It had been a little over a year since I’d last been to the beautiful Croatian city of Dubrovnik, but this time it was with Ben and we were on an assignment for Cara, exploring the ancient city’s Game of Thrones connections, as it’s a key filming location for all outdoor King’s Landing scenes.
As I joked in my post from when I went to there on a holiday with the girls, Dubrovnik just oozes romance. Narrow cobbled streets, stunning sunsets, clear blue seas… am I sounding like a travel brochure yet? I thought I’d round up some of the more smooch-worthy activities Ben and I got up to. Be warned: most of them involve views, drinks and sunsets. Click through for a read.
First things first: Dubrovnik is just naturally a romantic city. It can’t help itself. So you don’t have to try all that hard to get a loved-up buzz going. Walking the walls at sunset is usually top of people’s lists and it’s just as wonderful as every one says (that’s us above). The list below is all about the really ridiculously lovely stuff that stood out to us. The kind of wonderful adventures that make you just look at each other and laugh with the sheer giddiness of it all.
Kayak around the city walls to Lokrum island and the hidden cove
For a gorgeous look at the city from the water, Ben and I signed up for a kayak and snorkelling trip and paddled through crystal clear waters around Lokrum Island. It was way easier than we thought it would be, the guides were friendly and good craic, and the equipment was in perfect nick, ticking all the safety boxes. The views from the kayak looking up at the ancient city walls were just breathtaking – it took all the self control I had (not to mention common sense) not to whip out my camera. Once we had circled the pretty green island of Lokrum, we made for a hidden cove, where I was able to go snorkelling and spotted way more fish than I expected. It was really good value for €33, which included all the equipment you needed (including snorkelling gear and waterproof barrels for valuables), as well as drinks and sambos. If you love snorkelling, I’d recommend booking something else too, as you really only get about half an hour of under water time with the fish. During late spring and summer you would have to book well in advance, as only one company seems to do these tours and they leave from right by the Pile Gate, the main entrance into the city.
Sunset drinks at the secret bar built into the ancient city walls
Okay, so it’s not really a secret but it super feels like one when you’re trying to find the place! I think I had walked the walls of Dubrovnik twice before being able to finally find Cafe Buza, a kind of literal hole-in-wall bar nestled in among the walls. You can see it quite clearly when you’re walking them, but finding it was another story. I’d love to give you some killer tip for getting there, but your best bet is to walk towards the walls on the west side of town and then ask a local to show you the way. Sometimes you might get lucky enough to see a sign that says “cold drinks, beautiful view”, and man is that an understatement and a half. The views are what the iPhone’s panorama setting was made for, particularly at sunset. The drinks menu is fairly basic, but you don’t really want for much when soaking up the scenery.
Ride the Dubrovnik Cable Car
Dubrovnik is at the foot of Srdj, a mountain that towers above the city. You can take a cablecar up to the summit and get some more insanely gorgeous views (it’s worth holding out for a clear day). Within seconds, you’ve climbed over 700 metres and the city, once impressive and giant, seems sweet and miniature. It’s €13 per person for a return ticket, but factor in getting a drink at the top too.
Cosy dinner in a local hot spot
Within the city walls almost every restaurant – though pretty and atmospheric – is aimed predominantly at tourists, so the quality can vary. We did some asking and some snooping and found Taverna Otto. It was located outside the city walls, but the glowing Tripadvisor reviews convinced us that it was worthy a try. Set in a 450-year-old stone building that used to be a boathouse, the decor is modern and the mood is cosy and relaxed. The menu was short and simple, but the food was a delight; seasonal, carefully prepared Mediterranean dishes served with delicious Croatian wines, it was the nicest meal we had during our time there – and so good we went twice. The molten chocolate cake was something else.
If you’d prefer to stay within the walls, we had some very tasty oysters in Bar Bota, who also served up some pretty good sushi.
An island picnic on Lokrum
There are lots of islands along the coast, but Lokrum is by far the easiest to get to. There are taxi boats running from the old harbour every half hour or so, and it only takes about 15 minutes to get there. Pack some snacks and once there, you can wander around, check out the very friendly peacocks, and pick a quiet, shady spot to have your grub on. There are lots of rocky beaches around the island’s coastline, which are very popular sunbathing spots for locals – I’ve been told that a lot of tourists can’t quite hack the jagged hardness, but if you bring a mat you should be all set for a nice afternoon snooze.
And that’s it! That’s us above, delighted to be drinking cocktails at sunset and averaging about a book a day. I hope you enjoyed my round-up, and do let me know if you’re planning a trip, or have tried any of the above.