Here it is, the second part of my 1-day trip to south Croatia. I started my day with a visit to Trsteno Arboretum and after I headed to the city of Dubrovnik.
Arriving in Dubrovnik
With all the crowds, cars and tourist buses, it’s almost impossible to park near the old town. Therefore, I left my car in a parking lot nearby and I think I paid 20kn per hour. It was 15-20min walking distance to the center of the city.
On the day I visited, there was a marathon happening in Dubrovnik. So if the city is usually crowded with tourists, on top of that imagine an event happening.
As you pass the city gates, one of the first things you see is the Onofrio’s Fountain. Built in the 15th century, the fountain was named after its builder, Onofrio, and it supplied water to the city for 500 years. The water in the fountain is drinkable, so feel free to take a sip. Near the fountain, you can spot the St. Saviour Church.
Next, I found the Gundulic Square – a square full of tables and seats, ready for the locals and tourists to enjoy a cup of coffee and the lovely views.
As I turn right I had an “OMG” moment when I almost saw Cersei Lannister. Thankfully it was just in my head because no one with sense would want to cross path with that lady. Moving on with the “Walk of Shame” scene, this is actually the Jesuit Staircase and on the top we can see the Church of St. Ignatius.
Another remarkable place is the Dubrovnik Cathedral and Treasury. Its Baroque style and beauty attracts many visitors and inside you’ll see a huge collection of relics with more than 200 pieces.
I also passed by the Rector’s Palace, which now is the Cultural Historical Museum. It was built in the 15th century for the rector/governor of the city. If you visit the Museum, you can see the Rector’s living quarters, as well as all the furniture and paintings that were originally in the house. The Rector’s Palace was featured in Game of Thrones, when Daenerys Targaryen was in Qarth.
It’s impossible not to pass in the Stradun since it’s one of the busiest spots in town. This famous pedestrian street is 300 meters long and it’s full of cafes and restaurants. Keep in mind that an expresso inside Dubrovnik’s old town will cost you about 35kn (≈ €5/$6).
The city walls
If there is something you need to do in Dubrovnik is to visit the walls. They surround Dubrovnik’s old town and up there you get amazing views over the city and the sea.
I bought the ticket and accessed the walls through the Pile Gate entrance. The normal entrance price is 150kn (≈ €20/$24), but if you have a student card you’ll only pay 50kn.
With a height of 24 meters and up to 6 meters thick, the walls date back to the 13th century. Their total length is almost 2 kilometers and so you’ll take 1h30-2h to do the whole circuit (consider the crowds and the pictures you’ll take).
If you turn and look inside the city walls, you’ll see the huge amount of churches and houses with red roofs (omg I’m in King’s Landing!!!). If you turn to the other side, you’ll see the Fort Lovrijenac. Also known as Fort of St. Lawrence, it is located on a high cliff just outside the walls. This fort was used to shoot numerous Red Keep scenes for Game of Thrones TV show.
On the eastern side of the walls, you’ll find the Old Harbor. It’s a popular place in Dubrovnik, not only for its tourist attraction but also because it’s where many cruises arrive/departure.
The port is protected by two breakwaters, one of them being the fort of St. John. Inside the fort, you’ll find the Maritime Museum where maps, documents and other nautical artifacts are displayed. And just when you thought you had seen everything, go down to the ground floor of the fort and visit Dubrovnik’s Aquarium.
For so long I wanted to go to Dubrovnik I finally did it! It lived up to my expectations and I recommend you to visit as well. The old town is really charming, with all the monuments, squares, little streets and corners. And of course, the views over the Adriatic are amazing.
The only downside that I can’t point out is the crowd. Because the area inside the city walls is not that big, it means that it’s not that hard for it to look full! So when I walked on the streets, sometimes I got that overwhelming feeling of having too many people around me. Therefore, I’ll recommend you to visit Dubrovnik during the spring, even in the winter.
I’ll leave with an overview of the city and its famous red rooftops!
Visit the Dubrovnik Tourist Board for some tips and additional info about the city.
Check my last blog post about my visit to Trsteno Arboretum (Dubrovnik trip PART 1).