Just recently I had the pleasure to visit Croatia for the first time in my life and was amazed by its beauty, especially Dubrovnik captured my heart.
This city’s origin is presumed to date back as far as the 7th century, is the most southern city of Croatia and one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the Adriatic sea.
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 because of its history and ancient city walls that run around the city for almost 2 kilometres (1.2 miles). These walls were built during a period of over 700 years, starting in the 9th and finally finished in the 16th century. And as a popular and prominent filming location for the city of ‘King's Landing’ in at least 3 seasons of the series ‘Game of Thrones’ these walls made the city even more famous and attracted 1.1 million and a record number of visitors for the destination last year.
Don’t be fooled by the location in Europe pricewise, as many visitors compare Dubrovnik to Budapest or Prague and therefore assume the rates here will be low and food and drinks must be cheap as well, this is not the case!
Dubrovnik has always been a wealthy and popular city and prices here have not been lowered by the recession or lack of tourism. Although still affordable it is good to know what to expect when visiting this sought after Eastern European city.
One of the prettiest areas of Dubrovnik just outside the city walls is Pile. Doubling for Blackwater Bay in the GoT series and used to be one of the most important transport arrival points from the sea on the western part of the city.
Here you can also find the stunning 5 star Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik Hotel, perfectly located near the old city entrance and offering views towards the Pile gate, old city walls and both Fort Bokar and Lovrijenac, where many Game of Thrones scenes have been filmed from all angles.
As a fan of the series and a big lover of culture and heritage this was the perfect place for me to stay! But next to that the history and heritage of the hotel is amazing as well and its ample facilities certainly make it 5 star worthy.
You can book your stay and see more of the hotel here:
I will share many more Dubrovnik tips and pics of my favourite sights later on in this blog, but first let me show you why I loved this Hilton hotel through my own pics and experiences:
Unique features Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik Hotel:
A stunning building dating back from 1895 houses this unique heritage hotel with many modern facilities. The hotel has a remarkable history, it has survived bombardments and represents the first modern hotel in Dubrovnik signaling a historic transformation of the city’s tourism industry,
Perfectly located in the city center just meters from the historic Pile Gate entrance, close to small beaches, public transport, easily reached by car including spacious parking facilities in the garage directly under the building, and only a 30 minutes’ drive from the airport,
Offering a stylish lounge bar, a business center and spacious executive lounge with direct views upon Fort Lovrijenac, the Adriatic sea and the old city walls with stunning sunsets every night,
The rooms are all complete with many modern amenities such as free coffee and tea facilities, MP3 connection, WIFI, flat-screen TV, mini bar, work desk, air-conditioning and nice city views,
As all Hilton hotels the Imperial Dubrovnik offers an excellent breakfast buffet with omelets and pancakes freshly prepared for you at request. Also fine dishes are served every night at the Porat restaurant, where dinner in a romantic atmosphere can be enjoyed both inside as well as on the outdoor terrace,
And as it befits a 5 star hotel naturally the Hilton Imperial has a fully equipped Health Club, indoor swimming pool, sauna and Turkish steam bath open until late for exercise and relaxation after a hard day of exploring.
Things to do in Dubrovnik
If you enjoy architecture and heritage Dubrovnik is a must visit! Just walking around the old city, inside the city gates and through the small streets is a real pleasure. The Renaissance style architecture with Venetian influences is stunning, the streets look like marble, glistening both at day and night, and the cultural sights, churches and museums are abundant.
Although we were only there for 3,5 days we were able to visit a lot of sights which I can highly recommend. You can see for yourself why in my galleries below and I will sum up my favourites for your next visit:
(Remember to click on the smaller pics to see the bigger version and description)
Walking the city walls is a must, it will take you at least 1-2 hours to walk all round it, but the views from up there are unique with the colorful rooftops and a unique look into Dubrovnik city life from all angles.
There are some café’s and terraces up the walls as well and a day ticket costs about €16 p.p., but comes with access to the Fortresses around the city as well, such as:
Lovrijenac Fortress, a 12-metre thick walled Fortress 37 metres above sea level. In my opinion climbing the 175 steps up there are definitely worth it, as it offers stunning views towards the Dubrovnik old city walls, as well as access to one of the most prominent filming locations of GoT.
Pile is the area around this Fortress which is worth exploring as well. Here you will find small terraces, nice café’s, restaurants and you can enjoy the more quiet side of the city, as not many tourists venture outside the city walls.
Take the Cable Car up the hill for the best views over Dubrovnik and the Lapad Peninsula. This is not cheap, a return ticket costs around €20 p.p., but is definitely something to experience. The views during the ride up are stunning, but you can also drive up there or hike all the way up and down. You can have lunch or dinner at one of the restaurants and explore the Fort ruins. And if you walk past the ruins and turn left explore a little further to find a wide nature area with one of most stunning views I have ever seen:
Visit the Dominican Monastery and Synagogue Museum! Although there are many cultural sights and museums in the city I loved these 2 because they were so unique, quiet and entrance fees are still low. As you can see there were almost no tourists, although the city center was packed, and the museum displays combined with the open aired spaces, arches and Venetian architectural influences were stunning!
It’s impossible to visit all of Dubrovnik’s sights in just a few days and it would be a shame as you wouldn’t have time to wander the small back streets and enjoy the terraces and beautiful seaside views. But there were definitely many more things we wanted to do and will come back for next time, such as:
Go to Lokrum and the Elaphiti islands by boat
Visit more of the cathedrals, palaces, museums and churches
Wander around the Trsteno Arboretum 30 minutes outside the city
And because we had a rental car we also ventured out of the city, enjoyed the Dubrovnik Riviera, visited some surrounding towns such as Ston, and drove the famous Makarska Riviera all the way to Split, where many Game of Thrones scenes were filmed as well.
More about this in my next blog!
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To see more of the hotel and for direct bookings you can go here:
And of course I would love to know if you’ve ever been to Croatia or Dubrovnik as well, and if not, if I inspired you to visit soon and stay at this special Hilton heritage hotel.
Just let me know your opinion about this beautiful ancient UNESCO city and the luxurious Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik Hotel in a comment below!
1. Most of the clothing and accessories worn in this blog are from the brands: River Island and Zara.
2. I was invited by the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed in this article are however as always my own and reflect my experience of the hotel.
Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through them, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. I use this small commission to help cover the expenses necessary to run this blog.