Owing its popularity to “Game of Thrones”, Dubrovnik aka King’s Landing is emerging as one of the hot destinations in the Adriatic.This Croatian city is a must to go destination if you are a fan of sea and forts.
Dubrovnik situated in the extreme south of Croatia and Europe is only accessible by road or airways. Due to extreme mountain train transport is not present.It is just an hour from Zagreb, capital of Croatia.Dubrovnik is famous for its city walls which are built across the Adriatic Sea around the old town giving it a scenic view. These walls were restored after they suffered a major attack in the early 90’s. Now they run around the old town for about 5kms.
WHERE TO STAY IN DUBROVNIK
The best area to stay in Dubrovnik is Ploce.It is outside the old town and is easily accessible by road. If you have a car then be sure you choose a place which provides parking as well.In Dubrovnik, the number of hotels is less when compared to paying houses/rooms. Ploce is a hilly area and the higher you go the better views of old town.That also means the number of steps you need to climb is more. Some prefer staying in the old town, but cars are not allowed inside the gate.The nearest point is Piles gate from where you need to carry your own luggage to the hotel. Also, most of the hotels in Old town do not have lifts and the steps are very steep. So if you aren’t a light traveler, it is better to stay outside the wall.
HOW TO ROAM ABOUT
Dubrovnik is a place best covered on foot, so be sure you pack a good pair of walking shoes.It is advisable to buy “Dubrovnik card” depending upon the number of days you are going to stay.This card includes the ticket to walk on the wall and all the public transport facilities. The old town is required to be covered on foot as no vehicles are allowed inside the city gates. If you want to go to Lokrum island, ferries are available near the port. Be sure to ask the boat guy about pick timing after reaching Lokrum. Lappad and other areas are easily accessible by buses.
Rustic orange tiles set against bluest of waters, the old town is a vision from the walls. If you are visiting Dubrovnik only for a day or two, make sure you allow 2-3 hours to walk on the walls. Before entering check the close time of the walls as it would be waste of time to not cover the entire stretch. Usually, summers have longer open hours when compared to winters. There are many entrances to get on top of the wall but Piles gate entry is most preferable. Be sure to have your camera ready with lots of memory space. Carry your own water bottles as there are not many restaurants on the top. Also, they are quite expensive. While walking on the wall you can see the entire old town, Lokrum and Lovernjac castle.There are many towers within the wall. Minceta tower holds its position the northern part. It is also the highest point on the wall.View of the city from this tower is breathtaking.St John Fortress is located near the port. It was critical in attacking enemy vessels.
Once you are done with the wall, enter old town via Stradun. This is the widest street in old town. As in any tourist place, everything is higher in price when compared to other streets on Stradun. This beautiful stretch from piles gate to Polce gate is quite picturesque. This street was shown in many movies including Star Wars VIII. Most of the prominent monuments like the bell tower, Ontario’s fountain etc are found on this street.Dubrovnik’s old town is a preserved UNESCO Heritage site. Hence no vehicles are allowed inside. In the interior of the old town, Jesuit stairs is an important site.These are famously known as “Walk of shame”. This is more popular among visitors who are ardent GoT fans.This is the exact same spot where Cercei started her walk of shame in the TV show.You will find a lot of localities explaining tourists the shooting of that scene. Going ahead from this stairs you will find a ruined Dominican monastery.
After a tiring walk in old town visit the old port and enjoy the Adriatic sea.You can also enjoy in cafe situated along the old port.Benches are available along the coast. This place is famous for sunset pictures. From old port, you can also get a better view of Lokrum.
If you have more than two days stay in Dubrovnik, try kayaking in the Adriatic sea from the old port to Lokrum.Dubrovnik’s old port is leaving point when traveling to Lokrum. Many ferry services are available from here departing every half an hour.Check with the management if the ticket is inclusive of entry to the island. It is economical to buy a ferry ticket which includes the ticket to the island. Beware of many ferries proving cheaper transport but do not include the entry ticket. This might end up being a costlier option.The whole of Lokrum island is a heritage protected site.Make sure you take a map of the island mapping all the spots on the island.
Benedictine monastery and Fort royal castle are the most impressive sites on the island. The walk to Fort royal castle is an excruciating one. The path is very steep and quite slippery. Be sure to carry a walking stick or support if you have knee problems. The walk itself is a rewarding one if completed as it is the highest point on the island.
This deserves a special mention because of the heart-stopping view it provides. Located in Polce area, entry is not included in “Dubrovnik card”. It is advisable to take this trip in the evening as you can witness beautiful sunsets. The cable car is a connection from Polce to Srd hill.