Those of you who follow me over on Instagram will know that I recently returned from a week in Dubrovnik! It's my second time in Dubrovnik and my third in Croatia, so you can probably guess that I love the place...
Dubrovnik seems to have become a much more popular holiday destination since I first visited, and it has definitely got more expensive. However it's still not excessively tourist-y and the fact it isn't part of the Eurozone (yet) means it's far cheaper than most European city breaks. We stayed at the Hotel Dubrovnik Palace, which is really lovely! It has a relaxing, not-too-busy pool area, several places to get lunch and lots of extra facilities like a spa.
The hotel was just a 15 minute bus ride from the Old Town but also only around a 15 minute walk to the town of Lapad, where there are plenty of bars and restaurants. Our favourites were the Atlantic Kitchen, a randomly Southern US-themed restaurant that was very reasonably-priced and the Cave Bar, a really cool bar set inside a cave with an outdoor area where you could watch the sun set too. Also close to the hotel was one of the best-rated restaurants in Dubrovnik according to Trip Advisor - Pantarul, which is great for an authentic Croatian meal. Croatia is situated between the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe, and this is definitely reflected in its food. Being by the sea also means there's plenty of seafood, which is perfect for me as I'm a pescetarian!
As we did it last time, we didn't repeat the City Walls Tour in the punishing 100 degree heat! If you've never been to Dubrovnik though I really recommend it to learn a little about the history of the city as well as to see some amazing views. We did, however do a very fun Game of Thrones-themed tour around the Old Town, as much of the show is filmed on location in Croatia.
The Old Town has plenty of independent shops, interesting buildings and places to eat and drink. We re-visited a restaurant we went to three years ago on our first trip to Dubrovnik; Poklisar, which is by the harbour. Again, there's a lot of seafood available and they do the best ice cream!
I'm not the best at sea, however we did go on one boat trip to Lokrum, which is just 20 minutes off the harbour in Dubrovnik. It's a beautiful, relaxing place with a monastery and an amazing lagoon you can go for a swim in.
A quick bit of beauty and fashion, of course! These were some of my favourite products during the trip, which you can read about in my Summer Beauty Edit. I also loved my really comfy but cute snake-print sandals from ASOS, as well as these pleated shorts I found from years ago I think I originally got from Republic. They were the perfect length, a flattering shape and just went with everything. I also have to mention two gems I got from good old Primark: the £6 pom-pom trimmed cami top and the faux-leather fringed bag that was the perfect size to take out in the evening.
As silly as it sounds, going away for a whole week was a bit outside my comfort zone; I genuinely can't remember the last time I did! However I had such a lovely time I'm so glad I did, it has definitely been a highlight of my year so far. It was the perfect balance of relaxation and doing things (I do sometimes find it hard to fully switch off!) I'm already itching to go away again. I think I will go back to Croatia in a few years' time as I'd love to go around to a few different cities and islands.