Main Tourist Activity
The UNESCO protected walled city of Dubrovnik is very small. The population has dropped from roughly 5000 in 2004 to a mere 1000 residents in Stari Grad (Old City) in 2010. The main tourist activity and attraction in Dubrovnik is to walk the City Walls. Walking the city walls is typically a 1 to 2 hour activity, hardly enough to fill a day. However, when there are cruise ships visiting, which is most of the time- every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday April through November and daily June through August- Old City’s streets and surrounding city walls become congested and overrun with human traffic. Under these conditions, walking the City Walls, or even visiting Old City, is not a fun activity.
Cruise Ships in Dubrovnik
The larger cruise ships visiting Dubrovnik carry roughly 5000 people; one cruise ship therefore can increase the population of Old City by five times in a short period of time. Sometimes there are 7 or 8 ships in port at the same time. Old City Dubrovnik, a tiny city completely surrounded by walls with only 3 entrances, can hardly absorb the volume of tourists that cruise ships unload Despite local politicians annual promise to limit the number of ships and cruise ship visitors to Dubrovnik, the numbers increase each year.
What to do in Dubrovnik
There is not a lot to do. Old City is the UNESCO monument. Dubrovnik if not filled with interesting museums, restaurants, shops, or cultural events: the city itself is the monument. People run out of things to do quickly. A sea kayak tour, especially when Old City is overrun with cruise ship visitors is the perfect get away activity. The sea is warm, usually calm, and crystal-clear and Croatia’s coast is littered with over 1100 islands, of which only 67 are inhabited.
A sea kayak tour offers visitors a unique perspective of Old City. Kayaking in the Adriatic Sea around Dubrovnik’s City Walls you are not only able to avoid the masses clogging Old City’s streets, gated entrances, and primary tourist activity, but you also have a spectacular view of Dubrovnik from the sea. From your stop on Lokrum Island, the small island just a half kilometer from Old City, you can hike up to the French fort for a panoramic view the Dubrovnik, the sea, Cavtat to the south, and the Elafiti Islands to the north. See the “what to do during the day” section of a NY Times article on Dubrovnik.