Whether you know it as Kings Landing, the casino planet Canto Bight, or simply by it’s name, Dubrovnik, there is a chance you’ve seen photos of this picturesque city. Famous for it’s costal, walled, Old Town, this UNESCO site attracts thousands of visitors a day during the high season. During the high season, the town is bustling. Restaurants are packed and it’s common to see visitors kayaking through the sea to the island of Lokrum right off of Dubrovnik’s coast. We went during the low season and although many shops and restaurants were closed, the city was still exciting and festive.
Here’s what to do in Dubrovnik during the low season
Explore the Christmas Market
Although not as big and diverse as Advent in Zagreb, you can find stands selling hot wine and sausages all throughout the old town. Hot wine costs about 15 kuna, or about two dollars, leaving plenty of room in the budget to have several cups while people watching in the town square. We enjoyed ours on the “Shame Steps” the steps that Cersi walked naked on through King’s Landing in Game of Thrones.
Check out all the Game of Thrones sites
Walking through the city, some sites jump out at you, some are more hidden. During the high season, companies do Game of Thrones tours through the town. I assume they’re offered during the low season as well, however we chose to follow a Google map with all the locations.
Climb the famous city walls
Since Dubrovnik increased in popularity, the price of climbing the walls has increased substantially. It now costs a little over 20 dollars to climb the walls, but the views are worth it. It’s the iconic Dubrovnik experience, like the Empire State Building in New York City, and therefore a must do.
Take part in seasonal traditions
Both Christmas and New Year’s are huge celebrations in Dubrovnik. On Christmas Eve, wear your best clothes and head down to the town square, packed full of locals who will probably be dressed better than you. Croatians know how to dress up. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the square holds all different performances throughout the day. It’s the perfect atmosphere to enjoy some wine and get into the Christmas spirit.
The party continues on New Year’s Eve when thousands of people flock to the center square to ring in the new year with music and fireworks. The concert featured a Bosnian popstar who at about 50 years old, seemed incredibly popular. The environment was great, the square was packed full of people drinking, dancing and at midnight, kissing.
If the hangover isn’t bad on New Year’s Day, head back to the town center for even more music and at noon, free oysters and champagne.
Enjoy the local drinks
Quite a few of Dubrovnik’s bars and restaurants close up during the winter months, but we still found some great places to try some local drinks.
This bar may be tiny but the beer list is large. If you’re lucky enough to grab one of the 10 seats, spend some time in the bar sampling local Croatian brews. The staff is friendly and ready to make recommendations. The atmosphere is calm and laid back. A good place to go with a small group of friends. If you’re looking for good beer with a more lively atmosphere, try the Beer Factory. It seemed a little more touristy, but the live music made it a great time.
D’Vino is a phenomenal wine bar right across the ally from Glam. If you haven’t tried Croatia wine, this is the perfect place. It has all different Croatian wines at price points for every budget. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable and friendly. We tried multiple different bottles, but if you’re by yourself, try getting a flight in red or white. Our favorite was a bottle lovingly referred to as the “big red monster,” try it and you’ll find out why.