Best way to get to the top of Mount Srđ?
After visiting Dubrovnik many times, I can safely say that getting up top Mount Srđ to check out the sunset views is an inescapable thing that should not be missed.
Tip: Have trouble figuring out how to pronounce Srđ? We got you. Just say it like you would say the word surge.
Although the sight of the steep slopes of this 415-meter high mountain descending straight into the sea, lovingly embracing Dubrovnik to the south is quite impressive, the beautiful panoramic views it promises of the city and surrounding islands is where it is at.
Okay, okay, I see you are sold!
The question is, what is the best way to get to the top? Should you…
- Hike the Mount Srđ Hiking Trail
- Ride the Dubrovnik Cable Car
- Take the bus
- Drive there yourself
- Take a taxi/Uber
Each with its own merits, all I am going to say for now is; it depends. Continue reading to find what is best for you.
Hiking Dubrovnik: Mount Srđ Trail
Most Dubrovnik trip reports have some version of the same story.
You're there, you've seen the sights, did the bites and now you're ready to torment your friends with tales of your epic adventures, so you take the cable car and get to the top of that mountain over there.
Fair enough, but what's the story for those who want to do a little exercise? Can you walk up Mount Srđ?
Well, they do the Mount Srđ hike. It's a switchback hiking trail used by hikers, walkers, nature enthusiasts, and birdwatchers. Free and open all year round.
|Length:||4.7 km / 2.9 miles|
|Elevation Gain:||280 m / 919 ft.|
|Route type:||Out & back|
|Time Est:||1 hour|
|⭐ Rating:||5.0 / 5.0|
How to find Mount Srđ Hiking Trail Head
To get to the trailhead, you can either walk from Old Town or take a bus or taxi to get closer to the trailhead and start the hike up from there.
Location: Either way, you can find the Mount Srđ Hiking Trail pin on Google Maps; that's your starting point. It is located on Jadranska Cesta, the main road in and out of Dubrovnik. The pin is marked as Staza Prema Utvrdi Imperial in Croatian.
Walking up to Mt. Srd hiking trailhead from Old Town adds half an hour to your hike. The walk through the charming narrow sidestreets of Dubrovnik is a nice bonus though, as it gives you a chance to explore the city.
Alternative: You can also take a bus or a taxi right up to the trailhead. Bus No.3 gets you literally to the beginning of the hike so it is a simple matter of getting off and setting out.
Hiking the trail
The dirt path begins in the forest where pine trees grow high, providing shade and muffling noises of the city below. Being surrounded by nature sets the tone for your hike.
Suddenly the trail emerges from the forest a quarter way up, and you see Old Town. Just standing there. Teasing you to get off the beaten path to find a unique photo frame to forever preserve this memory.
As the trail leaves the forested area the footpath gradually changes from a dirt track to mostly rocky switchbacks.
Tip: During the hike, you must pay attention to your footing, looking out for loose rocks. A pair of athletic tennis shoes will suffice.
I remember being horrified seeing girls trying to reach the top in high heels or flimsy flip-flops, cringing at the thought of how miserable they were. So gals, no high heels. Okay?
Trek itself is fairly pleasant since you are just zigzagging up the mountain while admiring the views. You can stop and rest at almost every bend in the zig-zags, and take some great panoramic photos.
As you make your way up the trail, you will see artwork representing one of the 14 Stations of the Cross on the bends. During Easter celebrations, pilgrims hike along this path towards the large cross atop the hill.
Tip: A quarter of the way up the shady tree line gives way to strong summer sun with no shade, so make sure to bring enough water and sunscreen.
Before long, you’ll hike to the top. It would take me an hour to complete the climb. If you are a fast hiker, you can do it in 40 mins and less.
A hike up Mount Srđ at any time of the day is sure to be a memorable experience. However, hiking Mount Srd for the sunset is absolutely breathtaking.
Tip: If you choose to hike down Mount Srd after sunset, make sure to bring a flashlight or have enough battery in your phone. The trail is not illuminated at night.
Dubrovnik Cable Car
So you are visiting the lovely Dubrovnik City Walls, and the corner of your eye catches little orange blobs flying through the air, up and down the mountain. That's the cable car; also know as the chair lift, seilbahn, gondola, funicular or teleferic.
The views from the Walls are great and all, but can you imagine the ones from the top? If you are not one for taking 2-hour long hikes don't fret. With the convenience of the cable car, there is no reason to skip this unique experience.
You can find the Cable Car Station easily, and I will explain how later.
Interesting: Originally, Dubrovnik cable car was built in 1969. However, it was destroyed in 1991 during the Croatia Homeland War. Nineteen years later, in 2010, it was rebuilt and reopened.
The cable car is the 2nd most popular tourist attraction in Dubrovnik (only behind the Dubrovnik walls). When you get to the station don't be surprised by the queue of people waiting to buy tickets. It can take up to half an hour.
Naturally, the waiting varies greatly based on what time of the year you visit, but in the summer it gets pretty crowded. It is limited to two cars that can only carry 32 passengers at a time each.
Ok, you get there, purchase your tickets and you hop on the cable car for the ride up.
A blink of an eye and you are up there.
Tip: The cable car ride to the top of Mount Srđ is about 4 minutes each way. Gorgeous views await you along the way. However, the car can get pretty crowded, so you'll want to take a spot close to the rear window of the cable car to be able to see Dubrovnik while going up.
All Mount Srđ summit attractions are accessible on foot from the upper station, including the Panorama restaurant, observation decks, the cross, Fort Imperial, and the Homeland War museum.
Dubrovnik Cable Car Ticket Prices
Ticket purchases for the cable car ride can be made with cash (Croatian Kuna only) or credit cards at the lower station. Buy Cable Car Tickets on their website.
|Adult round-trip ticket||170,00 kn|
|Adult one-way ticket||90,00 kn|
|Children round-trip ticket (4 - 12 years)||60,00 kn|
|Children one-way ticket (4 - 12 years)||40,00 kn|
|Children up to 4 years of age||Free|
Price Tip: You can also purchase tickets in advance to skip the line. One-way tickets and round trip tickets are available in walking tour packages, as well as tickets that include a visit to the Croatian Homeland War Museum in the Fort Imperial.
Though the ticket is a bit pricey, soaking in the views from the top of Mount Srđ is simply a must when visiting Dubrovnik, and the cable car is the most convenient way to get there.
If you wish, you may also buy a one-way ticket and walk back down from the Cable car station, following the twisty paths of Mount Srđ.
Also if you were wondering, Dubrovnik Pass does not include tickets to the Cable Car.
Dubrovnik Cable Car hours
During high wind or lightning weather conditions, the cable car temporarily stops working. Hours vary by month.
|January||10 h to 16 h|
|March||10 h to 17 h|
|April||09 h to 20 h|
|May||09 h to 22 h|
|June||09 h to 23 h|
|July||09 h to 23 h|
|August||09 h to 23 h|
|September||09 h to 21 h|
|October||09 h to 20 h|
|November||10 h to 17 h|
|December||10 h to 16 h|
Where do you catch the Cable Car in Dubrovnik?
The cable car departs from a lower station just outside Dubrovnik Old Town walls.
Location: It is located at Ulica Kralja Petra Krešimira IV. 10A. Get directions using Google Maps.
The station is just a 10-minute stroll from the Old Town using pedestrian sidewalks from Ploče or Pile gates wrapping around the walls. Or you can cut a shorter path by walking up the many stairs from Stradun towards Buža gate, and from there walk across the parking lot towards the cable car station.
Anyway, you can't miss it, just loook up and follow the orange blobs in the air.
For cruise ship passengers arriving at Dubrovnik Port, going by local bus number 8 or taxi will get you to the Cable Car the easiest.
Local bus No. 17 to Mount Srđ
You can reach Mount Srd's top by bus with a relatively minimal effort. And cheap, as well. It's as simple as getting on bus number 17 at Old Town Pile Gate, across from the ticket booth. The bus ride from Pile Gate to Bosanka takes approximately 30 minutes.
But, it's not a boring ride.
The breathtaking views of Old Town and Lokrum island from the bus are a preview of what awaits you at the top. The bus route slowly climbs mount Srđ. Once your climb the ridge, the mountains of Bosnia & Herzegovina to the north unveil as the bus reaches the small village of Bosanka.
From Bosanka village, it is a short 15-minute uphill trek to the Mount Srd summit.
A single ticket will cost you 15 Kuna on the bus, while a ticket at the kiosk is 12 kuna.
Price Tip: All-Day Pass bus tickets cost 30 Kuna and are only available at official ticket offices. You should buy the All-Day Ticket if you plan to take more than two buses in a day.
The buses run frequently most days of the week. They change the schedule often so check out the Dubrovnik bus website for the most recent updates.
Can i drive my rental car up to Mount Srd myself?
Sure, the cable car tickets are somewhat expensive. You might be tempted to get up there with your car rental, for free. But should you?
Driving to the summit of Mount Srd is possible, of course. But I would advise against it if you are an inexperienced driver because it's basically more of a goat path than a proper street.
The single-lane road leading to the summit is asphalted but quite steep. Some segments can be narrow, very close to the cliffs and without any barriers, where it is nearly impossible for two vehicles to pass at once.
Frequently there are some spots where there is enough gravel on the side to pull over, but you may have to back up to reach it. On top of that, it's quite busy with nervous taxi and tour van drivers speeding up and down.
Parking: The good news is, there is plenty of free parking space when you reach the summit.
So, drive with caution and enjoy the road that includes miles of stunning views along winding hairpin corners and steep grades.
Taking a taxi or Uber to the top
It's a bit windy, the cable car is closed and you just want a ride to the top? No problem, hire a taxi to take you from the Old Town to the top of Mt Srd.
You might be able to negotiate a decent price, but the cost should be in the 250-300 kuna range, depending on what you ask of the driver. The same route with Uber should be significantly cheaper, as is the case with any route in the Dubrovnik area.
Tip: It's a good idea to ask the driver for an estimated fare before getting in and communicate your expectations (such as how long you'll wait, whether you'll stop for photos).
Same as with the cable car; the cost can be halved by taking the taxi up and walking back down.
So what's up there? On top of Mount Srđ.
One way or the other you got here. To the top of Mount Srđ. So what is there to do here?
I say, plenty. You will find:
- Stunning Viewpoints
- Panorama Restaurant
- Fort Imperial
- Homeland War Museum
- Large Stone Cross
- Buggy Safari Ride
When you get to the top you will instantly notice people sprinkled all over the summit admiring the view and snapping some memorable photos of their time in Dubrovnik.
Photo Tip: Walk past fort Imperial until you get to the end of the paved road. Here you’ll find a flatter area with more space, fewer people around, and no cable car wires in the way. Definitely the best photo spot for snapping at the sunset over Elaphiti islands.
There are three viewing terraces with binocular telescopes on site, spread between the restaurant and the Cross.
One of the places where you are going to stop will surely be the Panorama Restaurant & Bar, just next to the Upper Cable Car station.
It is impossible to find a restaurant in Dubrovnik whose views can compete with the surreal sights from the Panorama Dubrovnik Restaurant!
This fine-dining restaurant serves mostly local authentic recipes of the Dubrovnik province.
Tip: Book Panorama well in advance if the restaurant is on your bucket list. The effort of putting your name in for an edge table and the unobstructed views of Old Town at sunset is well worth the time.
Whether you plan to eat dinner or simply sip a cocktail while gazing at the sunset, Panorama Restaurant deserves your attention.
Dominating the summit vista is the Imperial. In 1806, Napoleon's French deceitfully occupied the Republic of Dubrovnik. The period of occupation lasted 2 years, and in 1808 the Republic was formally abolished. To secure their positions, the French began building fort Imperial on Mount Srđ.
Interesting: The fort was never attacked from its construction in 1806 until 1991, way after forts and walls ceased being useful.
The Imperial Fortress played its most notable role during the Homeland War. The fort was a defensive position of the Croatian defenders who were able to successfully repel Yugoslav aggression on Dubrovnik.
Although the fort is still in good condition, the shelling and bombardments of '91 have caused significant wear and tear. Today it houses a museum commemorating the Homeland War, a memorial to its importance.
Homeland War Museum
Inside Fort Imperial, this permanent Museum dedicated to the siege of Dubrovnik narrates the most distressing part of recent Croatian history.
Tickets: Cash only entrance tickets - 30kn adults, 15kn children.
Displays chronicle the history of the fort, the Serbian-Montenegrin offense on the city, the Croatian Army triumph, and the impacts of the conflict on Dubrovnik and its people.
A very enlightening experience for those who are unaware of the impact of these wars, particularly on Dubrovnik.
There are numerous exhibits including photographs, war maps, weapons, and military equipment. A brief video in English explains the background and tragic events during the Homeland War.
A bit further down, find a large stone mountaintop cross & popular vista point overlooking the Old Town & Lokrum island. It's the ending point of
Way of the Cross walking trail.
In 1935, the cross was erected to commemorate 2,000 years since Jesus' birth.
The cross, much like the cable car, was destroyed by shelling during the war in 1991. This cross was reconstructed after the war ended and is located again on the mountain top above the town.
Mount Srđ is the starting point of the outdoor buggy safari rides, an adrenaline-fuelled fun in the Dubrovnik countryside. Offroading is a great way to soak in the great scenery and add lots of excitement to your day.
This tour takes you along a very rocky and bumpy track, an absolute fun to bounce along with. Expect to spend the entire time laughing.
You might get to see horses and donkeys along the way from the nearby farm. Some are a bit rude and block the road, but in return, you get to do some petting as you ride past.
Tip: I strongly recommend that you wear clothes that you do not mind getting dirty on the buggy ride. In the event of dry weather, you can expect to be completely covered in dust when you finish. Plastic ponchos are provided. They will not save you.
Should I book Dubrovnik Cable Car tickets in advance?
I recommend booking tickets ahead of time to avoid waiting in line as Dubrovnik Cable Car can get crowded. This way, when you arrive at the station, you only queue up in the boarding queue.
Is it possible to pay for the cable car fare in Euros?
You can not pay with Euros in cash, only Croatian kuna. All major credit card or debit card brands are available for payments. There is a money exchange office next to the Cable Car, in case you don't have kuna with you. You can also buy tickets in other places in the Old Town. Some might accept Euros.
For how long is the cable car ticket valid?
The last time I bought a ticket for the ride, it had a purchase date and a notice saying it's valid for 6 months. So, in case the cable car is closed for bad weather, and you already bought tickets, don't worry. You will be able to redeem it at any point in six months.
Would it be okay to walk down the mountain after dark?
Personally, I think it would be okay. It is a rough path down where you naturally walk a bit faster than going up. With the rocky terrain, the greatest danger might be misstepping and twisting an ankle.
How do I get to Panorama Dubrovnik?
There are a few ways to get to the Panorama Restaurant in Dubrovnik but, I recommend getting there by Dubrovnik Cable Car. You can also get there with a car or hiking up the trail but, for a relaxed dinner in Panorama, I would prefer to avoid the sweaty effort of hiking up. It's simple, easy, and scenic. I enjoyed the ride, and I'm sure you will too!