Thursday, April 29, 2010

Farewell, Cam

Sadly, our friend Cam Wilson passed away unexpectedly this week. Cam was the owner of D’Vino Wine Bar in the Old Town and was one of Dubrovnik’s most beloved residents. His passing is a great loss, not only to his family and friends, but also to the local community. In the short time he lived in Dubrovnik he touched many lives through his kindness and generosity. We miss you, Cam, and are glad to have known you.

Cruise Ship Season Arrives in Dubrovnik

On Saturday, 24 May 2010 five cruise ships docked in Dubrovnik, officially opening the cruising season. The ships brought a combined total of over 10,000 passengers to the city that day.

Most residents of Dubrovnik agree that one of the city’s biggest problems is the number of cruise ships docking in its port. Over a million passengers per year visit the small Adriatic city, often leading to overcrowding and congestion. Cruise ship passengers generally descend on the Old Town in the thousands, making the Stradun and city walls impassable. In fact, officials have been forced to temporarily close down the Old Town entrances several times in recent years due to overcrowding. Local business owners also consider the crowding to be a problem as cruise ship passengers spend very little money in the city. Most passengers are only in town for a few hours and buy nothing more than an ice cream or a T-shirt. Many do not wish to exchange Euros or Dollars for Kuna for such a short period, so they buy nothing.

The concern among local business owners is that the thousands of cruise ship passengers walking the city streets will crowd out independent travelers who are more likely to patronize local restaurants, café bars, and shops. If Dubrovnik gains a reputation for overcrowding, many of these independent travelers may stay away completely. For the moment, however, the docking of cruise ships brings revenue to the city in the form of hefty docking tariffs and souvenir shopping near the port and on the Stradun.

For those that wish to avoid the crowds, the Dubrovnik Port Authority website has a schedule of cruise ship traffic and a color-coded chart showing how many passengers will be in the city on any given day.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Dubrovnik Foreign Circle

The Dubrovnik Foreign Circle is an organization of foreigners living either full-time or part-time in Dubrovnik. They are a not-for-profit entity whose mission is to serve the community and to promote friendship and understanding between its members and the community of Dubrovnik. The group has organized successful fundraisers to raise funds for community projects such as the establishment of the Dubrovnik Children’s Library and Story Telling in a Foreign Language at local schools. The group also organizes activities for its members such as picnics, wine tours, lectures, Croatian language classes, and an annual Christmas party. Monthly membership meetings are held throughout the year at the American College of Management and Technology.

Those interested in joining can contact the foreign circle directly through their new website,

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bars in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is not known for its nightlife; those looking for an all-night party scene with an international crowd and world-renowned DJs would be best to go to Hvar. That said, a good time can be had in Dubrovnik if you know where to go. The following is a list of our favorite bars. Most are frequented by both locals and foreigners and are fairly laid-back places, perfect for a glass of wine in the evening or a few beers at night. They're also good bars in which to meet other travelers passing through.

D'Vino, Palmoticeva 4a Dubrovnik's only real wine bar, D'Vino offers a cozy atmosphere and an extensive wine list representing many different regions of Croatia as well as Italy, France, Spain, Australia, and South America. A visit to D'Vino is a great opportunity to sample various Croatian vintages by the glass and to learn what each region has to offer.

Katie O'Connor's Irish Pub, Dropceva 4a Irish and Croatian beers on tap, free wireless Internet access, and a friendly atmosphere make this an excellent place to kick back and relax for an hour or four. This is also Dubrovnik's go-to spot for European football, rugby, and cricket.

Buza Bar, Od Kastela Follow the sign for "Cold Drinks" and duck through an opening in the city walls to find this cliffside hangout. The atmosphere is casual (plastic chairs and cans of beer) but the views are first-class, making it one of the most popular bars in Dubrovnik, especially at sunset. It is also a popular spot among locals for swimming from the rocks below.

Piano Bar at the Hotel Excelsior, Frana Supila (10 minutes' walking distance past Ploce Gate) This elegant hotel bar has a spacious outdoor terrace with the best views in Dubrovnik. It is a great place to have a drink while watching the sun set over the Old Town.

The Gaffe, Miha Pracata 4 Another good place to stop into for a pint. The inside can get a bit smoky when busy, but the large outdoor garden offers a good alternative. P.S. Try the burgers here – they are excellent!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Useful Numbers in Dubrovnik

Below is a list of some phone numbers that you may find useful while in Dubrovnik. It's important to at least know the emergency numbers in case of an accident.

Police: 92
Fire Dapartment: 93
Ambulance: 94
Hospital: +385 20 431 777
Roadside Assistance: 987
Public Emergency Center: 985
Operator: 988
International Operator: 901
International Directory Inquiries: 902
Dubrovnik Airport: +385 20 773 377
Taxi Service: +385 20 970
Central Bus Station: +385 20 357 088
Local City Bus Station: +385 423 724
Jadrolinija Ferries: +385 20 418 000
Coast Guard: +385 20 443 555
Harbor Master: +385 20 418 988
ACI Marina: +385 20 455 020

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Kebab shop in Dubrovnik

When looking for something quick to eat in the Old Town there is a new alternative to a sandwich at Mrvica or a slice of pizza at Oliva: a doner kebab. A new kebab shop has opened on Od Siroka, just next to Restaurant Proto. The shop displays the lamb spinning on a vertical skewer in the window, from which they shave thin slices of meat for your sandwich. It is served on a freshly baked pita with salad and a special sauce. A donor kebab is a bit pricey at 35 Kuna and 50 Kuna with pomme frites, but it is a nice change of pace for Dubrovnik.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Village of Cavtat

The small village of Cavtat is located on the Adriatic Sea, just 18 kilometers south of Dubrovnik. Its proximity to the historic walled city makes it a great base for exploring Dubrovnik and its surroundings. It also provides a nice escape from the often-crowded Old Town of Dubrovnik during the summer months.

Cavtat's main attraction is its beautiful harbor and waterfront area. Unlike in Dubrovnik, visiting yachts can moor directly to the waterfront promenade and visit the many restaurants and café bars just across the street. Likewise, diners relaxing at the restaurants and cafes can watch the yachts entering and exiting the harbor. Cavtat also offers some of the area's best beaches and small, secluded coves for swimming.

Dubrovnik can easily be reached in 30 minutes by bus or ferry boat. The bus (#10) runs approximately every hour (see schedule here) and is priced at 10 Kuna per person. The ferry runs slightly less frequently and costs about 100 Kuna per person. The trip may also be done by car and there is a parking lot just outside of Cavtat's historic center that charges 5 Kuna per hour.

There are several large hotels in Cavat and numerous private apartments and villas for rent. Hotels include the 4-star Hotel Croatia, 4-star Iberostar Albatros, and 3-star Iberostar Epidaurus. For apartment rentals, contact Dubrovnik Apartment Source by email at