Though it may be petite in size, the Dubrovnik area is abundant with restaurants, bars, and hotspots at every corner. Yet some are so well hidden, you’d miss them if you weren’t looking.

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As an American who has lived in Dubrovnik, I’ve spent months searching high and low for the hidden gems, often overlooked by crowds of tourists but cherished by locals.

Here are my favorite hidden gems in Dubrovnik that many locals love:

Pirate’s Social Club, Mlini

If you truly want to see where locals get down, X marks the spot at Pirate Club! Though a bit outside of the Old Town, this waterfront bar and lounge is perfect for sipping a mojito, while soaking up the sunshine and the nautical vibes.

At night, (and in the winter too) the bar is bumping with locals and live DJs. It’s also next to a water polo area, where there’s often water polo games.

Pasjaca Beach, Konavle

Consider Pasjaca Beach one of Dubrovnik’s best kept secrets. Once you see the sparkling turquoise Adriatic engulfed by the Konavle cliffs, it’s easy to understand why locals would want to keep this place a secret. The trail to Pasjaca Beach winds through a gorgeous forest and along steep rocks overlooking the sea. Unlike Dubrovnik’s famed Banje Beach, Pasjaca Beach is less crowded, with a scenic and less commercial vibe.

Konobo Vinica Monkovic, Konavle

Speaking of Konavle, one of Dubrovnik’s most unique restaurants is also in the region. Sitting atop flowing streams, Konobo Vinica Monkovic is like dining in an enchanting forest. Not only does the restaurant have a gorgeous setting, it also has excellent service. This family-owned restaurant puts thought into each homemade dish, for an authentic Croatian experience.

Cave Bar More, Lapad

Cave Bar More has recently gained popularity, and for good reason.  Yet, you have to take the time and effort to find this place. The lounge/bar is located within the boutique More hotel in the Lapad region.  With gorgeous, crafted interior, it’s one of the trendiest bars in Dubrovnik. When else are you going to be able to say you had a cocktail in a cave?

Park Orsula, near Old Town

While tourists wait in line to take that epic panoramic shot atop the Srd fortress, many have no knowledge of the gem below with an equally superior view. Park Orsula overlooks Lokrum Island and the view of the Old Town. This used to be a concert venue, popular among locals, though there have not been any concerts recently. Either way, it is a breathtaking hotspot, well worth the mild hike to the top.

Cafe Bar Vapor, Rijeka Dubrovacka

If you want a scenic view with a chill atmosphere, surrounded by actual locals, look no further. Vapor is a quaint café bar overlooking Franjo Tudman’s Bridge and Rijeka Dubrovacka area. It’s perfect if you are looking to escape the crowds of the Old Town, and relax with a seaside breeze.

Dance Beach, outside of Old Town

Here is a perfect example of “you wouldn’t find it unless you were looking for it”. Just outside the walls of the Old Town, Dance Beach is a treasure for both travelers and locals. The rocks are perfect for sunbathing, and the bay is perfect for swimming. There’s even an underwater cave and a small bar on the beach. Trust me when I say, it’s worth all the twists and turns to find this place.