Dubrovnik. Is it worth all the hype?

The beautiful buildings of Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Dubrovnik was my dream destination for years. I had heard many wonderful things about it from my family, friends, and a number of travel bloggers. I couldn’t wait to go and check out this ancient city myself and see what the fuss was all about, and I finally got the chance to go in September 2012.

My first view of Dubrovnik

My sister was getting married in Trogir, Croatia, a bit futher up north along the Dalmatian coast, so my parents and I decided to make a stop over in Dubrovnik on our way to Trogir from Sarajevo, Bosnia. A close friend of the family owns a house in the heart of Dubrovnik, so we had the privilege of staying with them for a night. The house is located within walking distance to the old town, and as soon as we finished our dinner at the house, we ventured out to see what Dubrovnik had to offer.

The picture doesn’t really reflect the beauty of the city walls in person.
Upon arriving to the walls of the old town, I was already starting to fall in love with the city. As we climbed down a small hill to enter the old town, I was in awe once again. The old town’s buildings were very well lit, each showing off it’s own beauty. Strolling around the old town made me feel like I was in some expensive Hollywood movie. It was absolutely stunning. I will let these pictures be my proof.

Beautiful landscaping in Dubrovnik, Croatia
Streets of Dubrovnik at night.
There is just so much history within Dubrovnik.
Dubrovnik, Croatia
One of the many cafes in Dubrovnik, Croatia
After strolling around for a while, we decided to sit down for some drinks. Lo and behold, here came the astronomical prices. Wherever we looked we saw prices that were way too high to justify paying. Eventually we found a spot and sat down. Naturally we discussed this with our hosts and they told us that the prices were set so high because of the increase in foreign tourists that the city brings in each year. I didn’t like this one bit, but hey, if I was rich enough to stroll off a cruise and have money to throw into the wind, I guess I wouldn’t have cared about the prices as much.
The view I woke up to.
Loved walking around the streets of Dubrovnik!

The next morning, after having a delicious breakfast with our hosts in their home, we walked back to the old town to experience once more, this time during the day. It was filled with more tourists than the night before, snapping photos all around us. The town was even more beautiful to me during the day than it was at night. I even found a few really neat cafes (still overpriced), but the one that caught my eye is the one pictured below. I just love the idea of sitting along the walls while enjoying the warm summer breeze coming in from the Adriatic Sea.

My kind of hangout spot!
We didn’t stick around for too long as we had to drive up the coast to Trogir, so we didn’t see all the attractions that the city has to offer. But from the time that I did spend there I will say that the city is worth a visit only if your budget allows it. From the research I have done, accommodations are not cheap, so if you really want to go and get a good deal, I suggest going during the off season or booking far enough in advance. We were lucky to have someone to stay with, but not everyone is this lucky. Would I go again? Absolutely. Is Dubrovnik worth all the fuss? Yes and no. Yes because it is absolutely gorgeous, but no because in the summer months it is swarming with tourists and it is overpriced. I am not a big fan of crowded touristy places, so for me a more enjoyable city to visit in Croatia would have to be further up the coast in Split or better yet, Trogir. I can’t deny the beauty Dubrovnik has to offer, but as a budget traveler, it is painful on the pocket.
There is a view of the city from the top of these hills that I will need to visit next time I go.

Have you been to Dubrovnik? What are your thoughts? Is it worth the hype?

Happy Travels!

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