For first-time visitors to Croatia, Dubrovnik is the place to begin a tour of the coast. Even Dubrovnik’s famous walls, which surrounded the entire medieval city with saw-toothed crenulations, can’t keep the hordes of tourists out. On the plus side, this means there are lots of traveler resources available, which softens the transition from speaking English to speaking Croatian. More importantly, Dubrovnik, like Venice and Lisbon, is worth fighting the throng.The Old Town, which sits on a peninsula almost in the middle of the sea, has remained mostly untouched since the 16th century. You can circumnavigate the city by walking high up on the walls, some of the last of their kind (most of Europe’s city walls were torn down by Napoleon to protect against the plagues) and get plunging views of the Adriatic Sea.
“Even Dubrovnik’s famous walls, which surrounded the entire medieval city with saw-toothed crenulations, can’t keep the hordes of tourists out.”
Outside of the Old Town, Dubrovnik is modern but relaxed, with a nice bay and a few beaches. When the summer sun is shining down, you’ll want to head to the nearby islands of Lokrum and Lopud, which are easy to access by ferry; their pebble beaches are quieter than Dubrovnik’s.The spicy scents of Dubrovnik’s restaurants waft through the cobblestone streets. Local chefs like to kick it up a notch, adding paprika and other Middle Eastern spices. Try Nautika Restaurant for a fine-dining experience featuring traditional Mediterranean seafood dishes. Dubrovnik is a good place for securing budget accommodations thanks to the many locals who rent private rooms. Accessible by plane and bus, Dubrovnik is the southernmost city in Croatia: a complete tour of the coast awaits.