Looking to travel in the Balkans by public transport? Here’s how to get the bus from Montenegro to Croatia.
Where can I get the bus from and to?
From Montenegro, you can board a bus at Podgorica, Petrovac, Tivat, Budva, Kotor or there is a stop just before the Croatian border. All of these buses go to Dubrovnik. You could book an onwards bus to Split from there if you wish, but there is not a bus that goes directly from Montenegro to stations beyond Dubrovnik.
How do I book a ticket for the bus from Montenegro to Croatia?
The best way to get a ticket to get the bus from Montenegro to Croatia is to book online. I used the website, Book Away. This is a booking agent that arranges tickets with different bus companies. The bus that took me from Kotor to Dubrovnik was actually a Flix Bus, so I could have booked directly.
You could also buy a ticket on the day at the bus station. In my experience, the bus station staff won’t allow you to book a ticket in advance though. So, this feels like a bit of punt!
What do I need to know about the bus station in Montenegro?
My experience of bus stations in Montenegro (Podgorica, Budva and Kotor) is that they are well organised. There are barriers to stop people entering the station without a ticket and inspectors at the barriers. The bus stations are well staffed, and the staff are able to help with enquiries.
If you’ve booked online, you’ll have to pay a slightly annoying “conversion” fee at the bus station. This seems to be 1 Euro to print a ticket and 1 Euro for a receipt, from what I can work out. But who knows?!
What about the bus from Montenegro to Croatia?
They are relatively clean, and seats will be available if you have a ticket. Some have toilets and WiFi and others don’t. Some of the buses will make a stop for a toilet break, but other’s will not. If you’ve booked a ticket online, in most cases you MUST print your ticket (even if you’ve also got a converted ticket in the bus station). If you don’t print it, the driver will either refuse to let you board or charge you a few Euros and probably shout at you. You’ll also need 1 Euro to store your luggage, which is pretty compulsory!
What’s the border crossing like between Montenegro and Croatia?
Leaving Montenegro and entering Croatia, there are two security check points. One to leave and one to enter, with a short drive in between.
I passed the Montenegrin one quickly, but we were held at the Croatian entry border for a significant period. It is notoriously slow. Roughly 1 hour of not moving at all, then around 30 minutes to pass. 90 minutes in total! If you’re relying on the bus crossing at arriving in Croatia on time, this would be incredibly stressful. Please don’t book any connections from Croatia that require a prompt bus!
For both check points, we had to get off the bus and show our passports one by one.
Arriving in Dubrovnik
You’ll arrive at the Main Bus Station in Dubrovnik which is around 3km from the old town. Buses are available into town, as are taxis. There are two ATMs and the waiting room has free WiFi and toilets.
Looking for more information on Dubrovnik, particularly how to travel on a budget. Check out our article here.