Just a two and a half hour flight from the U.K, the “Pearl of the Adriatic” is an ideal destination for a long weekend. Overlooking the shimmering waters of the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik attracts visitors from around the world with its elegant churches, vibrant restaurant scene, pebble beaches and sun-drenched streets. To make the most of this charming city we have put together the following suggestions of how best to spend your time here.
10am. After touching down we recommend heading straight to Villa Bellavista, your home for the next 48 hours. Tucked into the rocky cliffs, enjoy mesmerizing views of the old town of Dubrovnik whilst taking a stroll around the lush terraced gardens, filled with olive trees, pinewood and swaying palm trees. Take a dip in the beautiful heated pool before heading to the private spa for a well-deserved massage.
1pm. Head to the main Stradun, paved with marble and flanked by a myriad of bars, restaurants and cafes where you can refuel ready for an afternoon of exploring. Situated in a narrow alley near the cathedral, we like Bota Sare Sushi & Oyster Bar, a Dalmatian-Japanese restaurant offering sushi, oysters and sashimi at affordable prices.
3pm. After lunch, a short stroll from the Cathedral will bring you to the Rector’s Palace, a fine example of 15th century Gothic-Renaissance buildings with artfully restored rooms, portraits, coats of arms and coins, harking back to the glory days. However, a definitive ‘must’ on any visit to Dubrovnik is taking a walk along the ancient city walls which run almost 2 km around the city. Dating back to the 13th century, the walls are approximately 24 metres high, offering instagram-worthy perspectives of the city and the Adriatic’s translucent waters.
7pm. After an afternoon touring the city and learning about its history you’ve definitely earned a drink. Our favourite spot is Buza Cafe, located outside the city walls on the west side of the city. A sign reading ‘cold drinks with the most beautiful view’ leads to a stunning clifftop bar perched on the rocks with a small terrace that fronts the sea – the perfect place for watching the sun go down over the glistening Adriatic Sea.
9pm. With tummies beginning to rumble head to Proto, regarded by many as Dubrovnik’s best seafood restaurant. Simple and traditional, the seasonal menu offers a true taste of Dalmatia with a range of local classics as well as seafood delicacies with a modern twist.
10am. After a night of luxury in your villa, enjoy a continental breakfast on the terrace served by your very own private chef before heading to the harbour and taking a fifteen minute boat ride to Lokrum, a beautiful island which is home to a unique botanical garden inhabited by peacocks and a Benedictine monastery. Here you will find plenty of rocky spots dotted around that are perfect for sunbathing or taking a refreshing dip.
3pm. Once back on dry land, culture vulture’s won’t want to miss out on Dubrovnik’s fascinating history. There are several excellent museums and galleries to visit including the Maritime Museum, War Photo Limited, a modern gallery dedicated to photo-journalism from war zones around the world and the Museum of Modern Art.
7pm. With hunger striking once again, try something a bit different at Taj Mahal, the Old Town’s only Bosnian restaurant. Fans of authentic Eastern European fare can enjoy everything from grilled meats and gourmet skewers to spiced pies and pastries.
9pm. Don’t miss out on some after-dinner entertainment at Troubadour Hard Jazz Cafe, one of the city’s best known and oldest venues. It has a prime location next to the cathedral and offers live music on the terrace nearly every night during the summer months.