Dubrovnik – and the newly-formed country of Croatia – used to be well off the tourist radar. Following years of Civil War, this country needed to rebuild and restore.
And rebuild it did.
Dubrovnik has been returned to its former glory – both as one of Croatia’s most famous seaside towns and King’s Landing (*cough* Game of Thrones), tourists flock to Dubrovnik to explore its historic sites and beautiful Adriatic waters.
There is a reason Dubrovnik has emerged as one of the top destinations in Europe.
But all this excitement means prices are increasing and you need to book far in advance to secure the best spots and beat the crowds.
Not sure where to stay in Dubrovnik? Well, that’s where we come in.
This is our neighborhood guide to the best areas to stay in Dubrovnik and why. We’ve listed our favorite places based on different travel preferences, like historic sites, pristine beaches, trendy cafés, and family adventures.
Each section of our guide includes the top things to do in each neighborhood, so you can figure out where to stay in Dubrovnik for your next vacation!
Table of Contents
- Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Dubrovnik
- Top Places to Stay in Dubrovnik
- Dubrovnik Neighborhood Guide
- Dubrovnik’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
- 1. Old Town Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Dubrovnik for First-time Visitors
- 2. Gruz Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Dubrovnik on a Budget
- 3. Old Town – Where to Stay in Dubrovnik for Nightlife
- 4. Ploce Neighborhood – Coolest Place to Stay in Dubrovnik
- 5. Lapad Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Dubrovnik for Families
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Dubrovnik
- Where to stay in Dubrovnik first time – Old Town
- Where to stay in Dubrovnik on a budget – Gruz
- Best area to stay in Dubrovnik for nightlife – Old Town
- Coolest place to stay in Dubrovnik – Ploce
- Best Neighbourhood in Dubrovnik for families – Lapad
In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:
- Walk along the City Walls that stretch 2 kilometres around Dubrovnik
- Discover Sponza Palace, a gothic renaissance palace
- Analyze the remains of a 15th-century foundry at Gornji Ugao Tower
Top Places to Stay in Dubrovnik
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Dubrovnik. Planning to stay in a hostel? Make sure to read our guide to the best hostels in Dubrovnik.
If you end up choosing an Airbnb apartment, make sure to check out our Airbnb post for a 35% discount!
Best Hostel in Dubrovnik: City Walls Hostel
Located at the heart of Old Town, City Walls Hostel is our top recommendation for where to stay in Dubrovnik. A short walk to the Dubrovnik’s top landmarks, this hostel is close to restaurants, bars, and the beach. It has a comfortable common room, reading lights, and a book exchange for guests.
Best Hotel in Dubrovnik: Boutique Hotel More
This gorgeous five-star property in Lapad is our recommendation for where to stay in Dubrovnik. It has a heated pool, private beach, and a rooftop terrace offering stunning views out over the Adriatic. The rooms are spacious and luxurious, and guests will enjoy dining at the on-site restaurant and bar.
Dubrovnik Neighborhood Guide
Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Dubrovnik
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Dubrovnik is a city full of magic and mystery.
One of the most beautiful cities on the Adriatic, many tourists avoided Dubrovnik due to years of damage and violence during the Croatian War of Independence. After the war ended in 1995, the city was repaired and restored to its former glory and has since emerged as one of the top destinations in the Balkans.
There’s plenty to see and do in Dubrovnik from exploring historic sights to lounging on pristine beaches to reenacting iconic scenes from Game of Thrones (this is King’s Landing, after all).
Home to just 42,000 people, the city of Dubrovnik is divided into a number of diverse districts. We recommend that you visit at least three or four neighborhoods depending on the nature of your visit.
This neighborhood guide will highlight the top attractions and activities in Dubrovnik broken down by interest.
Old Town is the oldest and most central neighbourhood in Dubrovnik. It’s where you’ll find the city’s main attractions, including the City Walls and Rector’s Palace, as well as a great variety of restaurants, bars, shops and nightclubs.
To the east of Old Town is Ploce. A fun and lively neighbourhood, Ploce is the coolest district in Dubrovnik thanks to its beachside locations, luxurious hotels and outstanding views.
Heading west from Ploce and Old Town you’ll pass through Pile on your way to Lapad and Babin Kuk. They are famous for their beautiful beaches, leafy streets, and the great variety of delicious restaurants.
Across the harbour is Gruz. A residential area, Gruz is where you’ll find the best budget accommodations, a great farmer’s market, and a slice of authentic Croatian life.
Still not sure where to stay in Dubrovnik? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered below!
Dubrovnik’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
Although the city doesn’t have a tram or train, the public transit buses are reliable and efficient. Uber is also available and is notably cheaper than local taxis. No matter where you choose to stay in Dubrovnik, you’ll be able to visit the different neighbourhoods with relative ease.
That said, some of Dubrovnik’s neighbourhoods are better suited than others to specific interests. Do you want to see the top sights? Maybe you want to have the most beautiful beaches just steps from your bed? Perhaps you want to dance the night away without having to walk too far. All of these things are possible if you stay in the right neighborhood.
Here are the best neighbourhoods in Dubrovnik broken down by interest.
Old Town is the heart, soul, and center of the city. It is where you’ll find Dubrovnik’s most famous landmarks and attractions, and it is our toprecommendation for where to stay in Dubrovnik for your first visit to the city. It is also well connected to other areas of the city via bus.
City Walls, mesmerizing museums and a great variety of bars and restaurants are just a few of Old Town’s top draws. Here, you’ll also enjoy stunning views of the Adriatic and an enjoyable pace of life.
Things to see and do in Old Town
– Walk along the City Walls that stretch 2 kilometres around Dubrovnik.
– Explore the lively and vibrant Stradun, the main street of Old Dubrovnik that is lined with restaurants, cafes and charming local boutiques.
– Marvel at the stunning Franciscan Monastery, a Baroque Church that is home to the world’s third oldest pharmacy.
– Wander through Rector’s Palace, the former palace of the Major Council. It is now a museum dedicated to the history of Dubrovnik.
– Discover Sponza Palace, a gothic renaissance palace.
– Take in the stunning views and magnificent architecture of Fort Lovrijenac, a monument that rises almost 40 meters on a rock above the sea.
– Analyze the remains of a 15th-century foundry at Gornji Ugao Tower.
– Shop vibrant vegetables and colourful fruit at the Gunduliceva Poljana farmers market, the oldest market in Dubrovnik.
– Witness the impressive beauty and stunning décor of the Church of St Ignatius of Loyola.
Best Hostel in Old Town: City Walls Hostel
Located at the heart of the city, City Walls Hostel is our top recommendation for where to stay in Old Town. A short walk to Dubrovnik’s top landmarks, this hostel is close to restaurants, bars and the beach. It has a comfortable common room, reading lights, and a book exchange for guests.
Best Hotel in Old Town: Guesthouse Renata
Conveniently located at the centre of Old Town, Guesthouse Renata is an excellent base in Dubrovnik. It is a short walk to the City Walls and just a stone’s throw from the beach.
This three-star hotel has charming décor, comfortable rooms and free wifi for guests.
Best Hotel in Old Town: Apartments Zoro
The Apartment Zoro is a great blend of historic charm and modern appeal – which is why it’s one of our top choices for where to stay in Old Town. It has an on-site bar and free wifi, and each room comes with comfortable beds, flat-screen TVs, and a private kitchenette.
Gruz is defintely where to stay in Dubrovnik for budget travellers, thanks to its good variety of hostels, budget hotels, and charming apartments and guesthouses. Northwest of the city centre, Gruz is where you’ll find great Croatian food at awesome prices.
It is a residential and working-class neighbourhood that attracts a lot of students. If you’re looking to experience an authentic Croatian way of life, Gruz is the place to do it. Enjoy delicious food, stunning sights and a vibrant atmosphere in this quaint and busy neighbourhood.
Things to see and do in Gruž
– Enjoy cheap and delicious dishes at Snack Attack Dubrovnik.
– Visit the Church of the Holy Cross, a 15th century Renaissance Dominican Monastery.
– Indulge in exquisite Croatian and Mediterranean pizza at Retro.
– Take the water taxi to nearby Lapad and spend an afternoon exploring this charming part of Dubrovnik.
– Sample the best local craft beers at Dubrovnik Beer Company.
– See the largest collection of seashells and other sea oddities at the Exhibition of Sea Creatures.
– Hop on a ferry and explore the Elaphiti Islands in the Dubrovnik archipelago.
– Shop the local farmer’s market where you’ll find everything from sweet treats and fragrant flowers to colourful crafts and fresh seafood.
– Explore the nearby Sustjepan peninsula.
– Take a day trip to Trsteno and wander through the largest arboretum in Croatia.
– Sip a cappuccino as you sit seaside staring out at the stunning turquoise waters of Luka Gruz.
Best Hostel in Gruz: Hostel Free Bird
Hostel Free Bird is a brand new hotel that includes six dorm rooms and four spacious bathrooms. It has a cosy living room, mini kitchen, and a relaxing and sun-soaked terrace. A short walk to the bus station, shops, restaurants and bars, this great hotels is our top choice for where to stay in Gruz.
Best Hotel in Gruz: Berkeley Hotel & Day Spa
Berkeley Hotel & Day Spa is a luxurious three-star hotel and our number one recommendation for where to stay in Gruz. It has a sun deck, laundry service and private beach access.
Each room has its own kitchenette that includes complimentary coffee and tea. You won’t find a better home away from home in Gruz, which is why this is our top hotel pick for where to stay in Dubrovnik on a budget.
Best Hotel in Gruz: Sinistaj Rooms
This charming property is situated in Gruz. Each room has a small kitchen, comfortable beds and a private terrace. Guests can relax in the tranquil shared garden or at the on-site bar and lounge. Thanks to its great location, this is one of our top picks for Gruz.
Old Town isn’t just a great neighbourhood for seeing the sights; it’s also our top pick for where to stay in Dubrovnik for the best nightlife and parties. Tucked within Old Town’s winding tile streets is a great number of bars, restaurants, cafes, and clubs. For a great night on the town, look no further!
Whether you want to enjoy a glass of wine or dance the night away to the hottest tunes, there’s something for travellers of all ages, styles and tastes in Old Town Dubrovnik.
Things to see and do in Old Town
– Sample Croatia wines and local cheeses at the D’Vino Wine Bar.
– Enjoy exotic cocktails at laid-back The Bar by Azur Dubrovnik.
– Sip seaside cocktails at Buza, two unique and charming bars that are cut into the cliff that support the city walls, giving a whole new meaning to “hole in the wall.”
– Wine and dine at La Bodega a bustling wine bar that is housed in a gorgeous 17th-century building.
– Treat yourself to traditional Croatian pastries, candies, and more at the delightful Pupica.
– Dance the night away at Revelin, a three-story club with exposed stone walls, vaulted ceilings, a spacious outdoor terrace and the best DJs in the city.
– Taste the best craft beers in Dubrovnik at Glam Café, an after-hours cocktail bar that is a haven for hipsters.
– Dine on delicious and fresh seafood at Porto, one of the oldest restaurants in Dubrovnik that has been in business since 1886.
Best Hostel in Old Town: Hostel Marker Dubrovnik Old Town
This is a fun and friendly hostel – and one of our top choices for where to stay in Old Town. A short walk to restaurants and bars, this hostel is close to all of Dubrovnik’s top party spots. It has laundry facilities, hot showers, and rental and tour agencies on site.
Best Hotel in Old Town: Villa Four Winds
This modern and rustic property is in the middle of the city, just a few minutes walk from a good variety of bars, restaurants and clubs. Each of the property’s seven rooms is outfitted with modern décor and has a private bathroom, comfortable seating area, and an enchanting view.
Best Hotel in Old Town: Rooms Megi
Thanks to its location just two minutes from the Stradun, this property is one of our top picks for Old Town. It has free wifi and a swimming pool, and each room is outfitted with a private shower and a refrigerator. Enjoy great views and a great location at this charming Dubrovnik guesthouse.
Ploce is one of the coolest neighbourhoods in Dubrovnik. Located to the east of Old Town, this trendy district is within walking distance of Dubrovnik’s top attractions and it is well-connected via bus making it easy to explore the city and beyond.
Thanks to its beachside location, Ploce is home to some of the classiest restaurants, chicest boutiques and most stylish restaurants in town. Famous for its unbeatable views, Ploce is where you can stylishly combine swimming and sightseeing, and enjoy your best life in Dubrovnik.
Things to see and do in Ploce
– Soak up the sun at Banje Beach, one of the most popular beaches in Dubrovnik.
– Explore the buildings of Lazareti, a former quarantine that now houses exhibitions, cafes, restaurants, and more.
– Stroll along Porporela, a seafront walkway with great views of the city.
– Marvel at the magnificence of Ploce Gate as you cross the bridge between Old Town and Ploce.
– Dance the night away at Banje Beach Night Club.
– Ride the cable car to the top of Srd Mountain for unparalleled, 360-degree views of Dubrovnik, the Adriatic and beyond. On a clear day, it’s said you can see up to 60 kilometres into the distance.
– Party until dawn at the Lazareti Music Club, a local hotspot if you’re looking for a great alternative to electronic music.
– See breathtaking works of art by Croatian artists at the Museum of Modern Art.
Best Hostel in Ploce: Dubrovnik Inside the Walls B&B
Situated within the City Walls, this top-notch hostel is our top choice for where to stay in Ploce. It is a short walk to the beach and is surrounded by restaurants, bars, cafes and landmarks. Located within a small stone house, you won’t find a more authentic hostel in the city.
Best Hotel in Ploce: Suncana Apartments Dubrovnik
Suncana Apartments Dubrovnik is in a great location for walking to the best restaurants, clubs and landmarks – making this one of our top choices for where to stay in Dubrovnik. Each apartment comes with a fridge, coffee maker and wireless internet access. You will love lounging in the outdoor swimming pool before a big night out.
Best Hotel in Ploce: Apartments Sv Jakov
This delightful three-star property comes with all the necessary amenities for a comfortable and pleasant stay. They have free internet, an airport shuttle, and luggage storage for guests. Located in Ploce, guests will enjoy relaxing on the terrace as they stare out at the turquoise Adriatic Sea.
Lapad is one of the most luxurious neighbourhoods in Dubrovnik. Lush parks, leafy streets, pristine beaches and world-class restaurants are just a few of the top attractions here. Located west of the city on the Lapad Peninsula, this laid-back neighbourhood is well connected to the city centre by bus, making it easy to explore the top sites.
Families will love staying in Lapad thanks to its great beaches, delicious restaurants, and the great number of watersports on offer. Enjoy a relaxing stay in Paradise by making your home base in Lapad.
Things to see and do in Lapad
– Lounge on the beach while your little ones play in the surf at Lapad Beach, the largest beach in Dubrovnik.
– Hike to the top of Petka Hill, a peaceful forested area that has beautiful vistas of the Adriatic.
– Escape the heat and catch a flick at the Cinestar Dubrovnik.
– Enjoy a few drinks in Cave bar, a happening lounge that sits nestled in a natural cave.
– Soak up the sun at Copacabana Beach.
– Solve riddles and puzzles as you race against the clock at the Game of Thrones-themed Dubrovnik Escape Room.
– Rent kayaks and explore beyond the shorts of Lapad and Dubrovnik.
– Explore the wonders beneath the waves by snorkelling the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic.
– Dine seaside at the Sunset Beach Dubrovnik, a restaurant that specialises in Mediterranean and Croatian dishes.
– Run along the trails and paths that snake through Forest Park Velika.
Best Hostel in Lapad: Dubrovnik Backpackers Club
Thanks to its great location, this is the best hostel in Lapad. It is comfortable and clean, and each of the spacious room comes with its own toilet and shower. It has both an indoor and outdoor kitchen, a large terrace, and a fully equipped BBQ area.
Best Hotel in Lapad: Boutique Hotel More
This gorgeous five-star property is our top pick for where to stay in Lapad. It has a heated pool, private beach, and a rooftop terrace offering stunning views out over the Adriatic. The rooms are spacious and luxurious, and guests will enjoy dining at the on-site restaurant and bar.
Best Hotel in Lapad: Ariston Hotel Dubrovnik
Its stunning seaside location makes the Ariston Hotel Dubrovnik one of our top choices in Lapad. It has a swimming pool, a dedicated kids pool, and a number of family-friendly features. They even have a childminding service so parents can enjoy a peaceful, child-free drink at the Beach Lounge & Bar.
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Dubrovnik
We created this epic guide for where to stay in Dubrovnik to help you plan your next vacation. With so much to do in Dubrovnik – visit beaches and island-hop, explore the medieval walls and historic sites, etc. – you want to base yourself in the perfect place.
We’ve listed the top 5 neighborhoods above, but if you’re still not sure where to stay in Dubrovnik, City Walls Hostel is in an excellent location. If you need a bit more privacy, one of the best hotels in Dubrovnik is Boutique Hotel More.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!
Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.
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Need More Inspiration?
- Backpacking Europe Travel Guide: Itineraries, Travel Tips, & More
- 15 Best Hostels in Dubrovnik • Ultimate Bargain Guide
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- Backpacking Croatia Travel Guide
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