Between the area I stayed in (called Lapand) and the Old Town of Dubrovnik, the locals live, breathe, and eat all things Croatian. After a year of no tourism due to Covid, enthusiasm was understandably through the (terracotta) roof. My drivers and tour guides shared boundless energy and passion for their hometown of Dubrovnik – the pearl of Croatia.
Back in the 19th century, ship building and the collection of sea salt were the biggest industries. Today, tourism is everything. Travellers come from across the world to embrace everything that Dubrovnik has to offer – including the backdrop of the global-hit TV show, Game of Thrones.
During a guided tour of this breathtaking city, die-hard fans discussed in depth the plot and scenery of the various episodes. For those who hadn’t seen it – admittedly myself included – we were pointed out the famous steps in the Old Town. This is where a naked woman walked with her head held in shame. At the bottom of the steps you can even grab yourself a ‘shame cocktail’ from a local bar.
Approximately 1,000 people live within the city walls, surrounded by an architectural blend of Renaissance and gothic design. No wonder this city of unique cultural and political history was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. The buildings were impressive in every sense, but what stunned me most was the cleanliness of it all. Surely a dedicated team must spend their days cleaning the white limestone walls and cobbled pathways? It’s pristine.
It’s easy to fall in love with Dubrovnik, but even more so by night. The cobbled side streets were delicately lit up and, wherever you were, the city looked perfectly romantic. I would advise every visitor to take the cable car ride, not only for the insanely beautiful views but also to get a better perspective and scale of the city.
Apart from the port, you can see the entire city from the top. The contrasting colours of Dubrovnik are iconic, yet they complement each other beautifully –the terracotta roof tiles are stern and bold, and the Adriatic Sea dances in turquoise sparkles.