The Traveler: Emma Knock, Assistant Managing Editor, Product
Describe your time in Dubrovnik.
After writing quite a bit about Croatia for Viator, I knew I had to visit. I planned a weeklong road trip through the country, which ended with three days in Dubrovnik.
What was your favorite attraction?
Definitely the Franciscan Monastery Museum. It's full of history, and it's also a great place to take a break from the heat and the crowds. The cloister is stunning, with intricate jewel columns, and the garden in the middle is filled with the smell of orange trees. And it's home to one of the oldest functioning pharmacies in all of Europe, dating back to the 14th century.
What are three things a first-time visitor can't miss?
1. Get in the water.
Dubvronik gets hot in the summer, and the surrounding Adriatic Sea is the perfect escape. Most tourists end up at Banje Beach, a city beach located just outside Ploče Gate. There's a great restaurant there where you can also rent lounge chairs. But if you want a more local experience, head to Danče Beach, just down the path from Pile Gate. The water is clear and deep, making it a popular spot for jumping. And there are large rock slabs perfect for laying out on a towel and soaking up the sun.
2. See Old Town from above.
As beautiful as it is to look up at the city's red-roofed buildings, it's even better to look down on them. For your first view, walk the ancient city walls. I wish I had booked a tour, because there were no informational placards up there and I missed so much of the historical significance. To take things to the next level, ride the cable car to the top of Srd Hill. The views there are incredible, stretching from Old Town to the Adriatic Sea.
3. Go island hopping.
Choosing your island depends on what you’re looking for and how much time you have. Lokrum is a 15-minute boat trip away, and according to legend, Richard the Lionheart shipwrecked there on his way back from the Crusades. Bonus: It has free-roaming peacocks. If you have a little more time, I suggest the Elafiti Islands — home to old fishing villages, citrus and olive groves, and beautiful beaches.
What's the best Insider Tip you can offer future visitors to Dubrovnik?
The main street in Old Town is paved in marble, and there are loads of steps, so definitely wear comfortable shoes. I also recommend visiting the city walls when they first open to avoid the hottest part of the day, as well as the crowds of cruise travelers who arrive mid-morning.