Visiting Dubrovnik for a day trip from Korcula island is easy. We are just two hours drive from Dubrovnik’s Old Town. I do this trip at least once in six weeks, sometimes even more often, if I go to visit my family there for some special occasion.
If you are in Korcula between May and October, the best option for a trip to Dubrovnik, in my opinion, is to get there by fast catamaran ferry. It departs at 10:30 from Korcula Town and you are in Dubrovnik at 12:15 approx. The return is at 16:30. It gives you about good 4 hours to explore the city and get back to port in time to get on your ferry back to the island. You will be back in Korcula town at 18:15. The total cost is 260 HRK (about 35 Euro)
This is the best option in circumstances when a/ weather is okay meaning no high waves are on the horizon and b/ you don’t need more than 4 hrs in Dubrovnik.
However, if one of these conditions is not satisfied, then the next best options are listed below.
Also, if you are in Korcula in other parts of the year or you prefer to use other options, here is what is available:
Morning bus to Dubrovnik (6:45) and afternoon bus back. You will be in Dubrovnik at 9:30 and have until 15:00 to explore the city. At 15:00 you get back on the bus which will bring you to Korcula Town at 18:30. This option is particularly good for people who are staying in other parts of the island (Vela Luka, Prizba, Prigradica, Brna, Zavalatica..) as you can get on the same bus from most of the places on the island. Also, this option gives you about 5 1/2 hrs in the city which is much better than 4 hrs only. The total cost 148 HRK (about 20 Euro) – the schedule and booking is here
Yes, you can hire a car in Korcula and drive to Dubrovnik. This is a very flexible way to visit the Town and gives you plenty of time to stay there as you don’t depend on public transport schedules. There are only a couple of things you have to think about. First, the last ferry from Orebic to the Island leaves at midnight so if you would like to avoid a long night wait in Orebic you have to make sure that get this one. And another thing is that once you arrive in Dubrovnik you will need to park your cam somewhere as parking can be a pain in the City, especially in July and August. See this info here about parking your car in Dubrovnik. Car hire info and booking are here and car ferry details are here.
My suggestion is to spend most of your day in Old Town. You can get there by local bus, taxi, or Uber from the port, bus terminal, or your chosen parking place.
In the Old Town, you can have everything that Dubrovnik offers – beaches are nearby, all attractions and sights of interest are there, plenty of cafes and restaurants to sit and enjoy, Lokrum island is just a short boat ride.
Do your sightseeing as soon as you arrive to allow a bit of the time later for relaxing coffee in Stradun or a short swimming session in Porporela. If you are visiting Dubrovnik for a day in July and August make sure you get your sunblock, hat, and plenty of water as the Old Town at that time of the year can be very very hot with sunshine reflexing from the sea surface and from white medieval walls. Here are two articles that are good to explore further: about spending just one day in Dubrovnik (if you decide to overnight or if you are driving and have the whole day at your disposal) and another one, about spending just a few hours in the Town if you are visiting the town by public transport.
As getting to Dubrovnik from Korcula takes under 2 hours by fast ferry, I can recommend you this as the best option for a day trip. The next best option is the morning bus. The only disadvantage is an early morning departure. However, it can actually be an advantage as you will have some time to explore the Old Town before the sunshine is very strong when sightseeing becomes tiresome and all you want is to get into the shade or the cool sea.
I also suggest you book your tickets in advance especially if you are visiting in July and August and you already know the details of your itinerary.
This is a map of a fast ferry trip to the town. The driving map is at the bottom of the page here
See additional info about Dubrovnik on dubrovnik-travel.net website and for local ferry schedules on croatiaferries.com website.
Also, have a look at this great Dubrovnik video:
(this is one of the best videos I could find on youtube!)