I don’t think I would exaggerate if I’d say that Dubrovnik is only famous, now, because of Game of Thrones. Let me tell you why.
I visited Dubrovnik this year, and man…this is one of a hell city. So damn beautiful, nothing bad to say about that. The old citadel is amazing, it feels great to walk on the small streets and admire the old buildings. It is obvious that a big part of those walls are authentic and it makes you feel like you’re back in time a few hundred years.
Besides Istanbul, which I fall in love with immediately, I haven’t visited, recently, something like Dubrovnik. It is well understood that the city is special and there are many things to admire there, while walking on its streets.
Although…because there is this “although”, which I don’t like, but I’m afraid, it’s pretty necessary in this article, you may be pretty disappointed while visiting Dubrovnik.
Even if Dubrovnik has a great vibe and energy, I left with a bad taste about the whole experience. We stayed there for 2 days. But yes, it is more than enough to visit it.
I know that nowadays is a lot easier to travel, but, in the same time, we are contributing to the loss of the importance of some places, simply by visiting it. Or simply by going to only certain places. Because, most big cities are suffocating with tourists. And Dubrovnik is no exception.
As beautiful as it is, as crowded you will find it. And it’s tiring as hell. Don’t be fooled about the pictures above, I just catch a “no tourists” moment. Unfortunately, it is not only about the big number of tourists, but about everything around the city. The shops, the restaurants, the prices, everything is touristic. And not in a positive way. It’s like everyone would want to sell you something at a huge price, just because you’re visiting Dubrovnik.
More than this, Dubrovnik is and should be promoted as one of the most historical cities in Europe, if not, in the world.
Instead, nowadays, Dubrovnik became so famous because of the King’s Landing. If you didn’t know, Croatia was one of the few destinations where so many scenes from Game of Thrones were filmed. There are plenty of GOT shops, where you can take pictures on the Iron Throne and buy souvenirs with everything related to GOT: t-shirts, cups,magnets, pens, posters, etc. Anything you can think about.
As a GOT fan, I should say that yes, it’s nice to see those places, trying to imagine how it’s like to be part of the big show and how emotional must have been to film all those scenes in such beautiful places. Like this one below: the walk of shame of Cersei.
But, let’s not break these beautiful places and transform them into a “modern citadel” where all you can do is to eat a fancy, expensive dinner or eat a
shitty ice cream. No, really, here is where I ate the worst ice cream ever.
Besides enjoying the old citadel’s little streets, you can also book a tour and walk around the old walls with a guide that will tell you more about Dubrovnik and of course, GOT.
If I remember it correctly, the cheapest tour was about 25$.
Dubrovnik is definitely not a cheap destination, all the contrary. The accommodation is expensive, the food, the drinks and any dessert you buy in the old city. Unfortunately, the city is not friendly at all when it comes to buy some groceries as there are only small corner shops opened until 9-10 PM.
I wouldn’t come back in Dubrovnik, but I must say that city left me with a love-hate feeling. On one hand, I loved how it looks like and I loved to see how well preserved is the citadel. But, on the other hand, I hated to see how touristic and how suffocating it is.
Maybe, we should think twice before choosing our travel destination and try to go in other places where you can have an amazing time, with less money and less tourists around. It is not all about “going where some people we follow on Instagram” went.
Yes, I visited so many touristic destinations, but lately, I realized that this is not what I want. I would love more to discover new place, where only few people had the curiosity to go: like visiting Skopje or staying a few days in a very small town in Croatia: Sibenik.
I’m not saying: don’t go to Dubrovnik, but don’t have high expectations.
Thanks for reading, M.