As soon as you land in Dubrovnik’s small airport, you know you’ve arrived somewhere unique. Famous in recent years for its prime role as King’s Landing in HBO’s Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik has a surreal quality that feels like you’ve escaped to another era. Bordering the western wall are sparkling, amethyst waters and sandy coves. To the east are impressive, dusty mountains. Everywhere, the town is alive with outstanding cuisine, decadent wine and history at every turn.
Once a best-kept secret for travelers outside Europe, Dubrovnik is now climbing to the top of many must-visit lists, which means it can be busy in the summer months. With a port for regular cruise ship stops, the streets of the town can become gridlocked in July and August. However, if you travel here in September or even early October, the weather is still beautiful and warm, but the crowds die down. In fall, you can stroll easily down the narrow streets, and take your time to enjoy the sensational architecture and glistening stone walls without the throng of fellow tourists.
Take a stroll along the city walls
Cooler weather offers a great opportunity to take a walk along the top of the centuries-old walls that make this city so iconic and showcase the history and grandeur of Dubrovnik. You can walk the entire perimeter of Old Town here in about 2 hours. Seeing Old Town from atop the ramparts, you gain a better perspective of the city below. Dubrovnik recently went through turmoil during the Croatian War. From above, you can tell which of the roofs survived the bombings and which have since been rebuilt. If you have a chance, take the tram ride up to the War Museum at the top of the mountain. They offer a fantastic depiction of how drastically the city was hit during the war and how impressively they have rebuilt since. If you need a break while walking the walls, you will find several gelato stops along the way to sit down and cool off, while taking in the town’s medieval glory.
Make time for the sunset
There’s no better way to rest your legs and take a break from the sun than sitting back with a cold Croatian Pilsner or a refreshing Spritz at Buza Bar, also known as “The Hole-In-The-Wall.” The bar is built into the cliffs with incomparable panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea and Lokrum Island. To get in, you must pass through a small, unimposing hole in the city’s 7th-century stone walls, hence the nickname. Once inside, you’ll find a scene of small tables and chairs set among the rock landings. The lower landing allows you to get cozy on the rocks or witness the brave, adventure-seeking souls who choose to cliff jump from here. To your right you can watch the sun set behind one of the city’s majestic towers, with blues, purples and magentas lighting up the sky. Though perhaps seemingly less glamorous than some of the other bars in town, Buza Bar is one of the most unique spots in Dubrovnik and should not be missed.
Taste the local cuisine
After sunset make your way to the Pile gate on the opposite end of Old Town to Nautika, or its more casual sister restaurant, Dubravka, for dinner. With unique terraces and views over the lit up city, preserve the location’s rich history with elegant and decadent Croatian cuisine. Nautika was named as the sixth most romantic restaurant in the world by Condé Nast Traveller, and has hosted a wealth of dignitaries and celebrities, including the Pope himself. Make sure to enjoy one of their signature cocktails – we suggest the gin cocktail that comes with its own birdcage! The more relaxed Dubravka offers great Croatian dishes at reasonable prices – we love the melt-in-your-mouth tuna steak. All chairs are dressed with a personal blanket for the crisp fall evenings so you can still enjoy dining alfresco.
Live in luxury at Villa Lucija
The best way to end your evening? Relaxing in your own private villa. From the moment villa manager, Diana, meets you at the gates of Villa Lucija, you will immediately begin to fall in love with this home and its views. Villa Lucija places you in the heart of Dubrovnik, overlooking the Adriatic. From the upper outdoor terrace or lounging by the pool deck, you’ll find yourself taking in some of the most stunning sunsets. As if this wasn’t impressive enough, a trip in your private elevator, or relaxing soak in any of the rooms’ jacuzzi tubs will definitely do the trick! We encourage a stroll down to the popular Banje beach for a swim. If you’d prefer to take a dip in the sea in a less popular spot, you can head right across the street and down a few steps to a rocky swimming area to cool off. Most importantly, the staff consisting of owner Sveto, villa manager Diana, and their team will go above and beyond to ensure your trip here is unforgettable!
Where to stay in Dubrovnik