• Caitlin McAninch

Escape to Dubrovnik Croatia

I will be honest in saying I wasn’t 100% sure where Croatia was when I learned my cruise would be stopping to visit a Croatian port. But! I can say I was beyond happy to discover the charming Old Town in Dubrovnik.

Dubrovnik is situated right on the southern coast of Croatia. Crazy enough, Dubrovnik was facing war and siege in the early 90s during the Croatian War of Independence. So truly, they’re still in the recent recovery from that. But! They have bounced back quickly, and Dubrovnik has re-emerged as one of the top tourist destinations on the Mediterranean. And, of course, this is probably somewhat attributed to Dubrovnik being the home to the popular fantasy capitol of King’s Landing from Game of Thrones.

Dubrovnik’s Old Town is the main tourist destination in town, with red roofs and medieval fortress walls surrounding the town. This is where we spent our day in Dubrovnik and that’s what I’ll be talking about in this post, so let’s dive in!

Walking the Dubrovnik City Walls

The Walls of Dubrovnik are stone walls surrounding Old Town. Although they have been modified and restored through time, they are still considered some of the best fortification systems of the middle ages due to the fact the Walls were never breached by a hostile army during the middle ages.

Today, you can walk the entire walls for 12 Euro, but you will have to pay in the Croatian Kuna (kn). We didn’t have any, so we just used the Visa!

Once you receive your ticket, you enter the Walls. You must walk one direction the entire time, but that’s fine since you just sort of follow the crowd!

The day we went the weather was a bit rough. Crazy amounts of wind, some rain (which picked up a lot after we finished walking the Walls), and extreme waves crashing into the sides of the Walls. Through my research I did learn that during the summer the heat can reach such heights that I can cause delusion on the Walls, so truly, I prefer the wind and rain.

Here are some of the beautiful shots of the Walls we got even through the bad weather:

Finding Game of Thrones Memorabilia and Scenes

About 4 years ago (2014) I was introduced to the Game of Thrones book series. I became OBSESSED. Mainly because I’m an insanely fast reader and truly, I couldn’t finish these in a day, so I have a respect for George R.R. Martin. But also, because they’re just really, really good books. So of course, I am obsessed with the show. And of course, I had to find all the spots that they filmed Game of Thrones scenes.

The first are the Walls. Every five seconds I would shout to Dylan, “I bet Tyrion stood here.” Which, he probably did. But the Walls are filmed many times in Game of Thrones. Particularly the scenes where Tyrion and Lord Varys planned the defense of King’s Landing.

SHAME. SHAME. SHAME. Yes, the famous Spanish Steps from Cersei’s Walk of Shame are right here in Dubrovnik. Dylan and I walked up and down them in the rain, yelling ‘Shame’, with, in fact, no shame. I read that this was an extremely expensive scene to film not only because thy had to place green screens around the stairs, but also because the producers and film crew had to pay all the stores, bars, and restaurants in this area a “full days work” so they could film without anyone in the scenes.

There’s also this beautiful building called Fort Lovrijenac. This fortress was where part of the Red Keep is filmed, as well as where King Joffrey’s birthday tournament was held.

In one scene, you can see the Gold Cloaks run past this fancy staircase:

I think it was because of the crappy weather so we did not bear witness to this, but I have heard that Dubrovnik has turned into a GOT Disneyland of sorts. On warm days you can see people dressed up as GOT characters, I imagine it’s probably like Hollywood Boulevard. We didn’t see any, but we did see many store fronts filled with GOT shirts, posters, and other small trinkets. Our friends even found one store that had a giant Iron Throne that you could take your picture in if you made a purchase:

Exploring Old Town Dubrovnik

After we were done walking the walls, we immediately sought out all the places I discuss above. We wandered around to the GOT spots, in and out of the Old Town churches, and lastly found cover at a restaurant with large awnings so we could drink out of the rain. We stayed at that restaurant until the rain subsided.

Once the rain stopped, we just sort of wandered around some more. Dubrovnik’s Old Town stays quite lit even once the sun has gone down, so you can still explore in the dark.

I do feel like seeing Old Town would have been significantly different on a warmer day. Many shops seemed closed; most outside seating was stacked against walls; and of course, it was just sort of a sleepy town since no one but our fellow cruisers were out exploring.

But! Since we favor less crowded destinations, we truly did love visiting this beautiful town. Here are some shots of Old Town once the sun set:

Riding the Dubrovnik Cable Car

Because the weather was so horrible, we missed out on riding the Dubrovnik Cable Car. For 150,00 kn (20 Euro) you can ride to the top of Hill Srđ to get a beautiful view of Dubrovnik and the Adriatic Sea. Although it’s opened year around, they do shut down the Cable Car when it’s too windy, and since there were points that the wind literally almost knocked us over on the Walls, it was no surprise that the cable car was shut down on this day.

I did manage to snag a photo from another blogger, Cailin of Travel Yourself. That lucky lady visited Dubrovnik at a much nicer time of year and was able to visit the top of Hill Srđ and get some beautiful photos. I still am so envious!!!

Dubrovnik is definitely one of the coolest places we’ve visited. I felt like I was in the scene of a movie (or HBO show). Everything felt so medieval and truly unreal. Just writing up this post makes me eager to want to go back.

To see more of our adventures overseas, check out my other blogs here:

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