Dubrovnik's Old City
Dubrovnik Travel Blog› entry 3 of 8 › view all entries
Arriving in Dubrovnik: We arrived at the port of Dubrovnik about a mile or two down the coast from the Old City. The cabs were lined up to take us to the Old City for about 10 euros, if my memory is correct. Of course the cruise ship had pre-arranged buses but they are always more expensive than just taking a cab, even if you're only looking for the straight transfer to town (i.e., no tour included). So we hopped into our Mercedes cab, showed our passports on the way out of the port's security zone and we were on our way to the Old City.
Dubrovnik's Old City is an amazing walled city that is very well fortified on all sides. It's everything that a westerner would expect an old walled European city to look like.
Gil's: We stumbled upon a restaurant named Gil's that is built into the inside of the city wall near the city's old port. We didn't really look at the pricing or the menu, we just asked to be seated because the place looked like fun. Each of the tables in the indoor portion of the restaurant had a bonsai tree on it as a decoration, which was a very nice touch. The windows in the indoor portion restaurant appear to be the old cannon portals carved into the city's stone walls, and the outdoor portion of the restaurant lies in the courtyard area with a iron gate to the water and a stairway to the top of the city's wall.
The food at Gil's was incredible. The menu, the ambience, the complimentary appetivers from the chef, all made dining at Gil's much more like NYC dining rather than what we'd come to expect in Europe. The service was amazing. We had a waiter and two assistant waiters, who were all very attentive. We spent over $100 per person on lunch, but it was well worth it.
Note: The Croatians have their own currency, but we got away with using euros for the day.
History: Dubrovnik's was founded in the 7th century under the Byzantine Empire. Its prosperity has always been tied to the sea. As with Venice, its connection with other societies has been its maritime trade.
For its time, Dubrovnik provided a surprising number of services to its inhabitants, including: medical care, the first pharmacy (opened 1317), a home for the elderly (opened 1347), the first quarantine for new arrivals to the city (opened 1377; named "quarantine" because the arrivals stayed at the hospital for 40 days), an orphanage, and running water.