We boarded Holland America’s MS Koningsdam in Civitavecchia which is about an hours drive from Rome. We used Habi tours and shuttle for our transfer from Rome to the cruise port and we highly recommend them. Once we arrived at the cruise ship terminal we immediately boarded the ship. We were both surprised that we didn’t have to wait around at all. We quickly settled in our room and happily unpacked – this would be home for the next 13 nights. Before dinner we walked around the ship to get our bearings, there’s a lot of beautiful art displayed throughout the ship.
Our first day was a ‘sea day’ and we spent most of the day lounging by the pool. We were happy to just relax, admittedly we were tired after all the walking we had done in Venice and Rome.
Dubrovnik was our first port stop and we couldn’t wait to get off the ship and explore. This beautiful medieval walled city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The old town is filled with narrow cobblestone lanes, baroque architecture, and cute cafes and bars. We entered through the Pile Gate, it serves as the main entry point to the old town and dates back to 1537.
Immediately after walking through the gate we saw Onofrio’s Fountain. It was built between 1438-1440, it has 16 taps around it and has a masked face carved out of stone on all 16 sides.
The fountain is located at one end of the Stradun which is the main street of the old town. It’s paved with limestone, lined with little shops, and it’s one very charming street!
Our favourite thing we did was walk on the old city walls. The walls have been standing ever since the city was founded and it’s one of the best ways to see Dubrovnik – the views are fantastic!
We spotted a very cool looking bar while walking along the wall. We made a note to pop in there later for a drink. You can see that it’s on the outside of the wall and right on the sea…
There are so many little lanes to explore and most of them involve steps but it’s really worth wandering around. We found many quiet spots and often had these little streets to ourselves.
After wandering around town, we walked over to Lovrijenac Fort. Past invaders had attempted to build an outpost here as part of their campaign to take over the city. The locals beat them to it, they built this fortress in only three months at the start of the 11th century. The views from the fort are fantastic!
It was time to find that little cliff bar that we saw while walking on the ancient city walls! The bar is called ‘Buza Bar’. It is the perfect cliff side bar to grab a drink and take in the view of the adriatic sea. There was also some cliff jumping going on while we were there and they do have a swimming area roped off if you fancy a swim.
After a well deserved refreshment, we walked over to Banje Beach. This is a great spot to have a swim with nice views of the medieval city walls.
We meandered around the old town a while longer and went inside the church of St. Ignatius.
The Jesuit Staircase now famous after ‘The Game of Thrones’.
More narrow streets…
I love these door knockers (and the guy at the door is okay too!)
After a great day and evening in Dubrovnik, it was time to head back to the ship.
We loved Dubrovnik!
Where we stayed: Holland America-MS Koningsdam-Mozart Deck 👍