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Where to Stay in Dubrovnik in 2024 – 7 BEST AREAS

Discover the best places to stay in Dubrovnik (Croatia). From historic Old Town to serene Cavtat, we've handpicked the top neighborhoods for every traveler's delight.
Where to Stay in Dubrovnik

Deciding where to stay in Dubrovnik can feel like a daunting task, given its status as one of Europe’s most picturesque and sought-after destinations.

This city, with its rich history, stunning coastline, and UNESCO World Heritage status, offers a variety of areas to stay each with its own charm and appeal.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor looking for the fairy-tale experience of the Old Town or a family seeking the tranquil beaches of Lapad, Dubrovnik caters to every type of traveler with its diverse accommodation options.

In this guide, we’ll explore the best places to stay in Dubrovnik, highlighting the unique characteristics of each area to help you find the perfect spot for your visit. From the luxurious hotels of Ploče to the budget-friendly options in Gruz, and the serene escape of Cavtat, we’ve got you covered. Plus, we’ll share our top hotel picks in each place to make your stay as memorable as possible.

Best Places To Stay in Dubrovnik

  • Old Town: The heart of Dubrovnik, ideal for first-time visitors who want to be in the middle of all the historic action. Offers a range of accommodations but can be pricier.
  • Pile: A family-friendly area with easy access to the Old Town and beautiful beaches, offering a quieter stay.
  • Ploče: The most luxurious area, known for its opulent hotels and stunning views, perfect for a special occasion.
  • Lapad: Best for beach lovers, with a mix of hotels and local amenities in a lively setting.
  • Babin Kuk: Great for families and couples looking for beachfront retreats on a budget.
  • Gruz: The most budget-friendly area, offering a local experience with convenient transport links.
  • Cavtat: A charming coastal village ideal for those seeking a serene escape with easy access to Dubrovnik.
Map of Dubrovnik: Best Places to Stay
Map of Dubrovnik: Best Places to Stay

For more detailed descriptions and specific accommodation recommendations, read on.

1. Old Town, best area to stay in Dubrovnik for first timers

Sponza Palace at dusk
Sponza Palace at dusk

The pulsating heart of Dubrovnik is undoubtedly its Old Town, a delightful hotspot for travellers and arguably the crown jewel among the many charming areas to stay. It’s a tad pricier, admittedly, but then again, who can put a price on living a fairy tale?

Tucked into narrow, cobblestone streets and coiled alleyways are vintage terraced houses and quaint shops, all cosied up like lifelong neighbours. As you step through the grand Pile Gate into the Old Town, the pedestrian-friendly Stradun unfurls before you, a 300-metre stretch of pulsating urban life. Chic boutiques, bustling cafes, cosy taverns, and dreamy hotels rub shoulders, welcoming you to the heart of Dubrovnik.

Dotting this vibrant boulevard are relics of a bygone era – the striking Onofrio Fountain, the time-honoured Franciscan Monastery with its charming ‘Little Brothers’ Pharmacy’, a piece of history that’s been trading since 1317.

Stradun ends in a flourish at the Orlando Column, a favoured local rendezvous, and the beautiful Church of St. Blaise. Just around the corner, you’ll find the Rector’s Palace, a Gothic masterpiece reincarnated from the ashes of a devastating fire in the 15th century. Today, it wears a museum’s cloak, showcasing a treasure trove of historical gems from the era of the Republic of Ragusa.

Not far off, the vibrant Gunduliceva Poljana Square unfurls with its lively morning market and the serene 18th-century Jesuit Monastery.

Post your caffeine kick, a meander around the Old Town’s robust fortifications is non-negotiable, albeit a little taxing, especially under the Mediterranean sun. So pack your thirst quenchers! Entrances to these mighty walls can be found at Pile Gate, Maritime Museum, and Ploče Gate. Boasting up to 6m in thickness and soaring 25m high, the vistas from atop are simply out of this world.

It’s impossible to miss the bright terracotta rooftops, gleaming new, a testament to the enormous restoration work undertaken after the war-induced devastation.

When your feet need a break, hop on the cable car located just outside the Old Town wall. As you glide towards the summit of Mount Srd, brace yourself for jaw-dropping panoramas of the city, perfectly framed for those cherished snapshots. Celebrate your ride with a refreshing drink at the café atop the mountain.

As twilight descends, Dubrovnik dons a party gown. Feast at amazing restaurants, sip cocktails at swanky bars or groove to the beats at lively clubs. Some popular haunts include the Buza Bar, perched within the city wall and serving mesmerising views with every order.

For the more adventurous, descend into the Cave Bar ‘More‘, an atmospheric underground den (but don’t worry, they have an open-air section too!). Oenophiles will delight at the Malvasija Wine Bar with its impressive range of over 60 wines, while jazz enthusiasts can tap their feet at the Troubadour Jazz Café.

Despite the space crunch, the Old Town does a stellar job of accommodating travellers with an array of hotels, B&Bs, hostels, and private apartments. So, if nightlife’s your jam, Old Town Dubrovnik is where you’ll want to rest your head.

Best Hotels in Old Town of Dubrovnik

2. Pile, best area to stay in Dubrovnik with family

Amerling Fountain
Amerling Fountain

Picture this: a quaint suburb nestled on the western flank of Dubrovnik’s Old Town, with the historic Pile Gate serving as your grand entrance to the city’s beating heart – welcome to Pile!

And that’s not all; the scenic Pile Bay, a tiny alcove boasting a sandy beach, snuggles at the foot of the majestic seaward-facing wall.

Transport’s a breeze with the bustling Old Town bus stop and taxi rank at your doorstep, but do beware – this convenience often leads to bottlenecks during peak hours.

Crowning the cliffs above Danče Beach are two jewels of Pile: Park Gradac, an idyllic garden sanctuary and Lovrijenac Tower, aka St. Lawrence Fortress. When the Dubrovnik Summer Festival rolls around, this fortress transforms into an atmospheric venue for music and theatre performances.

Dotted around Pile are an enticing selection of eateries, bars, cafes, and shops. Accommodation might be a touch sparse but includes charming options around the small harbour, Sulic Beach, and a tad northwards at Brsalje.

Even if you’re not bedding down in Pile, do carve out a day to stroll through its lanes, window-shop, savour a coffee, and discover its myriad attractions.

Best Hotels in Pile

3. Ploče, most luxurious area to stay in Dubrovik

Ploče harbor
Ploče harbor

If you’re planning a dreamy Dubrovnik stay for a special occasion, and exclusivity is your middle name, Ploče should be at the top of your list.

Perched on the eastern side of the Old Town, this attractive neighbourhood is a magnet for luxury seekers, boasting some of the city’s most opulent beachfront hotels.

Ploče got its touch of glitz early in the 1900s when affluent merchants began erecting lavish villas and hotels, captivated by the picturesque beaches and rugged cliffs. Modern-day development faces a tight leash due to the steep terrain, helping Ploče maintain its chic allure.

While you’re wandering its lanes, don’t miss the unique shops and market stalls teeming with exclusive keepsakes. A must-visit is St Dominic’s tower, a medieval gem close to Ploče Gate, where you can admire three floors brimming with unique artwork and ceramics by celebrated local artists.

And guess what? The Old Town is just a breezy five to ten-minute amble from your hotel.

Even though Ploče is famous for its luxury hotels, a few private apartments do exist. So, no matter your budget, Ploče offers a tranquil stay a stone’s throw from Dubrovnik’s vibrant centre.

Best Hotels in Ploče

4. Lapad, best place to stay in Dubrovnik for beach lovers

Copacabana Beach
This is Copacabana Beach, a stony beach on the Lapad peninsula, named after the popular beach in Rio de Janeiro.

Imagine a tranquil peninsula reaching out into the crystal-clear Adriatic, merely a 3km saunter from the old town. That’s Lapad for you! This lively suburb, relatively young with its 1960s/70s construction, presents an enchanting cocktail of local homes, guesthouses, apartments, and hotels.

The locale is bustling with stores, businesses, mini-marts, and an ever-increasing number of cafes, bars, and restaurants. Travelling by car? Fear not! Parking is surprisingly hassle-free, or simply leave your wheels at the hotel for your stay.

A 15-minute bus ride will drop you right at the Old Town’s doorstep. If you prefer, taxis and Uber services are also at your disposal.

The biggest crowd-pleasers here are undoubtedly Dubrovnik’s beloved beaches, dotting the entire peninsula. The Solitudo area offers the popular Copacabana Beach, while Cava Beach and Uvala Bay make their home in the Bay of Lapad.

The beaches, cradled by lush, verdant Mediterranean greenery and rising pine forests, offer pebbly shores, sunbeds, and refreshment stands. For the little ones, playgrounds and sports facilities abound.

Keen to escape the crowds? Wander along the seawall to discover quieter, rockier swimming spots – perfect for couples or solo travellers seeking a serene seaside haven.

Seeking the perfect balance between a beach getaway and cultural exploration? Make Lapad your home in Dubrovnik.

Best Hotels in Lapad

5. Babin Kuk, best area in Dubrovnik for families and couples

Babin Kuk Resort

More a magnet for tourists than a residential hub, Babin Kuk nestles comfortably next to Lapad at the northern tip of the peninsula. The neighbourhood has a vibrant personality, offering everything from cosy hostels and mid-range hotels to lavish spa hotels and villas.

Babin Kuk is a shopper’s paradise, sporting a vast array of shops, bars, and restaurants.

But let’s be honest, the true stars of Babin Kuk are the beaches, namely the big trio: Copacabana, Cava, and Uvala. These sandy havens, fully equipped with amenities like showers and changing rooms, gently slope into the sea, making them ideal for families. Little feet, though, would appreciate beach shoes.

Feel the adrenaline rush with the array of water-sports on offer, or maybe a sailing expedition might pique your interest? Jet skis, rowing boats, and kayaks await your adventurous spirit.

Away from the beach, land and water tours beckon, with the old town of Dubrovnik a mere 20-minute bus ride away. If you’re looking for a beach-front retreat that’s a stone’s throw away from the city’s rich history, then Babin Kuk is your answer.

Best Hotels in Babin Kuk

6. Gruz, most budget-friendly area to stay in Dubrovnik

Port Gruž
Port Gruž

Peeking from the west-coast wing of Dubrovnik’s old town, Gruz nestles in the bustling heart of the city’s transport network. Whether you’re landing from the airport or cruising from other Croatian hotspots, buses roll into the city through Gruz’s central terminal.

Gruz is also the stage for the buzzing Dubrovnik Docks, a hub for ferries charting various Adriatic routes, and a welcoming hand to myriad cruise ships throughout the year. For travellers yearning to explore beyond Dubrovnik, Gruz offers a strategic base.

From comfortable hotels to private rooms, studios, apartment complexes, and even villas, Gruz has accommodation options aplenty. Everyday essentials, including groceries and bakeries, car rental offices, currency exchange centres, tourist information spots, pharmacies, and department stores, make your stay effortless.

Moreover, Gruz flaunts a vibrant open-air market offering local produce, charming souvenirs, and delightful craft items.

With the dockside buzz, an idle stroll around the bay, a refreshing beer or coffee in hand, watching the ballet of ferries, yachts, and sailboats can be a pastime in itself.

When the stars rise, Gruz transforms into a hub of café/bars, diverse eateries, and wine bars. Imagine a candlelit dinner under the starry night, right on the quayside – an ambience that’s hard to match!

Given the vicinity to the Old Town, superb local transport, and budget-friendly accommodation options, Gruz makes perfect sense for an economical yet enriching Dubrovnik experience.

Best Hotels in Gruz

7. Cavtat - Dubrovnik's Charming Coastal Sibling

View of Cavtat
View of Cavtat

Cradled on a petite peninsula on the Dubrovnik Riviera, 20km outside the city, lies Cavtat. A history-steeped village that rivals its big sister, Cavtat’s Roman refugees laid the first stones of Dubrovnik’s fortifications back in 614 AD.

The village, with two cosy harbours and quaint pebbly beaches, is a labyrinth of narrow lanes, brimming with homes, local businesses, and a tempting array of bars and restaurants.

Feel the charm as you saunter past walls showered in cascading bougainvillaea, pots of vibrant flowers dotting doorways, and watch the local cats basking in the summer warmth.

The harbour promenade, lined with palms and cypress, invites visitors to unwind at the outdoor cafes and bars along the quay.

Cavtat also teems with a treasure trove of visitor attractions and summer festivals. Explore the House of Vlaho Bukovac, a renowned Croatian artist’s haven, now a museum.

Marvel at the Racic Mausoleum, a masterpiece by a notable Croatian sculptor, constructed with stone sourced from the Island of Brac.

Other jewels include the Lady of Snow Monastery, positioned by the harbour, and the Konavle County Museum, showcasing traditional costumes, jewellery, and handicrafts through the years.

A hop, skip, and jump away is the village of Cilipi, where every Sunday morning from spring through autumn, locals don traditional attire and engage in song and dance in the main square.

Cavtat’s Summer Festival, running from June through September, offers a cultural treat of traditional music, dance, and street artists.

For the gastronomes, Cavtat boasts a varied selection of local and international restaurants and friendly café/bars serving a medley of tapas dishes, beers, quality local wines, and cocktails.

Accommodation options range from family-run guest houses to opulent luxury villas.

If you prefer a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle, but with easy access to Dubrovnik, Cavtat is an excellent choice.

Best Hotels in Cavtat

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