On the coast of Croatia after a quick drive through the Bosnian coast les the town of Dubrovnik. This city has been a fortress for over a thousand years. The fortress stood on an old roman settlement and has seen many empires rise and fall and is now a popular tourist spot. Over 200 years ago when Napoleon invaded the Dalmatian coast, he opened the gates of the city which were closed every night so anyone could visit the town. These gates remained open until Jamie Lannister in Game of Thrones returned to the red keep. The city has been a popular place to visit but during the division of the Yugoslavia republic into the republic of Croatia the city was shelled for over a year and has been since restored.
The city has become infamous since Game of Thrones stated filming as the location for the red keep. It was originally the site of the Red Keep was in Malta but they raised the prices for filming in Mdina. Seasons two to seven have seen a lot of the city streets in the walk of shame, joefferys movement through the city, house of the undying and master Varys in the streets. The popularity has boomed with the awareness of the show. But this comes with a cost as the city is so busy in the summer it is hard to move. There are also cruise ships coming in daily but thank fully these have now been limited to ensure the city does not become over crowded and damaged. However, in the winter the city is filled with locals following the end of year traditions and concerts.
What is there to see:
The city wall run the length of the perimeter and you can walk the whole way around for only 200 Kuna. But be warned you need a good couple of hours. It is tight and there are a lot of steps but you get a great view of the red houses. There are some game of thrones filming sites here as well. Warning don’t do this in heels and bring water.
Boat ride: There is a dock right next to the city which you can take glass bottom boats and rides to go swimming. There is a very safe area to swim just below the fortress where Sansa played her ship game.
Aquarium is a cheap in door option but I insist that you boycott it due to their cruel sized tanks and conditions. See travel smart for the full article.
Restaurants: there are a range of high-end restaurants with some of the best local fish around on offer. If you stay close by you can shop cheaply and cook for yourself to save some money.
Night life: the town is filled with lots of cute bars which drinks are next to nothing. There are at least three clubs within the city but smoking is not banned in public spaces so they can be slightly over powering if you are not used to it.
Game of Thrones tour runs everyday which will show you all the hot spots. You can choose from the 2, 7- or 12-hour walking tours to see everything. Do 12!
The city has much to offer and is beautiful to see. In winter there are concerts, everyone gets dressed up and goes into the fortress and there is even a mope head Santa parade. It is vibrant and busy with lots of boat tours. It can be hard to get to if you don’t drive. Boats are available in the summer but buses are the main way to reach there in the winter. The companies are cheap but can be slightly unreliable so be careful when you book. Taxis to the bus station cost next to nothing but it is an easy walk.
Accommodation: There are lots of nice hotels and air bnbs. However, I would avoid the hostels. They are out of the way, locked at night and are notorious for bed bugs!!!!!!! Stay away!!!
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