Saturday, 11 June 2016

What to do with 3 days in Dubrovnik (especially if you're a Game of Thrones fan!).

dubrovnik old town
I swear I only heard of 'Dubrovnik' a few years ago, which is just plain ignorance on my part! I didn't know much about it, other than it is in Croatia and I'd had seen a few pictures and it did look quite pretty. And then I watched a "behind the scenes" programme on the filming locations for Game of Thrones, a series which I am obsessed with and absolutely love. A lot of series 1-4 was filmed on location in Dubrovnik, due to it's perfectly in tact medieval buildings, close proximity to the sea and atmospheric streets and it really caught my interest, so I googled. When I saw that there were several companies doing Game of Thrones walking tours around the Old Town, I knew I had to go.

After not much persuading, I convinced my daughter to book some annual leave and off we set over the May half term holiday to Dubrovnik.

Day one - We had an early start from gatwick and a short flight (2.5 hours) later, arrived at the Hotel Neptun in Babin Kuk, a small penisula surrounded by stunning rocky coastline. The hotel is a 4 star and all the bedrooms have been recently upgraded to reflect a bright, modern interior. We had a panoramic sea view room with balcony, which was a lovely large room with an added dressing area.
hotel neptun dubrovnik
Just a short walk to the front of the hotel is a bus stop where you can catch the local number 6 bus in to the Old Town for £1.20 one way. Whilst getting the bus from the hotel was great, as it's the first stop on the route, getting it back from the Old Town is not fun. It's packed and a free for all to get on. A taxi back to the hotel was £9.00, so we did that after a couple of very sweaty bus rides.

I was desperate to see Dubrovnik Old Town and it did not disappoint, it is absolutely stunning. It's quite compact, so you can get your bearings quickly and once you enter the Old Town through the Pile Gate, and go inside the City Walls, you go back in time to a truly atmospheric labyrinth of streets and many beautiful buildings.

We had lunch at one of the many restaurants in the square just outside the Pile Gate entrance. This is a lovely but busy square where many of the tours start from, and it's also a main bus stop but once you're seated away from the hustle and bustle it's a great people watching place. Look over the wall and you can watch the groups of kayakers setting off on their tour along the coastline.

Day two - we had a relaxing morning sunbathing  on the hotel's cliff side terraces and then hopped on the bus back into the Old Town to walk the City Walls.
You can walk the whole route for £12.00 per adult. They say the walk will take between 1.5-2 hours but we did it in 45 minutes, mostly because it was really quiet and it was also very hot.  The views on the wall, above the roof tops is something else. The walls are quite high and to get up to the start is via a steep set up stairs but it is well worth it. There are lots of refreshment stalls and seating along the route if you want to have a rest and admire the views. I was on the look out for the famous Buza Bar (a bar built in to the cliffs, where you can sit and watch cliff divers) but unfortunately missed the rather hidden entrance.

Day three - we were booked to go on a Game of Thrones Walking Tour. A lovely lady, who has actually been an extra in several episodes when they filmed in Dubrovnik (peasant woman number 20!), took a small group of us on a 2 hour tour to several locations in the Old Town where she explained and then showed us via screen shots where filming had taken place, what scenes these were and also pointed out where scenes had been altered by adding in CGI elements. We also walked up (and this was really steep and long) to Fort Lovrijenac, which for GOT fans is the Red Keep. The tour was £18.00 per adult and well worth it. And the best bit - at the end of the tour we got to sit on the Iron Throne and have a picture taken!

Me and the Daughter with our "I'm not a Princess, I'm a Khaleesi" t-shirts. (Yes we felt fools, but when in Kings Landing..).
A easy 15 minute walk along the coast from our hotel to an area called Lapad, we discovered some lovely restaurants, and more importantly a great ice cream parlour where the woman went out of her way to find banana sorbet in the freezer store for my daughter. 
So if you've every wondered if Dubrovnik is worth a visit, it definitely is. It's a short flight, great weather (most of the time, we only had one cloudy day but it was early in the season), stunning, safe and the people are friendly.

I would definitely like to go back to find the Buza Bar, ride the cable car to the top of Mount Srdj and go on a boat trip to Lokrum Island (another GOT filming location).



  1. Looks like a beautiful place. I'm thinking about going away with my daughter for along weekend and somewhere like this looks ideal!

    1. Oh I think you'd love it. You get culture, great scenery and sunbathing. I definitely want to explore more of Croatia.
      Julie xx


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