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Where to stay in Dubrovnik
As one of Croatia’s most loved and visited cities, Dubrovnik is certainly worth spending a couple of days exploring and getting to know. With the Adriatic Sea bordering the city, it is often referred to as the “Pearl of the Adriatic Sea” and is a beautiful blend, combining the old and the new. Historical buildings, stunning architecture and iconic ruins are all around the city, not to mention the 25 meter wall which encloses the city. In contrast, some areas of Dubrovnik are a cosmopolitan hub, with bars, cafes and charming open-air restaurants, offering an insight into trends and interests of the modern traveler. There is literally something to see and do in Dubrovnik, for everyone.
Dubrovnik Old Town
The Old Town of Dubrovnik is the most iconic and with medieval landmarks and treasures at every corner, it’s clear to see why it is a UNESCO world heritage site. This is certainly the most visited part of Dubrovnik and for those who would like to stay in the central ‘hub’ of the city, this is your best option. Although there are definitely things to ‘see’ in the city, like the Church of Saint Blaise, wandering the maze-like cobbled streets of Dubrovnik is a great way to ‘stumble across’ local gems and ancient sites. Be it a Gothic palace or a modern bar with live music – this is all part of the thrill of exploring Dubrovnik’s Old Town.
Although the sparkling blue waters and beaches of Lapad can be misinterpreted as an island, it is actually a large peninsula connected to the city of Dubrovnik. Located approximately 3 kilometers northwest of Dubrovnik’s Old Town, the Lapad Peninsula is the perfect place to stay for those who would like to further away from the tourist hub, or those who are looking for some peace and tranquillity (particularly in the evening). The peninsula is very compact so it’s possible to walk from your hotel to the beach, the waterfront, or a delicious seafood restaurant. This peninsula is perfect for families with younger children who would like access to the beach, or couples who want to stay away from the business of Dubrovnik’s Old Town.
The name Ploce was taken from one of the gates that forms Dubrovnik’s city walls. This small and intimate neighbourhood is south of Dubrovnik’s Old Town but, as it is only a short walk away, it gives you the feel of the Old Town, without the crowds. With that in mind, it is regarded as one of the most expensive places to stay in the city, but arguably, it’s all worth it. The views across to the sparkling ocean and the accessibility to the charming Old Town make it an attractive neighbourhood – perfect for those who want the best of both worlds. Ploce has also been significantly gentrified, with bars playing live music, fashinable beach clubs and contemporary restaurants serving freshly-caught seafood.
Situated north-west of Dubrovnik’s Old Town is the suburb of Gruž. Historically, Gruž was the wealthiest neighbourhood in the city, and as you walk along the streets, you will still see some mansions and impressive structures along the waterfront. It then became an industrial hub but today, has reverted back to a predominantly residential area. You can walk from Gruž to Old Town (approximately a 15-minute walk) which makes it a desirable neighbourhood. In addition, it is the entrance to Dubrovnik via the Adriatic Sea. Ferries, boats and cruises arrive here so it is a good option for those who want convenience, but with so much traffic, especially in the summer months, it can become a very busy and crowded neighbourhood.
Although this is one of the furthest neighbourhoods from Dubrovnik’s Old Town, Cavtat is a destination in itself, as well as just being somewhere to rest your head at night. Located south of the city, and approximately a 30-minute drive away, it certainly offers seclusion and privacy compared to areas inside the city. Cavtat is filled with historic buildings and medieval architecture of its own, which is worth walking around. Examples include the Racic Mausoleum, Rector’s Palace and the Lady of Snow Monastery. In contrast, Cavtat has a luxurious waterfront that is lined with cafes, bars and quant souvenir shops. Cavtat is also the closest town to Dubrovnik’s international airport, so for those with a late night arrival or an early departure, this is a good option if you want to shorten the transfer time.
Mlini and Sreberno Bay
Located south of Dubrovnik in a quiet bay on the western shores is Sreberno Bay. Sreberno is a bit of a hidden gem when it comes to places to stay in Dubrovnik, especially as it offers some beautiful hotels but without the price tag of Dubrovnik’s Old Town. Sreberno Bay sits in the Zupa Bay which is characterised by glistening blue waters with a mountainous backdrop. Pine trees line some of the bay’s beaches which make beautiful scenes for relaxing days at the beach. That said, don’t expect too much from Sreberno Bay as it is much quieter, with fewer restaurants and bars. Mlini is the next town south of Sreberno and also offers nice beaches, seaside promenades and sandy coves.
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