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Croatia - solo by public transportation: logistically a good idea?

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Nov 2nd, 2007, 05:02 AM
  #1
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Croatia - solo by public transportation: logistically a good idea?

I'd love to visit Croatia but it looks like if I want to do it in the next few years it will have to be a solo trip, and therefore by public transportation (I don't want to rent a car by myself). But as I research it seems like most of the people on this board at least, do it by car (or organized tour) rather than public transportation. Also, an initial search of lodging possibilities seems to turn up mostly double rooms rather than singles.

I'd want to go to Dubrovnik, Split, and Hvar - and perhaps other places but those are the main places I want to see. I'd be going in July. Are buses and boats frequent,and easily booked upon arriving there (I tend to book as much as possible in advance)and easy to navigate?

I don't mind three or four hour bus or boat rides, but if connections are complicated and getting from place to place will take an entire day then it might be more trouble than it's "worth". In a few years I could do the trip with my husband and we could rent a car. Does that sound like a better idea?
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Nov 2nd, 2007, 10:21 AM
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No problem with public transport at all, ans solo trip just the same.

Good reliable system!
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Nov 2nd, 2007, 10:45 AM
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I just returned from my second solo trip to Croatia. I am actually desperatly trying to figure out a way to move there!!! It's an amazing country and VERY easy to do on your own, using public transporation. I had a couple of not so great bus experiences, but that maybe was just my bad luck. They are usually always on time and cheap. Most people speak a little English and most helpful and friendly. Personal safety is just not an issue. Comparing it to Italy or France, getting around is very easy.
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Nov 2nd, 2007, 02:47 PM
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Thanks for the replies, that's encouraging.

How do you go about finding lodging ahead of time? I'm not comfortable waiting till I show up. I looked on Venere.com and TA, two sites I usually find excellent choices on. I'm a budget traveler and usually try to stay well under 75€ for a single. B&B type places are fine as long as there's an email address so I can book ahead. Anyone have any suggestions?
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Nov 2nd, 2007, 03:05 PM
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Isabel,
To echo what has already been said, traveling with public transportation is quite easy in Croatia. Although I was with a friend, I had done all the planning for the bus, ferry travel and it was easier than I even expected. No car rental.

Took a bus from Korcula to Dubrovnik, ferry from Split to Hvar, ferry from Hvar to Korcula, bus from Split to Trogir. People speak English (generally) and are very willing to help.

Stayed at Benussi Apartments in Dubrovnik which also has single rooms I think---great location by the Hilton outside Pile Gate. Stayed at Peristil and Amfora in Split and Hvar but would think you would want elsewhere. If you go to Korcula (and do!!)---Rezi DePolo has delightful rooms with a drop dead view of the town and a very reasonable rate.

Lucky you---it will be fantastic!

Kathy
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Nov 3rd, 2007, 04:24 AM
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kathrynj - thanks for the info. What time of year were you there? Did you make bus and ferry reservations or did you just show up (I'll be there in July). If you did make reservations, how and how far in advance did you do it? I just checked out the Benussi site and they don't have single rooms, but many places do not so I may have to take a double (that's one of my concerns, don't see a lot of singles) - but if prices are low enough it doesn't matter. Do you remember what you paid (no prices on their site)? Do you have any websites that you used to plan (transportation or accomodation). Thanks so much.
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Nov 3rd, 2007, 06:14 AM
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Barb: would you elaborate on your not so great bus experiences? What did you mean - safety? Got on the wrong bus? What? Specifics would be helpful. BTW, you posted a great report!
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Nov 3rd, 2007, 07:51 AM
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ttt
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Nov 3rd, 2007, 03:30 PM
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Hi Isabel,

I was there at the end of August and tend to plan things way in advance---was taking the ferry from Ancona over to Split and did that far ahead. It didn't seem like ferry reservations were needed in advance if there was no car involved. I wondered whether I would need bus reservations ahead but absolutely no need---just get to the dock or station 45mins ahead and no worries. Ask people where to buy the tickets since ferries leave from different dock areas. I can't vouch for what it is like though in peak season.

This website was great help and I got a vote of confidence from Tracy I think regarding Benussi apartments. I paid about $110 US for an apartment with a bedroom, sofa bed in LR, kitchen,etc.---the largest one I think there are 2 other rooms that are not apartments which rent for less. Just email Jadranka---she's great and responds quickly. Let me know if you need her email (it's in Lonely Planet Rick Steves too, fyi).

The room at Rezi DePolo's in Korcula was about $50US for the 2 of us---highly recommeded.

I had never used Rick Steves before but used him and Lonely Planet for restaurants as well and was pleased.

You can find ferry schedules online and can get them ahead---I ended up going with the hotel one from Split of Hvar but could have also done the Krilo catamaran which is a fast catamaran between Split/Hvar/Korcula. It seems very confusing when you are researching from here but is quite easy when you are in Croatia. Just ask people and they will gladly help you. There is a Croatia online site that is very helpful (I didn't save the link but if you google Croatia tourist information I bet it pops up).

Let me know if there's anything else I can answer for you---I really appreciated the help others gave to me!

Kathy
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Nov 5th, 2007, 10:51 AM
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Holly -- last year I took the bus from Dub. to Trogir. The bus was very crowded and hot The windows did not open and the AC was either not working, or on very low. There are no arm rests between seats and the seats are pretty small. I suppose if you were traveling as a couple this might not be an issue, but as a solo traveler, I did not love having the person sitting next to me touching me. A rather large woman sat next me about half way through the trip and our thighs were pretty much in contact the rest of the way. In fact, I had a damp spot on my pants when I got off the bus. So, that was bad, but this trip I took a bus from Dub. to Mostar. Again, very crowded, things falling from the overhead bins, hot, windows don't open, no AC. A young man sat next to me. Same scenario, thighs touching. We are pulling out of the bus station in Dub and the young man leans over and throws up in the aisle!! No one seemed to be as shocked as I was. The woman sitting across the aisle from him gave him a dirty look, but I guess was too busy sneezing and coughing so hard I thought she would be the next one to barf in the aisle. I'm thinking, good lord, I have 3+ hrs. until Mostar, this is not going to be a fun trip. Luckily he did not repeat his performance but slept the rest of the way, leaning over until his head would touch my shoulder and then I would jerk my shoulder and he would jerk his head back up. I was as close to the window as humanly possibly to get with my scarf over my nose and mouth the whole trip!!

As I said, I'm sure this was just my bad luck, but be forewarned if you are traveling alone.
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Nov 5th, 2007, 11:24 AM
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isabel,

Finding lodging in Croatia isn't as easy as some other places in Europe, but if you know where to look it isn't so bad. Apartments are a good way to go, as they are usually a lot cheaper than hotels. You may want to try the tourism bureau of each of the towns you want to visit, as they often have accommodation listings. For instance, http://www.dubrovnik-online.com/english/english.php has tons of lodging options in Dubrovnik. We stayed at Villa Adriatica, literally steps outside of the ploce gate, one of the entrances into the old town. Our view from our balcony was amazing and we were very pleased overall.

I can't comment on public transportation as we had a rental car, but you will love Croatia.

Barb, it sounds like you had another fabulous trip...I'm so jealous! Although Japan was wonderful in its own right, I would love to go back to Croatia.

Tracy
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Nov 5th, 2007, 11:28 AM
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I got back from a solo trip to Croatia and Bosnia a couple of weeks ago, but I did hire a car and drive myself as it was just out-of-season and even though I am from England and drive on the other side it just seemed to be easier and more convenient to rent a car.

I too found most rooms seem to be doubles, but the rates are still pretty reasonable, I was paying 35-50 euros a night. Once I had come up with what I felt to be a good itinerary I did pre-book rooms and apartments, except for my last night.

Here's where I stayed:

TROGIR, 1 night... http://www.trogironline.com/dobra/

DUBROVNIK, 4 nights...
http://www.dubrovnik-private-accommo...20engleski.htm
(literally 20-30m directly UP above the Excelsior Hotel, fabulous view and great location)

My last night I ended up in Brela at the Hotel Marina. I think I wsa the only English person there, it was full of German tour buses and passsengers. But I had a nice room with a whizzy jet-power-shower and good English-speaking satelite TV channels, plus dinner and breakfast for 300 kuna, around 30 GBP or 20 euros.

And my second night was spent in Mostar, having a fodors GTG with Barb who took the bus to meet me there! My Mostar report is here...

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=35086450

...and I cannot recommend a visit here highly enough.
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Nov 5th, 2007, 03:05 PM
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Thanks for all of your replys. I'm copying and saving it as I know I defiitly want to go to Croatia at some point. But while some of the replys did encourage me that a solo trip without a car would be fine, I guess right now I'm feeling I'd prefer to wait a couple of years till my husband can come with me. Then we can rent a car, which will allow me to see alot more than just the few coastal areas I would see if I go next summer. And staying in apartments with two people makes more sense than doing that solo. When I'm alone I really prefer a B&B or hotel over an apartment. So now I'm looking at Greece (which I also had reservations about for a solo trip) for next summer.
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Nov 5th, 2007, 06:35 PM
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Barb: Yeah, I guess that would qualify as a not so great experience.
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