Croatia has been on our bucket list only for a few years. I think really since having kids as they actually made our travel plans significantly changed. We still dream about Asia and other faraway places in the meantime, but at the moment we do plan trips around our kids. Few of those things definitely are flight duration, safety, family friendly activities, costs, etc.
We visited many European cities, but Dubrovnik is one of our favourite places. Everyone will find something for themselves, as it is full of history, sun, sea and spectacular views. That’s the reason why it is known as the Pearl of the Adriatic.
We spent only 2 full days in Dubrovnik and we felt it was more than enough, that is why it could be a perfect location to catch some sun even during spring or autumn time as a weekend gateway. If you decide to stay longer, thanks to its perfect location, it has many day trips to offer, including visiting Montenegro.
The old city is small and when you add enormous amount of crowds, it does become overwhelming. In high season it is not just crowded, it is super, super crowded. I have already written a post with some tips how to avoid the crowds in Dubrovnik, so if you are planning a trip from June-August, make sure you pop and have a look as well. Here is the list of our favourites in Dubrovnik:
CITY WALL WALK
We checked first when they are cruise days as we wanted to make sure we do this walk first thing in the morning and on ‘green’ days. It was definitely our favourite attraction in Dubrovnik, so make sure you don’t miss it. I spent hours researching about this walk as I was getting very misleading information about prams. At the end we weren’t allowed to take our stroller up, so glad we brought our baby carriers as it would get painful carrying the girls around the wall. The best tip I can offer you is make sure you are one of the first people up, even if it means getting up early. Every day from around 9:30-10 o’clock, there would be massive queues to the tills or people just walking in the single file. Make sure to put some sun cream on you and your kids beforehand, bring some snacks and some water as it gets really hot even first thing in the morning. TRIP TO MOUNT SRD VIA CABLE CAR
Another place that will get extremely busy when you are visiting on the cruises days. We queued for around 30 mins, but this 4 minutes ride up is definitely something that you will remember. The Mount Srd offers the best views of Dubrovnik and surroundings. It is simply breath-taking, so make sure that queues don’t discourage you. We decided to enjoy a longer view and have a drink at the Panorama bar on the top terminus. HAVE A STROLL THROUGH STRADUN, OLD PORT AND SMALLER STREETS OF OLD TOWN
As our girls are definitely early birds, we made sure that every morning before 8am we were out and about. We loved strolling through Stradun before 9am as there were no crowds and we felt we had Old Town just to ourselves (or almost!). It is a perfect spot just to have a walk and enjoy this piece of the history. Later in the day very often we would wonder as well into the narrow side streets just to escape from all the tourists. DOMINICAN MONASTERY
This place was like discovering hidden gem. We meant to go and visit Franciscan Monastery as I was curious to see one of the oldest still working pharmacies, instead by mistake we ended up at Dominican Monastery. You can’t believe how glad we were of our error as this place is just stunning and it is oasis of peace and quiet. We were the unique people visiting at the time and we fully enjoyed shade and beautiful gardens where the girls just could run around. LAPAD
At first when we were booking our accommodation, I was really keen to stay close to Old Town. Not often this happens (Mrs. Always Right), I listened to the hubby’s advice and we decided to rent Airbnb in Lapad area. It was walking distance from Sunset Beach which has probably the best sunsets we have seen in Croatia. If you are travelling with kids, this place is for you. We usually would get up early and go sightseeing till 2pm and then get an Uber back to hit the beach. Most of the locals actually rent their places in Old Town and move here during high season. The beaches are fantastic and there are many playgrounds, children friendly bars and restaurants. As a bonus, everything is so much cheaper compare to Old Town. Just to add at the end, as we were thinking a car on the 3rd day it is very close to the picking up point and there was a parking spot just in front of our Airbnb. If you stay in Old Town, you will need to pay parking which can be very expensive. Dubrovnik was our destination that we didn’t want to get overwhelmed by. Due to the heat in June, we decided to take our time, but at the same time we didn’t force ourselves to see everything. However if you are staying longer and fancy to do some adventures, every Uber driver would advise us to see Lokrum island. We decided to skip it as there are no toddler friendly beaches just rocks and steps. Nevertheless, if you are not bother by it or your children are older, it is definitely a perfect spot for a full day trip, you can explore a monastery, botanical gardens, a Game of Thrones exhibition (with Iron Throne) and see many peacocks and rabbits as well. The quick boat ride is a bonus and you can have a swim as well in the Dead Sea which is a tiny salty lake in the island.