The southern Croatian metropolis is planning a baggage drop-off system to cut back the noise of wheel-along suitcases.
I’m standing within the coronary heart of Dubrovnik in one in every of its many slender alleys the place honey-hued palaces give shade from the solar.
I ought to be admiring the ornate stone carvings of the Renaissance buildings and the simplicity of the tiny chapel on the finish of the road.
As a substitute, I’m crushed in opposition to the wall by a tour group shuffling previous whereas getting distracted by the garish window show of one in every of quite a few Sport of Thrones outlets.
The expertise of visiting Dubrovnik may be exhausting and anxious, and there’s a cause why.
The southern Croatian metropolis now ranks high on the listing of overtouristed locations, in keeping with findings by Statista.
So is it nonetheless value going? And how are you going to have a calming time in case your coronary heart is ready on the – admittedly beautiful – walled metropolis?
What’s it like to go to Dubrovnik?
The coastal metropolis of Dubrovnik crowns a rocky plateau that juts out into the Adriatic sea. Strong sixteenth century partitions encircle the Previous City, residence to architectural splendours just like the baroque St. Blaise Church and the gothic Rector’s Palace.
Get up at dawn, and you may stroll by the limestone paved streets imagining town below the Byzantines and Venetians, weathering wars and sieges, seemingly immortal.
Try and sightsee within the peak of summer season, nonetheless, and also you’ll discover these historic gems are overshadowed by the rampant, in-your-face tourism that now dominates town.
Strolling by the centre, you squeeze between restaurant tables which are taking on the streets whereas being bombarded by the calls of waiters and memento distributors.
Cheesy Sport of Thrones merchandise (Dubrovnik was a key filming location for season 2) mars store home windows and branded t-shirts and caps dangle masking the historic partitions making some areas look like a shopping center.
After a day battling the throngs of vacationers, I vow to return within the depths of winter and beat a hasty retreat.
Dubrovnik is Europe’s most overtouristed metropolis
Utilizing knowledge from 2019, Statista discovered that Dubrovnik was probably the most touristed metropolis in Europe, above each Venice and Barcelona.
Town has a inhabitants of simply over 41,000 and welcomed nearly 1.5 million vacationers in 2019. That’s round 36 vacationers per resident.
The detrimental results of those numbers are clear to see. Dubrovnik suffers from site visitors jams as tour buses park up exterior the Previous City partitions; the extreme customer numbers imply harm to infrastructure; and native residents are being priced out.
In 2017, UNESCO suggested town to confess not more than 8,000 guests into the historic metropolis at a time. Authorities put in surveillance cameras and a counting system, however didn’t restrict numbers.
Just lately, nonetheless, Dubrovnik’s mayor introduced plans to handle the adverse impression of over-tourism.
One proposal is to require vacationers to hold wheel-along suitcases to cut back noise disruption. Vacationers who don’t raise up their instances will face a €265 fantastic.
From November, town plans to develop a baggage drop-off system on the entrance to the historic centre. Guests will then pay to have their suitcases delivered to their lodging in quiet electrical autos.
Authorities have additionally determined to impose a noise stage restrict within the streets of the previous city.
Throughout night hours, road musicians, bars and eating places is not going to be allowed to make noise above 55 decibels.
escape the crowds in Dubrovnik
If you’re visiting Dubrovnik this summer season, there are many methods to see a calmer facet of town.
Within the historic centre, if you end up on the principle Stradun highway that bisects town, stand together with your again to Ploče Gate and head left as an alternative of proper.
This takes you to a comparatively quieter space of city the place you may even see some native facilities like grocery outlets and wine distributors.
Stroll up plenty of steps, proper the best way to the partitions, and also you’ll come throughout Woman Pi-Pi, an off-the-cuff eatery that appears like a personal backyard.
The greens come recent from the close by Konavle valley and dishes are primarily grilled meat and fish from the outside stone fire. The perfect half is not any teams are allowed.
The foolproof approach to keep away from the crowds, nonetheless, is to comply with the locals out of the Previous City.
Gruž, to the northwest of the walled centre, is an up-and-coming different neighbourhood the place you’ll discover outside cinema screenings, classic markets, harbour-side bars and vegan eating places.
Additional alongside the coast, Trsteno Arboretum is a tranquil backyard to whereas away a day, with a sheltered spot to swim under. And it’s effectively value a ship journey to Mljet – the place yow will discover an island inside an island, residence to an previous Benedictine monastery.