The best way to explore the city of Dubrovnik is on foot. But if you are short on time or don't fancy long walks, there is a public bus networks that covers the whole city and surroundings very well.
There are normally 13 bus lines that operate within the city: 1A, 1B, 1C, 2, 2A, 3, 3A, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. The city buses are clean, air-conditioned and efficient making the bus travel enjoyable.
Some buses start to run early in the morning and stops at around 1:00am (in the summer) while others have shorter operating hours.
Read on to find out more about bus tickets (prices and where to buy them) and how to reach Old Town (to see all historic Dubrovnik sights - including City walls), ferry port (to take catamarans/ferries to the islands) or one of many beaches around the city.
The fall is the best time for exploring Dubrovnik countryside; you'll love this day trip that takes you to Peljesac peninsula to see olive oil making, taste fresh oysters and local wines! Great gourmet adventure!
Bus tickets are available for purchase at Tisak newspaper kiosks (you can find them all around the city) and Libertas stalls (at major bus stops) as well as some travel agencies and hotel's receptions. You may also buy your bus ticket at the bus, from the driver, but be sure to prepare the exact change as the driver won't have enough change for larger bills.
The price of one ticket is €1.73 and those bought on the bus cost €1.99. The tickets are valid for 1 hour and must be validated in the machines upon boarding the bus.
If you are going to use buses all-day long, a 24-hour bus pass might be a good idea. It costs €5.31 and can be purchased from Libertas stalls.
The Dubrovnik Pass which includes free entry to a number of museums and City walls also offers free bus transport within the city. The 1-day pass allows free bus travel for the full 24 hours. The other passes (3-day and 7-day) offer a certain number of free bus rides).
One of the most busiest bus routes in Dubrovnik is the one from Gruz ferry port to the Old Town. The distance is about 2.5 km and it's usually 15 minutes ride.
You'll find 3 bus stops in Gruz: one just outside the cruise terminal, the other one near Jadrolinija office and the last one next to the green market. From these stops you can catch buses 1A, 1B or 3 running towards Pile, which is the western entrance to the Old Town.
Once you get off the bus, a short walk will take you to Stradun, the central street of Old Town. From here you can reach any popular sight in Dubrovnik. At the beginning of Stradun, there is the main entrance to City walls. For relaxing day away from city crowds, take a boat ride to the nearby Lokrum island (from Old Town port).
From Pile you can easily reach cable car station, from where you can take 4-minute ride to the top of Mount Srdj, above Dubrovnik. Once you find yourself in front of Pile Gate, take the footway to the left and continue walking along the City walls until you reach large parking lot. Cross the road here, then walk across the parking lot and take the stairs up leading to the cable car station.
If you are staying in one of many hotels or apartments in Lapad or Babin Kuk area, reaching the Old Town by bus is easy. It's a pleasant 15 minutes bus ride (if there is no traffic jams).
The bus no.6 runs from early morning until 1:00am every 15 minutes on this route. This bus departs from Babin Kuk (close to Dubrovnik President Valamar Collection Hotel, Hotel Neptun and many other hotels) and drives through Lapad area, then reaching Gruz bay (where you'll find City Hotel Dubrovnik and Boutique Hotel Porto) and continuing the drive towards the Old Town.
Bus no.4 connects Hotel Palace and Lapad bay with Old Town, with departures every 20 minutes. Departing from the bus stop close to Hotel Palace, this bus pass near numerous hotels in Lapad bay (Hotel Uvala, Hotel Adriatic, Hotel Kompas, Grand Hotel Park and others) then continue the ride via Iva Vojnovica road (Hotel Lero, Hotel Rixos Premium Dubrovnik and Hotel Bellevue) towards Old Town.
In addition there are also buses 2, 5 and 9 running from Lapad/Babin Kuk to Old Town but with reduced timetables.
If you are catching one of catamarans from Gruz port (to the Elaphite islands, Korcula, Mljet, Brac, Hvar or Split) and staying in Lapad or Babin Kuk, bus no.7 is a great choice. This bus will take you to the port in only 10 minutes but be aware that the departures are not so frequent, every hour.
There are also several routes that operate from main bus station in Dubrovnik to little places north and south of the city.
To the north, bus lines 12, 15, 21, 22 and 35 travel to Zaton Mali and Zaton Veliki; 12, 15, 21 and 22 go to Slano; 12 and 15 go to the little town of Ston and 21 rides to Orebic.
To the east, one of the most popular buses is bus no.10 that runs to Cavtat. Lines 10 and 16 are useful for reaching Mlini and Plat (Zupa Dubrovacka), while no.11 goes to Molunat (Konavle).
Note that suburban buses are not so frequent so it's recommended to check the timetable in-advance. For accurate bus timetables of buses running to suburban places, check Libertas website (East & West).
A ticket costs €10 for a one-way journey (€14 for a return ticket) and can be purchased from the driver once you board the bus. You can also buy tickets at the airport counter or even online. Journey time is about 30-40 minutes.
The great alternative to the shuttle buses is hassle-free private transfer, which costs the same as local taxi and can be booked in-advance.