Having been to Split last year, I already knew I was head over heels for the beautiful country that is Croatia. From it’s historic old towns to its idyllic islands, it really is the perfect destination for those looking for a break away from the hustle and bustle of real life.
For that exact reason, me and my boyfriend decided to book a trip back for the same time this year, instead choosing to come to the city of Dubrovnik.
As huge Game of Thrones fans, it seemed the perfect destination for us to get our fill of TV filming locations, with enough options for us to escape if we wanted. We booked a room outside of the main city, but close enough for us to be able to get into the old town by foot if it was cool enough.
Now don’t get me wrong, Dubrovnik is an absolutely GORGEOUS holiday destination and I’ve loved every second of our time here – but having been to Split first I know that Croatia can be so much more.
The city itself is absolutely stunning and I could sit and stare at the terracotta roofs and clear sea waters for hours on end, but I like to be honest here on my blog and there are some things about Dubrovnik that make me feel like I wouldn’t want to return.
The first thing really can’t be helped and honestly, I feel like I can’t complain about this too much as I’d be hypocritical, but there are SO MANY tourists about. I know, I know, I’m a tourist myself but when it’s 28 off degrees and you’re been herded around a busy city like cattle it’s easy to get a little bit overwhelmed.
I think a LOT of the crowds come from the many cruises that dock in the mornings as we found that around 4 pm the streets started to clear a little, but for someone who has travelled a lot, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such angry crowds. At one point, people were having full-on arguments with each other over going the wrong way on the city walls, all while I was being shoved into a corner in the wrong direction as people tried to get out of the rain.
It was absolute madness, honestly.
As well as angry crowds, the people in Dubrovnik were also nowhere near as friendly as they were in Split. Understandably I feel that they’re fed up of all the tourism since the release of Game of Thrones, but I don’t think its an excuse to be rude to visitors just trying to find their way. For example, on our first day, our Uber driver dropped us off where the pin drop location said to, refusing to help us find where our apartment actually was because it’s ‘not his job’.
We’ve also had rude waiters, rude shop assistants and rude bus drivers. Ugh.
Finally, I’d be put off coming back to Dubrovnik because of the sheer cost of everything. In comparison to similar places, I’ve visited I feel as though there is a serious mark up on a lot of their tourist attractions – with most things costing around £15-20. I think for certain things (the city walls and the cable car) it’s perfectly understandable, but we ended up having to miss a lot of the museum’s and other attractions simply because we did not budget for them to be so expensive.
I think it may be down to the fact split was much cheaper, averaging around £3-4 For each attraction, so we completely miscalculated how much we would need.
It’s definitely been worth it for the excursions and experiences we have paid for, but I wouldn’t be in a hurry to pay to do them again – and I’d definitely be discouraged to pay it if I was going to have to pay for a whole family each time.
As beautiful as it is here, I honestly don’t think I’m going to be in a hurry to come back. I love Croatia and I feel like I’d be much better off island hopping and exploring the more remote places, with Dubrovnik being a day trip away from the calm. When I do come back to this gorgeous country, I’m definitely going to take a completely different approach and do exactly that – quiet islands and adventure, with the occasional daybreak to the nearest city thrown in for good measure.
Sorry Dubrovnik, you were just a little too much for me.