Dubrovnik is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. In fact, it’s so stunning that many Game of Thrones episodes were shot in the city’s Stari Grad (Old Town) because it’s just so gorgeously impressive.
But what was once a hidden gem that saw a fleeting number of tourists is now a bustling — and expensive — destination.
The cost of walking the medieval walls in Dubrovnik: 200 HRK — roughly $28 USD.
The cost of taking the cable car up to Mount Srd: another 200 HRK.
The cost for a round-trip ticket for the ferry to nearby Lokrum island: is also 200 HRK.
As you can see, Dubrovnik is no longer a particularly affordable place. This southern Dalmatian city of 40,000 people swells in the summertime, as hordes of tourists cruise in to trudge through the limestone-blanketed streets of Stari Grad.
It may be one of the most beautiful cities in Croatia, but it is unmistakably a tourist town.
And not just for major tourist attractions. There’s a reason why most locals don’t patronize restaurants very often in Dubrovnik: they’re priced for tourists. Hotels and other accommodation options, such as Airbnb, are also sky-high compared to the rest of the country.
Fortunately, the city has a growing number of affordable hostels so you can enjoy this sunny coastal getaway without breaking the bank (or, at least without breaking the bank on accommodation).
Having spent over a decade backpacking around the planet and staying in hostels, I know a thing or two about what makes a good hostel. Before we jump into the list, here are some things to consider:
1. Location – For visitors, everything in Dubrovnik revolves around the walled Old Town. If you’re not staying in it or near it, you’ll spend some time walking or on busses going to and from Old Town. That said, busses are frequent, clean, and easy to use here and all the hostels below are no more than a 15-minute bus ride to Old Town.
2. Price – In Dubrovnik the hostels are affordable — but they’re not dirt cheap. You’ll pay a bit more here than you might in other cities in Croatia so plan accordingly.
3. Amenities – Most hostels offer free Wi-Fi, and some even include free breakfast, but if you want more than that, do your research to find one that best meets your needs.
4. Staff – All the hostels listed here have a friendly staff! They are all knowledgeable and will offer recommendations for things to do and places to eat in town. Even if you don’t stay at one of the places listed below, look up reviews to ensure you end up somewhere where the staff is helpful and friendly! They can make or break a hostel!
To help you plan your trip, below is my list of the best hostels in Dubrovnik. They all offer a welcome respite and a cozy and friendly place to lay your weary head and hang out with fellow travelers — all while keeping your budget (relatively) intact.
If you don’t want to read the whole list, the following are the best in each category:
Best Hostel for Budget Travelers: Petra Marina
Best Hostel for Location: City Walls Dubrovnik
Best Hostel for Families: Dubrovnik Backpackers Club
Best Hostel for Solo Female Travelers: Hostel Free Bird
Best Hostel for Partying: Old Town Hostel
Best Overall Hostel: Hostel & Rooms Ana
Want more specifics? Here’s my comprehensive list of the best hostels in Dubrovnik:
Price (per night)
$ = Under 175 HRK
$$ = 175-315 HRK
$$$ = Over 315 HRK
1. Hostel & Rooms Ana
Centrally Located in the Old Town on the atmospheric steps just east of Stradun — the main pedestrianized thoroughfare of Old Town — you can pop out of this hostel and be right in the middle of it all. Ana is also a very convivial place, as the people who work here and stay here always seem to be having a good time. It’s not a crazy party hostel but there’s a fun, festive vibe here so it’s easy to meet people.
Ana is mostly made up of mixed dorm rooms of various sizes, the largest being 12 beds and the smallest being four beds. The “Rooms” in the name refers to a private room with ensuite toilets (which are outrageously priced unless you’re sharing it with a few travel companions).
Hostel & Rooms Ana at a glance:
Great location right in Old Town
Super helpful staff and owners
Free city maps
Beds from 350 HRK, private rooms from 1,750 HRK.
2. Hostel Free Bird
Free Bird, one of the newest budget properties on the Dubrovnik hostel scene, is located in the Gruž neighborhood, hugging the marina and port. It’s about a 5-minute bus ride or 25-minute walk to the Old Town. Also in this neighborhood is the new Red History Museum about life during Yugoslavia, a few great restaurants (Amfora and Glorijet) a nice wine bar called Škar, and the city’s only brewery, Dubrovnik Beer Company.
In the hostel there are a few different room types, including four- and eight-bed mixed dorms and a four-bed female-only dorm room. Free Bird also has a chill common area with a large TV and an on-site kitchenette (no stove though). Overall it’s a pretty basic hostel, but it’s very modern and clean, the staff is great, and the views from the terrace are fantastic!
Hostel Free Bird at a glance:
Located near the marina by many nice restaurants
One of the newest hostels in Dubrovnik
Shared kitchenette on-site
Beds from 170 HRK.
3. Hostel Angelina
Located smack in the center of Old Town, Angelina is a fun, comfortable, and clean place to stay. Set in a refurbished 400-year-old building, the rooms have modern amenities like air-conditioning, yet are set within beautiful historic stone walls.
They offer one four-person private room, as well as four-, eight-, and twelve-bed dorms. There’s also a terrace with a killer view over the roofs of Old Town and guests often hang out here, making it easy to meet other travelers. If you want to prepare your own meals, there’s a fully equipped kitchen as well.
The staff at Angelina frequently organize free activities and events in the evening for guests. They also organize more adventurous activities, such as cliff diving, kayaking, sunset boat trips, and wine nights.
Hostel Angelina at a glance:
Scenic terrace with great views
Organizes free activities
Superb location in Old Town
Beds from 300 HRK, private rooms for 915 HRK.
4. Old Town Hostel
As the name suggests, Old Town Hostel is located in the historical center of Dubrovnik. The entrance is on one of the narrow staircase “streets” and is around the corner from the restaurant-lined street Prijeko ulice, which locals have nicknamed “Banditen Strasse,” because it’s the street where tourists go to get ripped off by bad food and bad restaurants (that have a history of scamming tourists).
The 400-year-old building that houses the hostel is a beauty. Inside, there are seven different rooms that can accommodate up to 22 people. The rooms include five-person mixed dorms and a few double rooms with shared bathrooms. Breakfast is complimentary, which is a nice touch in an expensive city like Dubrovnik.
Old Town Hostel also hosts a ton of fun activities, including parties in the common room, face and body painting evenings, pancake parties, movie nights, and more!
Old Town Hostel at a glance:
Great location in Old Town
Lots of social activities
Beds from 300 HRK, private rooms for 600 HRK.
5. Dubrovnik Backpackers Club
This artistic and family-run hostel is located in the Babin Kuk neighborhood, which oddly translates to “Granny’s Hip.” Though the area might look on a map like it’s far from Old Town, it’s an easy 15-minute bus ride and there are some nice things in the area, including the great restaurant Orsan and the pedestrianized Lapad promenade which is lined with cafes and bars and leads strollers straight to the beach.
The rooms at the Dubrovnik Backpackers Club include a few four-person mixed dorms and a couple of two-person private rooms with en suite bathrooms and showers. The large kitchen is fantastic for cooking your own meals and then you can graze on them while sitting on a terrace with a lovely view over the neighborhood.
The staff here is legendary for being warm, welcoming, and super friendly, and there’s even a resident dog and cat. If you’re arriving by car (such as if you’re road-tripping around Croatia), there’s free parking here too.
Dubrovnik Backpackers Club at a glance:
Organized free events
Indoor and outdoor kitchens, including a barbecue area
Extra spacious rooms
Beds from 350 HRK, private rooms for 905 HRK.
6. Kings Landing Hostel Old Town
Housed in a 15th-century villa atop the steep-but-oh-so-enchanting steps of Old Town (and near one of the three exits/entrances in the city walls), Kings Landing gets its name from the Game of Thrones scenes that were filmed in the city. The hostel is fit for a budget-minded king (or queen). Thee Good King Jeffrey, as the owner prefers to be called, goes out of his way to make guests feel a warm welcome.
There are a small handful of four-person dorm rooms here, with the top floor being a VIP room that offers stunning views over the roofs of the city. There’s also a fully equipped kitchen and free coffee and tea available at all times. And while you don’t have to be a fan of Game of Thrones to enjoy staying here, it might help as the hostel organizes free GOT tours around the city to showcase the various filming locations.
Kings Landing Hostel Old Town at a glance:
Free tours of the city
Complimentary coffee and tea
Game of Thrones-theme
Beds from 345 HRK, private rooms for 700 HRK.
7. City Walls Dubrovnik
Painted in bright, cheery blue hues to evoke the shimming Adriatic Sea that is just on the other side of the medieval wall, City Walls is a pleasant place to plant yourself for a while in Dubrovnik. The location in Old Town is hard to beat and it’s just steps away from the famous Buža Bar, the watering hole situated on the cliffs just outside the walls.
The three-floor, award-winning property has two six-bed dorms, one four-bed dorm, and a comfortable two-bed private room on the top floor with a great view. The spacious common room is a fun place to hang out and meet other travelers, as well as chat with the always-friendly staff members at reception. City Walls also has a small but fully equipped kitchen and a basic free breakfast every morning. There’s also coffee and tea available in the kitchen throughout the day.
City Walls Dubrovnik at a glance:
Famously friendly staff
Excellent location in Old Town
Beds from 315 HRK, private rooms for 630 HRK.
8. Anchi’s Guesthouse
This family-owned guesthouse is located in Gruž, a residential neighborhood between the main port and the bus station, about a 30-minute walk (or 5-minute bus ride) from Dubrovnik’s Old Town. The Croatian owners are super lovely and go out of their way to make you feel at home in their city. Staying at Anchi’s almost feels like staying in someone’s house.
You can choose from a variety of rooms, from dorms to private rooms, and even a full apartment with its own private kitchen. The only downside of the dorms is that the beds are a bit older and noisy, and the lockers are quite small. There are many common spaces to hang out in here though, including two fully equipped kitchens, an indoor common room, and an outdoor garden with a place to BBQ.
Even so, as it’s a small guesthouse with no organized activities, it’s not the most social hostel for meeting fellow travelers. But it’s a great place to stay if you’re looking for a homey, quiet place away from the crowds!
Anchi’s Guesthouse at a glance:
Two fully equipped kitchens
Outdoor terrace, balcony, and BBQ area
Very welcoming and helpful Croatian owners/staff
Beds from 145 HRK, private rooms for 315 HRK.
9. Hostel Petra Marina
Also located in Gruž, this nautical-themed hostel is directly across from Dubrovnik’s main port. It’s a 20-minute walk from the beach and a 30-minute walk to Dubrovnik’s Old Town, making it a good location to be in if you want to take advantage of both.
One of the best parts of staying here is hanging out on the large terrace and balconies (one in each dorm) with fantastic views over the harbor and sea. The only downside is that the indoor common area is quite small – but luckily, it’s usually nice enough to sit outside!
It’s a pretty small hostel, with just 30 beds, and the dorm rooms are clean but basic. While there’s ample storage and lockers, there are no individual lights per bunk, if that’s important to you.
Hostel Petra Marina at a glance:
Huge outdoor terrace and balconies
Across from the main port
Beds from 150 HRK.
Dubrovnik might not be bargain-basement cheap, but what it lacks in affordable accommodation and activities it makes up for in its stunning beauty. Plus, there are plenty of ways to cut corners here, such as utilizing a hostel’s common kitchen to cook meals and taking advantage of a hostel’s free tours and activities. In short, you don’t have to splash out to enjoy your time in Dubrovnik!
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