Planning a Dubrovnik city break? The enchanting city is on the bucket list of many, thanks to its stunning white stone streets, iconic views, beaches and recent Game of Thrones fame. With the increase in popularity, there are a few considerations to bear in mind before you book. To get the most from your Dubrovnik city break, here are some of our top tips to help you plan your perfect trip.
Let’s face it, the weather is often top of our list when planning a holiday. It’s no surprise that the peak summer months of July and August are the hottest in Croatia and while this is bliss for some of us, it can be far too much for others. Climbing the old town city walls, cycling in the countryside or hiking may seem less appealing in the intense heat. So we recommend considering what you want to experience during your holiday to Dubrovnik.
If 30+ degrees is too hot for you but you still love to swim in the sea, the shoulder season months of May, September and October are great for you. Warm weather can still be enjoyed in April, with temperatures averaging 20+ but it can be a little unpredictable and temperatures may drop in the evening, so pack a few layers.
Winter is still enjoyable in Dubrovnik, temperatures are relatively mild, no lower than 5 degrees and the sun often makes an appearance, bear in mind it sets at about 4.30 in December. It is not unheard of to venture out without a coat in November/December. I have even heard of locals swimming in the sea during the winter.
Dubrovnik’s popularity means it can become incredibly busy in the peak summer months and for some, this can have an impact on enjoyment. Not only are tourist numbers at their highest, but daily cruise ships arrive into Dubrovnik. The authorities have limited the numbers of cruise ships allowed to dock but you’ll find thousands of extra people flooding the old town’s sights and cafes. You will need to book the best restaurants well in advance of your trip and you may have to queue up for tables at cafes and at the main sights. If you are visiting during the peak of the season plan sightseeing around cruise times.
Tourist numbers tend to pick up from Easter but April has a comfortable number of visitors and the old town is far less congested, prices are substantially lower than the mid-high season. Read this blog post for further insights on Easter in Dubrovnik.
There are still tourists in the winter, especially since BA extended its schedule of direct flights from the UK to Dubrovnik in the winter months. However, tourists are far fewer and you can enjoy the old town at its most serene. Read this blog post: Here’s why you should visit Dubrovnik in the winter.
If you are visiting before the season fully begins in May, do bear in mind that some services may be reduced or not operating at all. If your hotel has an outdoor swimming pool, it is wise to check that it is operating, if this is a key requirement for your stay.
Simple supply and demand dictate that the higher the number of tourists, the higher the prices but you might be surprised by how much they increase. Smaller Boutique properties and luxury hotels double or triple their prices in July and August and eating out can also be more expensive.
If you are hoping to get more for your money and want to explore the city with few tourists, then the winter months are for you. March and April are great value and days are warmer but bear in mind the season doesn’t officially start until May and while the restaurants and sights will be open some services may be on a reduced service or not operating at all, for example, the ferry services to nearby islands. If you love the buzz and hotter weather and you are not restricted to school holidays, the shoulder months of May, June and September are for you.
Where to stay
When considering where to stay in Dubrovnik you will likely choose between the Old Town or the Lapad Peninsula, both offer very different experiences. Stay within the walls of the old town and have a full appreciation for the history of the city. Dubrovnik’s old town has some beautiful boutique properties, such as The Pucic Palace that overlooks the market square and offers a window to the past – perfect for a romantic Dubrovnik city break. You don’t have to miss out on the beach either, as the city beach is located just outside the city walls.
Alternatively, choose to enjoy your time relaxing at one of the larger modern hotels with a swimming pool and overlooking the sea, such as the Hotel Kompas. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes on the doorstep of this resort area along with a beach and children’s play park. The old town is just a short bus ride away.
On the other side of the Lapad Peninsula, you’ll find the Hotel Kazbek, a former villa residence for aristocratic families, set in a more tranquil location overlooking the new marina. Here, you are away from it all yet walking distance to Lapad Bay and a bus ride to the old town.
There are a number of events taking place throughout the year, the most popular being the Summer Festivals, The Festival of St. Blaise and Christmas Advent. Click here for a round-up of the key festivals in Dubrovnik for 2020
Rather leave the planning to someone else? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0)20 7112 0019 and we will design a tailor-made Dubrovnik city break or a wider Croatia holiday for you. All holidays ABTA and/or ATOL protected.