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Dubrovnik: Backpacking in the Overcrowded and Overpriced Tourist Trap

You will no-doubt heard of Dubrovnik, made famous as a filming location for Star Wars and Game of Thrones and probably welcomes millions of tourists every year. I would call it the Venice of the Balkans, it is incredibly crowded during the summer and the prices are insane. However I would say if you’re willing to spend the money that it is worth visiting. 

The bus from Kotor to Dubrovnik took about 3 hours and when I crossed the border, I got a stamp in my passport. Once I arrived at the bus station, I realised that it’s very far from where Dubrovnik actually is, I had to walk 40 minutes to get to the Dubrovnik old town and I found my hostel. It was one of the most expensive hostels I’ve ever stayed in as it was £30 a night, so I only stayed two nights. However Hostel Angelina is a place I’d recommend to stay if you plan to visit as a backpacker as it’s still the cheapest option. The rooms are spacious and the staff are friendly. 

My first stop was outside of the walls at the Lovrijenac fortress, it will cost you about £5 to enter, but if you already paid to go to the walls, you can go in for free. If you’ve watched Game of Thrones you will very much recognise this place as a filming location and you can get decent views of the Dubrovnik city walls. 

After that, I was invited to join some other travellers who were chilling out at a seaside bit outside of the walls and I very much recommend going for a swim here, the water feels like a decent temperature and you will feel very refreshed. After that I joined them to go to the Dubrovnik cable car which takes you to a plateau, the cable car costs around £10, but if you want to save, you can go to the top walking without having to pay. I can say that going to this place during the sunset is incredible, the views of the surrounding islands and Dubrovnik are unforgettable. Furthermore, the views of the surrounding mountains as well are incredible too. 

The next day, I went on a boat trip with the new friends I had made, it cost about £30 per person, however I can say it was worth it, the boat had an ice box in which we could take as many Diet Cokes and beers as we wanted and our driver, Mario was a cool guy. We were taken around some places we could swim and were given snorkels. We were taken to some caves which we could swim inside of and also taken to a really nice beach with good sand. However, the place we were taken to for lunch was incredibly expensive, we were taken to a fancy restaurant on one of the islands, despite the high price the staff there were very welcoming and even gave us free grappa. 

After that, I had a walk around the old town, it feels very nice however, it is extremely crowded and the alleyways are very small so you must be patient. I had a kebab for dinner which cost me £8, I have to tell you that even the food and coffee here is rather expensive. I was going to walk around the Walls of Dubrovnik, however the ticket costs about £22, which was way too much. If you want to get to Mostar from Dubrovnik, your options are very limited, I had to get a bus at 8AM. 

So you can see that Dubrovnik has its good and bad, it’s very picturesque, however the prices don’t make it a great place if your a backpacker on a budget. If you hate crowds, I highly suggest against coming here as it is a hugely popular tourist destination. 

If you enjoyed reading this, be sure to check out:

My time in Belgrade

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