Visitors who are arriving by air will be flying into Dubrovnik Airport (IATA code DBV), 13 miles southeast of Dubrovnik in the town of Cilipi. With over 2.5 million passengers served in 2018, it is the third-busiest airport in Croatia, after the airports in Zagreb and Split. It boasts the longest runway out of all the international airports in Croatia, making it a popular destination for long-haul flights. While most flights from across Europe and the Mediterranean only fly to Dubrovnik seasonally, there are year-round connections with London (via British Airways), Zagreb, Rome, Frankfurt (all via Croatia Airlines), and Madrid (via Iberia), among other airlines and destinations.
There is a taxi rank outside the arrivals hall, and a taxi from Dubrovnik Airport to Ploce Gate will average around 250 kunas. Prices will increase after 9 p.m., on weekends and holidays, and depending on the number of bags handled.
Driving directions to Dubrovnik: Turn right onto the D8 motorway. Drive for 11.9 miles and then exit off Jadranska cesta at `Dubrovnik Centar`, onto Ulica Pera Bakica. Turn left onto Zagrebacka ulica. Continue on Zagrebacka ulica and Ulica Kralja Petra Kresimira IV and then turn right onto Ulica Frana Supita. This takes you to the Ploce side of Dubrovnik`s Old Town. To go to Lapad, instead of turning to Zagrebacka ulica, go straight on Ulica Pera Bakica to Ulica Vladimira Nazora. Turn left on Splitski put. The road eventually changes names to Ulica Iva Vojnovica.How do I get from the bus station to my hotel?
The bus system, Libertas Dubrovnik (www.libertasdubrovnik.hr/en), boasts three lines which take travelers from Dubrovnik Main Bus Station in Gruz to Ploce (Line 8), Pile (Line 1abc), and Lapad/Babin Kuk (Line 7). The bus to Ploce leaves 24 times daily (weekdays), with the first bus leaving Ploce at 5:40 a.m., and the trip taking 25 minutes to and from the bus station. The bus to Lapad and Babin Kuk leaves 14 times daily (weekdays), with the first bus leaving the station shortly after 6:30 a.m., with the bus arriving in Babin Kuk 30 minutes later. The bus to Pile runs 45 times daily (weekends), with the first bus arriving in Pile at 5:15 a.m. and the last arriving just after midnight. For more detailed timetables and route information, visit www.libertasdubrovnik.hr/lines-map.
There is also a taxi rank outside the bus station, and you can queue for a taxi which will take you to your hotel. Fares will average 75 to 125 kunas from the bus station to Lapad or the Old Town. Prices are subject to increase after 9 p.m., on weekends, during holidays, and depending on the number of pieces of baggage handled.How do I get around Dubrovnik using public transport?
There are twelve lines operating in the Libertas Dubrovnik city system, with additional bus service connecting Dubrovnik to other locales in South Dalmatia, and also limited service on the islands of Mljet and Sipan. Eight of the twelve routes stop at Pile Gate, which is the local bus service`s hub. Here are the routes you will most likely encounter:
- Route 1abc - Mokosica (the ACI Marina Dubrovnik) to Pile Gate, with a stop at the Dubrovnik Main Bus Station.
- Route 4 - Hotel Palace (western Lapad) to Pile Gate.
- Route 7 - Kantafig (north of the Dubrovnik Main Bus Station) to Babin Kuk. Stops at the Main Bus Station, Port of Dubrovnik, Lapad, and Babin Kuk.
- Route 8 - Viktorija (eastern Ploce neighborhood) to Gruz.
For a full route map, including timetables, visit www.libertasdubrovnik.hr/lines-map. One-way tickets start at 15 kunas and can be bought directly from the driver.
The Dubrovnik Cable Car is an iconic mode of transport. When it was inaugurated in 1969, Dubrovnik was the first city on the Adriatic Sea to have a cable car. The Dubrovnik Cable Car holds 16 people per car and takes people from the corner of Ulica Kralja Petra Kresimira IV and Lokrumska ulica, northeast of the Old Town, up to Srd hill, adjacent to Fort Imperial. It is a trip of approximately a half-mile and the rise in elevation from the city to Srd is approximately 1,300 feet. The cable car is open from 9 a.m. until 4 or 5 p.m. in the winter, and until midnight in the summer. Tickets cost approximately 150 kuna per person (not including fees). Tickets can be bought with cash or credit cards at the cable car stations themselves. For more information, visit www.dubrovnikcablecar.com.How do I call/hail a taxi?
Taxis are available in all areas outside the Old Town. Not only are there automobile taxis, there are water taxis, which are used when people who want to island-hop to Lokrum Island, or when people want to travel from Lapad to the Old Town`s harbor. If you want to request a water taxi, you can ask the local taxi companies more information about this service. As far as automobile taxis are concerned, it is not particularly common for people to hail taxis from the street, although it can be met with middling degrees of success if you absolutely cannot go to a taxi rank or call ahead for a cab.
There are taxi ranks outside the arrivals hall at Dubrovnik Airport, outside Pile and Ploce Gates, near the post office in Lapad, and at the bus and ferry terminals in Gruz. To call for a taxi when you are in Dubrovnik, dial 0800 1441 or 0800 970. If you want to reserve a taxi from outside the city, dial +385 98 725 769 or +385 20 332 222. Prices increase on nights, weekends, public holidays, and depending on the number of bags handled.Is Dubrovnik a dangerous area? Are there any places I should avoid?
Dubrovnik is considered one of the safer major cities in Croatia. Its crime rate is less than half the rates seen in Split and Zagreb. All parts of town can be visited during the day or in the evening.
Since so many visitors come to Dubrovnik each year, there is a strong police force, and in the Old Town you may very well find an American or Canadian police officer, thanks to the cultural exchange program the police department has entered with departments of other cities in many foreign countries. At the very least, if you need police assistance, you will be able to find someone who speaks English. The police phone number is 192. Emergency services can be summoned by dialing 112.
With the summer high season comes a spike in crimes, because the pickpockets and petty thieves know there are more chances to get away with ill-gotten loot. Here are some safety tips to avoid being the victim of a crime: 1) Carry small amounts of cash with you. Do not pull out all the money you will be spending on your trip. 2) Even though you are carrying small amounts, break up the amounts and store them in different areas on your person. 3) Keep your documents in a separate place on your person. Don`t take your passport out sightseeing with you, unless you absolutely need it. 4) Use common sense, like you would in the U.S., when visiting an ATM. `Skimmers` are also an issue in Croatia, so study the ATM before using it, and if you feel like it looks suspect, find another ATM to use. Be mindful of your surroundings while withdrawing money.Can I pay/tip in U.S. dollars?
The currency of Croatia is the kuna (divided into 100 lipa) and U.S. dollars are not an acceptable form of payment. Croatia is part of the European Union, but as of 2018 it is not part of the Eurozone, meaning that Euros (legal tender in neighboring Slovenia and Italy) are not universally accepted in Croatia. You will find a few shops that will accept Euros, but the exchange rate will be determined by the shop owner and it most likely will not be in your favor. You will be better off paying in Croatian kunas.
Credit and debit cards are widely used in Croatia and you will find most businesses accept them. Bank and currency bureau hours are usually 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, with an hour break for lunch typically taken at noon or 1 p.m. ATMs are widely available in Croatia; many of them do not charge fees themselves, but note that your home banking institution may charge a fee for withdrawing money abroad.I don't speak Croatian. Will many people speak English?
Croatians are some of the most multilingual people in Europe. It is estimated that 81% of adults can speak English at least conversationally, by far the most popular foreign language. Dubrovnik is a very popular tourist destination, so you should be able to get by with English in the Old Town and Lapad at the very least. If you cannot communicate with someone, show them this sentence and they will most likely happily assist you: Da li itko ovdje govori Engelski? (Does anyone here speak English?)Are there any basic Croatian customs or etiquette tips I should be aware of before arriving?
If you are going into an area that isn`t primarily geared toward tourists, try not to dress too skimpy or revealing. Croatians will consider this inappropriate. Casual dress is fine, but not too casual. If you pass someone on the street, nod, smile, or say a quick hello. Croatians respond very favorably to greetings, even from strangers. Croatians love coffee (kava), so if you make friends here, you will most likely be called to someone`s house or a cafe for a coffee date. Please be on time, though; Croatians value promptness!
If visiting a home, bring a bottle of wine or spirits, or possibly a bouquet of flowers. (Note: A bouquet with an even number of flowers is considered taboo, as even-numbered flower bouquets are reserved for presenting to the dead at the cemetery. Make sure the bouquet has an odd number of flowers.) Even if you are not feeling hungry or thirsty, happily accept any refreshments offered by the host; it is rude not to. Croatians will fill plates and glasses once they are emptied, so if you are full, tell your host `nema vise`. It means `no more`.
With Croatia being a very Catholic country, you will find that many people say grace before beginning a meal. As a foreigner, you aren`t expected to know how to say prayers in Croatian, but a nice bow of the head is respectful, even if you are not personally Catholic or Christian yourself. Finally, keep your hands on the dinner table; it is considered indecent to keep them folded in your lap. (This rule is not as stringent when seated around a coffee table.)
Note: Do not refer to the Croatian language as `Serbo-Croatian`, don`t refer to Croatians as `Yugoslavians`, and don`t call Croatia `Yugoslavia`. Many reminders of the former Yugoslavia are evident all over Croatia, which is not surprising considering Marshal Josip Broz Tito was a Croat. However, the Croatian culture and identity have undergone their latest resurgences in the years since independence in 1991, and reminders about `the time before` could sit quite awkwardly with people to whom you have just become acquainted (especially older people). Unlike in Slovenia, where their war of independence lasted a handful of days, Croatia`s was protracted and lasted four-and-a-half years. If a newly-acquainted person brings the topic of Yugoslavia first, be respectful, listen, and ask questions but not rude or prying questions. Some people miss the life in Yugoslavia, some do not, and many are now not even old enough to remember it. It is a sensitive topic.Are there Michelin-starred restaurants in Dubrovnik? Will I need to make reservations to these establishments in advance?
Croatia in general has become more of a foodie destination over the past decade or two, and Dubrovnik is no exception. There are currently twelve restaurants in Dubrovnik which meet the criteria for the 2019 Michelin Guide; out of all the cities in Croatia, only Zagreb has more Michelin-listed restaurants (just barely, at 13). Nine of the twelve restaurants are located in the Old Town, two are in Lapad, and one is in Ploce. The restaurants are:
- Kopun (Poljana Rudera Boskovica 7, +38520323969, www.restaurantkopun.com), specializing in capons. Prices start at 136 kuna a la carte/719 kuna prix-fixe.
- Bistro Tavulin (Cvijete Zuzoric 1, +38520323977, www.tavulin.com), specializing in Croatian dishes with a Mediterranean flair. Prices start at 205 kuna a la carte/350 kuna prix-fixe.
- Dubrovnik (Marojice Kaboge 5, +38520324810, www.restorandubrovnik.com), Croatian produce cooked beautifully with Mediterranean seafood offerings. Prices start at 380 kuna a la carte/630 kuna prix-fixe.
- Zuzori (Cvijete Zuzoric 2, +38520324076, www.zuzori.com), which serves imaginative entrees mixed in with tried-and-true Mediterranean dishes and local favorites. Prices start at 350 kuna prix-fixe/384 kuna a la carte.
- 360º (Ulica Svetog Dominika bb*, +38520322222, www.360dubrovnik.com), a dinner-only restaurant built into the town walls. Prices start at 520 kuna a la carte/860 kuna prix-fixe.
- Proto Fish (Siroka ulica 1, +38520323234, www.esculaprestaurants.com), a highly-praised fish and seafood restaurant. Prices start at 289 kuna a la carte/680 kuna prix-fixe.
- Stara Loza (Prijeko Palace Hotel, Prijeko ulica 22, +38520321145, www.prijekopalace.com), a mix of Croatian, Italian and Asian flavors, with a formal dining room and a rooftop room with its own adjoining terrace. Prices start at 270 kuna a la carte.
- Above 5 (Stari Grad Hotel, Ulica od Sigurate 4, +38520322244, www.hotelstarigrad.com), featuring a Croatian/Mediterranean menu with a beautiful view on the fifth floor of a boutique hotel. Dinner only, prices start at 450 kuna a la carte.
- Nautika (Brsalje 3, +38520442526, www.nautikarestaurants.com), marrying classical and contemporary styles when cooking beef and fish. This is considered one of the most popular restaurants in town. Dinner only, prices start at 510 kuna a la carte/780 kuna prix-fixe.
- Pjerin (Vlaha Bukovca 6, Ploce, +38520500300, www.villa-dubrovnik.hr), a hotel restaurant with modern twists on Mediterranean and Italian offerings. Dinner only, prices start at 560 kuna a la carte.
- Vapor (Bellevue Hotel, Pera Cingrije 7, Lapad, +38520330888, www.adriaticluxuryhotels.com), Mediterranean-inspired dishes using the best fresh Croatian produce, enjoyed while feasting your eyes on the views of the Adriatic. Dinner only, prices start at 370 kuna a la carte/555 kuna prix-fixe.
- Pantarul (Kralja Tomislava 1, Lapad, +38520333486, www.pantarul.com), a `global bistro` specializing in Croatian and Italian comfort-food favorites. Prices start at 150 kuna a la carte.
* - In Croatian address abbreviations, `bb` means `bez broja`, or `without a number`. The business you are looking for has no street number if the address is marked `bb`.
Please call ahead to reserve your table at any of these restaurants. Some of them are open year-round, while others take the winter and/or spring seasons off. To learn which restaurants are open or closed, visit their websites (addresses given above) before calling.
Note: Smoking is forbidden in restaurants in Croatia, but in bars and cafes, smoking is permitted as long as the establishment has met ventilation guidelines with regard to cigarette and cigar smoke. In Dubrovnik, like the rest of Croatia, cafe windows will have a green sign if you can smoke inside; red signs mean that smoking is not allowed.What is nightlife like in Dubrovnik?
Dubrovnik has a varied nightlife scene which is busiest in the warmer months. Revelin (www.clubrevelin.com) is Dubrovnik`s largest nightclub, and the only one in town to be open year-round (daily in summer, Saturday nights in the off-season). Internationally-known singers and DJs are routinely booked to perform at this club, which can hold many hundreds on the dance floor. There are smaller bars open year-round as well, with the best-recommended ones being The Bar by Azur (www.azurvision.com) in the Old Town; Buza (+38598361934), a bar that is a tourist draw all twelve months of the year as it is embedded into a cliffside overlooking the water; and Buzz Bar (www.facebook.com/dubrovnikbuzz), on Prijeko ulica 21 north of the Stradun, which serves everything from coffee and cappuccinos to drinks just a tad stronger.
Other nightlife options become more plentiful in the summer. You can enjoy an open-air show that is part of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival if you visit during July and August, and between May and September there are open-air movies shown at Ulica branitelja Dubrovnika 42, in addition to the films already shown indoors at Kino Sloboda (on Luza Square).Where are the best areas for shopping?
The Old Town in particular is filled with souvenir shops, boutiques, and art galleries, so you will have lots of options for shopping here. First, visit the Dubrovacka kuca gift shop in front of the Dominican monastery on Ulica Svetog Dominika. This is a nice one-stop souvenir shop, ranging in merchandise from ceramics and glassware to olive oils, sweets and even posters and other framed art. Walk up and down Ulica Svetog Dominka and also visit the next north-south street over, Zlatarska ulica. Another street not to miss is Ulica od Puca. No matter what time of year, you can buy Christmas-themed gifts with a Dubrovnik flair by visiting the Christmas Shop at Naljeskoviceva 6. Finally, stop by Croata, a custom cravat store at Pred Dvorom 2. Cravats are to Croatia what berets are to France, and they are a uniquely Croatian gift. Finally, stop by the Lapad Market on Sunday mornings, located at Setaliste kralja Tomislava/Mata Vodopica. While the market is open every day, on Sundays there are extra stalls selling souvenirs and other fun gifts that you may not have seen in the Old Town.I am interested in seeing some locations featured on HBO's Game of Thrones. Can you recommend a few?
HBO`s Game of Thrones, a TV series that is popular worldwide, films much of their external shots in Dubrovnik. In the last few years there have been a large number of tourists who have arrived in Dubrovnik to see in person some of the locales they first saw on television. Market scenes were filmed on Ulica Svetog Dominika. The city of Qarth as it was shown on Game of Thrones was filmed on Lokrum Island. The wedding celebration between Margaery and King Joffrey was filmed at Gradac Park, east of Bellevue Beach in Lapad. (The ceremony itself was filmed in Belfast, Northern Ireland.) The coastal gardens of King`s Landing can be seen at Trsteno Arboretum, 11.5 miles northwest of Dubrovnik in the town of Trsteno. Minceta Tower, on the northern end of the Old Town, represented the `House of the Undying` that Khaleesi visited. Other settings for Game of Thrones scenes include the Pile neighborhood, Fort Bokar, and Fort Lovrijenac.How can I explore the Elaphite Islands and other Adriatic islands if I choose to spend more time in Dubrovnik?
Ferry tickets for a number of nearby island locations can be bought while you are in Dubrovnik. The ferries to nearby Lokrum Island leave from the Old Port, while the rest of the ferries leave from the port in Gruz.
The Old Port ferry to Lokrum is called Route 812 and sails on a boat named `Zrinski`. Tickets start at 150 kuna and the journey takes 15 minutes. The ferry leaves 24 times a day between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. from May to September. Ferries run once daily between April and October from the port in Gruz to Sipanska Luka on the island of Sipan; this ferry currently runs under the route number 9807 and the boat is named `Nona Ana`. The journey takes 45 minutes and the price is 35 kuna in high season and 25 kuna in the low season. The Nona Ana can also take visitors on a separate journey from Dubrovnik`s Gruz port to Sobra on the island of Mljet, with at least one boat leaving daily year-round. The journey will take approximately an hour and 20 minutes, and tickets cost 55 kuna in the high season and 35 kuna in the low season.
The Croatia-specific UberBOAT option is also available in Dubrovnik, allowing you to request a boat to travel to outlying islands, much like you would request an Uber automobile for a ride anywhere else.