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From Dubrovnik to Zagreb (via Split)

If you visit Croatia, there is a way to go across the country, from south to north (or the other way around), in less than two weeks and visiting its three most interesting cities:

Dubrovnik (south), Zagreb (north) y Split (in the middle).

Dubrovnik

To get downtown from the airport, take a taxi (30-40€) or the buses from ATLAS company which drive regularly through the 20 km. from the airport to the city centre.

In the old town, do not miss the wall, the Franciscan Monastery with a pharmacy from 14th century, Lovrijencac Fountaine, Onofrio Fountain or Luza Square, and its surroundings. If you need more information or maps, the nearest Tourism Office is on Brsalje Street.

From the city, go and visit the Korcula island, the National Park of Mjle island or the Elafit islansi. The city of Ston and its Chinese wall or the medieval city Cavtat are other destinations near Dubrovnik. You can get to all these islands and cities by ferries or bus.

To get to the next destination, Split, there are buses mostly every hour, doing 223km. between both cities.

Split

Walking around the old town or the Palace of Diocletian, UNESCO heritage, is the first thing you should do when you arrive to the city. After the palace, take a walk in the seafront by the Adriatic sea. From Split you can visit Brac islands, Hvar or Vis, accesible by ferry, sailboat or fast boats.

Roman ruins from old Salona (Solin nowadays) are only 10 km. away from Split and are one of the most important archaeological sites in the country. Trogir, 28 km north, is also UNESCO heritage. To get there, there are buses and boats from the seafront. Finally, by the end of Cetina river, you can find a pinturesque village, Omis, 24 km. south and connected by bus to the city.

Before the final destination, Zagreb, Sibenik is 88 km. away and you can get there by bus or train. Do not miss its streets and the Santiago Cathedral, a UNESCO heritage. The Plitvice National Park is also near and the most known in Croatia. 16 lakes connected by waterfalls, you can sped from 3 to 8 hors walking around the spot. In the park there are hotels and two camping areas. It’s convenient to book previously.

Zagreb

Just arrived to Zagreb, a city with more than 40 museums, including Broken relationships Museum, Mimara Museumor Naif Art Museum.

“Uptown” you can visit Ban Josip Jelacic Square, Dolac Market, Katarina square or the J.J. Strossmayer Avenue.”Downtown” there are squares dedicated to Nikola Subic Zrinski, to the king Tomislav, or to Mariscal Tito. Finally, in the city centre, there are Contemporary Art Museum, el Bundek park, Jarun lake, Mirogoj cementery or Maksimir Park.

To get to Zagreb airport, 17 km. from the city centre, take the bus for 4,10€ or taxi for 30-40€.

Photos by Stewart Morris, Elena and Delaina Haslam. Thanks to the Croatian Tourism Office for the information.

A place well worth discovering! Check out our flights here.

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Eating Out Outside Dubrovnik's City Walls

Here are the best restaurants outside the city’s historic centre. Bon appétit!

Rajski Vrt

This terrace café, located on the marvellous island of Lokrum, with views over a romantic garden and the sea in the background, rests on the wall of a semi-abandoned monastery. The food served here is more suited to recovering from a swim or a walk in the nearby botanic gardens than to culinary pleasure. They offer salads, pizza, hamburgers, pasta, risotto, meat and fish. Pizzas here are large, with a fine crust and delicious (about 10 euros), as are the hearty helpings of grilled, sausage-shaped minced meat –cevapcici– served with excellent chips and a pepper and onion sauce. Watch out for their lemonade, made with real lemons; it is so sour it will make your tongue sweat instantly. This establishment is open from 1 May until mid-October. Average price: 20-25 euros.

Pantarul

Located in the area of Lapad, just over half an hour’s walk from the historic centre of Dubrovnik. This is a very casual restaurant with relaxing background music. One of the owners is the blogger Ana-Marija Bujic, who conquers the national and international public both at her eatery and on the net. They offer traditional Croatian recipes with a modern twist and high-quality, fresh, seasonal products. Tripadvisor gives them full marks. Only one year after opening, it has become one of the city’s trendiest restaurants. In addition to the menu, that changes seasonally, they promote new options such as sharing dishes, which they are trying to implement in the city.

We can recommend the marvellous, delicate and subtle tuna tartar, the very fresh monkfish tempura with green garlic sauce – made with peas – and the traditional and potent mutton with garlic and soparnik – Swiss chard pie with onion and garlic – and aromatic herbs. Average prices, including drinks, are about 30 euros. This is one of the few restaurants in Dubrovnik that opens all year around, closing only for 3 weeks in January. Their opening times are 12 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 10.30 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday. Monday closed.

Konavoski Dvori

This restaurant is located in an idyllic setting in Konavle, a 15-minute drive south of the airport – Dubrovnik being 20 kilometres north of it. The vineyards in this valley, running parallel to the seafront, are the prelude to a landscape of small river waterfalls, canals, forest paths and watermills, one of which is located next to the 16th-century restaurant, still used to grind corn. Konavoski Dvori gives its name to both this beautiful park and the restaurant.

What is served here? Well, traditional Croatian food. Note for Spanish speakers: the menu is also in Spanish. A must-have is the mutton and beef roasted in an iron “hood” and served with potatoes grilled at almost 200 degrees – a typical Dalmatian dish. We also recommend their frog’s legs and river-eel stew –Neretva– and strokli, a kind of baked cheese and cream lasagne, a Slavonian dish. Waiters wear the traditional costume.

Lero Hotel

An interesting and affordable accommodation option in Dubrovnik. Lero Hotel is a 20-minute walk from the historical centre. It is modern – but not fancy – and very comfortable, with all sorts of amenities such as a swimming pool, a wellness area and a Wi-Fi connection. Many of their rooms have a sea view. Great continental breakfast.

Now you have a complete view of Dubrovnik’s cuisine. Don’t forget to read the first part, about the best restaurants within the city walls. Come and enjoy it! Check out our flights here.

Text and images by Gastronomistas

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Eating Out Within Dubrovnik's City Walls – Part I

Dubrovnik's cuisine may go unnoticed, with all the unbeatable charms of this walled city and its surroundings to compete against. These include the relaxing and beautiful island of Lokrum, or the idyllic, forested wine area of Konavle, some 40 minutes south of the city. But many restaurants here go far beyond standard fast food or burgers and offer high-quality Mediterranean food, and often generous portions at tourist-friendly prices. The following are the eateries we have tried out for you.

Tinel

Tiny bar in Antuninska Street. Its terrace has a few tables, but is mainly spread out on a street staircase – a common phenomenon in Dubrovnik cafés. People have their coffee while passers-by walk up or down the steps beside them. This bar is frequented by locals and artists attending the Summer Festival.

Skola

Another small and popular establishment, also located in Antuninska Street. Their Dalmatian ham sandwich, Prsut Sir, is the local's favourite – with salty, smoked ham, cheese and lettuce – and has been served here for the last 50 years. Their delicious homemade white bread is served warm, freshly-baked. Salads, sardines and combined dishes are also on the menu.

Proto

First opened in 1886, Protois an institution in the city, with Dubrovnik’s best cooks having learnt their skills here. This calm, majestic terrace located one storey above the street’s bustle has seen the likes of Tom Cruise, Roger Moore, the Game of Thrones stars, Prince Edward and Wallis Simpson. The chef, Bosko Lonac, is in favour of top quality food without too much fuss. His star dishes are fish with salt and egg yolk, drizzled with oil and lemon juice – that melts in your mouth – or cod risotto, where the ingredients aren’t mixed together, but presented separately on the dish; a shrimp and truffle “salad” of extremely high quality and a very interesting octopus ragù, with polenta soaked in cuttlefish ink. For dessert, we recommend rozata, a pudding with a subtle rose liqueur note.

Kopun

A restaurant with history. Its terrace is surrounded by emblematic buildings, such as the only Baroque church in the city – St Ignatius – a seminary, and a Greek and Latin school. History is also present in their cuisine, featuring traditional Croatian dishes, including capon, eaten since the 16th century (Kopun means capon in Croatian). This versatile delicacy can be found in soups, salads, mixed in a mushroom sauce, oven-baked (for six to eight people), and Dubrovnik style – with figs, carrots and gnocchi – a recipe that is featured in the cookbook of Game of Thrones.

Other dishes worth trying are fuzi (macaroni) with prawns and truffles ­– an Istrian specialty – topped with a langoustine, Slavonian cold meat, lightly smoked and quite spicy, and brodet, a type of fish and seafood stew with polenta and pungent tomato sauce.

Only Croatian wines are served here. We recommend the fresh Malvasija Tezoro white and the powerful Pometred, both from the Konavle wine area. And last, but not least, they are kind enough to provide blankets for the diners.

It opens every day from March to October from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Their daily menu costs 10 euros including a fish, meat or vegetarian main course and dessert, drinks excluded. If you opt to dine à la carte, the average price is 25 to 30 euros, without drinks.

Lero Hotel

When travelling to Dubrovnik, we recommend spending the night here. It’s not too pricey and is a 20-minute walk from the historical centre. Modern and very comfy, albeit lacking any frills, this hotel has several rooms with a sea view and amenities such as a swimming pool, a wellness area and a Wi-Fi connection.

After giving you some tips on Dubrovnik’s best spots to dine in, coming soon is an issue of My Vueling City devoted to the cuisine outside the city walls. Come and experience this marvellous city with us! Check out our flights here.

Text and images by Grastronomistas

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In the land of Game of Thrones

The producers of “Game of Thrones” fell in love with the beautiful Dubrovnik and ir was the chosen city to shoot scenes of King’s Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms. It is a many centuries-old city with  its peculiar  streets so well preserved, recreated to perfection -with the help of added digital tricks-  the setting that the author of the series, George RR Martin had imagined. the one for a medieval, walled city, high on a hill and surrounded by sea. In addition, like King’s Landing, Dubrovnik grew as a defensive city, among the stones of Dubrovnik Walls that protected from the sieges.

If Dubrovnik was in itself a town of great tourist interest, now it has become a touchstone for fans of the series and to explore the different locations is now a funny way to know the city. Want to know which are the Game of Thrones’s shooting keypoints in Dubrovnik? Want to feel like a king or queen Lanninster touring his domain? Pay attention!

1.- Fort Lovrijenac

Also called Fort San Lorenzo, dating from the eleventh century and is outside the historical district and is one of Dubrovnik’s symbols. Main stage for the most important scenes of the series, as the Battle of the Blackwater between Stannis’s fleet against Tyrion and the Lannister  that marks the end of Games of Throne’s second season.

2.- The Minceta and Bokar towers

The Minceta Tower is the highest point of Dubrovnik’s city walls and one of the most famous defensive structures. Bokar Fortress was the place where Tyrion and Lord Varys planned the defense of King’s Landing in the second season.

3.- Rectors’s Palace

This former medieval fortress and headquarters of the former Republic of Ragusa, has had to be rebuilt several times over the years. It is part of Quarth’s kingdom in the serie’s second season. A curiosity: it is said that the clock on the palace’s wall stands at 17:45, the exact time that the Republic of Ragusa surrendered to Napoleon according to legend.

 4.- Trsteno Arboretum

Trsteno Arboretum, one of the oldest gardens in Croatia, served to set the palace’s exotic gardens of King’s Landing with its historic parks and a large collection of Mediterranean and exotic plant species. A walk in Trsteno Arboretum take us back to the past, so it is not surprising that was chosen as one of the main sites.

5.- Svetog Dominika

Little props were needed to convert the cobbled street that borders the fourteenth century’s Dominican Convent into one of the Seven Kingdoms’s capital’s main streets.

6.- Lokrum’s  Island

You can reach the island of Lokrum in just ten minutes from the port of Dubrovnik by ferry. Here we find the Benedictine monastery that was converted into a palace Qarth during the second season of Game of Thrones. Visit the botanical garden of eucalyptus, cactus and succulents, the remains of a basilica, the monastery with a cloister garden and Maximilian of Hapsburg’s summer residence.

7.- Sponza Palace

It was built in the early sixteenth century and it was one of the few buildings that survived the 1667′s earthquake. Today it is one of Dubrovnik’s most important cultural centers, which you can find the Dubrovnik archive with more than 100,000 documents covering from the twelfth century to the demise of the Republic of Ragusa..

Picture by gari.baldi 

Why not take a trip to Dubrovnik? Have a look at our flights here!

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