Croatian charm in Old Town Dubrovnik: your next European city break

Hello lovely people,

As summer comes to an end, and as autumn’s go-go-go mentality creeps in, I find my mind slipping away to the sunshine and excitement from my summer trips.

The other week I went to Dubrovnik for my cousin’s wedding – and wow, I was absolutely blown away. I had been to Zadar, Croatia before, so I assumed Old Town Dubrovnik would be a bigger version of the quiet seaside town.

Boy, was I wrong.

Dubrovnik is like no other. From its bustling cobblestone streets to picturesque beaches, this city is one of a kind.

Old Town Dubrovnik | Photo by McKenna

After walking through impressive city walls, you’re greeted with a stunning view of a marina as you stroll through stone-studded streets. Palm trees and sunshine… yes, please!

Old Town Dubrovnik | Photo by McKenna

Some may recognize Dubrovnik as a Game of Thrones filming location, which is cool of course, but the city is so much more than that! Dubrovnik is first and foremost a dazzling, historical European city, being a filming location comes after (wayyyy after) all of its cultural and beautiful offerings.

Old Town Dubrovnik | Photo by McKenna

From quaint cafes to little independent shops, Old Town offers a variety of businesses and restaurants. One of my personal favourites was Pupo, where I found my desperately needed oyster fix.

Oyster goodness | Photo by McKenna

If you’re a pizza, pasta or seafood fiend, you’re in luck. Dubrovnik boasts an abundance of mouthwatering goodness on every corner. Don’t forget an ice cream cone (pistachio for me!) to top it off!

Photo by McKenna

After you’ve scoped out the city’s cobblestone alleyways and city walls, venture to Banje Beach for an afternoon of sun and sea. The beach is just a five-minute walk from the eastern wall of Old Town, equipped with a beach bar and sun loungers to rent for 100 kuna (£12).

The pebbled beach leads you to the refreshing Adriatic Sea. When we were there in late August, temperatures were HOT, making the cool sea water more than welcome.

Banje Beach | Photo by McKenna
Banje Beach | Photo by McKenna

Beach by day, cocktails and music by night. On my first evening in Dubrovnik there was a mini music festival in the main square of Old Town. It was absolutely surreal to dance to house music under flashing lights in such a historic, seaside setting!

In addition to the impromptu rave, we perused everything from little hole-in-the-wall bars to the city’s massive Club Revelin  – there really is something for everyone!

the logistics… 

To and fro 

Dubrovnik Airport is only 20 minutes away by car. An Uber is about 250 kuna (£30), but you can also take a shuttle to Old Town at the bargain price of 40 kuna (£5).

Sleeping beauties

My family rented an Airbnb just outside the city walls because we had quite a large group. However, you can find deals within the city walls, right in the middle of all the action, for £60 a night (for a couple). If you book far in advance, I’m sure you’d be able to find deals at hotels as well.

Money, money, money! 

Many places took both euros and kuna, Croatia’s official currency, but you should 100% use kuna within the Old Town. Not all places take euros, so better safe than sorry!

A view of Old Town | Photo by McKenna

I’ve posted more photos from my Dubrovnik adventure on my Instagram, so feel free to check them out if this amazing city has made it onto your travel bucket list!

What a sunset | Photo by McKenna

After all, Dubrovnik is calling your name! And you need this beautiful sunset in your life!

McK x

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Jet set: Istanbul

Istanbul. Istanbul. Istanbul. What can I say about this city? The first thing that comes to mind is the following confession: I am currently going through Turkish withdrawal – it’s been a struggle.

It’s been a month since I was in Istanbul and I can genuinely say I wish I were gazing at the beautiful architecture of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque from the rooftop of my hotel, cocktail in hand with a bag of Turkish delights, RIGHT NOW. 

Beautiful sights? Check. Delicious food and drinks? Check. Amazing, hospitable people? Check, check, check. This city has it all. Take a look at some of my photos … you’ll want to pack your suitcase and jet set, too!

Our hotel in the historical Sultanahmet district of Istanbul, the Pasha Ibrahim Hotel, had a gorgeous rooftop overlooking the entire city.  Breathtaking.
Our hotel in the historical Sultanahmet district of Istanbul, the Pasha Ibrahim Hotel, had a gorgeous rooftop overlooking the entire city. Breathtaking.

Beautiful by day…. and beautiful by night.

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A vibrant, technicolor fountain at the entrance of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Simply gorgeous – and look at that beautiful sky!

Some details you might want to unravel before you head to Turkey:

  • Be sure to obtain a VISA online prior to arriving. You’ll need this in addition to your passport. It’s just $20 and lasts 90 days. You’ll save a lot of time at the airport by purchasing this ahead of time!
  • Istanbul is EXTREMELY inexpensive. My travel buddy and I went to a nice dinner at a four star restaurant (equipped with a bottle of wine of course!), hit several cocktail lounges, bought several knick-knacks and consumed way too much baklava, Turkish delights and other sweets. In two days we had EACH only spent 149 Turkish Lira (TRY) – the equivalent of $70…. Yes, THAT cheap.
  • Half of the people we encountered knew English, while half only knew Turkish. No biggie – you get around it. That’s the fun in going to a foreign country!
  • There are stray dogs and cats everywhere and I mean EVERYWHERE.
  • Now, time for more photos 🙂
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Diana and I have the biggest sweet tooths on the planet – Hafiz Mustafa is our heaven. Baklava, chocolate croissants, gelato, Turkish delights… pure heavenly goodness.
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Turkish delights on Turkish delights … Yum!
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Beautiful Turkish lamps in a nearby market in the historical Sultanahmet district of Istanbul.
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Amazing ceramic glass architecture and artwork in the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque.
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Diana buying beautiful prayer rugs for family – gorgeous!
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Stray kitties surrounding me. I was loving every second of it.

This city is such a gem – I will be returning in the near future. That’s a promise.

What’s your favorite international city to travel to? Stay tuned for more travel pics – coming soon! 🙂

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