Dubrovnik is one of the most popular travel destinations in Europe. Its popularity has been growing over the last decade as Dubrovnik’s history, culture, and beaches attract millions of tourists each year.
Dubrovnik is the new “cool” European destination and is to European travel what Prague was in the early 2000s before the Czech city became overrun with stag dos and hen parties. The Croatian port city has everything from a historic Old Town to UNESCO World Heritage Sites to five-star dining to beaches. There is something for everyone in Dubrovnik no matter how picky travelers are.
Not only is Dubrovnik a top destination for beach bums, culture vultures, and history buffs, but it attracts television fans thanks to being a film location for Game of Thrones.
Dubrovnik’s Old Town is a magical place to explore in the Croatian city. Old Town is the city’s heart and a trip into the city center will take you deep into Dubrovnik’s history. It is in the Old Town that you will find the most famous tourist attractions Dubrovnik has to offer. It is also the ideal location to base your stay if it is your first time visiting the city.
Not only does the Old Town offer the most magical of stays in Dubrovnik, but staying at one of the hotels or Airbnb properties allows you to reach other areas of the city with ease. Dubrovnik’s city bus routes will connect you with the best bits of the city.
You won’t have any issues exploring Dubrovnik as its pedestrianized streets make it possible to wander the area without the dangers of being hit by a car. Culture vultures will marvel at the incredible architecture and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. One of the must-see places in Dubrovnik is the Homeland War Museum, which is dedicated to Croatia’s war of independence. After visiting the sobering museum, walk the city’s ancient walls for more history.
Best place to stay in Old Town
Boutique Hotel Stari Grad. Address: Od Sigurate 4, Old Town, 20000 Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Dubrovnik is the new Prague and travelers are descending on the Croatian city like never before. Although Dubrovnik still doesn’t see the tourist, stag and hen parties, and backpackers that Prague does, the numbers are growing and so are the prices.
In 2019, Dubrovnik welcomed a record-high 1.44 million people to the city. The more people that visit the city causes prices to increase, but the good news is, Gruz is still a low-priced option. It is ideal for backpackers visiting the Adriatic Sea city.
If you are on a budget, Gruz is the area to book your accommodation. You will find low-priced hotels, Airbnb properties, and hostels in Gruz. Backpackers often head for the neighborhood along with couples looking to save their money for nights out. Gruz is situated just to the northwest of the city center.
Foodies seeking great tastes at reasonable prices will enjoy a visit to the area. Traditionally a working-class area, students are attracted to Gruz for its cheap eats. Culture vultures seeking to see how locals live can find it throughout the neighborhood. The pubs and bars are great for nights out. Since students are attracted to Gruz, it has a vibrant, youthful feel.
Gentrification is occurring in Gruz. It may not be long until the area becomes one of the more expensive in the city.
Best place to stay in Gruz
Berkeley Hotel & Day Spa. Address: Ul. Andrije Hebranga 116a, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia.
For a trendy place to base your stay in Dubrovnik, book your stay in Ploce. Situated just east of the Old Town, the district offers you the chance to reach Dubrovnik’s most famous attractions on foot. You can also reach the Old Town and other parts of the city by bus. The well-connected public transport makes it easy to get around and see everything Dubrovnik and the outlying areas have to offer.
Ploce is located on the beach. Five-star restaurants can be found around Ploce along with hip clothing boutiques and cocktail bars. Ploce’s Adriatic Sea views are arguably the best in the port city. You are also treated to breathtaking views of the Old Town’s walls and fortifications. Staying in Ploce truly is a day at the beach as Banje Beach is the city’s easiest to access. You can also visit the popular Museum of Modern Art.
Best place to stay in Ploce
Excelsior Hotel. Address: Ul. Frana Supila 12, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Families will find luxurious accommodation in the Lapad neighborhood and it’s ideal for parents with their kids on holiday. You can reach the other great parts of Dubrovnik thanks to the public transport links that connect Lapad to the other portions of the city.
Just a mile north of Dubrovnik Old Town, it is easy to get around and see the historic aspects of the city center. History buffs may prefer to stay in another part of Dubrovnik, however, as there is little in the way of historical attractions in Lapad.
Uvala Lapad Beach is a popular destination during the warmer months of the year. It is perfect for families seeking a day out after exploring the cultural attractions of the Old Town. Petka Hill is another reason for families to book accommodation in Lapad. The green space provides plenty of room for kids to run about.
Best place to stay in Lapad
Kompas Hotel. Address: Ul. kardinala Stepinca 21, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Pile is a bustling suburb of Dubrovnik. You will find the area around one mile north of Pile Gate just outside of the Old Town. Pile is a narrow region and takes visitors to the Lapad Peninsula. Pile’s northern portion bleeds into Gruz.
The vibrant area is filled with cafes and restaurants buzzing with clientele. Some of Dubrovnik’s best restaurants can be found in Pile. If you want a five-star dining experience, Pile has it. Along with some of Dubrovnik’s finest dining experiences, you will find two beaches that attract locals, Sulic and Dance.
Don’t miss the Lovrjenac, an 11th-century fortress. The incredible cliffside fortification was used as a film site in Game of Thrones. Pile has a variety of places to stay from five-star hotels to apartment rentals. The suburb is a transport hub for Dubrovnik, so you won’t have difficulty finding transport to connect you to other parts of the city.
History buffs will note the 19th-century architecture. Meanwhile, Gradac Park is a great spot to spend a few hours. It sits on a cliff and provides amazing views of Dance Beach.
Best place to stay in Pile
Hilton Imperial Hotel. Address: Marijana Blazica 2, 20000 Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Where travel critics stay in Dubrovnik
Want to know where travel critics from publishers like The New York Times, Frommer’s, Fodor’s and Lonely Planet stay in Dubrovnik? Check out our overview of all recommended hotels, hostels and B&Bs in Dubrovnik.
“Hidden away in a quiet nook of the old town, this cute little hostel offers bunk rooms, a small guest kitchen and a bougainvillea-shaded terrace with memorable views over the rooftops.” — Lonely Planet.
Address: Ul. Plovani Skalini 17, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia.
“Fresh Sheets offers boutique accommodation smack in the center of Old Town. Run by a friendly Canadian-Croatian couple, the six comfortable rooms have views of either the cathedral or Buniceva Square.” — New York Times.
Address: Bunićeva poljana 6, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia.
“Sophisticated but relaxed, this five-star contemporary retreat is built into a cliff, overlooking the turquoise Adriatic towards Dubrovnik’s city walls. The 56 rooms and suites have private sea-view terraces. There’s a spa with an indoor pool, a beach with white parasols, and a gourmet restaurant.” — Telegraph.
Address: Vlaha Bukovac 6, Ploce, 20000 Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Best things to do in Dubrovnik
There are a lot of things to do in Dubrovnik and surrounding areas, including day trips, attractions, museums, sightseeing tours and many other activities. Here’s our list of 3 things you should definitely do when you’re in and around Dubrovnik:
Dubrovnik: 1.5-Hour Old Town Guided Walking Tour
Enjoy a 90-minute walking tour into the historic heart of Dubrovnik’s Old Town. Visit the city’s major landmarks and hear stories of how Dubrovnik became one of the world’s most prosperous and advanced maritime republics. Price: $21. More info.
Adventure Dubrovnik – Sea Kayaking and Snorkeling Tour
Accompanied by a guide, paddle past the city’s medieval walls, leaving time for some snorkeling, swimming, and snacks at an isolated beach cave along Dubrovnik’s coastline. Price: $29. More info.
Dubrovnik Walks – Game of Thrones 2 h Walking Tour + Iron Throne Photo
You’ll hear behind-the-scenes tales and facts from your guide as you explore, stopping at all the major filming sites to explore and take photos. Price: $24. More info.
Deciding where to stay in Dubrovnik
As you can see, there are a lot of things to explore, and deciding where to stay in Dubrovnik is important. Whether you stay in Pile, Ploce, Lapad, Old Town or Gruz, all those neighborhoods are in good locations.
The atmosphere of the area, whether you travel for leisure or business, whether you travel with your family or friends, and proximity to the attractions you prefer to visit should probably be the deciding factors. Whatever your preference is, you’ll have a great stay in Dubrovnik.
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