Thinking about 2019 trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia

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DocJKF84
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Thinking about 2019 trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia

Post by DocJKF84 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:07 pm

Hello Boglehead community! Just wanted to get some thoughts or advice if possible.

My wife and I are looking to take a trip to Europe next summer (most likely June) and eyeing different locations. Planning on a 7-10 day trip. I have heard good things about Dubrovnik as a nice blend of beaches, beautiful landscape, and older European feel/architecture. In doing a little bit of research, it looks like taking a day trip (or two) to Montenegro might also be a good idea.

Most of our travel has been to the Caribbean with no trips to Europe so planning something like this is a bit intimidating. Any general tips about getting good deals on flights (when to book, airline, etc), places to stay, and any other money saving/value tips are appreciated. Thank you all in advance!

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Hayden
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Re: Thinking about 2019 trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia

Post by Hayden » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:14 pm

I would recommend seeing more of Croatia than just Dubrovnik. Also suggest visiting Montenegro. I thought Dubrovnik was too touristy, and preferred visiting smaller and less touristy cities. Definitely recommend taking a boat trip or taking public ferries to visit various islands.

DocJKF84
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Re: Thinking about 2019 trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia

Post by DocJKF84 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:56 pm

Thank you Hayden for your thoughts. For a 7-10 day trip, which cities/areas would you recommend? I like jumping around and see many different sites however my wife enjoys staying in the same place for several days, enjoying the beach/water, etc so I don't want to try and jam too many things/travel into the itinerary. Any thoughts on using primarily public transit versus renting a car?

Shallowpockets
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Re: Thinking about 2019 trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia

Post by Shallowpockets » Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:22 am

Don't over think this. You have never been there. It will all be new. You will not be able to see and do everything. This is not rocket science and replies you get here will take you all over the map and give you pause, and pause again, with too many new choices and paralyze your process.
Look at it like investing. You go for the fair and probable return, you do not invest for the big score. No matter where or what you see someone here will tell you that you should have seen or done this. Mix it up on your own. Oh, and get a few books from the library or buy a guidebook. Many have been to Croatia before. Tons of information. You are not researching New Guinea.

andrewphillipf
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Re: Thinking about 2019 trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia

Post by andrewphillipf » Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:36 am

I once flew into Dubrovnik and left on a road trip the next day. I wish that I had allotted more time there, so ensure you don't rush out to another town/city. You'll be happy there, especially as your first time in Europe.

Almost everyone I spoke to in Croatia spoke English, so don't worry too much about feeling intimidated. There are some areas of Europe where almost no one knows English and something as simple as going to a cafe can be overwhelming.

I rented my car via Sixt at the Dubrovnik airport. I'd recommend something like this if you plan on doing a day trip anywhere. They were helpful and I'd gladly use them again.

retired recently
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Re: Thinking about 2019 trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia

Post by retired recently » Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:23 am

You can rent a car and easily go south to Montenegro for one to two days which is worth doing or instead drive north towards Korcula. Really you need the full 10 days if not two weeks. Another alternative would be to fly into Split and spend a couple of days there. You can take a bus to Trogir which is nice (perhaps better to get a car and go to the Krk National Park and Trogir) and also take ferries out to Hvar, and some other nice islands. Then drive down to Dubrovnik, stopping for a day or so in Korcula. Nice little town called Makarska along the way I believe.

Good luck and have fun!

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Raybo
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Re: Thinking about 2019 trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia

Post by Raybo » Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:36 am

Plitvice National Park is absolutely stunning. If you plan to go north of Dubrovnik, say up to Cres and/or Krk Islands, plan to drive inland and spend a day at Plitvice. You would likely have to get a reservation a bit in advance.
No matter how long the hill, if you keep pedaling you'll eventually get up to the top.

stan1
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Re: Thinking about 2019 trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia

Post by stan1 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:53 am

Dubrovnik and Croatia in general have a beautiful coastline, but beaches with a few exceptions are rock/gravel not sand as you would find in the Caribbean or Hawaii. You absolutely should go -- just managing expectations because its not the same beach vibe that you get in other places.
Agree with moving around a bit (Montenegro, Split, islands such as Korcula, Mostar). In Dubrovnik you want to stay very close to the walled city (if not inside) so you can easily visit in the mornings and evenings when it isn't swarming with day tourists. If you are a little adventurous and really want to see the coastline I'd recommend a few nights on a yacht. Ten to 14 days would give you a good feel for the country if you are willing to move about and see it.

retired recently
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Re: Thinking about 2019 trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia

Post by retired recently » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:38 am

Agree that Plitvice is amazing but it is a bit of a drive. I think given the limited time, Krk offers a nice alternative.

About 15 years ago we flew into Zagreb, drove and spent the night in Plitvice then continued on to Split. In Split we had chartered a small yacht with a Croatian skipper who sailed us down to Dubrovnik, visiting different islands each day and spending the night in one of the harbors. It was incredible and at the time quite inexpensive.

Even though Dubrovnik is certainly more beautiful and definitely worth seeing, I would recommend using Split as a base as there are so many easily accessible places from there. In any case, you will enjoy it tremendously.

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Raybo
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Re: Thinking about 2019 trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia

Post by Raybo » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:50 am

retired recently wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:38 am
Agree that Plitvice is amazing but it is a bit of a drive. I think given the limited time, Krk offers a nice alternative.
It is an even longer bicycle ride!

While it is a bit of a drive to go inland to Plitvice, it is also up into the mountains and gives a visitor a chance to see a different part of Croatia. The coast is all about tourism. Inland is all about people living their lives.

According to Google maps, it is a 2+ hour drive from Split to Plitvice.
No matter how long the hill, if you keep pedaling you'll eventually get up to the top.

SGM
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Re: Thinking about 2019 trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia

Post by SGM » Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:08 am

The island of Sveti Stefan is south of Dubrovnik. It has a restaurant with a large outdoor patio with a beautiful view overlooking the Adriatic. Beach is quite pretty and the cottages are very attractive.

Theseus
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Re: Thinking about 2019 trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia

Post by Theseus » Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:11 am

Shallowpockets wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:22 am
Don't over think this. You have never been there. It will all be new. You will not be able to see and do everything. This is not rocket science and replies you get here will take you all over the map and give you pause, and pause again, with too many new choices and paralyze your process.
Look at it like investing. You go for the fair and probable return, you do not invest for the big score. No matter where or what you see someone here will tell you that you should have seen or done this. Mix it up on your own. Oh, and get a few books from the library or buy a guidebook. Many have been to Croatia before. Tons of information. You are not researching New Guinea.
This is the best possible advice you have received. You will wrap yourself around the axel if you overthink it. Go and enjoy with full knowledge that there is NO way you can do everything in one visit - especially Europe. Don't pack too much in to one trip. You will waste time traveling and going to places rather than enjoying what you have in front of you.

02nz
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Re: Thinking about 2019 trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia

Post by 02nz » Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:43 am

+1 on Montenegro. Kotor is spectacular but so is most of Montenegro. Kotor is about a 2-hour drive from Dubrovnik.

And forget public transport. Rent a car and enjoy some of the most spectacular coastal scenery anywhere in the world. Driving on the coastal highway (the Magistrala, NOT the inland freeway) is unforgettable.

peseta
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Re: Thinking about 2019 trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia

Post by peseta » Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:20 pm

02nz wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:43 am
+1 on Montenegro. Kotor is spectacular but so is most of Montenegro. Kotor is about a 2-hour drive from Dubrovnik.

And forget public transport. Rent a car and enjoy some of the most spectacular coastal scenery anywhere in the world. Driving on the coastal highway (the Magistrala, NOT the inland freeway) is unforgettable.
Another +1 on the Bay of Kotor. You can just rent a car for a day and see it in a day trip from Dubrovnik. Absolutely worth it.

peseta

theplayer11
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Re: Thinking about 2019 trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia

Post by theplayer11 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:43 pm

I'm thinking about going as well, but in Feb. Just started my research, but it does seem a little more overwhelming than our previous trips to Switzerland and Germany. We normally like to stay in 1 spot as a hub and do day trips. With the trains it was easy..Not so sure about Croatia.

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Conch55
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Re: Thinking about 2019 trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia

Post by Conch55 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:52 pm

Another +1 on the Bay of Kotor. You can just rent a car for a day and see it in a day trip from Dubrovnik. Absolutely worth it.
While I was not a driver but rather a passenger in a vehicle when I visited the coast of Montenegro it was memorable. We commuted from the capital of Montenegro, Podgorica, and it was stunning. We spent time in Budva and other towns along the Adriatic. Definitely no sandy beaches though.

eddot98
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Re: Thinking about 2019 trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia

Post by eddot98 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:09 pm

Well, no one has directly brought this up, so I will. It might not be the best idea to make your first trip to Europe one to Croatia. If one has only gone to the Caribbean, a trip across 6 time zones, usually involving an overnight flight, and entailing at least one airport connection may be more difficult than you think. Considering what your post said that you might want to do, it might be better to try southern Spain or Portugal. They are closer, they have what you want, and there are nonstop flights from the NY and Boston metro areas. I believe that nonstop flights are also available from most major cities in the eastern US. We have gone to Europe several times (not as much as some people on this board) and we still haven’t been to Croatia, although we have considered it and may go there in November. I would also suggest going for two weeks at a minimum. Jet lag is real and flights aren’t cheap, so maximizing our time there is our goal.

theplayer11
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Re: Thinking about 2019 trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia

Post by theplayer11 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:24 pm

eddot98 wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:09 pm
Well, no one has directly brought this up, so I will. It might not be the best idea to make your first trip to Europe one to Croatia. If one has only gone to the Caribbean, a trip across 6 time zones, usually involving an overnight flight, and entailing at least one airport connection may be more difficult than you think. Considering what your post said that you might want to do, it might be better to try southern Spain or Portugal. They are closer, they have what you want, and there are nonstop flights from the NY and Boston metro areas. I believe that nonstop flights are also available from most major cities in the eastern US. We have gone to Europe several times (not as much as some people on this board) and we still haven’t been to Croatia, although we have considered it and may go there in November. I would also suggest going for two weeks at a minimum. Jet lag is real and flights aren’t cheap, so maximizing our time there is our goal.
good point,,,that was my initial thought as well.

eddot98
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Re: Thinking about 2019 trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia

Post by eddot98 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:30 pm

Regarding your question on booking a flight, there is an app called Hopper that advises users on prices and when to book. We have used it a couple of times and it did a good job. You can do an ongoing search, use their results, and book on your favorite site.

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Cyclesafe
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Re: Thinking about 2019 trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia

Post by Cyclesafe » Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:01 pm

Since my wife was born in Split and raise in Otok (island) Vis I have been many times to Croatia. It is a beautiful place.

For 7-10 days I would fly to Dubrovnik and stay a couple of days to recover and to see the city. Better hope there are no cruise ships. When done with Dubrovnik you should definitely rent a car and go north along the coast to Split and ditch the car. Check out Split for a day or two, then get on a ferry to Hvaar for a day then go on to Vis. Rent a scooter in Vis and explore the island which was closed to Western tourists from WWII to the end of Yugoslavia in the '90's. There are very nice beaches - some with sand. Chill. You'll have a great time.

Then take the ferry back to Split and fly home from there. If you have more time rent another car in Split and head first north along the mainland coast, then loop inland. If you are not picky about accommodations you will always be able to arrange something via internet the day before arrival.

Don't worry at all about driving and don't worry about the language. Easy peasy.

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