Let’s be real. People only go to Dubrovnik to see the city also known as Kings Landing from Game of Thrones…No? Just me? Because this is 100% my purpose for walking the wall of the old town.
And in case you didn’t know, the old town of Dubrovnik is in fact Kings Landing from Game of Thrones. You are welcome.
If you missed our previous post, before Dubrovnik we were in Split, Croatia. I made the statement in that post that we would live in Split. This is largely because the city was in fact “livable.” Dubrovnik in comparison is a place you come to vacation and be a tourist. In our experience, anyway.
With that said, we had two full days to tourist-it-up in Dubrovnik. We stayed outside of the old town in an airbnb with a great view. Our host gave us tour options upon arriving. So on day one we go the Dubrovnik Pass and went ham on the old town. Day two we opted for a tour to an island for a day of swimming and relaxing.
We went straight for the wall on day one. When you get the Dubrovnik Pass, you get free entrance into the wall and other churches, monuments and museums, plus 24 hours of bus service to and from the old town.
From the wall you get views of the sea as well as the actual city within the walls. It took about an hour to walk around. Mostly due to the fact that it’s narrow and people are in no rush…The Miller’s are typically in a rush. So although we were slightly irritated with the pace, we gladly took in the views.
Once we checked the wall off our list, we explored the city within the walls. The old town is tiny, but packed with ALL OF THE THINGS to see and do. Our first stop was the oldest working pharmacy in Europe. It’s just to the right of the wall entrance. From there we just weaved through the alley ways and main streets checking off our map.
There are tours for nearly every building available, but we planned to take the cable car up to the top of Dubrovnik. So, per usual, we were on a schedule and didn’t take any tours. Sometimes I think we should start a travel blog or podcast called the No Tour Tourists. We don’t fancy tours. Which you’ll grasp from most of our travel recaps.
My favorite part of the Old Town was walking through the museums. There is a Natural Life Museum that was awesome. My love for organization and bright colors blinded my sheer hatred for bugs and creepy crawlers.
Don’t worry there are museums that don’t involve six legged enemies as well.
Croatia, most of Europe for that matter, has deep and intricate history. We visited historical museums, artisan museums, and even a museum of agriculture.
After busting our way through the city, we did something I highly encourage you to do. Take the cable car up to the top and grab a beer and meal overlooking all of Dubrovnik. You can see Lokrum Island in the photos below. This is where we spent our second day in Dubrovnik.
From Dubrovnik you can do all sorts of boat tours to different islands. I believe you can even visit Kotor, Montenegro. But we had two days full days planned in Montenegro so no sense in that tour for us.
I imagine in May-August the cable car line is packed. While in Sept, it was still a popular spot, we didn’t have to wait in line on the way up or the way down.
Then head down to the local swimming spot. Our host told us to go here. She said we’d be the only non-locals and we were (aside from the kayaking tour that starts here). It’s down the hill, tucked between the main city and the castle on the hill. If you can find it, GO HERE. It was peaceful, quaint and away from the hustle and bustle of the old town toursim.
While you’re there, grab a drink or fresh fried fish from one of the two cafes on the water. Yes, those are whole fish. Yes I was a little creeped out if I looked in their little eyeballs, but they were delicious non-the-less. Nate says “they were basically like fish potato chips.”
As mentioned above, you can choose from MANY tours. We opted for a shorter commitment. From old town, the boat shuttles to Lokrum Island start at 11am and end at 4 or 5pm. We got breakfast in the town and then hitched a ride to the island for the day.
Our host made sure to tell us to wear tennis shoes because it’s not a sandy beach. Like most areas in the Balkans, the sea is met with jagged rocks rather than sand.
The rocks on Lokrum are flat and plentiful. We were not alone by any means, but we had adequate space to ourselves which was lovely for us.
You can walk around the island and visit gardens, an old monastery and the large population of peacocks as well. We spent three hours just swimming and laying on the rocks. I did happen to sneak a few photos of the peacocks on our way out.
Then it was back to our airbnb with this solid view. This was a weird one but I suggest staying here if you need somewhere outside the old town, with a view and good value. Our room was nice, the host was amazing, but our bathroom was across the hall. This is not our favorite set up, but we were NEVER in the hotel anyway so it worked out fine.
You can stay in the old city for pretty penny. But busses run all day to and from the old city. If you get the Dubrovnik Pass, these bus rides are included. So, you do you. Just know you have options, and staying outside the old city is quieter and just as beautiful if not more.
We capped off our last day with the sunset, packed up and got ready for our drive to Kotor, Montenegro the next morning. That’s what’s up next! More Balkans – Kotor, Montenegro, followed by our favorite location of all, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Stay tuned!
I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
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