Historical beauty comes with a price. This is so true when it comes to the city walls of Dubrovnik. The latest announcement made by the management of the city walls was not met by much sympathy as it concerns the entrance fee, which in 2019 will go up from 150 to 200 kunas. Some people were shocked, others said that it ought to be even more. Is this price justifiable? The main reason for the higher entrance fee is to have the number of daily visitors to the city walls reduced to more reasonable figures.
This is certainly in line with the issues of overtourism and the sometimes overwhelming number of people who flood the streets of the old town. But is it justifiable? Let's look back to 2007 and 2008, so just ten years ago, when the entrance fee for the walls was just 50 kunas. Good times, right? Well, as the number of visitors grew steadily, so did the admission fee. In 2011 and 2012 it was 70 kunas per person, then it jumpd to 90 in 2013 to eventually settle at a round 100 kunas in 2014 and 2015. The numbers kept rocketing and as always, the market dictates the price - if there's constant demand, why not raise the prices again? And so they did. For the past two years the price was 150 kunas.
Let's look at the statistics for a moment. A shocking 221.000 tickets were sold in July of this year, a 7% increase compared to 2017. And that's just in one month. The record was broken in September when the city walls received their one millionth visitor. At that point, the city walls officials said that they expected between 1,200.000 and 1,300.000 visitors by the end of the year. Let's get back to those July numbers. 221.000 tickets in just 30 days. On average, that's more than 7.000 people per day.
This raise of prices is a bold move. There's already a considerable amount of visitors who complained about the price of 150 kunas. The city walls are not to be missed when visiting Dubrovnik, but it seems that other European attractions cost considerably less - the entrance fee for the Colloseum in Rome is 12 Euros, the Doge's palace in Venice 20 Euros. Will these 200 kunas or 27 Euros deter the visitors in future or will the city walls be the one thing you'll always pay for, no matter the entrance fee remains to be seen.