Game of Culture- Things to do in Dubrovnik

So you have a break, or holiday booked in lovely Dubrovnik, and you’ve spent hours on Trip Advisor or Lonely Planet already, you've come to right place. Below, what we have tried to do whilst collaborating with the lovely Dubrovnik tourism board, is pull together a few recommendations, of what to do in this picturesque city, particularly if you only have a couple of days.

Do check out our top tip travel guide, as well as our hotel review posts, and Restaurant guide- all designed to save you a lot of time and confusion.

None the less, whether you only have a few days there, or a fortnight in the city- here are the things you just should not miss in scenic Dubrovnik.

Things to do, places to go….

The City Walls.

Surrounding the rustic splendour of Old Town Dubrovnik, are the series of stone walls that were built to defend and protect the city between the 12th-17th Centuries. A World Heritage Site, they span over 6000 feet in length, both tower over, and encircle, the multi-story townhouses within, and overlook both the sea, and the rest of the city. 

In peak times they can be very busy, and it is recommended you avoid the rush of cruise ship tourists, and the midday sun, with the best times to visit being either early in the morning, or after 6pm (shuts at 7.30pm). They take between 1-2hrs to go around on average, and there are a considerable amount of steps at nearly all of the points- more perhaps on the city side where you climb the initial wall height, and then continue upwards towards the Minceta Fort (known to be the location for the House of The Undying in Game of Thrones).  

It is possible to only tour half the walls at a time, and there are places to rest continuously along the way, should you so wish. It costs 100HRK (approx. £10) per person per visit. We could elaborate, but really the views speak for themselves.

The Island of Lokrum.

Just a pleasant 15-minute boat ride away from the city walls of Old Town, is the beautiful island of Lokrum. Uninhabited by anything aside peacocks and rabbits, this peaceful isle is an idyllic getaway from the hustle and bustle of tourist areas.

For around 80 HRK (approx. £8) return, it is a wonderful and convenient choice for those travellers who love the idea of island hopping off the coast of Dubrovnik, but perhaps just don’t have the time. We spent several wonderful hours roaming the wilderness, exploring the botanic gardens, and finding the Benedictine Monastery. There is also the Dead Sea lake, Fort at the the top of the hill, and even a nudist beach. There is a café for refreshments and light meals, and a hut selling swimming essentials and ice-creams.

Our favourite thing to do here was to wonder along the rocky shore, find one of the many stairs that lower into the sea, and enjoy what seems like your own private bay to snorkel for a few hours. We also bought sea shoes from the hut, as the rocks are quite rough, and sometimes you need to jump from one to the other to reach the sea. All in all, this was possibly our favourite excursion of the holiday, and it is highly recommended.

Cable Car.

Looming over the City nearly 800 metres up, is Srd Hill. The Cable cars are a regular service that for 108HKR return (roughly £11) will transport you to the most incredible views of Dubrovnik. 

Once again, we recommend you wait until the evening to visit to avoid the crowds. We choose to get there just before sun-set, and we enjoyed the best of the sunlight pouring over the city views, then the wonderful light of it setting, followed by admiring the bright twinkling of the evening street lights below while we ate dinner in the ‘Panorama’ restaurant. 

We haven’t included it in the top places to eat guide below, because the food is not amazing, but its generally quite nice, and the views at their tables with a coffee or cocktail are totally worth it. It was Mr Biscuit’s birthday while we were there, and we called ahead to book a table, they were really lovely and saved what we felt to be the best table on the cliff for us.

Game of Thrones City Tour.

Now obviously Dubrovnik, and certainly the Old Town are enriched with history and cultural tales, but thanks to the success of the TV show Game of Thrones, it now has an abundance of fictional history as well. Fans of the show delight in finding locations of the sets, but with the magnitude of wonderful sights, and hidden areas, it can certainly be difficult to get a grasp of where everything is. Mr Biscuit and I had watched a few series of the programme, and we were keen to explore the city and learn more about its past regardless, so this seemed like the ideal option. We were booked onto the tour by with expert guide Ivan Vukovic, and we met him just by Pile Gate. 

From the moment we met Ivan he whisked us down a seemingly hidden path to a cove that had wonderful views of the wall forts, and what we later heard, was the building known as the Red Keep on the show. His incredible knowledge of both the real history of Dubrovnik, and the complex stories of every character in Game of Thrones was quite impressive. He intertwined real culture, with stories of both cast and crew, pointing out how they utilized the locations. 

Literally every question we could think of, from asking who the statues and building engravings were of, to what venue particular scenes were set, were all fielded with a sense of professionalism. We also thought it was great that he brings with him a clip-board of stills from the show, so you can directly see the comparison of the location how it is, versus on the show. It doesn’t really matter if you have watched it that much either, as the interesting details about the old town, finding hidden view points, and recommendations for cafes was a real treat. With it being between 1-2 hrs in length, it was an ideal time to spend exploring the often uphill, humid city, without really desperately needing a cup of tea.

To find out more about Dubrovnik, please read our Top tips guide, and for more information about summer festivities and future events.

We recommend travelling with British Airways, who made our journeys there and back very pleasant. Particularly as we found their business class fares very reasonable for the return journey, and the service was just excellent.

Pics copyright of Whim Biscuit 2015.