Do you watch Game of Thrones? Then you might know that they shot the King’s Landing scenes in Dubrovnik. I was excited when I found out, because, well, I got there before GoT did! Of course, now they offer “Game of Thrones” tours in Dubrovnik, but you can still explore on your own, whether or not you’re into the show. Dubrovnik’s Old Town is definitely a remarkable place, and a wonderful part of our 2013 Adriatic Cruise on the Norwegian Jade.
- Date visited: May 1, 2013
- Currency: Croatian kuna ($1 = about 6.50 HRK)
- Tip: Bring a swimsuit!
Getting from the Cruise Terminal to Dubrovnik Old Town
Our cruise ship offered a shuttle that dropped us off at the Pile Gate, right at the entrance of Old Town. If you don’t have this option, the easiest way would be by taxi. You’ll need some korunas for your day, because while some places may accept euros, it’s not a sure thing.
Walking the Walls
It costs 100 HRK to gain entrance to the walls; you can pay this in cash or with a credit card.
Again, I strongly recommend that you bring your own guidebook, though you can also rent an audio guide when you buy your ticket. Honestly, I wouldn’t say it’s absolutely necessary unless you want to read a lot about the history of Dubrovnik and the fortifications. It’s just as delightful to just stroll along the top, stopping often for the wonderful views of the city or the bay.
There are some steps, and there is very little cover atop the walls, so carry water and take it slow. You’ll cover a mile and a quarter, which should take about an hour or so depending on how many stops you make to admire the view.
We actually did this walk at noon, so it was ridiculously warm, but the sky was so clear and the city so amazing that we didn’t mind too much. And as soon as we made it down to the city, we grabbed some delightful gelato! Which, by the way, was one of the best things about cruising around Italy. Diets are off on cruises, but don’t worry, you’ll walk it all off.
Dubrovnik Old Town
Back in the day, Dubrovnik was a very powerful city, with one of the largest navies in the Adriatic. It’s over a thousand years old and is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in the world, and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Old Town is open to pedestrian traffic only, but don’t worry, it’s not that big! There are shops and cafes along the streets, which are immaculately clean despite the amount of visitors to the city.
Don’t miss the harbor. On a warm day, you can strip down to your swimsuit and take a dip in the water, which looks absolutely clear and refreshing.
We also climbed up a hill and had some lunch at a cafe by the city cathedral. Then we went a little ways outside of the walls and took the cable car (108 HRK or about $16) and more than worth the amazing sight of the city from above.
Dubrovnik is called the Pearl of the Adriatic and from up here, you can certainly see why. No wonder tourists have been coming here for decades, and no wonder it became the basis for that wondrous city on Game of Thrones. As cool as fantasy can be, it is so much more awesome to see the real thing. This city was one of our favorite stops on our Europe cruise.