Dubrovnik is a striking city, steeped in history, so it shouldn't come as a surprise to learn the city has been immortalised in films many times. In fact, King's Landing, famed city from the popular television series Game of Thrones was filmed in Croatia, with Dubrovnik being the main location. This led to an even bigger flow of tourist arriving at Dubrovnik Airport all throughout the year making it the busiest location in Croatia and breaking its own record every year. This Mediterranean pearl is a city republic that never surrendered to Venetians nor to the Turks, but instead, grew its prosperity and cultural richness by trading with the many nations throughout the Mediterranean. A car or a car hire in Dubrovnik is an essential for a curious tourist, as its outskirts and surroundings have so much to offer, though the centre itself is best explored by foot.
Fully embrace Dubrovnik and the Mediterranean by visiting the Ancient City Walls. Blend into the liveliness of the Old Town, the heart of the city. From there, ascend to the top of the city in the Dubrovnik Cable Car and enjoy the remarkable view of the mountains and islands!
Basic info and car hire in Dubrovnik
- Location: Southern Croatia, Dalmatia region.
- Population: 40,000 (2015)
- Official language: Croatian
- Currency: Kuna (kn)
- Weather: The climate is on the cusp of humid subtropical and Mediterranean. Summer months have an average temperature of 20 °C/68 °F and winter months are rainy and have an average temperature of 5 °C/41 °F. Spring and autumn are pleasant, have mild weather, with temperatures ranging from 10 to 15 °C/50 to 59 °F.
- Holidays in Dubrovnik: For public holidays in Croatia click here »
- Internet coverage: Most hotels, bars, restaurants and other public places offer Wi-Fi. There are also various Wi-Fi hotspots across the city.
- Car hire in Dubrovnik: The most common collection for hiring a vehicle in Dubrovnik is the Dubrovnik Airport, also known as Čilipi Airport. Prices for hiring a car are 20€/day in autumn, 10€/day in winter, 20€/day in spring and 25€/day in summer. Keep in mind that car hire prices fluctuate frequently. To ensure you have the lowest car hire price, make a car booking from 3 to 8 weeks prior to your vehicle collection. Alternatively, it's possible to get a great last minute car hire deal also. Find your perfect car hire deal in Dubrovnik!
Driving in Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is very walkable, and the city center is a pedestrian zone. Overall, the city is full of narrow one-way streets that can quickly become a harrowing driving experience.The maximum BAC level is 0.05 %, and there is a Zero Tolerance Law for novice drivers or drivers 21 years of age or younger. If you will be renting a car, ask your accommodation receptionist if they offer parking facilities. The best time to travel to Dubrovnik (weather-wise) is the quiet and pleasant months of September and October. Summer is considered peak season,and prices will be higher. However, bargains can still be found in the nearby towns and villages around Dubrovnik. Cavtat town, for example, is one of them.
- Age limits: 21 (Minimum age may vary according to car hire companies. In order to hire a car, some car hire companies require that a driver has held a driving licence for a minimum of one year.)
- International Driving Permit: An IDP is recommended, so please check with your rental agency.
- Additional papers: ID (passport) and proof of insurance (It is advisable to buy insurance at the car hire company; in case your policy does not cover your insurance while driving in Dubrovnik.)
- Additional requirements: A warning triangle and a reflective vest.
- Children in the car: Children under the age of 12 are not permitted to travel in the front seat of a vehicle. Children between the ages of 2 and 5 must wear an appropriate child restraint and, if necessary, be seated in a booster seat.
- Driving side of the road: Right.
- Lights: Dipped headlights are recommended both day and night, and required during reduced visibility.
- General speed limits: 130 kph/ 80 mi on motorways (110 kph/70 mi in wet weather and on urban motorways), 90 kph/55 mi on other roads outside residential areas, 50 kph/30 mi in residential areas.
- Parking suggestions: Parking garages and metered parking are the main options. Note: parking can be a nightmare, especially in the summer, when the city is packed with tourists and their cars.
What to see in Dubrovnik
We can’t stress this enough: explore the Old Town and visit the Big Onofrio Fountain, named after its architect, Onofrio della Cava. Don’t miss Old Town’s main street and shopper’s sanctuary, Stradun Street. You’ll find plenty of charming cafes nested in between the shops. Old Town is where you can truly breathe in the spirit of the city.
Our favourite spots
After being an active sightseer, take a break. Banje Beach is very chic and it’s also the closest. Another beautiful beach is Bellevue Beach, directly below the Bellevue hotel. We suggest you sink your feet in its soft sand and small pebbles in the morning or early afternoon hours. A great spot for swimming and other outdoor adventures is Babin Kuk, a 10-minute ride from the Old Town with Dubrovnik’s longest beach, Copacabana Beach. More beaches here »
With a bit of luck, you'll find an on-street parking space at Banje Beach and Bellevue Beach where parking can be limited. Copacabana Beach has more parking spaces available.
Old Port Dubrovnik
Back in the day, Gradska luka, or the Old Port, was a magnificent harbour – further proof of Dubrovnik’s past success. Nowadays, it’s a local port with small boats. From Gradska luka, you can take the 15-minute boat trip to the mysterious and allegedly cursed Island of Lokrum. Visit the old monastery, swim in the salt-water Dead Sea Lake, admire the island’s flora and fauna and more. But if you’re as superstitious as the locals, return to mainland before sunset.
Cars can be parked in parking lots on the nearby Iza Grada Street.
This tranquil village was used by caravan traders travelling to and from Bosnia. Traders would spend the night in the village before continuing on their journey. Bosanka is about a 10-minute drive from Dubrovnik and the return trip to Old Town offers incredible views.
In the past, this fort served as a crucial defence point but is now an outstanding theatre.
Cars can be parked in Iza Grada Street or Ploče Gate. There is also a cliffside parking lot very near the fortress, but reaching it is a challenge and you would need to beat the traffic, and pay close attention to the signs. Read more on parking here »
Hotels in Dubrovnik
Boutique Hotel Stari Grad
Set in the heart of Dubrovnik, Boutique Hotel Stari Grad is close to all the major sights and nightlife! If you're arriving by car, contact the hotel's staff for parking information.
This hotel is located just a short walk from Lapad Beach and only 1mi / 3km from the historic centre. Parking is available with prior reservation.
Valamar Club Dubrovnik
If you're travelling with kids, this family-oriented hotel is just for you! With all sorts of activities for children and adults, parking, and great location on Babin Kuk peninsula, Valamar Club Dubrovnik is definitely worth considering.
Situated on Babin Kuk peninsula near the beach, hotel Neptun offers a perfect romantic getaway. Free parking is available.
Drive your rental car around Dubrovnik
Although this is highly unlikely, but should you get tired of Dubrovnik, you can explore other beautiful areas also. Having a rental can turn out to be very handy when visiting nearby places, while some other areas can only be reached by passenger ferries.
Our first recommendation are the small nearby islands known as Elafiti islands, in particularly Kolocep, Lopud and Sipan islands which are the only ones that are inhabited. Keep in mind that Kolocep and Lopud are car-free destinations. Needless to say, that visitors come here to get away from Dubrovnik's liveliness and to admire the untouched nature all around. Getting to the islands is easy– head to Dubrovnik port, take a ferry boat and enjoy!
Another suggestion is Peljesac Peninsula – a one-hour drive north from Dubrovnik. Expect long sandy beaches, vineyards and olive tree plantations. For a day out on the beach, head to Trstenica beach in Orebic. What is more, the captivating Korcula island can be reached by a passenger or a car ferry from Orebic port.
Before you take the ferry boat, save time and go on wine tasting not far from the aforementioned Trstenica beach.
Are you a windsurfer or simply eager to try new things? For some awesome windsurfing action drive to Viganj and have a blast!
Where to eat, drink and party in Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik cuisine is based on fresh foods ranging from fruits to meats, in particular fish and other seafood.There’s an Italian feel to the cuisine with the same love for olive oil. Try the local green menestra, a meat and cabbage stew. The Dalmatian octopus salad is not to be missed as well as black risotto, shellfish, grilled sardines and more. Order a traditional dessert called Rozata, which is basically a Dubrovnik version of crème brulee. They are also extremely proud of their red wines, with Plavac Mali being the star of the show. You can taste their healthy local food in restaurants along Prijeko Street, while you admire the Baroque, Gothic and Renaissance style buildings.
Major events and festivals in Dubrovnik
Serene nature, sparkling city lights and great music! This open-air stage and archaeological site come to life in the summer months.
Classical music concerts performed by masters and theatre plays in dramatic settings, such as the Lovrijenac Fortress, the Island of Lokrum and more.
Every December the city of Dubrovnik gets festive with its Christmas Fair, filled with candies, mulled wine and more. Take in the Christmas spirit!
This four-day food festival is packed with activities such as programs for kids, cookbooks in English, wine tastings and gastro tours.