Dubrovnik: Game of Thrones IRL

Dubrovnik was my first city with Holly (yay!) and one I had definitely been looking forward to. I’m an avid Game of Thrones fan, so seeing so much of that in real life was really cool! But at the same time, I’m not so avid of a fan that I felt the need to do a “Game of Thrones” tour of Dubrovnik. I have to admit – most of them seemed really cheesy! A lot of them involved people dressed up in horrible costumes that look nothing like the show, and they all seemed to involve tour guides with binders of photos from the show so they could have proof of which scenes were filmed where. It was quite odd!

Holly and I took the bus into the Old Town, and I have to say the bus was packed! It was basically like the pictures you see of Japanese trains where people just keep packing in and packing in! I was surprised to find that kind of crowding in Dubrovnik, but the city really has not kept up with its popularity. The crowds really are insane!

Holly and I walked the walls of the city – I’d heard that you should do it first thing in the morning, and the hearsay was right! There is NO shade along the walls, and it’s HOT. But it’s also incredibly gorgeous and has wonderful views. The intricacy of the old city is amazing, and the views towards the water are also just breathtaking. The walk is a lot longer than I expected, and there are a ton of stairs! I swear my quads are going to be amazing after this trip!

After walking the walls, Holly and I went and had lunch, then we had a walk around the city, and frankly – that was plenty of Dubrovnik for me. I’ve heard a lot of people say that you can easily do Dubrovnik in a day, and I’d agree. It’s a great place to see, but the crowds make it so that I’d definitely recommend spending more time elsewhere in Croatia. Like Korcula. Can you tell I fell in love?

Dubrovnik felt a little like Game of Thrones when it came to battling some crowds… you win or you die. Or at least that’s how some of those crowds felt! We went in the start of “off” season (early September), and I cannot even begin to imagine it on a truly busy day. The cruise ship calendar (yes, I looked it up) showed “yellow” as there were some ships, but not enough for it to be “red.” The crowds as it was made me realize so much more about why they’re talking about limiting the number of people each day. If there had been 1 – 3 more ships of people, I don’t think you’d even be able to move in the Old Town.

In the afternoon, Holly and I decided to go see the botanical gardens in Trsteno. Those were also on Game of Thrones, but I wanted to go just because I’ve decided that I love European gardens! And these looked especially gorgeous, given that they’re on the water.

Trsteno took us about an hour on the bus to get to, and it was a lovely bus ride! It’s all along the cliffs and looking out at the water, so it’s just amazing. The gardens themselves go right onto the water, and they’re pretty. Personally, I liked the Balchik Gardens in Bulgaria more because Blachik was more maintained. Trsteno was gorgeous because so much of the gardens had been given over to just letting the plants grow. It’s was more natural and its own kind of gorgeous.

And then we went and had an AMAZING dinner at a restaurant in Dubrovnik. Holly and I split an amazing salad with Quinoa and other goodies, and then some fried Brie. I love cheese!

And then we called it a night! We had an early morning the next day to catch the ferry to Italy. Dubrovnik was amazing – definitely worth visiting! Though I have to say if you’re thinking of going, you might consider staying somewhere like Cavtat and going into Dubrovnik. It’s sort of like the best of both worlds of Croatia – easy to get to Dubrovnik and the history, but easier access to less crowded beaches and more of the relaxing vacation side of things!

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