Hostelworld Guide for Dubrovnik


Known as the 'Pearl of the Adriatic', Dubrovnik is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. As you walk down the old town's main, marbled thoroughfare 'Placa', there's something wrong with you if you don't look around, take a deep breath and think to yourself 'life is good'. This street is also one of the world's best people-watching strips. When not doing that, you can swim in some of Europe's clearest waters, walk the city's famed walls or dine in restaurants that won't break the bank. Then once the Old Town is covered you can see what's beyond the city walls to find the beachside neighbourhood of Lapad and more.



In this Guide...      

Useful Information
After Dark
Places to Eat
Top Attractions
Budget Tips
Where to Shop

 The Essentials


Getting There

By plane: Dubrovnik's international airport is found 20km south of the city. Shuttle buses to the city centre depart from the airport every 30 minutes and the journey takes approximately 30 minutes.

By train: There are no train services to Dubrovnik.

By boat: Obviously one of the nicer ways to travel to Dubrovnik is by boat, and you can do so from islands on the Dalmatian Coast such as Hvar, Mljet and Korcula.

By bus: Dubrovnik has good connections with all other cities in Croatia.

Getting Around

On foot: Dubrovnik's old town is easily covered on foot. To travel to other parts of Dubrovnik though you will need to use public transport.

By bus: To get to other parts of Dubrovnik you will need to use the city's bus network.

 Useful phrases

Hello: Bok, Dobar dan
Goodbye: Dovidjenja
Please: Molim
Thank you: Hvala
You're welcome: Molim
Yes: Da
No: Ne
Of course: Naravno
Excuse me: Oprostite
How are you?:Kako ste
Open: Otvoreno
Closed: Zatvoreno
What is your name?: Kako se zoves
My name is...: Zovem se...
How much?: Koloko kosta
May I have the bill?: Racun molim

Due to its location across the Adriatic Sea from Italy, Dubrovnik enjoys a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild, yet wet winters. While summers can be extremely hot, humidity levels are moderate thanks to its coastal situation. The wettest months are October, November and December.


 Good to know...

Language: Croatian, English
Currency: Kuna (HRK)
Electricity: 230 Volts, AC/50Hz
Telephone Code: +385 (Croatia), no city code
Emergency Codes: Ambulance 94 / Fire 93 / Police 92
Time Zone: Central European Time
Central Post Office: Cnr Siroka & Od Puca, Old Town
Main Tourist Office: Placa BB, Pile Gate, Old Town

Embassies / Consulates

USA: +385 1 661 2300*
UK: +385 20 324 597
Canada: +385 1 488 1200*
Australia: +385 1 489 1200*
South Africa: +385 1 489 4111**
Ireland: +385 1 631 0025*
Germany: +385 1 630 0100*
Italy: +385 1 484 6386*
New Zealand: +385 1 461 2060**
France: +385 1 489 3600*

*Embassy in Zagreb
**Consulate in Zagreb

Hostelworld Guide for Dubrovnik

 Cheap Eats

 After Dark

Mrvica, Kunićeva 2, Old Town Mrvica is a sandwich shop with a wide selection of fresh fillings ready to make you fresh sandwiches. This includes a good variety of meats along with peppers, onions, pickles and more to compliment. They also have different types of bread to choose from. Open daily from 8am-1am.

Lounge Terasa Sunce, Plaza Uvala, Lapad Overlooking Lapad Bay and Beach, and with a menu that's got everything from pizzas to sandwiches, this is one of the most scenic places to enjoy a meal in away from the Old Town. Afterwards hang around to enjoy a couple of drinks while listening to the sea crashing in. Open daily from 12 noon-midnight.

 Alfresco dining

Poklisar, Ribarnica br., Old Town This may not be the only place you can dine outside in Dubrovnik, but not every restaurant has an open terrace by the port like this one. As a result there's always a nice atmosphere here and there's lots to choose from on the menu which is more varied than many of its counterparts. Open daily from 9am-midnight.

Lokanda Peskarija, Ribarnica bb, Old Town Due to its location Dubrovnik is the perfect place to feast on some fish. While some of the plates on this well-known restaurant's menu might seem a little expensive, you can still eat here and not worry about the financial implications. Prices for mains such as mussels and seafood risotto certainly won't startle. Open daily from 9am-midnight.

Pizzeria 'The Best', Zudioska 3, Old Town It may have a limited menu but this pizzeria makes pizzas that even an Italian would be proud to serve. Service is friendly and if a pizza isn't what you're after they have some pasta mains to choose from too along with salads for those worried about their figure. Open daily from 9am-midnight.

Buza Bar, Pobijana, Old Town Also known as "The Hole in the Wall" (the entrance is literally just that), few bars enjoy such a spectacular location as Buza. A great place to catch a sunset after a day of sunbathing, it's also perfect for a quiet night under the stars sipping on your drinks and listening to chill-out tunes. Open daily from 10am-1am; for directions see 'Did you know...' below.

EastWest, Frana Supila bb, Ploce One of two clubs in Dubrovnik, EastWest is located down at the city's main beach. There are many sections, so you can hang out in the club's bar, dance away on its dancefloor, or relax under the stars on the four-poster beds down on the beach. Open nightly from 8pm-6am.

Club Latino Fuego, Brsalje bb, Pile This, the city's other club, is where you'll hear chart tunes enticing people on to the dancefloor rather than house music. With the main club area, a chillout bar and outdoor terrace also, whether it's dancing or relaxing you want to do, this is the place to do it. Open nightly from 11am-4am.

 Fresh as a daisy

re-fresh* Party Nights, Cafe Galeria, Kuniceva 5, Old Town Held every Monday and Tuesday night, re-fresh* is a party night featuring drinks promotions and live DJs. Drinks specials include those on cocktail buckets Thailand-style and 3-litre beer towers, while 8pm-9pm is Happy Hour with two-for-one beers. As the organisers are backpackers themselves, it guarantees a good night. Open 8am-late.

The Gaffe/Karaka, Miha Pracata, Old Town Two of the Old Town's token Irish pubs can be found right across the street from each other. 'The Gaffe' is the larger of the two and has all the traits of a typical Irish bar. 'Karaka' on the other hand is smaller and full of friendly staff. Open daily from 10am-1am.

 Don't Miss

 Mark Your Calendar

Franciscan Monastery, Placa 2, Old Town Found just beside Pile Gate, this Romanesque-Gothic monastery was originally built in 1337. While it was destroyed by an earthquake 330 years later, it has been restored to its former glory. Here you'll find the monastery's cloisters which are particularly tranquil, plus a pharmacy that dates back to 1317. Open daily from 9am-6pm; admission 25Kn.

 Red rooftops and coastal views

Old Town Walls, Pile Gate, Old Town Taking just over an hour to complete and boasting breathtaking views of the Old Town and the Adriatic Sea, no trip to Dubrovnik is complete without walking the city's walls. You can enter at different places throughout the city, the most popular being at Pile Gate. The views from Minceta Tower are unforgettable. Open daily from 8.30am-7pm; admission 50Kn.

Museum of Modern Art, Put Frana Supila 23, Ploce Founded in 1950, this modern art museum contains three different collections - regional, national and international. Works by almost all the most important Dubrovnik and Croatian painters, sculptors and printmakers can be found here. Open Tues-Sun from 10am-8pm; admission free.

Lokrum Island This lush, green island found less than 700 metres offshore from the Old Town is the perfect place for a day trip. Here you can wander through the national park, relax in the botanical garden, or sunbathe naked (the nudist beach is marked 'FKK'!) Boats leave from 'Lokanda' restaurant every half hour from 10am-8pm; 40Kn return.

Dubrovnik Cathedral, M. Drzica, Old Town This Baroque cathedral in the centre of the Old Town has many points of interest, such as a large collection of paintings and breathtaking altars. Open daily for morning and noon mass; admission free.

February - Feast of St Blaise Overlooking Dubrovnik from several places throughout the city is St Blaise, the city's patron saint, and February 3rd is the day the city's inhabitants celebrate their saint. Throughout the day a procession takes place down Placa in the Old Town, pigeons are released from the Church of St Blaise, and there are music events staged also.

February - Carnival Taking place on the three days that preceed Ash Wednesday, Dubrovnik's annual Carnival dates back to the 14th century. Throughout the festival people dress up in costumes and parade through the streets and jousting competitions take place.

May - Dubrovnik International Film Festival Dubrovnik's premier film festival lasts four days and takes place annually at the end of May, just after the Cannes Film Festival. It showcases films from both home and abroad and, like its counterparts, awards the best movies at the end of the festival.

July - Libertas Film Festival The very popular Libertas Film Festival also features movies from both Croatia and overseas. Stars who have attended the festival in the past include Woody Harrelson, Owen Wilson and Chris Cooper.

July/August - Dubrovnik Summer Festival This is by far the biggest arts festival held in Dubrovnik, taking place on no less than 47 days. And over that time over 70 open-air venues stage events ranging from classical music to theatre to opera to dance. A real treat for lovers of the performing arts from both Croatia and abroad.

August/September - Le Petit Festival du Théâtre Taking place over seven days, this is an exclusive annual art and culture fair for art and theatre lovers. Performers each year come from other parts of Croatia, other European countries along with the USA and other international ones too.

August/September - Julian Rachlin Chamber Music Festival Dubrovnik's Rector's Palace is the venue for this annual music festival featuring famed violinist Julian Rachlin. He, along with other renowned classical musicians from around the world, performs pieces written by Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Bach and many others.

December - New Year's Eve If you're going to be in Dubrovnik on New Year's Eve, Placa in the heart of the Old Town is where you want to be. Everything from celebrities to street perfomers can be found here in the run up to midnight.

Hostelworld Guide for Dubrovnik

 Neighbourhood Watch

 Did you know?

Lapad The most popular of all of the city's suburbs, this seaside neighbourhood is the perfect place to lie in the sun for the day if you want to avoid the Old Town's crowded beach. It has coastal views to rival those enjoyed from the Old Town's walls and has a good selection of bars and restaurants also.

Old Town Dubrovnik's walled Old Town is one of the world's most charming old towns and it is here you may find yourself spending most of your time. Along with walking the city's walls, you can dive off rocks (see budget tips), relax down by the marina or get lost in its labyrinthine old lanes. Make sure to walk around it at night when it's almost twice as breathtaking.

 The perfect day trip

Cavtat Located less than 20km from Dubrvonik, Cavtat is a quaint town located on a picturesque harbour. It is full of attractions, such as Rector's Palace and St Nicholas Church, and here you'll also find unique bays, beaches, submarine areas and rich vegetation. Incidentally, it is also the most southern town in Croatia. To get to Cavtat take bus #10 from Dubrovnik bus station; journey costs 15Kn and takes 45 minutes.

Gruz This is the neighbourhood that first greets many travellers going to Dubrovnik as it is where you will find the city's main bus station along with the main ferry terminal also, as Gruz is where the city's main harbour is. Dubrovnik's imposing cable bridge can be found here too.

Babin Kuk Another of Dubrovnik's seaside neighbourhoods, Babin Kuk is just north of Lapad. Along with various types of accommodation, it is best known for the city's longest beach, Copacabana. Watersport fans should pay this beach a visit as here you can try waterskiing, windsurfing and other watersports.

DUBROVNIK has a population of just under 44,000 people.

ALMOST THE ENTIRE CITY was destroyed by the Great Earthquake of 1667. Whatever wasn't destroyed by the earthquake was later burned in the fires. Between 2,000 and 3,000 people survived the atrocity while over 4,000 people died.

IT WAS given the name the 'Pearl of the Adriatic' by British poet Lord Byron in the early 19th century.

 A city under seige

AS PART OF THE Croatian War of Independence between Croatian police forces and the Serbs living in the Socialist Republic of Croatia, Dubrovnik was a city under siege for much of 1991 and 1992. During this time the city was hit by over 2,000 shells and many of the city's characteristic red rooftops were destroyed and today you can still see some of the effects of the shells on the ground.

UNESCO listed it as a World-Heritage site in 1979.

TO GET TO Buza Bar, aka 'The Hole in the Wall', you need to follow these directions - on Stradun facing east, walk down to the clock tower. Here, take a right towards the cathedral. Walk around the cathedral until you see a small set of steps behind it. Walk up these steps down a narrow alley until approximately 100 yards on the left you will find a small door. This is the 'hole in the wall'...

AT ONE POINT it was one of the most famous cultural-economic centers on the Mediterranean.

THE OLD TOWN has two main entrances - Pile Gate and Ploce Gate.

 Budget Tips

 A Day in Dubrovnik...

Sunbathe on the beach, not a lounger! One of Dubrovnik's most popular attributes is its climate, and there's no doubt that you'll spend some of your time sunbathing here. If you decide to do so down by the beach take note - sun-loungers cost around 40Kn a day so if you want to save yourself some Kuna, relax directly on the beach!

Go rock jumping As well as lying sunbathing and enjoying cocktails, 'Buza' ('Hole in the Wall') is also a great place to go rock-diving into the crystal clear waters. So if you're looking for an activity that doesn't cost anything, this is it. Particularly suitable to all those adrenalin-junkies out there.

Enjoy some snorkelling If jumping off rocks isn't your thing, and neither is lying under sun that will crisp you quicker than you say "did you really do that?", then snorkelling is for you. While the sealife around Dubrovnik's beach isn't the most fluorescent you'll come across, there are still some interesting things to see below the water's surface.

 Thirsty times

Don't throw away those empty water bottles If your trip to the Pearl of the Adriatic is during the hotter months, you'll find you will need to keep hydrated at all times. So after you finish that first bottle of water, rather than buying a new one, hold on to it and refill it at one of the fountains in the old town. There are two at either end of Placa, the best known being the Onforio Fountain at Pile Gate.

Visit the Old Town's churches Aside from Dubrovnik's cathedral, the Old Town also has two churches that are well worth visiting and are free to enter. The first is St Ignatius Church at the top of a staircase modelled on Rome's Spanish Steps dates back to the 17th century. The other is the barqoue St Blaise's Church at the end of Placa which was built in 1715.

What better way to start the day than a swim! Make your way to the beach or, even better, to 'Buza Bar' and jump into the Adriatic's clear waters from the rocks!


Grab a quick sandwich in Mrvica just off Placa. They make great paninis from fresh ingredients. Eat them on the outside bench watching life go by.

Explore the enchanting Old Town. Get lost in its narrow lanes, visit its churches, go for a leisurely stroll around its port and watch the world go by on its main thoroughfare, Placa.

Visit the Modern Art Museum just outside the city walls. It is home to works by both international and homegrown artists and is a nice alternative attraction in the city.

Walk Dubrovnik's famous city walls. The walk takes about an hour and is the city's top attraction. Make sure to take lots of water for the journey.

Return to where you began the day, Buza Bar. Relax with a beer or cocktail watching boats pass by and, if you're there the right time of year, you might even catch sunset.

Grab something to eat in one of the Old Town's many restaurants. For pizza try Pizzeria The Best near the clock tower, or for a treat go to Poklisar down by the port.

Unwind with a few drinks. Fresh is one of the most popular bars in the Old Town, while the square Buniceva Poljana behind the cathedral is where you'll find many more.

Finish the day off dancing away into the early hours in one of the city's clubs - EastWest or Club Latino Fuego.

Hostelworld Guide for Dubrovnik