We finally arrived in the famous town of Dubrovnik, that in recent years has carved a name for itself as a destination place for sun-seekers the world over, and of course…Game of Thrones fans.
Sea and Steps
We arrived early in the day and as it was so warm, decided to hit up a beach Jay had seen on IG, Bellevue Beach. We meandered away from the old town section and found ourselves in perhaps one of the most idyllic beach settings I’ve ever been…and that is saying a lot having lived and travelled through Australia for the past decade!
From the shape of the cove lined by steep cliffs, to the old ruins of what might have been a jetty long ago, to the cave you could swim into and explore, and, of course, stunning deep blue-green clear waters, I fell in love with this place. Bellevue Beach my friends is the place to go! Finding the way down to it was a bit tricky. When looking at the Bellevue hotel, take the first street to the immediate right. After 50-100m, you’ll hit Rixos Libertas hotel -turn just before that and keep following the stairs down!
And on the topic of stairs…ensuring you have a good level of fitness would not go amiss if you’re planning on properly seeing Dubrovnik.
We consider ourselves somewhat fit individuals, however the 300+ steps down and then again back up for a swim, the hilly walk to the old town and the many steps in around the tourist sites do put your fitness to the test.
Old town Dubrovnik and GoT fans
We came into Dubrovnik thinking it would be very similar to all of the other ‘old towns’ we had visited across Croatia and Montenegro already. And whilst there was a common thread between them, Dubrovnik really did blow the others out of the water.
It was bigger, it was hillier, it had different forts and castles, and amazing vantage points to take in the Old Town. We signed up for our first, and only tour of the trip- a Game of Thrones walking experience to take in the Red Keep, Blackwater Bay and the infamous steps where Cersei Lannister completed her walk of atonement. Pricing for the tour was reasonable at 18 euro a person for a couple of hours, and we had a fantastic tour guide.
The rest of the old town was as expected- many restaurants, cafes and boutique shops with inflated pricing, but enjoyable nonetheless. The one interesting and differentiating feature of Dubrovnik Old Town was the multiple magnificent fountains that spurt out fresh water for you to refill your water bottles with.
I saw this as a win for all involved- free drinkable water for the tourists, fewer people having to visit the medics due to dehydration on the hot days, and earning the money back by charging a whopping 10 Kunas ($2 Aud) to use the bathroom within the Old Town walls!
It had a feeling of bringing people together that I can imagine would be reminiscent of the old days when the town would gather at the well for water.
Accommodation, transportation and food
Dubrovnik is not a cheap city to visit, so if you’re trying to enjoy the sights, but not blow your budget, here are a few recommendations:
1) Stay in a small ‘apartment’/room that is managed by a local. By avoiding the large hotels, you will save a motza! And to be honest, it makes for a more authentic experience as well 🙂
2) Remember you don’t need to be right in Old Town to see it all. We stayed about 2km away, and walking in and out to see the attractions each day let us see that bit more of the city, as well as keeping accommodation affordable.
3) Roads and parking around Dubrovnik could be a bit hectic. We opted for foot express the majority of the trip, as it was not only cheaper, helped to work off the amazing meals we’d been inhaling, but was also the easiest option. We did see many tourists using the city buses as well, which were included on some of the tourist passes (Dubrovnik card).
4) You don’t need to dine out each meal! Grab a bite from a hole-in-the-wall shop and eat on the go. Remember to duck your head into the local pekara- the bakeries were very affordable and great for a filling snack. In saying that, make sure you treat yourself to a nice meal or two. Taking some time to sit and appreciate this magnificent corner of the world over a glass of wine and plate of pasta (with some great company too of course!) made for some of my fondest memories of our time in Croatia.