If you are decided to book an apartment inside the city walls then you have decided to be the part of the local experience although you have to bear in mind that out of 4000 citizens who lived in the Old City before the war, there are only 1000 remaining. This means that your neighbor might easily be a fellow tourist like yourself. First and foremost it’s the timing of your holiday. The most ideal timing for families is the end of May because the school holidays have started, the Old City is relatively busy during the day because of the tourists from cruisers but it is peaceful during the evening hours which is great because it allows you to dine quietly al fresco in one of many local restaurants with your family. The only drawback is that sea is still a bit chilly so swimming as option might be ruled out although the recent climate changes have warmed the sea quicker than before.
In my opinion early September is the best time to enjoy the Old City as there are less crowds in the city, there is plenty of sun, sea is excellent for swimming. Needless to say that price wise you can get a better deal. Couple of things to consider when booking your accommodation. The Old City is pedestrianized zone. There are two main entrance gates: The Pile Gate and The Ploce Gate. In 90% of the cases is that you will end up at the Pile Gate which is also considered to be the main entrance. Make sure your luggage suitcase has wheels. In my opinion any accommodation booked as you enter the main street Stradun and you go in the first and second street on the left around caffe bar Festival will suit you perfect, in other words beginning of Prijeko Street as you enter Stradun. Also anything north of Ulica od Puča my favourite corner being around St Rocco church, this is where you will find the best pizza in the town in pizzeria Mea Culpa. If you prefer lively yet placid atmosphere then I suggest anything around Bunićeva Poljana. For your sunbathing and swimming I suggest Lokrum, 15 minutes ride by boat from the Old City port. You can read my blog on the island. Enjoy!!!
The author of this article is Srđ Portolan, a founding member of Intercon Group of Companies, a board director at Spes Real Estate and Dubrovnik Luxury Travel.
Srđ Portolan has been in the foreground of Dubrovnik newest era of its tourism prosperity since 1995 and Srđ has talked about Intercon travel agency humble beginnings on numerous occasions in the aftermath of the 1991-1995 war conflict. Srđ Portolan openly admits that he was learning the ropes of the trade as he went along and Srdj Portolan is a firm believer of the philosophy that a human being is learning all the time and that in this process of life cycle one is bound to make mistakes and regrettable decisions. Perhaps Srdj Portolan view of Dubrovnik as top destination is a biased one. But then again I would not blame him as he grew up in the part of Dubrovnik overlooking the Old City and the island of Lokrum which are great inspirations for any native of Dubrovnik. Srđ Portolan evokes the time when August 25 would mark the end not only of Dubrovnik Summer Festival but would also bring the ring of the school bell closer to home. Srdj adds that this would shorten the time spent on his favourite St Jacobs beach where he and his mates spent days on end playing two of their classy games: card game “tresheta” and the water sports game called “picigin”. Srđ Portolan believes that tourists can learn a lot about Croatian cultural legacy by visiting Dubrovnik and in particular Dubrovnik Old city. Srđ Portolan, has been an award winning manager on a number of times ( according to Croatian Institute of Business intelligence and poslovni.hr ). Srđ is right in his statement that a simple game of picigin which consists of keeping the small palmed size plastic ball up in the air the longer the better as one displays acrobatic skills of a ball saviour while the players’ feet are deeply buried in shallows of the sea water, is on the par with the top team building exercises that ever it were. Portolan adds the aim is to do your up most best for the people in your circle. One should even argue that the game of picigin resembles to Google +, the only photos you were sharing with your picigin circle friends were that of famous football players once the World Cup was in the headlines. What is more, the architectural beauty of the Old City was born out from the philosophy of common good and freedom in all its forms and shapes. The freedom of movement was well respected during the years of Dubrovnik republic and although Bing search engine may have come handy to find the services of such and such merchant at the end everyone knew their place as far as business and social connotation and etiquette was concerned. The last two survived the modern age as you do not need facebook, twitter to find your friend sipping his favorite coffee in the coffee shop where he has been surrounded by his inner circle of friends. Srdj Portolan remembers Dubrovnik Old City bloggers who were back in the mid-eighties strolling Stradun and literally shouting resourceful information about happenings at the time. The late Tomo Separevic was true Dubrovnik’s “origino” which translates as someone with bundles of personality. Despite the fact that he was shouting the news about the current political situation ( political blogging ) he observed the golden etiquette rule of Stradun walking. You never run on Stradun and you never shout after someone. It is not by chance that Srđ Portolan having visited so many destinations recalls the old Dubrovnik adage:
“Go everywhere but always come home !”