How to Travel from Split to Dubrovnik (and Dubrovnik to Split)

How to Travel from Split to Dubrovnik (and Dubrovnik to Split)

Traveling from Split to Dubrovnik or vice versa is a popular route along the Croatian coast. Dubrovnik and Split are two of Croatia’s top destinations, each boasting impressive waterfronts, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, superb seafood restaurants, centuries-old architecture, and incredible accommodation options.

With a distance of approximately 230km between the two cities, there are several travel options available, including driving, taking a ferry, buses, flights, and private transfers. In this post, we will explore each option in detail to help you make an informed decision.

Driving from Split to Dubrovnik

Driving from Split to Dubrovnik takes approximately three hours, depending on traffic and border delays, primarily occurring between June and August and on weekends. The most direct route is taking the A1 motorway from Split to Dubrovnik. After reaching the Dugopolje entry to the A1 from the center of Split, follow the motorway for about 100km until reaching Ploce. From there, take the coast road to Dubrovnik, crossing the borders at Neum or taking the Pelješac Bridge at the town of Komarna. Tolls will cost around 8 euros.

The Pelješac Bridge

The Pelješac Bridge opened in 2022, connecting the Peljesac peninsula to the Croatian mainland at the town of Komarna. The bridge provides a way to bypass Bosnia and Herzegovina’s short coastal strip at Neum, saving many hours of waiting at the border crossing, and allowing travelers to stay in the territory of Croatia when traveling between Split or Dubrovnik. The bridge is 2.4km long, free to cross, but limited to vehicles that can travel more than 60km/h.

Driving the Split to Dubrovnik Coastal Road D8 (E65)

Before the completion of the A1 motorway, the Adriatic Highway (Jadranska Magistrala) was the only way to reach Dubrovnik from Split by road. The road runs all the way from above Rijeka to Croatia’s border with Montenegro, offering stunning views. If you have time to cruise along the spectacular Dalmatian coast, take the coast road from Split to Ploce, passing through Omis and the beautiful Makarska Riviera. However, expect the journey to take 4-5 hours during the summer due to heavy traffic.

Taking the Ferry from Split to Dubrovnik

Taking a ferry from Split to Dubrovnik is an enjoyable experience during the summer months, with ferries running approximately three times a week. The journey takes about eight hours, but the stunning views of the Croatian coast make it worthwhile.

Taking the Bus from Split to Dubrovnik

Travelers have 20 to 30 daily bus connections between Split and Dubrovnik. The journey takes around four and a half hours and is an affordable and comfortable way to travel between the two cities.

Flying from Split to Dubrovnik

Trade Air offers direct flights between Split and Dubrovnik. The flight takes around 45 minutes and is a convenient way to travel, especially for those seeking more comfort and speed.

Private Transfers

For those seeking more comfort and flexibility, many companies offer private transfers between Split and Dubrovnik. Private transfers are an excellent option for families, groups, or those with specific requirements.

Ploce to Trpanj Ferry – A Route for Dubrovnik

The construction of a bridge has made the drive from Split to Dubrovnik faster, and therefore the Ploce to Trpanj ferry route is no longer a practical option. However, if the bridge is closed for any reason, travelers can take the ferry to Trpanj on the Peljesac Peninsula from Ploce to continue their journey towards Dubrovnik.

Traveling from Split to Dubrovnik by Car

The most efficient and flexible way to travel between Split and Dubrovnik is by car, taking about 3 hours. With a car, travelers have the freedom to choose any route and make stops along the way, making it the best option for those who want to explore Croatia’s beautiful Dalmatian coastline.

Private Transfer from Split to Dubrovnik

For travelers who want to travel in comfort and style without the stress of driving in a foreign country, a private transfer from Split to Dubrovnik is an excellent option. This transfer provides travelers with a knowledgeable driver who takes care of the journey and removes the stress of border crossings, insurance, and navigating unfamiliar roads. The transfer picks up travelers from their accommodation in Split, and they have the freedom to make stops along the way. Prices for a private transfer from Dubrovnik to Split start at 255 euros.

Split to Dubrovnik Excursion

Many travelers opt to make their private transfer from Split to Dubrovnik into an excursion by stopping along the way to take in the beautiful Dalmatian coastline and charming towns. The coastal road through Omis, the Makarska Riviera down to Ploce, and then through Bosnia onto Opuzen and to Dubrovnik is a popular route. A stop in Ston is a must for those who want to try Croatia’s best oysters and explore the impressive walls. Alternatively, some travelers head to Mostar and spend a few hours there before continuing to Dubrovnik.

Split to Dubrovnik Taxi

While taxis are abundant in Dubrovnik and Split, taking a taxi between the two cities can be expensive. A private transfer is a more cost-effective option, with better vehicle class and driver knowledge. Therefore, travelers should avoid taking a Dubrovnik to Split taxi and opt for a private transfer instead.

Split to Dubrovnik Car Rental

If travelers do not want to take the bus and cannot afford a private transfer, renting a car in Split and dropping it off in Dubrovnik can be a cheap mode of transportation, especially if the car is booked in advance before the tourist season starts. Many Dubrovnik and Split car rental companies offer this service.

What to See When Traveling from Dubrovnik to Split

Since you are going to the trouble of driving from Split to Dubrovnik, it makes total sense to take advantage of the journey and explore & experience some of the sites and attractions along the way. Perhaps visit some coastal towns like Brela, Tucepi, or Podgora, or if you are into adventure Zip Lining in Omis, hiking Biokovo Mountain, or Cetina rafting. If that’s not your thing, then perhaps wine tasting in Komarna at Volarevic, Rizman, or Terra Madre wineries, followed by lunch in a traditional restaurant in Ston, the town famous for producing Croatia’s best oysters.

List of Things to Do and Towns to Visit

In any case, here is a list of things to do / attractions/towns when traveling between Dubrovnik and Split:

  • Klis Fortress
  • Explore seaside towns, e.g., Brela, Igrane, Podgora
  • Bacina Lakes
  • Wine tasting in Komarna or the Peljesac Peninsula, e.g., Matusko Winery, Rizman Winery,
  • Ston – Lunch – sample some of the delightful oysters, walk the wall fortifications that surround the town, and visit the salt museum
  • Trsteno Arboretum
  • Head inland to Herzegovina and visit Medjugorje, Mostar, and Blagaj

Catching the Dubrovnik to Split Bus

Backpackers and budget travelers may want to grab a Split to Dubrovnik bus, and they’re in luck. If you wish to catch a Split bus or a Dubrovnik bus, there are numerous options when traveling from Dubrovnik to Split by bus.

How Many Daily Departures Are There From Split To Dubrovnik?

Traveling by bus in Croatia is super easy as services are abundant. With there being no train service between Split and Dubrovnik, buses are the major form of public transport. An excellent network operates between Split and Dubrovnik, with the journey taking around 4 to 5 hours, depending on which route you take (coastal or highway) and the stops you make along the way.

Bus companies offer around 10-20 daily routes for a one-way ticket at 13-23€. The earliest bus departs Split at 2:30 am and arrives in Dubrovnik at 6:45 am, while the last bus of the day leaves Split at 6:45 pm and arrives just before midnight.

When traveling from Split to Dubrovnik by bus, your journey will begin at Split Bus station or Dubrovnik bus station if you are headed the other way. Both bus stations are conveniently located, with the Split Bus station located at Split port, a short walk from the Riva, and the Dubrovnik bus station situated in Gruz Port.

With so many buses from Dubrovnik to Split, bus travel from Split to Dubrovnik is straightforward and affordable. Buses between the cities are very frequent, every 30 mins or so, so you won’t have any trouble getting a bus ticket; however, we recommend buying your ticket online in advance, so there is no risk, and you can get the bus you want.

If you are returning to your home country, you can quickly jump on the Split or Dubrovnik airport bus to get you to Dubrovnik or Split Airport from the respective bus stations.

Flights from Split to Dubrovnik

The fastest way to travel from Split to Dubrovnik is by plane. The flight time is around 40 minutes. Croatia Airlines operates direct flights from Split to Dubrovnik; however, this is only twice a week.

No Direct Flights from Dubrovnik to Split

Also, note that there are no direct flights from Dubrovnik to Split, requiring a stopover in Zagreb. Therefore, you are out of luck if you need a Dubrovnik to Split flight. The fastest option is to use a Split to Dubrovnik transfer.

Furthermore, once you land in Dubrovnik, you need to take the bus, taxi, or Dubrovnik airport transfer to your accommodation. You are not saving any time when you factor in getting to Split Airport, waiting for the flight, flying time, and then getting from Dubrovnik Airport to your hotel. Split to Dubrovnik by plane is not an excellent option for travel between the two cities.

To Go or Not to Go on a Day Trip from Split to Dubrovnik?

If you find yourself crunched for time and hoping to visit either Dubrovnik or Split, then taking a day trip from Split to Dubrovnik is definitely worth considering. However, it is important to keep in mind that this will be a long day trip.

The journey from Dubrovnik to Split typically takes around 6 hours of drive time, leaving you with approximately 4 hours to explore the city. If you have additional time available, it is highly recommended to extend your stay in either Split or Dubrovnik. By doing so, you can take full advantage of your visit to the area.

In conclusion, a day trip from Split to Dubrovnik can be a great option for those who are pressed for time but still want to experience these two beautiful cities. Just remember that it will be a long day, so be prepared for an early start and a late return. Nonetheless, you will not regret your decision to visit these stunning destinations.

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