During the seventies sunny, romantic, beautiful Dubrovnik was a favourite of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. The sheltered harbour is a wonderful emerald colour, the 13th Century walled old town is historic, red-roofed and a wonder in Baroque marble, and the main drag, the Stradun, is probably one of the world's loveliest main streets. Many of the best places to stay in Dubrovnik are within easy reach of all these highlights, and our recommendations vary from cheapn'n'chic guesthouses to luxurious romantic stunners (for a holiday apartment go to our online partner, Booking.com).
During the nineties the video cameras in Dubrovnik were here to record the war. But the city has picked itself back up, cleared the damage, and is back to its beautiful, buzzy best. Michelin starred chefs are moving in, and the cafe culture has a definite something of the riviera about it.
And, if anything, the recent struggle it has experienced makes it a more thoughtful place for visitors. The museums that much more fascinating now everything has been carefully restored.
Rife with gorgeous architecture, Dubrovnik has numerous churches, monasteries, museums and galleries worth visiting. The Stradun, with its Baroque houses and shops is a definite highlight. As are the city walls, which are famous the world over. It's also known for its boutique-y shopping, and diamonds - obviously part of the appeal for Ms. Taylor.
The old town is where most visitors will head for first. And, while it's small enough to navigate on foot, be aware that this is somewhere it's easy to become charmingly lost in. There are signs, but they're out of date, so your best bet is to travel the narrow alleyways based on your whims - and which ones look most interesting.
Many of the main sights are within the old walls, including the Gothic Renaissance Sponza Palace, the Bell Tower and its fantastic bronze bell-striking statues, the museum in the Rector's Palace and Fort Lovrijenac.
To really see the loveliness of Dubrovnik ascend Mount Srd for the fortunes, museum and spectacular views. You can walk up, but if you don't fancy it there's a cable car.
One of Dubrovnik's oldest and most original attractions is the Pharmacy, in the Franciscan Monastery - here they sell hand creams and other toiletries made using ancient recipes. It's been running since the construction of the monastery until now, so there must be something in the products to keep people coming back.
In the middle ages Dubrovnik, then an independent republic, rivalled Venice as an Adriatic port. That's where the wealth that built this gorgeous city comes from. The same wealth supported artists, authors, poets and scientists and other scholars, and this became a seat of learning and culture.
As well as visiting Dubrovnik's multiple forts, and the museums, old palaces and churches, it's also worth visiting the Old Port and the Maritime Museum. And, if you're interested in the recent conflict, War Photo Limited, the photographic gallery, is a powerful experience.
Stroll the Stradun in the evening, and around Lapad beaches in the daytime. This is definitely one of the prettiest parts of Dubrovnik with lovely pedestrianised streets busy with cafes and restaurants. If you walk around the headland you'll see all the tiny beaches - the ones only a few people can fit on, and that you can only reach by ladder.
The best places to stay in Dubrovnik will get incredibly busy during the peak summer months, so you'll either have to plan ahead and book early or else come in spring or autumn, before the crowds.
Still not sure which to book? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in Dubrovnik, or call, or email, one of our gurus for advice. Alternatively widen the net and check out all our recommendations on the Dalmatian Coast.
Traditional apartments, excellent value, just a five minute walk from Buza beach. Apartments have kitchenettes, extra beds, wifi, and wonderful city views over the Old Town. Rooms are rather antique but offer unbeatable rates. Ideal for anyone on a budget, very convenient too.
A simple but stylish collection of rooms and apartments with kitchenettes in central Dubrovnik. Creamy rooms and two bedroom suites have wooden floors and minimal furnishings. An excellent value spot for families, groups of friends, or those on a budget.
A boutique collection of apartments in the Old Town. Light, airy, and contemporary decoration within a 17th century townhouse. Each suite has all the mod cons, including DVD players, and a kitchenette. A great option for a family or a couple for a summer beach holiday or a winter retreat.
Cavtat, Dalmatian Coast
A good choice for a less touristic holiday on the Dalmatian coastline. A traditional hotel in the town of Cavtat within striking distance of the beach. Simple, but very spacious, rooms have parquet floors and mahogany furnishings. A bit off the beaten track, but better value.
A stunning little guesthouse-hotel. Contemporary classic rooms have four poster beds, beige tones, and elegant furniture. Wonderful sea views from sprawling terraces, swimming pool, and walking distance to the beach and restaurants.
A beautiful Five Star hotel crafted by local architects from the rock face in Dubrovnik. Designer rooms, suites, and villas are contemporary with sea facing balconies, some with private jacuzzis. Excellent restaurant, pool, spa, private rocky beach, and lots of privacy. Romantic luxury.
State of the art glass hotel set in the cliff face in central Dubrovnik. Contemporary designer rooms, family suites, and suites have neutral tones, all the high techery and private balconies. Two restaurants, excellent spa, and immediate access to all the sights. A luxury spot, very family friendly.
A modern five-star hotel with mesmerising vistas of the Adriatic. A short walk from Dubrovnik's stunning historic centre, the hotel's superb spa is the perfect place to relax after a day's exploring. Palatial rooms fitted with terrace showcase the area's natural beauty. A coastal oasis.
A historic townhouse hotel in the the centre of Dubrovnik's old town. The sandstone building has traditional rooms and suites with wooden beamed ceilings, parquet floors and paintings on the walls. Lovely frescoed bar and restaurant. An authentic choice right in the thick of it. Family friendly.
A luxury boutique castle hotel, previously a holiday home, in the heritage bay of Lapad. Stunning rooms and suites, traditional in style with wooden beamed ceilings and attractive furnishings. Fantastic regional restaurant, pool and courtyard, and speed boats to hire.
A stunning Dalmatian villa sits on the waterfront with breathtaking views, its own private beach, and a full service spa. Rooms and suites, slightly traditional, but very luxurious with private balconies. Three excellent restaurants, beauty salon, spa treatments, two pools, and picturesque gardens.
The ultimate in romantic chic. A beautiful traditional Mediterranean villa with stylish modern rooms and fantastic amenities. Luscious gardens lead to a private beach, a renowned chef provides fantastic cuisine from terraces, and sea views drift over the bay and islands. Luxurious, highly romantic.