Dubrovnik – Jewel of the Adriatic
Combining a magnificent coastline with a really old and interesting town, Dubrovnik in Croatia is a fabulous place to visit for a day or to linger for much longer. If you arrive at Dubrovnik by sea, the first sight that will greet you is the beautiful Old Town, surrounded by her fully-intact ancient City Walls, all nestling in an almost too-perfect azure sea. We visited this gracious old city as part of a Mediterranean cruise, so only had time to explore for one day – I would love to go back for a relaxing beach holiday and get the chance to see some of the attractions we did not get to because I know there are so many things to do in Dubrovnik.
Things to do in Dubrovnik:
It is great to walk around the ancient city walls, and well worth the entrance fee. The walk is quite steep in places with lots of stairs, so not suitable for everyone, but the beautiful views are worth the effort. It can be very hot up there in summer – take a hat, sunscreen and some water!
Franciscan Monastery/Old Pharmacy Museum:
Since 2 of our group are Pharmacists, this attraction was particularly interesting for them, but it is very interesting for anyone to visit. The Pharmacy Museum is one of the oldest Pharmacies in Europe and remarkably, still operates as a pharmacy. In the Monastery, you can see some of the damage done to the building during shelling in the 1991 war; it has been left un-repaired as a reminder of this madness.
One of the best things to do in Dubrovnik is to explore the Old town. Just walking around the area will lead you to plenty of interesting places you can visit, such as the Sponza Palace, a 16th century building now used as the state archives. You can also visit Europe’s second oldest Synagogue in the Jewish ghetto of the Old Town where you can see some stark reminders of the persecution of Croatian Jews during the Second World War.
Food and Drink:
There is an entire street in the Old Town lined with restaurants, and it was hard to choose which one to try; we decided to wander a little off the beaten track and came across a lovely little sidewalk café serving exceptional fresh sea bass, simply cooked and extremely tasty. Washed down with a local Croatian beer, it was a great holiday lunch and the owner was extremely friendly.
What to take home from Dubrovnik:
Croatia is the home of the cravat and many shops sell beautiful cravats, as well as scarves, purses etc. There are many designer boutiques and great food shops all over the Old Town to tempt you into parting with your holiday money.