Staying at Pet-Friendly Apartment Maja in Old Town Dubrovnik
The great thing about looking for a little place to rent in Dubrovnik—one that is pet-friendly—is that there are options. Loads of options. A quick search in FlipKey or on TripAdvisor results in hundreds of choices. And I love that. I also love how affordable the options are.
With affordability tossed into the mix, the bipeds and I figured we could afford to be a little pickier than usual. With that in mind, we went all-out trying to find the absolute best place to stay during our time in Dubrovnik in September.
In addition to travelling in the fall instead of the summer, we sometimes cut our costs for accommodations by staying just outside of the main area we want to visit. By staying outside of the centre of a town and its main attractions and sites, you can save a big chunk of change. And since we love to walk and don’t mind public transportation, this usually works for us. This time though, we wanted to do the exact opposite and find a place right inside the old walls of Dubrovnik.
All those photos you see of Dubrovnik? They are all in the Old Town of Dubrovnik. Here is a map to show you where the Old Town is (bottom right) in comparison to the rest of Dubrovnik.
Using the search criteria “[date], Old Town, pet-friendly, 2 people” is how we came across Apartment Maja in Old Town Dubrovnik. Apartment Maja looked exactly like what we wanted. And the location? It could not be better: right inside the old wall, near the Pile Gate main entrance where the bus from the airport would drop us off.
If you look at the map above, you will see where the Pile Gate is (marked as #1, on the left). From there, follow the main street, the Placa (marked on the map as #6) until you reach Antuninska Street, the fourth street on your left.
The apartment is nearly at the top end of that street, waaay up, up, up, near the north wall. Keep in mind that Dubrovnik is like a bowl with the Placa at the bottom of the bowl. All those streets you see on the map above and below the Placa are stairs—lots and lots of stairs!
Let me repeat this: what looks like streets on the map are stairs. Narrow stairs. Personally, I loved it! The bipeds made “buns of steel” jokes and commented about calorie-burning the entire time we stayed at the apartment. We were also insanely grateful for travelling light! We saw folks with huge suitcases struggle up and down those stairs. Not a good idea. Plus the entire Old Town is pedestrian only, meaning zero, none, nada access by car. (You can easily rent a car just outside of the eastern Ploče Gate, but you have to walk there and back on foot.)
No matter. For us, being high up against the wall was ideal. Although we were in the beating heart of the Old Town of Dubrovnik and close to everything, our apartment was separated by a hill of steep steps from any noise generated on the Placa. We could also easily access the old walls, the north gate, and the cable car that travels to the top of the mountain. (Oh, that reminds me: there is also a laundromat near where you would by tickets for the cable car.) Also, if our legs were tired, we figured out that rather than walking the steep steps from the Placa to our apartment, we could walk up in a gentle and more progressive way from the Ploče Gate, along the North Wall to our apartment.
Best of all? Just above us—yup, up more, this time another hundred steps away—was the restaurant Lady Pi-Pi. The restaurant is owned by the same people—Maja and her family—who own Apartment Maja. We highly recommend the food at Lady Pi-Pi. It is scrumptious, typically Croatian food.
Do not wait too late in the evening to go, though; the lineups get crazy, even with the restaurant being all those stairs above the Placa. The reason? The wood stove. All the food at Lady Pi-Pi is cooked in a massive outdoor stove. In fact, almost all of the seating is also outside and the place closes if it rains.
I also think the lineup is a result of the restaurant’s very reasonable pricing. Dubrovnik is a bit pricier than the rest of Croatia, but at Lady Pi-Pi, a couple can order a big shared meat or fish platter and a drink each—enough to sate hunger and appease taste buds—and not break the bank. It’s the best bang for the buck, and it’s pet-friendly! They loved me there. The wild cats not so much, but the staff did!
As guests at Apartment Maja, we got quick and preferential service at Lady Pi-Pi. We even went for breakfast one morning and that was delicious too. The view of the Old Town from the rooftop terrace in the morning is amazing. Well, the view is magical any time of the day, so bonus!
And should you run out of something in your own little kitchen, you can just go to Lady Pi-Pi and get a new supply of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, or salt. It was truly wonderful.
Staying at Pet-Friendly Apartment Maja in Old Town Dubrovnik was a delight because the little open-concept single room apartment is awesome! First of all, it is crazy clean. And we loved the color combo of apple green and white. A sleek and contemporary space inside ancient walls—it was just so … so…. us!
I absolutely loved the sleek bathroom: a nice stainless bowl sink, modern shower, hairdryer, and the largest supply of towels we have ever seen at a rental apartment.
And not one towel looked old and miserable. In fact, we felt bad when my paws left little dirt prints all over one towel after a long day of hiking. But they did not mind at all!
There was a great closet beside the bed for the bipeds to hang their things. It was nice to get the clothes out of the suitcase for a few days. The carry-on bags ended up sitting in the chairs in the little hallway. (It worked for us.)
One of my favourite things to do was to sit on a little green mat just by the window. Since the apartment follows the downward grading of the steps, the window is at knee level with the steps. I would hide in the window, behind the curtain of vines and half closed white wooden blinds, and wait for people to bark at. As much fun as I was having, one of the bipeds would eventually close the window to keep me quiet. Party poopers.
There is not one bad thing we could say about this little apartment. We loved coming home to it at the end of every day. The bed was comfy with a great mattress, the linen soft and clean, and pillows just fluffy enough. Dad would take one of the kitchenette stools onto the tiny terrace on the steps and have his breakfast while Mom would shower. I would run up and down the stairs and beg for some food from Dad. In the evening, it would be coffee and tea, sitting on the steps like the locals do watching the sun go down over the Old Town. We were very, very happy there.
Kitchen. The most obvious amenity is the delightful little kitchen and eating nook. How we enjoyed that little space. We absolutely loved the teas the owner had left for us. We also loved that the kitchen had everything we needed: plates, knives, pots, pans, colander, cutting board … even dish soap and sponges. Heck, they even provided a candle, apple green candle lantern, and matches for some mood lighting! We were also surprised at how much we could fit in the little fridge.
Free Wi-Fi. I have said this before and will say it again: in this day and age, free wi-fi is a must. Anyone charging for it does not get our repeat business. Wi-fi service at the Apartment Maja was perfect: free and with no lag.
AC. They have it. We did not need it at all in September. But if you should need it. We tested it out. It works great!
Also in the room were business cards and maps of Dubrovnik, including marked walking tours. There was a flat-screen TV we never used other than to check local weather. We did, however, take full advantage of the clothesline outside, near the steps, to hang hand-washed clothing and wet bathing suits and towels.
Groceries. There is a great little grocery store where the steps meet the Placa if you want to make your own meals—and we do. It saves a lot of money. And if you don’t want to eat at Lady Pi-Pi every night, there are many more restaurants to be had on Prijeko—that street between the Placa and the north wall. There is even a restaurant called Moby Dick!
If you just want a coffee, stop and pull out a red pillow right on the step. Just where our street meets the Placa. It’s a delightful way to hang out with the locals.
In review: Staying at Pet-Friendly Apartment Maja in Old Town Dubrovnik is amazing value for money and great location if you can handle the stairs. Lovely hostess and generous spirit. With the restaurant just there, you can always find help or assistance, something we heard a lot of folks in Dubrovnik struggled with, especially those who arrived at odd hours or late in the night. We heard one couple complain that they had waited almost an hour in the dark, not sure how to find their apartment. Not knowing where to go to meet with the person providing us with the keys was not a problem for us. All we had to do was go up a few stairs to the restaurant! Plus, because no one was checking in the night we were checking out, we were told we could stay a little longer than normal check-out time. That was wonderful, allowing us to relax and indulge in a last visit to the fresh market before leaving Dubrovnik for our sailing trip. So not only was the location great, and the room lovely and pet-friendly, but we also got great customer service.