A Summer Week in Dubrovnik, Croatia
Amsterdam – Croatia
Remember that time I went to Amsterdam and Croatia last summer?
Yea I barely do either HA.
This blog post has been in the works for a WHILE! Apologies on the delay… life, you know?
However this is kind of perfect timing if you’re planning on a trip to Croatia this summer (and if you aren’t, then well this blog post will hopefully change that.)
I’ll keep this as short and sweet *and informative* as possible.
Lets get to it.
So we based ourselves in Amsterdam for this trip for a few reasons:
1. We had a place to stay at a friends apartment which saved us a few nights in a hotel.
2. It was by far the cheapest and easiest roundtrip from the US.
3. Amsterdam is fun.
I’m not going to recommend any Amsterdam spots because honestly that city is best to not plan for… walk around, go to coffee chops, go to museums… just be a tourist and go wherever the wind blows. I always find that kind of exploring to be best.
After a few days of giggles in Amsterdam, it was time for our second leg of the trip in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Amsterdam-Dubrovnik , 2 hrs. About $150 roundtrip.
Airline: Eastjet (lol oh, just wait.)
When you’re hopping around to different countries within Europe, please take note that even though most flights are super quick, they are STILL considered international flights. AKA get there at least 2 hours early, because…
SHORT’ISH HORROR STORY:
Our flight was at 9AM, so we got to the airport at 7AM. Plenty of time right?
When we arrived, the line for check-in was WRAPPED around the airport, like nothing I’ve ever seen. Chelsi looked at me and said “if we don’t completely miss this flight, it’s going to be a close fucking call”.
We eventually got to the Easyjet desk at 8:45AM, 15 minutes before departure when the doors are technically supposed to close. We threw the lady our luggage, went through security, and then hauled ass to our gate... and I mean HAULED. ASS.
Of course our gate was the last gate in the LARGEST airport in the history of airports, so it was a good 15 minute full on sprint to our gate. *picture a 30 second sprint, then hands on knees bent over for 10 seconds before the next sprint* straight out of a movie.
We get to the gate out of breath, dripping with sweat… to find that we are one of the first on the plane because everyone else was still stuck in that line (and apparently we are fast sprinters).
We ended up waiting on the runway for another hour to allow time for all the other guests (and luggage) to get to the plane.
Fast forward 2 hrs later, arriving in Dubrovnik…
Picture me, waiting at the luggage carrousel watching every single bag go by besides mine. My friends bag made it, so did EVERYONE else’s, besides mine.
I go to the desk immediately to report it missing, and she said it still hasn’t been located but they will call me when it is.
Ok cool! NBD. I’ll just wear this tee-shirt and sweats until further notice. Take your time, Easyjet!
And boy did they…
I called every day for 6 days straight AKA my ENTIRE time in Croatia, and their response: “sorry we don’t know where it is! We will notify you as soon as we do.”
At this point, I don’t care when I get it back… I’ve been looking homeless for 6 days I can go another 6… they just better find it eventually.
My Nikon camera, brand new Gucci bag, a ton of product and ALL my product content I had to shoot for campaigns, my medications, contacts, everything.
“Jen, no big deal! Can’t you just go to the store and pick up some cute stuff for the time being?”.
I’m pretty sure I was in the ONE town in Europe where there were ZERO normal clothing stores… like my options were bedazzled “I love Dubrovnik!” tee’s in tourists shops. I’m not exaggerating. I couldn’t find a pair of flip flops!!! (k they had a CROC store, but I was willing to walk barefoot before I purchased a pair of Crocs).
Moral of the story:
Get to international flights at least 2.5 hrs early
ALWAYS put a tag on your front luggage handle with name and phone number.
Put a TSA-approved LOCK on your luggage, like this one.
If you can’t JUST bring a carry-on, at least bring a big bag on board with your essentials/valuables.
NEVER FLY EASYJET.
(If you’re curious how the lost baggage story ended… when we arrived back in Amsterdam airport, I went to the Easyjet desk ready to put up a fight in person. I walked up, explained the situation and how they haven’t been able to locate my luggage, and I demanded they let me back to the room where they hold lost luggage to look for it myself. She said I wasn’t allowed to go back there. Moments before I almost threw my drink in her face and went completely bat shit… she made a call and said my bag will be coming out on carousel 2 in a few minutes.
It never left the fucking airport.
Oh and weeks later they offered me a whopping $96 dollars compensation for all my troubles (and purchases) from not having my luggage for a week. It’s been almost a year and the claim still hasn’t gone through. So basically Easyjet can go F themselves and please don’t ever fly with them).
Anyways… vent over. Back to the trip!
Location: southern Croatia fronting the Adriatic Sea
Currency: Kuna, but most places here accept Euros.
Language: Croatian, but most speak English.
Safety: known to be one of the safest cities in Europe for solo travelers.
Dubrovnik (old Town) is absolutely beautiful and so charming.
If you watch Game of Thrones well, you’ll be in heaven because it’s one of the main towns where it’s officially filmed.
Our little hotel was right in the heart of Old Town, a stone throw away from the infamous “shame” stairs from GOT (I’m taking the above photo from the stairs).
It was a little on the pricey side but EVERYTHING was absolutely perfect. If this is within your price range, don’t even bother looking anywhere else.
+BEAUTIFUL large room (2 stories) with a full kitchen, great AC, comfortable beds, and just every single detail of the room thought out perfectly.
+Breakfast is completely complimentary and actually located at an adorable café a few minute walk into town.
+And the hosts!!! Talk about treating all of their guests like family- they went out of their way to make sure we had everything we needed. The main host even picked us up from the airport (waited there 2 hrs for our delayed flight) and then drove me 25 mins out of town to H&M when you know, I had no clothes.
They went ABOVE and beyond! They felt like family by the end of the trip! 10/10 would recommend this place.
Dubrovnik restaurants recs:
I wrote down every name of each restaurant we ate at to share with y’all, and decided to throw it to the wind because Old Town is teeming with cute restaurants (most of which are very similar menus/pricing).
We had plenty of restaurant suggestions from our gracious hosts, but ended up just walking around and finding a different spot every night where we were feeling the vibe.
You really can’t go wrong…
I don’t think we had one bad meal! But be prepared, being located so close to Italy… Italian food is very prominent. I may or may not have gained 5 lbs on this trip from all the delicious pasta (spoiler alert: I did).
A couple non-restaurant recommendations I have for Dubrovnik…
1. Buza Bar—gorgeous cliff side bar to watch the sunset. Get here on the early side to grab a seat!
2. Banje Beach—the best beach! Here you can pay a flat fee to get chairs + umbrella or cabana for the day. Waiters will come around to take your drink + food order or you can walk up to the shaded restaurant. It definitely has a boujee vibe I liked it.
A couple day trip suggestions…
Day trip to the Island of Lokrum:
Distance: 15 minute ferry ride from Dubrovnik Port!
Tickets: can be purchased in cash at the port, they run every 30 minutes!
This is definitely a must do. Technically you can do this island in ½ a day… but you can totally make a full day out of it if you prepare!
Lokrum is a relatively deserted island about 3 miles away from Dubrovnik port. Here you will find hikes with beautiful views, little beaches, caves and lots of roaming bunnies and peacocks (and the occasional naked dude… no complaints).
WEAR SNEAKERS. There’s a lot of walking / hiking on super rocky grounds… you do not want to be in flip flops.
There are a few casual restaurants on the island, so purchasing food and water is always an option.
Bring water, sunscreen and towels. AKA everything you’d want for a day out at a beach.
Day trip to the Island of Hvar
Distance: 2.5 hr boat ride
Tickets: I’d highly suggest purchasing ahead of time online! (the popular times were sold out).
Hvar is known for it’s beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, and vibrant nightlife!
Renting a boat for a day is a must. Like, non-negotiable. Start saving up now if you need to!
Prices range quite a bit depending on size of boat, and whether or not you want a captain. You really don’t need to book this ahead of time as there are plenty of captains ready and waiting at the port.
Passarola- favorite restaurant in town. This was hands down the best meal of our entire trip. We sat outside and took in one of the most perfect evenings…. with a bottle of wine and a creamy truffle and steak pasta.
That pasta was the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth.
There I said it.
Laganini- *must get to by boat* if you want a really great day drinking spot with a fun vibe, ask your captain to take you to Laganini—they all will know this place.
Our Airbnb was actually perfect. The guy was SUPER nice and helpful, and it couldn’t have been a better location (5 min walk from the port and in the heart of the best restaurants). Also, super cheap.
More of Hvar from our boat ride…
A few more from exploring back in Old Town Dubrovnik…
I mean, does it get more incredible? With the historic charm of Old Town Dubrovnik, and the surrounding crystal clear water + stunning islands…Dubrovnik is an absolute dream.
I hope I sparked an interest in some of y’all to experience it for yourselves!
I know I will most definitely be back… but in the meantime, where to next? ;) Any suggestions!? I think I want tropical!