So many of our readers plan a visit to Split and Dubrovnik, and they often ask us the best way to get from Split to Dubrovnik. Or vice versa, how to get from Dubrovnik to Split.
It isn’t difficult to travel between the two. In fact, you have more than one travel option when it comes to the mode of transport, as well as routes.
And the following post will cover all the different options that will help you learn the best ways to get from Split to Dubrovnik and to get from Dubrovnik to Split.
Dubrovnik is 230 km southeast of Split, and you can get from Split to Dubrovnik by car, bus, ferry, and a private transfer. Without a doubt, driving is the best way of getting from Split to Dubrovnik. Boarding a ferry and cruising along Adriatic is another excellent way to get from Split to Dubrovnik during summer. There are between 20 and 30 daily bus connections between Split and Dubrovnik, including a night bus. The Trade Air airline operates flights between Split and Dubrovnik. Many companies offer a private transfer from Split to Dubrovnik.
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How to get from Split to Dubrovnik: Overview
People often like to know if they can visit Dubrovnik from Split and return to Split in a day. In short, it’s doable, but it will make a long day.
Dubrovnik is 230 km southeast of Split, and you can get from Split to Dubrovnik by car, bus, ferry, and a private transfer.
The fastest way is by car. It takes anywhere from three to four hours to reach Dubrovnik from Split by car, depending on the route you take and the time of year you visit. In July and August, you can expect more traffic on the roads, but also long lines at the border crossing in Neum if you decide to take that route. But, since July 2022, the newly built Peljesac Bridge has been completed and open to the public, allowing travelers to bypass Bosnia and Herzegovina when traveling between Split and Dubrovnik.
The traveling time between Split and Dubrovnik by catamaran is anywhere between 5h and 8h. Two companies operate these lines but none offers a direct line.
If you decide to travel by bus, it will take you just a bit over 4h to get from Split to Dubrovnik.
Split to Dubrovnik and Dubrovnik to Split by car
Without a doubt, driving is the best way of getting from Split to Dubrovnik.
You have two main options to get from Split to Dubrovnik by car:
- Taking the coastal road D8 (former E65)
- Taking the motorway A1 until the town of Ploce, and then taking a coastal road D8 from Ploce to Dubrovnik
Which road you should choose depends on your budget (the motorway has tolls), time of the year (in summer coastal road gets congested), your time (if in rush take the motorway), and personal preferences (some people just like driving on the smaller, scenic roads).
The coastal road D8 is one of the most scenic roads in all of Croatia, but it is also one of the most important roads ever built here. A new modern multilane A1 motorway connects Split with Ploce to the south, while from Ploce to Dubrovnik you again need to drive on a national D8 road. Recommended stops along the way from Ploce to Dubrovnik include a visit to Rizman winery on the hills above Komarna, a seafood lunch in Ston, and taking a Napoleon road from Slano to Trsteno.
If you don’t have a car, you can always rent one to travel from Split to Dubrovnik or from Dubrovnik to Split.
The shortest way to get from Dubrovnik to Split, or from Split to Dubrovnik is by the coastal road, crossing the Peljesac Bridge that connects mainland Croatia in the village of Komarna with the Peljesac peninsula in the village of Brijesta, and bypasses Bosnia and Herzegovina on your way from Split to Dubrovnik or Dubrovnik to Split.
Driving on the coastal road D8 (E65)
Until a decade ago the coastal road D8 (E65) was the only way to reach Dubrovnik from Split.
D8, better known as Jadranska magistrala (Adriatic Highway) or simply magistrala, stretches from the Slovenian-Croatian border above Rijeka all the way south to the Croatian-Montenegrin border.
This coastal road is one of the most scenic roads in all of Croatia, but it is also one of the most important roads ever built here. Before the D8 road was constructed in 1970, the only way to reach Rijeka from Split was by boat. There was no railroad or other roads.
Nowadays, only locals and enthusiasts use this road to travel from the north to the south. However, this doesn’t mean the road is traffic-free. Quite opposite!
In fact, D8’s busiest road sequence is between Split and Dubrovnik, especially the part between Split and Ploce. The road passes through many coastal villages and it gets busy with locals and tourists alike.
We drove on this road many times and if you have time, you aren’t a nervous driver, and you aren’t in rush, we can’t but recommend taking the D8.
This sea-front drive is lovely, taking you through many cozy coastal towns, and past incredible coves and beaches while offering breathtaking views all along the way.
Besides a few short parts, the D8 road is a single-carriageway. The road is winding. It runs parallel to the coastline, and through craggy cliffs. However, the vistas along this road are some of the nicest you’ll see anywhere.
The coastal road is toll-free.
Getting from Split to Dubrovnik by car on a motorway A1
A new modern multilane A1 motorway connects Split with Ploce to the south, while from Ploce to Dubrovnik you again need to drive on a national D8 road. The motorway has tolls, and one-way tolls amount to 3.90 €.
If you plan to drive on the A1 motorway from Split to Dubrovnik, you will catch the motorway at the junction of Dugopolje.
This junction is just under 20 km away from Split and it takes 15 to 20 minutes to reach it. Once you join the motorway, you will drive on this multilane road for about 100 km before joining the coastal road D8 near Ploce.
From here it takes another 100 km and about 1.30h to reach Dubrovnik. The travel time just got shorter since July 2022, when a new bridge connecting mainland Croatia in the village of Komarna and Brijesta on the Peljesac peninsula is opened. This bridge allows travelers to travel entirely through Croatian territory, bypassing Bosnia & Herzegovina. So you avoid any border crossing and the waiting time that goes hand in hand with it.
If you are up for an adventure, and you like to see something different, drive a part of your trajectory through Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Follow highway A1 into Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the direction of Medugorje. From there, take a state road through the following towns Capljina, Stolac, Bjeljina, and Trebinje before crossing the border back into Croatia, in Ivanica, 11 km south of Dubrovnik.
What to see on the way from Dubrovnik to Split (and vice versa): Recommended stops
If you are not in rush you might plan to stop along the way and enjoy some of the attractions, like zip-lining in Omis; dipping in a blue Adriatic at Pisak, Brela, or Nugal beach; or visiting Biokovo nature park.
Recommended stops along the way from Ploce to Dubrovnik include a visit to Rizman winery on the hills above Komarna, a seafood lunch in Ston, and taking a Napoleon road from Slano to Trsteno. If you are up to tasting something different, you can also plan a lunch stop at the Duda and Mate restaurant in Vid. Here you can taste Brujet od zaba i jegulja, a traditional fish stew made of frogs and eels.
Renting a car
If you don’t have a car, you can always rent one to travel from Split to Dubrovnik or from Dubrovnik to Split. You can also pick up a car in Split, and drop it off in Dubrovnik.
Renting a car can as well prove to be the cheapest option under the following circumstances:
- If you are 3 or more people, renting can be cheaper than a bus, ferry, or transfer.
- When you book your car as much in advance as possible, you can profit from the super cheap prices.
- Don’t forget that bus fare stays the same regardless of the season, while car rental prices change with the demand. This means that offseason you can definitely save money on car rental compared with other options.
Parking in Dubrovnik is expensive. Check our Dubrovnik Travel Guide for more information.
Crossing Peljesac Bridge
The shortest way to get from Dubrovnik to Split, or from Split to Dubrovnik is by the coastal road.
Before July 2022, in order to get from Split to Dubrovnik or vice versa when traveling by road, you had to pass through Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the town of Neum. It created two kinds of problems, one was increased travel time because of the waiting time at the borders, and second, for those who need visas for Croatia, it would have been considered an official exit and a new entry into the country. So people with visas had to make sure to have multiple-entry visas or would choose another, longer way to reach Dubrovnik.
However, on 26 July 2022, after three years of construction, the Peljesac Bridge, connecting mainland Croatia with Peljesac peninsula and bypassing Bosnia and Herzegovina, was finally finalized, inaugurated, and opened to traffic. The bridge is 2.4 km long, and the crossing is free of charge. However, pedestrians cyclists and all motor vehicles that can travel only at speeds of less than 60 km/ hour are not allowed to use it. They will still need to use the old coastal road that goes through Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Also, not all connecting roads are fully finished. Until their completion, scheduled for June 2023, the heavy-load trucks, and trucks carrying hazardous material, will also still have to transit through Neum in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Border crossing in Neum
Two parts of Croatia are separated by the Bosnian Riviera in Neum. It’s an almost 10 km long stretch of coast that actually belongs to Bosnia. If you decide not to take Peljesac Bridge in Komarna, then you will need to cross into Bosnia in order to reach Dubrovnik. You will need to pass two border controls (one to get out of Croatia, and then another to get into Croatia again): Klek and Zaton Doli.
Although the majority of travelers are just in transit from one part of Croatia to another, technically, since Croatia joined the EU in 2013, it’s considered an official exit and re-entrance into the country.
For people who don’t need a visa, this isn’t important. Like elsewhere, EU citizens, as well as Swiss, Norwegian, and Lichtenstein citizens, can cross the border using only an ID. Non-EU citizens will get a stamp on their passports every time they cross the Croatian border.
If you need a visa for Croatia and plan to take this road, make sure to have a multiple-entry visa. Otherwise, once out of Croatia, you won’t be able to re-enter on a single entry visa. Keep this in mind when planning your visit to Croatia. Or, simply, avoid going through Bosnia by taking the Peljesac Bridge when traveling between Split and Dubrovnik.
Split to Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik to Split ferry
Boarding a ferry and cruising along Adriatic is another great way to get from Split to Dubrovnik during the summer season. However, the travel takes a long time, and if you travel off-season it can be pretty challenging if not impossible.
Two companies operate a passenger-only ferry between Split and Dubrovnik: Jadrolinija and Krilo.
Jadrolinija sails every day from June through September. The ferry departs Dubrovnik at 7 am, arriving in Split around 1 pm. It departs from Split at 3:30 pm and arrives in Dubrovnik at 9:25 pm. The one-way ticket costs 240 Kn per person. The boat also stops in Hvar, Bol, and Korcula along the way.
Krilo ferry Split Dubrovnik sails from April to end-October. It leaves Split at 7.40 am and arrives in Dubrovnik at noon. It leaves Dubrovnik at 4.30 pm (4.00 pm from Sept to late Oct) and arrives to Split at 8.55 pm (8.25 pm from Sept to late Oct). It also stops in Milna (Brac Island), Hvar, Korcula, and Pomena (Mljet Island).
Krilo also has another ferry operating between the two towns from June through September with a bit different sailing route. It departs Split at 7.30 am and arrives in Dubrovnik at noon. It departs Dubrovnik at 4 pm and arrives in Split at 8.45 pm. The ferry also stops along the way in Bol (Brac Island), Makarska, Korcula, Sobra (Mljet Island). A one-way ticket from Split to Dubrovnik costs 280 Kn per person.
Split to Dubrovnik bus
Traveling by bus in Croatia is easy, and convenient, and even more so in Dalmatia. Buses are the main public transport as trains are almost non-existent, slow, and unreliable. A network of bus lines covers many routes all over Croatia, and connections between main tourist hubs are quite frequent.
There are anywhere between 10 and 20 daily bus connections between Split and Dubrovnik, including a night bus. Different bus companies operate on this route. A one-way ticket for Split Dubrovnik bus costs anywhere between 13 € and 23 € per person. The trip takes between 4 and 5 hours depending on the route (coastal vs highway) and the number of stops along the way.
The first bus leaves Split at 2.30 am and arrives in Dubrovnik at 6.45 am. The last bus of the day leaves Split at 6.45 pm and arrives in Dubrovnik just before midnight.
The best place to check the bus schedule and buy an online bus ticket is the Get By Bus website, although they don’t feature all possible connections.
Split to Dubrovnik train
This paragraph is nothing but a trick paragraph. Because the Dubrovnik Split train doesn’t exist. In fact, Dubrovnik doesn’t have any railroads today. So, no train comes to Dubrovnik.
If you are interested in a bit of history regarding Dubrovnik train travel, here it is!
Back in time (from 1901 to 1976) Dubrovnik could be reached by train. A narrow-gauge railway called Ciro connected Dubrovnik’s hinterland with the European train network via Gabela and Sarajevo. Anyways, the railroad isn’t there for over 40 years, but today the trail is revitalized and used as a cycling trail, plus the former train station in Siljeski today houses a restaurant serving traditional comfort food of the Konavle region, like meat and potato peka.
Traveling by plane
I don’t really understand why anyone would travel from Split to Dubrovnik by air. The two towns are, in my opinion, close enough one to another to bother taking the plane, passing through the security check, arriving at least an hour in advance, and so on…
However, if you just prefer to travel by air, or you have a single entry visa for Croatia, and can’t really use Neum Corridor to get to Dubrovnik, then you have the option to take a plane from one to another.
The Trade Air airline operates flights between Split and Dubrovnik. A one-way ticket starts at 45€ per person. You can find more info on the Trade Air website.
Private transfer from Split to Dubrovnik
If you aren’t comfortable driving in Croatia but don’t feel to use public transport, hiring a private transfer from Split to Dubrovnik or Dubrovnik to Split might be a good idea.
Many companies offer a private transfer from Split to Dubrovnik, among others Get Your Guide, Transfers Croatia and Connecto Transfers. You can also use websites like Rideways to book your transfer online. Expect to pay around 330 € per vehicle for a one-way transfer.
You can also arrange with a transfer company a few visits along the way, turning your transfer into a day trip.
- Driving in Croatia
- Car Rental in Croatia
- Dubrovnik Croatia Travel Guide
- Things To Do In Dubrovnik
- Best Day Trips From Dubrovnik
- Split Croatia Travel Guide
- Things To Do In Split
- Croatia Travel Guide: Things To Know Before Traveling To Croatia
- Tips For First-Time Travel To Croatia
- Getting Around Croatia
- Where To Go In Croatia
- Packing List For Vacation In Croatia
We hoped we answered all your questions regarding getting from Split to Dubrovnik and vice versa. Should you have more questions, or suggestions, please leave them in the comments below.