Is Dubrovnik packed in the height of summer, yes. Is the city fighting with problems of overcrowding and a breakdown of infrastructure in the main tourist season, again yes. Is this Adriatic gem a unique world city, third time lucky, yes. Is Dubrovnik a cheap destination? If you have just answered yes then you would disagree with the latest promotion by an international publication which lists Dubrovnik as one of the fourth cheapest destinations in Europe.
Millions pound the stone streets of Dubrovnik every year
“Europe is a bucket-list chart topper, to say the least. The romance, the food, the adventure, the culture - it's all simply intoxicating. Unfortunately for those of us ballin’ on a budget, visiting may seem like little more than a dream. What’s unfortunate that you’re missing out on a trip that may be way more accessible than you could have imagined. Check out our breakdown of the cheapest airports to fly in/out of, and the most affordable places to crash - then put some of that paid time off to good use,” opens the article entitled “4 Cheap European Destinations To Visit This Summer” on the popular website The Discoverer.
Along with the cruise ship situation one of the most debated topics in the city’s tourism industry is the pricing structure, or more precisely the lack of a pricing structure. In many ways Dubrovnik and Croatia in general have been caught in the perfect storm. As more established tourist countries have been fighting their own battles and bad publicity Croatia has been sailing on much calmer waters. Turkey has had political unrest, many countries in North Africa have seen terrorist attacks, Greece is still recovering from economic turmoil and Spain and Portugal are in need of reinvention, in all of this Croatia has been flying under the radar. And Dubrovnik in particular, the Pearl of the Adriatic, has been basking in the spotlight, or rather limelight, of international film productions. The demand has been constantly rising, far outweighing the supply for hotel rooms overlooking the Adriatic. Almost every hotel in the city and wider region is working at 90 to 100 percent of capacity for six months of the year.
And this “perfect storm” has led to unprecedented interest in the city. Dubrovnik is often described as a victim of its own success, however a victim of bad organisation and planning would be closer to the truth.
Prices of accommodation range hugely, excursion prices, restaurant prices and even the price of a ball of ice-cream can have a 100 percent swing. From 39 Kunas in a popular Konavle restaurant to 5 Kunas in a beach bar in Mlini, the price of a ball of ice-cream shows the wide price fluctuations throughout Dubrovnik. If you wish to sip your cappuccino on the Stradun in the centre of the Old City then expect to pay twice as much as the same coffee would cost you away from the historic core. It’s not rocket science.
Prices can vary hugely from shop to shop and city to city
Clearly one man’s Monaco is another man’s Manchester and for the folk at the America website The Discoverer Dubrovnik is very affordable. “We’re all suckers for a city by the sea, and Dubrovnik’s weather-worn walls seem as if they’ve spent their whole lives patiently waiting to give you the experience of your dreams. Share in the stories of hundreds of years of lovers and adventurers that have walked the bright white limestone streets before you. This hotspot tourist destination goes wild in the summer, especially for the cruise crowd. Tourist prices can get a little high, but if you search for lodging outside the Old City, prices drop drastically,” writes the website.
The three other destinations on the list are Berlin, Prague and Brussels.