are not many places that accept euros, just the touristic ones and honestly, it is not worth it. If you pay with euros the change will be very good for their business so not for yours.
- What to see and tickets
What I recommend to see from my own experience are:
- The roman walls: yes, the tickets are expensive (200kn) but is really worth it. From the walls, you are able to see the whole old town and also the harbor and some of the little islands. 100% recommended
TIP: if you are visiting Dubrovnik in August please remember the weather is really hot during midday. When planning, try to do excursions like walls and trekking in the early morning or at the end of the day.
- Cable car: if you are young, strong and willing to do trekking this is your opportunity! Each way is 90kn but if you pay both together is a little bit cheaper.
- Street market: getting lost through narrow streets and get enchanted by the buildings and puny houses.
- Harbour: one of the best parts of the town. From there you can also rent a boat, a kayak, reserve a day trip in one of the islands….but first assure the price is not too high compared to other companies.
- Beaches: Dubrovnik does not have the best beaches in Croatia. In fact, there are two in walking-distance: Banje and Bellevue. Banje beach is in the same old town so it is just 5 minutes walking. Bellevue takes about 30 minutes but it is not as crowded as the first one.
If your budget is limited and the place where you are staying let you cook then you have the option to buy in the “local” markets placed in “hidden” places. Don’t expect to pay small amounts but the quality is fine.
(You can be guided by red signs that show you which businesses are in each street.)
About restaurants: the Croatian gastronomy is amazing and if you enjoy eating nice food you are very lucky. Is an idyllic spot.
- Public transport
The transport in the city and also on the islands work really well. The best option to get to the islands is on the ferry, of course. I don’t recommend taxi boats as are completely out of budget and neither excursions if the idea is just to get to another place rather than do sightseeing while sailing.
The best webpage to get tickets for the ferry is https://www.jadrolinija.hr
TIP: buy the tickets in advance if you are traveling in high season. You will receive a barcode in your email without the necessity to print it out.
TIP: it is bloody cold in the ferry so mind getting a jacket or even a blanket. Trust me, you will need it.