Though there are two methods of travel to cover the 57 miles (92 km) between Dubrovnik and Kotor, travel by car is preferred for its comfort and efficiency it provides.
Driving between Croatia and Montenegro, from one coastal city to another, provides the opportunity to see long stretches of coastline along the way for more leisurely travel. Bus travel is relatively easy but is less comfortable and often requires more time.
By Rental Car or Private Transfer
Duration: 2.5-3 hours
There are a number of major car rental companies in Dubrovnik. It is possible to rent manual or automatic cars, but automatic cars are more expensive to rent. Gas tends to be expensive in Croatia and is bought by the liter, which is only a quarter of a gallon.
The highway route along D8 is the fastest, requiring roughly two and a half hours. The route is quite scenic as it follows the coast as well as runs through lush countryside. Have kuna (local currency) on hand for each direction you travel to pay the toll fare. Keep in mind that the border controls can have long lines and lengthen the overall travel time, though this route only requires one border crossing from Croatia to Montenegro. After crossing the border, stop in Herceg Novi for a pleasant lunch or coffee break.
Venturing north toward Trebinje via M6, which is an interesting cultural stop, requires more time and border crossings, namely Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina and on to Montenegro.
If you prefer not to rent a car, private transfers can be booked between Dubrovnik and Kotor. Selecting a private transfer provides more comfort and more control over your schedule. You can book this as part of a broader tour itinerary, and having a local driver is great for getting additional insights at sights and stops along the way.
Duration: 2-4 hours
Buses depart Dubrovnik for Kotor at least five or six times per day. The travel time between Dubrovnik and Kotor is optimistically two hours on the direct bus, though dense traffic during peak tourism season can lengthen travel time as well as long border queues. Be sure to sit on the right side of the bus to get the best view of the Adriatic as you wind along the coast until the bus begins to head inland.
If scheduling tours on the same day of travel, arrive with plenty of time, at least two to three hours, before the start of the tour. Companies such as Arriva and Flexibus provide a more comfortable trip with buses outfitted with wifi, charging outlets, and a bathroom. Expect at least one break during the drive and a minimal fee per suitcase.