6 & 3: Dubrovnik – Six cool things and three not so cool things about the Pearl of the Adriatic
If you are planning a trip to the Adriatic, the chances that Dubrovnik is on your list of destinations is high. Here are six cool things and three not so cool things about the Pearl of the Adriatic, Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Six cool things about Dubrovnik
- Architecture – Dubrovnik has a WOW factor. When you arrive in Dubrovnik and see the walled old city for the first time you can’t help but be amazed. With a history dating back to the 7th century, the Dalmatian city grew to political and economic prominence that rivaled the Republic of Venice during its prime in the time between the 15th and 16th century. The walls that encircle the old city are perhaps the city’s best known feature. Constructed between the 12th and 17th centuries, the walls defended its inhabitants with 120 cannons and a moat.
- Off Season Weather – The Pearl of the Adriatic is situated in such a temperate climate that you have to give the founders credit for this geographic placement. Sporting temperatures of 60 degrees fahrenheit by their famous Carnival in February, it is easy to travel to Dubrovnik outside of the high season.
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- History – Dubrovnik acted as its own strong republic during the middle ages. Being a seaport as well as a political power, it was wanted by other world forces. Over the years, Dubrovnik moved from being its own republic to being a part of the Austrian Empire, Napoleon’s Kingdom of Italy, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, the Independent State of Croatia, the Socialist Republic of Croatia, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and now part of the Republic of Croatia. The rich history of the city is protected as a UNESCO site since 1979.
- Stairs* – Stairs are good for you. There are machines that replicate walking stairs as a form of exercise. (But, see below.)
- Seafood – Oyster farms line the coastline on either side of the city. Fisherman still bring in the fruits of the sea daily to the city’s guests. It is not to be missed!
- The Views – I mean, come on…. this one thing alone makes a visit to the city a must do.
Three not so cool things about Dubrovnik
- It is expensive. The Pearl of the Adriatic has drawn many visitors over the last millennia. It knows how to put on a good show. Supply and demand has created a situation in which pricing is widely disportioncate to the rest of the country.
- A simple pastry purchased outside the walls is 7 KN. That same pastry inside the city walls is 15 KN. A 100% markup. After regulations changed 10-15 years ago, many residents became entrepreneurs and moved outside of the city. Due to that, most shops within the center cater mainly to tourists.
- The Dubrovnik Card is the city’s marketing plan. For one “low” price you gain entry into multiple different sites in the city. The best site included is entry to the city wall tour. Unless you are a major museum person with the stamina to see multiple in a day, evaluate whether this card is for you.
- The Stairs – Dubrovnik is shaped like a bowl. There is a mountain to one side and the coastal cliffs to the other side. In fact, the main road through old town, the Stradum, was once under water. It was filled in to allow both sides of the city to be merged together. While the history is cool, your legs will get a work out. The stairs add charm to the city. It is an effective use of space. Just. Be. Prepared. For. Leg. Day.
- Movie Sets – Because of its beauty and willingness to cooperate, Dubrovnik has become a constant movie set. Star Wars, Robin Hood, and Game of Thrones are only a few of the pictures filmed in the city. Most are filmed during low season which means that you might not see the city as it should be because the movie set has taken over. This is still preferable to visiting during high season when you can’t see five feet in front of you due to the armies of selfie sticks and tour flags.
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