Why You Should Go To Croatia
Where in the world is Croatia? And why you should go now!
Croatia’s loss to France in the finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup was actually a huge victory for the former Yugoslav country on the Adriatic Sea. After all, the geographically challenged people of the planet revved up Google with questions like “Where is Croatia?” hitting the highest online search levels for the country in history, according to Google.
What they found was a budding EU nation crammed with a bounty of things travelers like: good wine, great food, gorgeous sightseeing. And since many roads (and web searches) lead to the stunning, walled seaside town of Dubrovnik, it’s safe to say that tourism numbers are going to be growing in this southern Dalmatian Coast city.
Not that this should stop anyone from stepping foot in the town some know as a stand-in for “King’s Landing” on HBO’s Game of Thrones. If you know when and where to go while you’re here, Dubrovnik is dynamic. In fact, in the past two years, this city of 40,000 people has become more livable for locals and tourists alike.
When to go
April, May, September, and October are the best times to come. They are windows of time when businesses are still open but there are fewer tourists. The six-week-long Dubrovnik Winter Festival, starting in late November, is a refreshing off-season time to visit. The locals take back the walled Old Town and celebrate daily at temporary food stalls selling local treats and shots of grappa. Summer is still a great time to come but be prepared for the crowds and the heat.
Where to eat
Dubrovnik’s food scene has come a long way in a short period of time. Run by cookbook author and food blogger Ana Marija Bujić, Pantarul is a pioneer in helping to reinvent gourmet Dalmatian fare for locals and visitors alike. Culling old recipes that were nearly lost to history and then sometimes putting a worldly spin on them, Bujić created a menu of dishes like spaghettini with mussels and chorizo, and cuttlefish and samphire risotto, that will win over the fussiest palates.
Dubrovnik’s first Michelin-starred restaurant (and only the third in the country), 360 is the most haute you can get in the city without piercing the clouds with your fork. With a dining area set on the actual medieval walls, the ambiance at 360 owes as much to the experience as to what comes out on the plates.
Where to drink
Wine has always been the beverage of choice on the southern Dalmatian Coast. That’s because the nearby Peljašac Peninsula has long produced quality grapes. But in addition to that, there are now beer bars, cocktail dens, and ambient bars that will keep your thirst quenched while here.
If you prefer beer, head over to the city’s port area, Gruž, to find the city’s first brewery, Dubrovnik Beer Brewery. The on-site bar, opened in 2018, allows patrons to sip lagers, pale ales, and stouts just a few feet from where they were made.