If you have never been to Dubrovnik in Croatia and you are planning a trip to the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ you are in for a treat. The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site and it really is one of those places that should be on everyone’s ‘bucket list’. Here we take a look at just some of the must do things in Dubrovnik if you are fortunate to visit this very special and very beautiful place.
Image Source: Wikipedia.org
One of the obvious and first must-do things is of course to explore the Old Town surrounded by those medieval fortifications.
The main entrance – if you are coming from the ‘modern’ part of Dubrovnik – is through Pile City Gate leading directly onto the Onofrio Fountain and then the Stradun or Placa, the main street. Be sure to check out the Church of St. Blaise and Orlando’s Column at the other end before venturing down the many narrow side streets – a delight to explore, although don’t be surprised if you get lost!
Image Source: Tambako The Jaguar/flickr.com
It is also well worth walking around the City Walls themselves – but time it right, and go either early in the day or late as it is a 2km circuit and there is very little shade, so it can get very hot up there.
It can also get very busy in the Old Town as Dubrovnik is a popular stop-off for various cruise ships, hence another reason to do things first thing or late afternoon. Depending on what time of year you visit be sure to check the opening times too for the City Walls and remember it will cost around 120 Kunas ($18-20 US Dollars) to walk around them.
Another brilliant way to view the city is via the Dubrovnik Cable Car, which takes you to the top of Mount Srd in around 3-4 minutes.
The views are fabulous and if you time it right you can watch the sunset and really take in just how beautiful and how romantic a place it is. You can also appreciate why it is so popular with many couples and honeymooners from all over Europe and the world, each no doubt having gone through their own particular wedding rituals en-route to Dubrovnik, although Croatia itself of course has its own special wedding customs too.
If you want to find out a little about the place and its history there are a number of expert tour guides on hand back in the Old Town. If you are a Game of Thrones fan – and who isn’t these days? – you can also do a special Game of Thrones-themed tour to take in a number of the locations used during filming, including that for Cersei Lannister’s walk of shame at the end of season 5.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
We’d also recommend taking the trip to Lokrum, a small island located just off the coast, a 14-15-minute boat ride away. It also has a Game of Thrones link and was the stand-in city for Qarth.
There are lots of lovely walks to take in on Lokrum and allow time to properly explore it all - including the Benedictine monastery complex (there is a restaurant here if you need a pit-stop), the Botanical gardens and take a dip in the Mrtvo More, the island’s very own ‘Dead Sea’.
Once you have had enough of exploring why not take time out to relax at Dubrovnik’s Banje Beach and visit the harbor side restaurants for some delicious seafood, perhaps washed down with a glass of the local wine.
Whatever you do while in Dubrovnik, you will be glad you ticked it off your list, although in the case of the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ one visit is never enough.