Beating the crowds in Dubrovnik requires getting an early start to get some of the best views from the wall before the crowds descend.
The old city of Dubrovnik Croatia is listed under the UNESCO World Heritage Centre. The prominent feature of Dubrovnik is the massive fortified wall that runs almost 1.24 miles around the entire city. This wall has a path on top of it which gives you a great view of the city, the surrounding country side and beautiful ocean views.
Getting off the ship early we encountered another couple going into town and after a brief conversation, we agreed to share a taxi (10 Euros or 5 Euros per couple). We got the first taxi in line and were on our way. This allowed us to get there early before the crowds. In fact the place was virtually ours. We arrived before 8 and walked around the desolate town and were most likely the first to start traveling the top of the wall. It was nice to be able to take pictures when no one was around. This would shortly change when the tour groups from the ship arrived.
The picture below is where you get dropped off by taxi at the Pile Gate.
Note that no one is around in the picture. Later there will be a line that stretches across the street. We encountered this as we were leaving. Here is a Google map of the street view of what it would look like in a few hours.
Note the lack of bodies walking the streets. Placa (Stradun)
Walking to the furthest entrance.
The entrance to the wall.
We walked to the furthest entrance away from the main entrance. They do not open until exactly 8 a.m. Even though they were there and the door was open they would not let us in until 8. Instead the two men sat and talked until they decided it was time to open up. As you are walking the wall you will see different colors of the roofs from the attack in 1991; the town suffered serious damage. Of the 824 buildings in the old town, 68% were damaged.
We did not get to visit the Buza bar, (it’s near where you can stop off and buy a drink) but by looking over the wall you can see it. Since it was early it was not open however, it looked like a fun place to spend an afternoon.
Once you get back to your starting point, they check your ticket and have you exit the wall. Make sure you are done taking pictures before you get back to this point. The views from the wall were magnificent. It was really worth getting there early and avoiding the crowds as well as escaping the heat. When we came down off the wall the line to enter was long. I cannot image walking the wall when it’s that crowded.
We explored the market and different shops before leaving to visit Fort Lovrjenac. Once outside, we followed the signs to the fort, which is a good distance away. Your ticket that you purchased for the wall is also used to get into the fort. After entering the fort, you will see the view of the wall which is spectacular. We explored the different levels taking in the various views from each level. It did not seem that very many people take the time to visit the fort but maybe they did not know their ticket includes the fort. Either way you will not regret visiting the fort and getting a different view of the wall you just walked.
After we were finished exploring the town we headed back to the ship. We decided to walk as it is a very scenic. It’s about a two mile walk from the Pile Gate to the ship. Upon returning to the ship, there were a couple of vendors set up so tourists can visit their tables on the dock in case people wanted to shop some more before getting back on the ship. One thing I wanted was to have my passport stamped. For some reason cruise ship passengers did not need to walk though traditional customs even thou we were advised to carry our passports. When returning I walked into the customs office and they were happy to stamp my passport. Once we returned to the ship, we went up on deck to get a view of the bridge as we were leaving to go our next port. We really enjoyed the history of Dubrovnik, and would like to return and explore more of Croatia.