Located on the Southern coast of Croatia, Dubrovnik has become a top travel destination. It’s got the old-world charm that tends to lure visitors from across the globe.
Getting around the city is easy as most of the attractions are found in Old Town. The only issue is deciding where to stay in Dubrovnik.
From the well-preserved historic buildings to the streets paved with limestone, the Old Town takes you back several centuries. It’s a great area full of small shops and quaint restaurants but it’s not the only neighbourhood.
The surrounding districts provide a break from the mass of tourists that congregate in Old Town. Some areas are even within walking distance of the city centre. These areas include the luxurious Ploce neighbourhood and the beaches of Lapad.
Need help choosing a hotel? Start comparing options with this guide to the best places to stay in Dubrovnik…
Where to stay in Dubrovnik, Croatia: A complete guide to the best neighbourhoods & areas for travellers
Dubrovnik is mostly known for its UNESCO-protected historic area, called Dubrovnik Old Town. The Old Town area is very similar to most European cities with a long history.
As it’s the oldest part of Dubrovnik, Old Town is home to most of the main attractions, including the massive walls that fortify the city, ancient churches, and other historic sites. If you’ve only got a short-time for your Dubrovnik itinerary, there’s no better place to stay than here.
When you get further away from the centre, you get away from the crowds and get to immerse yourself in the culture of Dubrovnik. Each of the surrounding neighbourhoods offers its own special features, which can make it more of a challenge to decide where to stay.
The neighbourhoods to the east and west offer close access to the centre of the city. In nearby Gruz, you’ll find the biggest farmer’s market in the area. In Lapad, you get to enjoy sprawling beaches along the Adriatic Sea.
A few of the best areas to stay in Dubrovnik for travellers include:
- Old Town
✔ Best area to stay to immerse yourself in history and culture
Old Town in the centre of Dubrovnik holds a lot of historical and cultural significance. It’s home to the main landmarks and the top things to see & do in Dubrovnik.
The original city was a walled fortress built in medieval times. The walls were made of white stone and some sections remain intact. There are also many historic sites that are sure to attract history buffs, including Sponza Palace and Rector’s Palace.
This neighbourhood is surprisingly small, forcing residents to make use of every square meter. The narrow streets are crowded with houses and buildings. The area is also brimming with some of the best restaurants in the region and unique cafes and bars.
It’s a great spot for first-time visitors who want to get to know the city and its most historic sites. Just prepare yourself for the typical challenges of visiting a popular travel destination.
The iconic sights are close by but this also makes Old Town a haven for tourists. With more tourists come higher prices and busy attractions. As you walk between famous landmarks, you’re likely to spend more time around other travellers compared to actual locals.
Where to stay: The best hotels in Old Town
The lavish hotels in Old Town are pricey and often housed inside historic buildings. They offer both opulence and convenient access to the centre of Dubrovnik. A couple of these spots even offer stunning views from the hotel rooms or rooftop terraces.
Here are a few of the best hotels and places to stay in Old Town:
- The Pucic Palace: If you want five-star treatment, this hotel is an excellent choice. It’s a bit high-priced but offers the most impressive vantage points for gazing out across the city. The hotel is housed inside an 18th-century baroque palace and is just a short walk from the main public square.
- Boutique Hotel Stari Grad: This gorgeous hotel was renovated a few years ago, providing guests with luxurious rooms and panoramic views of Old Town. The renovations also increased the cost of staying in this high-end hotel but it’s worth the cost to stay so close to the top attractions in Dubrovnik.
- Villa St Vitus: Located in the heart of Old Town, you’ll find this boutique-style hotel. It’s a budget option with surprisingly low rates, considering the convenient location. You’re just a few steps away from Stradun and within walking distance of the beach.
- Soleil Luxury Rooms Old Town: Another budget option, this hotel is further from the centre but still within the Old Town neighbourhood. While the rooms are spacious and clean, the main reasons to stay here are the affordable rates and access to the historic centre of the city.
✔ Best area to stay for great food and day trips
While there is a lot to see and do in Dubrovnik, the surrounding region also includes fun attractions for day trips. Staying in the Gruz neighbourhood makes it easier to hop on a train or catch a taxi out to some of the nearby destinations.
One of these spots is Cavtat, a tiny historic town just south of Dubrovnik. Some locals call it Little Dubrovnik due to its historic architecture and sandy beaches.
Gruz also has a lot to offer. This neighbourhood contains the biggest farmer’s market in the area, providing endless delights for foodies. The local vendors always have fresh seafood, fruits, and vegetables.
It’s also the main harbour area, which includes a large waterfront district full of restaurants and bars. The lively residential area is a great spot for travellers who like to mingle with the locals while getting away from the busiest tourist areas.
The harbour is also the perfect spot to catch a boat ride to the Elaphiti Islands. This gorgeous archipelago includes three large islands, which you can visit in a single day during a round-trip tour.
Where to stay: The best hotels in Gruz
As Gruz doesn’t get as many tourists compared to the other neighbourhoods, you’ll often find better deals on accommodations. The hotels in this area are still clean, modern, and spacious but you’re a little further from the action in Old Town.
Here are a few of the best hotels and places to stay in Gruz:
- Berkeley Hotel & Day Spa: Just one block from the sea, you can spend more time on the beach when you stay in this hotel. It’s an affordable budget choice in the middle of a popular tourist area. Besides convenient beach access, you’re surrounded by many restaurants, cafes, and shops.
- Hotel Adria: While this hotel is a little further from the beach, it’s right on one of the main roads that take you to the city centre. Many of the rooms have balconies with views of Lapad Bay and Elaphiti Islands. The hotel even has its own restaurant and a 24-hour reception desk.
- Boutique Hotel Kazbek: This hotel is right on the edge of the harbour. During your stay in this boutique hotel, you can enjoy private swimming pools, saunas, and parking. While it’s technically within the Lapad neighbourhood, you’re just outside the main Gruz area.
✔ Best area to stay for luxury accommodations and panoramic views
Ploce is mostly known for its luxurious hotels. The neighbourhood stands at the eastern edge of Old Town and is named for one of the historic gates into the city. Staying here also ensures that the main attractions are still within a comfortable walking distance.
As some of the streets are slightly elevated compared to Old Town, you also get striking views of the older parts of Dubrovnik. In fact, you can take a cable car ride up Srd Mountain for an even more impressive look at the city.
The neighbourhood also has its own unique history. In the Lazareti section of Ploce, you’ll find several historic buildings. Several of these buildings now house cafes, exhibition spaces, and a popular music club.
Near the beaches, you’ll find Porporela, which is a seafront walkway with shops, bars, and restaurants. It also provides another view of the city walls and Revelin Fortress.
When staying in Ploce, you’re just a short boat ride from Lokrum Island, which is known for its swimming spots and botanical gardens.
Where to stay: The best hotels in Ploce
If you want luxury accommodations, this area has some of the best hotels in Dubrovnik. Unlike the charming five-star hotels in Old Town, most of these accommodations are in modern buildings with high-end amenities and furnishings.
Here are a few of the best hotels and places to stay in Ploce:
- Grand Villa Argentina: Located right on the beach, this mid-range hotel is one of the highest-rated spots in Dubrovnik. While the rooms feature classical furnishing and décor, the hotel is relatively new and offers modern amenities.
- Hotel Excelsior: Balconies with stunning views and private boats are just a couple of the reasons to consider staying in this hotel. It’s also got its own freshwater pool and fine-dining restaurant.
- Villa Dubrovnik: This hotel is the furthest from Old Town yet it should still only take you 15 minutes to walk to the historic centre. Enjoy a luxurious stay in this five-star hotel, which includes views of the bay and the city walls. During the summer, the hotel even offers free car rides to Old Town.
✔ Best area to stay for local culture and seaside relaxation
If you prefer to get away from the touristy Old Town, travel to Lapad. This neighbourhood is a little more residential, giving you the chance to mingle with more locals instead of other travellers. It’s also on the bay, which provides access to the best beaches in the area.
The Lapad neighbourhood offers a change of scenery. Instead of streets and houses built from stone, the area includes more green spaces, modern buildings, and lots of shorelines.
While the area has lots of shops, restaurants, and cafes, they are mostly frequented by locals. If you want to avoid the usual tourist traps, Lapad is a top recommendation.
No matter where you are in the neighbourhood, you’re never far from a beach or a café with a patio.
Just keep in mind that not all the beaches are public. Some are privately managed and charge a small fee if you want to dip your toes in the water, walk on the sand, or relax in a deck chair.
Where to stay: The best hotels in Lapad
There is something for everyone in Lapad whether you want luxury accommodations or budget hotels. Some of the top spots offer views of the Elaphiti Islands and the Adriatic Sea. Most hotels in the area also provide free airport shuttles, making it easier to get in and out of the city.
Here are a few of the best hotels and places to stay in Lapad:
- Hotel Zagreb: You can stay in the centre of the Lapad neighbourhood when booking a room in this highly-rated hotel. You don’t get seaside views but you get a spacious private terrace, tennis courts, and fantastic local cuisine at the hotel restaurant.
- Hotel Kompas: Instead of views of Gruz Bay, you get views of Lapad Bay from this luxurious mid-range hotel. The hotel also includes its own restaurant, bar, and pool. It’s a comfortable place to stay but you may need to give yourself a little extra time to reach other parts of the city.
- Hotel More: This popular hotel is on the western side of Lapad, which places you even further from the Old Town but it also offers one of the most unique attractions. Built into the side of the mountain, the hotel is home to the well-known Cave Bar.