Expensive? Dubrovnik Finds Itself on Cheapest European Destination List

Lauren Simmonds

The Pearl of the Adriatic finds itself on a list not many would expect it to be on…

The old ”Dubrovnik is so expensive” line is still heard and spoken by many a tourist, but is it really true?

Having lived between Dubrovnik and Zagreb for several years now, I can not only say that that old statement isn’t entirely true, at least not in such a black and white sense, but that there are places to be found in Croatia’s southernmost city and top tourist destination which couldn’t be deemed expensive in any sense of the word. Granted, you won’t find said ”cheap” places in the heart of the UNESCO old city or smack bang in the middle of Stradun, but they’re there, hidden away down alleyways, up stairs, down stairs, and along the veritable mazes of old stone streets.

One thing that can be safely said about Dubrovnik is that it is a city of rather striking contrasts which don’t tend to make themselves known at first sight, or even at second or third sight. After you’ve spent a considerable amount of time there, they’ll begin to hit you in the face (not literally, of course), a lot more obviously.

The fact of the matter is, if you want to sit in the very centre of Stradun and watch the world go by, at the very heart of one of the most beautiful streets in the world, inside the ancient medieval walls of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, not to mention one which doubles up as a top filming location – you’re going to have to pay for it. It’s common sense and this same ”philosophy” can be found in absolutely any town or city in the world which caters to tourists, it isn’t some issue specific to Dubrovnik, just look at Barcelona, Paris, London and Venice, the list goes on, and that’s just in Europe.

I would never try to justify some of the prices some bars and restaurants try to charge in Dubrovnik, and this shouldn’t be taken as any sort of defending, as many are bordering on criminal with the high prices they think are acceptable, and which truly are barely believable when you see them on the receipt, but, if you’re going to choose imported, heavily taxed Belgian Leffe over Ožujsko, Karlovačko, or even neighbouring Slovenia’s Laško as you take in the historical beauty of some of the best preserved medieval walls still standing in Europe today, you’re going to be paying over the odds. Again, this isn’t a problem specific to Dubrovnik.

If you’re willing to explore only a tiny bit deeper, venture a little bit further off from the very centre, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the price difference for that cold one you so desperately crave after a long day of baking in the sun and taking in the sights.

Luckily, it isn’t just those of us who live there making this claim and rolling their eyes when they hear the same old expensive line.

As Index writes on the 27th of March, 2018, although very many Croats and others consider Croatia’s tourist Mecca to be extortionate and often complain about receipts from cafes, bars, and restaurants in Dubrovnik on social media, it seems that the heavy complainers are missing something, as this very city has found itself on the list of the cheapest European destinations according to the City Costs Barometer of the Post Office portal.

Dubrovnik took twelfth place in a total of 36 European cities (Eastern, Western and Northern Europe) which the British public took into consideration. The list on which Dubrovnik was placed in the 12th position and ranked among the cheapest European destinations looks like this:

Cup of coffee – 12 kuna

Beer – 18 kuna

Meal for two persons (three course) and bottle of wine – 540 kuna

Return bus from airport to city centre – 97 kuna

48-hour ticket – 65 kuna

Three-star accommodation for two to two nights – 690 kuna

According to the Post Office’s calculations, an easy weekend in Dubrovnik would cost you around 1,900 kuna (including sightseeing and visiting a museum or a gallery).

For example, Palma de Mallorca, Berlin, Rome, Munich, Tallinn, Nice and Strasbourg have been listed as more expensive than Dubrovnik, while the cheaper options include Valletta, Lille, Lisbon, Athens, Prague, Moscow, Budapest, Warsaw, Riga, Vilnius, with the cheapest being Krakow, where a weekend in the popular Polish city (according to this calculation) would set you back by about 1,400 kuna, or the equivalent of that amount.

The Brits used the data of regional and national tourist offices and data on average accommodation costs by the Hotels.com page to create the list, and according to the Post Office, Croatia also found itself among the twelve cheapest tourist destinations too, more specifically at ninth place.

While an average Croatian wage can hardly be compared to an average British wage, Dubrovnik can hardly be compared to London, one of Europe’s most extortionate cities, either. Go beyond the obvious and you might just be surprised with how easy Dubrovnik can really be on the old wallet.


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