Joachim Scherz, general manager of Viking Cruises’ Viking Star ship, shares the town’s best-kept secrets.
Where should I go to stretch my legs?
Head to the Walls of Dubrovnik in the Old Town, where you can combine a good walk with a bird’s-eye view of the city. It’s best to go early in the morning or early evening to avoid the midday sun. But if you’re after something more quiet and peaceful, visit Gradac Park, located just outside the Old Town.
Where can I get a decent coffee?
Croatia has a big café culture. If you want to drink like a local, Gradska Kavana Arsenal (Pred Dvorom 1; +385 20 32 12 02) is the place to be. It’s perfectly situated not far from the end of the main street, the Stradun, which seems like the world’s longest catwalk with all the beautiful people walking by.
What’s a great place for lunch?
Proto (Široka ul 1; +385 20 32 32 35) is a traditional restaurant serving one of the Dalmatian Coast’s seafood specialities, škampi na buzaru [shrimp in garlic, white wine and parsley]. Also try Restoran Kopun (Poljana Rudera Boškovića 7; +385 20 32 39 69), which brings centuries-old Croatian recipes to life and was recently awarded a Michelin plaque.
Where do you recommend going for a drink?
D’vino Wine Bar (Palmotićeva 4a; +385 20 32 11 30) is a lovely spot on a cobblestoned alleyway in the Old Town. Sit back and enjoy a glass or you could even do a wine-tasting. The friendly owner, Sasha, is from Australia. He is a great source of information on Croatian wines.
And for shopping?
Traditional embroidery is a Croatian custom so you can’t leave without buying hand-embroidered items from an old lady sitting on the stairs in the Old Town. If you’re looking for jewellery, head to one of the many stores and ask them to show you kolarin necklaces [a string of beads with a pendant]. Life According to Kawa (Hvarska 2; +385 20 69 69 58) stocks everything from ceramics to craft beer, jewellery and cosmetics; it’s the place to go for an authentic Croatian gift.