Why go to Dubrovnik?
Whether you're into exploring cultural and historic sites or prefer to people-watch, Dubrovnik is an ideal place for it
Crowds can be heavy when multiple cruise ships are docked at the same time
Dubrovnik is a beautiful city to experience on foot, even if you skip the tours
Dubrovnik Cruise Port Facilities?
Gruz Harbor, an open-air terminal building directly opposite the dock, offers some souvenir shopping opportunities, money exchange capabilities and inexpensive Internet connectivity -- both wired and wireless (for those with laptops or smartphones).
Good to Know?
The Old Town can be quite crowded when there are cruise ships in town, but don't let it deter you from visiting -- people-watching is part of the fun. Locals warn of pickpockets. (We didn't hear of any on our visit, however.) This is a walking destination, and the smooth marble streets of the old town can be slick, particularly if it rains. Wear comfortable shoes.
Free shuttles: Many ships provide free shuttles from Gruz Harbor to the Old Town; it's a 15-minute ride, and you'll be dropped off right at Pile Gate, the main pedestrian entrance into the walled city.
Buses: If your ship doesn't offer a shuttle or you'd prefer to take transportation into your own hands, you'll find a local bus stop just outside the pier gates; look for numbers 1a, 1b and 8. You can purchase tickets at the adjacent newsstand, but you'll need exact change in Kune, so make sure you convert some money at the exchange bureau just inside the port's gates.
Taxis: Expect to pay about 50 Kune to take a taxi to the Old Town; they'll be available at the pier.
Walking: Once in the Old Town, you can easily get around on foot; the Placa is the main pedestrian boulevard. There's really no reason to rent a car as, like Venice, the old city is pedestrian-only.
Excursion boats: Other sightseeing options -- like nearby islands and resort towns with historic appeal -- are accessible via public boat service. These boats depart for various nearby islands from the pier of the old harbor.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money?
The local currency is the Kuna. (Check XE.com for the latest exchange rate.) Merchants and restaurateurs will grudgingly accept euros, but almost none will take U.S. dollars, though we were able to use them to buy lovely painted glass candle holders from a street vendor. Your best bet is to use a credit card wherever possible for the best exchange rate, though you'll probably want to change a small amount of money (for attraction admissions and inexpensive purchases) into Kune.
There are plenty of ATM machines and exchange bureaus, both at the port and in town.
Croatian, though just about everybody speaks fairly fluent English. German is common, as well.