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My wife & I will be in Dubrovnik from Apr 22-30, 2016. We are presently looking at places to stay in Rick Steves' book. What we're not sure of is, it is better to stay in or near the old town, or away from it? It seems like the old town accommodations are either expensive or already booked. We found an available hotel on the peninsula to the west of old town, closer to the ferries, but it seems a bit far to walk to the old town.

Any thoughts/recommendations?


Posted by
5685 posts

Will you have a car? If so, staying in/near the old town is more of a challenge because you have to park the car somewhere. You can't drive inside the old town itself - you would have to park outside the walls and drag your bags in.

You can park close to one of the gates just outside the old town (which isn't that big) - that's probably what I'd prefer to do myself. Read the reviews of various accommodations on Trip Advisor that will give you an idea of how far it is from the old town, how many steps (if any) issues parking a car, etc.

FYI, most people who stay near the old town in Dubrovnik don't stay in a proper "hotel" - they stay in sobe (private rooms), apartments, or B&Bs. There are very few proper "hotels" right in the old town - more further away. But I prefer the non-hotel options myself: usually cheaper, more friendly, etc. Sometimes hotels are a good deal.

On my first trip to Dubrovnik I didn't have a car and stayed at a soba just outside Pile Gate - no steps, great location. On a recent trip, I had a car and stayed in the nearby suburb of Lapad and parked my car at a hotel there (great bargain price) and took one of the frequent buses into the old town, just so I didn't have to hassle with a car.

I highly doubt everything is booked for April; more likely, many of the places you are checking either haven't opened up bookings for next April yet or aren't open for the season until May. April is a pretty slow time on the Dalmatian Coast. Tourist season starts in June. I was there in May and things were just picking up. I wouldn't panic about booking something early. I booked most of my accommodations less than 24 hours in advance - very easy to find places (I drive through Croatia and Bosnia over a few weeks).

Posted by
7046 posts

I think it's way too early to book, and I doubt things are booked that far in advance. Sure it's better to stay in the center of things, but it depends on your budget. I stayed in an apartment inside the city walls and it turned out great because we were able to walk early in the morning and late at night absent of crowds. In retrospect, I could have stayed anywhere else as well (Lapad, etc) because the public bus system is both cheap and easy to use (although not so easy to find schedules online - but easy once you get there).

I don't think you need to limit yourself to Rick Steves recommendations - will give you plenty of options and reviews to check out. You can even stay in Cavtat, which is to the south and less expensive and more laid back.

Posted by
134 posts

Well, actually, it looks like lots of rooms are booked in lots of places for the time period we're going, and they seem to be going like hotcakes. We booked an apartment-type place in the old town, after all.

We won't have a car until we leave, when we're planning on driving north to one or more of the National Parks and then stay in Zagreb before flying home.

Thanks folks.

Posted by
5685 posts

I highly doubt rooms are really booking up now for the last week of April, given how easy it was to find places (usually cheap) in Croatia in the first week of May (other than May 1 which is a holiday). I avoided going to Croatia in April because I was afraid too many things might not be open yet for the season. I'm sure it isn't completely dead in April (plenty of cruise ship crowds but otherwise not busy yet), but I fail to see why things would be booking up now.

Without a car, staying in/near the old town would be my pick too. Six days in Dubrovnik would be too many for me, though.

Posted by
334 posts

We stayed in Lapad (the peninsula across from the ferry terminal) and it is a bit far to walk, but there is a regular bus (#6) that connects this area to the the Pile Gate of the Old Town. It's about 10 minutes by bus. We generally like to stay outside of the city center, but that is just our preference.

As far as where to stay, there are many hotels in the area, and April is still the off season, so they shouldn't be as expensive. I would also do research outside of the hotels recommended in the book. We used the Croatia book as our starting place for our research as well, but we finally settled on a hotel that was not included. There are so many hotels, it would be impossible to cover and rate them all. This is where TripAdvisor really comes in handy. We found a well-recommended hotel and got a good price due to it being in May. We booked the hotel about a month or so before our trip without issue.

Posted by
44 posts

I highly recommend staying at the Hilton which is steps away from the old city or may even be considered in the old city but outside the walls. If the budget allows, I would make the switch. It's convenient to most everything you will need in Dubrovnik and includes a great breakfast and has great service. We will be going again next year and will definitely stay there again.

Posted by
134 posts

We reserved the Lapad initially, but saw how far it was from the city center and that there appeared to few restaurants near it, and landed rooms in the old town.

Re: the Hilton. We came close to reserving there, but you either have to pay a premium price or, if you go for one of their "specials", have to commit with a no-refund deal.

Thanks again everyone