Dubrovnik is a fortified city with charming tile roofs peeking out just below the peak of the walls

The “Game of Thrones” is Played in Dubrovnik, Croatia

We’ve had vicious kings, and we’ve had idiot kings…but I don’t know if we’ve ever been cursed with a vicious idiot for a king!

Tyrion Lannister, summarizing King Joffrey

King Joffrey might just be the most evil little man-boy on the planet, but he has got one thing right – he gets to live in a beautiful and unique city (King’s Landing) with a history no more interesting than the real-life city in which the show is filmed.  If you’re a fan of the show Game of Thrones, you may know that most of the filming takes place in Dubrovnik, Croatia.  This site was chosen after season one wrapped (they originally filmed in Malta) because of the city’s perfectly maintained medieval appearance.  It is purely coincidental (and perfectly fitting) that the city of Dubrovnik happens to have a past that is as violent and completely peppered with dastardly deeds as King’s Landing itself.photoAK

Midway through our cruise on Celebrity Cruises ship, the Silhouette, I was bursting at the seams with excitement.  The port of call I was most eager to see had finally arrived!  The previous ports had been no less fantastic, Rome (here and here), Florence (here), Corfu (here) and Kotor (here) – but this was the icing on the cake for me.  I’m a fan of the HBO hit series, but more importantly I’m a fan of history. I’m also a fan of 6’2″ blond models and this city seems to export them in droves.

The view from our balcony when we arrived in port.  This is the more modern part of Dubrovnik
The view from our balcony when we arrived in port. This is the more modern part of Dubrovnik
"Let's get going!"
“Let’s get going!”

The city of Dubrovnik is pleased to be recognized as one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Adriatic Sea and they are certainly proud to have their Old City listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It’s no surprise that the city is so popular; it is truly something to behold.

The Old City of Dubrovnik exhumes charm
The Old City of Dubrovnik exudes charm
It's hard to forget that the entire city has been fortified against invaders
It’s hard to forget that the entire city has been fortified against invaders
Dubrovnik is an important port city with strong ties to the sea
Dubrovnik is an important port city with strong ties to the sea
Pile near the man entrance gate
Pile near the man entrance gate
Tower Minčeta is the strong fort located in the North wall ending
Tower Minčeta is the strong fort located in the North wall ending
Tower Minčeta
Tower Minčeta
Dubrovnik is a fortified city with charming tile roofs peeking out just below the peak of the walls
The city is fortified by large walls over which tile roofs can be seen peeking through
Fort of Saint Lawrence in Blackwater Bay
Fort of Saint Lawrence in Blackwater Bay

It is commonplace for me to weave travel tips into many of my posts; if any of the things that we have learned are helpful to anyone, than I am pleased to have been of service.  Please allow me to draw out one specific point that I’m sad to have recently learned:

Do not take a Mediterranean cruise during rainy season – the precipiation will certianly affect your time in the port cities and cause your ship to sway and rock like a ’68 Camero at “make out point”

First, it drizzled when we were in Florence.  Then, it sprinkled as we visited Corfu.  Next, it rained while we were in Kotor.  Finally, it poured when we reached Dubrovnik.  Luckily for us, for all the time it rained – we were blessed with just as much sunshine.  The rain would pass by quickly, but not before wetting our socks and changing our plans at each port.  You see, there are dozens of interesting activities that you can enjoy in Dubrovnik (just like the previous cities).  However, when you spend a couple hours hiding out in an Irish pub before finally soldiering through the rain and puddles, you will miss out on the opportunity to participate in organized activities.  Indoor museums and churches become more appealing than boat rides and walking tours.  I have to say, I am usually a much bigger fan of the latter, but when you are fighting to stay dry – sitting quietly in a 600 year old church somehow seems much more exciting than normal.

It wasn't raining when we crossed through the Pile Gate into the city
It wasn’t raining when we crossed through the Pile Gate into the city
Julia stole her daddy's "travel hat"
Julia stole her daddy’s “travel hat”
"If it's going to rain, I need this more than you!"
“If it’s going to rain, I need this more than you!”
The rain came shortly after we crossed the city gates
The rain came shortly after we crossed the city gates
This guy was working overtime
This guy was working overtime
We spent quite a bit of time in St. Blasius Church
We spent quite a bit of time in St. Blasius Church
After hiding out in churches, I wanted to hide out here because at least I could order a pint
After hiding out in churches, I wanted to hide out here because at least I could order a pint
Julia seemed to think I ordered this for her - she was mistaken!
Julia seemed to think I ordered this for her – she was mistaken!

Eventually, the torrential downpour did cease and a beautiful sky appeared over the ancient city.  We spent the rest of our day walking around and taking in the sites.  The city did not disappoint, but I have to leave it on my travel bucket list as “a place I would like to see again”. I can’t say that we fully took advantage of all that Dubrovnik has to offer.  There is the Ancient City Walls Walking Tour (you get to see the city from a unique perspective, from atop the walls that enclose the city).  Of course, there is the ‘Game of Thrones’ Walking Tour (self explanatory) and then there is the Cable Car Ride to Mount Srd (to witness the best views of the city).  I discovered that renting a boat and touring some of the nearby islands is very reasonably priced – but only fun to do when the sun is shining (I was particularly bummed about this, I love putting a boat in the water).

Jen and Julia near the main city gate
Jen and Julia near the main city gate
Main city street - Placa - Stradun
Main city street – Placa – Stradun
Lovely side streets wind up the side of the hill with long stairways
Lovely side streets wind up the side of the hill with long stairways
Trees and bushes vibrantly grow out of the rugged stone
Trees and bushes vibrantly grow out of the rugged stone
Many of the streets become desolate after the heavy rain
Many of the streets became desolate after the heavy rain
Julia strolls on ahead
Julia strolls on ahead
Jen guides Julia down a long stairway...
Jen guides Julia down a long stairway…
While I get left with the heavy lifting
While I get left with the heavy lifting
We stop for a "selfie"
We stop for a “selfie”
The port was beautiful just outside the city walls
The port was beautiful just outside the city walls
I was disappointed it didn't work out for me to rent a boat
I was disappointed it didn’t work out for me to rent a boat
Julia doesn't want to share her mid-day snack with her mother
Julia doesn’t want to share her mid-day snack with her mother
She does stop eating to let me take a picture with her
She does stop eating to let me take a picture with her
Julia guides us through the Ploče Gate
Julia leads us through the Ploče Gate
It was nice of the local residents to make the city handicapped accessible (umm, does this conform to ADA standards?)
It was nice of the local residents to make the city handicapped accessible (umm, does this conform to ADA standards?)
View of city roofs and the tower of the Franciscan Monastery
View of city roofs and the tower of the Franciscan Monastery
Jen and Julia love walking around Dubrovnik
Jen and Julia loved walking around Dubrovnik

If you do visit Dubrovnik, please click on this link to get some ideas of things to do.  And may I suggest checking the weather forecast before booking!

The city at night - the sky was a beautiful calm blue after a torrential day
The city at night – the sky was a beautiful calm blue after a torrential day
Venice, Italy - Alfred Hitchcock's Inspiration
This Will Get Your "Kotor" Running!

Please let me know your thoughts!