“Summer” and “goth” aren’t exactly an ideal combo. Black layers don’t usually make good warm weather clothes, and it’s hard to keep a pale complexion without them. But if you’re going to brave the heat, the best way to do it is near the water in a gorgeous, foreign country you’ve never visited before.
Croatia has been having a serious tourism boom in recent years, thanks in no small part to Game of Thrones. I’m not a fan of either the books or the show (gasp! I know!), but you definitely don’t need to be to enjoy visiting the country. Coastal cliffs paired with water so blue that it seems unreal and ancient architecture around every corner…the place is just plain beautiful!
Cafe Buza is mentioned in just about every Dubrovnik travel guide, and it’s for good reason. The drinks are nothing special, but where else can you sit cliffside with castle walls rising behind you? What’s nice about the bar area is that it’s open to the public, meaning you can hang out even if you don’t order something. I actually walked in with a drink from another bar and no one batted an eye.
There were a lot of interesting cemeteries in Croatia, but unfortunately I only had time to visit one. I’m not even sure what the name was – it’s a small cemetery between Bobovišća and Ložišća on Brač. While the cemetery itself was quaint with some lovely tombstones and memento mori, the view was it’s best feature.
Of course, the trip gave me a good excuse to stock up on some summertime goth goodies, like this pool float from Blackcraft Cult. And goth-inspired swimwear and beach accessories are getting easier to find these days (thankfully).
If you’re thinking of heading to Croatia, here are my tips:
- Bring water shoes. The beach shores are almost entirely made of rocks (there are very few “sandy” beaches in Croatia), and if you plan to go swimming in the waterfalls at Krka National Park (which I recommend), the lake bottom is nothing but slippery rocks. I didn’t have any water shoes, and I sure wish I had.
- Uber is present in the major cities, but not always super useful and not always cheaper than a traditional cab. I try to avoid using Uber when possible because of their questionable business practices and the fact that these types of sharing services undercut wages for service industry workers. However, sometimes in countries where you don’t speak the language, Uber makes getting around easier because you can simply put your destination into the app. If you’re going to use Uber in Split, be aware that drivers can’t pick you up anywhere; there are designated “pick up” spots in the city.
- Finally, don’t believe anyone that tells you Croatians are cold, unfriendly people. Multiple people told me this before the trip, and I found it to be completely untrue. Nearly everyone I met was warm, friendly and happy to help a lost and/or confused tourist.