In mid-September, I took three days off to go on an extended weekend trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia. Dubrovnik had been in my bucket list for since 2007 after it appeared on The Amazing Race season 12. Fast forward 14 years later and after a lot of detours (pun intended 😛 ), it was so nice that I was finally able to visit this beautiful city!
To get to Dubrovnik, I flew with KLM Cityhopper. Both flights were regular, uneventful flights with the airline so I wouldn’t write about it. Only that perhaps because Croatia was not in the Schengen area, I got to use KLM’s non-Schengen Crown Lounge for the first time since … February 2020! Yep, it turned out the last time I used the lounge was before the pandemic!
As I did not find a convenient public transport option to get from Dubrovnik Airport to the Lapad area where my hotel was, I pre-ordered a taxi online (also on my way back). A driver waited at the airport for me with a sign with my name on it, haha. Pre-ordering the taxi turned out to be a wise decision as I paid much less than the official fare to get to/from the airport! 😀
At first I wasn’t sure with my choice to stay at Lapad, as while it looked like it was a nice location close to one of Dubrovnik’s beach areas, it was quite some distance from Dubrovik’s main “attraction”, the fortified old town. But the distance was actually not a problem as there was a frequent public bus service connecting Lapad and the Old Town, which ride only took roughly 15 minutes. Walking to the old town was an option too as the distance was only roughly 4.5 km (but with hilly terrain, though).
In fact, I think staying in Lapad was the correct decision, in my view, because it was less touristy than the old town area! There were plenty of restaurants nearby and, while I still felt they were overpriced for Croatian standard, they were still less overpriced than the restaurants at the old town, haha. Plus, I stayed just a stone throw away from the Sunset Beach. While the beach itself was just okay, it lived up to its name because … the sunset there was just so, so, so, beautiful! Seriously! It was one of the most beautiful sunsets I had ever seen!
Nevertheless, the main attraction of Dubrovnik, without a doubt, was the Old Town. The Old Town was, well, the “old” part of the city with preserved Medieval architecture, i.e. buildings and narrow streets with a lot of stairs; which was also fortified. You could walk on its “fort” part, i.e. the city wall, by purchasing a ticket, which was worth it, in my opinion.
There was also an Old Port in the Old Town (There was a “new”, larger port that was in use these days, including for cruise ships, that was located in another part of the city), from where you could take a ferry crossing to the nearby Lokrum Island or some of the boat tours offered there.
Oh and btw, if you feel like Dubrovnik looks like a scene of the Game of Thrones, you are not wrong because the Game of Thrones was partly filmed in Dubrovnik. In particular, it was the setting of the fictional city, King’s Landing.
Anyway, one element which made Dubrovnik beautiful, in my view, was that while it was clearly a seaside city, it was actually also located next to the Srđ mountain. You could hike up the mountain to get an amazing view of the city with the beautiful Adriatic Sea, or took a cable car. Obviously I chose the latter option, haha. The cable car ride was weather dependant btw. On the day I originally planned to go up to Srđ, it did not run because it was too windy. Luckily I stayed for quite long there so I could just reschedule my plan to the next day.
Srđ served as the pitstop of the Dubrovnik leg of The Amazing Race 12, where Azaria and Hendekea got eliminated back then. And so I feel like it’s appropriate to end this post with this random trivia, haha.