Jun 152010

Because I only spent one brief day in one city of Croatia, I won’t do my usual “Observations” post. Instead, just a few short notes that didn’t make it into either of the preceding entries…

First, Dubrovnik really is a tourist mecca. Virtually every home you see has a sign that advertises “apartment for rent” or “rooms available” or “sobe”; this is part of the reason I regretted choosing Ivan’s villa so quickly, as there were about a thousand other options I passed on my walk to and from the old city.

There are also loads and loads of tour buses and cruise ships and tour groups EVERYWHERE you go.

Anyone you ask will tell you that Dubrovnik is the place to see in Croatia, plain and simple. I guess such popularity doesn’t come without its price.

Still, considering that it’s a seafront resort which you’re probably visiting for its beautiful appearance and water activities, this isn’t as much of a problem as you might imagine – except for one thing. I recently wrote about how one of the best aspects of traveling is the opportunity to meet interesting and different people from all around the world. Well, in a place like Dubrovnik, the tourists are so overwhelming that it feels almost impossible to find a genuine local to befriend – as even the few you do encounter are so used to dealing with tourists that you can’t help but doubt the genuineness of the encounter. You feel like they’re probably just giving you the same lip service they gave the German before you, or the Italian after you.

Beautiful, yes. But I don’t think Dubrovnik is really a place to go and experience the “true” culture of Croatia.

  3 Responses to “Tourist Mecca”

  1. I agree, but I also think this holds true for most touristic Mediterranean destinations. Especially those in Greece that have had tourism for decades and decades already. Yet, I’ve been all these places and can confirm they are oodles of fun. You just have to accept the facts as they are. Meeting other fun tourists and knock yourselves out on the beach with a hollowed out watermelon with two bottles of vodka and four liters of mixer inside (and eighteen straws poking out on all sides), really is a blast. Sometimes pacing slow and stopping to smell the flowers is better than covering lots of ground in hyperspeed 😉

  2. True – and same thing with Morro de Sao Paolo, and I would assume with Koh Phangan too. But Dubrovnik isn’t really a place you go to party, it’s more of a place you go for beautiful Croatian culture – so it feels a bit more noticeable that what you’re experiencing isn’t really Croatian culture at all. It’s tourist culture. I think most people know that when they get on a boat to Koh Phangan, they aren’t out to experience “Real Thailand” 😉

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