There is a difference between a tourist and a traveler. A tourist spends two days in a new city and visits the top two sights, buys a Tshirt, and tries some new foods – and there is nothing wrong with that! We are fortunate enough to have longer than a few days to spend in our locations and we like to venture outside of the tourism bubble and dig a little deeper!
In Dubrovnik, it means exploring outside of the walls, which is where we found some of our favorite spots!
In Dubrovnik, we spent most of our time casually taking in the coastal sights. Our favorite days were just spent lounging on the beach, climbing up some jagged rocks, and watching the fish in the crystal clear water.
We took some short hikes from the city center and ended up just walking the cliff edges watching boats pass by and trying to avoid giant grasshoppers. The views of all the orange roofs in the bright sunshine are so beautiful. I took so many pictures it is hard to choose which ones to share!
The funny thing about these Croatian “beaches” is how un-beachlike they are! Most of the time, we would follow a signed trail to a beach and find it was simply a big flat rock expanse with a ladder leading from the rock into the water. There were booeys in the water marking safe swimming areas, but that was that! No sand, no ground even, just rocks and a ladder, but beautiful nonetheless.
There is a more proper beach just outside of the city called “Banje Beach.” It’s a fun little place to visit if you have the time! The view is amazing as you round the corner and see the beach below with the walled city in the distance. The water is so clear that I wouldn’t get in it, of course (fear of fish: party of one) but Brad did some snorkeling and loved it. The beach itself is more of a beach than the others, but don’t be fooled, that’s not soft sand down there.. it’s a pebble beach, typical of this area. All rocks. No sand. So it may be worth it to rent a chair 😉
Another favorite activity of locals and visitors alike is the journey up the mountain to view Dubrovnik from above. There is a funicular you can ride up to the tippy top and have a very pricey cup of coffee at the cafe. When you are finished, you can take the funicular down as most people did, or hike back down (way better in our opinion!) The hike down is pretty long and rocky but easily doable. We took the funicular up just before sunset and watched the sun go down as we made our decent.
The views from up there were incredible. The funicular takes you so, crazy high that the city looked ridiculously small. These pictures I am posting here are actually from half-way back down the mountain!
All in all, we loved our time in Dubrovnik. It isn’t as action packed as some other cities, being a small coastal town, but if you go with relaxation on your mind this city ticks all the boxes.