How to become a Dubrovnik local when staying at your Dubrovnik villa
by Croatia Gems, 12th January 2024
With Dubrovnik it’s always about the culture – Culture is a very wide term and sometimes it’s hard to identify every aspect of it but follow these steps when on holiday at your Dubrovnik villa, and by the end of this article you will start thinking like a Dubrovnik local too.
NEVER say “ No”
Especially at the dinner table. Trust me on this one – if you, by any chance say ‘no thankyou’, you will be ignored by a Dubrovnik local. There is no way that you could ever have enough food on your plate or enough wine in your glass. You don’t like it? Keep eating it -you will love it (or they will annoy you until you do..).
If you see someone famous, pretend like you didn’t
Dubrovnik locals aren’t phased by celebrities, and it’s always been like that. They see too many of them… Maybe that’s the reason why celebrities like Beyonce, Michael Douglas, Catharine Zeta Jones, Kurt Russell, Richard Gere, Nick Nolte, Tom Cruise, Sir Roger Moore, Tina Turner or tycoons like Roman Abramovich or Bernie Ecclestone love Dubrovnik so much? We’ll never know (because we didn’t even notice they were here…)
Take it slow
Food, wine, life. Especially after lunch (during fjaka time). Leave your stress back home and take a minute to just breathe and live in the moment. Stuck in a traffic jam? Think before you honk. Locals are used to heavy traffic during the season, and they won’t like it when you honk. Stuck in the line at the bank or supermarket? Rudeness will not be tolerated. Shut up and wait like everyone else does. After all, you are on vacation, and if it’s summer – Dubrovnik locals are probably not!
Coffee is more important than you think
According to a recent survey, Croatians drink 22,500 tons of coffee annually and spend 22.5 million hours a year having coffee? That’s a lot, and if you’re a Dubrovnik local, you are not an exception. Not for Croatians, the Costa’s and the Starbucks’! Croatians like individual coffee shops that take coffee seriously.
“Let’s have a coffee” stands for many things. It’s a way of socialising, talking about other people, conducting a business or having a date. But how to drink coffee properly? The most important thing is to sip it slowly. When we say slow, we mean it – having just one cup of coffee in a café can last more than three hours.
It doesn’t mean you need to dress up every time you walk out from your hotel, but trust me people will like you more if you put on a nice shirt and make an effort. Do wear proper clothes when you walk around the old city It’s not a beach, and a Dubrovnik local will think it’s just disrespectful walking around half-naked. And please don’t wear white socks with sandals – it’s absolutely horrific!
Dubrovnik is so much more than Game of Thrones – act accordingly
We know you’re obsessed with the show (most are) but there’s absolutely no need for you to keep calling the city ‘King’s Landing’. There’s definitely no king, and Dubrovnik was here long before the show came along. We’ll do our best when you arrive, but maybe it’s a good idea to sit down and learn a thing or two about Dubrovnik before you come.
You will drink a lot – at least one family member makes his own wine or grappa
Most of the people here don’t drink to get drunk. Drinking is part of living in Dalmatia and that’s key for being a Dubrovnik local, so if you find yourself here, the best way to blend with locals is to observe and imitate their drinking habits. If you pay attention, you will notice that they don’t often mix liquor, they drink a lot of water with alcohol beverages and most importantly they drink it very slowly. You should know your limits, so don’t act with bravado. Most children have their first glass of wine when they were 12 at their parents’ family table. This might sound strange if you are an American, but you should understand that drinking is a part of culture here.
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