Kyra: If you’re a Game of Thrones fanatic, Dubrovnik is the place to be. King’s Landing and a few other scenes were filmed in the Dalmatian Coast city where we did a self-guided tour.
Ben: Bar More, where Kyra and I enjoyed a sunset drink, was featured on CNN as one of the best subterranean bars: read more here.
How we got there
Kyra: We took a bus from Kotor to Dubrovnik. The last 20 minutes into Dubrovnik were unbelievably beautiful. As mentioned in our Kotor post, the 48 hours leading up to Dubrovnik were flash-flood style rain.
Ben: I feel like Kyra and I could create a pretty nice coffee table book of bus stations around the world. In Kotor we sat in a tiny cafe drinking tea before our bus came. Watching the local crowd drink beer and laugh at each other was quite entertaining, especially because sitting in the cafe meant we weren’t still walking through the pouring rain.
Kyra: As we entered the outskirts of town, it was nearing sunset and had stopped raining. The entire sky was a single cloud but it began lifting at the edges revealing an orange ring between the sea and sky.
Where we stayed
Ben: We’ve had such good luck with Airbnbs that we continue to book them. The owner, Zoran, was kind enough to pick us up from the bus station when we arrived, which was much appreciated after we realized with was a 10 minute drive up a steep hill to get to his place from the station. The apartment was brand new, the owners live right next door and had just finished refurbishing it this summer. Once again, the owner lived with his parents (he was probably in his late 30s )and worked nearby. The trend continues (and makes me consider it as an option more and more! Just kidding Mom and Dad…)
Ben: The most memorable cuisine moment in Dubrovnik was our drink at Cave Bar. We walked through the city and up the coast a bit to Cave Bar, a bar chiseled into the rocky shore. Kyra and I snagged the last seats at a busy outdoor area just before sunset. I’m quite sure that was the best sunset yet – enjoying the warm weather, a smooth drink, the sea, and great company. It’s also the place I’d recommend if you’re ever in Dubrovnik.
Kyra: We found a grocery store in town that had tortillas and sweet chili sauce which we used to make asian fajitas for a few very tasty, budget-friendly meals
Ben: Everywhere we go, at least a slice of pizza is consumed. I fear this won’t continue in Southeast Asia, but we’re going to try. Dubrovnik was no different. In fact, we ate from two different pizza places, both pizzas covered with cheese and hot salami. I’d have to say that I preferred the pizza that we walked farther for; as the saying goes, “The juice was worth the squeeze.” (We haven’t had a fruit pizza yet, but maybe we’ll save that for Southeast Asia.)
Local View and Lessons Learned
Ben: One lesson I learned is that people tend to overestimate what a vacation will cost or perhaps should cost.We didn’t spend over $100/day in Dubrovnik, and we ate well, did some touristic things, stayed in a central neighborhood, and spent a day at the beach. In all of this, I realized that the difference between a budget vacation and a luxury vacation in dollars is huge but in experiences is quite small. At the beach, we sat on the sand with our towels, rather than on a chair for the hotel guests not even 15ft away. Grabbing a drink at sunset, we enjoyed the same experience as everyone else in the bar, but didn’t pay for a crazy nice hotel, shuttles to and from the airport, or spend dinners. I guess my realization is that it’s fun to do a luxurious vacation every now and then, but I think many of us need to rethink our idea of how much a trip will cost. With so many new options on the market, travel expenses are dropping like a rock, and if you can find someone to go with you, they drop even more.
A fifteen minute ferry from Dubrovnik’s port, Lokrum is the setting for Quarth in Game of Thrones. Additionally, it is quite beautiful and has a naturist beach.
Part of what makes Dubrovnik the most touristed part of Croatia are the sunsets, and for good reason.
Game of Thrones References
Kyra: My roommate Ally and I used to watch Game of Thrones together when we got a few months of HBO free. Ally has a really phenomenal memory, which was lucky for me because I was always forgetting character names and what had happened on previous episodes. Our entire time in Dubrovnik, I couldn’t wait to show Ally these pictures to test her memory:
Hiking the Wall
Ben: As frugal travelers, we don’t often buy a ticket unless the price is right or there’s a discount. Luckily I brought my student ID along, which has afforded us many a discount. To walk the city walls of Dubrovnik, the ticket was about $20. With a student ID, $14. This is usually quite steep for us, but it was mentioned in so many posts and by so many fellow travelers that we had planned to do it for awhile. The description sounds just like the experience: you get to walk onto the walls of the old city of Dubrovnik and circle them, taking in views of the entire city and its surrounding areas.