Each week, our holiday hero, Neil Simpson, delves into a brilliant holiday topic and does all the legwork so you don’t have to. This week: the best sightseeing tours in Dubrovnik.
It is the jewel of a town on the edge of the Adriatic Sea that offers everything from cathedrals to cable cars and fortresses to film sets. Thanks to blue skies, mild temperatures and plenty of inexpensive direct flights, Dubrovnik is also a top choice for an autumn getaway.
Experts from the Croatian Tourist Board (croatia.hr) say that walking tours are the best way to discover Dubrovnik’s secrets and navigate the maze of narrow streets.
Dubrovnik is a gem of a city on the edge of the Adriatic Sea, and experts from the Croatian Tourist Board say hiking is the best way to uncover its secrets
A great option for first-time visitors is Discover Dubrovnik, which runs twice a day during the fall at 12:00 PM and 4:30 PM. The starting point is the sixteen-sided Great Onofrio’s Fountain, one of the best camouflaged water cisterns in the world.
Then, pass the red-roofed buildings of the city’s gleaming, marble-paved main streets on a 90-minute exploration of Dubrovnik’s past. It’s a heady mix of art, earthquakes, invasions and Unesco-approved reconstructions.
Hear everything from a Titian in the cathedral to city fortifications with drawbridges and 40-foot-thick walls.
The Discover Dubrovnik Tour offers a 90-minute exploration of the city’s past. Dubrovnik’s imposing city walls can be seen above
The Discover Dubrovnik tour begins at the sixteen-sided Great Onofrio’s Fountain over one of the best camouflaged water cisterns in the world
Recent guests say the guides provide plenty of recommendations for places to eat and drink after the tour, including some cliff-top bars overlooking the sea. Tour tickets are £15 from guides or online. (dubrovnik-walking-tours.com)
Dubrovnik’s latest claim to fame is the setting for TV’s Game Of Thrones. Entire streets, palaces and city gates were reimagined as the fictional King’s Landing and served as more than a dozen key filming locations, from the Red Keep to the Battle of Blackwater. Dozens of companies offer GoT-themed walking tours, but guides on the two-hour Dubrovnik Game Of Thrones Tour may offer more inside information than others – as many of them have worked on set as extras.
Expect stills and screenshots to be shown as you take in locations from the early scenes of the first series to the show’s spectacular climax.
Dozens of companies offer Game of Thrones-themed walking tours that take tourists to filming locations like the Rector’s Palace (pictured).
In autumn the tour takes place twice a day at 11 am and 4 pm and also starts at Onofrio’s Fountain. Tickets cost £18. (dubrovnik-walking-tours.com)
The perfect late afternoon foodie tour comes from a family business started by two food and history loving sisters with culinary input from their mother and grandmother.
Your Dubrovnik On A Plate experience takes you through the heart of the Old Town, stopping at a variety of cafes, restaurants, bars, and food markets for tastings. The relaxed 3-hour tour ends around 6:00 p.m. By this point, many guests say they’ve eaten enough to skip dinner.
Dubrovnik On A Plate, a foodie walking tour, stops at various cafes, restaurants, bars and food markets in the heart of the Old Town
The sisters who run Dubrovnik On A Plate also run a cooking class where you can learn to make dishes like Dalmatian peka (above, file photo).
The sisters also offer a “Pick, Cook, Eat” cooking class in the country. You’ll be driven to a family home surrounded by fields, greeted with Croatian wine, and asked to pick wild spices before preparing dishes like Dalmatian peka (lamb or veal baked under an iron bell). Homemade bread and local desserts are also included.
Food tours cost from £95 each, with cooking classes from £125 (dubrovnikfoodstory.com).
Late visitors also rave about a unique early evening singing tour and walking tour of Dubrovnik’s Old Town, led by a guide who sings in local choirs and teaches traditional songs. Evenings begin with a bottle of wine under the plane trees on the terrace of a waterfront restaurant, where you’ll learn about the city’s history, churches, theater and musical traditions. As you explore quiet streets and corners, you can hear your guide sing and are encouraged to join a choir.
The private small group tour costs £150 for up to four guests (toursbylocals.com).