With the season finale of ‘Game Of Thrones’ airing in April, what better time to book a break to the very place where it was filmed? Yep that’s right, the Croatian city of Dubrovnik is the main filming location for King’s Landing, the capital of GoT’s Seven Kingdoms.
Obviously a ‘Game of Thrones’ tour is a must while you’re in the city, but there’s plenty to do outside of that including immersing yourself in the history of its Old Town, devouring freshly-caught seafood, paddleboarding on the beautiful blue waters of the Adriatic coast and, of course, enjoying the bustling nightlife.
If you’ve got itchy feet and this beautiful city is on your list, Vera and Frank from popular Croatian travel blog Frank About Croatia share their top 10 recommendations of things to do in the city.
1. Rector’s Palace
Rector’s Palace is a stunning feat of architecture and one of the most prominent buildings located at the east end of Dubrovnik Old Town.
Originally built in Gothic and Renaissance style, Rector’s Palace has undergone a few reconstructions over the years following gunpowder explosions, as well as after the great earthquake of 1667, explain Vera and Frank. As a result, the building also now features many Baroque elements. “The Palace today is a part of the Cultural Historic Museum of Dubrovnik, while its atrium often serves as a venue for live concerts,” they explain over email.
Address: Ul. Pred Dvorom 3, 20000, Dubrovnik.
2. Old Port
The bloggers say this is one of their favourite parts of Dubrovnik: “It is a colourful, chaotic place with myriad of boats of all colours, sizes and ages coming in and going out.”
They recommend strolling along the Old Port towards the Sveti Ivan Fortress. “Listen to the waves while lazing at the bench on Porporela breakwater,” they suggest. “Or walk towards Ploce gate to take one of the best shots of the old port.”
Address: Old Port, Ribarnica ul. 1, 20000, Dubrovnik.
Lokrum is a tiny island off the coast of Dubrovnik and a popular swimming spot for locals and tourists alike thanks to its crystal clear waters. “The coast here is rocky and popular for cliff jumping,” say Vera and Frank. “Other attractions include a small botanical garden with plants from all over the world, freely-roaming peacocks, the dead lake, and the Royal Fort at the hill top.”
Boats depart from the Old Port throughout the day. If you get chance, grab a bite to eat along the edge of the port at Lokrum and watch the sun set while waiting for your return boat to Dubrovnik.
4. Orsula Park
A popular spot for weddings and marriage proposals thanks to the spectacular views over Dubrovnik Old Town, Frank and Vera suggest Orsula Park is best to visit at sunset.
Sometimes in the summer they have concerts in the park, which is definitely worth checking out. But, if not, it’s worth going for the views alone.
Address: Magistralni put 2, 20000, Dubrovnik.
5. Sveti Jakov Beach
Dubrovnik isn’t just a place to indulge in historical and cultural sightseeing, according to Frank and Vera it’s also a coastal town with plenty of beaches perfect for unwinding – and one of their faves is Sveti Jakov.
“Sveti Jakov Beach is a pebbly beach located 30 minutes walk from the old town. It’s never overcrowded and it has magnificent views over the town,” they explain.
Deck chairs, parasols, and basic food and drink are all available at the beach. However they do advise taking everything you might need for the day “as it takes more than a few steps to reach the beach”. Noted.
Address: Ul. Vlaha Bukovca 14, 20000.
6. D’Vino Wine Bar
Hidden out of sight along a small alleyway just off the Stradun (Old Town’s main street) is D’Vino – a wine bar offering a selection of Croatian wines which are available by the glass. There are also delicious food platters on offer – with cheese, cured meats and olives in abundance.
The helpful and knowledgable staff are on hand to introduce to you an exciting world of Croatian wines, say Vera and Frank.
Address: Palmotićeva ul. 4a, 20000, Dubrovnik.
7. Glam Café
Located just a hop, skip and a jump away from D’Vino Wine Bar is Glam Café, which the travel bloggers say is “the best place in town to taste local craft beers” – high praise indeed. And, because all that drinking is hungry work, they serve small bites too. Vera and Frank recommend it based on its “great atmosphere, friendly staff and reasonable prices”.
Address: Palmotićeva ul. 5, 20000, Dubrovnik.
8. Bota Sushi & Oyster Bar
“This restaurant is a must-visit for sushi and oyster aficionados,” say the travel bloggers. “Oysters come from their own farm in nearby Ston – and the rest of the seafood is just as fresh.”
The restaurant is small inside, with less than 10 high tables, as is the outdoor terrace – so make sure you book in advance.“You can get nigiri for 25Kn (£3) a piece, while various uramaki rolls go for 50Kn (£6) a piece,” they say. Check out the full menu here.
Address: Ul. od Pustijerne, 20000, Dubrovnik
Set on a busy street in Lapad neighbourhood, location isn’t exactly what brings people to Pantarul, say Vera and Frank. The selling point of this particular restaurant is the “casual but lively ambience, good service and enticing food”, so it’s really no surprise the place is always packed.
The menu changes regularly, however a few classics do remain throughout the year including hand-rolled pasta with chorizo and clams, steak tartare and braised ox cheeks. Yum!
Address: Ul. kralja Tomislava 1, 20000, Dubrovnik
10. Mount Srđ
The best place to get a bird’s eye view of Dubrovnik and its surroundings is up Mount Srđ. “Take a cable car to get there, and get some great shots of the old city,” say Frank and Vera. “There is a Panorama Bar and Restaurant at the top, as well as Fortress Imperial from the 19th century which today hosts the Croatian War of Independence Museum.”
A top tip from the travel bloggers: if you want to save some cash you can take a cable car going up, but go back down on foot.