If you haven’t yet seen the beauty of the Dubrovnik City Walls then I’d like to invite you to scroll through a page that will hopefully inspire you to add the stunning scene to your travel bucket list. Last week I travelled to Croatia for the very first time and the country quite literally took my breath away.
There’s so many factors that lend a hand to the stunning scene of Dubrovnik’s old town, the entire destination has been declared as a UNESCO world heritage site, it’s situated on the crystal clear coastline of the Adriatic sea and the dream-like architecture of the town is uniform and unique creating a visual illusion that you’ve stepped back through centuries in time.
You enter the old town itself through the historic openings that were once designed perfectly and protectively above water but now lead straight out to the surrounding streets as there is no longer a moat around the walls. From the moment you wander beneath the cast iron gates and glance up to the towering stones you feel as though you’ve entered a whole other world.
Once the crowd of people (that will inevitably be there all year round) part and your eyes adjust, you feel as though you’re walking through a film set, gorgeously curated as if it were for a real life disney movie.
The entire town is pedestrianised and is alive at all hours. The narrow and winding streets are lined with cute terraced houses all painted in natural or pale pastel colours with token antique wooden shutters that add to the whimsical ambience. Restaurants, jewellery shops, cafes and souvenir boutiques make up the town where, though it’s hard to believe when you are wandering through with your gelato, still serves as an actual home for an inner community.
If you make it to Dubrovnik (which I’m really hoping you will!) then you simply MUST climb the walls. As soon as you walk into the town itself you can dart immediately right to the tourist office and buy a ticket to enter the physical wall itself. As the walk takes some decent time out of your day I would personally advise heading up before heading down 😉 We arrived in town in the late afternoon and walked straight up, it took around two hours for us to get round the whole thing, we did, however stop along the way to take lots of pictures!
The walk isn’t too strenuous, asides from a few steps up it’s mainly flat ground though I obviously wouldn’t recommend heeling it up you’d be find with a pair of sandals or pumps. The views from above it all are absolutely insane, in-sane! The vast expanse of sea to one side, the lush green mountains to the other and below it all, in the middle, a scatter of terracotta roofs and a sprinkle of every-day life. I was in utter awe of it all and it’ll go down in history as one of my favourite ever walks, it really is like nothing else I’ve ever seen.
Whilst you are walking round the actual wall there’s a few cute cafes along the way but the swankiest by far is the cliff-edge hang-out Buza. This is a very cool spot to grab a beer or drink to gaze over the turquoise blues of the Adriatic or watch the orange and pink hues fill the sky as the sun goes down. During summer some people dare to cliff jump off into the water whilst others simply sip and enjoy the view.
Once access to the wall is closed and the night draws in, the town inside them stays alive. You can continue to shop and wander or you can get dinner ‘with a view’ in one of the many open air restaurants. Food and drinks are really affordable in comparison to most famous European cities so even the best seat in town won’t set you back enough to scare you off from the menu. We ate a Paparazzo Steakhouse and whilst I’m vegetarian I still loved the ambience of the restaurant and the view from where we ate was beautiful! It’s been described as the best restaurant in town by many Croatian insiders and I could see why.
The old town of Dubrovnik stole my heart, after just a few steps in I knew I’d be going back! If you are travelling to this wonder I would recommend steering clear of the summer season and visiting in either May or October as the crowds really are quite mammoth to tackle even now and the season hasn’t even officially started! You can watch these pictures come to life in my latest vlog here:
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I stayed at Valamar President Hotel during my trip to Croatia which I loved and I’ll be writing a follow up post about the hotel in a ‘Things to do outside of the wall’ in Croatia soon.