If you read any travel guides, it will tell you to start early or late when conquering the City Walls. In the Summer, it is best done early like at 8a due to the heat. All year round, it is best to do it early or late due to the cruise ships coming into port.
If you have a Dubrovnik pass, enter the gate, show your pass, and receive a ticket before beginning your ascent. There was a queue already before 8a, so arrive just a little before 8a if you’d like. I don’t think there was an advantage to arriving anymore than 5 minutes as each person stops for photos or to rest.
The photos you’ll capture while ascending and descending the steps of the City Walls really don’t do justice to what your eyes sees. Pay attention to the roofs and identify the ones that are old or have been replaced as a result of the war. I imagined daily life as I took a picture of windows open to the vastness of the Adriatic Sea. I admired the clothesline outside some of these windows as they let nature take care of its job in drying their clothes. I saw the elementary school with a medium size tennis court and wonder how many children play out there and what Olympic sport Croats bring to the Olympic Games. I let my myself wander about their narrow but steep streets and the absence of green space or a small garden. When you look down from atop the City Walls, it seems that every space is occupied by a building or tables for dining.
The tour of the City Walls took about 50 minutes depending on rest breaks or your endurance level plus another 20 minutes to stop at the Maritime Museum, which is included in your Dubrovnik pass. At the top, you will have a chance for refreshments as you embrace the beauty surrounding you.
The Dubrovnik pass can be purchased online before you arrive in Dubrovnik. I believe there is a 10% discount if you do this. Show your voucher at the tourist office outside of Pile Gate and receive your pass. The pass is to be used on consecutive days. It covers a number of museums, the round trip bus to Cavtat and 6 bus rides. I think it’s worth buying the pass as it covers the City Walls, which already costs 200kn.
Since I left early for the City Walls, I didn’t have my cup of coffee, so it was a delight to have a cup at Gradske Kavana. For 28kn, this coffee really woke me up and got me ready for the rest of the day. I enjoyed people watching and observing morning life on the Stradun.
On the way to my Sobe (or hotel/apartment), I passed through the open market where fresh fruits and vegetables were sold. There is a grocery store located in the same square where you can pick up pick up a variety of food items, essentials, and baked goods.
Just before noon, I head over to the Old Port to catch a ferry to Lokrum Island. For 150kn, this included a round trip ferry plus the entrance to the park. Pay for the ferry only in cash.
I took a dip in the blue and refreshing Adriatic Sea. Oh, you must do this but don’t forget your water shoes as the bottom of the ocean is rocky.
After a few minutes, I spent an inordinate amount of time just relaxing, watching the peacocks, people watching, and enjoying the peace this blue sea was offering.
In the afternoon, I took the bus no.10 to Cavtat. The fare is included in your Dubrovnik pass. This sleepy but touristic town was about 30 minutes away and is the last stop on the bus. Cavtat offers similar fare as Dubrovnik but it’s less crowded. Walk along the boardwalk to appreciate the slowness and catch the sunset, if you can. I had my very first risotto with vegetables and it was delicious.
It’s a truly amazing place. Tomorrow, a hopeful trip to Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina.