Travel

Dubrovnik, Bosnia & Montenegro

About Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, a city in Southern Croatia is a magnificent medieval walled city surrounded by the clear blue waters of the Adriatic sea. It is also known as  “The Pearl of the Adriatic” and once you have visited, you’ll know exactly why. Dubrovnik, with its UNESCO world heritage old town, magnificent, picturesque scenery, charming islands and amazing seafood, has so much to offer; whether you are looking for a romantic getaway, family friendly vacation or a lone traveller looking to explore the rich history and breath-taking  views, Dubrovnik offers a little something for everyone on any budget.

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View from Dubrovnik Old Town from top of the mountain

 

How To Get To Dubrovnik And When to Visit

British Airways offers year long flights directly to Dubrovnik. You can also fly with EasyJet or Monarch at a very reasonable price if you book early.

We flew with Monarch Airlines from Gatwick in late September. The best time to travel to Dubrovnik is around mid September to early October when the crowds have died down and the temperature is a comfortable 24 degrees.

Where To Stay

Whether you are on a budget or looking to splash out, Dubrovnik offers a range of hotels to cater for all budgets and traveller types, from family friendly hotels near the promenade to chic hotels within  walking distance from the old town, or if you are after a secluded location, you’ll also find hotels on one of the islands surrounding Dubrovnik.

Suggested Dubrovnik itinerary

  • Old Town – Get lost in the hustle and bustle of the medieval old town with its narrow gobbled streets lined with restaurants serving fresh seafood and mussels, to its stunning port, lined with luxury yachts and touristic boats offering trips to nearby islands. The old town will captivate your heart from the very moment you step foot through the medieval city walls.
  • City Walls – Surrounding the old town as one of the world’s most well maintained fortress. A walk along the 2km stretch city wall offers rooftop views of the charming terracotta old town and views of the Adriatic sea. Please note this tour is not ideal for young children and pushchairs are not allowed. If you are travelling with an infant (like us) you will be required to carry your infant for the entire walk which takes approximately 1hr, with numerous steep steps. Tickets for the city walls cost approx. £10-12 per adult.
  • Cable cars – Take the cable cars to the top of the mountain for a postcard, picturesque view of the entire old town. If you can, be sure to time it for when the sun sets. Tickets for the cable cars costs approx. £15-20 per adult.
  • Boat tours – Take one of the many touristic boats by the port for a panoramic tour of the old town from the sea. The full day boat tour also includes a visit to 3 nearby islands. Prices for boat tours range from £20-30 per adult.
  • Lapad promenade – Stroll along the promenade with its sandy beach, aqua coloured water and pedestrian lined restaurants. Also a great spot to spend the day with little ones.
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Dubrovnik Port
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City Walls
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Sunset view of Dubrovnik old town

 

Day Excursion to Bosnia and/or Montenegro

The journey to either Bosnia or Montengero takes approx. 3hrs each way and costs around £35-45 per adult depending on the agency you go with. Both Bosnia and Montenegro offer something completely different and we would highly recommend you visit both countries.

Bosnia

Bosnia is truly an intriguing destination as the gateway between Europe and Asia. The historic city of Mostar, most recognisable for the old bridge which was completely destroyed during the Bosnia war and re-built using some of the remains found in the Neretva river, is now a symbol of Bosnia and a UNESCO world heritage site. The streets of Mostar is filled with touristy shops selling Ottoman inspired souvenirs and gifts. A trip to the Mosque is included and you have free time for lunch (cost of lunch is not included). We would highly recommend dining at a restaurant which offers terrace views of the old bridge, Neretva river and Mosque.

As Bosnia has many Muslims, finding a restaurant that serves halal food is amply available, the hardest decision is deciding where to eat. Bosnia also has many mosques perched and scattered around the hilly and mountainous surroundings. Many of the restaurants overlooking the bridge offer stunning views of the various mosque minarets.

A walk along the old town, you’ll notice buildings with gunshot wounds from the war. We travelled to Bosnia with our son who was then 6months old. If you are travelling with an infant, carry all of your infant essentials with you and most importantly sufficient sterilised water. Bosnia is a generally a safe place to visit with young children; be prepared for your child to be bombarded by the locals.  If you are travelling with a stroller, do note that the old town has pebbled streets and manoeuvring around can sometimes be challenging.

Bosnia is a unique destination as the only country in Europe with a large Muslim population. A trip to Bosnia really does open your eyes to life post-war.

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Mosque
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One of the many tourist shops in Mostar
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Historic Mostar bridge

Montenegro

Montenegro has a wealth of natural beauty that it is no surprise it is ranked one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. A trip to Montenegro includes a stop in Kotor for lunch, a leisurely stroll around Kotor old town and a visit to one of the most famous sites in Montenegro- “The Ladder of Cattaro and “Bay of Kotor; both are equally impressive and breath-taking. Also included is a stop in Budva for its picturesque views and a ferry ride across the bay. A trip to Montenegro is an absolute must and a stark contrast from both Dubrovnik and Bosnia.

We didn’t find any halal options on our trip to Montengero. However, that is not to say that there isn’t. Most restaurants offer seafood and vegetarian options. We would recommend stopping for lunch in the old town, followed by a drink by the port for a spot of people watching whilst soaking in the view of the sea, lined with its luxury yachts.

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Where To Eat in Dubrovnik?

You won’t find any halal food in Dubrovik but we can assure you, you won’t go hungry as there are plenty of seafood and vegetarian options at the many restaurants in the old town and Lapad promenade. If you do a day trip to Bosnia, many of the restaurants serve halal food; another reason to visit Bosnia.

Hints And Tips

  • Most of the activities listed above are child-friendly, unless stated otherwise.
  • The streets of the old town is cobbled and can make manouvering with a stroller or pushchair challenging.
  • If you are travelling with an infant, baby changing facilities are scares so please do carry a travel mat with you.
  • If you decide to do a day trip to Bosnia and/or Montenegro, remember to carry your passport with you as you will need to show this at the border. We would also highly recommend you visit with a tour guide, especially if you are visiting Bosnia, as anywhere outside of the main tourist sites may not be entirely safe on your own.
  • Public transport is very reasonably priced and a good way to get to the old town if you are staying elsewhere.
  • You won’t find any restaurants in Dubrovnik serving halal food. However, there are plenty of seafood and vegetarian options. If you can’t survive without halal food, a trip to Dubrovnik is not recommended.

Conclusion

Dubrovnik is a breathtakingly beautiful destination that it comes as no surprise it is known as “The Pearl of the Adriatic”. It is also one of those destinations that may Muslims wouldn’t place high on their list of places to visit, which is unfortunate. Dubrovnik is an enchanting destination and one that we would highly recommend visiting at least once in your lifetime. We also guarantee you that once you have been, you’ll be longing to visit again.

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