Saturday, May 30, 2009

New Dubrovnik Travel Forum

I have just created a new Dubrovnik Travel Forum where visitors to Dubrovnik and other parts of Croatia can ask questions and post recommendations. I will try to answer as many questions as I can myself, but I invite others to answer any questions they can and to share their experiences of traveling or living in Croatia.

For now the forum can be found at www.dubrovniktravelforum.lefora.com/forum, but it will soon be moving to www.DubrovnikTravelForum.com. At the moment there isn't any content on the site, but please check back soon!

If you're interested in starting your own forum (about any topic), please visit Lefora for free forums.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Travel from Dubrovnik to Montenegro

Even before gaining its independence from Serbia in 2006, Montenegro was on its way to becoming a major tourist destination. Most visitors to Montenegro arrive at Tivat airport, near the bay of Kotor. However, many travelers visit Montenegro for a few days in conjunction with a stay in Croatia or even as a day-trip from Dubrovnik. The most popular destinations are Kotor, Budva, and Sveti Stefan, all of which are on the coast. The following is a brief overview of the available travel options from Dubrovnik to Montenegro:

1.) Bus: There are daily bus routes from Dubrovnik to Kotor, Budva, and Herceg Novi. Buses to all 3 destinations leave Dubrovnik's main bus station in Gruz Harbor at 10:30 hrs each morning with an additional bus at 20:30 hrs on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. In addition, there is a daily bus to Herceg Novi departing at 15:30 hrs. For those visiting Montenegro's capital city, Podgorica, buses leave Dubrovnik at 5:45 hrs on Mondays and 15:00 hrs on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Bus schedules can be viewed online at Libertas Dubrovnik.

2.) Taxi: For travelers that are tight on time or want a bit more comfort, taxi transfers are a good way to get to Montenegro. A transfer from Dubrovnik to Kotor or the Tivat airport costs approximately 180 EUR for 1 - 3 people, 200 EUR for 4 - 8 people, and 400 EUR for 9 - 18 people. For more information on taxi transfers, please see the article Taxi Service in Dubrovnik.

3.) Rental Car: Most rental companies allow cars to be taken to Montenegro, but be sure to check that they have supplied you with the necessary insurance and paperwork before taking the car over the border. If the car has not crossed the border recently, customs agents will charge you a 10 EUR Eco-Tax and put a sticker on the car that is valid for 1 year. The main border crossing on the coastal road is heavily trafficked and wait times can be as long as 2 hours during the busy summer season. There is a smaller border crossing with minimal or no wait times on the road from Molunat to Montenegro; if you can find it, it's worth leaving the main road to avoid the traffic. Just follow the signs for Molunat and the Prevlaka National Park, and then take a left when you reach the sea.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Travel from Dubrovnik to Hvar

The island of Hvar is one of the most popular summer destinations in Southern Dalmatia, and is known for its natural beauty and great nightlife. It is easiest to travel to Hvar from Split, but it can be reached from Dubrovnik directly by ferry or by a combination of bus or rental car and ferry. The following is an overview of the available travel options from Dubrovnik to Hvar:

1.) Direct ferry from Dubrovnik: During the summer season, Jardolinija operates a ferry from Dubrovnik to Hvar on Thursdays & Sundays, making a stop in Korcula on the way. The journey takes approximately 6.5 hours and tickets are priced at 17,50 EUR per person and 55,00 EUR for a car (these are high-season prices; slightly lower prices apply in low season). Detailed schedule information, pricing, and on-line booking is available at the Jadrolinija website.

2.) Ferry from Drvenik: The quickest and most-direct route from Dubrovnik to Hvar is by car or bus to Drvenik and then ferry to Sucuraj. Drvenik is a small town on the Makarska Riveria, located midway between Ploce and Markarska. It can be reached by car or by taking the Dubrovnik - Split bus and exiting at Drvenik. The ferry operates 10 times per day during the summer season and takes 25 minutes to reach Sucuraj. Tickets are priced at 13 Kuna (2 EUR) per person and 95 Kuna (13 EUR) for a car (these are high-season prices; slightly lower prices apply in low season). Once in Sucuraj, which is on the eastern end of the island, visitors must drive or take a bus to Hvar town at the other end of the island. Ferry schedules can be viewed at the Jadrolinija website.

3.) Ferry from Split: The most frequently traveled route to Hvar is from Split. From Dubrovnik it is possible to drive or take a bus to Split and then catch the ferry to the island of Hvar (for information on travel to Split see the article Travel from Dubrovnik to Split). If traveling without a car, it is best to take the high-speed catamaran directly to Hvar town, which leaves Split daily at 11:30 and 15:00. The journey takes approximately one hour and costs 22 Kuna (3 EUR) per person. If traveling by car, the ferry from Split arrives in Stari Grad, which is 20- to 30-minutes' driving distance from Hvar town. This ferry operates 6 times per day and the journey takes approximately two hours. Again, detailed schedule information, pricing, and on-line booking is available at the Jadrolinija website.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Travel from Dubrovnik to Korcula

A popular stop along the Dalmatian Coast is the Island of Korcula. It lies just off of the Peljesac Peninsula, approximately 2 hours northwest of Dubrovnik by car or ferry. There are 2 routes used to reach Korcula from Dubrovnik; the following is an overview of each:

1.) Direct ferry from Dubrovnik: During the summer season, Jardolinija operates a ferry from Dubrovnik to Korcula on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, & Sundays. The ferry is direct on Wednesdays and Saturdays, but makes a stop in Mljet on all other days. The journey takes 3 hours direct and 4 hours and 10 minutes with the stop in Mljet. Tickets are priced at 14,50 EUR per person and 53,00 EUR for a car (these are high-season prices; slightly lower prices apply in low season). Detailed schedule information, pricing, and on-line booking is available at the Jadrolinija website.

2.) Travel to Orebic and then ferry to Korcula: Orebic is a small town on the western end of the Peljesac Peninsula, approximately 2 hours drive from Dubrovnik. From Orebic, there is a local car and passenger ferry to Korcula that operates at least 12 times per day, 7 days per week. The ferry costs approximately 14 Kuna per person (about 2 EUR) and 64 Kuna (about 9 EUR) for a car (these are high-season prices; slightly lower prices apply in low season). Detailed schedule and pricing information can be found on the following website: Korcula Info.

Travel from Dubrovnik to Orebic can be accomplished in 3 ways: rental car, public bus, or long-distance bus. If you rent a car you will have to take it with you to Korcula and then return it to the mainland after your stay on the island as there is nowhere to leave the car in Orebic. The public bus is a good, reasonably-priced option, but it only leaves Dubrovnik's main bus station once per day at 14:15 hrs, except on Sundays and holidays when it leaves only at 18:00 hrs (schedule can be viewed at Libertas Dubrovnik). Once in Orebic, you will have to buy tickets for the passenger ferry to Korcula. There is also a direct long-distance bus from Dubrovnik to Korcula that leaves Dubrovnik's main bus station once per day at 15:00 hrs as well as at 18:00 hrs on Sundays (schedule can be viewed at Libertas Dubrovnik). This option takes passengers directly to Korcula and the ferry ticket is included in the price of the bus ticket.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Travel from Dubrovnik to Split

With the summer season fast approaching, many tourists will be traveling up and down the Dalmatian coast, visiting numerous small towns and islands along the way. One of the most popular routes is Dubrovnik to Split or vice-versa. There are 4 modes of transportation between these two cities; the following is an overview of the time and cost involved in each:

1.) Ferry: This is the most pleasant way to travel, but also the slowest. The ferry route goes from Dubrovnik - Korcula - Hvar - Split and then the reverse in the other direction. The journey takes approximately 8.5 hours and costs 17,50 EUR per person and 55,00 EUR for a car (these are high-season prices; slightly lower prices apply in low season). The ferry operates twice weekly, on Thursdays and Sundays from Dubrovnik to Split and on Tuesdays and Saturdays from Split to Dubrovnik. Detailed schedule information, pricing, and on-line booking is available at the Jadrolinija website.

2.) Bus: This is the most economical and most convenient way to travel. Buses depart Split and Dubrovnik almost every hour with over 15 trips per day. Tickets cost between 90 and 120 Kuna (between 12 and 16 EUR) per person, each way. The journey generally takes 4.5 to 5 hours and offers spectacular sea views along the way. Detailed bus schedules can be viewed at Libertas Dubrovnik.

3.) Private car transfer: This is the most comfortable, but most expensive way to travel. The route will be the same as by bus, but will be slightly faster as it does not involve any stops along the way (unless you want to stop). Prices for private transfers vary, but are approximately 200 - 240 EUR each way for 1 - 3 people, 240 - 260 EUR for 4 - 8 people, and 500 - 550 EUR for 9 - 18 people. Transfers may be arranged at Taxi Service Dubrovnik or Queen Service Dubrovnik.

4.) Rental car: This mode of transportation offers the most flexibility as it allows you to stop frequently and explore some of the beautiful coastal villages along the way. Most car rental companies charge an additional 1-way return fee for rentals in Dubrovnik with returns in Split (or vice-versa). Major rental companies such as Avis, Hertz, and Europcar have offices in both cities, but for better rates contact Euro Car Rentals, a local Dubrovnik company.

Coming soon...information on travel to other locations such as Korcula, Hvar, and Montenegro.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dubrovnik Bar Guide

Dubrovnik is not known for its nightlife; those looking for an all-night party scene with an international crowd and world-renowned DJs would be best to go to Hvar. That said, a good time can be had in Dubrovnik if you know where to go. The following is a list of our favorite bars. Most are frequented by both locals and foreigners and are fairly laid-back places, perfect for a glass of wine in the evening or a few beers at night. They're also good bars in which to meet other travelers passing through.

D'Vino, Palmoticeva 4a Dubrovnik's only real wine bar, D'Vino offers a cozy atmosphere and an extensive wine list representing many different regions of Croatia as well as Italy, France, Spain, Australia, and South America. A visit to D'Vino is a great opportunity to sample various Croatian vintages by the glass and to learn what each region has to offer.

Katie O'Connor's Irish Pub, Dropceva 4a Irish and Croatian beers on tap, free wireless Internet access, and a friendly atmosphere make this an excellent place to kick back and relax for an hour or four. This is also Dubrovnik's go-to spot for European football, rugby, and cricket.

Buza Bar, Od Kastela Follow the sign for "Cold Drinks" and duck through an opening in the city walls to find this cliffside hangout. The atmosphere is casual (plastic chairs and cans of beer) but the views are first-class, making it one of the most popular bars in Dubrovnik, especially at sunset. It is also a popular spot among locals for swimming from the rocks below.

Piano Bar at the Hotel Excelsior, Frana Supila (10 minutes' walking distance past Ploce Gate) This elegant hotel bar has a spacious outdoor terrace with the best views in Dubrovnik. It is a great place to have a drink while watching the sun set over the Old Town.

The Gaffe, Miha Pracata 4 Another good place to stop into for a pint. The inside can get a bit smoky when busy, but the large outdoor garden offers a good alternative. P.S. Try the burgers here – they are excellent!

Hemmingway's, Poljana M. Držica A great place to relax with a cocktail from their extensive (but pricey) menu. The outdoor seating in front offers great people-watching right near the Cathedral.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Dubrovnik Airport

The Dubrovnik International Airport is located in Cilipi, approximately 35 minutes from Dubrovnik by car or bus and only 5 to 10 minutes from Cavtat. The airport mostly serves flights from European countries, but has also seen direct flights from Asia and the Middle East. Arriving at and departing from the Dubrovnik airport is generally a stress-free experience, and passengers are processed quickly. Since the airport is small, we recommend arriving at the airport only 1 to 1½ hours before your departure time.

When arriving at the airport, visitors will find two transportation options to Dubrovnik. Atlas operates a bus to Old Town's Pile Gate, which departs the airport shortly after every scheduled flight arrival. The bus trip is priced at 35 Kuna or 5 Euro per person. A taxi to Dubrovnik costs 220 Kuna /30 Euro for 1 – 3 people or 300 Kuna/40 Euro for 4 – 8 people. For taxi transfer prices to additional locations please see the article "Taxi Service in Dubrovnik".

The Dubrovnik airport also offers additional services such as Duty-Free shopping, currency exchange, ATM machines, souvenir shops, coffee shops, and parking. For those driving to the airport, parking prices are as follows:

1st 15 minutes: Free
15 minutes – 1 hour: 5 Kuna
1 – 2 hours: 10 Kuna
2 – 4 hours: 15 Kuna
4 - 12 hours: 20 Kuna
12 – 24 hours: 40 Kuna
Every hour thereafter: 2 Kuna
Lost ticket: 300 Kuna

More information about the Dubrovnik airport as well as flight arrival and departure schedules may be obtained at www.airport-dubrovnik.hr.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Old Town Parking Garage Prices (updated May 2011)

Many visitors to Dubrovnik come by car, but parking is a problem for those staying in or within walking distance of the Old Town. Cars are not permitted inside the city walls and new parking regulations all but prohibit street parking in Ploce & Pile, the neighborhoods surrounding the Old Town. Thankfully, the city has recently completed construction of a new underground parking garage located just 10–15-minutes’ walking distance to the Old Town. Here is a map that shows the location of the new garage:


View Larger Map

Click on the following link for a parking garage price list (valid as of May 2011):

Dubrovnik Parking Garage Price List

For daily, weekly, and monthly rates drivers must inform the attendant in advance to avail of the special rate. Once an extended period parking pass is purchased, drivers may enter and exit the garage as many times as they like within that time period.