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    Car hire in Dubrovnik - The Pearl of the Adriatic

    Located on the Dalmatian coast, Dubrovnik became an important Mediterranean maritime power from the 13th century onwards. Despite efforts to preserve it's beautiful Baroque, Gothic and Renaissance churches, monasteries, fountains and palaces after the 1667 earthquake, by 1990 it was damaged again by armed conflicts and is now the focus of a major restoration programme by UNESCO after being classified as a World Heritage Site. Book your car hire in Dubrovnik to discover the city’s limestone streets, baroque buildings and the glow of the Adriatic.

    The city's history dates back to the 7th century when a town named Ragusa was founded by refugees from Epidaurum. It stayed under the protection of the Byzantine Empire and later under the sovereignty of the Republic of Venice. Dubrovnik ruled itself between the 14th and 19th centuries as a free state. The prosperity of the city was historically based on maritime trades. By 1967 the city was almost completely destroyed by a major earthquake and during the Napoleonic Wars it was occupied by French forces and incorporated into the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy and later into the Illyriam Provinces. During the 19th and 20th centuries, Dubrovnik was part of the Austrian Empire, Yugoslavia and Austria-Hungary. During the disintegration of Yugoslavia in 1991, the city was besieged by the people's army for seven months and suffered significant damage. After several years of restoration, it re-emerged as one of the Mediterranean's top tourist destinations, as well as a popular filming location known for series such as Game of Thrones.

    Auto Europe has partners at the airport and downtown, so you can pick up your car at the place most convenient for you. On top of that, you can also choose to book one of our luxury vehicles from the premium cars fleet in Dubrovnik. For additional peace of mind, why not check out our Dubrovnik car hire reviews section to see what others have to say about Auto Europe's excellent range of car hire options in the city.

    How is the traffic in Dubrovnik?

    Without doubt, the best way to discover Croatia is to rent a car in Dubrovnik. Driving is on the right side of the road and the most common road rules apply. It is safe to drive in Dubrovnik as the roads are in good condition. Normally the speed limit on motorways is 130 kph, 90 kph on open roads and 50 kph inside towns and cities. There are exemptions to the rules, so follow the signage and observe the speed limit.

    From November 1st to March 31st it is mandatory to have your headlights on all day, and the use of winter tyres (or having snow chains in the car) is mandatory from November 15th until April 15th on all winter road sections. You can drive in Istria and Dalmatia without winter equipment, but in all other areas you'll need it.

    The multi-lane motorways have tolls and they are identified with the letter A followed by the number of the road – A1 connects Zagreb to Dalmatia and A6 connects Zagreb to Rijeka. As you enter the motorway, you must take a ticket from the toll booth and pay at the exit. Usually, there is an automatic toll booth or an operator. The tolls can be paid in the local kuna currency or the euro, as well as by debit or credit card. If you pay in euros you'll get your change in kuna. There are rest stops and gas stations along the motorways.

    Dubrovnik's streets are quite narrow and turns can be pretty tight, so drive very carefully. To learn more about traffic regulations in Dubrovnik, visit our Croatia driving information page.

    Where can I park my car hire in Dubrovnik?

    Finding a parking spot for your car rental in Dubrovnik can be frustrating during the high season. Parking is as difficult here as it is in every old town. Don't forget that the Old Town is a car-free area, so it is forbidden to enter. Parking areas are divided into four zones, zone 0, zone 1, zone 2 and zone 3, and depending on which zone you park in the price per hour is higher or lower. Parking is charged in Zone 0 all day, every day; Zone 1 every day from 6 am to 10 pm; Zone 2 every day from 6am to 2am; and Zone 3 all day, every day. Free parking is still an option for people on a budget. In Babin Kuk town district you can park for free and from there take the bus into the Old town.

    You must buy a parking ticket and display it on the windscreen of the car. Make sure you have change or you can buy your parking tickets in advance from corner shops, newsagents or even hotel receptions. If you have purchased a Croatian phone number you can also pay your tickets using your phone by sending a text message with the licence plate for a different number, according to the zone you've parked in. If you park either in the wrong place or fail to buy a ticket, your car can be towed and a fine will be payable.

    There are several reasonably-priced public parking garages around Dubrovnik. A multi-story car park is located in Ilijina Glavica Street just a 10 minute walk from the centre, and even during summer spaces are normally available. If you arrive in town early in the morning, you might be lucky enough to find a place in Gruz Port, which is close to all the local public transport services.

    Dubrovnik Airport

    Also referred to as Cilipi Airport, Dubrovnik Airport is located just 10 miles from the city centre. Although it has the longest runway in the country, it is only the third-busiest in Croatia. Dating back to 1962, the old airport building was demolished to make way for the new modern and improved terminal.

    Dubrovnik International Airport (DBV)
    Telephone: +385 20 773 100/377/333
    Address: Dobrota24, 20213, Cilipi, Croatia

    What to do in Dubrovnik

    Everyone travelling to Dubrovnik should explore every nook of the city’s world-famous walls and its Old Town. Also well worth a visit is its plethora of churches, monasteries and different monuments, each telling a compelling story. Below you can find some of the most impressive sights in Dubrovnik.

    • City Walls: The first thing you'll see upon arriving at Dubrovnik from the plane is the city walls. They were built and rebuilt in the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries as the Turkish threatened to invade. Now that this threat no longer exists, the wall has become a tourist favourite with its breathtaking views. It will take you an hour or two to wall the full circuit along the battlements, with short stops for superb panoramas and the occasional coffee stop. There are three starting points for the walk: Pile Gate, Fort St Johns and Fort St Luke. The ticket is also valid for Lovrijenac Fortress on the same day. If you're a Game of Thrones fan, you will surely recognise some of the sets from the series.

    • Old Town: The Old Town is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in the world. Full of cobbled streets, baroque churches, tiny alleyways and quirky shops, you will find other top attractions such as the Franciscan Monastery, Rector's Palace and Dubrovnik Cathedral located here. The Old Town is compact and easy to walk with several restaurants providing the perfect spot for a nice lunch before you head off to see more awe-inspiring sights.

    • Dubrovnik Cathedral: This building was largely destroyed by the 1667 earthquake and was rebuilt by the architect Andrea Bufalini of Urbino. Above the main altar, there's a triptych of the Ascension of Mary by the painter Titian from 1550, as well as several works by Croatian and Italian artists from the same era. Precious liturgical items are stored in the treasury dating from the 11th to the 18th century, including the gold-plated bones of St Blaise.

    • Cable Car: The original cable-car was closed in 1991 but started operating again in 2010 during the Summer Festival. This cable-car will take you up the mountain and coming down you'll see some amazing views of the southern Dalmatian coast, with a 30-minute walk down to outside of the Old Town. At the top, you can enjoy the views whilst enjoying some cake and wine or other delicacies at the restaurant and bar. On a clear day you can see for up to 37 miles, which is the reason the Imperial Fortress was built right next to it in the early 19th century.

    • Lokrum Island: Catching a ferry from the port to this island located a short 10-minute ride away brings you to a small paradise. The island is covered with deep pine forest with walking trails and an old monastery that also operates as a restaurant during the summer. Here you can also wander through the lush green botanical gardens in the company of its resident peacocks and rabbits before cooling down in one of the many swimming areas this island has to offer. This island is a must for Game of Thrones fans because it served as the city of Qarth and its cloister of the Benedictine Monastery served as another popular filming location.

    • Game of Thrones Tour: Dubrovnik was a prominent film location with the city being the setting for King’s Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms. The Old Town is full of film sets, starting with the Pile Gate entrance. The setting for King’s Landing harbour is visible from Pile Harbour to Pile Gate. Dubrovnik West Pier is the stone dock where Sansa and Shar are watching the ships at Blackwater Bay, as well as the most iconic scene from season 2 where the gold cloaks were ordered to murder all of King Robert Baratheon's bastard children. Fort Lovrijenac is also known for several major scenes and is instantly recognisable as the Red Keep in King's Landing. Many of the sea wall shots for King's Landing were made from Fort Bokar at the city's walls on account of the stunning views. The House of the Undying in Qarth when Daenerys Targaryen searches for the entrance in the walls in pursuit of her stolen dragons was shot at the imposing Minceta Tower.

    Best day trips with my car rental in Dubrovnik

    With your car hire in Dubrovnik you can discover Croatia's majestic and enchanting coast. Below are some of the best day-trips that you can make on your visit.


    This idyllic seaside town offers you the best seafood, beaches and sunsets imaginable, just a 30-minute drive from Dubrovnik. Don't miss the chance to see Rector's Palace and St Nicholas Church before your departure. The charming Old Town is filled with narrow cobbled street and old stone buildings capped with red-tiled roofs. Outdoors activities are also popular, like swimming, stand-up paddle-boarding, kayaking and biking.


    By crossing the border to Bosnia-Herzegovina, you’ll reach Mostar just 81 miles from Dubrovnik. The most iconic landmark is Stari Most, a fairy-tale arched bridge built in 1566, while the Mosque of Mostar is another amazing building with a thrilling past to discover. Don't forget to confirm if your car rental supplier allows cross-border travel by contacting one of Auto Europe's reservation specialists.


    This fortified town is another of Eastern Europe's hidden gems. It lies between the Bay of Kotor and the mountains behind the town, making it incredibly photogenic for panoramic shots. You can visit Kotor Cathedral, the Maritime Museum and the Cats Museum dedicated to our feline friends. We suggest that you take a stroll around this lovely place and allow yourself to fall in love with it.


    Located just 143 miles from Dubrovnik, you cannot miss the vibrant city of Split! With its perfect setting between the mountains and the sea, it is the second-largest city in Croatia and was built around the imposing 1700-year-old Diocletian's Palace. Nowadays apartments, restaurants and shops reside within the ancient walls, creating a living museum. The UNESCO-classified Old Town is pedestrian-only and you can admire the Cathedral of St Domnius, Temple of Jupiter and the impressive palace gates. We strongly urge you to travel to the majestic Marjan Forest Park and its Stairway! Here you'll find hiking trails with the best views of the city and sea.

    How to get around Dubrovnik

    We advise you to explore the Old Town on foot as it is pedestrianised and if you arrive there by car, you can either park on the street and buy a ticket from the machine or use one of the public parking facilities. Taxies are parked outside the Pile and Ploce Gates at Gruz and in Lapad. Uber is also available in Dubrovnik.

    Using the bus system is also a good option as it is relatively simple and you'll find a connection to the Old Town every hour. Routes 1A, 1B and 1C are the most popular routes for tourists as they connect the city with the harbour. Route 4 passes many hotels and terminates near Hotel Dubrovnik Palace. One-hour tickets are available at several kiosks and as well on-board. If you're planning to use the bus for more than one trip, we suggest that you purchase the one-day ticket valid for 24 hours. There are direct buses to Zagreb, Mostar, Split , Korcula, Orebic, Rijeka, Zadar and Sarajevo. In the summer, there are routes to Montenegro and several other cities such as Kotor, Budva, Bar and Herceg Novi, as well as the Bosnian cities of Prijedor and Banja Luka. Return tickets are usually cheaper than one-way tickets. When returning from Bosnia, the police may board to check your identity when crossing the Neum Corridor.

    Useful links

    Dubrovnik Tourist Info

    Croatia Tourist Board Website