Is there more to Dubrovnik than just Game of Thrones? Of course!
Dubrovnik is a city that has risen from the ashes to become the ‘pearl of the Adriatic sea’.
The famous red-roofed city has frequently appeared on our screens through the world-renowned TV show, Game of Thrones. As magical and exciting as it is to visit the locations of iconic scenes, Dubrovnik has so much more to offer.
Dubrovnik has a rich history
Due to its magnificent and fascinating history, Dubrovnik became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. However this didn’t stop the city from being heavily bombed during the Croatian war of independence in the 90s.
You can’t help but admire the city’s incredible ability to rebuild itself and create the masterpiece that we all adore now.
Around 1.5 million people visit Dubrovnik every year to enjoy its delicious cuisine, sip Croatian wine by the turquoise Adriatic sea and learn about its history.
Dubrovnik has a special charm that sets it apart from all the other Croatian cities.
How long should you spend in Dubrovnik?
3-5 days is the perfect amount of time to spend in Dubrovnik.
This gives you enough time to sample some mouth-watering cuisine, visit Dubrovnik’s historical sites and potentially take a day trip to another country!
Dubrovnik is also the kind of place where you can slip into a routine of relaxation, only to be broken by enjoying fresh and rejuvenating dishes by the sea.
Dubrovnik is quite a spread-out city, with the Old Town being surrounded by a number of neighbourhoods that all offer their own charm.
Most first-time visitors will opt to stay in the Old Town because this is where you’ll find the highest concentration of things to do. If you’re looking to venture further out, here are our 3 best areas to stay in Dubrovnik:
Top Tip: During Dubrovnik’s high season (June-August) accommodation gets booked up months in advance. We’d recommend booking accommodation as soon as possible.
Here are our 3 favourites spots to stay in Dubrovnik:
Location #1: Old Town – the centre of Dubrovnik
As we mentioned above, the Old Town is where you’ll find all of the action. Made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, you’ll be surrounded by character, charm and history throughout your stay.
Here you’ll barely have to stroll a few metres down the cobbled alleys before finding an exciting restaurant or bar. Most of the city’s best attractions are located within the Old Town too.
Accommodation in the Old Town
Being at the centre of it all does come at a higher price. In the Old Town you’ll mainly find boutique hotels, characterful guesthouses, apartments and some hostels.
During the high season (June-August) private rooms tend to start at around €70 per night.
For a great location plus a magical blend of new and old, we’d recommend staying in Guest House Tomasi.
Location #2: Pile – a more budget-friendly and quiet option
Pile is a suburb that can be found directly to the west of the Old Town. Pile Gate is the main gateway into the Old Town district, so it’s really not that far away.
What it does offer you is a slightly more relaxed and quiet atmosphere because the majority of visitors like to stay in the Old Town.
A huge bonus of staying in Pile is that you’ll have close access to 3 sandy and intimate bays.
Accommodation in Pile
The great thing about staying in Pile is that you’re only minutes from the Old Town, but won’t be paying as much.
In Pile private rooms start at around €50 a night. You’ll find a selection of small hotels, Airbnbs and hostels.
Location #3: Ploče – luxury hotels and villas on the beachfront
If you’re looking for more of a relaxing holiday than just an exploring city-break kind of trip, then consider staying in Ploče.
Located south of the Old Town, Ploče has become an affluent district adorned with luxury villas and extravagant resorts. The backdrop to these accommodations, rugged mountains and beautiful beaches, add to the holiday vibe.
The small boat-lined harbour is also a wonderful place to simply wander and absorb the energy of the area.
Accommodation in Ploče
As well as the larger hotels and villas, there are also an abundance of privately owned apartments in Ploče. These make staying in Ploče affordable for everyone.
You can find apartments starting from €40 a night.
Where to eat in Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik’s food scene is a little different to the rest of Croatia. Sure, it still has incredibly fresh seafood and Mediterranean-style dishes, but it also has a huge choice of international cuisine.
As Dubrovnik’s popularity has grown, so has its number of international restaurants – Japanese, Mexican, Indian.
Another differentiating factor? It’s more expensive than the rest of Croatia. Restaurant prices are estimated to be around 30% higher.
With that said, there are some excellent choices out there. Here are our favourite restaurants for all price points:
360 Restaurant – Michelin star restaurant with panoramic views
Starting at the higher end of the scale, 360 is a must visit in Dubrovnik.
Marijo Curić, the head chef of 360, earned a Michelin star in 2018. Alongside his team of 57 people, they create an atmospheric and modern fine-dining experience right next to the Fortress of St John.
The spectacular view from the terrace makes the already phenomenal food that little bit more enjoyable. The restaurant serves an a la Carte menu, or you can opt for the 5-course tasting menu.
Azur – fun Mediterranean dishes with an Asian twist
Azur offers Mediterranean cuisine with an Asian twist. The internationally recognised restaurant serves up delicious, fresh and high quality foods at affordable prices.
The head chef says it should be ’fun dining’ rather than fine dining. That’s exactly what it is! The flavours are playful and the portions plentiful. It’s situated in a quieter part of the Old Town within a quaint and chic little building.
Barba – fast food but not as you’ve known it before
Barba is a family-run fast food restaurant. Though it’s probably like nothing you’ve experienced before. Instead of beef burgers and chips, they specialise in fried oysters, anchovy sandwiches and octopus burgers.
It’s a cheaper option when it comes to Dubrovnik and a nice escape from some of the tourist traps. The cute interior creates a friendly and welcoming ambience. A great place to give your feet a rest before you continue exploring the city.
How to get around in Dubrovnik
Like with most city destinations, if you’re planning on just staying around the city centre then you’ll probably be fine on foot.
For those that don’t love walking, or are looking to venture a little further, here are the options available to help you explore Dubrovnik:
Your own two feet can get you pretty far in Dubrovnik. All of the Old Town is pedestrianised, so it’s literally built to be walked in.
Getting lost in its cobblestone, narrow alleys is the perfect way to discover the city.
The only public transport available in Dubrovnik is the public bus. There are no trams, metro or trains.
13 bus lines cover the Dubrovnik area, which makes getting around pretty easy. And cheap!
A bus ticket, if bought beforehand at a newspaper kiosk or a Libertas stand, costs 12 KN (€1.55). If you need to buy the ticket onboard, then you’ll pay 15 KN (€1.95) and have the exact change.
You can find the timetables for all of the bus routes here.
Top Tip: If you’re planning on using public transport quite frequently, then you should maybe consider the Dubrovnik Card. This gives you free public transport as well as free entrance to some of Dubrovnik’s top attractions.
There are a number of taxi ranks around the city, including places such as Pile Gate, the bus station, airport and the port.
Taxi’s can offer greater convenience than the buses, but of course they’re more expensive. Taxis are metered, so there’s no need to haggle on the price beforehand.
Uber is also available in Dubrovnik and is often a cheaper and more convenient option than the traditional taxis.
By Cable Car
This is a more unique way of getting around and definitely one that’s worth a try.
The cable car takes you to the top of Mount Srđ, 450 metres above sea level. This journey takes only 4 minutes, but opens up a whole other perspective of Dubrovnik.
Important: Tourism in Croatia is very seasonal. While many accommodations in Croatia shut down during the winter months, most of the accommodations get fully booked in the summer. With July and August being the peak season, rates can rise 3 times as high as compared the low season or shoulder months. We recommend booking your accommodation at least 1 month in advance to lock in better rates.
Rooms Franica is a great choice if you’re travelling on a budget. The rooms are surrounded by gardens flourishing with flowers, plus your own patio. The beach is within walking distance and the Old Town is only 10 minutes away by bus.
The bonus of staying in a guesthouse is that you’re instantly made to feel at home. The hosts are super helpful and the rooms are comfortable and clean, offering everything you need.
This guesthouse is a magical blend of the old and the new. It boasts a modern flare, whilst still celebrating its origins with its exposed stone walls.
The hotel is located within Dubrovnik’s UNESCO- listed Old Town. You can’t really get a better location than this. Plus, the beach is also only 130 meters away! The owners treat you like their own family offering you apples, coffee and other treats.
If your heart is set on staying here, make sure to book it straight away as this Villa gets booked up fast! And for good reason.
Everything is at your doorstep, as you’ll be situated within the Old Town. This means that any window you look out of, offers you stunning views of Dubrovnik. The star of the show has to be Villa Four’s host. She takes the hotel to another level!