Things to See and Do in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Things to See and Do in Dubrovnik 3

In June I was lucky enough to travel to Dubrovnik, Croatia, for the first time. As a huge Game of Thrones fan I had been eager to visit for a while, but nothing prepared me for how spectacularly beautiful it was. Steeped in history, clean, safe and with population of friendly and lovely people, it’s an absolute must-see.

While isn’t possible to see everything in just a single trip, here are a few highlights that may help when planning a future vacation of your own.

Explore Old Town. Renowned for being one of the most beautifully preserved medieval cities in the world, Old Town in Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After undergoing huge renovations to restore it to its original magnificence following the civil war of the 1990’s, the city is a traffic free zone, impressively clean and an absolutely stunning place to see. With historical sights including palaces, churches, palaces and museums, the city also has a wide variety of markets, cafes, bars and restaurants serving local and international cuisine. If possible, try and visit both Old Town during the day and again at night. Many places have late opening times during the tourist season, and it is a spectacular atmosphere in the glorious sunshine and when lit up at night. For the best of both, time your visit a few hours before sunset – you won’t be disappointed!

Walking the Walls of Dubrovnik

The roofs of Old Town

Enter through Pile Gate: The beautiful stone bridge leads into the west side of Old Town and down the steps into the Stradun, the main promenade of Old Town. (It’s worth noting that there is also a ramp at the section, making it accessible for wheelchair users). During busier times of the year, this area is divided into two sections in which visitors walk on the right. Click on the images for the full view:

Sit by the Large Onofrio’s Fountain. This fountain is situated in between Pile gate and Stradun. Embellished by 16 stone masks and containing 16 water taps, it was designed and constructed by Italian architect Onofrio di Giordano della Cava. During hot weather, it’s a brilliant place to sit and cool down.

The Stradun in Old Town Dubrovnik

The Stradun in Old Town Dubrovnik

Walk down Stradun. Completely pedestrianised, Stradun is the main street in Old Town, stretching from Pile Gate to the Old Town port. It was once a channel that separated the small island from which Dubrovnik was built on from the mainland, but was filled and now acts as the main promenade and all routes around Old Town lead to this area. Filled with cafes, stores and restaurants and an absolutely beautiful place to walk down later at night as the sun is setting. Be aware that the prices of things will be more expensive along here, and during the main tourist seasons it will be filled with people.

Walk the Walls of Dubrovnik. Open from 8.00am until 7.30pm every day, the Walls of Dubrovnik (Murrales de Dubrovnik) are one of the most spectacular ways to see Old Town and beyond, offering stunning views of the  terracotta roofs, Fort Lovrijenac, neighbouring islands and Adriatic Sea. They are considered to be one of the greatest fortifications of the Middle Ages, and cost 200kn (about £24) to visit. It is worth noting that during the intense heat of summer there is very little shade, so ensure that you are well hydrated. For more information, visit here. 

Admire The Old Pharmacy and Cloisters at the Franciscan Monastery. Open every day from 9.00am – 6.00pm, the Old Pharmacy is one of the oldest pharmacies in Europe and is still in use today. The magnificent 14th-century cloisters can be found next to it, consisting of rows of elegant double-pillared columns encircling the Monastery’s inner courtyard. It costs just 5 kuna to enter and tickets can be purchased on the day. Click on the images for the full view:

Walk up the Jesuit Stairs. Any Game of Thrones fan will know the significance of this and expect to hear the word ‘shame’ spoken by tourists at least ten times during your visit. These beautiful baroque stairs can be found next to the Gundulićeva Poljana in Old Town and lead up to the 17th-century Jesuit College and Jesuit Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

Explore Fort Lovrijenac and Dubrovnik West Harbour. The fort was built about 1000 years ago in an effort to protect the city from potential Venetian invaders. Like many areas of Dubrovnik, expect lots of steps to access the building, as it sits about 120 ft. above the water. Entrance to the Fort is 50 kn, but if you have purchased a ticket to walk the Walls of Dubrovnik, entrance is free – just keep the ticket from the Wall and show it upon entrance to the Fort. It offers spectacular views of Old Town and the Adriatic Sea, and is the setting of numerous scenes from Game of Thrones. The West Harbour below has stunning clear waters and is also a beautiful place to see the Fort.

Fort Lovrijenac and Dubrovnik West Harbour

Fort Lovrijenac and Dubrovnik West Harbour

Book a Game of Thrones Tour. As the home of Kings Landing, Dubrovnik has numerous filming locations that can be easily accessed on foot. Our tour guide had worked on Game of Thrones from Seasons 2-8 and was incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about the show (and indeed the film industry in the city), explaining how even short scenes are put together using different locations in the same buildings.

Watch the sunset from Park Gradac. Just a ten minute walk from Old Town and offering amazing views of the Walls, Fort Lovrijenac and the Adriatic Sea, Parc Gradac a very quiet area, populated seemingly only by locals walking their dogs and a lovely escape from the busy Old Town areas (and its particularly stunning at sunset). For Game of Thrones fans, it served as the location of Joffrey’s death at the Purple Wedding.

 

Relax at Gruž Port. This is located about 3km west from Old Town, and is one of the main entrances to Dubrovnik for tourists as the main ferry and cruise ports and bus station are situated here. With lots of shops, cafes, information offices and small parks to explore, it’s a beautiful place to spend the day relaxing or indulging in some retail therapy. To get to Old Town from Gruž, take the number 1 or 3 bus – it takes approximately 10 minutes.

Take the Cable Car up to Mount Srd. For panoramic views of Old Town and beyond, the five-minute journey in the orange cable car whisks visitors up to Mount Srd. It’s not particularly cheap, costing about 170kn for a round trip adult ticket, but well worth it from all the positive reviews! Note: This attraction was closed when I visited, but I wanted to include this for future visitors…

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog and you can also find me on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks

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Suzie Does Aerobics…

I think I may have done something that I may possibly regret in the immediate future…

I’ve signed up for a low impact aerobics class.

Oh dear.

My weight has been a source of frustration for years. In my youth I exercised almost every day – I swam for a club, played on badminton teams, reached my brown belt in karate – and as a result I was strong, slim and could eat and wear whatever I wanted with little thought. Continue reading

Tales from Behind the Bar…

Warning: NSFW.

Of all of the jobs I’ve held over the years, one of my favourites was working behind the bar in different pubs and nightclubs. Of course, any job that involves dealing with the British public (particularly when alcohol is involved) is always challenging, but despite it being a physically and mentally exhausting, I absolutely loved it. I loved the staff, the interaction with the customers, the music, the atmosphere, the DJ’s – on a good night it was almost like being paid for a night out with my favourite people.

After a few years I found that the same characters appeared in every establishment: Continue reading

The Boy is Back

The cat looks rather handsome with his yellow and pink piggy bandage

Two weeks: 

  • Three long distance train journeys, 
  • Two flights, 
  • One long distance coach trip, 
  • Six taxi journeys 
  • Eight tube rides, 
  • Climbed at least 1000 steps,
  • Walked eight miles in one day,
  • A holiday in Dubrovnik 
  • A weekend in London,
  • A trip to IKEA,
  • Half a Sixpence at the Alexandra Theatre,
  • A visit to Martineau Gardens,
  • Two vets and a forty-eight hour stay for the cat at the veterinary hospital,
  • A follow-up consult at the doctors.

Continue reading

Glazed Ham and 10 Kuna: Four Bloggers Go to Dubrovnik

Last week I got on a plane with three other blog friends for a six-day girlie trip.

As you do. 

We’ve been friends for a number of years now – meeting in person over five years ago at the very first Annual Bloggers Bash – and after a random conversation last year about holidays we spontaneously decided to take a trip together. Within a few hours we were booked into a beautiful apartment… in Dubrovnik.

Continue reading

Walking the Walls of Dubrovnik: Travel Tips and Suggestions

Walking the Walls of Dubrovnik

Open from 8.00am until 7.30pm every day, the Walls of Dubrovnik (Murrales de Dubrovnik) are one of the most spectacular ways to see Old Town and beyond, offering stunning views of the iconic terracotta roofs (added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Series in 1979), Fort Lovrijenac, neighbouring islands and Adriatic Sea. They are considered to be one of the greatest fortifications of the Middle Ages.

Continue reading

How is it June, Already?

This morning I was setting up my trackers for my client social media and freelance work for the month and it suddenly occurred to me that it was June. How on earth is it June already? It seems like five minutes ago that The Bloke and I were indulging in our New Years Eve snacky treats and singing Auld Lang Syne while we linked arms with the (rather disgruntled) cat.

The last five months have been really busy: I’ve gained several new freelance opportunities which I’m thoroughly enjoying, we’ve been on a number of day trips to interesting places, got up at 5.30am for each episode of Game of Thrones, watched Hugh Jackman on stage, musical theatre shows, plays and films, interviewed Marco Pierre White and generally had an awesome time. June also promises to be equally as great, with the fifth Annual Bloggers Bash (during which we are making a long weekend of it and being tourists for a few days). Continue reading

Hugh Jackman: The Man. The Music. The Show.

 

Hugh Jackman World Tour 2019*Warning: Spoilers*

Last night The Bloke and I went to see Hugh Jackman in concert at the Resorts World Arena in Birmingham. 

While he’s most famous for his role as Wolverine in the X-Men film franchise and Barnum in The Greatest Showman, his career was built by performing in various musical theatre shows and his world tour entitled ‘The Man. The Music. The Shows’ takes the audience through his life and influences as a performer.

It’s something I have been looking forward to since The Bloke surprised me with tickets a few months ago – I’m obsessed with The Greatest Showman and when we were in New York last year we missed him by about half an hour at the coffee shop that he owns, so I couldn’t wait to be in the same space as someone who has achieved so much and still, by all accounts, remains a down-to-earth nice guy who adores his family.  Continue reading

Suzie and The Bloke Go to Blackpool

Blackpool Tower

The Bloke’s cousin turned 21 this week and we were invited to her birthday party last weekend… in Blackpool. 

It’s been quite a while since I’ve been to the Vegas of the North, but I’ve always had a soft spot for it. We visited many times during my childhood years – on a clear day it was possible to see the famous tower in the far distance from my home and we had a yearly outing to the Illuminations, where my sisters and I would be in competition to win the coveted 20p for being the first person to spot the tower on the way. Of course, my mum felt guilty about giving just one of us money and so we would inevitably each get the money, but it remains as one of my happiest memories.  Continue reading

The Rocky Horror Show at the Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

 

The Rocky Horror Show Birmingham

The Rocky Horror Show Birmingham

Last night The Bloke and I were invited to go and see the The Rocky Horror Show at the Alexandra Theatre. It’s one of my favourite musicals (this being the third time that I have seen it), but my fifteen year old former self was particularly enthusiastic about the casting of Blue’s Duncan James in the roll of Frank’n’Furter and A1’s Ben Adams as Brad. Additionally, we were treated to pro dancer and performer (including as a pro dancer and winner on Strictly Come Dancing) Joanne Clifton, the ever fabulous Brummie Alison Hammond as the Narrator for the Birmingham shows only, and the incredible Kristian Lavercombe who was also reprising his role as Riff Raff, following more than 1300 performances in The Rocky Horror Show around the world. Indeed, he played the role in the last Rocky Horror performance that I watched and did a brilliant job.The Rocky Horror Show first began life in 1973 before an audience of just 63 people in the Royal Court’s Theatre Upstairs, and tells the story of Brad and his fiancée Janet, two squeaky clean college kids who meet Dr Frank’n’Furter by chance when their car breaks down outside his castle whilst on their way to visit their favourite college professor. The fact that it is outrageous and has a questionable plot doesn’t matter – the iconic songs and fishnets galore provide a brilliant theatre experience, and I couldn’t wait… Continue reading