If you are thinking about taking a Montenegro Day trip from Dubrovnik, you’ve landed in the right place! This article explains how you can explore one of the best-hidden gems of Europe in a day.
Dubrovnik is a popular town in Croatia that offers quick access to a handful of wonderful destinations in the Balkans including Montenegro.
Many travelers who visit Dubrovnik take a day trip to Kotor Bay and Budva in Montenegro, a pearl of the Adriatic famous for its pristine azure coastline with pebbly beaches, grottoes and dramatic mountains further inland.
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If you are spending your vacation in Dubrovnik and are wondering about how you can visit Montenegro, I wrote this article for you. I travelled from Dubrovnik to Montenegro by bus and tour, and after getting so many questions about it, I decided to explain everything in the article.
Where is Montenegro?
Montenegro is located along the Adriatic Coast of Southern Europe. It borders Serbia to the north, Kosovo, and Albania to the southeast, and Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to the west.
How long is Croatia Montenegro border crossing time?
Crossing the border between Croatia and Montenegro is very straightforward and usually takes about 1 hour, but it could take longer, depending on the timing of your trip. If you are traveling from Croatia to Montenegro during summer, be ready to spend more time at the border, because it’s the busy season with many travelers coming to Montenegro.
How far is the Montenegro border from Dubrovnik?
The border between Croatia and Montenegro is only 45 km away from Dubrovnik and takes about 1 hour to get to, as you follow the coastline.
Once you cross the border, follow the posted speed limit and follow the signs, to avoid fines.
PRO TIP: In Croatia, the official currency is kuna, while Montenegro has euros.
Here are the distances between Dubrovnik and some of the most popular destinations in Montenegro.
- Dubrovnik to Tivat – 65 km (1 hour 45 minutes)
- Dubrovnik to Herceg Novi – 50.4 km (1 hour 15 minutes)
- Dubrovnik to Kotor – 92 km (2 hours)
- Dubrovnik to Budva – 94 km (2.5 hours)
Why visit Montenegro?
Montenegro is a small country sandwiched between several bigger neighbors. Despite its small size, Montenegro is jam-packed with cool things to do, including historic landmarks, stunning natural wonders like glacial lakes, fjords, and the pristine Adriatic coast dotted with charming towns.
Montenegro day trip from Dubrovnik: popular stops
If you want to do the Montenegro day trip from Dubrovnik, you can visit Kotor Bay, Perast, and Budva – some of the most popular destinations in Montenegro close to the border with Croatia.
Where to stay: Hotel Forza Mare
Kotor is one of the most famous destinations in Croatia that sits at the end of Europe’s southernmost fjord. This town is the main stop for many travelers who come to Montenegro from Dubrovnik, but I suggest spending at least a day in Kotor, as this town offers way too many cool activities.
From exploring Kotor Old Town to hiking the spectacular Ladder of Kotor, behind Kotor Old Town and San Giovanni Fortress, and exploring Montenegro Blue Cave, you will not run out of things to do in Kotor Bay.
Best Kotor Bay tours from Dubrovnik
If you want to experience the cultural side of Kotor, I suggest visiting one of Kotor’s museums like the Kotor Maritime Museum, Lapidarium, or Kotor Cats Museum.
When I visited Kotor Bay for the first time with a guided tour, I was able to get quick look at the city and its top highlights, but I had no time to stay and explore the town beyond it – which is why I suggest renting a car for your trip to Montenegro (More about it below).
Best Kotor tours
If you are visiting Kotor from Dubrovnik by car or by public bus, and have more time, I recommend booking this tour which includes stops at some of the highlights of the Boka Bay:
- Our Lady of the Rocks
- Blue Grotto
Where to stay: Conte Hotel and Restaurant
Perast is one of the top spots for anybody who visits Montenegro on a day trip from Dubrovnik. Located along the skinny strip of land between St. Ilija Hill and the Bay of Kotor, Perast stretches for about 1.5 km along the gorgeous Bay of Kotor.
The best way to explore it is to simply take a walk along the waterfront where you can find stores, small cafes, and restaurants with spectacular views.
Best tours of Kotor Bay, Montenegro
One of the most well-preserved cities in the Kotor Bay, Perast boasts many historic buildings and is home to several landmarks like the Church of St. Nicholas and Perast Museum. An important trading post in the past, Kotor is a perfect spot if you want to escape the crowds of Kotor and enjoy a more quiet atmosphere.
Our Lady of the Rocks
Our Lady of the Rocks (Gospa od Škrpjela) is a tiny island off the coast of Perast famous for the pretty Roman Catholic church with blue domes. Inside, you will find a traditional Montenegrin church and a small museum showcasing the history of the area and Montenegro.
Right nearby, there’s also the Islet of the Dead (Sveti Đorđe) that you can visit as part of the tour or by taking a 5-euro ferry from Perast.
Island of St. George
Another worthy stop on your Montenegro itinerary is the Island of St. George that’s home to a Benedictine Monastery and a historic cemetery. Unfortunately, the island is not open to visitors at the time of writing this port, but you can see it as you take a trip to Our Lady of the Rocks.
Where to stay: Dudley Hotel and Resort
Budva is one of the best destinations in Montenegro that boasts pebbly beaches with turquoise waters, a gorgeous old town, and great nightlife. If you are looking for a mix of party and gorgeous nature, Budva is a place to spend a couple of days.
Best guided tours of Budva from Dubrovnik
Where to stay: Apartments Zebra
Tivat is a coastal town along the Bay of Kotor and is home to the largest international airport in the region (TIV) which has connections with many European destinations. Tivat is a convenient base for visiting the Vrmac and Luštica Peninsulas.
Aside from it, Tivat is a good spot if you want to enjoy the scenic coastline lined with small restaurants and bars.
While most guided tours of Montenegro from Dubrovnik skip Tivat, you can visit it on your own by taking a quick drive from Kotor. Another popular place to visit near Tivat is Herceg Novi, a small town which boasts some of the best beaches in Montenegro.
Montenegro day trip from Dubrovnik: transportation options
There are several ways to plan your day trip from Dubrovnik to Montenegro depending on your available time and money. Most travelers book a guided tour of Montenegro which offers a brief of the highlights like Kotor Bay and Budva, but if you are on a budget, you can also take one of daily buses from Dubrovnik to Montenegro.
Below is an overview of available transportation options from Dubrovnik to Montenegro:
Dubrovnik to Montenegro tours
Most guided tours of Montenegro include stops in Kotor Bay, Perast, and Budva allowing you to learn the history of Montenegro and get an overview of what the country is like these days.
Group tours from Dubrovnik to Montenegro can be anywhere from 10-30 people, which can make it a bit challenging to follow your guide, as they give you a tour of the area.
Best Montenegro tours from Dubrovnik
For a better experience, I suggest booking a private tour of Montenegro from Dubrovnik, as you will have an overall better experience and get an individualized tour tailored to your interests.
Private tour Dubrovnik to Montengero
If you are considering a guided tour of Montenegro, I highly recommend this private tour which will allow you to enjoy the undivided attention of your guide, ask questions, and take time to explore the highlights of Montenegro.
Best private tours of Montenegro from Dubrovnik
This awesome private tour allows your to visit the pearls of Montenegro’s Adriatic Coastline including Tivat, Budva, Stari Bar, and Ulcinj.
You will also have time to take a quick dip in the Adriatic Sea, so make sure to bring your swimsuit.
Montenegro day trip from Dubrovnik by car
Renting a car in Dubrovnik is a great idea if you are looking to visit some of the most popular destinations in the Balkans without guided tours or public transportation.
Aside from enjoying classic stops like Kotor Bay, Perast, and Budva, you can also visit the famous Durmitor National Park, scenic Lake Skadar located on the border between Montenegro and Albania and Lovćen National Park is one of the most beautiful places in Montenegro, which can be visited on a day trip from Montenegro.
Why rent a car for your day trip to Montenegro
Renting a car is well worth the money because a day trip to Montenegro from Dubrovnik gives you only a basic overview of the top highlights of the country.
I think renting a car is the best way to travel between the two destinations, particularly if you can have more time than just a day trip to Montenegro.
Additionally, crossing the border between Croatia and Montenegro could take a few hours, which will be eating into your time, if you only have a day in Montenegro.
Having a car allows you to enjoy all the highlights of the country without having to rush and get a better glimpse into the country and its culture.
What you need to know about renting a car in Dubrovnik
If you want to enjoy the drive to Montenegro on your own, you can rent a car at Dubrovnik Airport or in the city. I recommend renting a car with DiscoverCars, an online platform where you can find major car rental companies and compare prices on different types of cars.
All you need to do is choose the car and fill out the form, and once you get to the office, pay the price. It’s that easy!
Why rent your car with DiscoverCars
Unlike other car rental companies, DiscoverCars doesn’t have hidden fees or surcharges, so you pay exactly what you see online. All you need to do is type in travel dates and specify what type of car you are looking for, and you will be able to see all available options.
How much does it cost to rent a car in Dubrovnik?
The price of a car rental in Dubrovnik heavily depends on the timing of your trip, with prices being the highest during the peak summer season. In general, expect to pay between $20-50 per day depending on the make and model of your vehicle.
Dropping off your rental in Dubrovnik
If you are renting your car in Dubrovnik and plan to explore Montenegro, it will be cheaper to drop off your car in Dubrovnik, because many car rental companies charge extra for dropping off your car in a different destination, so it’s easier just go back to Dubrovnik once you are done with your Montenegro itinerary.
What do I need to do for my trip from Croatia to Montenegro?
To get from Croatia to Montenegro, you will need a valid passport, and your driver’s license.
Montenegro day trip from Dubrovnik by bus
All buses to Montenegro depart from the main bus station in Dubrovnik, and you can buy tickets at the ticket office or online.
There are several departures from Dubrovnik to Montenegro a day, and you can take a public bus to various destinations including Kotor, Budva or Tivat.
Other destinations in Montenegro that you can visit from Dubrovnik by bus are Herceg Novi, Podgorica, Bar, and others. I always book my tickets through busbud.com, where you can find the most updated prices and schedule.
How much is the bus ticket from Croatia to Montenegro?
A ticket from Dubrovnik to Kotor and Budva costs an average of 20-25 Euros. Several companies like Croatia Bus and Bozur and Blue Line have several buses between Dubrovnik and Montenegro.
How long is it from Dubrovnik to Montenegro?
It can take anywhere from 2 to 3,5 hours to travel between Dubrovnik and Montenegro depending on your destination and how long it takes to cross the border.
Montenegro day trip from Dubrovnik: FAQs
Is Montenegro a part of Croatia?
Montenegro is a sovereign country, and part of the former Yugoslavia. Montenegro became independent in 2006.
Is there a ferry from Dubrovnik to Montenegro?
There’s no direct ferry from Dubrovnik to Montenegro, however, you can book a tour of the Adriatic coast that will take you from Croatia to Montenegro allowing you to see picturesque bays and gorgeous villages dotting the Montenegrin Coast.
Can you take a train from Croatia to Montenegro?
There’s no train from Dubrovnik to Montenegro. If you want to take a train, you will need to get to Nikisic near the border and from there get on a train to Podgorica, the capital of the country.
What town in Montenegro is closest to Dubrovnik?
The closest Montenegro town to Dubrovnik is Herceg Novi which is about 1h 45 mins by bus. Budva is another nearby destination that is slightly further away and can be reached in about 2 hours from Dubrovnik.
Montenegro day trip from Dubrovnik: final word
Dubrovnik to Montenegro is one of the most popular road trips in the Balkans that allows you to see the stunning turquoise coast of the Adriatic and see numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Montenegro like Kotor Bay in Montenegro and Old Town Dubrovnik in Croatia. If you are visiting the region, it’s a trip that you can’t miss as it offers a combination of interesting history and breathtaking pristine nature.