Of all the cities in Croatia that were damaged during the war from 1991-1995, Dubrovnik was damaged the most. The beauty of it today shows no devastation or wrinkles on this historic town.
Old City Walls
Recognized as the city with some of the most iconic walls in the world, Dubrovnik’s Old Town has walls that should be visited as soon as you arrive. When I say visit the walls, I don’t mean just enter the city. You must climb the walls. With two entrances (the main is called Pile located on the Western side of the old town) and from this entrance, shortly after you enter down onto the Stradun (main street), you will see a ticket booth on your right hand side. You will have to purchase a ticket before hiking up the walls. There are several steps and the Old City Walls are 2 km long, but don’t worry there are small cafes and sitting areas on the way. From the walls, you will see the old lookout points that were used to protect the city. Also, looking at the rooftops, you will see that some of the red roof tiles are darker than others. The ones that are darker are the locations that were hit during the war. Looking up onto the hill opposite the sea is Napolean’s fortress. You can hike a trail to get there or simply take the new cable car. One of my favorite views is of the island of Lokrum and watching the Cruise ships and small sail boats make their way around the city. While touring the walls, once you get to the eastern side, look down and you will notice a bar that has been built into the rocks. To many it is a mystery of how to get there. I will tell you that if you follow the walls back once you exit, look for the sign that says “Cold Drinks” – other than that you will see no sign, just a hole in the wall. The café bar is called Café Buza, and is by far one of my favorite places to sit and watch the sunset. Don’t expect anything fancy, just order a coke or beer and maybe a can of Pringles. Make sure to come early if you want to catch a seat in time for sunset! You won’t regret it.
Cavtat is an adorable coastal town just 20 minutes from Dubrovnik. Originally founded by the Greeks in the 6th century, today the wealthy yacht owners like to make their appearance along the Riva. It is a very small town, but makes a great day trip if you want to escape any crowds you might encounter in Dubrovnik. I would suggest at least making a trip to eat a meal here. The restaurants are some of the best on the Adriatic. I particularly like Restaurant Galija, where the owner Mislav connects with each person that steps in. I’d make a reservation on the patio and if you want to get treated really well, tell him you want “Ashley Pasta.”