Oh, Dubrovnik, Croatia! I LOVE This City…Like TRUE, Unconditional LOVE! Have you ever been to a place that you literally fell in LOVE with?! We loved it SO much that we extended our one month stay to six weeks!
Dubrovnik offers up so much to see and do, from beautiful picturesque sea side views with mountain in the backdrop, to Old Town’s historical white stone buildings and streets. Everywhere you turn, you’ll truly be amazed!
When To Visit Dubrovnik, Croatia:
The peak tourist season in Dubrovnik is in the summer and I’ve read SO many blogs and spoken to a ton of locals here that informed me that it’s ABSOLUTELY NUTS! So much so that you’ll have to wait hours for the top attractions and restaurants, which is why I’d totally suggest coming in the early spring or late fall/early winter.
We came for the entire month of January and half of February and we literally had almost the WHOLE CITY to ourselves-normally in summer the queue for the Wall is hours long and we stood on top of it by OURSELVES!! If you’re the kind of traveler that doesn’t mind cooking your own food at your accommodation, then I’d HIGHLY suggest coming here in January/February. Everything is more relaxed in the city and 90% of the attractions are still open, although it’s not warm enough to swim in the sea or go on water excursions.
Where To Stay In Dubrovnik:
(view from the living room of the Airbnb)
We are always faithful users of Airbnb, because I LOVE to cook and we always have Miesha with us (our fluffy dog). Our Airbnb in Dubrovnik was totally gorgeous and had EPIC views of the Adriatic Sea. It’s in a perfect location nestled just outside Old Town (10 minute walk along the beautiful coastline), with a SUPER accommodating host. We LOVE staying in local neighborhoods when we travel, as we get more of a traveller experience instead of just being tourists and this Airbnb was a perfect fit for what we wanted.
For $55 off your first AIRBNB booking, click HERE!
If Airbnb’s aren’t your thing and you’re looking for an AMAZING hotel on the ocean with epic views and great amenities, then look no further than Rixos Libertas. Our Airbnb was just next to Rixos and, since we became gym members for a month there, we had access to all their amazing amenities. Not only do they have an indoor and outdoor pool, multiple restaurants, bars and a spa, they also have their own casino! Rixos is located about 10 minutes walking from Old Town, right on the Adriatic Sea.
What To Do In Dubrovnik:
This beautiful city is FULL of amazing things to do and see. Just getting lost and wandering through Old Town and taking it all in is unforgettable. Of course, there are some top spots you MUST see and I’ve listed them here for you!
After arriving in this magnificent city, you’ll quickly discover that everything here isn’t exactly cheap. The average budget friendly meal costs around $10-12USD and tourist attracts are very pricey. Fortunately, the Dubrovnik Card was created to help save us tourists some cash!
Upon purchase of the Dubrovnik Card, you’ll have entry to the top 9 tourist attractions, FREE public transport, and discounts on a whole bunch of other attractions. If you’re one of those tourists who enjoys soaking in every facet and site in the city, then the Dubrovnik Card is a no brainer for you!
You can purchase a 1-Day (153Kn-$25.74USD), 3-Day (225Kn-$37.79USD) or 7-Day Card (315Kn-$52.91USD), depending on your length of stay in the city.
Be SURE to purchase the card online for an additional 10% off! After purchasing online, you’ll get a voucher via email, with you’ll present to one of four Tourist Board Offices in the city (specified in the email) and pick up your card!
HBO’s Game Of Thrones
If you love the hit HBO show (I’m obsessed, especially with Jon Snow…don’t tell my husband) then you’re going to LOVE this city, because a LARGE majority of it was filmed in Old Town. I’ve written a separate blog post for you to go on your own Game of Thrones Tour throughout the city, and save the $100 that most tours charge. Filming sites include Cerse’s Walk of Shame, the House of the Undying, King’s Landing Harbour, Joffrey’s Name Day and where Oberyn Fights the Mountain…and many more!
Check Out My Game of Thrones Blog Post With All The Top Film Sites Mapped Out For You, With Photos From The Show!
Ancient City Walls
The Ancent City Walls are the #1 sight to see and a MUST DO while visiting. Constructed in 1453, these walls were named a UNESCO World Heritage Sight in 1970. The City Walls are 1.9 km long (1.18 miles), which come in second to the Great Wall of China as the largest on the planet. They walls have never been breached and even survived the massive earthquake of 1667. Be sure to visit both gates-entrances (Pile and Ploce) to get a full understanding of just how enclosed this great city was!
Note: Wear comfortable shoes and bring water, as there are only a few stops on the wall that sell (overpriced) beverages/snacks. If you’re only visiting for a limited amount of time, check the weather forecast and save this for the nicest weather day…the pictures are just insane from the wall with clear, blue skies! Cost for entry is pretty steep. This one hurt a little…150kn= $25USD, but it includes Fort Lovrijenac if you go within 24-hours.
Also known as ‘Dubrovnik’s Gibraltar,’ Fort Lovrijenac offers up great views of Old Town and Dubrovnik West Harbour from above! The inside is quite bare, honestly, but it’s definitely a must see! Did I mention that a LOT of Game of Thrones scenes were filmed here?!
Cost of entry is INCLUDED with your ticket to the Ancient City Walls, but if you choose to only attend this (for some weird, strange reason), then
Dubrovnik Cable Car
Built back in 1969, the Dubrovnik Cable Car is a 4-minute cable car ride that offers up beautiful views from up above the city. There’s also a restaurant at the top if you’d like to have a bite and/or a drink.
You can purchase roundtrip tickets for 140Kn ($23.51USD) or one-way for 85.00Kn ($14.28USD).
We were fortunate enough to visit the cable car twice, riding two-ways the second time and riding one-way to climb down the mountain the first time. If you are healthy enough for climbing, then I’d HIGHLY suggest taking a one way trip up the mountain via the cable car and hiking the rocky, uneven trail back down. We saw some of the most beautiful scenery on the walk back down (we even saw cows crazy on the steep side of the mountain), but it’s certainly not advised if you have knee problems, balance problems or a fear of heights. Be SURE to wear proper footwear (tennis shoes or, better yet, hiking boots).
Museum Dubrovnik in Homeland War
While you’re on top of Srd Hill, be sure to stop at the Homeland War Museum, which is housed inside a fort, for the exhibit depicting the war from 1991-1995. The fort was the first line of defense during the war and housed the 163rd Dubrovnik Brigade of the Croatian Army. It also offers up the best views from above the city. In the museum you’ll find photos, documents, art, mines, explosives, flags and video from the war. The cost per entry is 30Kn ($5USD).
War Photo Limited Photography Museum
Located right in the center of Old Town, War Photo Limited is a photography museum that depicts the fall of Yugoslavia. I was honestly quite devastated that this was the #2 site I wanted to visit and it was closed when we visited, due to it being in the offseason! Luckily, we’re heading back to Split in April and planning to stop back by the city for a day to catch it! Cost of entry is 50kn ($8.40USD).
A Roman Catholic Cathedral, constructed in the 12th-14th century. The Dubrovnik Cathedral was completed destroyed in the Great Earthquake of 1667, but of course was re-constructed. Entry is free to the cathedral and the tickets to enter the Treasury are 15Kn ($2.50USD).
Rector’s Palace is a museum that once was the administrative center of the Dubrovnik Replica. This is also the museum which holds many concerts and orchestras. It happens to be the place for filming the famous Game of Thrones scene where Daenerys Targaryen requests ships from the Spice King in Quarth. Cost of entry is 40Kn ($6.72USD)
Where To Eat & Drink In Dubrovnik:
Due to coming in the off season, not many restaurants were open. I’m going to fall short on recommendations for you here. We visited in January and mostly cooked inside at our Airbnb. I do have a few great restaurants we stopped at to share with you. I also have some highly recommended places!
D’Vino Wine Bar
Some seriously delicious wine is made in Croatia and D’Vino Wine Bar has it all! Located in the heart of Old Town, this cute wine bar offers over 60 wines by the glass from all over the world. The also offer wine tastings and wine tours. If you love wine, don’t miss this place.
I was recommended Buza Bar by MANY people, but was also told that it is ridiculously overpriced, so just to go for one drink and to take in the view. Sadly, they were closed when we visited due to the offseason.
The Gaffee Irish Pub
Honestly, Irish Pub The Gaffee is just like any other Irish Pub in the world, but it was warm and cozy and offers up great beer on draught, so we went several times when we roamed around Old Town.
We are OBSESSED with sushi and it is totally our favorite food ever. We always seek it out in every city we go to. I’ve recommended two sushi places for you and Shinzuku Japanese Cuisine is by far the best and most affordable. Shinzuku is located outside of Old Town, which makes it far less expensive and is a popular spot for locals.
Located in the heart of Old Town, Bota Sushi came highly recommended, although when we went, it was closed for renovations.
Lady Pi Pi
Great Mediterranean Cuisine with a view, Lady Pi PI came highly recommended by friends who frequent the area.
Hair Salon in Dubrovnik:
I am totally obsessed with finding the right person to color and cut my hair, especially when we travel. Maybe that’s because I’ve had previous horrific experiences where someone turned my hair electric white like a light bulb! I was glowing for months! Fortunately, I had the BEST of luck finding Karmela at Kozmetički Salon Beauty Line. The salon is located just outside of old town and Karmela did SUCH an amazing job making my hair beautifully blonde again. She cut my hair perfectly as well, all at an affordable price. Plus she has a fun, upbeat personality! If you’re looking for a salon in Dubrovnik, then look no further, Karmela is the BEST!
Gym In Dubrovnik:
We worked out here for a whole month and I couldn’t recommend this gym more. They don’t have all the equipment I would have liked, but we made it work. They have 4 treadmills, a bike, an elliptical, free weights, a Smith Cage and some assisted machines, so we certainly made it work. The cost was 500Kn for one month ($84USD), which included the gym indoor pool, sauna and yoga classes. If you’re just looking to go for one or two days, then I’d suggest Fitness Studio Dynamic instead. It is much more affordable. A day pass at Rixos is 150Kn ($25USD)-ouch.
Fitness Studio Dynamic:
Fitness Studio Dynamic is the BEST gym in town, although it’s located 2.5 miles outside of Old Town. The gym is spacious and well equipped with everything from free weights, to squat racks, benches, cardio equipment, machines and even a women’s only workout area. It’s MUCH more affordable than Rixos, at just 40HRK ($6.65USD) per visit or 300HRK ($50USD) per month.
Laundry In Dubrovnik:
Sanja & Rosie’s Launderette:
Sanja & Rosie’s is the cutest laundry facility I’ve ever been to in my life, located just outside of Ploce Gate in Old Town. Even Miesha had a great time here 🙂 Laundry in the city is quite pricey. The average price is 50kn ($8.40) to wash and 25Kn ($4.20) for 30-minutes of drying.
Dominium Bubble Laundry Service is located outside of Old Town and we preferred this place more than Sanja & Rosie’s because they have free wifi, although the prices are the same: 50kn ($8.40) to wash and 25Kn ($4.20) for 30 minutes of drying.
For the best rate, it’s best to head to the local banks to exchange money while visiting Dubrovnik. OTP Banka is located right in Old Town.
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