Most people go from Croatia to Montenegro for a day trip, but we did the opposite. We were staying in Kotor and wanted a quick trip to Dubrovnik. This day-long excursion was a splurge, but it’s one we accepted in order to see the historic fortification around the old city.
The bus from Kotor to Dubrovnik cost $40 for two people, one way. Expensive for a day trip. We don’t normally spend that kind of money on a day trip, but my breast cancer surgery recovery altered our plans. We were supposed to have stayed in Dubrovnik, but we never made it.
The ride from Kotor to Dubrovnik took just under three hours, and about 2.5 hours on the way back into Montenegro that night. En route to Dubrovnik, the bus went by the airport in Tivat, and then on the car ferry across the bay, and then north to the Croatian border.
Once in Dubrovnik, we immediately bought our return tickets (another $40). Then it cost the equivalent of $5 for the two of us to grab a city bus from the station to the old town.
We only had about 4.5 hours to play tourist. The main thing to do in Dubrovnik is to walk the walls around the old city – and so that’s what we did. And that cost $48 for two people.
Why we wanted a quick trip to Dubrovnik
The Walls of Dubrovnik are considered to be among the greatest fortifications in the Middle Ages. We wanted to see them. The walls were changed and updated many times throughout history. During the breakup of Yugoslavia, Serbia shelled Croatia from the sea and damaged some of the walls.
We met a former Croatian soldier on our travels who was stationed in Dubrovnik during the war. He recounted moving through the old town while under fire. That’s pretty wild stuff — and it’s happened again and again throughout Balkan history.
The walls you see today are a darn good representation of what this fortification looked like ages ago. Forts, gates, towers, moats – this system was incredibly complex. Today, tourists “walk the walls.”
Tips for a quick trip to Dubrovnik
We were on the walls in the late afternoon in early September, so the sunlight was just right.
Tip: bring water – it’s hot. Before we started we spent $2 on a liter bottle of water.
Tip: go when there is no cruise ship at port. We passed thousands of tourists, but there would have been thousands more if boats had been docked.
Tip: resign yourself to accept things cost more in this tourist town. Tedly bought a beer on the walls, for a hefty $7. A soda off the walls, down in old town, cost me $2.
After sunset, we had a snack with an amazing view. A cheese plate for two with a beer for Tedly cost about $28, including the tip.
And then we blew another $10 for a taxi ride back to the bus station across town.
Expensive day trip, but…
Even though $182 was a steep tab for us retired budget travelers, at least we got to experience walking the Walls of Dubrovnik. Despite my breast cancer setback.
This is why we travel: to experience the world. Can you really put a price on that?
- Living in a Soviet-era apartment building away from tourists in Split, Croatia
- Why I love Omis Croatia
- Gorgeous, amazing views from Kotor castle ruins