How to get from Dubrovnik to Kotor

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Are you planning a trip to the Balkans and wondering how to get from Dubrovnik to Kotor? This popular route offers stunning views of the Adriatic Sea and a chance to explore two beautiful cities in the region. There are several transportation options available for travellers, including buses, private transfers, and car rentals.

In this article, we’ll explore the different ways to travel from Dubrovnik to Kotor, including the popular Balkan buses, private transfers, and rental cars. We’ll also provide some tips to help you save money and make the most of your journey, including what to see and do along the way.

Dubrovnik is a beautiful destination

Whether you’re looking to save money on a bus ticket prices option or a more comfortable and convenient way to travel, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in and discover how to get from Dubrovnik to Kotor, one of the most beautiful routes in the Balkans.

Why should you visit Kotor?

The hills seem to rise straight up from the waters of Kotor Bay enclosing this Fjord like a land lost in time. Snow-capped peaks, blue crystal clear waters, and a thousand-year-old castle are what you will find if you visit Kotor.

The Dubrovnik to Kotor drive is a 92-kilometre trip. Dubrovnik to Montenegro Border is only half that distance. This is a short distance but you should allow over 2 hours for the journey each way on a Dubrovnik Kotor trip.

You see Croatia and Montenegro are not part of the European Union and border controls are still in place. So whether you are on a bus from Dubrovnik to Kotor or driving to Kotor you will be stopped 4 times on your return journey.

You stop going out of Croatia than a few hundred meters along you stop going into Montenegro. They tell me this can be a long and irritating process in the summer months sometimes taking over an hour. We were lucky we visited in the winter and were through in 5 minutes.

The Bus from Dubrovnik to Kotor

One of the most popular ways to travel from Dubrovnik to Kotor is by bus. There are several bus companies that operate the Dubrovnik to Kotor bus route, including Croatia Bus, Blue Line, and Bus Croatia.

The red roofs of the kotor old town view from above
The amazing Kotor Bay

The bus takes approximately 3-4 hours, depending on traffic and border crossing times. Buses typically depart from Dubrovnik’s main bus station and arrive at Kotor Bus Station. Prices vary depending on the time of year but expect to pay around €20-€30 for a one-way ticket on this bus route.

Private Transfer from Dubrovnik to Kotor

If you prefer a more personalised and comfortable mode of transportation, a private transfer might be the best option for you. Private transfers allow you to travel in a private vehicle with a driver and can be arranged through a variety of companies.

Prices vary depending on the size of the vehicle and the number of passengers, for a one-way transfer. Some companies even offer sightseeing stops along the way, making this a great option if you want to make the most of your journey.

Car Rental from Dubrovnik to Kotor

If you prefer to have the freedom to explore on your schedule, renting a car is a great option. There are several car rental companies located in Dubrovnik, including Avis, Budget, and Europcar. Be aware that driving in Montenegro can be challenging, with narrow, winding roads and cliffs.

If you are planning to drive from Croatia to Montenegro, you will need to obtain a Green Card from your insurance provider. This will ensure that you are covered in the event of an accident or other incident while driving in Montenegro. Prices vary depending on the type of car and rental duration, but expect to pay around €40-€60 per day.

Taxi from Dubrovnik to Kotor

If you’re travelling in a group, a taxi might be a more convenient option. Taxis can be arranged through your hotel or a taxi company. Prices vary depending on the number of passengers and the time of day but expect to pay around €100-€150 for a one-way trip.

Border Crossing Tips from Dubrovnik to Kotor

If you’re travelling with one of the many bus companies, car rental, or private transfer, you’ll need to cross the border between Croatia and Montenegro. You can expect delays for up to a few hours so plan. Here are a few tips to make the border crossing process smoother:

  • Make sure you have a valid passport or ID card
  • Be prepared for long wait times, especially during peak season
  • Have your documents ready and easily accessible to avoid delays at the border
  • Follow the instructions of officials at the border crossing

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Day tours to Kotor – travelling from Dubrovnik

If you’re looking for a relaxing and hassle-free way to explore Kotor, then a day tour from Dubrovnik is an excellent option. With everything organised for you, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenic journey across the border into Montenegro.

The defensive walls at Kotor Montenegro
The Medieval town walls of Kotor

Unlike waiting for buses at Dubrovnik bus station or rental car companies, a day tour provides the convenience of a pre-planned itinerary, taking you directly to Kotor’s highlights without any wasted time or confusion on things like Green Card insurance. You can soak up the town’s rich history and culture, climb the city walls for breathtaking views, and enjoy free time to explore at your leisure.

And at the end of the day, you can sit back and relax on the return journey to Dubrovnik, reflecting on the unforgettable memories you’ve made in one of Montenegro’s most charming destinations. It may not be the cheapest way compared to public transport or driving from Dubrovnik, but the extra cost is worth it to visit this beautiful place in one day.

Below you will find some of the best day tours to Kotor on a day trip from Dubrovnik

Kotor Bay Day Trip from Dubrovnik with Boat Ride to Lady of the Rock

This tour offers a day trip from Dubrovnik to the picturesque town of Kotor in Montenegro. The tour group includes a scenic boat ride to the nearby Lady of the Rock island, a visit to the old town of Kotor with its medieval architecture, and an opportunity to climb the city walls for breathtaking views of the Bay of Kotor.

The tour also includes free time for independent exploration and shopping. The tour is organised and hassle-free, making it an ideal option for those looking for a relaxing and convenient way to discover the beauty of Kotor. For more information and booking search here

From Dubrovnik: Guided Day Trip to Bay of Kotor

The Bay of Kotor tour is a full-day excursion from Dubrovnik, Croatia that takes visitors to the picturesque Bay of Kotor in Montenegro. The tour includes a scenic drive along the Adriatic coast, a ferry ride across the bay, and stops at several charming coastal towns and villages along the way.

Visitors will have the opportunity to explore the historic city of Kotor, climb to the top of the city walls for panoramic views, and visit the Our Lady of the Rocks island church. The tour also includes free time for shopping, dining, or simply enjoying the natural beauty of the bay. For more information and bookings, click here.

Sights to see on your Dubrovnik Kotor day trip

Any day trip to Kotor should include the following sites that we visited on our trip.

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Our Lady of the Rocks

Our Lady of the Rocks is one of 2 small islands that sit in the UNESCO World Heritage Kotor Bay on the coast of Montenegro. The island is one of the most famous sights in the Bay of Kotor. What makes Our Lady of the Rocks so interesting, besides its location in one of the most beautiful spots in the world is that it is the home to a legend associated with the Virgin Mary.

The Island church in Kotor Bay
Our Lady of The Rocks in Kotor Bay

The tale goes two sailors, one with an injured leg crashed on a rock and found a statue of the Virgin Mary. They took this as a sign and were able to get to shore safely, carrying the Virgin Mary. The next day the injured sailor’s leg was healed and the Virgin statue was gone.

They saw this as a miracle and vowed to make some sort of monument on the spot where they found the Virgin Mary.

Over the centuries rocks were thrown into the water, ships were sunk until an island was created. Church of Gospa od Skrpjela as it is called in Montenegro is the dominant feature on the island in Kotor Bay. It is practically the only thing on the island besides a small storage and maintenance shed.

Inside the church, you will find a beautiful marble altar that was crafted in Genoa and shipped to the church in 1796. On the ceilings and walls, there are 68 canvas pictures of the Virgin Mary depicting her life. There is also a museum housed in the church.

Dubrovnik to Kotor day trip things to see: Kotor Fortress

Let me start by saying that the view from Kotor Fortress is amazing, maybe the best in all of Europe.  Secondly, I will tell you it’s 1500 steps to the castle and the only way there is on foot. A quick rundown on Kotor Fortress. There has been a fortification on the site since the time of Christ. In the 6th century, emperor Justinian I took control of the site and built the fortress.

The fortress remained pretty much unchanged over the next 800 years until 1420. The rulers at this time The Republic of Cattaro finally gave in to Venetian control. Under the Venetians, the Fortress was upgraded and the Mountain fortifications were constructed to look like what you see them today.

A view of Kotor Fortress
Kotor Castle over looking Kotor

We will say it was not an easy climb but you are rewarded every time you shop with an ever-expanding ever more beautiful view. As you get closer to the stop top, you’ll see a sign on the walls pointing to your left to the Chapel of St Ivan. This is where the magic begins, an Alice in Wonderland moment was upon us.

There is a hole in the fortification’s wall leading to what can only be described as a step back in time, into the land from another time, into Alice in Wonderland I heard it described as. You will find remains of an 11th-century building and an old rundown chapel still standing with fading frescos on the ceiling.

There are few things as rewarding as reaching Kotor Fortress. The final few steps to the highest perch that allows you the picture-perfect view. A view that is breathtaking at the least and awe-inspiring for all who make it.

Things to see on a Dubrovnik to Kotor day trip

One of the many small squares with cafe's in Kotor Old Town
Kotor Old Town

Kotor Old town is a winding labyrinth of streets and squares surrounded by the defence walls facing the bay. Mountains acting as barriers lie behind the old town. Unlike most old towns that have one large central square, Kotor has many small squares with narrow streets leading in all directions. You will find restaurants, shops, café, hotels and hostels.

Now is the time to visit the old town before the lure of tourism drives the original business out. Soon to be replaced with souvenir shops that service the cruise lines that pull into the Port of Kotor. In the summer months, the Port of Kotor is kept busy daily with ships coming and going.

The tower of the Kotor cathedral with Kotor Castle in the back ground
Kotor Cathedral in the old town

Kotor cathedral is one of the highlights of the old town of Kotor. Officially known as St Tryphon cathedral it was consecrated way back in 1166. St Tryphon cathedral is one of only 2 cathedrals in Montenegro. The Cathedral of Kotor is dedicated to St. Tryphon, who became the patron Saint of the ancient town.

According to legend, the body of St Tryphon was brought here by Venetian merchants because they were forced to seek shelter in the Bay of Kotor due to bad weather. The citizens of Kotor decided to buy the remains of St Tryphon and make him the patron saint of Kotor at the Roman Catholic Church.

The inside of the cathedral contains frescos painted by Greek masters in the 14th century. A collection of religious relics are on display in the small museum on the second floor of this Papal Basilica. The highlight of the collection is the hand of St Tryphon. It’s housed in a glove made from silver.

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Tanjga The best of Kotor Restaurants.

A plate of meats we had on our Dubrovnik to Kotor day trip

If you only get to eat in Kotor at one place make sure it is the amazing Tanjga restaurant. It is located just 100 meters away from the south gate entrance to the Kotor Old town. We were greeted by the owner a larger-than-life character big in stature, and big in voice. Seizing on our indecisiveness he said to leave it to me I will bring you food. We sat down and waited.

We were presented with a massive platter full of what can only be described as a party for your taste buds. It had meats of lamb, beef, pork and chicken. Adorned with amazing roast potatoes that cook in a rotisserie and collect flavour from the drippings of the meat.

Fresh tomatoes and vegetables make this a meal many will be unable to finish. We can’t speak highly enough of Tanjga. It is certainly one of the best Kotor Restaurants.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a Dubrovnik to Kotor train:?

There is no direct train route between these two destinations

Is there a Dubrovnik to Kotor Ferry:?

The only ferry from Montenegro runs to Bari in Italy

Can I get a private transfer between Dubrovnik and Kotor?

A transfer between these 2 destinations will cost you from $150 USD upwards. Click here for options

Getting to Dubrovnik

  • Dubrovnik is the 10th biggest city in Croatia.
  • Dubrovnik Airport is serviced by some of the top Airlines such as Lufthansa, British Airways, Austrian Airways and Air Serbia just to name a few. We recommend MOMONDO for your flight searches. Dubrovnik Airport is located 15.5km for Dubrovnik City Centre. Book your airport transfer here!
  • The bus from Dubrovnik airport stops at Pile Gate in front of Old Town Dubrovnik, then continues to Main Bus Station in Gruž Port.
  • Book a bus to Dubrovnik from domestic and international locations
  • Rent a car on arrival at Dubrovnik Airport with Auto Europe

Getting around Dubrovnik

  • All the areas of Dubrovnik are conveniently linked by buses that run according to the timetable, anywhere from every 10 minutes to every half hour. Many buses begin running at about 5.00 in the morning and pick up their last passengers after midnight.

Where to stay in Dubrovnik

The Croatian city of Dubrovnik has a large range of accommodation options from hotels to apartments and hostels. Search the map below for great options.

You can easily go back from Kotor to Dubrovnik with any of the options listed above. If you’re doing an organised day tour, then the Kotor to Dubrovnik return is guaranteed.

We hope this article from us here at Wyld Family Travel has you inspired to visit Kotor in Montenegro. There are so many things to do in and around Kotor that will have singles, couples and families entertained for your family stay. For more amazing ideas on where to holiday in Montenegro click through to our Montenegro Destination Guide page for more brilliant family travel inspiration

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2 thoughts on “How to get from Dubrovnik to Kotor”

  1. This article really captivated me. I want to do everything you listed here when I go to Kotor in 4 weeks. I’m not going to be driving and would really like to book a tour, however, will they offer me enough time to see Lady of the Rocks, climb up to the Fortress, visit the Old Town and eat at the restaurant? I would love to know there was a tour that would provide me that sort of time. This all just looks so incredible to me and I’d hate to miss a thing.

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