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Going ashore in Dubrovnik, Croatia
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Going ashore in Dubrovnik, Croatia
When visiting the walled city of Dubrovnik, it is hard to imagine that only 15 years ago the historic town center was heavily bombed during the Siege of Dubrovnik. Meticulously rebuilt to former splendor, Dubrovnik (a UNESCO World Heritage site) is once again shining as the jewel of the Croatian Riviera. Pretty much the perfect port of call in the Adriatic, Dubrovnik welcomes many cruise ships during the year. Between May and October, up to six cruise ships can be sighted in and around the walled city. Most ships dock at the post of Gruz, located some 4 km (2,5 m) from the major tourist attractions. I have seen people walking, but there are many taxis and buses driving up the city gates. And, if you cruise on one of the more luxurious ships, your transfer will be included in the cruise fare.
A eagle's view of Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik gained a lot of popularity when the TV show "Game of Thrones" chose the city to represent their imaginary city King's Landing. Nowadays, you can take excursions that will show you the show's film locations. And boy, is it popular. So if you visit the city in the summer, try to get to the historic center as early as possible. By noon it can be drowned in package tour tourists. European budget airlines have found their way to Dubrovnik, too, and it shows. The last time I was there in July, 2013, the place was so packed I fled back on board my cruise ship. Nevertheless, Dubrovnik is a must-see and it is great to see some cruise lines have started to schedule late night stays and even overnights. I once had the opportunity to visit Dubrovnik in the evening and enjoy a fantastic seafood dinner in the open air. It was magical as the town was almost deserted. It was magical.
Arriving in Dubrovnik The port is capable of handling really big ships, like Carnival Liberty Port of Gruz seen from Ruby Princess Come early and you will have Stradun more or less for yourself Come later in the day and the place will be swarmed with tourists
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Grab a coffee at the many inviting terraces Admire the many architectural details Explore on your own The port Climb the city walls for premium views
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A walk on the city walls is a must! Stradun as seen from the city walls Bring your hiking shoes - you will need them! The beautiful walled port of Dubrovnik One more look at Stradun
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Stunning. Simply stunning. View of the city walls Beautiful buildings A refreshing sea breeze Go higher up and take the cablecar up the mountain
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A late lunch, anyone? A last look at the old town Setting sail Hardly recognizable, this is Dubrovnik as seen from the sea A special sail by the old town of Dubrovnik
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But even if your ship only stays in port between 9AM and 5PM, don't worry. Get to the old town as soon as you can and enjoy the superb main street, Stradun, and the many churches and alleyways. Wander around the old city at your leisure and don't forget to walk the city walls. It will cost you a nominal fee but it is worth it! You can completely encircle the city and the walls offer unrivaled views of the historic center and the Adriatic Sea. A late lunch can be enjoyed on many terraces and I would recommend choosing a restaurant in one of the alleyways, away from the over-touristy Stradun venues. Don't forget to enjoy some nice Croatian wine and by the time your cruise ship will let go all lines and head for the next port of call, you will almost certainly be under Dubrovnik's spell.
The beauty of Dubrovnik
One last word of advice: I would avoid taking the cable car up the mountain. Although the views are spectacular, it is quite expensive and facilities on the mountain are minimal. Take it from me: you are much better off by doing the walk on the old ramparts of the city.
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Where in the world is Dubrovnik?
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