I fell in love with the old town of Dubrovnik. What a pretty place this is! As soon as you enter through the old Pile gate, you step back in time. It’s like the middle ages, only with a bunch of souvenir shops and without the smells of piss and garbage. The new and improved middle ages. I loved spending a few days here and can totally recommend coming here for a holiday. But come early on in the season, because when tens of thousands of cruise ship passengers flood the city, the city’s charm sinks.
The old town is super small and basically consists of two long streets with about a dozen smaller alleyways crossing it. Stradun is the main street and on either side the alleys start climbing up towards the walls. Dubrovnik is your personal stair master and after a day of exploring the city, you deserve that gelato and quiet evening. Stradun has a lot of cafés, souvenir shops and restaurants, but it is worth venturing out into the smaller streets.
I took two walking tours, one about the city in general and one about Game of Thrones. Dubrovnik is basically the city of Westeros and this tour brought me to a part of the old town where people still live. Laundry is hanging above the little streets and people go about their daily activities. On the other tour I learned that if you look closely, you find little gems from history, like the tree growing on a church or the inscription on another church that curses the little boys being loud and playing football.
For a small place this town has a lot of churches. Still the population is pretty religious and there are many churches and monasteries you can visit in the old town. One of them even houses one of the oldest working pharmacies in Europe. The pharmacy now looks very modern, but next door is a beautiful courtyard with a museum about the monastery. Inside are some old relics, robes and chalices from the church.
The best thing about the old town, is walking along its ancient walls. It’s a hell of a climb, but the reward is the insane view of the town, the Adriatic sea and the coast line surrounding the city. I love seeing all of these old monuments from a birds eye view. From the end of my wall walk I even saw a gorgeous little restaurant. Later that evening I just had to check it out. At Lady Pi Pi you cannot make reservations and there is almost always a line, but the grilled food is amazing!
Dubrovnik surprised me. The old town is stunning. However, a visit is not complete without visiting Lokrum island and the beautiful Konavle area. One day I’ll be back and explore the way up north!