LivingTravelBest budget travel tips for Croatia - Dubrovnik

Best budget travel tips for Croatia – Dubrovnik

For many years, Dubrovnik’s budget travel tips would have fallen on deaf ears.

The city was located behind the Iron Curtain for half a century, and then was caught in the crossfire of the 1991-95 Croatian War of Independence. None of that was particularly attractive to visitors.

But this is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It has been rediscovered in the last two decades. Cruise ships bring huge crowds. The city has widespread appeal, attracting high-end travelers, backpackers, and just about everyone else.

Dubrovnik is by far the most visited city in Croatia. Budget travelers with Eastern European affordability might leave partially disappointed. Prices have risen dramatically in recent years for restaurant meals, lodging, and tours.

Don’t overlook this place! Consider some ways to visit this beautiful city on a budget.

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Dubrovnik basics

Dubrovnik is located on the Adriatic Sea in southern Croatia, not far from the borders with Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro. This is a day cruise sailing from Venice, its traditional rival city-state in ancient times.

Dubrovnik Airport is about nine miles south of the city. Buses and taxis connect to the city center for approximately USD 6 each way. During the winter months, there are relatively few long-distance arrivals. Low-cost airlines serving Dubrovnik include easyJet, Volotea, and Norwegian. Alternative airports to buy include Tivat and Podgorica in nearby Montenegro.

The monetary unit in Croatia is the Kuna. As of this writing, one US dollar will buy around seven Kunas.

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Ground transportation

Public transport in Dubrovnik is cheap and efficient. You can purchase a 24-hour pass that allows unlimited bus rides for less than $ 5. Venturing far beyond the city limits will result in higher costs, so plan accordingly.

Taxis in Dubrovnik serve the cruise port and a network of local hotels. You’ll pay a flat fee just for getting into the cab, the metered cost, and a mandatory 10 percent tip.

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Special: walking the wall

Despite years of war, the Old City of Dubrovnik remains largely intact and extremely beautiful. You can spend days exploring it. A must see in Dubrovnik is to walk around the top of the old wall that surrounds this section. The entire route is over a mile, and note that you will pay an entrance fee and additional charges for a set of headphones that allows for a self-guided tour. You can also hire a human guide. The wall is not level so you will find stairs along the way.

The cost of this activity could exceed USD 20, but you will not soon forget the experience. It is a splurge that adds value to your trip.

The views from the wall are spectacular, and you will learn a lot about the colorful history of this city at your own pace. Allow at least half a day for this Dubrovnik essential and try to start as early in the morning as possible. In summer, the crowds and heat will diminish the pleasure as the day unfolds. Take note of the hours of operation, which vary greatly depending on the season.

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Other attractions

Some of the locations featured in the TV series Game of Thrones were taken from Dubrovnik and as you can imagine, there are popular tours available to see those sites. Unless you’re a big fan of the show, it’s best to skip it on a budget trip, as costs often exceed $ 50 per person.

Another splurge that some people love in hot weather is a kayak tour that offers panoramic views of the shoreline that most visitors never see. Some carriers offer an airtight bucket to store your phone and other essentials. Check locally for reputable operations as there have been some travel scams associated with this activity.

A cable car will take you to the top of the nearby Srd Hill, where the view is claimed to stretch for 60 km. (37 miles) on a clear day. For travelers on a budget who want to avoid the $ 20 round-trip charge, it is possible to hike to the same viewpoint at no cost. You can also take the cable car to the top and hike for around $ 12.

If you pay for a walk along the city wall, take note: admission to the nearby Fortress Lovrijenac (Fort Saint Lawrence) is free. The fort stands about 120 feet above the water and was built more than 1,000 years ago in a period of approximately three months to ward off potential Venetian invaders.

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Meals in Dubrovnik have become much more expensive in recent years, and the trend is likely to continue on an upward trajectory.

Try to splurge on at least one good meal. Some restaurants offer panoramic views of the city and the sea, and there are some small places inside the cliffs. Seating is limited and prices tend to be high. Find a place where prices are based on the quality of the food, not the view.

This city offers a lot of viewpoints for picnics. Find a local market, pack your portable food, and enjoy.

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Cruise traffic

More than half of Dubrovnik’s 2 million annual visitors arrive by cruise ship. The busiest season for these arrivals is summer.

If you are arriving by some other means, it is worth taking note of how the cruise passengers might affect your day. Lines will be longer at restaurants and attractions when passengers disembark. Sometimes it is worth scheduling such activities for earlier in the morning or later in the evening, times when cruise passengers are more likely to be on board the ship.

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Almost a third of visitors to Dubrovnik book accommodation in private homes or vacation rentals rather than traditional hotels.

These options may be 10 miles or more from downtown. Be prepared to add the taxi fare to your expenses, or find out if there is a bus stop within walking distance. Some of these rooms cost less than $ 50 per night and offer the added benefit of kitchen facilities to save money on the cost of food.

The next step is to rent a private villa. Some have sea views from the terrace.

If you are more comfortable with hotels, there are a variety of options. It is possible to find highly rated hotels in the Old City for less than $ 200 / night.

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More cheap travel tips for Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is a compact city, and transport here is cheap. But many visitors, especially those who arrive on the cruise ship, spend more than a few hours exploring.

If you have more time, here are some additional budget considerations.

  • Cavtat is a city north of Dubrovnik airport that is packed with artistic attractions and a beautiful beach. It is an excellent day trip from Dubrovnik. If your time is limited, focus on the Rector’s Palace and the old town.
  • Museums in Dubrovnik provide great insights into the history of this place, with most charging modest admission fees (less than $ 10 USD). To understand recent history, visit the Croatian War of Independence Museum. The exhibits portray the precarious situation of the citizens here during the period 1991-1995.
  • Skip the expensive tours and find your own way through the old town. The Tourist Office has seven offices in Dubrovnik, and they provide excellent maps and current information to put together your own low-cost personalized tour.
  • A key attraction not to be missed on your self-guided tour is the Jesuit Church of San Ignacio. Modeled after its namesake in Rome, it features beautiful murals by artist Gaetano García.

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