Why does it take so long to get from Dubrovnik to Mostar?

Hello! On our next trip we are getting to spend 3 nights in Dubrovnik and I wanted to include one day trip from there. I've looked at the popular options and really think I would like to see Mostar. I've priced the private guide option and the big bus tour option, but I would really just like to take a public transport bus. When I look at the schedules, I can see an 8am departure, but there is no arrival time information. Reading reviews of private tours and Atlas tours, though, many people make reference to what a "long" day it is...3 hours each way. 6 hours is a lot of transport time for a day trip. When I look at the mileage between these two cities, it shows as a trip of 50 miles. I know there's a border crossing involved, but why does the trip take so long? Does anyone know the actual driving time for the public bus?

Posted by Arnold
Denver, CO, USA
1000 posts

It maybe that the trip is through mountainous areas - I know that the trip from Sarajevo to Mostar takes two hours even though the distance seems to be about 45 miles. I have not traveled between Dubrovnik and Mostar so someone else can confirm if it is mountainous or something else that makes the journey so long.

Posted by Jennifer
Denver, US
142 posts

I imagine that there would be two border control checks and they take time depending on traffic and # of passengers on the bus (s). I recently took a day trip from Dub to Kotor and it took 2.5 hours due to border control checks and it is a one lane windy road. We encountered slow drivers and construction.

Posted by Laura
Virginia, USA
2891 posts

I was curious as I've traveled this route by bus and it seemed a lot longer than 50 miles. The roads are narrow and curvy in many places. If you want to see why it takes so long, take a look at the viaMichelin.com and plug the cities into the route planner. This shows the route to be 142km (about 88 miles) and you will notice the low speed limits.

Posted by Paul
Cedar, IA, USA
2371 posts

Yes, the terrain is rugged, the roads narrow, the buses slow. Technically, you cross the border three times, though maybe at least one of them is a non-issue. We chose to spend the night in Mostar, using it as a stop on the return to Split from Dubrovnik.

Posted by Christy
Seattle, WA
684 posts

Laura's rightit's more like 88 miles. We didn't lose too much time at the border, but you go through towns (with stoplights), and it's a regular highway, not a fast interstate-type highway. I would discourage a day trip. We also spent the night, and it was so lovely at night and in the morning. But during the day, with the hoards of tour bus passengers cramming the narrow streets...not fun. Frankly, I think 2 nights is plenty for Dubrovnik, unless you know you have 3 nights worth of sightseeing you want to do (ie other day trips)the town was SO much smaller and more touristy than I expected, and the crowds really got to me. So I think you could spare a night for Mostar.

Posted by Christy
Seattle, WA
684 posts

Laura's right; it's more like 88 miles. We didn't lose too much time at the border, but you go through towns (with stoplights), and it's a regular highway, not a fast interstate-type highway. I would discourage a day trip. We also spent the night, and it was so lovely at night and in the morning. But during the day, with the hoards of tour bus passengers cramming the narrow streets...not fun. Frankly, I think 2 nights is plenty for Dubrovnik, unless you know you have 3 nights worth of sightseeing you want to do (ie other day trips)--the town was SO much smaller and more touristy than I expected, and the crowds really got to me. So I think you could spare a night for Mostar.

Posted by Monte
Genesee, ID
1376 posts

Trains in that part of the world do not go fast. The fastest trains stop every now and then. There appears to be lots of milk cans to pick up. What would be called intercity trains in eastern Europe are miserably slow.