Two easy ways to travel from Dubrovnik to Split
The secret is out: Getting from Dubrovnik to Split is a breeze. We break down your options so you can have a stress-free Balkan vacation.
Whether you’re a Game of Thrones fan wanting to track down the many filming locations in Croatia or simply want to experience another part of the Dalmatia region, visiting Split is an excellent choice.
Figuring out how to get from Dubrovnik to Split isn’t rocket science, but it can be difficult to figure out which type of transportation is best for you without knowing the area. I’ll help you sort through your options so you can get back to planning the fun activities you want to do once you arrive in Split.
How far is Dubrovnik from Split?
The distance from Dubrovnik to Split is about 230 kilometers. That equates to an approximately 4.5-hour travel time by bus, 5 hours by ferry, and 3 hours by a private minivan or car.
Needless to say, when traveling between Dubrovnik and Split, you can choose between going by land or water. I’ve crisscrossed Croatia by bus and ferry, and they both have their benefits that I’ll share with you here.
Option 1: Traveling to Split by land
I chose to take the bus from Dubrovnik to Split for logistical reasons. Unlike the ferry, the bus company Autotrans by Arriva offers a couple of morning departures.
Within minutes of departing Dubrovnik, I was thankful that my schedule offered me no other choice; the bus winded through mountainsides framing the Adriatic Sea, making me forget about the half-eaten muffin on my lap.
If you’re able to, sit on the driver’s side of the bus since you’ll have the best views.
Crossing the Bosnian border
The bus to Split from Dubrovnik comes with another benefit—bragging rights that you passed through another country on your way there. A quick look at a map of Croatia reveals that a sliver of Bosnia and Herzegovina juts down into the Adriatic Sea, claiming its only piece of oceanfront land.
Needless to say, not everyone will see this as a positive thing; driving from Dubrovnik to Split requires passing in and out of the Bosnian border. You read that right—you’ll need to pass through Croatian and Bosnian immigration a total of four times (exiting Croatia, entering Bosnia, exiting Bosnia, and entering Croatia).
There weren’t many vehicles ahead of my bus, so we were able to get up to immigration quickly, and our driver took our passports, so we never had to leave our seats. However, you can imagine the time involved for immigration officers to go through so many passports. Therefore, if you’d like to travel to Dubrovnik by land but want to reduce border crossing times, you can take a private minivan or car instead.
Dubrovnik to Split bus schedule
If the thought of taking a bus to Split and passing through Bosnia and Herzegovina excites you, below is the bus schedule.
|Departure time||Arrival time|
I recommend booking your ticket in advance, especially if you’re traveling during the high tourist season. Furthermore, try to take a morning bus so you can enjoy the views.
Option 2: Traveling to Split by ferry
Taking a ferry to Split is another excellent way to arrive from Dubrovnik. Instead of having views from above of the water, you’ll get to enjoy the Balkan’s rocky cliffs that plunge into the sea and Croatia’s many islands that dot its deep blue water.
Interestingly enough, the Dubrovnik to Split ferry takes approximately 4.5 hours, which is about as long as the bus, even though you never have to pass through immigration. However, the ferry makes four stops along the journey, racking up time that I think you’ll find worth spending—it gets you up close to picturesque island ports, which you can view from the outdoor observation deck.
Taking the Krilo ferry to Split is a comfortable way to travel, as you’ll be able to stretch your legs and grab a coffee from the café as you wander around the ship. If you’re prone to seasickness, you may want to bring some medicine with you, as the boat tends to rock on windy days.
Dubrovnik to Split ferry schedule
There’s only one ferry from Dubrovnik to Split per day, and its schedule is as follows:
|Departure time||Arrival time|
Unlike traveling to Split by land, which you can do year-round, the ferry only runs from April 1st – October 25th. Furthermore, if there’s severe weather, your ferry may get delayed or canceled. So, make sure to allow a little leeway in your travel plans, just in case.
Arriving in Split
Although traveling from Dubrovnik to Split by land and ferry offer completely different experiences, they merge once you arrive in Split—the Split bus station and ferry port sit diagonally across the road from each other.
This means that upon setting foot on Split’s soil, you’ll be in the heart of the city’s main attractions. Are you hungry from the journey? No problem—dozens of restaurants fitting various budgets will be a stone’s throw away. Do you want to get exploring right away? You’re in luck—you can practically see Diocletian’s Palace from the bus station and ferry port.
What about a Split day trip?
The historical part of Split is compact, making it easy to explore in a day. So, it might get you wondering if you can visit there as a Dubrovnik day trip.
Technically, you can. However, given the departure times of the bus and ferry, you’d have to go by private vehicle, leaving Dubrovnik early in the morning to make the trip worth it. Similarly, if you want to travel directly from the Dubrovnik airport to Split upon your arrival, arranging a private transfer will get your Split trip off to a smoother and faster start.