April 10, 2024

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Getting around in Croatia – Lonely Planet

Getting around in Croatia – Lonely Planet

Having all around Croatia is usually a breeze. The most effective way to travel? That depends on the sort of excursion you are scheduling.

Croatia’s bus network connects nearly all over the place and is a good choice, particularly on a spending plan. If you’re touring the coastline, you can hop on ferries to access mainland cities and the islands. Driving is fairly clear-cut, and allows you attain locations that aren’t effectively-served by community transportation. Flights and trains are beneficial for hopping between Zagreb and the coastline.

Transportation does range seasonally. In buzzing July and August, it is worthy of scheduling forward or turning up early for buses and boats, and you might come across on your own caught in targeted visitors on the way into and out of vacation resort cities. Among November and March, timetables for buses and ferries are reduced, and you may well will need to prepare your route a lot more diligently. Here is all the things you need to know about traveling all over Croatia. 

The main bus station in Dubrovnik for regional bus lines
Bus stations are a terrific possibility to examine Croatia on a spending budget © Vesna Celebic / Lonely Planet

Buses go almost all over the place

Bus products and services are fantastic and comparatively cheap. You can examine most of Croatia car-no cost, even though Istria (when you’re off the major coastal route) and the islands have patchier networks. Most bus stations are found pretty centrally (and conveniently in the vicinity of ferry ports) producing finding all over clear-cut. 1 exception is Dubrovnik, in which the bus station is all over 5km (3.1 miles) from the Previous City – hop on a community bus or taxi.

Different corporations usually work on the similar route, so selling prices can change. Luggage stowed in the baggage compartment beneath the bus fees extra (all over 10KN a piece). Buses involving Split and Dubrovnik pass through Bosnian territory so hold your passport or ID handy.

At huge stations, bus tickets should be purchased at the business, not from motorists, and it is worth booking ahead in higher year. Key companies contain Arriva, FlixBus and Čazmatrans. Getbybus is a useful web site offering schedules and bookings.

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Boats docked at the harbour in front of Hvar Town
Hop aboard a boat or ferry to see the greatest of the Croatian islands © DaLiu / Shutterstock

Boats can be lovely

Boats connect the key coastal facilities and the bordering islands 12 months-spherical, with companies extended in the vacationer period. Numerous readers uncover cruising the blue waters and rocky shores of the Adriatic just one of their excursion highlights.

The big hubs are Split, Dubrovnik, Šibenik, Zadar and Rijeka. Locals use “ferry” to refer completely to vehicle ferries (which can also be utilized by foot travellers) and “catamaran” for the faster, passenger-only companies.

Boats are relaxed, with seating inside of and out on the deck. The larger boats have places to eat and bars, and almost all have at minimum a snack counter. Most provide absolutely free wi-fi, although the sign is variable.

You can normally get tickets on the web (Jadrolinija is the primary operator), but pre-booking does not ensure you a area on a individual sailing, so it even now pays to get to the wharf early in peak time if you’re traveling with a motor vehicle. Foot travellers pay fewer, have additional versatility and can frequently hire a auto, scooter or bicycle on arrival.

Cars and trucks present the most independence

Driving is an exceptional solution if you are in a family or team, or if you want to tour a number of locations in a shorter journey, like the hill towns and resorts of Istria, or the Dalmatian coastline and close by Paklenica and Krka national parks.

Croatia drives on the ideal, and streets are mainly excellent, while there are stretches the place services stations are scarce. Still, with most sites in a several several hours of each individual other, most excursions are limited. At around six hours, Zagreb to Dubrovnik is the longest travel you’re possible to get, and 1 of the few significant routes that is not completely on a multi-lane highway (the very last segment as a result of southern Dalmatia is still to be upgraded). The Hrvatski Autoklub has a reside dashboard on works and congestion.

Automobile seek the services of is obtainable in all key cities and airports. Local businesses are generally cheaper, but the big chains present one particular-way rentals. You may well get a reduce fee by scheduling from overseas or getting a fly-travel package deal. To hire a automobile you need to be 18 and have a legitimate license and a credit card to address insurance policies extra. Hitching is not proposed, but carpooling is an alternative –  BlaBlaCar has a good neighborhood presence.

There are tolls on all highways and some other routes. The 1st established of booths you come across when you enter a freeway dispenses tickets. Existing them at the booths when you leave the highway to calculate and pay the toll.

Trains and flights are superior for crossing the country

The train network is constrained, and usually slower than buses. But it’s not a undesirable bet if you are checking out inland Croatia, or heading between Zagreb and coastal towns these types of as Rijeka, Pula or Break up. Croatian Railways has schedules and prices.

Flying is the quickest way concerning Zagreb and the coastline, and though connections among the coastal cities are significantly less repeated, the relationship among the Istrian capital of Pula and Dubrovnik, for example, can be useful if you time it ideal.

There are not a lot of flights to the islands – most website visitors just get a boat from the nearest mainland port – despite the fact that you can attain Brač Island from Zagreb. The countrywide carrier is Croatia Airways.

Pag bridge in Croatia
Rent a bicycle and ride the coastline of  islands like Pag © PATSTOCK / Getty Photos

Bicycles are a excellent way to check out the islands

Bikes are straightforward to hire along the coastline. Relatively flat islands this kind of as Pag and Lošinj supply the most comfortable biking, but the winding, hilly roads on other islands have a lot more stunning sights. 

Cycling requires warning: quite a few roads are occupied highways, with no bicycle lanes. You’ll see Nextbike’s hire stations in several cities, particularly Zagreb, which has good cycling infrastructure – download the application to get begun. Some tourist offices, especially in the Kvarner and Istria areas, have maps of routes and bicycle-rental facts.

Buses and trams offer metropolis transportation

Lots of towns and resorts are little enough to stroll around. Zagreb’s tram community is valuable for the practice and bus stations, although a limited funicular connects the Decreased and Higher Cities. Area buses are reasonably regular in most towns, and usefully connect Lapad Bay with central Dubrovnik. Bus tickets are normally 10KN to 20KN, with a modest low cost if you acquire tickets at a tisak (newsstand), and need to be stamped after you are on board.

The Jadrolinija car ferry docked at Korcula town.
You are going to get a prime perspective of Croatia’s most scenic spots by riding the ferry © Jon Davison / Lonely Earth

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’re in a wonderful unfurling tapestry. Lopsided pines, vivid wildflowers, coves, porpoises and fishing villages roll by as the sun shifts overhead. I have sailed to verdant islands, wild dance get-togethers, Roman ruins and secluded shorelines, but no make a difference how enjoyable the desired destination, I normally truly feel a contact of unhappiness when I step again on shore.

Obtainable transportation in Croatia

Mobility-impaired vacationers will come across the cobbled streets and unlimited steps of Croatia’s outdated cities tough. Lots of seashores are accessed via methods or rocky walkways, with those people in close proximity to accommodations and resorts additional likely to have ramps.

Community bogs at bus stations, teach stations, airports and large general public venues are usually wheelchair-accessible. Bus and teach stations in Zagreb, Zadar, Rijeka, Split and Dubrovnik are obtainable, but the ferries are not. Get extra information and facts with Lonely Planet’s absolutely free Obtainable Travel guides.