Last updated on January 03rd, 2023
Dubrovnik, nestled on the shores of the Adriatic Sea, once called the “Pearl of the Adriatic” is a Balkan city with thousands of years of history. Its tragic recent history made tourists avoid the city in Croatia but it has quickly regained its status as a very popular holiday destination.
Today, tourists are streaming again to the city, to enjoy your stay it is important to get accommodation in the neighbourhood best suited to your purpose for visiting Croatia.
We can’t speak of a generic single “best” area to stay in Dubrovnik, seeing that the “must visit” things are spread out and much will depend on your available budget and your interests. The best neighbourhood to stay in will depend largely on whether it’s your first visit, you are staying on a budget, want the best views, enjoy swimming and the beaches, interested in the local vibe or if you want to stay in an area outside Dubrovnik.
The Old Town district, enclosed within the huge city walls is the main attraction with Pile and Ploce just outside it the best neighbourhoods for the first time visitor with most attractions within walking distance. Lapad and Babin Kuk offering lush vegetation and many great beaches, ideal for swimming and enjoying the local vibe. It’s the best location to stay in Dubrovnik for the beach. Gruž close to the main harbour offers great budget stay hotels and accommodation.
The best hotels in Dubrovnik are not concentrated in one neighbourhood and hotel accommodation can be found spread through the 5 neighbourhoods making up the city of Dubrovnik.
So, what’s the best area to experience the city for the first time, tourists, what’s the best area for swimming and the beach, or where to stay on a budget or for a local vibe? Read on below to find out more best neighbourhoods to stay in Dubrovnik Croatia.
Quick Overview – Contents
What is the Best Area to Stay in Dubrovnik?
Best for First Time (Sightseeing): Old Town, Pile or Ploce
Old Town is the main attraction, located within the city walls of Dubrovnik and most of the main attractions are located there. The Stradun, a wide street runs from Pile Gate to Ploče Gate, the historic entrance gates. Pile and Ploce are the areas closest to Old Town and its attractions.
Where to Stay in Dubrovnik City Centre
- Best Luxury Hotels in Dubrovnik
The Pucic Palace • Villa Orsula
- Best Great Value – Top Rated Accommodation
The Byron (Guest House) • Villa Four Winds (Guest House)
- Best Cheap Hotels in Dubrovnik
Rooms Posat • Private Accomodation Linda
- Best Bed & Breakfast
Dominus Little Palace • Scalini Palace
- Best Budget Hostels
Kingslanding Old Town Hostel • Love Dubrovnik Hostel
Best Areas To Stay in Dubrovnik
There is not a good or bad neighbourhood in Dubrovnik or one good place where to stay. Your aim budget and preference will determine what accommodation is best suited to you. The following categories will help you to decide where to stay.
Where to stay in Dubrovnik for best views? Ploce
Located just outside Ploce Gate, is the neighbourhood of Ploce, it is a very scenic area with excellent views of the Old City and some of Dubrovnik best hotels can be found here on the waterfront.
Where to stay in Dubrovnik on a Budget? Gruz
Gruz lies in the port area of Dubrovnik about 3km from Old Town. It can be quite busy being the entrance to Dubrovnik. All the cruise ships, ferries and busses arrive in Gruz. The neighbourhood offers several hotels and private accommodation.
What’s the best neighborhood to stay in Dubrovnik for swimming & the beach? Ploce – Babin Kuk – Lapad
Dubrovnik is an area which has some of Croatia’s best beaches like the city’s main public beach, Banje located in Ploce. Then there is the Copacabana beach in Babin Kuk and the largest beach Uvula Lapad located on the Lapad peninsula. Most beaches are safe for children and are either sandy or stony.
What’s the best neighbourhood in Dubrovnik for a local experience? Lapad
Lapad is a leafy residential area on a peninsula about 3km from Old Town, it has excellent beaches, the most different accommodation options which allow locals and visitors to mingle in the shops, restaurants, bars and cafes. Experience the local vibe when you stay here.
Where to stay outside Dubrovnik? Cavtat – Mlini – Slano
There are great places to stay in areas outside Dubrovnik like Cavtat about 19 km away and close to the airport. Mlini is about 11km away and forms part of the Zupa Dubrovacka not too far away from the airport and Cavtat. Slano is a picturesque tourism area about 40 km away from Dubrovnik on the Dubrovnik Riviera with few hotels.
The 5 Best Neighbourhoods in Dubrovnik for Tourists
In this section we will look at the different areas and why it is a good idea to stay in different districts.
1. Old Town
This is the heart and soul of Dubrovnik, the “Pearl of the Adriatic”, its historic centre enclosed within its high white stone walls. Staying in the city centre offers the best way to experience the unique character of this walled city with its famous landmarks and many attractions. Here you can go for a walk on the famous Dubrovnik city walls, walking while enjoying the stunning views of the Adriatic Sea, the mountains and the islands and the famous landmarks in the Old Town district.
Old Town only makes provision for pedestrians which makes sightseeing very easy when you visit the many different historic buildings and sites. Stroll down Stradun the long street which runs from Pile Gate, the historic western entrance down to Ploce Gate, the eastern entrance. It is lined with a variety of restaurants, shops, cafes and different services.
When staying inside Old Town the nightlife can be enjoyed without any concern about transport back to your hotel. If your mobility is not so good it or you travel by car it is better to stay outside Old Town as there is no parking available.
The choice within the city walls for hotel accommodation is limited with only three hotels and one apartment hotel inside but there are lots of the best apartments and rooms available for rent. There are several grocery shops available for self-catering options. Just outside Old Town, there is excellent hotel accommodation available. The district can become very busy during peak tourist season with cruise ships visiting. Old Town is the best area to stay in when it is your first visit to this beautiful part of Croatia. It’s the best location to stay in Dubrovnik if you want to stay in the middle of the action.
- Best Accommodation (Great Value): Vivaldi (Guest House) • Dominus Rooms
- Best Cheap / Affordable Hotels: Rooms Megi • Rooms Fausta Old Town
2. Pile – Just Outside Old Town
Pile is one of the historic gate sites which lead into Dubrovnik’s Old Town and can be very busy with people moving in and out. Many people prefer to stay in Pile because of not having the same large crowds as inside Old City.
Pile is also the location of one of the most iconic sights in Dubrovnik, the Lovrijenac Fortress. The fortress dates from the 11th century and is perched on a 37m high rock from where it overlooks the Adriatic Sea. The fortress is regularly used as a stage and backdrop for plays during the Dubrovnik Summer Festival.
Many Dubrovnik buses end their route in Pile which makes travelling to other neighbourhoods and districts easy. There are many restaurants and cafes in the area which are less expensive than those inside the Old Town. Dance Beach one of the oldest beaches preferred by local people is also close by. There are some of the best hotels, apartments and guest houses in the area and with its proximity to Old Town makes it one of the best areas to stay in. In this location you can find several cheap places to stay in Dubrovnik.
- Best Properties (Great Value): Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik • Apartments Cava Dubrovnik
- Best Cheap / Affordable Hotels: Veranda Rooms (Guest House) • Eddie’s Sea View Rooms Old Town
3. Lapad and Babin Kuk
Lapad is a leafy peninsula that houses most of Dubrovnik’s hotels and a large number of private accommodation this in turns ensures that a large majority of visitors stay on here.
Lapad is a residential neighbourhood about 3km away from Old Town. It offers lush greenery, beautiful sea vistas and several excellent restaurants. There are a great number of hotels, apartments and guesthouses in Lapad. There are several bars, restaurants and shops where residents and visitors get the opportunity to meet as both use the same facilities. Everything is within walking distance and regular busses to Old Town.
Babin Kuk is a peninsula which provides more of a resort experience than that of a bustling urban one. Ideal for families with lots of amenities for children and large beaches. The three-star hotels are child- friendly, while couples can enjoy being pampered in a five-star hotel, relax on the beach or taking long walks. Opportunities to mingle with locals are limited with not a lot of residences, restaurants or cafes.
The hotel guests must use hotel facilities or take a trip to Old Town. There are three main beaches, with the Copacabana the longest beach in Dubrovnik. This pebble beach offer visitors drink, snacks, meals and a variety of water sports. For a more upscale experience visitors can visit the Coral Beach Club, widely recognised as one of the best beach clubs in Croatia. Then there is also Solitudo beach to visit. Apart from going to the beach, there is not much else to do in Babin Kuk.
- Best Hotels (Great Value): Hotel More • Hotel Dubrovnik Palace
- Best Cheap / Affordable Hotels: Hotel Perla • Valamar Club Dubrovnik
Ploce is the neighbourhood just outside the Old Town’s Ploce Gate and is viewed as one of the best neighbourhoods in Dubrovnik. Her you will find some of the trendiest boutiques, classiest hotels and most stylish restaurants in Dubrovnik, this district is within walking distance of the best attractions and its location makes it easy to explore Dubrovnik and its surrounding areas.
This area house the city’s main public beach, Banje and its waterfront area houses several luxury and upscale hotels. The area with its steep rise limits the number of properties available for hotels. The majority of five–star hotels can be found here. Ploce is also the hotel neighbourhood which is the closest to the Old Town and all its attractions. There are not a lot of private accommodation available and is also the neighbourhood closest to Dubrovnik airport.
The area is famous for its breathtaking views of the city and offers sightseeing and swimming. Being located in a small area ensures that all major attractions are within easy reach and other Dubrovnovik neighbourhoods can easily be reached by bus. The Srd Cable Car offers excellent views and a great restaurant on the mountain top. There are many other attractions in the area like visiting Lokrum island or Porporela seafront walkway for a nice stroll.
- Best Hotels (Great Value): Hotel Excelsior • Grand Villa Argentina
- Best Cheap / Affordable Hotels: Apartments Sv.Jakov • Peric Accommodation Dubrovnik
5. Cavtat, Mlini and Slano
The three towns offer great leisure opportunities when you want to stay outside Dubrovnik. The towns are still close enough to enjoy a day visit to explore the city. Let’s look at what you can expect from them:
Cavtat is located on the peninsula Rat about 19 km southeast from Dubrovnik close to the airport. It is an easy bus ride into Dubrovnik. There is plenty of opportunities to spend a relaxing holiday in a hotel, villa, apartment or even a private house savouring the natural beauty of the beaches around the bay. The area is focussed on tourism and provides a vast range of accommodation to choose from. The area offers restaurants, bars, shops and a port where pleasure boats and yachts can be found. The Cavtat area offers cycling routes, walking trails, mountain climbing and diving to the energetic.
Mlini was named after the mills which were found in the area and is an area rich in monuments and legends from its history. Today the Mlini area is surrounded by Mediterranean gardens with olives, lavender, sage and bay leaf growing surrounded by pine and cypress trees. This offer the opportunity to leisurely walk through the area with its beauty augmented by the wonderful beaches and clear blue sea. The neighbourhood offers great vacations for families with children and accommodation can be found in hotels, villas, private houses, rooms or apartments. Ideally situated halfway between Cravat and Dubrovnik, only 11km away from each on the connecting route between them.
Slano is a settlement with beautiful sand and gravel beaches located 40 km from Dubrovnik and 55km from the airport. The area is sparsely populated with fruit and olive production and viticulture the main activity. The location is perfect and the natural beauty of the area lend itself to providing tourism and hospitality opportunities. Accommodation is provided in two hotels and private accommodation in houses, apartments and rooms. Visitors can enjoy the beaches or can visit the nearby Ston with the largest mussels farm in Croatia, the different vineyards are also worth a visit.
- Best Hotels (Great Value): Hotel Croatia (Cavtat) • Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel (Mlini)
- Best Cheap / Affordable Hotels: Hotel Cavtat • Sweet Village Hotel By The Sea (Slano)
Best Places to Stay in Dubrovnik
There are so many great places to stay in Dubrovnik Croatia, but we have three places that we can certainly recommend. Here we’re going to recommend you our favorite luxury hotel, mid-range hotel, and hostel.
Best Luxury Hotel in Dubrovnik: Villa Orsula
The five-star hotel, Villa Orsula located in Ploce overlooks the Dubrovnik Old Town and offers amazing views of the Adriatic Sea, Lokrum Island and is a mere 5-minute walk away from the historic Ploce Gate and Old Town.
The hotel offers 13 individually designed rooms of which two are suites. Their Royal Suite offers that little bit extra when on their honeymoon in Croatia. Every room has all the amenities that befits a five-star hotel and 24-hour service to ensure that guests enjoy their stay. The hotel has a private beach complete with sun loungers and staff members to ensure guests comfort. The hotel has its restaurant and lounge bar.
Best Mid Range Hotel in Dubrovnik: Hotel Kompas
The Hotel Kompas is a four-star plus hotel located on the Lapad peninsula with a seafront setting which overlooks the Adriatic Sea and Lapad beach. The hotel is less than 4 km away from the Old Town area in Dubrovnik.
The hotel has a contemporary design with floor-to-ceiling windows to view the panoramic Lapad bay in all its splendour. The hotel has a luxury spa, conference centre and outstanding dining in their Sphere Restaurant and a Lounge Bar offering sunset shows.
There is a jogging path, walking routes and tennis courts for health-conscious guests.
Best Cheap Hostel in Dubrovnik: Hostel Angelina Old Town
Situated right in the heart of Dubrovnik Hostel Angelina with their perfect location at Stradun street offers visitors the best opportunity to experience Dubrovnik’s Old Town. All the major attractions of the Old Town are within walking distance from the comfort of this hostel.
Offering top class accommodation where you can enjoy the company of fellow visitors from all corners of the globe. The facilities make provision for different needs and with a fully equipped kitchen visitors can prepare their meals. Visitors can relax on the terrace while they enjoy the view.
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