Ivan Vukovic – Death To Dubrovnik’s Overpriced Coffee, Long Live The Local Experience

Total Croatia News

Ivan Vukovic
Ivan Vukovic

Ivan Vukovic

August 29, 2020 – In a time when Dubrovnik is usually crawling with tourists, it is tourist guide Ivan Vukovic who thinks that the city needs to be free of the hundreds of tourist groups that stay in the city just for a couple of hours. The movie tours, local insight, and the cross-section of the past with the present – meet Dubrovnik’s beloved tourist guide.


Ivan gives tourists a different perspective of the Pearl of the Adriatic. As a traveller himself, he noticed how a lot of destinations offer film tours. And people love it. Besides, as he states, film and series are a medium that does good to the local economy, and it is easy to create marketing from this. Since he started to representing Dubrovnik in a different way back in 2012, this brought him a lot of attention from TV companies and foreign journalists, so through them, he got a lot of marketing, connections, and references. The Austrian national ORF, German RTL Taff, The Times, Telegraph, Zeit, The Economist, Forbes, are just a few big names that featured his work.

“2012 turned my life upside down because this business started. My life was like a spin cycle on a washing machine,” says Ivan, for whom this coronavirus-year is now like a little break.


Many people wanted to discover Dubrovnik through the Game of Thrones stories, but Ivan had to reduce the number of people to 10 per group, in order to give them a quality tour. “Nobody will enjoy the tour when there is a terrible crowd, combined with hot and sweaty weather. This is why it’s best to visit Dubrovnik during the winter.”


But besides the places where Star Wars: The Last Jedi was filmed, Ivan gives people a local experience. “I inserted a wanna be Croatian tour to give guests a sense of the city. I introduce them to the locals on the tour and gave them a cross-section of the past with the present,” says Ivan, who always picks a different local person to introduce to tourists.

Those stories include statements that rakija cures everything, that propuh is the silent killer, but coffee in a slow, Dalmatian way is a must. Usually sitting on the stairs with a cigarette between their fingers, elderly locals tell tourists that it was way better before. They say that life inside of the walls with so many apartments is unbearable, even though each of those locals has two apartments themselves.

“With all the overtourism, there were a lot of people selling themselves as a local experience which was not true so I want to somehow correct that with these ideas.”, says Ivan. “The tourists appreciate it and it isn’t a tourist trap because they get local tips along the way.”

As the one with many experiences, a knowledge of history, and years of giving people the very best of Dubrovnik, it is safe to say that Ivan is among the people who know this city best. That’s why he keeps saying that Dubrovnik is not just the walls around it. “The city is beautiful outside the walls, too. A path to the church on Orsula, a walk on Petka hill, or simply a walk on Kono which still has that Dubrovnik charm of garden architecture. And every corner carries its own story – a historical one or one from childhood.”

Dubrovnik is breathtaking, but it certainly isn’t a city to visit for just one day. “This city has that wow effect, those old Dubrovnik captains who sit on the stairs in the shade, drink coffee for hours, read the newspapers and never like the weather forecast. It still has that local verse. Not all is lost,” says Ivan, who would prefer this town without so many cruisers.  

After months of giving himself to tourists, it’s time to pack his things and return to his beloved Africa. “It has somehow become my second home. The African bustle is life, emotion, and survival,” says Ivan, who worked as a humanitarian aid after the ex-Yu conflict with children from Bosnia and Croatia. His mother, who is a teacher, conveyed love to him to help those in need.