Pearl of Adriatic, Croatian Athens, Thesaurum mundi, these are just few nicknames of Dubrovnik.
The Croatian name of Dubrovnik derived from the word dubrava (forest), while the Latin name Ragusa -Ragusa originated from the name of the island where the first settlement was established (Lave, Lausa). Dubrovnik was probably founded in the first half of the 7th century, upon the fall of the nearby Epidaurus (today’s Cavtat town) during the Avaro-Slavic invasion on Dalmatia. At the foot of Srđ Mountain, just opposite from Cavtat, Croatian settlement under the name of Dubrovnik developed.
In the 15th and 16th century Dubrovnik was independent Republic (Ragusa) famous for its wealth and skilled diplomacy.
Nowadays, it is a must visit destination while in Croatia. However, it will be crowded there…
Every year thousands of tourist are pouring into old city in order to catch a bit of historical magic offered by Dubrovnik. To catch Dubrovnik’s local spirit we suggest that you visit places where you can mingle with local people and enjoy in easy-going lifestyle.
When you are on Stradun take a left turn to Zlatarska ulica and there you should find caffe Bar Libertina(Luči). Libertina is a small cafe bar where you can always find few locals having a coffee or beer and probably arguing who should play in first line up for football club Hajduk.If you are not into sports you can always start your conversation with a local about the food or wine because Croatians are gourmets and you will always get good information where you can eat and drink well. One of Dubrovnik’s famous desserts is Kotonjata (Croatian Quince Candy).
At the bottom of Stradun street you will find Gradska Kavana – coffee and cake house. Great for afternoon chilling and people watching.
Walk the city walls of Dubrovnik
The easiest and most popular itinerary for visitors to Dubrovnik is the stroll around its fortifications. We suggest to visit and walk the walls early in the morning or later in the afternoon so you avoid the crowds (crew ships). It should also be the first, as it allows newcomers to get their bearings and gain an appreciation of the scale of this intricate jewel and the skill of those who designed and constructed it. You also get breathing space from the high-season masses below. This is an elevated promenade and history lesson in one. As you arrive in the Old Town through the Pile Gate, the main entrance and ticket office is right there. You can set your own pace, take an hour or an afternoon. Audio-guides in English are sold at the main entrance but most visitors are perfectly content with random vistas of red tiled roofs or, better still, the panoramic blue of the Adriatic, interspersed with pristine white stones jutting into it down below from varying angles. A couple of cafés provide pit stops at the harbour end, where there’s also an open terrace for that eye-popping backdrop, ideal for holiday snaps.
Admission to Dubrovnik city walls (KN 120,00 / EUR 16,00 per person).
Best sunset drink you can have at Buža bar, located outside of city walls. You have to find a whole in the south wall of city, and then you will be at most amazing aperitif spot in Dubrovnik with overview on the ocean and islands in front of the town.
During morning take a walk through Dubrovnik’s old town market and enjoy colours and fragrances of fresh fruit and vegetables that are all grown in the fields around Dubrovnik.
To explore the fish market you will have to go few kilometres to the west of old town to the port of Gruž. At fish market you can check what locals get for themselves, and learn how to recognize fresh fish. The bargaining, haggling, and commerce between locals and fisherman’s are intense, but civilized.
If you manage to do all of this while in Dubrovnik, someone from the city might call you gospar – which is Dubrovnik dialect for Gospodin ( Gentleman, Sir or Mister)