Traveling through Croatia
Croatia is a country in the Balkans on the east side of the Adriatic Sea, to the east of Italy. It is bordered by Slovenia to the northwest, Hungary to the north, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the southeast, Serbia in the east, and Montenegro to the south.
Croatia has a very rich and remarkable cultural history. Explore the history of Croatia through visits to the museums, monuments and churches. From historic buildings in Istria; Euphrasius basilica in Porec and Arenain Pula to Dalmatia; St. Jacobs (St. James) cathedral in Sibenik and the historic town core of the city Dubrovnik.
The natural beauty of Croatia offers you the unforgettable experience through national parks, nature parks, speleology and underwater world .
Dalmatia or Dubrovnik region
Offers immense and rich experiences to every visitor. From the coastal to the continental parts, Croatia’s rich cultural heritage, combined with its magnificent natural beauties, make it the perfect place to spend your vacation at.
The total land area of Croatia amounts to 56.610 km.sq / 35.336 sq.mi., with a population of approximately 4.9 million. It features a total land border of 1.778 km (1.110 mi.) stretching from the historic city of Dubrovnik in the South to the ancient Roman city of Pula in the North, encompassing a 1.278 km (789 mi.) section of the Adriatic Sea. Spread like pearls along the coast, Croatia’s 1.185 islands provide a magical paradise to be experienced and explored.
Dubrovnik airport is situated some 20 kilometres south of the city. Croatia Airlines operates domestic flights to and from Zagreb and depending on the season, from Osijek, Zadar and Pula. They also have international connections to the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Austria and Switzerland, as well as Amsterdam and Tel Aviv. Other airlines flying into Dubrovnik include Aer Lingus (Dublin), Estonian Air (Tallinn), Jetair Fly (Brussels), British Airways and Thomson Airways (London) and Flybe (Birmingham). In total, there are a couple of dozen of airlines serving the city, some of them only offering seasonal (summer) flights. A taxi ride from the airport will set you back about 200Kn. Atlas provides a bus service to the Old Town or Gruž, but hotels are not necessarily within walking distance of either drop off point. Taxis are usually available to pick you up at the drop-off location.
The coastal drive into Dubrovnik is a stunning trip along a road clinging to seaside cliffs. Along the way, there are many scenic towns and picturesque beaches to stop off at. Allow plenty of time for the journey from Split, as traffic can be bad and the winding roads do slow you down.
Buses to Dubrovnik arrive at a newly constructed bus station in the Gruz neighbourhood. There are 8 buses daily from Zagreb, making the journey in about 11 hours. Buses run regularly along the coast from Zadar via Sibenik, Trogir, Split and Makarska to Dubrovnik. If you are catching coming from the direction of Split, then you will pass through Bosnia-Hercegovina briefly. It’s worth having your passport handy, although a check is unlikely. International buses run from Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo, Medugorje, Trebinje, Mostar, Caplina) and Montenegro (Kotor, Budva, Ulcinj, Herceg Novi, Podgorica). There is lengthy bus trip from Trieste in Italy that runs every day and an even longer one from Münich and Frankfurt that runs most days.
Domestic Jadrolinija runs a ferry service down the coast from Rijeka, stopping off at Split, Stari Grad, Korčula and Sobra on the way, taking up to 20 hours to make the trip. The view of the coast line is the main entertainment on the trip.
Information for visitors to Dubrovnik and surrounding region
Dubrovnik is a Croatian city on the Adriatic Sea coast positioned at the terminal end of the Isthmus of Dubrovnik. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations on the Adriatic coast, a seaport and the centre of Dubrovnik-Neretva county. Its population was 43,770 in 2001, down from 49,728 in 1991. In 1979, the city of Dubrovnik joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
The prosperity of the city of Dubrovnik has always been based on maritime trade. In the Middle Ages, as the Republic of Ragusa, also known as a Maritime Republic (together with Amalfi, Pisa, Genoa, Venice and other Italian cities), it became the only eastern Adriatic city-state to rival Venice. Supported by its wealth and skilled diplomacy, the city achieved a remarkable level of development, particularly during the 15th and 16th centuries. Although demilitarised in the 1970s with the intent of forever protecting it from war devastation, in 1991, after the breakup of Yugoslavia, it was besieged by Serb-Montenegrin forces for 7 months and heavily damaged by shelling.
Gruz is a part of Dubrovnik located about 3 km northwest from the Old town. It is one of the most convenient part of Dubrovnik for staying. Gruz is a commercial centre of Dubrovnik and you will find here everything you need: tourist office, tourist agencies, exchange offices, rent a car agencies, banks, ATMs, department stores, pharmacies, hotels (hotel Petka and Berkeley hotel), fruit and vegetable market and fish market. From Gruz you can get very easily to the Old town (25-30 minutes walk or 5 minutes bus ride) and other parts of Dubrovnik (Lapad, Babin kuk, Ploce, Pile).
The Old Town
Staying in the Old town is the best way to experience real Dubrovnik. In the Old town, you’ll be within easy reach of all Dubrovnik attractions, numerous restaurants and bars. The most attractive beach in Dubrovnik, Banje beach, is located close to the Old town. It is also easy to take a local bus to the beaches in Lapad area (from Pile bus station).
Note that there are no big supermarkets within city walls but you can find a few small grocery shops. There are a numerous gift-shops all around the town. Old town is the center of day and night life of Dubrovnik. During summer season concerts and plays of all sorts take place nearly every night in venues around town.
Be aware that the Old town can be crowded during cruise ship visits. If you have a car, remember that the Old town is pedestrian area only. There are a few parking lots outside the city walls.
Pile / Kono
Pile is a part of Dubrovnik which is the entrance to the Old town from the west. Choosing accommodation in this area allows you easy access to all attractions of Dubrovnik.From here you can easily get to any other part of the town (starting point of all local buses is located here).
You can find here a A taxi stand. There are a number of restaurants, bars and shops in this area. Kono is a district of Dubrovnik situated close to the city centre. As a result, it’s a convenient location for all tourists, as they can reach all of the attractions on foot.
Ploce district is the part of Dubrovnik east from the Old Town, where you can find many restaurants, shops and clubs as well as quiet ambiental walking areas along the coastline connecting the most exclusive hotels in Dubrovnik.
If you decide to stay in this area you will be steps away from the Old town and the Banje beach. Just outside the old city walls there are local bus stop and taxi stand if you need to get to other part of the town.
Lapad / Babin Kuk area
Lapad is a district of Dubrovnik that lies about 3 km northwest of the Old town. The vast majority of hotels and private accommodation is located in this area. Most Dubrovnik beaches are located in Lapad so no matter where you stay, you’ll be within walking distance of the sea (the most popular beach is Lapad bay beach).
You can find many restaurants, cake shops and bars in this area. Parts of Lapad are pedestrian only but most Lapad hotels have parking facilities. From Lapad you can easily get to other parts of Dubrovnik (Old town or ferry port) by local bus or taxi. Babin Kuk is located at the northern end of the Lapad peninsula. There is a great choice of hotels in Babin kuk. Dubrovnik longest beach, the Copacabana beach, is located here. This beach is particularly suitable for families with small children.
There are snacks, drinks, meals and ice cream on offer, plus a wealth of water sports activities. It’s also convenient to have showers and changing rooms, umbrellas and beach chairs.If you decide to stay in this area you will be steps away from the Old town and the Banje beach. Just outside the old city walls there are local bus stop and taxi stand if you need to get to other part of the town.
If you want to stay in natural surrounding but still close to Dubrovnik you can find your Dubrovnik accommodation in the following regions:
- Zupa Dubrovacka - a region south of Dubrovnik with beachside villages of Mlini, Plat and Srebreno,
- Konavle/Cavtat - this region is on the southernmost tip of Croatia, running from Cavtat south to the Montenegrin border,
- Rijeka Dubrovacka,
- Dubrovacko primorje,
- Elaphite islands - archipelago northwest of Dubrovnik,
- Peljesac peninsula - the largest peninsula in Dalmatia.