I’ve been curious about Croatia for awhile (kept hearing it was beautiful!) though admittedly I didn’t know much about it and don’t know anything about Game of Thrones. If you’re a fan of the show I’m sure you know that it’s filmed in Dubrovnik and there are plenty of tours to take on that front. With all that said it was a huge shock to find out just how many stairs and hills there were!!! Literally you can not walk more than 30 seconds before breaking a sweat, especially if you’re traveling in peak summer season. I work out every day so people kept asking “what’s the big deal?” The big deal is that I don’t want to work out after my workout! I love to leisurely stroll, shop, cafe hop – this isn’t so fun when it involves countless stairs and hills. That said there is a reward for all that tough terrain – beautiful views.
With that said a must is a ride up the cable car and lunch at Panorama restaurant. If you want the indoor space you’ll need a reservation, but my husband and I snagged an outdoor table (nicer in my opinion) without one. The views are breathtaking and the food is surprisingly good for a tourist trap.
Speaking of tourist traps, Dubrovnik is one big tourist trap! So you have to be fine with over-paying to some degree if you go to any random restaurant in the Old City. A few standouts that are worth going to but require booking in advance are Nautika. It’s right when you get into the Old City and the views are stunning. The service is great here as well (I didn’t like my main course – which when asked I told them – and they took it off the bill). Note this is one of the priciest places in Dubrovnik and worth dressing up a bit for.
Stopping at Villa Dubrovnik is also a must. I would recommend staying there for your hotel, but if it’s not in your budget try their restaurant (Michelin awarded) or at the very least their rooftop wine and prosciutto bar. Go at sunset! The views are breathtaking. Villa Dubrovnik is a short boat ride (or cab ride) away from the Old City and if you’re staying at the hotel they have a free mini yacht every hour to take you back and forth.
If it’s not in your budget the Valamar Lacroma is a 20-minute bus ride outside of the Old City (there is a bus right outside the hotel – though climbing a small hill is required…). It a very large resort-style hotel (lots of tour groups). It’s a bit impersonal for my taste and it’s not the kind of place where the concierge has any idea what they’re talking about so you’d have to make all your plans and reservations in advance. That said if all you want is basic amenities and a clean space for a low cost this is arguably the best option.
Tracing Game of Thrones shooting location is a big thing and even though I don’t watch the show it’s fun to see all the beautiful sites. Walking the walls – basically the perimeter of the city from an elevated point – is also a worthy endeavor as is a day trip to Lacroma Island (it’s a quick boat ride away). I was there for four nights/five days, but I think two nights/three days is enough to see all the sights. I did stop by a few of their museums, but they’re nothing to write home about!