Student Travel Gem; Discover Dubrovnik, The Perfect Escape
Come find out about a unique piece of paradise that may have missed your wanderlust radar
By Heather Concannon, Syracuse University
Crystal clear blue waters, exotic Mediterranean cuisine, tropical beverages, and friendly faces in shops as you walk along the cobblestone streets. Sounds like the perfect escape, am I right? Now what if I tell you that you can find all of this in a tiny European country called Croatia? Believe it or not, Croatia may be one of the most underrated travel destinations in Europe yet, its seaport city of Dubrovnik has become one of my favorite places on earth.
Dubrovnik lies on the gorgeous shores of the Adriatic Sea and is one of the top places to visit in Croatia. With its rich history, welcoming people and seaside charm of the Old City, you’ll surely fall in love as quickly as I did. Don’t know where to start? Here are some of my personal favorite sites to see:
Dubrovnik Cable Car Ride: Although this cable car ride may appear like a typical tourist attraction, it provides the most breathtaking views of Dubrovnik including its various islands and stunning waters. The view even gives a spectacular glimpse of the mountains at the Croatia-Bosnia boarder as well as the coastline. To enjoy your stay on top of Srd Hill a little longer, you can grab a tasty bite to eat at Panoroma, a Mediterranean restaurant overlooking the Old City. Don’t forget your camera for this ideal photo opportunity.
Gradske Zidine (Walls of Dubrovnik): Another unique way to capture all the dazzling sites the old city of Dubrovnik has to offer is to take on the ancient city walls. This definite must-do gives a one of a kind view of the city, allowing you to take a 1.24 miles walk with history. These massive stonewalls were once used to protect the city armed with 120 canons and even a moat! Before committing to walking the wall, I do have a couple of recommendations. First off, to beat the heat and perhaps painful sunburn, I would walk the walls early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Also, I definitely recommend bringing water along with you and wearing comfortable shoes, as some of the walk includes steep stairs. I would also highly recommend making a pit stop at Buza, a quaint bar nestled alongside the wall. This hidden gem provides an ideal spot to watch the picturesque sunset on the Adriatic.
Lokrum Island: Dubrovnik offers many different excursions to nearby islands. These excursions can range from scuba diving, visiting private beaches and wildlife observations. We spontaneously decided to hop onboard a ferry for a visit to Lokrum. Lokrum is a scenic island about half a mile from Dubrovnik and serves as a perfect afternoon escape from the bustling city life. Go venture along the hidden paths to explore ancient ruins or discover the beauty of Lokrum’s botanical garden. Lounge alongside the rocks, bask in the sunshine and take a dip in the crystal clear waters or have a close encounter with one of the dozens of majestic peacocks roaming the island. Whatever you decide to do, Lokrum will definitely give you a taste of paradise.
Banje Beach: Before you venture to the beach, be warned, Dubrovnik’s beaches are more so pebbly than sandy. Banje Beach is one of the better beaches in the area. It’s conveniently located by the Old City, provided a spectacular view. Enjoy the clear waters and maybe even go snorkeling to observe the sea life! I would recommend renting a beach chair as lounging out on the pebbles may get a wee bit uncomfortable. The Banje Beach is also home to the Eastwest Club, an ideal nightlife location home to many luxurious parties and tasty cocktails!