Dubrovnik deserves its reputation as a hot city for cultural travelers. It’s small, beautiful, and very historic, and if it were easier to reach it might just be overwhelmed by visitors.
Cultural travelers will want to focus on the gorgeous and extremely touristy Old City, where bargains of any kind are hard to find. Sunseekers have plenty of options of beachy hotels up and down the coast a bit.
Hotels right in the Old City area can charge high rates and stay busy at least all summer, so the only way to find a bargain is to look a bit outside the center. Apartment rentals and sobes (private rooms) are much easier to find than actual hotels in the Old City, and can be good value at least. The only hostel in the Old City is twice the price of some of the others.
Fortunately the main attractions are reasonably priced, and there’s plenty of free and cheap things to do, so once you have a room you are doing okay. Food and drinks can be pricey in the Old City as well, but some cheaper items are around if you look around.