Where to stay in Dubrovnik for first time: 5 Safe areas

Hi guys, on my website, I already wrote articles about staying in Dubrovnik without a car (I will put the link to it at the end of this article). In today’s article, I will help you to find safe places to stay in Dubrovnik for first-time visitors.

I will share with you what I believe are the best and safest areas to stay in Dubrovnik for first-timers and tourists, along with a helpful map. I’ll also share where I stayed in Dubrovnik and recommend some of the best hotels for various budgets.

Dubrovnik is a popular tourist destination and historic city situated on the Adriatic Sea in southern Croatia. It is often referred to as the Pearl of the Adriatic and is renowned for its well-preserved medieval architecture and stunning coastal scenery. 

One of the most important features of Dubrovnik is its iconic city walls, which encircle the Old Town. The walls were built to defend the city from invasions and have remained remarkably intact. You can walk along the walls for breathtaking views of the city and the Adriatic Sea.

The Old Town of Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is characterized by its well-preserved medieval architecture. Stradun, the main street, is lined with historic buildings, shops, and cafes. The city is home to numerous churches, palaces, and squares, including the Rector’s Palace and Sponza Palace.

In addition to the city walls, Dubrovnik is home to several fortresses that offer panoramic views of the surrounding area. Fort Lovrijenac, also known as St. Lawrence Fortress is particularly notable.

Dubrovnik gained international fame as a filming location for the popular TV series “Game of Thrones.” Many of the city’s landmarks, such as Fort Lovrijenac and the city walls, were prominently featured in the show.

The local cuisine in Dubrovnik reflects a blend of Mediterranean and Croatian flavors. Seafood is prominent, and visitors can enjoy a variety of fresh and delicious dishes in the city’s restaurants.

Is Dubrovnik safe to visit?

Dubrovnik, like most of Croatia, is generally safe to visit, with a low crime rate. But, it’s always recommended to stay vigilant, be aware of pickpockets, follow local guidelines, and take common-sense precautions to ensure your safety while traveling. 

Where to stay in Dubrovnik for the first time?

The best and safe areas to stay in Dubrovnik for first-timers and tourists are Old Town, Pile, Ploče,  Babin Kuk/Lapad, and Gruž. These areas provide convenient locations and a variety of accommodations for all budgets and needs.

Old Town is the most popular area in Dubrovnik for first-time visitors who want to be at the heart of the historic city. It is the most iconic part of the city and is home to major attractions such as the City Walls, Sponza Palace, Rector’s Palace, and the Franciscan Monastery.

Ploče and Pile are great locations for travelers who want a quieter environment but still want easy access to the Old Town. Pile, just west of the old town, is where you find Pile Gate, Fort Lovrijenac, and Danče Beach. Ploče, just east of the old town, is home to numerous viewpoints and beaches like Banje Beach.

Lapad/ Babin Kuk is a great base for those who prefer a beachside setting and a more laid-back environment. This area is a bit further from the old town, which required longer travel time to get to major sights, either on foot, taxi, Uber, or local bus.

Gruž is a bustling port area with a local feel, good for experiencing everyday life and budget accommodations. It is the location of the main bus station and the ferry port.

During my trip to Dubrovnik,  I stayed at the mid-range Pearl of Adriatic. It was a good value for money accommodation, conveniently located in the Ploce area, within walking distance to the old town. My room has stunning views from the balcony which has a lovely table and chairs. 

Below is a map of the popular areas in Dubrovnik for first-time travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the safe areas to stay in Dubrovnik first time
Map of the safe areas to stay in Dubrovnik first time

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Dubrovnik, especially for first-time visitors. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Dubrovnik have been carefully selected by me from well-known and secure booking sites such as booking.com, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. 

If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

5 Safe areas to stay in Dubrovnik for first-timers and tourists:

1. Old Town  

Old Town is a fantastic base in Dubrovnik for many travelers, especially first-timers. This is the heart of Dubrovnik, surrounded by ancient city walls. Staying in the Old Town provides easy access to historical sites, charming narrow streets, and a vibrant atmosphere.

Many of Dubrovnik’s main attractions, such as the City Walls, Stradun (the main street), Rector’s Palace, and the Sponza Palace, are located within the Old Town. This makes it convenient for you to explore these sites on foot.

Just take note that Dubrovnik is a place with loads of stairs. There are a lot of stairs in and around the Old Town. Steps are part of the charm and environment.

Best places to stay in Dubrovnik Old Town for first-timers:

Luxury ($$$): The Pucic Palace, 5-star boutique hotel in a prime location in central Dubrovnik Old Town, a short walk from the famous Stradun Promenade, easy access to Banje Beach where you can use  parasols and sun loungers. It has modern amenities, delicious breakfast, and paid airport transfer. The tour desk can help arrange excursions and day trips. 

Mid-range ($$): Dominus Little Palace, 4-star hotel in central Old town, great base to explore the city, close to bus stop and taxi stand, as well as major sights like the Walls of Dubrovnik and Onofrio’s Fountain. Be mindful that taxis can only bring you to the Pile Gate, from where you walk with your luggage to the hotel (via several steep stairs). Pretty much the same wherever you stay in the old town.

Mid-range ($$): Sunce Palace Apartments, 4-star accommodation in the heart of the old town, in a quiet area close enough to walk to the main strip. It has free laundry facilities, free offsite parking, self-catering apartments with an equipped kitchen. Lots of restaurants and bars nearby. Easy access to the castle and Walls of Dubrovnik.

Budget ($): Dubrovnik Old Town Apartments, a great sustainable apartment in the middle of the old town, easy to access from Buza gate. 5 mins walk from Porporela Beach, close to the main street and historical sites. Rooms come with a fully equipped kitchen. The hotel has shuttle service, wonderful breakfast, and family rooms. Public parking nearby, which is great if you travel with a car.


2. Ploče

Ploče is a great choice for travelers who want a more peaceful stay while still enjoying the proximity and scenic beauty of Dubrovnik’s Old Town. Ploče is situated on the eastern side of the Old Town and offers breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea and the city walls.

This area is close to Banje Beach, one of the most popular beaches in Dubrovnik. If you enjoy spending time by the sea, staying in Ploče provides easy access to the beach for relaxation and water activities.

Best places to stay in Dubrovnik in Ploče for first-timers:

Luxury ($$$): Hotel Excelsior, 5-star beachfront hotel, centrally located in Ploce, 5 mins walk from the beach and the Old Town. They have a 24-hour reception that can help you organize island hopping tours, car/boat rental, and airport transfers. The hotel has an Indoor swimming pool, wonderful breakfast, and free parking.

Mid-range ($$): Villa Leoni, 4-star modern accommodation situated above the Banje Beach, offering stunning views of the sea and the old town. Only a short walk from the Dubrovnik Walls surrounding the Old City. You can find restaurants, cafés, a grocery shop and market nearby. It is on the hill, so prepare for many steps to get to the old city or the beach.

Budget ($): Apartments Sv.Jakov, 3-star accommodation located close to Banje Beach and Betina Cave beach, within walking distance from the Sv Vlaho Church and historic walls. It has stunning views of the Lokrum Island. There is a free public parking spot nearby if you drive. The hotel can help arrange tours to Elaphite Islands and fish picnics.


3. Pile

Pile is an excellent option for those who want a convenient location near the historic Old Town, easy access to major attractions, and a variety of amenities. Pile is located just west of the Old Town, and it serves as one of the main entrances to the historic center through the iconic Pile Gate.

Pile is situated near Bokar Fortress, which is part of the city’s fortifications. It’s a great spot for enjoying views of the Old Town and the sea. Lovrijenac Tower, also known as St. Lawrence Fortress, is another impressive structure nearby.

Pile is also a gateway to the Lapad Peninsula, which offers beautiful beaches, parks, and additional dining options. You can easily explore Lapad from Pile.

Best places to stay in Dubrovnik in Pile for first-timers:

Luxury ($$$): Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik, 5-star hotel located just west of the old town, easy access to its major sights, a cable car leading to Srđ Hill, and Old Harbor, where a tourist boat departs to Lokrum island. It has an indoor pool, a wellness center. Most of the actors of the Game of Thrones stayed in this hotel when they were filming the series.

Mid-range ($$): Miró Studio Apartments Dubrovnik, 4-star accommodation in a quiet location, just outside the old city walls, close to the old town for sightseeing and the sea for swimming. Easily reachable by bus from the ferry and the Pile Gate. You have an amazing view of the Lovrijenac Fortress. There are steps into and within the apartment which is normal in Dubrovnik.

Budget ($): Eddie’s Sea View Rooms Old Town, 3-star accommodation conveniently located right next to the Bus stops, taxi rank, North City gate, and the Kings Landing site. It is close to the historic center but away from the swarms of tourists. It has an onsite laundry facility and is surrounded by a supermarket, restaurants, cafes and bars.


4. Lapad/ Babin Kuk

Lapad/Babin Kuk is a great base choice for those who want a beachside experience, a variety of recreational options, and a more relaxed pace, while still having access to the old town.

This area is home to Velika and Mala Petka Forest Park, which is a great place for walking and hiking.   Lapad has some of the best beaches in Dubrovnik, including Lapad Beach and Copacabana Beach. These are ideal for sunbathing, swimming, and enjoying various water sports. 

The area is considered family-friendly, with its relaxed ambiance and amenities suitable for travelers with children. The beaches and parks provide a great environment for families to enjoy.

Best places to stay in Dubrovnik in Lapad/ Babin Kuk:

Luxury ($$$): Hotel Dubrovnik Palace, 5-star beachfront hotel located along the Lapad Peninsula, featuring a beach, scuba diving center, and rooms with views of the Elaphite Islands. You can find a bus stop nearby which will take you into the old town within a 20 mins ride. Also easy to catch taxis and Uber. It has free parking, 2 swimming pools, and a very good breakfast.

Luxury ($$$): Dubrovnik President Valamar Collection Hotel, 5-star seafront hotel located  on the Babin Kuk Peninsula, offering views of the Elaphiti Islands. Easy access to a bus stop nearby to get to the UNESCO-protected Old City. The hotel has a family-friendly Maro World, 2 pools, and airport transfers.

Mid-range ($$): Dubrovnik Luxury Residence – L’Orangerie, 4-star hotel in Lapad, conveniently located close to the bus stop, taxi rank, a  a pebbly beach, and a promenade where you can find many café bars and restaurants serving traditional Dalmatian food. It has free parking, and comfortable family rooms.

Budget ($): Art Hotel Dubrovnik, 3-star hotel located on the Promenade in Lapad, close to the Lapad Bay Beach, Copacabana Beach, and Bellevue Beach. Great quiet base near the beach and easy access to the old town.


5. Gruž

Gruž is a suitable location to stay in Dubrovnik if you’re interested in a more local and budget-friendly experience and don’t mind a short commute to the main tourist areas.

Gruž serves as Dubrovnik’s main port, and serves as the main port entry to the city. Accommodations in Gruž are more budget-friendly compared to those in the Old Town or seaside areas. This can be advantageous for travelers looking for cost-effective options.

Best places to stay in Dubrovnik in Gruž for tourists:

Mid-range ($$): Hotel Adria, popular 4-star hotel in a quiet location on Gruz, right on the road to the old town. It is located on the top of the hill and requires walking up/down or taking Ubers if you have luggage. It has free parking, which is a bonus for those who drive.

Mid-range ($$): Apartments and Rooms Villa Naida, 4-star sustainable guest house, offering barbecue facilities, a garden, a sun terrace, free parking, and a 24-hour front desk. Close to the port bus station and the ferry, a convenient base for onward travel.

Mid-range ($$): Berkeley Hotel & Day Spa, 4-star family-run hotel located at the beautiful Gruž harbor of Dubrovnik, 10 mins walk to domestic and international ferry services and the main bus station. On-site underground parking available for free.


In conclusion, Old Town, Ploče, Pile, Lapad/ Babin Kuk, and Gruž are the best places to stay in Dubrovnik for first-timers and tourists. These are generally safe and popular areas for visitors to book their accommodations. They all offer easy access to major sights, amenities, and beaches.

You can continue reading about Dubrovnik and other destinations in Croatia in these articles:

There you have it, my recommendations for the most popular and safest neighborhoods that you can stay during your first trip to Dubrovnik. I hope you enjoyed my article and find it both informative and helpful.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

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