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Dubrovnik is perhaps the best-known of Croatia’s Adriatic resorts, and the attractions are obviously visible in the delightful old city itself and the warm climate that attracts millions of tourists each year.

So is it worth picking up a hire car at Dubrovnik airport to explore the surrounding area, or is it best to stick mainly to the city, and perhaps make a few excursions by bus?

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  • Terrible public transport – there is no railway station in Dubrovnik, and that is never a good start.
  • There is a reasonable local bus service, but bus stops only provide timings from where the bus starts, and there is no real time information.
  • Freedom and flexibility
  • Mostar by car (always check terms).
  • Surrounding islands – easier by car.

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  • Get your trip off to a dramatic start by taking the ferry from the airport (short taxi ride to Cavtat).
  • The walled city is worth a second look at night – don’t just move on!
  • It’s still best to walk around at any time!
  • Islands by boat and bus.
  • Multiple city trips – onwards to Split, Zadar and beyond by coach.

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Conclusion – as with any city, the longer you are planning on staying in Dubrovnik, the more useful a hire car is going to become.

The historic walled city of Dubrovnik is an amazing place to visit, but depending on your tolerance for crowds, you will either want to leave as soon as you can once you have seen it, or you will want to come back and see more details the next day. Needless to say, a hire car in this historic car is worse than pointless due to the naturally strict parking and access rules that only allow local residents in.

I have always been someone who likes to see multiple cities on the same trip, so I took the bus to split and then onto Zadar. From here, I went to the Plitvice national park, which I think must be the highlight of any visit to the whole Balkan region.

However, if you are simply doing as most visitors do, and just staying in around at Dubrovnik, then I would certainly advise getting a hire car if you are staying for anything longer than a weekend.

Should you hire a car in Dubrovnik?

Verdict – yes

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