Dubrovnik – good to know before you go

dubrovnik old town

“Those who seek paradise on earth should come to Dubrovnik.”

George Bernard Shaw

Dubrovnik is a coastal city situated in the southernmost region of Croatia. With population of just around 40 000 people you will find more tourists than locals almost any time a year. Dubrovnik emerged as one of the most popular holiday destinations on the Adriatic Sea and for many reasons. Main reason is Dubrovnik Old Town – untouched walled city listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. Once there, you could just take a Dubrovnik map and roam the streets for hours discovering historic churches, museums, restaurants and charming cafes.

Cristal clear Adriatic Sea with beautiful Dubrovnik beaches, developed tourist facilities and infrastructure and Game of Thrones filming locations are attracting more and more tourists to Dubrovnik each year. If you are one of them keep reading to find out what is good to know when visiting Dubrovnik.


How to get to Dubrovnik


Most tourists arrive to Dubrovnik by plane. During summer season Dubrovnik has good flight connections with the rest of the Europe.

Dubrovnik Airport is located 20 km south from Dubrovnik city centre and the drive takes around 30 minutes. To reach Dubrovnik you can take a bus which will cost you around 40 HRK. If your accommodation is in the Old Town or somewhere around Lapad area you would want to exit the bus at the first station called Pile Gate. In case you are situated in other parts of Dubrovnik exit on the last station which is Main Bus Station and take a local bus from there.

If you are not keen on dragging your luggage and walking you can just take a taxi or book a private transfer in advance. This will cost you around 250 HRK.

When travelling to Dubrovnik by bus you need to keep in mind one thing – you will need to cross the border. Due to turbulent history there is a small part of the coast which belongs to Bosnia and Herzegovina so you will have to exit Croatia and enter it back again 20 minutes later. This means you will have to wait at two borders and bus check takes time. For this reason I recommend, if you are arriving to Dubrovnik by land, to book a private car transfer.

In case you decided bus is your option anyways, you will arrive to Dubrovnik Main Bus Btation. Once there you just need to go to the main road and catch a public bus which will take you to other parts of Dubrovnik.

Border crossing is one of the main reasons people decide to arrive to Dubrovnik by boat. There are several boat lines a day which connect Dubrovnik with Split, Korčula, Hvar and Mljet.

Keep in mind that during low season there are far less connection. Dubrovnik Port is not far from the Main Bus Station and you will find a public bus station just after the port exit.


How to get around in Dubrovnik


Dubrovnik public transportation is not very efficient and it is quite expensive comparing to other Croatian cities.

There are buses connecting Dubrovnik Old Town with new part of Dubrovnik and suburban area. Due to many tourist it often happens buses are overcrowded and you don’t even get the chance to get on.

You can purchase ticked from the news kiosk and official Libertas kiosk which costs 12 HRK or directly from the driver and pay 15 HRK.

Taxi is much better option to get around in Dubrovnik. It will get you faster and more comfortable to your location for almost the same price in case there is more passengers.

There are several private taxi companies as well as uber so prices differ. Usually you can go anywhere in city limits for 40 – 70 HRK.

Some tourists are eager to explore Dubrovnik by bike and I would just say don’t!

Dubrovnik is definitely not flat; you will have to go up and down all the time and encounter several steps on your way anywhere. There is no bike lanes and drivers are not very assertive so it is also not safe.

Renting a car while in Dubrovnik is also a no no from my perspective. Traffic in Dubrovnik can be a disaster. Most of the main routes are one way streets and you could easily make the wrong turn and then go back around for ages.

Another problem is parking in Dubrovnik – you will hardly find accommodation with private parking and even if you find one once you drive yourself to the Old Town you will have trouble finding available spot which you will have to pay around 70 HRK per hour.


dubrovnik map

Where to stay in Dubrovnik


Being a number one tourist destination in Croatia, Dubrovnik has a vast selection of accommodation for any budget located in all areas in and around the city.

You will find a wide choice of luxury hotels and villas, boutique hotels as well as budget hotels and hostels. Majority of private apartments in Dubrovnik Old Town and many apartments and houses around Dubrovnik are now turned into accommodation for tourists.

Despite rich accommodation offer in Dubrovnik, make sure you book well in advance.

When choosing best area to stay in Dubrovnik most tourists focus on the Old Town.

You should be aware that Dubrovnik Old Town is pedestrian zone with many steps. This means that you won’t have much fun dragging your luggage trough crowds of tourists on your arrival and departure. This also means, if you are a light sleeper you won’t get much sleep during your holiday in Dubrovnik.

I would say that accommodation inside the city walls is suitable for those who want to be in the centre of all the fuzz and are travelling light.



If you want to be walking distance from the Old Town nice areas to stay are Ploce and Pile. Here you can find private apartments for any budget and all Dubrovnik attractions will be a pleasant walk away.

Lapad peninsula is a newer part of the city where most Dubrovnik hotels are located. Old Town is 5 km away and area is well connected by public buses.

Even if you decide to spend some days there you will find plenty of restaurants, beaches and other contents.

Most accommodation here is much cheaper than in and near Dubrovnik Old Town so if you are trying to stay on a budget Lapad area could be a good option.

Talking of cutting the budget, there also are a lot of accommodation facilities in Dubrovnik suburban area such as Mokošica or Župa Dubrovačka which are 10 – 15 km from the city centre.

I believe time and money you will spend on travel to the center is just not worth the savings you get by paying a bit cheaper accommodation.

Exceptions are some beautiful villas located around Dubrovnik where you usually get private beach, swimming pool and alike.


dubrovnik hotels

When to visit Dubrovnik


Tourist season in Dubrovnik lasts from May to October with its peak in July and August.

Best time to visit Dubrovnik would be May or late September and October. This time you won’t encounter huge crowds and weather is warm enough for occasional swim in the beautiful Adriatic sea.

In winter times you won’t have to deal with tourist crowds and will have greater possibility to experience real local life in Dubrovnik. However, there also are greater chances of rain and strong wind and you can not get the true feeling of „Pearl of Adriatic“, as Dubrovnik is often called, without sun shining on the pristine sea.



PHOTO: Flickr, Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Pixabay