Dubrovnik is a perfectly preserved 13th-century city that offers peaceful living in a stunning coastal, mountainous work environment.
Dubrovnik is one of Croatia’s smaller cities but one that has become popular with both tourists and expats. Having once been an independent state, it retains a sense of its own identity. Located at the very south of the country, visitors enjoy the very best weather that Europe has to offer. Lined with picturesque beaches and rugged, exploration-worthy mountains, it offers the perfect combination of urban life and outdoor adventuring. The city may not be as populous as the likes of Split or Zagreb but that’s part of the charm. The Old Town is exquisitely preserved, fiercely protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Digital nomads calling Dubrovnik their home are blazing a trail, taking advantage of a beautiful and historically rich city that has all the amenities needed for modern living. It’s a highly affordable city as well, which makes it perfect for settling down for a few months to start building your savings fund.
Where to live in Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is a spread-out city, in large part because of its unique coastal geography. As a result, each neighborhood retains its own charm and character. The Old Town is the most beautiful area but it’s also expensive and touristy. Heading out into residential neighborhoods, you’ll find more affordable apartments, each with its own advantages including parks and quiet beaches. There are no particular neighborhoods to avoid but remember that touristy areas can be targeted by petty criminals.
Best Neighborhoods in Dubrovnik
Each neighborhood in Dubrovnik has its own benefits but first-timers will certainly want to be near the city center. Fortunately, this is a realistic dream for most digital nomads. Apartment prices are low, even in the most expensive areas. When searching for a place, try to find something with either a sea or mountain view (or both!). This will give you the most peaceful and enjoyable experience during your time in Dubrovnik. Wherever you live, you’ll be well-connected by public transport and near to plenty of wonderful cafes and restaurants.
Amazing Apartments, Coliving Spaces and More
We've been rounded up the best housing options in Dubrovnik. All are available on flexible terms, so you can stay one month or as long as you want
Quick Facts About DubrovnikDubrovnik is a fascinating and unique town. If you’re wondering whether it suits your personality, then it helps to do some research about the place before you go. However, this can take precious time that you may not have. To help you out and get you acquainted with delightful Dubrovnik, here are 8 quick facts.
The City is Fully ProtectedThe walls around the Old Town keep it fully fortified, with the use of 16 towers and 120 cannons. As a result, an invading army has never made it past the walls and into the city.
Dubrovnik was once it’s own countryKnown at the time as the Republic of Ragusa, Dubrovnik declared independence from the British and was the first country recognized by the United States as being a sovereign state. This is partly why it retains such a unique sense of identity, separate from other Croatian cities.
It’s smaller than you thinkDubrovnik is one of Europe’s smallest cities, with the 2011 census putting the population at 42,615. This is perfect if you prefer the peace of small-town life.
Home to some of the world’s best beachesWith a mixture of sand and pebbles, the beaches in Dubrovnik have consistently ranked as some of the best on the Mediterranean Sea. Forget Spain, France, Italy, and Greece, Croatia offers the best value for money.
The Old Town has been untouched since the 13th CenturyEver since the Old Town was originally constructed in the 1200s, it’s remained almost unchanged. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s very unlikely that modern buildings will replace the charm of the old cobbled streets.
Dubrovnik loves freedomIf you’re a freedom-lover, then you’ll feel at home in Dubrovnik. It was one of the first places in the world to abolish slavery and ensure all humans living there were free. It was far ahead of most countries, freeing slaves way back in the 15th Century.
Dubrovnik was Almost Destroyed by an EarthquakeA huge earthquake hit the city in 1667, destroying many buildings and art collections. The city was rebuilt, though, and remains a symbol of resilience in the face of adversity.
It’s home to some scary wildlifeThe mountains around Dubrovnik make for amazing hikes but remember to be careful. Hikers have spotted brown bears, with venomous vipers being common as well.
Work in Dubrovnik
Forbes listed Dubrovnik as one of the top 20 places in the world to live, invest, and retire. This is due to a hospitable and welcoming community that values the input of foreigners. However, this is a small city so don’t expect there to be a ton of job opportunities. Most of the economic activity occurs in the capital, Zagreb. The largest employers operate in the tourism industry, most notably, Valamar Riviera. If you have experience in this area, you may find it easy to find a job even if you only speak English. Touristy bars are also good places to look for work.
How good is Dubrovnik for Digital Nomads or Remote Work
Remote work is changing how the global workspace operates. In a trend that is showing no signs of slowing down, remote work is rapidly on the increase all around the world—especially in a place like Dubrovnik. And about 25% of remote workers describe themselves as digital nomads—those who like to travel or stay in cities around the world while they work. So, how good is Dubrovnik for both of these growing movements?
Average Internet SpeedCroatia has the 17th fastest public WiFi in the world and 98% mobile internet coverage, meaning it’s a European leader in this area. Mobile internet speeds average 61.54 Mbps, making it one of the world’s fastest.
Work-friendly Coffee ShopsCroatia is known for having plenty of coffee shops and Dubrovnik is no exception. If you’re looking for the perfect place to work and get your caffeine fix, here are some of the top spots: Dubravka: Located by the gates to the Old Town, this is a convenient and beautiful location. On a nice day, sit outside and let the sea view inspire your creative work. Soul Caffe: Hidden down an Old Town side street, this cozy cafe tends to be quieter than other places, allowing for deep focus. Enter through a green, plant-clad wall and into a peaceful, nature-inspired environment. Cogita: This is perhaps Croatia’s most popular coffee shop, found in all major cities. It’s a reliable workspace and offers fantastic coffee directly from Zagreb.
Coworking SpacesThere are currently no dedicated coworking spaces in Dubrovnik but it’s still a great place to base yourself as a digital nomad. You’ll have access to fast internet and coffee shops like the ones listed above. If remote workers like you continue to move to the city, it’s bound to start opening these kinds of facilities soon. Until then, your best chance of finding a coworking space is by heading to the nearby city of Split.
Suitable Level for Digital NomadsDespite its lack of coworking spaces, Dubrovnik is excellent for digital nomads. It has a relaxed vibe, owing in large part to the incredible natural scenery of the sea and the mountains that surround the city. The 13th-century architecture may not suggest it, but this is a modern city with fast internet and great coffee shops to work from. The digital nomad community isn’t large but foreigners are a common sight as this is a major tourist destination. With the potential for luxury living on a budget, Dubrovnik is a digital nomad’s dream.
Visa RequirementsAs a European Union member, travel to Croatia is fairly easy. However, it’s not a member of Schengen so the rules are slightly different compared to other nearby countries. For the most part, though, this is to your benefit. Croatia allows freedom of movement from Schengen countries, meaning that your Schengen visa can be used to visit Dubrovnik. Despite this, days spent in Croatia don’t count towards your total EU limit. People from the US and the UK are generally allowed to stay in the EU for 90 days out of 180. This excludes days spent in Croatia, effectively giving you bonus time on the continent. For longer stays, you must apply for a temporary residence visa. This can be done from within Croatia after arriving.
Food and Drink in Dubrovnik
Restaurants and bars in Dubrovnik tend to be very reasonably priced compared to other European countries. Even in the most touristy areas, there are just so many of them that prices remain low despite the high quality of the food. Popular local Croatian cuisine includes cottage cheese strudel, goose, and pastry filled with custard. Top-rated restaurants serving this kind of food include Nautika and Trattoria Carmen. Croatians take great pride in their beer selection, the most popular local brew being Ožujsko. Don’t get hung up on the pronunciation, the bartender will know what you mean and you’ll quickly master it. While in the country, it’s also more or less mandatory to sample some rakija. This is Croatia’s most popular spirit, more commonly available than whiskey, vodka, or gin. It’s sweet, fruity, and easy to drink. Dubrovnik has its own particular rakija, which is combined with anise for a licorice-like aftertaste. The bar scene is pretty lively, with many venues offering free live music that is often performed outside with a stunning natural backdrop. Located on the cliffside, there’s hardly a more beautiful place to sip a beer. Croatian food is generally delicious but if you fancy a change, there’s plenty of international influences, particularly Italian and Greek.
Top 6 Things To Do in Dubrovnik
Most of Dubrovnik’s top tourist sites are centered around the Old Town. Start by simply strolling around, taking it all in. History-lovers should check out The Red History Museum of Communism, Rector’s Palace, and the Dominican Monastery. If you’re more into beach life, then head to Copacabana, Uvala Lapad, or Banje Beach. If you’re feeling adventurous, there’s also a secret beach that is only accessible by paddling across the sea. It’s hidden in a cave called Betina špilja and isn’t well-known among tourists. For when you’re feeling active, there are endless hiking trails you can take through the mountainous surroundings.
Lokrum ul., Dubrovnik
Ul. kneza Damjana Jude 12, Dubrovnik
Ul. od Srđa 50, Dubrovnik
Large Onofrio's Fountain
Poljana Paska Miličevića 2000, Dubrovnik
Ul. Svetog Dominika 4, Dubrovnik
King's Landing Dubrovnik
Brsalje ul. bb, Dubrovnik