The Ultimate Dubrovnik Travel Guide

Exploring Dubrovnik Where to Stay Where to Eat How to get around How to get to Dubrovnik Favourite places to stay

What to expect in Dubrovnik

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?

The perfect amount of time to spend in Dubrovnik is 3-5 days.

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.

Also read: Top 14 Things to Do in Dubrovnik

Where to stay in Dubrovnik

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 three best areas to stay in Dubrovnik:

Top Tip: During Dubrovnik’s high season (June to August), accommodations get 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 

Small harbour within Dubrovnik Old Town

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 from June to 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 Gate leading to Dubrovnik Old Town

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 three 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 is 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 streets and plazas fill with restaurants and cafes

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, and Indian.

Another differentiating factor? It’s more expensive than in 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 – a 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

Public bus 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:

By Foot 

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.

By Bus

The only public transport available in Dubrovnik is the public bus. There are no trams, metro or trains.

Thirteen 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.

PRO 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.

By Taxi

There are a number of taxi ranks around the city, including places such as Pile Gate, the bus station, the airport and the port.

Taxis can offer greater convenience than 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 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.

A return ticket costs just over 100 KN (€13). You can find out more about how to enjoy the cable car in our Top Things to Do in Dubrovnik guide.

How to get to Dubrovnik

Leaving fromDurationPrices fromSee details
Korčula2-3 hoursfrom 101 KN (€13)Korčula to Dubrovnik
Makarska3 hoursfrom 87 KN (€11.50)Makarska to Dubrovnik
Mljet1hr-2hrs 20mfrom 126 KN (€16.50)Mljet to Dubrovnik
Split3.5-12 hoursfrom 144 KN (€19)Split to Dubrovnik

In summary

Now that you’ve finished reading this guide, you’re almost ready for your adventure in Dubrovnik. The next step is to create your personalised itinerary with our top picks of things to do in Dubrovnik. Simply choose your favourite activities and places to visit, and you’re all set to make lasting memories in Dubrovnik.

Our favourite places to stay in Dubrovnik

Important: Tourism in Croatia is very seasonal. Much of the available accommodation in Croatia is fully booked in the summer, but many sites are closed in the winter months. 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 - Budget Friendly

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.

  • Close to the beach and supermarket
  • Only 10m by bus to the Old Town
  • Beautiful gardens
  • Friendly and helpful hosts
  • Private patio

Check latest price

Guest House Tomasi - Mid-Range

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.

  • Amazing and friendly hosts
  • Within Dubrovnik Old Town
  • Huge and comfy beds
  • Close to the beach

Check latest price

Villa Four Winds - Treating Yourself

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!

  • Amazing views of the city
  • Perfect location
  • Friendly and helpful host
  • Modern and large rooms

Check latest price

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Professional Traveller

Kate is a writer, (ex)Management Consultant and avid traveller. She recently returned from a 2-year career break exploring the world and decided corporate life wasn’t for her. She’ll soon be testing life as a digital nomad. She’s visited over 40 countries and fell in love with Latin America in particular. Her travelling has inspired a passion for yoga, salsa, hiking and Spanish.