If you’re a true romantic or culture vulture, I recommend you try to stay in Dubrovnik’s lovely car-free, fortified Old Town. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so buildings are strictly protected by conservation orders and tight planning control. Therefore, there’s a very limited accommodation choice - just a couple of lovely small hotels and several b&bs in carefully restored 18th-century stone buildings – so you’ll need to book early.
That said, Dubrovnik has over 40 hotels in total, most of which lie on Lapad peninsular – think pinewoods and rocky coves, just a 20-minute bus ride from the Old Town. The majority of these date back to the 1970s and 1980s, but have been renovated and upgraded to four or five star in the last decade. Expect excellent sports facilities, including swimming pools and seaside bathing areas, and comfortable rooms with sea views and balconies. If you’re planning a family holiday, and want to combine sightseeing with relaxing, Lapad fits the bill. There are regular public buses to and from the Old Town, and you’ll have the pleasure of returning to your hotel beach or pool after a busy day’s sightseeing.
Last but not least, you might consider staying on the tiny nearby Elafiti Islands. Connected to Dubrovnik by regular daily ferries, they give your the chance to explore Dubrovnik's Old Town while also experiencing the blissful uspoilt nature and easy-going lifestyle of the Dalmatian islands.
Things to consider before booking
- Prices drop from May to June and September to October, when the city is less crowded, but the sea still warm enough to swim.
- Dubrovnik makes a lovely winter break too, if you stay in the Old Town, and prices drop substantially
- Prices rocket in July and August, when the city stages the fantastic Dubrovnik Summer Festival and becomes very, very busy.
- Hotels and apartments in the Old Town do not have lifts (with the exception of the Pučić Palace).
- Breakfast is almost always included in the room rate.
- Tourist tax (7Kn, approx 1 Euro, per person per day) is generally (but not always) included in the room rate.
- Stays of less than three days generally have a small surcharge.