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 (see map) and vice-versa.
Another popular flight (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.
Train travel is definitely improving in Croatia, with money being spent on updating the aging infrastructure and vehicles. Trains are clean and mostly on time.
Croatia’s rail network connects all major Croatian cities, except Dubrovnik. If you want to visit Dubrovnik, you will have to travel by train to Split, and then go on the bus for Dubrovnik. Trains to Pula are actually connected via Slovenia due to historical accident, though there are designated connecting buses from Rijeka.
Rail is still the cheapest connection between inland and coast, though not the most frequent. 160 km/h “tilting trains” that connect Zagreb with Split and other major cities in Croatia such as Rijeka and Osijek provide more comfort and fast journeys between cities (Zagreb-Split is 5.5 hr, Osijek is 3, when other trains take around 4.5 hr). If you make a reservation early enough you can get a substantial discount, or if you are a holder of an ISIC card.
Information for the trains can be found on the Hrvatske željeznice – Croatian Railways site in Croatian and English has timetable and prices.
Tickets are not usually sold on board, except if you happen to get on the train on one of the few stations/stops without ticket sales. However, only local trains stop on such stations. In all other cases, a ticket bought on the train will cost considerably more than the one bought outside the train.
A very comprehensive coach network connects all parts of the country. Bus service between major cities (intercity lines) is quite frequent, as well as regional services. The most frequent bus terminal in Croatia is Bus Terminal Zagreb (in Croatian “Autobusni kolodvor Zagreb”). Despite the recent improvements in the railway network, buses are faster than trains for inter-city travel. See Bus travel in the former Yugoslavia for more information.
- Autobusni kolodvor Zagreb – Bus Terminal Zagreb, timetable information, content in Croatian, English
- CroatiaBus – bus company – timetable information, prices, content in Croatian and English.
- Arriva Croatia – bus company – timetable information, prices, content in Croatian, English, German and Italian.
- Autobusni promet Varaždin – bus company – timetable information, prices, content in Croatian, English and German.
- Libertas Dubrovnik – bus terminal and company information in Dubrovnik, with international and domestic information. Content mostly in Croatian.
Croatia is endowed with a beautiful coastline which is best explored by ferry to access the hundreds of islands.
In many instances, the only way to get to the islands is by ferry or catamaran. If you plan on using either you should check these web sites because they have the regular ferry and catamaran information.
- Jadrolinija – Jadrolinija is the Croatian National ferry company, and as well as routes operating from the major cities to the islands, operate a ferry along the Adriatic Coast from Rijeka to Dubrovnik (and then across to Bari, Italy) calling at Split, Hvar, Mljet and Korčula. Check timetables  as the schedules are seasonal. The boats are large and have sleeping facilities as the Rijeka-Split leg goes overnight.
- SNAV is an Italian company connecting
- Split with Ancona and Pescara. Check timetables as the schedules are seasonal.
Split Taxi Boat, speed taxi boat transfers from Split Town or Split Airport to nearby islands.
- Azzura lines, is an Italian operator connecting Dubrovnik with Bari Check timetables as the schedules are seasonal.
- Split Hvar taxi boat Taxi boat service that works 24 hr and can take you anywhere you want.
- Yacht Charter in Croatia, a charter company with one of the largest fleets, situated in Split ACI Marina.
- A Yacht Charter Croatia offers a variety of sailing yachts, gulets and catamarans.
- Antlos offers a selection of skippered yacht holidays in Croatia, including Split, Hvar, Brac and the whole of the Dalmatian Coast.
- Navis Yacht Charter services are intended for those who want to explore coast and hidden bays by sea for one week or more.
- Europe Yachts Charter Europe Yachts Charter offers you chartering services in Croatia and some other Mediterranean countries.
- Croatia Cruise Cabin Charter Discover a completely new cruising experience that gives you the freedom to sail individually or in smaller groups.
- Crewed Yacht Charter in CroatiaLion Queen charter offers Gulet Cruises Croatia as one of the main specialist in this area.
- If travelling as an individual or small group tour operators like Med Experience offer individual spots on a yacht trip down the coast.
- Map with Croatian yachting marinas There are 6 main regions where you can charter a yacht: Istria, Kvarner gulf, Zadar region, Sibenik region, Split region and Dubrovnik. All of them all well-communicated with Croatian airports.
- Globe Yacht Charter is specialized for organizing cruises around Croatian islands. They offer all inclusive yacht charter.
- Catamaran Charter Croatia brand new catamarans for charter in Croatia. Bare boat or with skipper.
- PlainSailing.com bareboat, skippered and crewed yacht and catamaran across Croatia.
Outside the summer months it is often difficult or impossible to make a day trip to the more remote islands. This is because ferry schedules are made to suit commuters who live on islands and travel to the mainland, not vice versa.
Roads in Croatia are usually well maintained, but can be very narrow and full of curves. Some local roads in Istria have been worn down to a smooth surface from regular wear and tear, and can be extremely slippery when wet. It’s difficult to find a true highway with more than one lane per direction, the only exceptions being the ones connecting Rijeka, Zagreb, Osijek, Zadar and Split. Speed limits are thus low (60–90 km/h), and it’s not recommended to drive faster (although most locals do), especially at night. Be aware of animals crossing the road.
In case you want to overtake a slow vehicle on a narrow road, often the drivers in front of you will set the right yellow turning lights, and drive on the very right side, to sign the drivers behind, that it is okay to overtake. But at your own risk.
Renting a car is around the same price as in the EU (from around €40). Almost all cars have a manual transmission. Most rental agencies in the Balkans allow you to rent a car in one country and drive in the neighboring countries however try to avoid a renting a car in Serbia and driving it into Croatia (or vice versa) in order to avoid negative attention from nationalists.
On Croatian Motorways toll fees apply (and may be paid in either kuna or euros). The A6 motorway runs between Zagreb and Rijeka, and the main motorway A1 from Zagreb to Dubrovnik is still under construction (the current ending point is in Vrgorac, which is 70 km from Dubrovnik). To reach southern Dalmatia including Dubrovnik, you must cross a short portion of Bosnia-Herzegovina, so check if you need a visa or other special requirements for entry into Bosnia (EU and US citizens don’t need a visa). Another major motorway is the A3, linking the Slovenian border (not far from Zagreb) with eastern Croatia and the Serbian border (120 km from Belgrade). The general speed limit on motorways is 130 km/h (81 mph). You will probably encounter cars driving much faster, but following their example is of course highly unsafe.
When exiting a toll motorway, ask the receipt at toll booth if it is not given to you to be sure you do not get overcharged (you could receive along with the receipt some unexpected change compared with the price you were given verbally).
If an unknown person flashes their car lights at you it may be a sign that they’ve recently passed a police unit doing speed limit checks. Ensure you comply with all the traffic rules and regulations to avoid being stopped and fined.
Trying to find a parking space near Croatia’s coastal old towns in the summer can be an exercise in futility. Even though prices range from the merely expensive 7 kn in Split to the extortionate 30 kn per hour in Dubrovnik, the spaces fill up very quickly. However, away from the old towns, parking is convenient and often free at shopping malls and large supermarkets, sports venues, near residential tower blocks and at restaurants (free for guests).
You can use a taxi service by calling 970, or sometimes another number for a private company – check individual city articles. The taxi usually comes within 10 to 15 minutes from the call except in the busy summer season where it depends on how much business they have. Croatian taxis are generally rather expensive.
You can also book the transportation in advance which is great when you are in a hurry or have a larger number of people in need of transportation, or you just want everything organized in advance.
You can also arrange a taxi service by E-mail in advance to have even more comfort and to save money since these taxi operators are cheaper than the regular taxi service.