Picture a classic Medieval town. Is there a wall around it? Is it built on a cliff? Are all the roofs made of red tiles? Are the streets cobblestone? You are picturing Dubrovnik. And just not Dubrovnik five hundred years ago, Dubrovnik still looks like that today. I pretty much loved everywhere we went in Europe, but Dubrovnik has to be one of my top locations we have been. The place is just so perfect, and so much like the places I wanted to explore as a kid that it completely won me over.
Getting to Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik itself is a fairly big city with most of it being a modern Mediterranean port town similar to other places we visited on our trip. You can basically just walk out of the port into the modern city. The main attraction though is the old city, and specifically the old city’s old wall. Old Dubrovnik is a ways away from the port.
This was the only place on the cruise that we used cruise transportation to get to the main attraction. We simply bought tickets on the shuttle bus which wasn’t to expensive. We hadn’t had a lot of success before the trip figuring out an easy way from the port to the old city which was why we made this choice. I think if you find yourself in a similar situation this is a good choice, although I’m sure there are other ways to take a bus or taxi from the port to the old city. There were plenty of other buses dropping people off and picking them up.
The bus stop where all the buses were dropping off is just outside the old city wall so you shouldn’t have any problem getting there once you are dropped off. Try to get there early in the day as the city can get very crowded later in the day and also got very hot in the summer when we were there.
What You Will See at Dubrovnik
Take some time to look at the outside of the city wall before you go inside because it is pretty cool.
The Old Wall
Then head inside the wall. Just inside the entrance gate to the left you will find the entrance to the old wall. There are several other entrances but this is the easiest one to get to.
The wall is the main attraction of Dubrovnik, and you do not want to miss it. The earlier in the day you can do the wall walk the better as it will get much more crowded and there is no escape from the beating sun up on the wall.
Getting onto the wall will cost you 120 Kuna, which translated to about 18 USD when we were there. They do not take Euros but they will take cards. You will of course be assessed exchange fees like always. It is expensive, but totally worth it.
Be aware that you have to go up a lot, and we mean a lot, of fairly steep stairs. That means it is in no way accessible to wheelchairs or strollers. Children will likely need help on the stairs. Once on the wall you can only walk one way, so make sure you keep going in the direction of traffic.
You get amazing views of the old city and the sea from the wall. The whole thing is just an amazing experience and really takes you into another time period and place. It took us about an hour and a half to two hours to do the whole circuit, and we took our time. Keep your ticket with you as it will be checked at several of the other wall entrances around the city.
There are quite a few cafes and snack stores around the wall so if you need some food you don’t have to come down.
The Old Town
When you get done on the wall it is time to go explore the old town. You can walk down the old streets and go into lots of shops selling all kinds of stuff. We especially liked the Pirates Booty candy shops that had the most interesting candies we had ever seen. But they didn’t allow pictures inside so we can’t show them to you.
Many of the shops will only take kuna, but a few will accept euros. For the most part you can pay with a card though, and it works out. On the main street we found a gelato shop that took Euros and they had really good green apple. If you love gelato like I do you understand why this is important to know. This is especially true if you consider that I wandered all around the old town looking for gelato in the hot summer sun.
The town is so fun to walk through I could do it forever. It is a lot like Venice in that way. It is just such a complete environment. The awesome part is that people still live in most of the homes in the old town.
There are also lots of churches that you can stop and look inside. In addition to wandering on your own it appears you can get tours of the city, but that is not something that we did. The Game of Thrones tours appear to be especially popular. Another activity that is available is a cable car ride to a high hill top where you can see the city. We did not have time to do this but I think it would be fun.
Dubrovnik is an incredible place. I think almost anyone who doesn’t have accessibility concerns will enjoy visiting this city. Going in the city doesn’t cost anything, but I do suggest that you do the wall tour even though it is expensive.
Another useful thing to note is that there is Pharmacy/Grocery store by the bus stop. The store is called a DM and it has free wifi. It was some of the best wifi we found in the Mediterranean. If you have been on a cruise ship for a while take advantage of this to check your email and post to Instagram.