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Getting Around Croatia
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Getting Around in Croatia

By Air

National airline company Croatia Airlines connects major cities in Croatia to each other and foreign destinations. Due to the comparatively short distances and relatively high hassle of air travel – especially when you travel with luggage - domestic air travel is used mostly for getting to end points; e.g. Zagreb to Dubrovnik and vice-versa.

Another flight which is popular (available in the summer months only) is between Split and Osijek, saving a long trip back through Croatia, or alternatively through the middle of Bosnia.

By Sea

Ferries and catamarans are a way of life on Croatia's coast. There is no other way to get to the islands (except Pag and Krk, which are linked to the mainland via bridges). For some, ferries are the transport of choice between some mainland cities like Rijeka and Dubrovnik. Croatia's ferries vary in size and type: Some are huge ships that carry people, cargo and vehicles. Others are small taxi boats, and yet others are speedy catamarans. Jadrolinija, Semmarina, and SNAV are the major operators. In summer, ferry schedules are beefed up to handle increased traffic, but in winter some lines cancel certain runs altogether and reduce their schedules.

By Rail

The network connects all major cities except Dubrovnik. However, it is often quicker to travel by bus. If you want to visit Dubrovnik, you will have to travel by train to Split, and then go on the bus for Dubrovnik.

Rail is still the cheapest connection between inland and coast. As of 2004 you can ride on the new 160 kph “tilting trains” that connect Zagreb with Split and other major cities in Croatia such as Rijeka and Osijek. If you make a reservation early enough you can get a substantial discount.

Croatian trains are not part of the Eurail system, and international travel usually requires train changes because the rail gauge in Croatia is different from that used on Eurail track.

By Road

Unexploded ordinance may remain in Eastern Slavonia and the former Krajina; motorists should avoid these areas. A toll is payable on motorways. Unleaded petrol is available. Traffic drives on the right. Speed limits are 130 kph on motorways, 100 kph on dual carriageways, 5 0kph in built-up areas and 80 kph outside built-up areas. Heavy fines are imposed for speeding.


There are regular services to destinations all over Croatia. Timetable information is available from Zagreb Central Bus Station. The most frequent bus terminal in Croatia is Bus Terminal Zagreb (Autobusni Kolodvor Zagreb).

Car Rental

There are numerous car rental companies in Croatia, and almost all have offices at the airports and major cities. Budget has outlets at the Split, Dubrovnik, Pula, and Zagreb airports, and in other major population centres. Hertz has branches at all of Croatia's airports, including Pula, Rijeka and Zadar, as well as rental outlets on Hvar and Mali Losinj. Uni rent is a local independent vendor that has an office in Split near the Hotel Marjan. All offer a broad spectrum of auto choices, ranging from small economy models such as the Opel Corsa to luxury rides like the Volvo S80 to SUV 4X4s.

Documentation: National or International Driving Permit. All motorists should also carry a valid passport as proof of identity at all times. A Green Card should be carried by visitors (except EU nationals) taking their own car into Croatia. Without it, insurance cover is limited to the minimum legal cover; the Green Card augments this to the level of cover provided by the car owner’s domestic policy. National registration in country of origin is required for all foreign vehicles.

Urban Transportation

Zagreb's electric tram system is quick, efficient, and reliable, and it runs 24/7 with reduced runs in the wee hours. Tram routes cover central Zagreb and connect to buses that run to outlying areas and suburbs. Most lines go to the main train station, Trg Ban Jelacica, or both.

Tickets for both can be purchased at Tisak news kiosks for 7kn ($1.20) or on board for 9kn ($1.55). Tickets are good for 90 minutes each way and must be validated with a time stamp at the orange machines on board. There are no conductors checking tickets, but there are random control checks. If you are caught without a ticket or with an unvalidated ticket, the fine is 150kn ($26) on the spot, more if you don't have the money immediately.

There are maps of all tram and bus routes at stops and on most city maps, but if you aren't familiar with the city or the language, it can be difficult to figure out whether a given vehicle goes to your destination because only the final destination and a stop or two are listed on the tram or bus itself. Keep a map of the tram routes and one of Zagreb with you whenever using the system so you can locate the routes' end streets and determine if the tram is going in your direction. Almost none of the tram operators speak English.

Taxis are expensive in Zagreb, even for short distances. Taxis charge a 25kn ($4.50) flat fee plus 7kn ($1) for every 3/5 of a mile. A 20% surcharge is added to that on Sunday and at night, which makes taxis a very expensive way to travel.





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