Getting around in Croatia – Lonely Planet

Having around Croatia is frequently a breeze. The greatest way to travel? That relies upon on the variety of excursion you’re setting up.

Croatia’s bus network connects virtually everywhere you go and is a terrific selection, specifically on a funds. If you’re touring the coastline, you can hop on ferries to get to mainland cities and the islands. Driving is rather straightforward, and lets you achieve destinations that are not perfectly-served by general public transportation. Flights and trains are helpful for hopping in between Zagreb and the coast.

Transportation does change seasonally. In buzzing July and August, it’s worthy of reserving forward or turning up early for buses and boats, and you may perhaps discover yourself caught in website traffic on the way into and out of resort cities. Among November and March, timetables for buses and ferries are reduced, and you may well will need to prepare your route additional meticulously. Here is every little thing you have to have to know about touring about Croatia. 

Getting around in Croatia – Lonely Planet
Bus stations are a wonderful possibility to examine Croatia on a spending budget © Vesna Celebic / Lonely Planet

Buses go nearly everywhere

Bus solutions are exceptional and relatively reasonably priced. You can examine most of Croatia car-free, whilst Istria (once you’re off the most important coastal route) and the islands have patchier networks. Most bus stations are positioned quite centrally (and conveniently close to ferry ports) generating acquiring close to simple. One exception is Dubrovnik, where the bus station is close to 5km (3.1 miles) from the Outdated City – hop on a area bus or taxi.

Different businesses typically operate on the similar route, so rates can vary. Luggage stowed in the baggage compartment under the bus expenses excess (close to 10KN a piece). Buses amongst Split and Dubrovnik pass by means of Bosnian territory so preserve your passport or ID helpful.

At massive stations, bus tickets must be obtained at the place of work, not from motorists, and it really is really worth booking forward in high year. Key providers include things like Arriva, FlixBus and Čazmatrans. Getbybus is a beneficial website presenting schedules and bookings.

Check out the environment in consolation with the most up-to-date vacation insight from our weekly publication sent to your inbox.
Boats docked at the harbour in front of Hvar Town
Hop aboard a boat or ferry to see the very best of the Croatian islands © DaLiu / Shutterstock

Boats can be wonderful

Boats hook up the key coastal centers and the surrounding islands 12 months-round, with companies prolonged in the vacationer time. Quite a few readers discover cruising the blue waters and rocky shores of the Adriatic a single of their journey highlights.

The significant hubs are Break up, Dubrovnik, Šibenik, Zadar and Rijeka. Locals use “ferry” to refer completely to motor vehicle ferries (which can also be used by foot travellers) and “catamaran” for the more quickly, passenger-only services.

Boats are comfortable, with seating inside of and out on the deck. The more substantial boats have eating places and bars, and nearly all have at minimum a snack counter. Most present cost-free wi-fi, however the signal is variable.

You can usually get tickets online (Jadrolinija is the key operator), but pre-scheduling does not assurance you a house on a specific sailing, so it however pays to get to the wharf early in peak year if you’re touring with a motor vehicle. Foot passengers pay a lot less, have a lot more flexibility and can typically hire a vehicle, scooter or bicycle on arrival.

Automobiles offer the most independence

Driving is an superb option if you are in a family or group, or if you want to tour quite a few locations in a quick trip, like the hill towns and resorts of Istria, or the Dalmatian coast and nearby Paklenica and Krka nationwide parks.

Croatia drives on the correct, and roads are mainly superb, while there are stretches where assistance stations are scarce. Even now, with most sites inside of a number of hrs of each individual other, most excursions are shorter. At close to 6 hours, Zagreb to Dubrovnik is the longest push you are most likely to choose, and just one of the few big routes that is not entirely on a multi-lane freeway (the last portion by way of southern Dalmatia is nevertheless to be upgraded). The Hrvatski Autoklub has a reside dashboard on performs and congestion.

Motor vehicle employ is available in all key cities and airports. Nearby organizations are often less costly, but the major chains supply 1-way rentals. You could get a lessen fee by reserving from overseas or having a fly-generate package deal. To rent a car you will have to be 18 and have a legitimate license and a credit rating card to cover insurance coverage extra. Hitching is not recommended, but carpooling is an possibility –  BlaBlaCar has a good area presence.

There are tolls on all highways and some other routes. The to start with established of booths you arrive across when you enter a freeway dispenses tickets. Present them at the booths when you depart the freeway to determine and fork out the toll.

Trains and flights are great for crossing the nation

The practice community is confined, and frequently slower than buses. But it is not a bad bet if you’re discovering inland Croatia, or heading concerning Zagreb and coastal cities this kind of as Rijeka, Pula or Break up. Croatian Railways has schedules and charges.

Traveling is the quickest way between Zagreb and the coast, and though connections concerning the coastal cities are significantly less frequent, the connection between the Istrian funds of Pula and Dubrovnik, for instance, can be practical if you time it appropriate.

There are not quite a few flights to the islands – most guests just get a boat from the nearest mainland port – whilst you can arrive at Brač Island from Zagreb. The nationwide provider is Croatia Airways.

Pag bridge in Croatia
Hire a bicycle and journey the shoreline of  islands like Pag © PATSTOCK / Getty Photos

Bicycles are a terrific way to take a look at the islands

Bikes are simple to rent along the coastline. Comparatively flat islands these as Pag and Lošinj give the most peaceful biking, but the winding, hilly streets on other islands have more impressive views. 

Biking needs warning: a lot of roads are active highways, with no bicycle lanes. You will see Nextbike’s employ stations in numerous cities, primarily Zagreb, which has decent cycling infrastructure – obtain the app to get commenced. Some vacationer places of work, primarily in the Kvarner and Istria locations, have maps of routes and bike-rental facts.

Buses and trams offer metropolis transportation

Lots of metropolitan areas and resorts are modest plenty of to walk all-around. Zagreb’s tram network is useful for the train and bus stations, when a brief funicular connects the Lessen and Upper Towns. Nearby buses are rather repeated in most cities, and usefully connect Lapad Bay with central Dubrovnik. Bus tickets are typically 10KN to 20KN, with a smaller low cost if you acquire tickets at a tisak (newsstand), and require to be stamped when you’re on board.

The Jadrolinija car ferry docked at Korcula town.
You’ll get a primary perspective of Croatia’s most scenic destinations by using the ferry © Jon Davison / Lonely Planet

Why I love touring by ferry in Croatia

Touring by ferry or catamaran in Croatia can be superb. Sitting down on the deck, you really feel like you are in a great unfurling tapestry. Lopsided pines, vivid wildflowers, coves, porpoises and fishing villages roll by as the solar shifts overhead. I’ve sailed to verdant islands, wild dance events, Roman ruins and secluded beaches, but no make a difference how enjoyable the location, I often feel a contact of unhappiness when I stage back again on shore.

Accessible transportation in Croatia

Mobility-impaired vacationers will discover the cobbled streets and limitless techniques of Croatia’s aged towns demanding. A lot of beaches are accessed by way of actions or rocky walkways, with all those close to inns and resorts more likely to have ramps.

Community bogs at bus stations, teach stations, airports and significant public venues are normally wheelchair-obtainable. Bus and educate stations in Zagreb, Zadar, Rijeka, Split and Dubrovnik are obtainable, but the ferries are not. Get much more information and facts with Lonely Planet’s free of charge Available Travel guides.