Are you a big fan of the tv series Game of Thrones? Are you fascinated by tremendous ancient castles and dazzling coastlines? If the answer is yes, come to Dubrovnik, Croatia. This is probably one of the most famous and touristic city in Croatia, where visitors can find everything: from beautiful old towns to quality seafood restaurants, vibrant nightlife, and romantic seaside resorts. Here are the top 7 things you will not want to miss here.
Hike through the city walls
As soon as you enter the old town through the Ploce Gate from the North, don’t be overwhelmed because of the massive city walls surrounding it. These walls are open for visitors daily between 8 AM and 5.30 PM. The regular entrance is 100 HRK (about 13.37 EUR or 16 USD) but children and students with student card can get a 70% discount. The walk through all parts of the city wall lasts between 1 to 2 hours, depending on the weather conditions. Its total length is only 2 kilometres (1.24 miles) but there are lots of stairs and probably a long line in front of you.
Stroll around the squares and palaces
Upon arrival, you may easily get lost in tons of narrow streets and similar squares around the old town. The most major square includes the area surrounding the Clock Tower and Orlando’s Column, where most locals and tourists gather as a meeting point. The Church of Saint Blaise is to the south of the Bell Tower. You should not miss this area! Around this area you will also find the beautiful Gothic and Renaissance palaces including Sponza Palace and Rector’s Palace.
Experience the vibrant nightlife
One of the best things I experienced in Dubrovnik was not the sightseeing activities during daytime, but the lively local nightlife. You would be amazed to find stunning lights lit up every street corner, and live music on the street or indoors at ancient looking bars. It is hard to find cheap prices for drinking or dining out here, but some places offer happy hours for guests before 11 PM with draft beers charged about 20 HRK (about 3 USD).
Visit a church
Here you would also find various stunning Baroque churches, cathedrals and and monasteries such as the Franciscan Monastery, Cathedral of the Assumption of Virgin Mary, and the St. Blasius Church. Most of these religious buildings can be entered for free, except for those who house a museum such as the Serbian Orthodox Church and Museum of Icons.
Relax on the beach
Dubrovnik has many touristic beaches such as Lapad Beach and Banje Beach near the old town. You may also want to take a ferry to escape these popular crowded places and head to the beautiful Lokrum island and relax there. A round ticket costs around 80 HRK (about 12 USD).
Croatia is certainly not the cheapest country in the Balkan region to travel around. You would hardly find a decent restaurant for dinner for less than 100 HRK (around 13.37 EUR or 15.13 USD). A friend and I were fortunate enough to find Dundo Maroje. The Mediterrenean restaurant lies in a quiet corner off the main street and serves excellent seafood for an affordable price. A seafood dish costs only around 75 HRK (roughly 10 EUR or 11.35 USD) with either a 10% discount or 2 free glasses of wine. The food was delicious and their service was excellent thanks to their hospitality and helpfulness.
Games of Thrones Tour
Strolling around the old town, you would find many advertisements with the Games of Thrones tour sign. One of the most affordable tours I would recommend is run by Dubrovnik Walking Tours everyday starting at 11 AM and 4.30 PM. The tour lasts for about 2 hours and costs only 180 HRK (around 24 EUR or 27 USD). This price is significantly cheaper than most of these tours and you can save 5% by booking online. If you’d like to save some more money, I’d recommend marking places you want to see down on a map and explore those on your own. There are several filming locations you can view by yourself including the Fort Lovrijenac and Minceta Tower.
Great viewpoints for photographs
The most stunning panoramic views of Dubrovnik can be seen not only from the city walls, but also many other viewpoints around the old port. I highly recommend taking a cable car to enjoy the breathtaking panoramic view of the old city and the dazzlingly clear Adriatic Sea. To find this cable car, walk to Buža Street, which leads you towards the exit from the city walls, From where you need to keep climbing towards the fire station. A single trip costs 70 HRK (about 9 EUR or 11 USD) and a round trip costs 120 HRK (about 16 EUR or 18 USD)
Come visit Dubrovnik – the centre of the Seven Kingdoms – before all of the tourists arrive.