Dubrovnik is probably the first place you think of when you hear Croatia. It’s become one of the most popular destinations on the Mediterranean Sea and in Croatia in recent years. Honestly it’s pretty easy to see why, the old town, an Unesco World Heritage site, has a beautiful and unique old world charm. And for all those Game of Thrones fans out there, it is the filming location for Kings Landing in the show
Last summer Rob and I has a blast exploring the old city and enjoying that Mediterranean sunshine.
To be clear, Dubrovnik is way more than just the old town. There is a thriving modern city outside of those walls. But this guide will be focused on the old town and surrounding area. I’d love to go back at some point to get to know the rest of the city, I know there is so much more to it.
We got an Air BNB inside the city walls making it convenient and easy to wander the skinny streets of the old town. Apartments inside the walls tend to be a little more expensive, but I think it’s worth it for the location, and for the experience of staying in a building that has been there for thousands of years (although the interiors have been modernized and renovated).
These apartments are all reasonably priced and in good locations:
What to pack for Summer in Europe
Eat & Drink:
Eating and drinking are definitely some of my favorite things to do, and like the hipster I am you know I sought out as much local and craft beer as I could. As for food, the rule I generally follow is always get off the main drag . Restaurants on the main road or square are generally going to be over priced and touristy. We found quite a few little hole in the wall places on the outer edges of town usually up the skinny stair streets.
But without further adieu here are my hipster favorites!
This little cafe has one of the best selections of local and craft beers. It’s a fun a casual spot to hang out, the indoor part is quite small but there is outdoor seating which I always think is preferable in the summertime. They had some of the best and most interesting beers I’ve ever tried like the “John Lemon” and the “Milkshake”.
If you are looking for good beer and entertainment, the Beer Factory is it. They have an extensive selection of beers from both Croatia and all around Europe, a pretty back garden, and live music at night. What more could you want?
This little beer shop is the place to grab a couple of drinks to go. They have a great selection of local beers and wines as well as specialty food items like hot sauce and ice cream! One evening we picked out a few of our favorite local beers and enjoyed them on the stairs of the little alleyway.
If you are more of a wine person, the first thing you should know is that Croatia has amazing wines, and D’Vino is the perfect place to try them. Located right across from Glam Cafe, D’Vino has a wonderful selection of wines from all over Croatia and tastings start at just 55 KN, or around $8. The space is quite small so making a reservation is a good idea, we did so by just walking by and putting our name in for later that afternoon.
Ok, so this spot is nothing fancy or hipster I guess, but if you are craving a burger and fries this is the place to go. And let’s be honest after all that local beer a little grease tastes so good!
When you are looking for something a little different or you just crave sushi (Hey! It happens!) Bar Bota is an excellent choice. Rob loves oysters so he was stoked on getting to try some local Mediterranean varieties.
Like any big tourist destination there are countless city tours and things to see, but if you’ve been following me for any time you’ll know that that isn’t our typical style, we’re more the wandering type. But that being said I am down for tours that offer something unique or different. And seeing as how I do love Game of Thrones and am a huge film and tv nerd, getting to see all the filming places seemed like a must.
Game of Thrones Tour
I have to admit that this was one of the coolest walking tours I’ve ever done. Our guide was super knowledgeable about the history of her city, the show, and all the filming aspects. Her other gig was being an extra and a stand in for the show so she shared her own experiences as well as all the good fun facts. I’d highly recommend the Dubrovnik Walking Tours – Game of Thrones Walk. It was also great to do this walk at the beginning of our stay so we had a good bearing on where things were around the city.
Walk the city walls
Get your steps in and get awesome views of the city by walking the city walls. The old city is completely enclosed by a walls like a fortress and you walk the paths along the top. There are great views and photo opportunities from up there and you don’t need a tour or anything to do it. You do have to pay an entry fee as it is a Unesco World Heritage site and the price increased this year (2019) to 200 KN or about $30.
So we didn’t actually get a chance to go kayaking, darn those time constraints! But it looks awesome! What an awesome way to get a little exercise, get out on the water and see things that you wouldn’t from the mainland. We watched plenty of people paddling out to the islands just off the coast and it looked like so much fun! Adventure Dubrovnik does both sea kayaking rentals and tours that look awesome!
Best Photo Spots:
Dubrovnik is one of the most photogenic cities I’ve been to, you’ll be hard pressed to take a bad shot or get an ugly background there. I’ve always found that when scouting locations for photos just wandering around is the best way to go. But if you are looking for some of the most iconic shots you can beeline for these places, because let’s be honest we all want an awesome Instagram shot.
It’s not really a balcony but sort of looks like one. You’ll recognize it from Game of Thrones as the spot front of the Sept of Baelor where Cersei does her walk of shame. It’s a rad shot that looks down one of the long skinny streets in the city. The “balcony” is located in front of St. Ignatius Catholic Church on the south west side of the city.
The City Shot
To get that iconic shot of the city with the bright blue adriatic sea around it you have to leave the city and walk a little ways over to Fort Lovrijenac to the west. If you’ve bought a ticket for the city walls walk that day that ticket will also apply to getting into the fort, if not it’s 50 KN or about $7.50. You also don’t have to go inside the fort if you don’t want to for a good shot. There is a long staircase going up to the fort and you can get epic views from anywhere along there.
Skinny Stair Streets
For those shots in the skinny alleyways steep with stairs head over to the north side of the city. I spent quite a bit of time wandering around these streets looking for the best photo spot.
From the top of the city walls you can see the old city laid out before you and those iconic red roofs. It almost looks like you’ve gone back in time. To get up there you’ll have to pay the entrance fee, but it’s a cool walk with great views.
My favorite photos spots
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