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  • Lena Claeys

Dubrovnik, Croatia: The Ultimate Guide To The Game Of Thrones City

Updated: Jan 3

Dubrovnik is located in the south of Croatia and is relatively isolated from the rest of the country due to a small nook of Bosnia & Herzegovina that intersects the land connection (although there is a new bridge now to avoid the border wait). For centuries, Dubrovnik was an independent republic thriving through extensive trade with other maritime ports. However, the city also suffered attacks, of which the early 90’s war was the most devastating one. Today, Dubrovnik is considered the most picturesque city on the Dalmatian coast thanks to its stunning architecture, beautiful scenery, and ancient walls that once protected the republic. In this article, we'll highlight the most important things to do, where to stay, where to eat and drink, and 10 of the best things to do in and around Dubrovnik, including an exciting day trip to its neighboring countries.


things to do in Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik old town

 

Check out our video on Dubrovnik to get a sense of what it's like there!



Table of contents


Important Things To Know


Best time to travel to Dubrovnik


Visit in the shoulder season if you can (April-May or Sept-Oct), the summer is hot. Because Dubrovnik is a famous tourist destination, we recommend not going in June, July, and August because it gets EXTREMELY crowded.


Cost & currency in Dubrovnik


Because the city has gotten very popular thanks to Game Of Thrones, it is the most expensive city in Croatia. Food is expensive, accommodation is expensive, and even to go up to the City Walls you'll have to pay €30 per person. In Croatia, they are using the Euro (€) as their currency since January 2023.


Safety in Dubrovnik


Dubrovnik is a very safe travel destination. You will most likely not encounter any problems during your visit here. As long as you use your common sense, you'll be fine in this stunning city.



Where To Stay In Dubrovnik


We recommend staying outside the old town for cheaper accommodation deals and then taking the bus or walking to the old town as there is only limited, expensive parking available!

  • Apartments Nina&Anita: Friendly host, great outdoor terrace to sit, and had a good bathroom, bed, and small kitchen. Located outside of the old town and takes about 25 mins to walk there. This is where we stayed!

  • Villa Misita: Appartments with a view of the sea or garden 15 minutes from the centre of Dubrovnik.

  • Ca' di Mamma: Amazing location in the centre of Dubrovnik that offers great breakfast


Where To Eat And Drink

  • Gradska kavana Arsenal Restaurant: Beautiful view of the port and great fish, we recommend booking beforehand.

  • Barba: "Cheap" restaurant which only serves fish (everything is pretty expensive in Dubrovnik though).

  • Urban & Veggie - Vegan Restaurant Dubrovnik: Best vegan restaurant in Dubrovnik


Best Things To Do In Dubrovnik


Take decent walking shoes with you and be prepared to walk a lot! The old town is a traffic-free zone so you have to walk around, no driving or cycling. Besides that, a large part of the old town’s streets are steep steps. The same is true for the neighborhoods surrounding the old town. Let's dive into the 10 best things to do in Dubrovnik.


Click any place on the interactive map below to get directions to the places we mention in this article!



10. Explore The Old Town


The Old Town is the beating heart of Dubrovnik and generally the first and foremost place you’ll visit. It’s listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is full of historic landmarks, such as the beautiful city walls and Rector’s Palace. And while it’s pleasant to just stroll around the marble-paved squares and cobbled streets of the old town, we recommend going on a guided walking tour to understand Dubrovnik's history and culture on a deeper level.


Old Town Dubrovnik in Croatia
Dubrovnik Old Town


9. Watch Sunset From Mt. Srđ


The steep hill just behind the walled city of Dubrovnik offers stunning views over the old town as well as the neighboring islands. You can decide to walk or take the cable car to the summit. The cable car leaves near the old town, while the hike starts next to the highway and takes about 2 hours to get to the viewpoint and then back to the bottom. At the top, there is a large white cross, a fort, and a restaurant. But the best sunset views are observed from the open space to the west of the fort. Find a spot and watch the sun set into the sea. For even better views of the Old Town, read further because we will get to that at number 2!


Mount Srđ Dubrovnik in Croatia
Mt Srd Sunset from the west viewpoint


8. Go Sea Kayaking


A fun adventurous way to see Dubrovnik from the outside is by sea kayak. Taking in the city views from the water is something unique. But besides the old town views, it also provides the perfect opportunity to explore the rugged coastline of Dubrovnik. We kayaked to the most beautiful beach in the city, called Betina Cave Beach, which is only accessible via the sea. There are also smaller hidden caves you can kayak to or even the nearby Lokrum Island. You can rent kayaks from the west harbor (“Kolorina” on Google Maps) or you can join a kayaking tour if you’re not experienced.



sea kayaking dubrovnik in croatia
Betina Cave Beach

7. Walk The Old Town Walls


Walking the ancient city walls was one of our favorite things to do in Dubrovnik. They are the city's defining feature and offer superb views over the old town and the shimmering Adriatic Sea. It takes about 1 to 2 hours to make the full circuit along the thick battlements, and you can start from one of its three ticketed entrances (these entrances are near the Pile Gate, Ploče Gate & the Maritime Museum). The most fun aspects of the walk are the towers, forts and hidden corners you can find as well as the glimpses it gives into the courtyards. You can also see a beautiful island in the distance, which is another best thing to do in Dubrovnik that we can’t wait to show you in a moment.


old town walls dubrovnik in croatia
Walking the old town walls


6. Check Out Rector’s Palace


Rector’s Palace was the seat of the government when Dubrovnik was a self-governing republic. It’s a masterpiece of architecture and now houses the Cultural History Museum, where you can see how the local aristocrats once lived. You can also find artifacts from the city’s history here.


Rector's palace dubrovnik in croatia
Inside Rector's Palace

5. Relax At The Beach


Beyond the city lies a dramatic coastline that is the perfect place to cool off on a hot summer day. Don’t expect sandy beaches, but rather rocky coves here. Banje beach is the closest one to the city, just a 5 to 10 minute walk from Dubrovnik’s eastern gate (Ploče Gate). The beach is mostly pebbly with shallow and calm waters that are perfect for swimming. However, it gets crowded here during the summer. Explore the beaches further away from the old town like Sveti Jakov or Danče Beach for a more secluded experience.



4. Explore The Churches In The Old Town


Back inside the city walls of Dubrovnik, we recommend visiting some of the historic churches. In the old town you can find many beautiful Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque churches tucked in little alleys and squares. Our top picks include the Dubrovnik Cathedral, the Church of St. Blaise, and the Church of the Holy Annunciation. But our favorite one was the Church of St. Ignatius because of its beautiful frescoes on the main altar.


Church of Saint Ignatius dubrovnik in croatia
Church of St. Ignatius

3. Go On A Day Tour To Mostar (Bosnia & Herzegovina)


If you want to leave the city behind for a day or you simply want to check off another country, then you should consider crossing the border to Bosnia & Herzegovina. Mostar is arguably the most beautiful town in the entire country, surrounded by picturesque mountains and a scenic river. The old town is known for its Ottoman-era houses and bridge, named Stari Most. But besides that, Mostar also has an intriguing, but shocking history and more affordable food and drinks! Located around 130 kilometers or 81 miles north of Dubrovnik, this historic city can be reached by car or bus in a couple of hours. We went on a guided day trip here, which also included a stop at some very beautiful waterfalls named the Kravica Falls. But it’s the historic center of Mostar that is the main attraction to enjoy on this day.


Mostar day trip Dubrovnik
Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Alternatively, you can visit the stunning Bay and City of Kotor in neighboring Montenegro. You can find more information about a day trip to Kotor from Dubrovnik here.


Kotor Dubrovnik in Croatia
The Old Town of Kotor from the air

2. Take In Views From Fort Lovrijenac


Heading back to the city of Dubrovnik, Fort Lovrijenac is one of the most iconic sights you’ll find. It’s worth paying a visit inside for two reasons. First and foremost, lots of scenes from the TV series Game of Thrones were filmed here. In fact, many places in Dubrovnik were featured in the series and you can visit them during a Game of Thrones walking tour. Secondly, the fort offers an incredible view of the Old Town.


Fort Lovrijenac Dubrovnik in Croatia
The view of Dubrovnik from Fort Lovrijenac

But for the best view of the Old Town, in our opinion, you should head to the hillside above Banje Beach. The exact coordinates to this viewpoint are 42.642691 18.120166 (plug these coordinates into Google Maps!)