Hilton Imperial – Grand dame of Dubrovnik’s hotels, just outside the Old Town walls.
The 1897 Hilton combines nineteenth-century architectural features (sweeping staircase, marble columns) with a contemporary aesthetic and takes pride in its guest-list which includes royalty and foreign dignitaries. There is plenty of natural light, accentuated by antique mirrors, and the spacious rooms are decked out in neutral creams, grays, and blues. Of the three types of rooms, the most coveted are those with sea views; it’s worth paying extra for that. There’s excellent on-site dining, a belle époque ambiance at one of the stately hotel bars, plenty of common spaces, and a full-service spa. The service is extremely welcoming and professional and the location is second to none.
Hilton Imperial – Location
- Address: Marijana Blazika 2, Dubrovnik.
- Nearest Bus: From the bus station just outside Pile Gate (0.1 mile), buses run to Lapad, Babin Kuk, and other far-flung parts of Dubrovnik. Airport buses stop on the opposite side of Old Town, just outside Ploče Gate (0.6 mile).
- Area: Super-central location overlooking the sea, just outside Pile Gate, with easy access to all Old Town attractions but minus the crowds that throng its tiny streets. All attractions within Old Town are just a few minutes’ walk from the hotel, as are numerous dining options and bars.
- How to Get There: From Dubrovnik International Airport, the most cost-effective way to reach Old Town is to take the airport shuttle bus, timed to meet flights (14 miles, 30 minutes, one-way/return 55/80 Kuna). Alternatively, Dubrovnik Transfer Services offers a taxi service from the airport for €30 (~230 Kuna) for up to 3 people. Note that Old Town is pedestrianized; buses drop passengers off at Ploče Gate, the southern entrance to Old Town, while taxis can drop you off at Pile Gate, the north entrance, too.
- Private Transfer: We use and recommend Welcome Pickups car service. Booking through a private car service will cost only a bit more than a taxi – about €38 (~290 Kuna) from the airport, but can be worth it to avoid the long taxi queue and for the convenience of paying ahead.
- Handy to: War Photo Limited, City walls, Franciscan Monastery.
Hilton Imperial – The Basics
- Ages: The hotel attracts guests of all ages, including many repeat visitors.
- View: Rooms overlook either Old Town and the mountains or the sea.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: The Imperial Suite comes with a whirlpool bath.
- Laundry: Laundry service available (additional charge).
- Parking: Parking available on-site for €27 per day.
- Extras: Pets allowed (€30 charge), free newspapers and refreshments in the Executive Lounge, business center, a ballroom for events, small deck with sun loungers in the garden, plus Art Go’Den store selling locally-made leather handbags and accessories. A wealth of local info is provided and the hotel’s personalized service and the concierge can help guests tailor their stay according to their interests. Tours and activities, from sea kayaking to wine tasting, can be organized.
- When to Book: Book 6 months to a year in advance for the high season (April-June and September-October) and several weeks in advance for the March and July-August shoulder seasons. Occasional last-minute vacancies. The hotel is generally open year-round.
- How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
- Phone: +385 20 320 320
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: hilton.com
Hilton Imperial – Amenities
- Pool: Large indoor pool. Open 6:30am-10pm.
- Spa: The Beauty Line Centre Spa offers a full range of massages and treatments and comes with a sauna and steam room. Open 6:30am-10pm.
- Fitness Center: There’s a 24-hour fitness center with private instructors.
- For Disabled Guests: On the ground floor, there are 2 specially-adapted rooms with walk-in showers suitable for guests with limited mobility. Elevators are wheelchair-friendly.
- For Families: Baby cots are available for free and an extra bed can be placed in any of the rooms at an extra charge to accommodate a child. Children’s menu, high chairs, and other kid-friendly amenities available.
Hilton Imperial – Food and Drink
- Restaurant: Porat Restaurant on the terrace in front of the hotel serves seasonal Mediterranean cuisine with emphasis on fresh local ingredients. Outdoor terrace open May to September. Open 7am-11pm; reserve ahead for dinner. $$-$$$.
- Bars: The Imperial Bar and Lounge serves creative cocktails whose recipes date back to the 1890s. Open 11am-10:30pm. • The Lounge Bar, on the outdoor terrace of Porat Restaurant, is open during the warmer months and serves cocktails, wine, and craft beer alongside live music events on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Open 11am to midnight. Guests staying in executive rooms and suites can choose to have their drinks served in the Executive Lounge.
- Breakfast: A generous American-style a la carte breakfast is complimentary and served in Porat Restaurant between 7am and 11am. Guests staying in Executive rooms and suites may take their breakfast in the Executive Lounge.
- Room Service: Available around the clock.
Hilton Imperial – Rooms
- Room Types: Twin Room • Double Room • King Superior Room • King Room with Sea View • Twin Executive Room • Twin Room with Sea View • Twin Executive Room with Sea View • King Executive Room with Sea View • King Deluxe One-Bedroom Suite • King Deluxe One-Bedroom Suite with Sea View • Imperial Suite with Sea View • List of all Rooms
- Smoking Rooms: Hilton Imperial is 100% smoke-free.
- Best Room: The Imperial Suite is the largest of the rooms at 83sqm and comes with stellar views of Old Town from the balcony, 2 bathrooms (one with a jacuzzi), plus a spacious dining room and living area.
- For Families: Couples with a baby or a single child can be accommodated in any of the rooms, whereas larger families can make use of interconnecting rooms. No family rooms per se.
Hilton Imperial – Local Transport
- Walking: Hilton Imperial is in a fantastic location just a couple of minutes outside of Dubrovnik’s Old Town, right next to Pile Gate. It makes a great base for exploring the many attractions on foot, with all Old Town attractions being 10 minutes or less from the hotel. For accessing the wall walk, Pile Gate is a 3-minute stroll (0.2 mile) and Ploče Gate is a 10-minute walk (0.5 mile). Rector’s Palace is an 8-minute walk (0.4 mile) while the dock for boat trips to Lokrum Island is 8 minutes (0.4 mile) on foot.
- Bus: While all attractions within Old Town are easily accessible on foot, to get to the beaches of Lapad Bay or Babin Kuk, you need to take one of many frequent buses. From Pile Gate (0.1 mile), bus #4 runs to Hotel Palace in Lapad, while buses #5, #6, and #7 serve Babin Kuk. Bus #5 also runs east of Old Town to Victorija in Ploče, passing the Modern Art Museum, while buses #3 and #3a run north to Nuncijata in Gruž, handy for the Way of the Cross trailhead up Mount Srđ. Bus tickets cost 15 Kuna if you buy them onboard and 12 Kuna if you buy them from a newsstand; there’s also the 30 Kuna unlimited day ride ticket. Validate your ticket upon boarding the bus.
- Taxis: A taxi from the airport to Old Town starts from €30 (~230 Kuna), depending on number of people. Taxis stop outside both Ploče and Pile Gates. A taxi from Old Town to Lapas costs €15 (~115 Kuna).
Hilton Imperial – What’s Nearby?
Recommended Nearby Tours
- Dubrovnik Day Tours – If you want to maximize your time in the Balkans, Dubrovnik is ideally placed for day trips to other countries in the region. Day tours with licensed guides take you to Kotor, Montenegro, Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Mostar, Herzegovina. They also offer specialized wine tours. Pickup from your hotel.
- Dubrovnik Walking Tours – Engaging tours of Old Town, from themed Game of Thrones filming location tours to classic ones focusing either on the Balkan wars, the city walls, or Old Town’s architectural highlights. Tours depart from the Onofrio Fountain, just inside Pile Gate, a 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
- Adriatic Kayak Tours – Sea kayak and SUP (stand-up paddleboarding) tours, as well as cycling and hiking tours for active travelers. Departures from their office, a short walk from Old Town through Pile Gate. (0.2 mile).
- Lokrum Island – Head to the dock at the east end of the Stradun (0.4 mile) to catch a 10-minute ferry to Lokrum Island, a forested retreat that’s a protected nature reserve. You can swim off the rocky ledges (no beaches here) or in the small saltwater lake known as the Dead Sea, visit the Benedictine monastery, and check out the cloister garden where a reception was held for Daenerys in Qarth in the Game of Thrones.
- Dubrovnik Boat Tours – This reliable operator runs day trips to the neighboring Elafiti islands: Koločep, Šipan, and Lopud, complete with stops to swim in the sea and sightseeing on the islands. Lunch and drinks included in the price. Departures from the Old Town port, a 7-minute drive (2 miles).
Best Nearby Restaurants
- Nautika Restaurant – This much-lauded restaurant overlooking Fort Lawrence and the bay by Pile Gate is one of Dubrovnik’s best. The dishes are refined takes on Dalmatian classics, the service is top-notch, and it’s hard to find a more romantic spot in town. Smart-casual dress code. Book ahead. (0.1 mile).
- Proto – One of Old Town’s culinary highlights, Proto is an elegant seafood restaurant dating back to 1886. Come here for oysters au gratin, Dalmatian-style shrimp, homemade truffled pasta with seafood, and stellar fish dishes. Romantic ambience, perfect for romancing your sweetie. (0.3 mile).
- Fast Food Republic – Cheap and cheerful burger bar serving a good selection of burgers, hot dogs, and pizza by the slice. Octopus burger a specialty. (0.3 mile).
- Lucin Kantun – Taking inspiration from Dalmatian home cooking and putting a fine spin on it, this homey place serves the likes of spinach-and-goats-cheese-stuffed flaky pastry, plus grilled fish and seafood, depending on what’s fresh and seasonal. Tapas-style small plates, casual, relaxed. (0.3 mile).
- Forty Four – Sit in the atmospheric stone-walled dining room or the lantern-hung tunnel and order from a succinct menu of traditional and contemporary Dalmatian dishes that might include truffled risotto and grilled catch of the day with polenta. Reservations recommended. (0.4 mile).
- Taj Mahal – In spite of the name, this is actually a Bosnian restaurant, tucked away down a tiny street. Grilled meats are the specialty here; go for the mixed grill or some flavorful lamb chops. (0.4 mile).
- Lajk Restaurant – The pick of the restaurants that are lined along Ul. Prieko, Lajk specializes in classic Dalmatian cuisine, from mussels in wine sauce and grilled seabass to homemade pasta. Family-friendly, busy, casual. (0.4 mile).
- Gradska Kavana Arsenal – Right near Old Town’s Luža Square, this venerable restaurant, dating back to 1895, is perfect for people-watching and is open all day. Menu varies depending on what’s fresh and seasonal but you can always count on generous servings of fish, meat, and pasta. (0.4 mile).
- Bistro Tavulin – With its outdoor tables scattered along the alleyway behind the Church of St Blaise, this bistro is locally known for its fresh takes on traditional recipes such as octopus ragout with beans and polenta, slow-cooked veal, and grilled catch of the day. Busy, informal, and good for lunch or dinner. (0.4 mile).
- Restaurant 360° – Michelin-starred fine dining near Ploče Gate with panoramic views over the harbor from its setting on top of the city walls. Romantic ambience and Modern European dishes. Book ahead and dress nice. (0.5 mile).
- Bota Šare Oyster & Sushi Bar – Slurp a dozen Ston oysters or tuck into some shrimp tartare or creative sushi rolls at this stylish eatery, partly hidden in a medieval tunnel. (0.5 mile).
- Azur – Hip Eurasian restaurant where locally-sourced Mediterranean ingredients are transformed into pork belly tacos, creamy Singapore-style seafood laksa, fish tartar with an Asian twist, and more. Worth reserving ahead for dinner. (0.5 mile).
Best Nearby Bars & Breweries
- Tavulin – This arty little bar in an Old Town cul-de-sac has many local wines by the glass and attractive (though limited) outdoor seating. (0.3 mile).
- D’Vino Wine Bar – Pint-sized wine bar offering top-notch Croatian wines by the glass or bottle. You can also opt for a flight of wines and supplement it with a charcuterie or local cheese platter. (0.3 mile).
- Glam Cafe – Most Croatian craft brewers are represented at this snug bar opposite D’Vino Wine Bar, along with international beer classics such as Brewdog’s Punk IPA. Handful of tables in the narrow street outside. (0.3 mile).
- The Gaffe – The pick of local Irish pubs, with football and rugby shown on its 7 screens, Guinness on tap, and a supporting cast of meaty dishes. (0.3 mile).
- The Bar by Azur – Not to be confused with Eurasian restaurant Azur, this backstreet bar specializes in Dubrovnik’s finest cocktails. (0.3 mile).
- Buzz Bar – Swing by this buzzy bar for decent cocktails and inexpensive craft beer. (0.3 mile).
- Malvasija Wine Bar – Thimble-sized wine bar, named after a local dry white wine from Konavle vineyards, aiming to introduce you to local grape varieties such as Plavac, Vranac, and Grk. Cheese platters and other light bites available. (0.4 mile).
- Beer Factory Dubrovnik – Perch in the beer garden out back or under the vaulted ceiling of the main bar and choose from the extensive menu of Croatian craft beers. (0.4 mile).
- Soul Caffe & Rakija Bar – The subtly-lit interior and creeper-covered terrace in the narrow street outside make for an atmospheric drinking spot, whether you’re here for a cocktail or a coffee. Live music on some nights. (0.4 mile).
- Exit Rock Caffe – With walls covered with posters of classic album covers and photos of rock stars, this is Dubrovnik’s original rocker hangout. Good for cheap beers and a heavy soundtrack. (0.4 mile).
- Buža – This cliffside terrace bar enjoys awesome views of the Adriatic sea from its location at the south end of Old Town. Rather pricey bottled drinks only; it’s the sunset views that you’re paying for. (0.5 mile).
- BARD Mala Buža – Nestling beneath the south wall of Old Town, this is the offshoot of the super-popular Buža bar. Another favorite sunset-watching spot with the bonus of a shaded terrace. (0.5 mile).
Best Nearby Cafes
Nearby Shopping & Cool Shops
- Algebra – This bookstore on Stradun stocks plenty of literary material on the Balkans as well as Lonely Planet guidebooks for Croatia, Montenegro, and other neighboring countries. (0.3 mile).
- Dubrovnik Treasures – Offbeat jewelry made by local designers Simona and Marko who combine traditional techniques with modern materials. (0.3 mile).
- Terra Croatica – High-quality gifts such as handmade ceramics and Dalmatian cookbooks, as well as locally-made beauty products, Croatian wines, and olive oils. (0.3 mile).
- House of the Game – Of the several outlets in Old Town, the Od. Puča branch has the best selection of official Game of Thrones t-shirts, goblets, collectible figurines, and other memorabilia. At the back, you can pose for selfies on a tacky replica of the Iron Throne. (0.3 mile).
- Uje – This branch of the foodie store specializes in Croatian olive oils, herbs, spices, honey, capers, and other edibles. (0.3 mile).
- Homa Gallery – Explore the vibrant works of Jadranka Munitic, a renowned locally-born contemporary artist. (0.4 mile).
- Medusa – Come to this ‘charming shop for charming people’ for art prints, handmade chocolates, limestone objects, natural cosmetics, and other gifts. (0.4 mile).
- Zlatarna Križek – Going strong since 1935, this family of jewelers specializes in delicate gold and silver filigree. (0.4 mile).
- Tilda Dubrovnik – Original ceramics, jewelry, dolls, traditional Konavle embroidery, handmade greetings cards, and other handicrafts. (0.4 mile).
- Rector’s Palace Museum Shop – This gift shop is excellent, with the tasteful array of bags, scarves, and jewelry inspired by objects inside the museum. (0.4 mile).
- Croata – Croatia is the home of the cravat and this store specializes in luxury silk ties, bow ties, and scarves in attractive designs. (0.4 mile).
- Life According to KAWA – Terrific concept and gift store stocking clothing by independent Croatian designers, ceramics, jewelry, edibles, handmade kitchen implements, toys, craft beer, and all manner of other gifts. (0.6 mile).
- Fort Lawrence – Sitting on a 37m-high promontory overlooking a small bay, this fortress affords fantastic views of Old Town from the west from its battlements. Game of Thrones fans may recognize it as the Red Keep, where Cercei bade farewell to Myrcella from the little bay. (0.1 mile).
- Franciscan Monastery – This 14th-century monastery is home to Europe’s third-oldest functioning pharmacy (1317) and a splendid cloister. You can check out the centuries-old pharmacy equipment as well as the religious artifacts and paintings and a strikingly painted altar crucifix. (0.2 mile).
- War Photo Limited – This gallery features hard-hitting photographic exhibitions depicting the horrors of war, curated by New Zealander photo journalist Wade Goddard. The permanent exhibition is devoted to the wars of Yugoslavia. (0.3 mile).
- Synagogue & Jewish Museum – The oldest Sephardic synagogue in the world (and second-oldest still-functioning synagogue in Europe) is located in what used to be the Jewish ghetto, home to expelled Sephardim from Spain, Portugal, and Italy. The museum is dedicated to the history of this centuries-old community, as well as the persecution of Jews in Croatia during WWII. Visitors with a particular interest in Jewish history can book specialized walking tours via the website. (0.4 mile).
- Sponza Palace – A former mint and arsenal, this 16th-century palace is a Gothic-Renaissance mix that’s now home to the State Archives, storing priceless manuscripts that are almost a 1,000 years old. You can check copies displayed on the ground floor as well as a really hard-hitting photographic collection that honors the young men who perished between 1991 and 1995 while defending Dubrovnik. (0.4 mile).
- Dominican Monastery – Nestling beneath the city walls, this fortress-like 14th-century monastery is among Dubrovnik’s architectural highlights. The cloister is particularly beautiful and the church displays priceless pieces of art. (0.4 mile).
- Rector’s Palace – This 15th-century Gothic-Renaissance Palace doubles as a Cultural History Museum and hosts engaging temporary exhibitions. The exterior is stunning and the beautifully restored interior, with its collection of coats of arms, coins, and more, is well worth seeing. Game of Thrones fans may recognize the atrium from the palace of the Spice King of Qarth. (0.4 mile).
- Dubrovnik Cathedral – This 18th-century incarnation of the venerable cathedral was built on the site of the original 7th-century structure. The 12th-century expansion was originally funded by Richard the Lionheart, who was saved from a shipwreck, and the altars and the priceless objects in the treasury are highlights here. (0.5 mile).
- City Walls – Dubrovnik’s Old Town is surrounded by mighty stone walls, the first set of which was built in the 9th century. The current walls, forts, and towers mostly date back to the 14th and 15th centuries and a wall walk is spectacularly picturesque. You’re required to go anti-clockwise and it’s best to do the walk either first thing in the morning or around 4pm to avoid the worst of the crowds. Of the three entrances, Ploče Gate is the least crowded and if you book your ticket online, you can opt for a Game of Thrones tour or an Early Bird tour. (0.5 mile).
- Mount Srđ – Looming above Old Town and accessed either via cable car or by driving or hiking the steep Way of the Cross path up (trailhead is a 15-minute walk or 0.5 mile away), this 412m-hill offers great views of Old Town and the Adriatic Sea. At the top, there’s an exhibition dedicated to the 1990s war and an overpriced restaurant where you go for the views rather than the culinary offerings. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile) to the cable car.
- Banje Beach – Just east of Ploče Gate, this is the nearest beach to Old Town. It’s a mix of pebbles and white sand, with chaise lounges for hire and calm, crystal-clear waters. Popular with families. (0.7 mile).
- Museum of Modern Art (MOMAD) – East of the Old Town, this modernist building is home to a superb collection of contemporary Croatian art. Don’t miss the works of Vlaho Bucavac or the sea views from the sculpture terrace. (0.8 mile).
Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores
- Enoteca Wine Shop – On Prijeko ul., this wine shop stocks an excellent range of Croatian wines and the helpful owner can advise you regarding various vintages. (0.3 mile).
- Gundulićeva Poljana Market – Open from 7am to 6pm daily, this lively market sells fresh produce and is a good place to stock up on fruits as well as olive oil, nuts, honey, local spirits, and a limited range of souvenirs. (0.4 mile).
- Konzum – Right near the Gundulićeva Poljana Market, this small supermarket makes a good pit stop for essentials. (0.4 mile).