How to Take the Bus from Dubrovnik to Kotor
Updated on October 15th, 2020
The easiest and most affordable way to get between Croatia and Montenegro is to take the bus from Dubrovnik to Kotor. Many backpackers will make the journey south from Croatia into Montenegro. If you have been travelling around Croatia by bus, this journey will be seamless for you as you know already what to expect. There are just a few additional things you will need to know.
After spending 5 weeks in Croatia, we made our way further south to Montenegro and then on to the other Balkan countries. This is such a special part of the wold and is worth spending as much time as you can here.
We made this bus trip last Spring and actually continued on past Kotor to Petrovac. So, this trip applies to anyone heading to the coastal regions of Montenegro. Montenegro is one of my favourite countries and I’m so excited for you to be heading down and exploring yourself.
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Getting a ticket
There are a couple of ways to get a ticket for the bus trip. Either online or at the bus stop. As this journey crosses an international border it is stated you must print your ticket. So bear this in mind if you choose to buy online. We printed ours as instructed and did have to hand it to the bus driver. I’m not sure if it would have been an issue had we not printed it.
During the summer this route is very popular. I recommend buying your ticket at least the day before. Ticket prices range from 15 – 18 Euros. You then need to pay 10 Kuna (1 Euro) to put large pieces of luggage under the bus.
Websites to buy tickets online
The two comparison websites that have the most bus times available are the following.
Get By Bus lists 10 separate trips starting from 7 am to the final journey at 8:30 pm. Each journey has a slightly different total length of time. Each of the buses heads along the same route but the overall time can vary by close to 2 hours. So take into account the time taken to get from Dubrovnik to Kotor when booking.
The distance from Dubrovnik to Kotor is 93km. The quickest bus leaves at 10 am and will take 1 hour and 50 minutes and the longest journey leaves at 7 am and will take 3 hours 45 minutes. Although be aware that during peak season border crossing queues can be very long. So the bus trip may end up taking longer than expected.
Dubrovnik bus station
If you choose to buy your tickets at the bus stop, it is a good idea to buy them when you arrive (if you are coming by bus) as the bus stop is a 12-minute cab ride from the Dubrovnik Old Town. This will cost you 6-7 Euros in an Uber.
Starting the journey from Dubrovnik to Kotor
We decided to leave at 3 pm to enjoy almost another full day exploring Dubrovnik.
We arrived at the bus station with a half-hour to spare. The bus station had a few vendors selling snacks and cold drinks and I found a place to charge my phone inside and it was small enough that we didn’t have to worry about finding our bus.
The bus originated in Dubrovnik, so 15 minutes prior to leaving paid our 10 Kuna each and loaded our luggage. This was mid-April and while Dubrovnik had a lot of tourists already our bus was only half full.
The Croatian side of the bus trip is mostly uneventful and passes through small villages and rural landscapes. You can take the same bus from Dubrovnik airport to Kotor as it stops at the airport 30 minutes after leaving the bus station.
The border crossing
After 45 minutes you will reach the Croatia/Montenegro border. As you are exiting the EU to enter Montenegro, you will have to go through a border check. At the border, an officer came on to the bus and collected our passports or ID cards. It didn’t take long for us to get all our documents back and we were resuming our drive in no time.
As with most borders around this area, there are two stops. One for exiting the country and another for entering. We got 2 new stamps. One for exiting Croatia and another for entering Montenegro.
The Montenegrin side
This is where the bus ride starts to get scenic. Make sure you choose a seat on the right-hand side of the bus as you will be driving along the Bay of Kotor. I have seen this bay more times than I can count now and yet it never gets less impressive. You follow along the shores of the Bay of Kotor for over an hour. On the left of the bus are dramatic cliffs rising up to 1,000m in height and on the right is the still azure waters of the bay.
Kotor bus station
The Kotor bus station is located just to the south of the Kotor Old Town. The Old town of Kotor is completely fortified and there are no cars inside. To get to the gates from the bus station is an 800m walk. Head back the same way the bus came and follow the main road. You can’t miss it the entry points.
Some of the buses will have wifi on them but don’t bet on it. Make sure you know where you are going once arriving in Kotor.
That’s it! A very easy trip from Dubrovnik to Montenegro.
Other tips & info
How to get from Dubrovnik to Budva & other beaches
Most of these buses continue down the coast to Ulcinj, just north of the Albanian border. When buying your ticket you will be shown the options that don’t require a transfer. Budva is another 30 minutes on and to reach Ulcinj is 1 hour 45 mins.
Dubrovnik to Kotor day trip
Taking the bus both directions is a long day, so I would recommend you doing this as a tour. Get Your Guide offers day trips from Dubrovnik to Kotor. This Montenegro tour will take you to Kotor and Budva from Dubrovnik.
Doing the day trip is a long day and will run from 11-12 hours. It would definitely be better to spend a night in Montenegro. There is so much to do in Kotor itself you could spend a week exploring all the city has to offer.
Another reason I would advise against a day trip is that Kotor can thousands of visitors during the day from the cruise ships. It is a completely different vibe when one or two ships are in the bay. If you spend the night, you will have the morning and evening without these tourists.
Is there a Dubrovnik to Montenegro train?
Unfortunately, there is no train line servicing the two countries. The only other way to reach Kotor is by driving yourself. You can rent cars at the best rate from Dubrovnik airport. Make sure the car has it’s green card as this is required to cross the border. However, don’t get fooled into having to pay extra for this card as it should be included in your rental insurance. If for some reason you don’t have the card at the border you can buy one for 15 Euros – still cheaper than buying through the car rental company.
What currency do you need
Croatia uses the Kuna and Montenegro uses the Euro. Which amused me seeing as Croatia is part of the EU and Montenegro is not.
Stops along the way
There are no lengthy stops along the way other than at the border. The bus should have a toilet on board, but again, be prepared in case it is broken or you have an older bus. Although the trip is short, you may want to pack some snacks for the bus ride anyway.
I hope this has answered all your questions about getting the bus from Dubrovnik to Kotor. If you have any other questions please drop them in the comments below.
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