Car rental Dubrovnik
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Why rent a car in Dubrovnik?
Dubrovnik is a great place for renting a car. The city is small and cozy, but there are countless other landmarks, nature areas, and villages in the area that are best visited with your own wheels.
Top ways to enter Dubrovnik
- Dubrovnik Airport: Also known as Čilipi, the airport is just 16 km (10 mi) from Dubrovnik center.
- Split Airport: About 193 km (150 mi) from Dubrovnik, flying to the much larger Split Airport is another great way to reach Croatia’s Adriatic coast.
- Podgorica Airport (150 km / 93 mi): Only 150 km (93 mi) from Dubrovnik, Podgorica Airport serves neighboring Montenegro’s capital and largest city. The drive to Dubrovnik is short, but you’ll have to cross a national border, so make sure that your car rental provider permits it.
- By sea: If you’re arriving in Dubrovnik by ferry, you can also conveniently pick up your rental car at Dubrovnik Port or Dubrovnik Aci Marina.
- Hotels: While not exactly a way to enter the city, it should be noted that it is possible to pick up a rental car at some hotels, such as Hotel Lapad.
Useful city facts
- Dubrovnik enjoys a humid Mediterranean climate. The summers are hot, with temperatures sometimes exceeding 30 °C (86 °F). July is by far the driest month. The winters are mild, and temperature very rarely drops below 5 °C (40 °F).
- Dubrovnik is one of the smallest cities in Europe with an active international airport. Only slightly more than 40,000 people live within the city limits, but the airport served more than 2,500,000 passengers in 2018.
Top destinations and activities
- City walls. Standing for more than 1000 years, the city walls have protected Dubrovnik from all kinds of invaders. Nowadays they make a great tourism destination to explore. Keep in mind that summer temperatures are very high, so during that season the walls are best visited in the morning or in the evening.
- Cliff Bar. Hidden inside the city walls and accessible only through a hole in the wall, the bars “Buža” and “Buža II” do not seem very attractive at first, especially when you know that the names translate simply as “Hole” and “Hole II”. But do yourself a favor and go to visit them anyway, not only for the great local wine, but for amazing city views that will reveal themselves once you’ve made it to the other side.
- Games of Thrones locations: As if Dubrovnik didn’t already have enough splendid tourist attractions, some scenes of the most famous TV series of the last five years were also shot in this picturesque city. If you’re a fan of GoT, you’ll immediately recognize Lovrijenac Fortress (Red Keep at King’s Landing in series), but it’s worth also visiting the Minceta Tower, or St. Dominic Street where most of the market scenes were shot.
Traffic and parking tips
- Unless specifically indicated otherwise, the speed limits are 130 km/h on motorways, 110 km/h on main highways, 90 km/h on most other roads, and 50 km/h in populated and built-up areas.
- During autumn and spring (from October to March) you need to drive with your headlights on, even during the day.
- If you’re driving with a foreign car, it needs to have a nationality sticker on the back. This is important if you’re arriving in Croatia by car from a neighboring country, especially Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina or Serbia that are not part of the European Union.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0.05% for experienced and 0.00% for novice drivers and drivers under the age of 24. Exceeding the limit can lead to large fines, an EU-wide licence ban, or even imprisonment.
- Gas stations are usually open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., although many will work until 10:00 p.m. during summer.
- The insurance and car documentation needs to be in the car whenever you’re driving.
- If you’re the driver, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
- The emergency number, like elsewhere in the EU, is 112.
There’s a toll to be paid for using most Croatian motorways. There are two types of tolls in Croatia, the open ones and the closed ones. On open toll motorways, which are mostly tunnels, bridges, and short stretches of highway, the driver pays when arriving at the road. On closed toll motorways, the driver pays when arriving at the road and is given a receipt for their payment that shows where they entered the toll road. They then need to present the receipt when leaving the toll road. If you lose the receipt, you’ll need to once again for the maximum length of the toll road. If your receipt is more than 24 hours old, for example, because you stay for the night somewhere along the toll road, you’ll need to provide a valid explanation of the situation at the exit toll booth.
The payment for the toll road can be done either in cash or by credit card. You can also purchase a smart card or an expiring seasonal smart card that will include a 10% discount. Both types of smart cards are non-refundable. Some rental cars are equipped with an electronic toll responder the price of which is usually included in the rental price. Do ask your car rental provider about it in advance. Find out more about the toll roads in Croatia on the European toll road website.
Ideas for a day-trip
- Korčula. World-famous for being the birthplace of legendary explorer Marco Polo, Korčula is a pretty medieval town on an island of the same name. Easily reached by boat (albeit only during the summer), Korčula offers an even more tranquil atmosphere than Dubrovnik. Don’t miss the performance of moreška, a traditional sword dance.
- The Peljesac Peninsula. Just a bit more than an hour’s drive from Dubrovnik, the largest peninsula of Dalmatian region is famous for its delicious foodstuffs from grapevines, figs, and almonds to shellfish and oysters, but should also be visited for the fishing villages, farmstays, and the hospitality of its people.
- Mljet National Park. Another island near Dubrovnik, Mljet is a heavily wooded area that offers more challenge than its idyllic counterparts. There are plenty of opportunities to get active, from hiking and swimming in the hill lakes to mountain biking and kayaking.
Most popular rental types and cars
The most popular rental car in Croatia is the VW Polo, but the travelers also like the Opel Corsa and the Skoda Fabia a lot. The most popular rental car types are economy, mini, and compact.
- Split and the rest of Dalmatia. As pretty and picturesque Dubrovnik is, it is but one of many jewels of the Dalmatia region. Do visit the fun and busy capital city Split, but make time for the area’s nature areas as that’s where the real beauty is.
- Montenegro: Just a short ride further along the coast, neighboring Montenegro is just as picturesque as Coastal Croatia, but perhaps feels a bit more rugged and unexplored. You’ll have to cross a national border to visit from Dubrovnik, so get in touch with your car rental provider first to make sure they allow it. Also, make sure that your entry documentation is in order.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina: Something of an uncovered gem, nearby Bosnia and Herzegovina has recovered from its tragic past. Its stunning mountains, long valleys, and different cultures attract more and more visitors every year. You’ll have to cross a national border to visit from Dubrovnik, so get in touch with your car rental provider first to make sure they allow it. Also, make sure that your entry documentation is in order.
How can I save money on my rental car?
There are a number of things you can do to get a good rental car deal in Dubrovnik. Start with:
- Compare rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit on the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Dubrovnik is the cheapest in January when renting a car is a whopping 80% cheaper than the yearly average.
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