Where to stay in Dubrovnik without a car: 6 Best areas

I love to explore places without a car, and on my website, I cover many topics for car-free travelers. In this article, we will visit Dubrovnik and help you find the best places to stay in Dubrovnik without a car. 

I will share my recommendations for the top areas to stay in Dubrovnik without a car, along with a helpful map. I’ll also tell you where I stayed in Dubrovnik and suggest the best hotels in Dubrovnik for all budgets.

Dubrovnik is a historic coastal city located in the southern part of Croatia, in the region of Dalmatia. It is often referred to as the “Pearl of the Adriatic” and is renowned for its stunning architecture, well-preserved city walls, and picturesque location along the Adriatic Sea. 

The city is famous for its impressive city walls, which encircle the Old Town. These walls are almost 2 km long and offer stunning views of the city and the sea. Walking along the city walls is a popular tourist activity.

Dubrovnik’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known for its well-preserved medieval and Renaissance architecture. The main street, known as Stradun, is lined with cafes, shops, and historical buildings.

The city is home to the Rector’s Palace, Sponza Palace, and the Cathedral of the Assumption. The Franciscan Monastery, with its ancient pharmacy, is also a notable attraction.

Dubrovnik gained worldwide fame as a filming location for the popular television series “Game of Thrones.” Many of the show’s iconic scenes were filmed within the city walls, drawing fans of the series to visit.

Dubrovnik has an international airport called Čilipi Airport (Dubrovnik Airport) and is well-connected by ferry and road to other areas of Croatia and neighboring countries.

You can certainly visit Dubrovnik without a car. In fact, Dubrovnik’s Old Town is best explored on foot. You can also use buses, taxis, and Uber to get around the city.

Dubrovnik’s Old Town is compact and is a pedestrian-only area, so you can easily wander around the historic streets, walls, and attractions. Wear comfortable shoes as some of the streets are made of cobblestones, and be prepared for some steep inclines and steps.

Dubrovnik has an affordable bus system, operated by Libertas. You can use local buses to reach different parts of the city, including the suburbs and nearby towns. The buses are a convenient way to explore areas beyond the Old Town.

You can consider getting a Dubrovnik Card, which provides access to public transportation and some of the city’s attractions. It can be cost-effective if you plan to visit multiple sites.

You can also use Taxis/ Ubers to get around the city and its surroundings. They are more expensive than public transportation, but they offer convenience and privacy.

Dubrovnik is a coastal city, and there are boat services for exploring nearby islands and coastal areas. For example, you can take a boat to the Elaphiti Islands or visit the nearby city of Cavtat.

To get a panoramic view of Dubrovnik and its surroundings, you can take a cable car ride from the city to the top of Mount Srd. It offers breathtaking views of the Old Town and the Adriatic Sea.

Some areas of Dubrovnik and its surroundings are suitable for cycling. You can rent bicycles, however, note that the Old Town itself is not very bike-friendly due to its narrow streets.

You can also consider taking guided walking tours or day trips that include transportation. These tours can be a convenient way to explore the area and learn about its history and culture.

To get from Dubrovnik Airport to the Old Town, you can take the Airport Shuttle Bus that will take you to the Main Bus Station in Gruž Port and the Pile Gate near the Old Town. Taxi is the most comfortable way, costing around €30 and a 30 mins ride away.

Where to stay in Dubrovnik without a car?

The best areas to stay in Dubrovnik without a car are Old Town, Pile, Ploče, Lapad, Babin Kuk, and Gruž. These areas offer easy access to major tourist attractions and amenities both on foot, bus, and taxi/Uber, so you don’t need a car while staying there. 

Old Town is one of the best places to stay in Dubrovnik for visitors who want to stay in the historical heart of Dubrovnik. The Old Town is pedestrian-only, so it’s perfect for exploring on foot. It is home to famous sights such as the cathedral, Sponza Palace, and Rector’s Palace.

Pile is just outside the Old Town’s western entrance and offers a quieter atmosphere while still being within walking distance of the main attractions of the Old Town. 

Ploče is located on the eastern side of the Old Town. It’s a quieter area with stunning views of the Adriatic Sea. You can easily walk to the Old Town from here.

Lapad is a popular area west of Old Town known for its beautiful promenade, numerous beaches, and is well-connected to the Old Town via public transportation. Babin Kuk is a peninsula near Lapad, offering a more tranquil atmosphere.  

Gruž is a port area, and while it’s not as touristy as some other parts of the city, you can find budget-friendly accommodations here. You can use the local bus/taxi to reach the Old Town.

During my trip to Dubrovnik, I stayed in the Ploče area at the 4-star Pearl of Adriatic. It is located only 10 mins walk from the Old town with its major tourist attractions, and is only 5 mins down steps to the beach. A lot of stairs to access the hotel but so worth it for the breathtaking views.

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

Map of the best areas to stay in Dubrovnik without a car
Map of the best areas to stay in Dubrovnik without a car

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Dubrovnik, especially for travelers without a car. 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, 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.

6 Best areas to stay in Dubrovnik without a car:

1. Old Town (Stari Grad)

Dubrovnik’s Old Town (Stari Grad) is one of the most popular areas to stay in Dubrovnik for car-free travelers and first-time visitors, as it provides a truly immersive experience of the city’s historic charm. 

The Old Town is the heart of Dubrovnik, and by staying here, you’ll be within walking distance of many major attractions, such as the City Walls, Rector’s Palace, Sponza Palace, and numerous churches and museums such as War Photo Gallery and Maritime Museum. 

The Old Town’s narrow, winding streets are filled with charming shops, restaurants, and cafes. It’s a delightful place to explore, with plenty of hidden gems to discover around every corner.

The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and you’ll be surrounded by well-preserved medieval and Renaissance architecture. It’s a unique opportunity to step back in time and immerse yourself in the city’s rich history.

The Old Town comes alive in the evenings, with various bars, restaurants, and live music venues offering a vibrant nightlife scene. You can enjoy a mix of local and international cuisine.

Best places to stay in Dubrovnik Old Town without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): The Pucic Palace, 5-star hotel located in the Old Town, within a short walk from the Stradun Promenade. It offers paid airport shuttle, 24-hour front desk, and Exceptional breakfast.
  • Mid-range ($$): Boutique Hotel Stari Grad, 4-star hotel located  within the Old Town walls of Dubrovnik. It has a rooftop terrace restaurant, offering stunning views of the city and the Adriatic Sea. The hotel can help organize airport shuttles and Excursions to various islands.
  • Budget ($): Guesthouse Rustico, 3-star accommodation located only 2 mins walk from Stradun, close to Onofrio’s Fountain, the city walls, and Dubrovnik old town – Pile Gate. 

2. Pile

Pile is a popular area in Dubrovnik, located just outside the western entrance of the Old Town, and is close to Lapad Peninsula. The iconic Pile Gate, which marks the entrance to the Old Town, is right there.

While still in close proximity to the Old Town, Pile tends to be quieter and less crowded than the bustling streets within the Old Town itself. This can provide a more peaceful atmosphere for relaxation.

Fort Lovrijenac, an imposing fort, is situated nearby and is a popular tourist attraction. You can easily visit it while staying in Pile. Plaža Danče/ Danče Beach and Kolorina Beach are also in this area.

Best places to stay in Dubrovnik in Pile without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik, great 5-star hotel, located within walking distance from Dubrovnik’s Old Town, Stradun Promenade, Old Harbour for boats to Lokrum, and a cable car to Srđ Hill. It offers airport shuttle service, an indoor pool, and Superb breakfast.
  • Mid-range ($$): Miró Studio Apartments Dubrovnik, 4-star accommodation located at the entrance of Old Town Dubrovnik, within a short walk from Walls of Dubrovnik or the baroque cathedral. Easy access to cafes, bars, beaches, bus stops and supermarkets.
  • Budget ($): Apartments Imperial, great 3-star accommodation, located within walking distance from the UNESCO-protected Old Town, also easy access to Srđ Cable Car, a local bus stop, and Banje Beach.

3. Ploče

Ploče is an area located on the eastern side of the Old Town in Dubrovnik. It is a popular choice for visitors looking for a peaceful and scenic location with easy access to the Old Town of Dubrovnik.

Ploče offers breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea, the Old Town, and the island of Lokrum. If you choose accommodations with sea-view balconies or terraces, you can enjoy these stunning vistas.

While not directly within the Old Town, Ploče is just a short walk away from the Old Town’s entrance. You can easily access all the attractions, restaurants, and cultural sites in the Old Town on foot.

Ploče is generally quieter and less crowded compared to the busier streets within the Old Town. This can provide a more tranquil environment for your stay.

The area also has some lovely beaches, such as Banje Beach, which is famous for its clear waters and stunning views. It’s a great place to relax and swim.

Ploče is located at the base of Mount Srd, and you can take a cable car ride to the top of the hill for panoramic views of Dubrovnik and the surrounding area.

Best places to stay in Dubrovnik in Ploče without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): Hotel Excelsior, 5-star beachfront hotel located 5 mins walk from the Old Town, great base for car-free travelers. It also offers free parking which is a bonus for those who drive.  The hotel can help with island hopping excursions and airport transfers.
  • Mid-range ($$): Pearl of Adriatic, great 4-star good value for money hotel located in a quiet area 10 mins walk from Dubrovnik old town – Ploce Gate, 5 mins down to the beach (100 steps). It has amazing views of old town Dubrovnik and Lokrum Island from the room’s balcony. 
  • Budget ($): Apartments Green Scenic, 3-star accommodation, located within walking distance from Banje Beach, Porporela Beach, and the old Town with steps, offering family rooms, airport shuttle, and free parking (10-15 minutes walk to the apartment with some steps).  

4. Lapad

Lapad is a lovely and popular area to stay in Dubrovnik, located on the Lapad Peninsula. It is ideal for travelers and families who want to combine relaxation by the sea with easy access to the Old Town.

Lapad boasts some of the best beaches in Dubrovnik, such as Lapad Beach and Copacabana Beach. These are great places to swim, sunbathe, and enjoy water sports.

Lapad has a beautiful seaside promenade with stunning views of the Adriatic Sea. It’s perfect for a leisurely stroll, and you can find plenty of places to sit and enjoy the scenery.

The area has several parks and green spaces, including Petka Park, which is a nice place for a walk or a picnic.

Lapad offers a range of accommodations, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly options and vacation rentals. It’s a good area for finding comfortable lodging.

Lapad is well-connected to the Old Town by local bus services, making it convenient for day trips and exploring the historic center.

Best places to stay in Dubrovnik in Lapad without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): Rixos Premium Dubrovnik, 5-star beachfront hotel, located 15 mins walk from 15-minute walk away from Dubrovnik’s Old Town. It also offers Free parking, swimming pools, and Superb breakfast according to guests’ reviews.
  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel Lero, popular 4-star hotel offers a paid airport shuttle from/to the Dubrovnik Airport, free parking for those who drive. You can find a bus stop in front of the hotel, only a few stops to the old city. You Can also walk to the walled city which is 20 mins away.
  • Budget ($): Hotel Ivka, 3-star hotel located on the lush green Lapad peninsula and is well connected by Football stadium station bus lines. It is 15 mins walk from Sunset beach and 20 mins walk from Dubrovnik’s main bus station. You can get to Old Town by a short bus/taxi/Uber ride or 40 mins walking.

5. Babin Kuk

Babin Kuk is another attractive area to stay in Dubrovnik, situated on the Lapad Peninsula, just a bit further west of Lapad. Babin Kuk is a great base for those looking for a relaxing and upscale beachside experience in Dubrovnik.

Babin Kuk features some beautiful beaches, including Copacabana Beach and Cava Beach. These beaches are known for their crystal-clear waters and water sports activities.

Babin Kuk is home to several upscale hotels and resorts, making it a great choice if you’re looking for a more luxurious stay. Many of these accommodations offer stunning sea views.

You can still reach the Old Town by local bus services, but be prepared for a slightly longer commute.

Best places to stay in Dubrovnik in Babin Kuk without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): Hotel More, 5-star Boutique beachfront hotel, located on the Lapad Peninsula, close to Babin Kuk. Easy access to a bus stop for buses to the UNESCO-protected historic center. Featuring an outdoor pool, Cave Bar, 2 restaurants, airport shuttle, and free parking.
  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel Lapad, 4-star hotel, located in a quiet location offering views of the Gruz Harbour, easy access to the Old town by a short bus/taxi ride. 45 minute walk to the old town if you want to walk.
  • Budget ($): Club Dubrovnik Sunny Hotel by Valamar, 3-star family-friendly hotel located on the lush Babin Kuk peninsula, close to the children-friendly Maro World. Easy access to the bus to the Old Town of Dubrovnik.

6. Gruž

Gruž is the main port area in Dubrovnik, and it’s a transportation hub for ferries and cruise ships. If you plan to travel to nearby islands or other parts of Croatia, staying in Gruž can be convenient.

Gruž has a more local and less touristy atmosphere, providing you with a chance to experience daily life in Dubrovnik. You’ll find local markets, shops, and restaurants that cater to residents.

Accommodations in Gruž are often more budget-friendly than those in the more touristy areas of Dubrovnik, making it a good choice for travelers on a budget.

Gruž is well-connected to other parts of Dubrovnik through local bus services, so you can easily reach the Old Town and other attractions.

Best places to stay in Dubrovnik in Gruž without a car:

  • Mid-range ($$): Berkeley Hotel & Day Spa, great 4-star hotel situated at the Gruž harbor of Dubrovnik, easy access to a bus with frequent services to Old Town. Within walking distance from domestic/international ferry services, water taxis and the main bus station.
  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel Adria, popular 4-star hotel, located above the Gruz harbor, offering rooms with views of the Elafiti Islands and Lapad Bay. It has Fabulous buffet style breakfast, Free parking, and airport shuttle service. It is nearly 500 steps from the port to the hotel though.
  • Budget ($): Nikolina Rooms, great accommodation, located within walking distance from Dubrovnik Ferry Terminal and the beach. Easy access to Restaurants, a supermarket, tourism office and exchange service. Also close to Dubrovnik Bus Station and local bus stop for links to the Old Town.

In conclusion, Old Town, Pile, Ploče, Lapad, Babin Kuk, and Gruž are the best places to stay in Dubrovnik without a car. These are popular tourist areas of Dubrovnik with plenty of attractions and amenities, so you can get around easily on foot, by bus, or taxi while staying there.

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

There you have it, my recommendations for the popular areas that you can stay during your car-free trip to Dubrovnik. I hope you found my article helpful and enjoy your holiday!

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 travel guides.

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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