Europe

City break in Dubrovnik: an atmospheric Adriatic gem

Whenever anyone asks me for my top city break recommendations, I always fall back on dazzling Dubrovnik.

I’ve got a real soft spot for the Croatian city, and I’m in good company. Playwright George Bernard Shaw was once quoted as saying Dubrovnik is a paradise on earth. Something about the sparkling blue sea and medieval clay-topped buildings make it quite the heavenly destination.

During my last visit, I spent hours walking the fortified walls in the sunshine. I also took a trip out to Lokrum island, a nature reserve and home to a 12th-century monastery. I discover something new every time I go – the winding cobbled lanes of the Old Town feel as though they’ve got a secret just around every corner. If that sounds like your cup of tea, here are my top recommendations for exploring this enchanting city.

What to do in Dubrovnik

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Dubrovnik couldn’t be more photogenic, thanks to its scattering of Baroque buildings, historic fortresses and blissful beaches.

Hotels - Dubrovnik

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Where to stay in Dubrovnik

The city has a wide variety of accommodation to choose from, whether you like boutique hotels full of character or swanky spots with sweeping views.

A luxury hotel in a former royal villa

Splashing out on your Dubrovnik city break? The five-star Hotel Excelsior should come top of your list. Built back in 1913, the stately building was once a royal villa and has hosted such illustrious guests as Elizabeth Taylor and Queen Elizabeth II.

With its plush suites and tranquil spa, it’s easy to see why. I couldn’t get enough of the glittering sea views from my room, or the property’s closeness to Old Town – just steps away.

Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik

Top rated
Dubrovnik
9.0 Excellent (2092 reviews)

A historic boutique hotel in Dubrovnik

Since there are only six rooms, staying at St Joseph’s feels pretty exclusive. The unique building in the Old Town dates back to the 16th century, though it’s had a facelift since then. In the bedrooms, think exposed stone walls, ultra-modern kitchenettes and powerful rainfall showers (just the thing after exploring in the heat). Breakfast is complimentary every morning and includes refreshing and nutritious green juice.

St. Joseph's

Dubrovnik
9.6 Excellent (222 reviews)

An ultra-modern hotel with its own beach

This was one of the most peaceful hotels I’ve stayed at in Dubrovnik. It’s carved into a 30m cliffside above a pebble beach and has its own spa. Rooms are airy and white, with ultra-contemporary touches like glass balconies and stylish marble bathrooms.

The hotel’s Wine Bar has 180 wines and champagnes to choose from, while the Vapor Restaurant has a sea-view terrace and is Michelin-recommended.

Bellevue Hotel Dubrovnik

Top rated
Dubrovnik
9.2 Excellent (1980 reviews)

Where to eat in Dubrovnik

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From secret beach bars to grand jazz cafés, Dubrovnik is home to a diverse (and delicious) eating and drinking scene.