Dubrovnik is the perfect summer destination with a charming old town to explore, it’s very walkable and it’s located on the coast, close to some spectacular beaches.
But when it comes to planning your Croatia trip, you’re probably wondering about the best area to stay in Dubrovnik, the best Dubrovnik neighbourhoods and of course, the best hotels in Dubrovnik to stay in.
Having lived in Croatia and travelled to Dubrovnik a couple of times for a long weekend, we’ve found the Pile neighbourhood to be our favourite because it’s outside the busy Old Town area but within great walking distance. Below I’m going to break down the best neighbourhoods in Dubrovnik for your stay and also suggest some of my favourite hotels depending on your needs and budget.
Read on to find the best location to stay in Dubrovnik!
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Best neighbourhoods in Dubrovnik
Where is the best area to stay in Dubrovnik?
Pile is our preferred place to stay in the Dubrovnik area for a few reasons.
It’s outside the Old Town which can be incredibly crowded May-October
The Old Town is still within easy walking distance
It’s the western approach to the city which is the way we come in from our home in Split
There are loads of amenities nearby
The views are often amazing from the hotels here
It’s outside the Old Town area and many hotels have parking available which we need for our vehicle
The only reason I wouldn’t recommend Pile is if anyone in your travel party has mobility issues or if you’re travelling with young children and/or pushchairs. Some areas of Pile have a lot of steps which you would need to take to reach the Old Town and they are exhausting, especially in the summer heat and very difficult to navigate if you have mobility issues or you have to carry a young child and stroller.
That being said, there are also plenty of hotels on the main roads in Pile which lead directly to the Old Town, so depending on which hotel you stay in, you could avoid this issue altogether - just something to bear in mind before booking!
We’ve also stayed in Gruž and this would probably be our favourite neighbourhood to stay in if it wasn’t for the longer walk to the Old Town. We love to walk but a 30 minute walk in the 30oC heat was not the one! However there is a regular bus that runs and also cheap taxis so definitely don’t write this neighbourhood off if you prefer to stay in a more local Dubrovnik area.
Here’s why we love it:
The most spectacular views of Lapad
Much more local vibe, loads of cool and non-touristy places, food spots and bars
Great farmer’s market
Right by the port (you’ll arrive here if you come by cruise ship)
Excellent public transport to the Old Town due to the need for cruise ship passengers wanting to get there
Room for parking our car
Quieter, more relaxed vibe
You can easily get to the Old Town via public transport connections but particularly if you’re travelling in a large group or with a young family, staying here might not be the most straightforward option.
If you’re looking for 5 star hotels in Dubrovnik and luxury hotels in Dubrovnik, this is the area to go to. With stunning properties, incredible views of the bay and Lokrum island and some amazing beaches in the area in the east of the city.
This is also where to stay near Dubrovnik to be close to the beach.
Old Town, Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik Old Town is of course much more crowded and generally more expensive to stay in. However it is a great option for easy walkability and especially if it’s your first time visiting Dubrovnik, everything is within easy walkable distance.
The Old Town is also the best place to stay in Dubrovnik for nightlife as it’s where all the bars and clubs are.
We’ve not stayed in Lapad yet but it’s next on my list of where to stay in Dubrovnik because our last stay in Gruž had such spectacular views of Lapad that I wanted to head over there and check it out on our next trip!
Update: We’ve stayed in two different locations in Lapad, one at Hotel Lero on the main road into the town and another at a local Airbnb apartment. The bus connections were fantastic (number 4) and we loved being away from the Old Town with so much beautiful scenery, beaches and walking trails nearby.
Lapad has a super cool, lively but local vibe with lots of cool bars and restaurants but without the hustle and bustle of the Old Town. There are also plenty of beautiful beaches here with views out into the bay, meaning there are a lot of gorgeous hotel views here too!
Babin Kuk, Dubrovnik
This is the area past Lapad and at the tip of the peninsula that sits across the water from the cruise ship port.
This is a great area for families as it’s much quieter and there are also a lot more exclusive resorts here too. Although you are a bit more of a walk to the Old Town and main attractions from here.
The best hotels and best places to stay in Dubrovnik
Where to stay in Dubrovnik for beach access
Ploce or Lapad are the best places to stay in Dubrovnik for beachfront hotels in Dubrovnik.
Where to stay in Dubrovnik for nightlife
The Old Town is the best place to stay in Dubrovnik for nightlife and proximity to the main attractions.
However there are only 2 hotels within the Old Town walls, the rest are apartments let by private hosts so check out the links below or use the map to see the apartments available for where to stay in Dubrovnik old town.
Where to stay in Dubrovnik with family
Babin Kuk, Lapad or Pile are great options for family trips. Babin Kuk and Lapad are further away from the Old Town but quieter with plenty of hotel and resort options.
Pile has less hotels to choose from and more apartments or privately hosted accommodation but it’s just outside the Old Town walls.
Royal Palm Hotel - Babin Kuk/Lapad
Royal Neptune Hotel - Babin Kuk
Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik - Pile
Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik - Pile
Eddie's Sea View Rooms Old Town - Pile, privately hosted beach view
The View Dubrovnik - Pile
Hotel Lero - Lapad but closer to the Old Town on the main bus route
Where to stay in Dubrovnik if you have a car
The great thing about staying in Dubrovnik with a car is that you can stay pretty much anywhere except the Old Town. You might find occasional places in the Old Town which offer private parking but that will be located outside the Old Town area so you’ll still have to walk a distance from your car with your stuff.
With a car I recommend Lapad, Ploce or Gruz.
Check out these beautiful hotels which are some of the best places to stay near Dubrovnik with a car:
Hotel Adria - Gruz (our most recent stay with incredible views)
Hotel Dubrovnik Palace - Lapad
Grand Hotel Park - Lapad
Royal Princess Hotel - Babin Kuk
Villa Orabelle - Pile
Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik - Pile
Villa Dubrovnik - Ploce
Sun Gardens Dubrovnik - Outside Dubrovnik
Summary: Dubrovnik where to stay: neighbourhood and hotel guide
Hopefully this breakdown of Dubrovnik and surrounding areas to stay has helped you make some decisions about where is the best place to stay in Dubrovnik and areas in Dubrovnik that would be best for you and your travel party.
For first time visitors or those looking for nightlife, it has to be the old town.
For a more local experience, check out Gruz or Lapad.
For a quieter pace for families or couples, Lapad or Babin Kuk are great options with lots of beachfront hotels too. Ploce is also a great option for beaches and views.
Dubrovnik is beautiful and there’s so many options that it’s impossible to name just one area as the Dubrovnik best area to stay in.
Pin this for later to remind you where is best to stay in Dubrovnik!