The Dalmatian Coast along the Adriatic Sea is where Dubrovnik sits. This walled fortress is nicknamed "The Pearl of the Adriatic." It is like going inside of a fairly tale city that has remained intact from its 13th century maritime trading.
The cliffs surrounding Dubrovnik offer small intimate multi-level hangout bars. Grab an Ozujsko (local beer) and dive off the rocks.
Wandering these marble streets is one of the best parts of Dubrovnik. Once you start getting off of the Stradun (main street) you will find deserted alleyways that you can enjoy at your own pace.
Dubrovnik has received much attention due to the filming of Game of Thrones. Dubrovnik was selected as the main location for "Kings Landing." You will see advertisements for Game of Thrones tours, but with a little internet searching you can create your own tour.
Tip: Their are 2 Iron Thrones here! One is in a small shop right off the main street, and the other is located on Lokrum Island, only a short 10 minute boat ride away.
One of the touristy, but must-do things in Dubrovnik is walking around the old wall. We decided to do this right when it opened at 8:00 AM to avoid the heat and the crowds. The views from the wall give you a great birds eye view of the fortress.
To cool off after you conquer the wall, head outside the wall to a local swimming hole. We hit this spot two days in a row because it was absolutely beautiful, and had a great local vibe.
Tip: The tour buses and the tourist groups never leave the interior of the city, this swimming hole was a two minute walk away from the hoards of travelers. You will certainty be the only person walking away from the wall, just trust us on this; you are going the right way! This little spot is exactly the kind of thing we are always searching for. That little bar with the bamboo roof in the picture below served up some ice cold radlers, a mix of beer and lemonade.
Tip: Rent a kayak outside of the wall instead of doing a kayak tour. This allows you to go at your own speed. The tours are 3 hours long and the first 30 minutes is a "how to paddle" demo. It only took us 30 minutes to kayak around the wall, and we paid a fraction of the price.
Dubrovnik is full of great places that are just outside of the main tourist path, this hidden sunset spot has a little sign that just says "cold drinks." Enter a small path and you end up here.
We stayed here at the Prijeko Palace, this place is amazing. If possible try to find a place inside the wall. The crowds die off as the night goes on and its a completely different scene than during the hectic day.
If we have one piece of advice that we think is crucial is that Dubrovnik is not a place you want to visit in the middle of summer. We heard horror stories of days when the city is 100 degrees and 7 cruise ships pull into dock. The city can only hold so many people and even the most amazing places can be ruined by crowds. We picked September because we knew we would still get that summer experience and warm water but without the crowds. Dubrovnik has an amazing energy and environment that will awaken your child like fantasies, storm the castle and visit this place!