Thursday, June 24, 2010

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 10:00 hrs each morning and 15:30 hrs and 19:00 hrs each afternoon/evening with an additional bus at 20:30 hrs on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. For those visiting Montenegro's capital city, Podgorica, buses leave Dubrovnik daily at 19:00 hrs. 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.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Parking in Dubrovnik (updated May 2011)

One of the many features that make Dubrovnik’s Old Town so attractive is its pedestrian-only streets. However, this ban on vehicular traffic makes arriving by car and finding parking very difficult.

Visitors can park using the “pay & display” system or for free on some parts of Petra Kresimira IV and Frana Supila. These are the two main streets in the Ploce neighborhood, just outside of the Old Town. In addition, visitors may park in two “pay & display” parking lots located just behind the Old Town, near the Buza Gate. Under this “pay & display” system, drivers may either buy a ticket from a machine and display it in their car windows or send an SMS (from a local Croatian mobile phone) with their registration number (license plate number) to 8202. They may then send additional SMS messages to add more time, one hour per message. Parking under this “pay & display” system costs 5 Kuna per hour, but rates sometimes increase to 10 Kuna per hour during July & August.

For those who cannot find a spot on the street or who plan to park for an extended period of time, there is an 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.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

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.

In addition to the Jadrolinja ferry, Nona Ana operates a high-speed catamaran from Dubrovnik to Korcula in July & August only. It runs 4 times per week:

Monday & Saturday: departs Dubrovnik at 9:15, arrives in Korcula at 11:45
Tuesday & Thursday: departs Dubrovnik at 8:00, arrives in Korcula at 10:35

Schedules may be viewed on the G&V Line website. Tickets must be purchased at the port prior to departure and cannot be purchased online in advance.

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 4 ways: rental car, public bus, long-distance bus, or minibus transfer. 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.

The travel agency Korkyra operates a daily minibus from Dubrovnik to Korcula leaving from their office just outside the Ploce Gate between 2 - 4 pm every afternoon. The bus holds up to 17 people and tickets are priced at 120 Kuna per person plus 10 Kuna per bag. For an extra 10 Kuna per person they will pick you up at your accommodation anywhere in Dubrovnik. Transfers must be reserved in advance by email ( or by calling +385 20 711 750.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Travel from Dubrovnik to Split

With the summer season upon us, many visitors are 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.