Croatia was the fourth country on our Round the World trip. We liked it more than we expected and highly recommend it. In this blog, we will focus in Dubrovnik, Croatian city which in 1979 joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
There is a reason why Dubrovnik was chosen as one of the settings for King’s Landing, the capital city of the Seven Kingdoms in the Game of Throne series. Entering the old city of Dubrovnik is like stepping back in time. The old city is completely and perfectly enclosed in huge rock walls and bordered by the Adriatic Sea. It is a small walkable cosmos that you will absolutely love.
MUST DO things in Dubrovnik.
1- Explore the Old City
Enter the old city through the Ploče or Pile Gates and walk to the Stradun or Placa, which is the main street of the Old town. This is a wide pedestrian street which is the epicenter of all activity. First of all, notice the softness of the floor. This street was paved in 1468 but it has been gradually polished by the use, creating a smooth, shining, mirror-like surface that doesn’t look like stone but glass. Enjoy the architecture, seat down at one of the many restaurants or cafes and enjoy a drink or dinner while people watching. Get lost in the many narrow alleyways that blend together history and modernism.
2- Take a Game of Thrones Tour
If you are a die-hard fan of Game of Thrones like me, you will love walking through “King’s Landing”. The old city of Dubrovnik and the Lovrjenac Fortress (Red Keep) have been used as the location for many scenes of the HBO series. There are multiple companies offering 2.5-hour walking tours in which they show you where the scenes were filmed and compare the place to the actual photo of the original scene. They are really knowledgeable about all the details of the series and make the tour a lot of fun. You can even walk through the place where Cersei did her “Walk of Shame”. At the end of the tour, they take you to a GoT Fan Shop where you can take your picture in the Iron Throne.
3- Walk the City Walls
For a small fee, you can walk on top of the stone walls around the entire city. You will be able to see the red brick rooftops of all the buildings against the blue backdrop of the Adriatic Sea. If you want to make it even more special, do the walk during the sunset for an amazing view.
4- Go to Montenegro or Metgouyoure on a day trip.
We did the Montenegro tour and it was a really nice day trip. We traveled by bus through the Bay of Kotor and saw the Lady of Rocks Church floating on a small islet in the middle of the Bay. We visited the old city of Kotor, which is also a walled city, and had lunch in Budva a beach town with a great marina. On our way back our bus boarded a ferry ship that crossed the Kotor Bay and we were treated with the most beautiful landscape.
5- Take the Dubrovnik Cable Car and look at the Old City from above.
You have to do this! Very close to the old town, you can take a cable car that in just four minutes will take you to the top of Mount Srdj. Here you can enjoy the breathtaking view of Dubrovnik’s Old city against the Adriatic Sea, from one of its viewing platforms. Make sure you have time to get a table at the Panorama Restaurant. You can have a drink, dinner or just a coffee and dessert but treat yourself to some time seating in their outdoor tables overlooking the magnificent view!
6- Go to the beach
I was really impressed by the beauty of the beach in Dubrovnik. Banje beach is walking distance from the old city and it has crystal clear waters. There are also many small islands with amazing beaches that you can visit taking a ferry, catamaran or day excursions from Dubrovnik. Some of the more popular ones are the Elaphiti Islands (Koločep, Lopud and Šipan), Mljet, Korcula, and Hvar. On my next trip to Croatia, I will island hop from Dubrovnik to Split, which is another main coastal city worth visiting in Croatia. For ferry itineraries click here.
7- Enjoy the delicious Croatian food
Croatian cuisine has influence from Greek, Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. There are many alternatives to choose from and you will find simple eateries as well as fine dining restaurants. We went to Horizont Restaurant right outside of the old city, close to Ploče Gate and also visited Zuzori inside the walled city and both were really good. If you want fine dining with beautiful views of the Adriatic Sea, go to Nautika.
Dubrovnik is an amazing city worth including on your traveling bucket list. We very much enjoyed our time there and although I try not to repeat destinations, this is one place I would definitively go back to.
Is Croatia on your bucket list? Have you visited Dubrovnik and have ideas to share? Please leave your comments below.
DON’T WAIT, MAKE A PLAN, POSTPONE NOTHING.