Some of Dubrovnik’s best hotels and accommodations are located in neighborhoods outside of the Old Town. Dubrovnik’s Old Town neighborhood, with its imposing City Walls and beautiful monasteries, is home to amazing sights and shopping, but it doesn’t necessarily have the best hotel selection. Instead, I recommend you stay in Dubrovnik, but in quieter neighborhoods, where you’ll get to experience modern day Croatian culture, from great traditional meals to farmers markets and less-crowded beaches. Also, the hotels and restaurants in these neighborhoods will cost less.
Two of my favorite neighborhoods outside of the Old Town are Gruz and Lapad. On my recent trip to Dubrovnik, I stayed in a private apartment in Gruz, which was rented out by a local Croatian family. This is a very popular style of accommodation. Private apartments usually come at a good value, and you can get a complete apartment with a dining room and kitchen for less than a regular hotel room. There are plenty of websites, such as Roomarama, that let you book private apartments online. Or book a room on the spot: Many locals advertise their private apartments by waving signs at the main bus stops (they usually read Zimmer or Camera, (I guess Germans and Italians are the most popular visitors).
Dubrovnik’s bus system is very good, which makes staying in Dubrovnik’s less touristy locations uncomplicated. Note that buses tend to get caught in traffic as they near the Old Town, but simply get off and complete the last five-minutes of the journey on foot. It’s a beautiful walk.
Gruz and Lapad are both located northwest of the Old Town. Gruz is around two miles away, and Lapad is about three. Gruz is named after beautiful Gruz Bay, which is filled with sailboats and pleasure yachts, and this neighborhood has the most working-class feel of all of Dubrovnik’s neighborhoods. It’s one of the best neighborhoods for finding a good, traditional meal, and the prices are typically lower than those in the Old Town. There’s a daily outdoor farmers market on the waterfront where Obala Stjepana Radica street forks.
If you want to spend most of your time on the beach, Lapad Bay is the place to be: It has the best beach in Dubrovnik. Lapad is located on the peninsula that forms the far shore of Gruz Bay. This neighborhood of rising and falling hills is a mix of residential housing and resorts, the latter becoming more prevalent the closer you get to the beach. If you take the time to wander off the beaten path, this neighborhood will reward you with tiny bakeries selling delicious pastries and great seafood restaurants.
Below are several hotel recommendations categorized by neighborhood.
Where to Stay in Dubrovnik
Hilton Imperial – $$$-$$$$$
This hotel, located just outside of the Gate of Pilas, is convenient and has a state of the art gym and sauna. Some rooms come with truly immaculate views of the Old Town: that’s one way to admire the Old Town’s beautiful without the crowds. The hotel comes at a good value too, with some rooms beginning at less than 100 euro a night. WiFi provided for a charge.
Marijana Blazica 2
Ploce Neighborhood – This neighborhood lies to the immediate south of the Old Town.
Hotel Excelsior $$$-$$$$$
This hotel’s high attention to detail and friendly service make it a standout. Rooms are spacious and modern. A sea view will cost you extra, but it might be worth it: This hotel has one of the best locations in Dubrovnik. On the ground floor, there’s a ladder that takes you straight into the sea. The spa is top notch, with an infinity pool and steam room. Free in-room WiFi.
Frana Supila 12
Guesthouse Maria – $
A great option for budget travelers, this family-run guesthouse is clean and the owner is friendly. The shared kitchen is medium-sized and fully equipped. The Old Town is a 25-minute walk and the bus stops right outside the door. Free WiFi in the rooms.
Andrije Hebranga 90
Bokun Guesthouse – $$
This family-run guesthouse comes with a wonderful garden where you can have your meals or simply sit and read with a glass of wine. The spacious and clean rooms have air conditioning and some have kitchens. It is a 20-minute walk to the Old Town, and the bus stops nearby.
Obala Stjepana Radica 7
Hotel More – $$$
You get a lot for the price at this hotel. The rooms are spacious and modern, with WiFi and Jacuzzi bathes. There’s direct access to the Adriatic Sea, simply walk through the Cave Bar, which is located in a grotto, and hop into the sea. The hotel’s Jacuzzi and pool, located on the fifth floor, come with excellent views. Buses stop nearby.
Kardinala Stepinca 33
Hotel Lapad – $$$-$$$$
A bayside location and friendly staff make this one of the most comfortable options in Lapad. Rooms are air-conditioned and include free WiFi. The buffet breakfast is as massive as it is delicious. The bus stops right outside of the hotel.
Lapadska obala 37
Written By Mattie Bamman for EuropeUpClose.com