Parking in Dubrovnik is a formidable thought for anyone who has had the pleasure (?!) of doing so before. The fact of the matter is, Dubrovnik is an ancient city that was never designed to deal with the huge amount of traffic it receives today. Old, narrow and often steep streets were not built to accommodate vehicles and due to the geography and infrastructure of the city, it cannot accommodate all of them even today. Owing to this uncharming problem and thanks to experience and a lot of swearing, I have put together a list of what you cannot call ”the best” parking solutions, but a list of your only (legal) options which won’t leave you with a parking fine.
Dubrovnik Public Garage (Javna garaza)
Perhaps the easiest place to leave your car in Dubrovnik is at the public garage located on Ilijina Glavica along a main one way road (Zagrebacka), the garage is modern, large and boasts 711 parking spaces, so you shouldn’t encounter problems when it comes to finding somewhere to leave your car. It is fairly central, with views over the sea and the Old City, you can reach Pile gate on foot from there in about ten minutes, five if you continue walking to the right when you leave the garage on foot and go through the scenic Bogisic park. Prices of course depend on length of stay and type of vehicle.
Parking near Ulica Iza Grada
Literally translating to ”the street behind the city”, this carpark is located directly behind the city walls and is a favourite among locals and visitors alike, so I will warn you in advance not to get your hopes up about managing to find a space here, it is almost constantly full during peak season and is still problematic even after the summer ends. That being said, luck might be on your side and if you’d like to try that luck, you’ll need to follow the long, one way road (Zagrebacka) past the public garage until you reach the fire brigade building, then turn right downhill until you see a small taxi rank, there is then a sharp turn to your left to enter the carpark, try not to miss it, if you do you’ll need to go around again. This carpark falls under Zone 2 (zona 2) and isn’t expensive. When it comes to paying for parking here, you have three options: from a kiosk (Tisak), from the parking meter or via text message. Please note that if you decide to pay in cash (parking meter) you will need to have the exact amount, and in coins the machine accepts, you won’t be given change. If you pay via text message, you will need to send a text to the m-parking number: 708202 with your license plate number (no spaces!) and you will receive a text to confirm. If you pay via mobile phone, you can only purchase one hour of parking at a time, so you need to be vigilant.
Parking at Gruz (Port of Dubrovnik)
This carpark is located on Obala pape Ivana Pavla II and is very easy to reach. Parking here is admittedly quite a distance from the Old City and you will need to arrange further transport (bus or taxi) to reach it, but it is perfect if you’re staying close to Gruz, or if you’re planning to visit offshire locations such as the Elaphiti islands as this is where the majority of ships come in and out throughout the day. There is always someone on guard at this carpark, and although crime in general in Dubrovnik is almost non-existant, you can breathe easier knowing your vehicle and its contents are under close watch. This carpark falls under Zone 3 and a parking meter can be found at the entrance/exit. Like with Iza Grada, you can also pay by texting your license plate number in a message. The m-parking number for this carpark is: 708203.
This is one of the most scenic carparks in the world, as odd as that may sound. Located on a cliff-edge with panoramic views over the sparkling Adriatic, the Old City and a good look at Srdj, parking here will provide not only a safe space for your car, but some wonderful photos. The only problem that might arise is finding it. Gradac is large and usually not full, it is central and you can arrive to the Old City in just a few minutes on foot. To get to Gradac, you’ll need to drive around the back of the Old City along Ulica Iza Grada until you arrive at Pile where you will most likely be greeted by heavy traffic, once you pass through that, you need to pay very close attention to a sharp left turn almost directly across the road from the Hilton Imperial. The narrow street you’ll travel along to reach Gradac is called Don Frana Bulica. Gradac falls under Zone 2, and the m-parking number you will need to text your license plate number to is: 708202.
There are numerous street parking options dotted around the city, usually on the side of a road. You’ll notice them by their typical blue sign and white text which say ”P” and ”zona 1,2,3…” and there are usually a handful of individual spaces at each one. There will be a meter close by with charges listed, so remember to have the exact change when paying at the parking meter! The m-parking numbers vary depending on which zone the meter is in and it will tell you on the sign. The m-number for zone 1 is: 70822, zone 2 is: 708202 and zone 3 is: 708203.
Parking in Dubrovnik can be a nightmare and it still has a long way to go before it becomes less of a headache, but hopefully these recommendations will at least save you the bother of wasting your time circling the city trying to find somewhere to leave your car when you should be spending it enjoying the sights, the food and the sunshine.