Greetings Internet Stranger and welcome to a one day in Dubrovnik itinerary! Dubrovnik, Croatia is one of the most famously beautiful cities in Europe. And one of its claims to fame is the fact that many scenes in the legendary TV series Game of Thrones were filmed here. On this one day in Dubrovnik itinerary, I’ll take you through a museum that was used on Game of Thrones and then we’ll take a Game of Thrones walking tour. Along the way, we’ll nibble tons of delicious Croatian delicacies.
Sound good? Of course it does! Let’s not waste any more time.
One Day in Dubrovnik Itinerary
Where to Stay?
Have I got a wonderful place to stay during your one day in Dubrovnik itinerary. How would you like to rest your head in an adorable family-run establishment with excellent views of Dubrovnik, a pool, free drinks on the patio, and a delicious breakfast spread every morning? Then the Villa Klaic is just the place for you! I can’t imagine staying anywhere else in Dubrovnik.
One Day in Dubrovnik Itinerary
What to Pack?
You’ll need comfy shoes for all the walking we’re going to do today on our one day in Dubrovnik itinerary. If it’s summertime, I love my special pink Birkenstocks. These aren’t your grandpappy’s Birkenstocks anymore. They come in every shade, and I always get compliments on my electric magenta shoes.
The Balkans are hot in the summer, so don’t forget the sunscreen. My favorite is the Neutrogena spray bottle because it’s so easy to apply. And as a solo traveler, I can actually use it myself on my own back. I just put it in my purse and re-apply throughout the day.
Finally, if you’re American, you need a universal adapter if you’re going to plug in electronics. European electrical outlets don’t work with American plugs. I suggest the NEWVANGA travel adapter. It’s usable with any electrical outlet in the world, so you won’t need to keep buying new adapters. I always carry two with me, just in case something happens to one.
One Day in Dubrovnik Itinerary
Morning: Rector’s Palace
The Rector’s Palace is one of the most fascinating buildings in Dubrovnik, a city that is stuffed to the gills with fascinating buildings. Today the Rector’s Palace houses the Dubrovnik Cultural History Museum, where you can learn how Dubrovnik went from being a proud independent nation to being a proud Croatian city. I learned so much during my time in the museum that I can’t possibly tell you everything. But I can definitely get you intrigued with…
Three Fun Facts: Rector’s Palace
1) What is a Rector?
Not only is the Rector’s Palace a filming spot on Game of Thrones, it has a history so complicated that it would put Game of Thrones to shame. From the 14th to the 19th centuries, Dubrovnik used to be a separate political entity known as the Republic of Ragusa. (Doesn’t that sound like a delicious Italian sauce? More Ragusa on my rigatoni, please!)
The leader of this republic was known as the rector. The rector was supposed to change every month, which sounds insane to me. How could you even run a proper smear campaign if there was an election every month? But maybe I just don’t understand because I am not Ragusanese.
2) What was the Rector’s Palace used for?
Well, one thing it was used for was punishment! You get to explore the dungeons where Offenders Against the Might of Ragusa were kept. Dubrovnik is on the water, so apparently the water level would rise constantly and torture prisoners by dunking them in water. How horrible! I’m really surprised that punishment didn’t make it on Game of Thrones.
3) Are there any celebrities associated with the Rector’s Palace?
You mean aside from this adorable cat? Well, as I mentioned, it was used as a set on Game of Thrones. A scene between Daenerys and the King of Quarth was filmed here. (Full disclosure: I have seen almost every episode of Game of Thrones, and I enjoyed most of it, but I would not call myself a Superfan. Although I guess I’m closer to being a GoT Superfan than I am to being the Rector of Ragusa.
Personally, I was most intrigued by the portrait of a Rector of Ragusa who was known to be a murderer, but they still allowed him to keep being rector. Maybe they though he would kill them last if they let him be in charge? It’s always so hard to predict what a murderer will do.
One Day in Dubrovnik Itinerary
Afternoon: Tour Dubrovnik
I’m a big believer in taking walking tours with locals when you visit a new city. That way you’ll learn all sorts of fun facts and hidden treasures you’d never find on your own. Plus you might make friends with the other guests on the tour. And most importantly, you’ll get to eat more food on a food tour than you would on your own.
That’s why I recommend taking a self-guided tour that will take you around all the best food and Game of Thrones sights in Dubrovnik!
Approximately Top 5: Dubrovnik Tours
1) What Might Croatians Have for Breakfast?
Rakia, of course! If you’ve spent any time in the Balkans, you know that all the countries there love their fruit brandy, aka rakia. I encourage you to start fights over which Balkan country makes the best rakia. The region is so peaceful that it deserves a little shake-up now and then.
We sipped our rakia along with a local snack mix made with sugared orange rinds (aka arancini), figs, and sugared nuts. The sugared orange rinds are a local delicacy and man, are they addictive! You can even get arancini ice cream, which I also recommend.
2) What Might Croatians Have for Lunch?
Well, they might start with a lovely cheese and meat plate! Any proper Croatian cheese plate will include local olive oil and Pag cheese. This is a special, award-winning Croatian cheese made from the milk of sheep who consume an unusual amount of salt.
The salt diet gives the cheese a truly exquisite flavor you can’t find in any other cheese in the world. On top of that, you should have Dalmatian prosciutto, which is prosciutto from the Dalmatian region of Croatia, not prosciutto made from Dalmatians. Yikes!
But you don’t think we would stop there, do you. Internet Stranger? It’s time for the main course! Let’s head to a local favorite spot and indulge in some stewed meat with fruit and potato croquettes. (I believe the stew is called pasticada, and in the Dalmatian region where Croatia is located, supposedly the locals feel the same way about this dish that some Americans feel about their mother’s beloved meatloaf. I feel a tear coming to the eye as I type.)
As delicious as the meat stew was, it was a little heavy. So I was pleased to have this refreshing lemon concoction for dessert. My guide, whom I shall call Daenerys, said that it was super easy to make, but after the breakfast rakia I don’t think I could keep the instructions straight. Oh well, now I have an excuse to go back to Dubrovnik and get the recipe again!
I wish I had more fun facts about Croatian food to share, but if this whet your appetite to learn more about the subject, you can always check out this helpful guide to Croatian food!
3) What’s the most famous Game of Thrones place in Dubrovnik?
Now it’s the time in our one day in Dubrovnik itinerary for our Game of Thrones tour to begin! I think this tour would be fun even if you weren’t a GoT fan because you get to see so many hidden treasures of the city. But for sure it is more fun if you are familiar with the show!
Undoubtedly the most famous GoT shooting location is these steps where Cersei’s Walk of Shame took place. Is that because it involved a very hot lady walking around entirely nude? Survey says yes! But Daenerys told us that in fact it was the actress’s body double who did the nudity because the actress who played Cersei, Lena Headey, was preggo. Sorry, Lena Headey stans!
Daenerys also told us that it was hard for the director to keep out “lookie loos”, which did not surprise. You can’t even keep other tourists off these steps! The only way for me to get a clean shot of the steps would be to have all the other tourists hauled off into jail. I bet that’s what Cersei Lannister would do…
4) What’s the Most Fun Part of the Game of Thrones tour?
That is undoubtedly the chance to sit on the IRON THRONE!!! In fact, that might have been the most fun part of this whole one day in Dubrovnik itinerary. No, it’s not the real iron throne from GoT, but it is a Very Authentic Replica located in a Game of Thrones gift shop. You have to buy something to sit on the throne, but I think it’s worth it!
I truly did enjoy making the most evil face I could think of. I mean, I’m from New York City, so I can really relate to the phrase, “You win or you die.”
5) What’s the Prettiest Part of the Game of Throne tour?
That would be this lovely fort, Fort Lovrijenac. It was used as the set for the Red Keep on Game of Thrones, which means a ton of important scenes were shot here, like the Death of Joffrey. SPOILER ALERT!!!! (Not sure I did that correctly.) But the Red Keep is much bigger than Lovrijenac, so they would use Movie Magic and a variety of furniture to make the same location look like different ones. I hope this knowledge doesn’t spoil the illusion for you.
Daenerys says the fort looks different on the TV show because they would just CGI whatever they wanted into the background. That’s why I think it’s more fun to see the real fort in person than just watch it on TV. When you’re actually in Dubrovnik, you can be reasonably confident that nothing you’re seeing is computer generated…unless we’re all just living in The Matrix.
One Day in Dubrovnik Itinerary
Evening: Dinner at Restaurant 360
Dubrovnik is famous for its yummy food, but Restaurant 360 really stands out. It is the only Michelin-starred restaurant in all Dubrovnik as of this writing. On top of that, it has insane-mazing views of the Dubrovnik port as you eat. Truly, I know of no lovelier place to sip a Negroni and think about the finer things in life.
As is de rigueur at a Michelin-starred restaurant, you’ll start with a yummy little amuse for your bouche. These were three bites of very concentrated flavor. One was foie gras, one was onion, and the third was mushroom. Eat them in one bite or they’ll explode all over your face and start your evening in a very embarrassing way. (But don’t try to stuff all three in your mouth at once. It might taste interesting, but it wouldn’t be classy.)
As at most Michelin-starred restaurants, at 360 you’ll feast on a tasting menu that will be different and creative each time you visit. The first course was raw beef topped with caviar and oysters. This was the definition of decadence.
Course two went in a completely different direction with a light and refreshing mackerel. Ooh, I just love a well-balanced tasting menu.
For our last appetizer, we have flawlessly prepared octopus. When octopus is prepared badly it is just flavorless and rubbery. But when it’s done the right way…if loving octopus is wrong, I don’t want to be right. (If being right means being without octopus, I’d rather live a wrong doing life.)
The main course was pigeon prepared three different ways. I appreciated that the waiter told me to pick up the “drumstick” and eat it with my hands. How naughty to eat with your fingers at a glamorous restaurant! Also I want to know how they got the pigeon to taste this good. In NYC, I don’t think any of our pigeons would taste like this.
You know a restaurant has class for days when they give you a pre-dessert, in this case a refreshing apricot sorbet. It tasted like the sweet victory I will feel when I vanquish all my enemies and sit on the Iron Throne alone.
And finally, we have a glamorous version of the traditional Croatian carrot cake. It’s funny because we just had a similar dessert at Nautika the other night. Is this is a conspiracy amongst the Fancy Restaurants of Dubrovnik to only serve High Class Carrot Cake for dessert? Or is dessert theft going on like in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? I simply must know!
That’s a Perfect One Day in Dubrovnik Itinerary!
What would you do on a one day in Dubrovnik itinerary? Can you believe we get to enjoy the view above while feasting on Michelin-star meal? And will you kneel before me when I sit on the Iron Throne? Please leave your thoughts below!
Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours in a place, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY spend a one day in Dubrovnik itinerary.