Aaaaaah, King’s Landing!!! Our last destination in Croatia and one that I immensely looked forward to because we just finished binge-watching Game of Thrones (multiple heart attacks were experienced during these events). The city felt so alive and bustling but thanks to all the little streets and alleyways you can also find a relaxing place in one minute just to take it all in.
The best time to visit the old town of Dubrovnik is either in the early morning when the air is still crisp or during the late afternoon when all the cruises are leaving town and the city starts to wind down. You can easily cover the city in one day, but there is a certain charm to aimlessly walking around. The Stradun, the main street in the old town, divides the city into two parts and leads up to the harbor. Thus while walking around, you always have a clear point of orientation.
Morning walk on the city walls// Let’s kick-off with the activity we liked the most while being in Dubrovnik. The view from these walls offers you the best look on the charming glory of the old town. I couldn’t stop watching at the dusty orange, perfectly aligned rooftops and how they contrasted with the blue ocean in the back. You can try to spot all the city landmarks while walking the wall. BONUS: these walls make a lot of appearances in Games Of Thrones. Because the walls are on the top of everyone’s must-do list, I strongly recommend you go as early as possible. We combined the necessary with the pleasant and packed a little breakfast. We entered the walls at the main gate when they opened at 8 A.M. and walked roughly half of it until we reached the harbor side of the wall. Here we sat down at a quit place in the shadows and enjoyed our breakfast. A perfect way to start the day!
Take a dip at Banje Beach// At this beautiful beach you can dip your toes in the water while enjoying views on old Dubrovnik and the luscious island Lokrum. This spot is pretty popular but there is room for everyone. Wear your swimsuit underneath your clothes to take a refreshing dip during the heat of the afternoon. The sun can be very strong so don’t forget to use sunscreen and have a regular break in the shades. We came back here during the evening to enjoy cocktails and a nice, relaxing vibe.
Watch the sunset from the Budva bar// A one-of-a-kind, not so hidden gem, right outside the old walls of Dubrovnik. The Budva bar clings right onto the edge of the walls, offering a great opportunity to swim from the platform underneath the Budva Bar. At first, we were pretty disappointed with the actual bar because it was simply way too expensive, had very unkind service and everybody was generally stressed out about getting the best spot. We decided to skip the rush and went down the stairs underneath the bar. There we enjoyed watching people jumping of the cliffs at the same moment the sun was setting. A moment I still cherish dearly.
Drink a cocktail with the locals// On our first evening in town we enjoyed some cocktails near the beach at East-West. This restaurant-disco club is located at Banje beach just outside the city walls. If you’re into mingling with the locals, leave the old town behind and hit the surrounding neighbourhoods. On our walk home, we past a bar that had a ton of locals, glow-in-the-dark tables and sofas made out of bathtubs. Art Bar is the ideal place to chat the night away over a nice cocktail. Perfect way to end the day!
Discover all the Game of Thrones locations// There is no point in trying to escape from the Game of Thrones madness when you’re in Dubrovnik because it is literally everywhere! Being avid fans ourselves, we looked up some of the most recognizable places, saved them on our phone and wandered around town being in awe of the similarities between the show and real-life sceneries. If you’re not in the mood to look for these places yourself, you can always join one of the numerous GOT tours. Most of these tours start from the Pila Gate and costs around 25€.
Discover something unexpected// With a city that has so much going on at the same time, you’re bound to stumble upon something unexpected. I don’t know what it is with traveling but somehow it makes me much more open to new experiences than in my daily life. When we were continuing our walk home after some well-deserved cocktails, we heard a noise coming from behind an ivy-covered wall. Curious, we went inside to discover what was going on. That’s how we ended up watching an indie movie about a famous (not-so-famous for us) African musician in an idyllic garden on a hot summer evening in Dubrovnik. I’m sure that you can discover a hidden-gem like this every single day if you would stay a little bit longer.
If you’re looking for a simple lunch for a good price, Presa is exactly what you’re looking for. This small venue just a couple meters from the Stradun offers the best hamburgers we have had during our road trip. Although sometimes this type of food is looked at as minor, when a hamburger is done right, it can do no wrong in my book. We even went back the next day for a healthy salad and a toasted sandwich and the food was just as great as the day before.
For dinner we wanted to go to a place that involved something else then Meditarranean food. The sushi places in the old town turned out to be too expensive, so we went for plan B: Indian food. Major life learnings: having Indian food as a back-up is always a good idea. We climbed the stairs of one of the alleys in the old town and sat down in Incredible India. While being surrounded by Indians – always a good sign that the food will be amazing – we enjoyed prawn masala, murgh saagwala and too much garlic naan.
If you’re looking for delicious food for a reasonable price in old town Dubrovnik, I would suggest to walk away from the Stradun and into the smaller back-alleys. The restaurants here are usually smaller, less touristy and more authentic. In general, we found tripadvisor the be of little help while looking for a good food in Dubrovnik. People tend to give very high ratings for almost every restaurant which made it very hard to select based on recommendations.
A ticket to the number 1 attraction in Dubrovnik – the city walls – will cost you 100 kuna (13€). For this price you can stay on the walls as long as you like and a trip to Fort Lovrjenac is included in the ticket price as well.
We had lunch twice at Presa, which only costs us around 25€ in total. For dinner we had lovely Indian food for 38€. In Dubrovnik we spend 30€ on cocktails. Because this was the last big city of our road trip we wanted to enjoy it to the fullest and that definitely involved some drinks.
Since we were getting closer to the end of our trip, we didn’t have the budget to go to Lokrum Island. This pine covered island is a short 15 mintue boat ride away from the harbor of Dubrovnik. If we would have had an extra day and some extra money left, the dream scenario would have been to rent a kayak for a day and peddle to the island. Of course, there would be plenty of time left to explore the nature on the island and its secluded beaches (one of those is even a popular nudist beach).
While strolling along the harbor on one of our evening walks, we saw a lot of people having dinner. This romantic setting had such an idyllic feel, that my darling could not get over the fact that we wouldn’t have dinner there during our trip. So that’s why I had to put it on the wish list for when we return to the pearl of the Adriatic Sea.