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36 Hours in Croatia

Eating, walking, and kayaking; Dubrovnik on a tight schedule 

By: Zainab Zaman

Map of Croatia with Dubrovnik highlighted
Graphic By: Anvitha Nekkanti

As an avid spontaneity seeker, I often find myself in unique places and situations. I turn to Google for advice or recommendations on the new place I am about to visit and where to go once I arrive, but unfortunately, the internet does not know it all. Over the years, I have been curating my own advice and recommendations. If you are in Dubrovnik, Croatia, for a little under 24 hours, I have the perfect plan for you. 

While in London over the summer, I stumbled across a great deal for a roundtrip flight to Croatia. The next day, my backpack was packed with linen dresses, swimsuits, and a passport. I soon landed in Dubrovnik and realized I had not planned for this amazing city. After some research, dumb luck, and reflecting on what I wish I would've done, I can confidently give you an itinerary to take you through roughly 36 hours in Dubrovnik. 

First, safety is a priority, so make sure you book your accommodations ahead of time and be careful throughout your travel. Dubrovnik is the capital city of Croatia, sits on the cusp of the Adriatic Sea, and has historical importance. The city is also relatively safe and affordable, making it a great, underrated travel destination. 

Dubrovnik is home to beautiful views; one of the best ways to look out over the old town and the sea is by ziplining over the city. For all you adrenaline seekers out there, this can be a great way to kick off your adventure. If you would rather not fly hundreds of feet above the city, you can take a cable car to Restaurant Panorama and dine while overlooking the city. If you're still hungry, visit the Taj Mahal in the old town of Dubrovnik for a unique dining experience and authentic Bosnian food (I know the name is misleading).  

Tall, strong walls surround the old town of Dubrovnik and hold the city’s history. It is also home to HBO’s cult-favorite TV show, “Game of Thrones.” Take a walking tour of the old town and learn about Slavic and Bosnian history. I recommend going at sunset and soaking in the views. You can also recreate iconic “Game of Thrones” moments here, like the “shame” scene on the church’s steps in the old town. 

With the Adriatic Sea at your fingertips and about 10,000 caves around the water, we booked a last-minute kayak tour but ran late for our reservation. The kayaks had left, but luckily, we got a private tour and instructor. This outing was not for the weak; our instructor was much faster than us, and we were rowing against the wind for about an hour before reaching a large cave opening. I snorkeled with the most beautiful coral and fish in the cold water. When we kayaked back to shore, it was almost time to leave this beautiful city. 

I hope my travel adventures land me back in Croatia one day, and I hope yours do as well. If you have more time than I did, visit Fort Lovrijenac and Croatia's other cities, such as Split for Roman ruins and Zagreb, the country's capital. 

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