- Strolling along Stradun: Immaculately white limestone slabs pave the Old Town’s main pedestrian thoroughfare, worn smooth by the throngs of visitors that have passed over them. Street performers and musicians entertain the crowds by day while the surrounding bars, clubs, and restaurants come alive at night, casting a light on the pavement that makes it shimmer as though wet.
- Browsing the farmer’s market: Each morning farmers from around the region gather at the Gunduliceva Poljana market to sell their wares, including sun-ripened figs; olives; Mediterranean spices; bags of lavender; and jars of homemade wine, brandy, and honey. After browsing the market, locals typically round off the morning with coffee and pastries at one of many terrace cafes surrounding the square, as the city’s pigeons swoop down to scavenge for crumbs.
- Staying with locals: While Dubrovnik has a number of luxurious hotels and mid-range accommodation options, there’s no better way of experiencing authentic Croatian life than staying with a family. Many locals rent out rooms in their home for tourists to stay in, and are happy to share meals and provide tips on the best ways to enjoy Dubrovnik.
- Admiring religious artwork: While strolling through the hushed cloisters and gardens of Dubrovnik’s Dominican Monastery is an undoubtedly tranquil experience, most come for the treasure trove of religious artwork and relics contained within its museum. Highlights include a painting by Titian and a reliquary supposedly containing the skull fragments of King Stephen I of Hungary.
- Diving from cliff tops: Hidden away in a hole in Dubrovnik’s UNESCO-listed city walls, Buza Café offers romantic sunset views of the glittering Adriatic and the yachts on the water. Young men delight in taking a shot of liquor before plunging straight into the sea, outdoing each other for bravery. Find this gem by following a sign located on the south side of the Old Town that simply reads, ‘Cold drinks with the most beautiful view.’
- Learning to love rakija: This strongly distilled brandy is said to separate the locals from the tourists and is common across the Balkans. It is usually made from grapes, walnuts, or plums; don’t, however, be disarmed by its fruity content--a single shot taken after a meal will certainly put hair on your chest!
- Island-hopping: 700m (2,297 ft.) off Dubrovnik’s coastline lies Lokrum, a Robinson Crusoe’s island overrun with lush greenery and bordered by pristine beaches and romantic cliffs. A 10-minute ferry ride from the Old Town port drops you off for a few hours, leaving ample time to explore Lokrum’s 15th-century Benedictine monastery, ancient fortress, fragrant gardens, and hidden bathing coves.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.