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It's certainly worth while spending several days looking around fascinating Dubrovnik, and walking the walls. But you have to pick the right time. We were there in early October some years back and thought the place was pretty crowded. But I was told by the locals that this wasn't crowded at all - a few months back with tourists from 90 ships, was what they called crowded.
Accommodation was pretty expensive just next to Dubrovnik, but we stayed in Lapad - a 10 minute bus trip from Dubrovnik. with buses every 10 minutes. And having gone there in off season, we were paying A$45 a night for a huge apartment. And instead of paying huge prices for average meals in Dubrovnik, we were paying decent prices for good meals in Lapad's great Promenade.
The big problem with that area is that car hire companies like Hertz won't let you drive to adjacent countries like Bosnia and Montenegro - you aren't insured if you do. Which meant that it was kind of scary driving there, as there is a 20km stretch of Bosnia between Split and Dubrovnik, where one has to carefully drive through the Bosnian city of the rich and famous - Neum - and pray you don't have an accident. Though there are plenty of organised small bus tours to Mostar in Bosnia, and to Kotor and Budva in Montenegro from Dubrovnik.
We hire cars in Split all the time, but my husband is Croatian so perhaps that makes it different. They have ever mentioned this to us? Was there late season summer last year and much quieter than high season!