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How to Visit the Dolomites Without a Car + Itinerary

It’s absolutely possible to visit the Dolomites without a car. 

The Dolomites are well connected by regional buses, making it relatively easy to travel between destinations during peak seasons. 

However, because the Dolomites span across five Italian provinces (South Tyrol, Trentino, Belluno, Udine, and Pordenone), there are several different bus systems to navigate. 

In our experience, it’s easiest to travel around South Tyrol (Val Gardena, Alta Badia, and Alta Pusteria) with public transit.

Thanks to the strong Austrian influence, South Tyrolean transit is reliable and punctual. The “journey planner” is also accessible to English speakers.

At the end of this guide, we’ve crafted a Dolomites itinerary for you based on one of our trips without a car.

Sassolungo Group, Dolomites, Italy

When to Visit the Dolomites Without a Car 

Friedrich August Weg, Dolomites

During peak holiday seasons, buses run more frequently.

Also, many bus lines in the Dolomites are seasonal, and thus only operate during peak seasons.

If you’re traveling without a car, only visit the Dolomites during peak seasons. 

The summer peak season runs from mid/late June until mid/late September. 

The winter peak season runs from late December until late March. 

How to Get to the Dolomites Without a Car 

Schlern Sciliar Massif, Alpe di Siusi, Dolomites

Read How to Get to the Dolomites to find out how to travel to the Dolomites from the closest airports, train stations, and bus terminals. 

The closest airports to the Dolomites:

  • Bolzano Airport (BZO), Italy 
  • Innsbruck Airport (INN), Austria
  • Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE), Italy
  • Treviso Airport (TSF), Italy
  • Verona Airport (VRN), Italy
  • Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP), Italy
  • Munich Airport (MUC), Germany

Depending on which airport you arrive in, you can either take a train, bus, or private transfer to your base in the Dolomites. 

We recommend starting your Dolomites trip in either Val Gardena, or Cortina d’Ampezzo

How to Get to Val Gardena Without a Car

The first step is to get to Bolzano/Bozen, a city in South Tyrol, which borders the Dolomites. Once you arrive in Bolzano/Bozen, you can hop on a direct SAD Bus to Val Gardena (50 minutes). 

You can travel by train to Bolzano/Bozen from Munich, Innsbruck, Venice, Verona, Milan, Bologna, and Florence. Book your train tickets here.

You can travel to Bolzano with a Flixbus from Munich, Innsbruck, Milan, Bergamo, Bologna, and Verona, and other cities. 

Venice Airport to Val Gardena 

From the Venice Airport, there are three main ways to get to Val Gardena. 

Options 1: Private Transfer with AltoAdigeBus

Option 2: Take a Flixbus from Venice Airport to Bolzano South. From this bus terminal, you can take a public bus, Südtirol Transfer, or local taxi to Val Gardena. 

Option 3: Take a ATVO Bus from the Venice Airport to Mestre Railway Station, followed by a Trenitalia train to Bolzano, followed by a public bus, Südtirol Transfer, or local taxi to Val Gardena. 

How to Get to Cortina d’Ampezzo Without a Car

If you arrive in the Venice Airport, you can take a 2 hour Cortina Express, FlixBus, the ATVO bus #29 (ATVO bus 29 timetable), or a Private Transfer to Cortina d’Ampezzo. 

How to Get to Alta Badia Without a Car

In summer (mid-June – mid-October), you can reach Alta Badia by bus from Val Gardena.

Bus Line 473 connects Val Gardena with Val Badia (Colfosco and Corvara) with a transfer in Seilbahn Plan de Gralba/Funivia Plan de Gralba. 2024 Bus 473 timetable

It’s also possible to travel from Cortina d’Ampezzo to Alta Badia.

In previous years, the Cortina Express linked Cortina with Alta Badia towns. You can also take a taxi from Cortina to Alta Badia:

How to Get to Alta Pusteria Without a Car

If you’re traveling from Austria, or Slovenia, to the Dolomites, you can take a train(s) to San Candido/Innichen and Dobbiaco/Toblach. 

From Cortina d’Ampezzo, there are direct buses to Dobbiaco/Toblach. 

From Bolzano/Bozen, you can get to Alta Pusteria by train in 2 hours. Often, you must change trains in Bahnhof Franzensfeste. 

Use the Südtirolmobil journey planner to plan your transit journey to Alta Pusteria.

Getting around the Dolomites Without a Car

Mont de Stevia hike, Cir Peaks and Sella Group, Dolomites

When traveling around Val Gardena and anywhere in South Tyrol, use Sü to find bus connections. 

You can also pick up a book of timetables from any tourist office in South Tyrol. 

When traveling around Cortina d’Ampezzo and in Belluno, use the DolomitiBus website to find bus connections. 

Where to Stay in the Dolomites Without a Car

The best places to stay in the Dolomites without a car are Ortisei in Val Gardena, Corvara and La Villa in Alta Badia, Cortina d’Ampezzo, and San Candido in Alta Pusteria.

Val Gardena 

Ortisei, Val Gardena

Val Gardena is the best base in the Dolomites if you’re traveling without a car. 

Bus transit is free and unrestricted for all Val Gardena overnight guests, who are staying in accommodations that are members of the Tourist Association. That’s most accommodations in Val Gardena except some apartments and AirBnBs. 

When you check-in, your accommodation will give you a free 7-day Val Gardena Mobil Card. With this transit card, you can travel across Val Gardena and to anywhere else in South Tyrol using SAD (South Tyrolean transport association) transit. 

There are three main villages in Val Gardena: Ortisei, Santa Cristina, and Selva. While you can stay anywhere in the valley, Ortisei is probably the most convenient base. Check out our guide Ortisei Travel Guide.

From Ortisei, there are direct cableways that connect the village to Seceda, Alpe di Siusi, and Resciesa Plateau. You can even hike to Val di Funes from the Resciesa Plateau. 

Use local buses to reach other destinations in Val Gardena as well as Passo Gardena, Passo Sella, Passo Pordoi, and Alta Badia. 

Read Next: Val Gardena Hotel Guide and Best Hikes in Val Gardena.

Stay in Ortisei

Midrange | Casa al Sole is a newly renovated bed and breakfast in the center of Ortisei, only a short walk from the Seceda cableway and the Resciesa funicular. Highlights of staying here include the modern minimal interiors, comfortable bedrooms, warm hospitality, and delicious and plentiful breakfast. 

Midrange | Hotel Grones is a top-rated, family-run hotel, which excels in its friendly atmosphere, excellent local and Mediterranean cuisine, traditional, yet lovely rooms. The hotel spa area comprises a swimming pool, hot tub, Finnish sauna, bio sauna, and steam bath. 

Luxury | Hotel Gardena Grödnerhof is a 5-star hotel in the heart of Ortisei, home to the Michelin star Ann Stuben gourmet restaurant. This wellness hotel offers unparalleled spa facilities, flawless service, guided hikes and mountain bike tours, and a weekly fitness program. Guests are treated to a welcome cocktail, generous breakfast buffet, and afternoon cakes and snacks (3 – 5 pm). 

Luxury | Adler Spa Resort Dolomiti is a stunning property surrounded by private grounds, advantageously located in the pedestrian zone of Ortisei. This 5-star hotel offers outstanding service, first-rate spa complex, beautiful rooms, and an on-site restaurant (half board available). 3-7 nights minimum stay. 

Luxury | Hotel Angelo Engel is situated directly in the town center of Ortisei, walking distance to the Resciesa funicular, Ortisei-Furnes-Seceda cableway, and the Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi gondola (Mont Sëuc Ropeway). We loved the central location, the courteous staff, and the wellness and spa area. 

Look for accommodation in Ortisei.

Alta Badia 

Armentara Meadows Hiking Trail, Alta Badia, Dolomites

Alta Badia is the alpine resort surrounding Val Badia in South Tyrol, wedged between the Sella Group, Puez-Odle Nature Park, and Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park. 

The main villages in Alta Badia are Colfosco, Corvara, San Cassiano, La Villa, and Badia. 

This Dolomites region is extremely well-connected with SAD buses. When we visited Alta Badia without a car, we stayed in Corvara and La Villa. We took buses to trailheads and then hiked back to our hotel:

Capanna Alpina – Rifugio Fanes – La Villa

La Villa – Rifugio Puez – Corvara 

Passo Gardena – Cima Pisciadu – Corvara 

Armentara Meadows

Stay in Corvara

Midrange | Ciasa De Munt Lifestyle Living strikes just the right balance between urban and the outdoors, with its clean aesthetic, modern elegant lines and location. Guests have access to top-notch wellness facilities, storage lockers, and a washing machine. A fresh breakfast buffet featuring homemade cakes, cold cuts, and eggs is laid out each morning. 

Where we stayed – Luxury | Hotel Col Alto is a centrally located hotel in Corvara with a huge spa. The staff is extremely helpful and accommodating, the rooms are very comfortable, and the breakfast buffet is outstanding.

Luxury | Hotel Marmolada is a superb 4-star hotel in Corvara which delivers an all-around excellent experience: facilities, breakfast, and spa. Half board is available. When booking, pay attention to room categories: many rooms are newly renovated, but not all. 

Look for accommodation in Corvara.

Stay in La Villa

Budget-Midrange | Pensione Camoscio is a well-run charming hotel with cozy, Tyrolean-style rooms, excellent breakfasts and dinners, and a peaceful setting. Great value for money. 

Budget | Ciasa Agreiter in La Villa is a pet-friendly property with beautiful, well-equipped apartments with stunning mountain views.  

Where we stayed – Luxury | Hotel Ciasa Soleil is a beautifully-designed boutique hotel in La Villa. We loved the atmosphere, views, outdoor whirlpool and indoor pool. The hotel restaurant concocts creative dishes inspired by Ladin, Tirolean and Italian cuisine. The hotel is located just steps away from a bus stop. 

Luxury | Hotel La Majun in La Villa exudes luxury in the shape of gourmet Ladin cuisine (half board available), modern rooms, and an elegant atmosphere. 

Look for accommodation in La Villa.

Cortina d’Ampezzo

Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy

Cortina d’Ampezzo is an alpine town blessed with a dramatic setting in Ampezzo Valley in the province of Belluno.

Cortina d’Ampezzo is ringed by the Croda da Lago chain, Sorapis Group, Cristallo Group, and Tofane Group. 

DolomitiBuses connect Cortina d’Ampezzo with various trailheads, mountain passes, cableways, and nearby attractions like Lake Misurina and Tre Cime di Lavaredo. 

The DolomitiBus lines are synced with Google Maps. 

Read Next: Cortina d’Ampezzo Hiking Guide 

Stay in Cortina d’Ampezzo’s Town Center

We recommend staying in the town center, so you’re walking distance to restaurants, bars, shops, and the main bus station. 

Budget | Hotel Meuble Oasi is a guesthouse set in the town center of Cortina d’Ampezzo, walking distance to the pedestrian zone and bus station. Book this 2-star hotel for the unbeatable price, location, and spotless rooms.

Midrange | Ambra Cortina Luxury&Fashion Hotel is a lovely boutique hotel with 24 thematic rooms and a bar in the very center of Cortina. 

Top Choice – Luxury | HOTEL de LËN is a fresh-faced luxury hotel in Cortina d’Ampezzo’s town center. Interiors blend natural and sustainable materials with fine furnishings to create a relaxing, yet refined atmosphere. The hotel restaurant showcases local Ampezzo flavors in unique and exciting ways. We loved the charming, enthusiastic staff, the rooftop spa (1 complimentary hour), and communal areas (living room, cocktail bar, and restaurant). Breakfast is included in the room rate. Read our Hotel de Len review.

Luxury | Grand Hotel Savoia Cortina d’Ampezzo, A Radisson Collection Hotel is a top-rated, 5-star hotel in the center of Cortina d’Ampezzo. Although housed in a historic building, the entire interior has been renovated. Rooms are delightfully modern. Stay here for the superb on-site restaurant, impeccable staff and concierge, top-notch facilities (spa, indoor pool,  bar, and lobby area). 

Look for accommodation in Cortina.

Alta Pusteria 

Trail 102, Val Fiscalina, Fischleintal, Sexten Dolomites

Alta Pusteria (Hochpustertal in German, Upper Puster Valley in English) is the Dolomites region in South Tyrol which comprises Dobbiaco/Toblach, San Candido/Innichen, Braies/Prags, and Sesto/Sexten. 

Puster Valley is the northern boundary of the Dolomites and the gateway to Val Fiscalina, Val Campo di Dentro, Lago di Braies, Prato Piazza, and more. 

Alta Pusteria Buses

If you’re visiting Alta Pusteria between July 10th and September 10th, you must book popular bus lines in advance: Bus 444 to Rifugio Auronzo and Bus 442 to Lake Braies.

Lago di Braies / Pragser Wildsee 

Bus Line 442 connects Dobbiaco/Toblach and Villabassa/Niederdorf to Lake Braies.

Pragser Wildsee Lake current regulations

Tre Cime di Lavaredo / Drei Zinnen 

Bus Line 444 connects Alta Pusteria with Rifugio Auronzo, the starting point of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit Trail and the Cadini di Misurina Viewpoint.

Note: It’s also possible to hike to Tre Cime di Lavaredo from Val Fiscalina and Val Campo di Dentro

You can book this shuttle bus online starting in mid-May

Val Fiscalina / Fischleintal 

Bus Line 446 connects San Candido/Innichen with Sesto/Sexten and Val Fiscalina/Fischleintal. 

Val Fiscalina current regulations

Stay in San Candido 

We recommend staying in San Candio in Alta Pusteria. It’s the loveliest town in the area and it’s well-connected to Sesto/Sexten and Dobbiaco/Toblach. 

Budget | Residence Silvia offers clean and functional apartments in San Candido. 

Midrange Apartments | Residence Kugler offers new, fully-equipped apartments in San Candido.

Adults-Only Luxury | Post Hotel – Tradition & Lifestyle Adults Only is located in the center of San Candido, close to the pedestrian zone. This chic boutique hotel offers a spa, rooftop terrace, and on-site restaurant and bar. Half board is available. 

Luxury Apartments | ATTO Suites & Cuisine is a new luxury aparthotel in San Candido, furnished with the highest quality local materials. These gorgeous, minimalist apartments teeter stylistically between Alpine and Nordic. An excellent breakfast is included (with gluten-free options). Other included services: shuttle service to the Leitlhof spa, and bicycle storage room.

Luxury | Boutique & Gourmet Hotel Orso Grigio is a 4-star hotel in San Candido’s lively pedestrian center. Excellent breakfast, gourmet dinners (on-site restaurant, half board available). 

Where we stayed Luxury | Naturhotel Leitlhof is a 4-star-superior, climate-neutral wellness hotel with a 2000 m² spa set above San Candido. This hotel provides a free shuttle pick-up from the San Candido train station. Additionally, the free shuttle service takes guests into the town center of San Candido, the skiing areas of Monte Elmo and Monte Baranci (Haunold), and the entrance to Val Campo di Dentro/Innerfeldtal. Read our Naturhotel Leitlhof: Hotel Review.

Look for accommodation in San Candido.

Dolomites Itinerary Without a Car

Seceda, Dolomites

We designed this itinerary specifically for those traveling without a car. This route is straightforward and uncomplicated, because it only employs the South Tyrolean transit system.

Use this journey planner and list of timetables to figure out how to travel between destinations. 

If you only have 3-4 days in the Dolomites, stay in Ortisei, Val Gardena. If you have 5-7 days, add on a few days to Alta Badia. And, if you have more than 7 days, tack on 2-4 days to Alta Pusteria. 

Get to Bolzano

Read How to Get to the Dolomites to find out how to get to Bolzano from Venice, Verona, Bologna, Florence, Innsbruck, and Munich.

How to Get from Bolzano to Ortisei: From Bozen Busbahnhof, take Bus 350 in the direction of Gröden to Ortisei (St. Ulrich), Piazza S. Antonio (Antoniusplatz), the most central bus stop in Ortisei.

Gröden is the German name for Val Gardena.

This transit journey takes 1 hour and costs 5.50 EUR. 

Val Gardena

Stay in Ortisei, Val Gardena, for 2-4 nights. While based in Val Gardena, explore Puez-Odle Nature Park and Alpe di Siusi.

Directly from the village center, you can ascend to the nearby mountains and plateaus with cableways to hike the Seceda to Rifugio Firenze Circuit Hike (easy), the Resciesa to Seceda Hike (difficult), the Alpe di Siusi meadows circuit (easy), or the Alpe di Siusi – Monte Pana walk (easy).

You can use local buses to reach Passo Sella, the start of the Sassolungo Circuit Trail (moderate) and the Oskar Schuster via ferrata (Grade B/C).

With more time in Val Gardena, we recommend checking out the Vallunga Valley and Val de Chedul hike (moderately difficult), the Piz Duleda peak hike (difficult), and Col dala Pieres peak hike (difficult).

Learn more: Best Hikes around Val Gardena 

How to Get from Oritsei to Corvara: From Ortisei, take Bus 352 in the direction of Plan de Gralba to Seilbahn Plan de Gralba and then Bus 473 in the direction of Grödnerjoch – Gaderatal to Corvara, Busbahnhof.

This journey takes 1:25 – 1:55 hrs and costs 7.50 EUR (or free with the Val Gardena Mobil Card). 

Grödnerjoch is the German name for Passo Gardena, the mountain pass, which links Val Gardena with Val Badia. And, Gadertal is the German name for Val Badia.

Important: Bus 473 only operates in high season. In 2024, this bus will operate from June 16 to September 20, 2024.

Alta Badia

Stay 2-4 nights in Corvara, or La Villa. You can also stay in Colfosco, Badia, or San Cassiano. All these villages are well-connected.

One of the most enchanting places in Alta Badia is Armentara Meadows, a rolling plateau above the village of Badia.

Adventurous hikers should prioritize the summit hike to Cima Pisciadu, starting at Passo Gardena.

For the most memorable views of the Sella Group, climb up to Gran Cir, or hike to Sass da Ciampac.

How to Get from Corvara to San Candido: From Corvara, take Bus 460 to Bruneck, Bahnhof Bruneck (Bruneck Train Station). At the Bruneck train station, take a regional train in the direction of Sillian to Bahnhof Innichen (San Candido).

This transit journey takes 1:53 hrs and costs 11 EUR. 

Alta Pusteria 

Stay 2-4 nights in San Candido. You can also stay in Dobbiaco, or Sesto.

Use your time here to explore the Northern Sexten Dolomites and the Northern Braies Dolomites.

How to Get from San Candido to Bolzano: From San Candido, take a regional train in the direction of Franzenfeste to Bahnhof Franzenfeste. Here you will change trains to a Meran-bound or Bologna Centrale-bound train to Bahnhof Bozen.

This train journey takes 2:09 hours and costs 16 EUR. Book your train ticket here.

Dolomites Trip Planning Essentials

Use our Dolomites Travel Guide to plan an unforgettable trip to Northern Italy.

When to Hike in the Dolomites

The best time to hike in the Dolomites is between mid-June and mid-September. If the weather is stable, the hiking season can extend until late October.

Dolomites Itineraries

Best Places to Stay

Figuring out where to stay in the Dolomites is probably the biggest hurdle to planning a trip to the Dolomites. We’ve created three guides to help you decide where to stay:

We suggest choosing 2-4 bases for your Dolomites trip and spending 2-4 nights in each base.

What to See & Do

During your trip to the Dolomites, you can go via ferrata climbing, culinary hiking, hut to hut hiking, cycling, paragliding, and so much more. We’ve highlighted our favorite experiences in Best Things to Do in the Dolomites.

Wherever you decide to stay, you’ll be surrounded by glorious mountain scenery and incredible natural landmarks.

In Best Places to Visit in the Dolomites, we’ve outlined the most iconic attractions as well as lesser-known destinations across the Dolomites, including Alpe di Siusi, Lago di Braies, and Lago di Sorapis.

Dolomites Packing List

Hiking Gear

Outdoor Photography Gear

Dolomites Hiking Guides

Hiking in the Dolomites is our passion. Year after year, we love discovering new trails and expanding our knowledge of the area. For day hiking, check out Best Day Hikes in the Dolomites. For trekking, take a look at our guide to Hut to Hut Hiking in the Dolomites and Alta Via 1.

For region-specific hiking trails, check out:

Recommended Hiking Guidebook: Cicerone Guide: Shorter Walks in the Dolomites

Moon & Honey Travel is an independent blog created by two passionate hikers. We are able to provide free content to you, because of ads and affiliate links. When you make a purchase using one of these links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Happy travels and happy trails, Sabrina and Kati

2 thoughts on “How to Visit the Dolomites Without a Car + Itinerary”

    • Hi Jordan,
      In winter (December – April), the Cortina Express connects Cortina d’Ampezzo with Alta Badia, which is linked to Val Gardena (Ortisei) by bus.
      In summer, there is no direct transit connection. You have to transit through Val Pusteria/Pustertal, using a combination of buses and trains (3:30 hours). For a more direct journey, you could hire a taxi, or private transfer.
      All the best,


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