Is there more to Dubrovnik than just Game of Thrones? Of course!
Dubrovnik is a city that has risen from the ashes to become the ‘pearl of the Adriatic sea’.
The famous red-roofed city has frequently appeared on our screens through the world-renowned TV show, Game of Thrones. As magical and exciting as it is to visit the locations of iconic scenes, Dubrovnik has so much more to offer.
Around 1.5 million people visit Dubrovnik every year to enjoy its delicious cuisine, sip Croatian wine by the turquoise Adriatic sea and learn about its history.
Dubrovnik has a special charm that sets it apart from all the other Croatian cities.
How long should you spend in Dubrovnik?
3-5 days is the perfect amount of time to spend in Dubrovnik.
This gives you enough time to sample some mouth-watering cuisine, visit Dubrovnik’s historical sites and potentially take a day trip to another country!
Dubrovnik is also the kind of place where you can slip into a routine of relaxation, only to be broken by enjoying fresh and rejuvenating dishes by the sea.
The tour takes you around the Old Town. There you’ll get to take in the beautiful sights, plus listen to stories and remarkable facts about Dubrovnik’s dramatic history, including the recent past during the Homeland War.
The best thing about the tour is that the tour guide, Vlaho, is a local, so he’s able to give you a locals perspective of the city. It’s something you wouldn’t be able to gain by walking around by yourself.
One of the main attractions of Dubrovnik is its outstanding and impressive city walls encircling the entirety of the Old Town.
Measuring nearly 2 km long, the city walls are a complex system of towers, forts, bastions and casemates.
Considering that the walls were built in the 13th century, they’re in incredible condition today and help you to imagine life back then.
Walking along the walls with the spectacular Adriatic Sea on one side, and the iconic red roofs on the other is a pretty immense experience. One that you have to do whilst in Dubrovnik.
(And yes it was also a filming location for Game of Thrones).
How to visit Dubrovnik City Walls
If you wish to walk the city walls alone, then a ticket costs around 204 KN (€27) per person.
Alternatively, there are a number of tours that you can join if you want to learn about the history of the walls and the city itself.
You can beat the crowds and join an early bird tour of the city walls or experience it at its full glory during the sunset tour. The tour takes around 2 hours and costs €20 per person.
Up for something a little different? A kayaking tour gives you a completely different perspective of Dubrovnik’s city walls. As well as getting to see them from the ocean, you’ll get to visit Lokrum island and go snorkelling for €38.
TIP: Our compact Dubrovnik Travel Guide shows you the best areas to stay, restaurants you don’t want to miss and many more tips for your visit to Dubrovnik!
#4 Ride in the cable car and get panoramic views of Dubrovnik
You can’t get a better view of Dubrovnik than this!
The iconic orange cable car dates back to 1969 where it was enjoyed by around 2.5 million people per year.
Don’t worry, it’s not still the same cable car. A new one was opened in 2010.
There’s a reason why so many people were eager to reach the top of Mount Srđ. At 450 metres above sea level, you’ll be treated to spectacular views of the crystal Adriatic sea, the islands beyond and of course a birds-eye view of Dubrovnik Old Town.
The contrast of the orange roofs against the turquoise ocean is really quite magical!
This journey takes only 5 minutes, but opens up a whole other perspective of Dubrovnik.
A return ticket costs just over €13.
#5 Take a boat to Lokrum Island for a day of swimming, snorkelling and exploring
Just across the water from Dubrovnik, you’ll be able to see Lokrum Island. Only a 15-minute boat trip away, Lokrum island is a popular day trip from the city.
It’s an island full of incredible viewpoints, perfect spots for swimming and interesting history.
Lokrum Island was also the location for the city ‘Qarth’ in Game of Thrones. As part of this Games of Thrones tour, you’ll get to visit a variety of film locations in the Old Town. Plus Benedictine Monastery, where you can take a picture on the Iron Throne!
#9 Climb 200 steps to visit Lovrijenac Fort overlooking the Adriatic Sea
Perched upon a 37-metre-high sheer rock, it’s hard to miss the impressive Lovrijenac Fort. Its imposing size and light grey walls create a brilliant contrast against the ocean backdrop.
Lovrijenac Fort is believed to date back to 1018, however official documentation shows 1301.
Back then, the detached fortress was an integral part of Dubrovnik City. When the city was under attack, the fortress would provide defence of the western part of Dubrovnik, both from the sea and the land.
The fort is a wonderful place to wander around and admire some incredible views.
Entrance to Lovrijenac Fort costs around €7.
#10 Admire the architecture of Rector’s Palace
Rector’s Palace is one of Dubrovnik’s main tourist and historical attractions.
Damaged multiple times throughout history, the palace is now a remarkable combination of architecture – a basic Gothic palace remodelled by Renaissance with Baroque add-ons.
Originally built in the 13th century and once a government building, Rector’s Palace is now home to the Dubrovnik Museum.
Entrance costs €13. It’s a nice place to escape the sun for a bit and admire some excellent architecture and history.
#11 Discover Dubrovnik through its food and wine
A great way to understand a city and the way of life is through its food and drink. It gives you an insight into where they socialise, how they prepare their food and what’s important to them.
For Croatians in coastal cities like Dubrovnik, it’s a predominantly Mediterranean diet with a lot of seafood. You’ll easily find lots of this food, but what you may miss out on are the local specialities.
That’s why we recommend taking a food and wine tour!
Croatian wine is also some of the best in the world and it’s absolutely delicious. You also don’t tend to find as many Croatian wines in restaurants and bars around the world, which makes enjoying a glass of Croatian wine that little bit more special.
This fascinating 3-hour culinary journey takes you to a number of cosy restaurants and cafes that you might have otherwise missed. You’ll learn about the cuisine as well as getting to try it!
#12 Enjoy the nature of the botanical gardens at Trsteno Arboretum
Need to escape the city for a bit and just be surrounded by nature?
20-minutes up the coast from Dubrovnik is Trsteno Arboretum. An arboretum is a Latin word for botanical. It’s a botanical garden.
The botanical garden is home to over 300 species of trees and plants from all across the world. You’ll find Asian trees standing right next to American ones.
Trsteno Arboretum is a beautiful place to enjoy tranquillity and relax as you take in nature.
An added bonus is that it’s also the location for the Kings Landing garden scenes in Game of Thrones.
How to get to Trsteno Arboretum
If you don’t have a car then taking the bus is a great alternative. There are 7 departures from Dubrovnik to Trsteno Town every day from 7:15 am to 9 pm.
The bus ride takes between 20-40 minutes and costs around €3 each way.
Entrance to the gardens costs just under €7.
#13 Explore another country and visit Kotor in Montenegro
Want to tick off another country during your trip to Croatia?
Well, one of the main towns in Montenegro, Kotor, is only a 2-hour drive from Dubrovnik.
Kotor is a small coastal town surrounded by impressive mountains and stunning waters. It’s also one full of heritage and history.
How to visit Montenegro
You could try to do a day trip to Montenegro by yourself if you have a car, but if not we’d recommend joining a group tour. This way your transportation and where to visit is arranged for you.
With this all-day tour to Montenegro you visit both Kotor and the nearby town of Perast. Not only that, you’ll get to enjoy a boat trip around Kotor all whilst being accompanied by a knowledgeable guide.
Kate is a writer, (ex)Management Consultant and avid traveller. She recently returned from a 2-year career break exploring the world and decided corporate life wasn’t for her. She’ll soon be testing life as a digital nomad. She’s visited over 40 countries and fell in love with Latin America in particular. Her travelling has inspired a passion for yoga, salsa, hiking and Spanish.
Based in Bali, Maarten’s passion for travel is undeniable. In 2016, he decided to quit his job as a stock analyst and started doing what he always dreamed of: travelling through South East Asia and helping other people plan their trips. When he is not working on Gecko Routes, you’ll find him surfing in the ocean or exploring the best gems of Indonesia.