- I have been wanting to holiday in Dubrovnik, Croatia for as long as I can remember. Many of our friends have taken a Croatia Sail cruise along the Adriatic Coast, however unfortunately I think we have missed the boat on that one (excuse the pun). I have only ever heard good things about Croatia and I expected it to be very picturesque. It is also common knowledge that it was one of the key filming locations for the hit TV show, Game of Thrones. I can safely say that Dubrovnik captured my heart at first sight and absolutely took my breathe away. Keep reading for my complete download of our family holiday in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
GETTING TO DUBROVNIK
We flew from Leeds Bradford directly to Dubrovnik with Jet2.com. The flight was just under 3 hours. Our AirBNB host kindly organised a transfer for the three of us which was conveniently fitted with a car seat, making the journey to our apartment fuss free. The drive was approximately 25 minutes.
WHERE WE STAYED
We stayed in an AirBNB and WOW, just wow. The place was incredible. It is always a hard choice whether to stay in a hotel or an AirBNB, but this time we absolutely nailed it. The renovated apartment was modern, bright and decorated exactly how I would like to decorate my home. There was gorgeous artwork, fresh flowers and candles to make you feel at home. The host left us wine, beer, chocolates and snacks for our toddler. The view was insane and I could have sat on the balcony all day watching the world go by. One day the host even bought us homemade apple strudel which was still warm.
The apartment was about a 10 minute walk to the Old Town (down lots of stairs) but we considered it to be an ideal location. I could not recommend this apartment enough and we really hope to go back sometime. If you want to check it out yourself, this is the link – Apartment Tullio
THINGS TO DO IN DUBROVNIK
We had a stunning view of this island from our apartment. It is favored among locals and tourists alike for walks or a swim. There are botanical gardens and swings beneath the pine trees for small children. It is a 15 minute ferry journey between Old Town and Lokrum. Ferries go frequently throughout the day depending on the season.
This quaint aquarium is really interesting as it is situated inside the walls of the medieval fortress that used to protect the city. It is dark and mysterious with tanks built into cannon niches which are home to various Adriatic sea flora. It won’t take you long to walk around, but it is unique, inexpensive and worth a look if your little one enjoys this type of thing.
I booked this experience through AirBNB as it appeared to be good value for money and had excellent reviews. Many scenes from King’s Landing were filmed in Dubrovnik and there are fabulous photo opportunities. I really enjoyed learning some history about the show and insider secrets of the filming – our tour guide’s wife was a costume designer for the show, so I took his word as gospel. Ha! We had our family picture taken on the Iron Throne and followed in the footsteps of Cersei on the walk of shame. A great 2 hour walking tour however be aware, there are lots of steps!
The walls proudly protect this beautiful city and they are a sight to behold. I had every intention of walking the walls but I was solo traveling on the final day and with a restless toddler I was unable to manage the stairs to access them on my own. The view is rumored to be spectacular from the walls and I will be savoring the experience for next time I visit Dubrovnik.
Unfortunately at the time of writing, the cable car is temporarily closed due to a legal dispute between the operator and the city (or so I was told by my Uber driver). Based on pictures I have seen, the view from the top looks incredible. It is possible to hike up to the top if you are that way inclined, or get a taxi / Uber. Panorama Restaurant is located at the top with enchanting views of the Adriatic Riviera. Definitely another one for my ‘to-do’ list on our next visit.
FOOD IN DUBROVNIK
I love trying new foods when we visit a different country – it is one of my favorite things about traveling. Dubrovnik’s close proximity to Italy means there is a lot of Italian influence, so the pasta and ice-cream is spot on. Plus being on the sea side means there is heaps of fresh seafood to enjoy. My fave local foods that I recommend you must try:
Black Risotto (Crni Rižot)
It gains it color from the use of squid ink in the risotto and usually incorporates different types of seafood.
Dirty Macaroni (Makaruli Šporki)
If Macaroni Cheese and Spaghetti Bolognese got married, this dish is what it would look like.
This dessert is the Croatian version of a creme brulee, and it is delicious.
We had a lovely couple of meals during our stay, albeit they were very rushed as Mackenzie was not in the best form for the duration of the trip. Restaurant Horizont was close to the apartment and whilst I initially thought it was a tourist trap, the food I had was excellent. In Old Town we dined at Restaurant Lanii as it had wonderful reviews online and the seafood dishes were superb.
FAVE THINGS ABOUT DUBROVNIK
Dubrovnik exceeded all of my expectations and there was so much I loved about this city. To name a few, these were:
I never knew that Croatian wine would be so good! I particularly enjoyed the white wine and it goes well with warm weather and seafood. My general rule of thumb for choosing wines in Europe – Find your favorite label and don’t spend over €5. I’m classy like that!
I could not get enough of staring out over King’s Landing from our balcony – and yes, the GoT theme tune played through my head continuously!
Around every corner there seemed to be a new photo opportunity, and for every photo op there was a tourist trying to capture the ‘perfect Instagram photo‘. If I ever need to do an ‘on location’ photo shoot, I know where I’ll be going!
DUBROVNIK WITH CHILDREN
Would I recommend a holiday in Dubrovnik with Children? There are plenty of things to entertain them, the food and ice cream is great and in the summer time you could spend days on end at the beaches. The stairs to reach the Old Town from our apartment were plentiful. It was fine when there were two adults to contend with the toddler, pram and bag full of essentials. However my husband had to leave a day early and there was no way I could navigate the stairs on my own. So I caught an Uber … which cost about €2 … and there were heaps of them around.
So I would say be conscious that there might be a lot of stairs to access your accommodation, however once in town it was really easy to walk around with the child. Personally, I wouldn’t hesitate about returning to Dubrovnik with Mackenzie.
I hope you enjoyed my latest installment of my Travel Diaries for Dubrovnik, Croatia. If you are traveling with your toddler soon, why not check out my post ‘10 Toys to Occupy a Toddler on a Plane‘. I also have plenty more Travel Diaries which will help inspire and fuel your family wanderlust:
Safe travels – Shell x
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