Saturday, 24 August 2019

5 Family Friendly Tips for Visiting Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik has been on our list of places to visit for a while but it wasn't until this summer that we made it over to Croatia to discover all it has to offer.  Travelling to a city with four small children can be challenging and we definitely see a different side to places than couples or backpackers but I love seeing the new sights through their eyes and we found Dubrovnik was a brilliant city to take children too, especially with a bit of preparation!

The city is built along the coast and there are so many stairs so the obvious tip is to be prepared when it comes to transport.  We took a small stroller but it didn't make it through the holiday and annoyingly we forgot the sling so we had a few days with just our legs to get us around (and my arms for the smallest one when she got tired).  We made sure we added lots of rest stops and thankfully our children are all at the age where we can sit with a game of Uno and an apple juice when we needed to get out the sun or just take sometime out.

Everywhere we visited was child friendly, we always felt welcome and the absolutely stunning coastline and architecture was amazing to us all.  Here are my top 5 tips for visiting Dubrovnik with a whole gang of small children (or even just one or two)


Where you stay

For us, apartments are much easier than hotels and we love the opportunity to self cater.  We were away for nearly 2 weeks in total and eating out with them all can be tricky so we loved being able to make our own breakfast and grab a take away pizza when we needed a film night.  We booked through Booking.com and this was our three bedroom apartment.  It was only a few minutes walk from the centre of the old town and was right next to a playground and a pizza place (another tip if you visit Croatia as a vegetarian - stick to Pizza as they don't do meat free dishes in most places!).  There are so many wonderful districts a little further out that we would love to explore but our apartment was fantastic for being a central base with plenty of space. (If you do want to book this link gets you 10% back)



Day Trip

We had 5 days in the city which gave us plenty of time to see other things and we decided to go on a Three Island tour.  There were booths all over the town selling them and we paid roughly £100 for the day for the six of us (under 6 are usually free and children are discounted) which included our lunch and drinks for the day.  We sailed around the coast of Dubrovnik and discovered three small islands, all of which don't have any cars and are mostly just nature, two of which had the most beautiful sandy beaches.  We had between an hour and three hours at each one of free time and we ate lunch aboard the boat.  We loved the freedom to explore, the wonderfully clear waters and the fresh air on the boat and I would really recommend this with any age children - there were a couple of babies in prams on the boat too!




Playgrounds

For us, an important part of travelling with them is knowing when we need balance and sight seeing, culture and trips have to be balanced with familiarity, play and parks and we quickly located some local parks for when the children needed to run around and be kids.  There was a little one right next to our apartment and the one we visited most was right next to Pile Gate via a little pathway.  There was a fountain there as well as the usual swings and slides and it helped balance the day for us.  There was also a fun playground at the main port as well as an outdoor gym and we had a long play there before our day trip.



Water Fountains

Dubrovnik certainly isn't the cheapest place we have visited and drinks were very expensive in the main areas, but there were water fountains around the old town where you could fill up water bottles and the water was fresh and cold.  The fountains are impossible to miss and are wonderfully built in white stone with intricate carvings.  The kids loved filling them up themselves and it helped remind them to keep hydrated which we needed when the temperatures never dropped below thirty degrees.



Cable Car

There is a cable car that runs from the old town to the top of Mount Srd which gives you the most spectacular views of the city and surrounding islands and definitely shouldn't be missed.  You can walk up or down via a zigzag stony path and we decided to walk down (definitely don't bring a buggy for this) and whilst it was exhausting with little people, it was so worth it and one of the highlights of our trip.  At the top there is a cafe and gift shop as well as the opportunity to zipwire most of the way down which I would have totally tried if we didn't have all the children with us!



So those are our tips based on our recent trip to Dubrovnik.  We absolutely adored it as a city and I am desperate to go back and see the rest of the country as it is just so beautiful!



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