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Ferry or bus Split to Dubrovnik and back

I will be traveling to Split and the to Drobrovnik and back to Split, while not ideal I had no choice because ferry from Dubrovnik to Bari was full. So, I was thinking about taking the ferry in one direction and the bus the other. Question, how is the bus for luggage? I have a carryon and a larger backpack. What about the view? Would love to hear from those of you who have done one of the other. (Will probably take the shorter ferry, one looked like it stopped at less islands and was at least an hour and half shorter)

Posted by
3518 posts

Personally, I would never take a bus when a catamaran is available. Take Krilo, not Jadrolinija. On the catamaran you can go up on the top deck, get a drink, use a clean bathroom, and have beautiful sea views. I don’t like feeling confined like you do on a bus.

Posted by
1192 posts

Several years ago I took the bus from Split to Dubrovnik. It was quite easy and not uncomfortable, though there isn't much leg room if the person in front of you reclines their seat. Going from Split to Dubrovnik you want to be on the RIGHT side (passengers' side) for the gorgeous views. Going from Dubrovnik to Split you want to be on the LEFT side (driver's side) for the views. The bus stop in Split is by the waterfront. Any local can probably tell you where. It was within easy walking distance from my hotel in the Diocletian's Palace area. I bought a bus ticket at an office near the water and they told me which bus bay my bus would be arriving at. People queue up to give the driver their luggage, which he then stores underneath the bus. I sort of cheated by leaving my bag momentarily on the sidewalk, and went inside the bus FIRST in order to put my hat and scarf down on a seat on the view-side of the bus. I then went out of the bus to queue up to have my bag put under the bus. I have some lovely photos of the scenery. (You may have slightly better views on the trip from Split to Dubrovnik rather than the other way around, because you don't have other traffic between you and the views.) The trip takes a little over three hours, and there is one rest stop for about 15" for folks to use facilities, have a smoke and/or purchase refreshments. Once I arrived in Dubrovnik I took a bus from the bus station into town; I asked around for the bus into the old city and was told where to go. The bus driver dropped me at the top of a long staircase that ended beside the main gate into the old city. Apparently at some time of the day that bus stops at the top of the staircase and at other times of the day it stops right in front of the main gate into the old city. I believe I took my rolling bag with me onto that bus.

Posted by
23 posts

I agree with all the previous comments. As a local I would definitely recommed you to to take a bus since it's far more scenic than catamaran. You can take your carryon on the bus, and you can leave your backpack in the bus storage. You just need to pay 2
Euro to the bus driver for this service.

Posted by
53 posts

I am not sure why a catamaran would not be scenic???? I think I will take the bus down to Dubrovnik and then take the catamaran back and yes will use krilo. Thanks for the input!

Posted by
53 posts

Just wanted to update. I took a Krilo catamaran from Split to Dubrovnik. No frills, it stopped at every island, no upper deck, no drinks. Sit in your seat for four hours. There may have been a view but they loaded up a bunch of boxes in front of the window I was sitting at. After a bunch of people got off at Hvar I moved up front to a window seat that was not blocked so it was on the Adriatic side and not the coastline side, so it was ok but probably less scenic than if I had sat on the other side. When we got off it was basically a free for all for the luggage. This seemed to be an older catamaran and I would say the voyage was not unpleasant, but certainly not geared towards a scenic enjoyable tourist ride, very utilitarian.

I took a Flixbus back to Split. I booked the panorama seat up on top at the front of the bus on the aisle. I would call it somewhat terrifying, but great view out the windows. No one chose to sit next to me in the window seat so that was a bonus. The bus was supposed to be direct but stopped in at least three towns to pickup passengers. We were 45 minutes late getting into Split. I know the couple next to me were worried about making their train connection. The bus only went a very short way along the coast, most of the time we were on the autobahn on the interior. In spots it was somewhat scenic, but not nearly as scenic as the coast could have been. I fell asleep. The seats were not very wide and I would have hated to have had someone sit next to me. Also less legroom than an airplane. When we arrived in Split it was a free for all to get luggage, just like the catamaran. So after doing both, IMHO go with the catamaran, just more comfortable seating and it was on time, bus was just not scenic enough to put up with the cramped seating.

Posted by
1192 posts

I don't know the name of the company of the bus line that I took from Split to Dubrovnik, but there were no "panorama seats" on an upper level. The bus made several stops at pullover areas along the road to let people on and off but did not pull into towns with bus stations. The seats were all on one level, and the bus took the coastal road, which was gorgeous. dkcmontana, I'm sorry that your bus apparently took a different, less scenic route. I hope that you got to experience some beautiful Croatian scenery elsewhere!

Posted by
7 posts

The bus journey between Split and Dubrovnik in Croatia is generally quite manageable with luggage, as most buses have a separate luggage compartment where you can store larger items. Your carry-on and larger backpack should not be an issue. Regarding the view, the coastal road between Split and Dubrovnik is renowned for its stunning views of the Adriatic Sea and the islands. However, a ferry ride also offers beautiful views and a unique experience traveling among the Dalmatian islands. Both options have their own charm, so your choice might depend on your personal preference for comfort, speed, and the type of experience you seek during your journey.

Posted by
5684 posts

That's why someone said the catamaran would not be scenic, and yes, they don't all have external seating. Last year when I went to Split and island hopped for a few days, I learned after one catamaran ride that they are fast but not very much fun. On the other hand, the actual slower car ferries have adequate outdoor seating and are just glorious and fun. But there is no ferry between Split and Dubrovnik anymore, just the catamaran.

This is all too late for you the OP of course, but... there is a car ferry from Split to Vela Luka on Korcula. You can take a local bus from there to Korcula Town and from there, another bus to Dubrovnik...or the catamaran the rest of the way. That's a lot less convenient of course than just taking a direct catamaran with stops or a bus. Makes more sense if you plan to stop for a few days on Korcula.