An insightful list of "don'ts" for avoiding common mistakes
While many travellers will be armed with "must-see" and "top things to do in Dubrovnik" lists, my insights as a local guide, gained through interactions with visitors from across the globe, made me realize that the path to an unforgettable Dubrovnik experience isn't paved solely by "dos" but also lined with crucial "don'ts". Here is a things not to do in Dubrovnik list to enhance your Dubrovnik adventure:
Don't visit in peak summer if the crowds and heat bother you!
Avoid the bustling and scorching months of June, July, and August if you dislike crowds and heat. Plan strategically for a more comfortable experience.
Don't limit yourself to just one day in Dubrovnik!
Now, unless you're planning a Dubrovnik pitstop on a cruise (and if you are, kudos), do yourself a solid and reserve at least a couple of days. Dubrovnik, despite its size, is a place you'll want to linger even after exploring every nook.
Don't do it last minute!
Secure a quality experience by booking promptly. Dubrovnik's allure is sought after, and procrastination may lead to compromises. Don't wait; plan ahead!
Don't finalize your accommodation booking until you're certain its location suits you!
The name of a hotel can sometimes be misleading, potentially leading you to stay in an area 10-15 minutes' drive from Dubrovnik. Additionally, your chosen accommodation might be situated in a pedestrian zone or involve navigating many stairs. Ensure the precise location aligns with your preferences and needs to avoid unexpected inconveniences during your stay.
Don't pack like you're moving – less is more!
Excess baggage clashes with Dubrovnik's pedestrian zones and stairs. Opt for a lighter load to effortlessly manoeuvre through the City, not to mention avoid additional transportation fees and the risk of lost bags. So, to ensure a hassle-free exploration of the city, pack smart and leave the kitchen sink at home.
Don't go all-inclusive!
Embrace Dubrovnik's offerings beyond the resort. All-inclusive might seem convenient, but you'll miss out on the city's diverse experiences.
Don't rent a car for a Dubrovnik-only visit!
No need for wheels in Dubrovnik. Limited parking, narrow streets, pedestrian zones – it's a challenge. If walking distance isn't feasible, rely on public transport, Uber, or taxis.
Don't drive to Srd Hill - unless you're an experienced and confident driver!
Srd Hill is epic, no doubt. But if you're a novice behind the wheel, that road is a rollercoaster. Advice: opt for the cable car or hire a local driver.
Don't venture into exploring the Old City during its busiest moment of the day!
Avoid the 10 am to early afternoon period when cruise ships are docked in Dubrovnik. Check cruise ship arrivals.
Don't book a historical walking tour if you couldn't care less about history!
Dubrovnik's history and sights are impressive, but if that's not your cup of tea, don't force it. There are tours for every flavour. Don't waste time and money on a history lesson if you'd rather shop or pose for Instagram.
Don't tip if you're unhappy with the service!
Tipping is appreciated but not mandatory. Save it for good service; don't tip if you're dissatisfied. It's a genuine sign of appreciation.
Don't underestimate the challenge of the wall and medieval forts!
Defensive structures were built for safety, not ease of access. If mobility or heart issues are a concern, think twice before venturing onto the walls and forts.
Don't be late!
In Croatia, punctuality is the right option. Being tardy may inconvenience you and result in additional costs. Respect local schedules and be on time.
Don't forget your passport!
It's a border-crossing necessity for day trips to Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Ensure you have it and that it's valid to avoid unexpected border-crossing delays. Trust me, you don't want to be the one causing a hold-up.
Don't risk being stuck at border crossings!
Steer clear of day trips to Montenegro during the weekends from mid-July to the end of August. This is the time when many Albanians living in Western Europe embark on their summer vacation drives to Albania/Kosovo and back. As a result, the border crossings experience gridlock, causing potential delays and inconvenience.
Don't do everything the locals do!
Locals might do some cool stuff, but don't be a copycat without the local know-how. Cliff diving? Don't!
Don't "I am an influencer" local service providers!
It's cool to be an influencer, but don't arrogantly demand freebies. Locals work hard, so show some respect, or you might pick up a few colourful Croatian phrases.
Don't let common sense abandon you!
While some behaviours may only label you as a rude tourist, others could result in fines. Remember, Dubrovnik is not just a tourist destination; it's a place where people live and work - it's their home.
Don't engage in inappropriate behaviour that disrespects the local community or damages cultural heritage!
Don't ignore safety guidelines - prioritize safety over impressing social media followers!
Things not to do in Dubrovnik if you are on a budget!
Don't ignore seasonal price fluctuations.
Don't use services before checking prices. Steer clear of Old City cafe bars and restaurants on the main streets and squares. Instead, explore local spots offering daily meals.
Don't buy entrance tickets separately, purchase the Dubrovnik Pass.
Don't rely on taxis, use public transport.
Don't rent sunbeds, settle your towel on a free beach spot, just as the locals do.
Don't buy bottled water- save money and reduce plastic waste by enjoying the perfectly potable tap water.