Getting round Croatia is usually a breeze. The easiest way to journey? That will depend on the form of journey you’re planning.

Croatia’s bus community connects virtually in every single place and is a good choice, particularly on a finances. In case you’re touring the coast, you’ll be able to hop on ferries to achieve mainland cities and the islands. Driving is pretty easy, and allows you to attain locations that aren’t well-served by public transportation. Flights and trains are helpful for hopping between Zagreb and the coast.

Transportation does range seasonally. In buzzing July and August, it’s value reserving forward or turning up early for buses and boats, and chances are you’ll end up caught in site visitors on the best way into and out of resort cities. Between November and March, timetables for buses and ferries are decreased, and chances are you’ll must plan your route extra rigorously. This is all the things it is advisable learn about touring round Croatia. 

The main bus station in Dubrovnik for regional bus lines
Bus stations are an excellent choice to discover Croatia on a finances © Vesna Celebic / Lonely Planet

Buses go almost in every single place

Bus companies are wonderful and comparatively cheap. You may discover most of Croatia car-free, though Istria (when you’re off the primary coastal route) and the islands have patchier networks. Most bus stations are situated pretty centrally (and conveniently close to ferry ports) making getting round easy. One exception is Dubrovnik, the place the bus station is round 5km (3.1 miles) from the Outdated City – hop on a neighborhood bus or taxi.

Completely different corporations typically function on the identical route, so costs can range. Baggage stowed within the baggage compartment underneath the bus prices further (round 10KN a bit). Buses between Split and Dubrovnik move by way of Bosnian territory so maintain your passport or ID useful.

At massive stations, bus tickets should be bought on the workplace, not from drivers, and it is value reserving forward in excessive season. Main corporations embrace Arriva, FlixBus and Čazmatrans. Getbybus is a helpful web site providing schedules and bookings.

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

Boats might be stunning

Boats join the primary coastal facilities and the encircling islands year-round, with companies prolonged within the vacationer season. Many guests discover cruising the blue waters and rocky shores of the Adriatic one in all their journey highlights.

The key hubs are Break up, Dubrovnik, Šibenik, Zadar and Rijeka. Locals use “ferry” to refer completely to automotive ferries (which may also be utilized by foot passengers) and “catamaran” for the quicker, passenger-only companies.

Boats are snug, with seating in and out on the deck. The bigger boats have eating places and bars, and virtually all have no less than a snack counter. Most provide free wi-fi, although the sign is variable.

You may often purchase tickets on-line (Jadrolinija is the primary operator), however pre-booking doesn’t assure you an area on a selected crusing, so it nonetheless pays to get to the wharf early in peak season in case you’re touring with a automotive. Foot passengers pay much less, have extra flexibility and might typically rent a automotive, scooter or bicycle on arrival.

Vehicles provide probably the most freedom

Driving is a wonderful choice in case you’re in a household or group, or if you wish to tour a number of locations in a brief journey, just like the hill cities and resorts of Istria, or the Dalmatian coast and close by Paklenica and Krka nationwide parks.

Croatia drives on the precise, and roads are principally wonderful, though there are stretches the place service stations are scarce. Nonetheless, with most locations inside just a few hours of one another, most journeys are brief. At round six hours, Zagreb to Dubrovnik is the longest drive you’re prone to take, and one of many few main routes that isn’t totally on a multi-lane freeway (the final part by way of southern Dalmatia is but to be upgraded). The Hrvatski Autoklub has a stay dashboard on works and congestion.

Automotive rent is accessible in all main cities and airports. Native corporations are sometimes cheaper, however the huge chains provide one-way leases. You might get a decrease charge by reserving from overseas or getting a fly-drive package deal. To lease a automotive you should be 18 and have a sound license and a bank card to cowl insurance coverage extra. Hitching will not be really useful, however carpooling is an choice –  BlaBlaCar has native presence.

There are tolls on all highways and another routes. The primary set of cubicles you come throughout if you enter a freeway dispenses tickets. Current them on the cubicles if you depart the freeway to calculate and pay the toll.

Trains and flights are good for crossing the nation

The prepare community is proscribed, and infrequently slower than buses. Nevertheless it’s not a foul guess in case you’re exploring inland Croatia, or heading between Zagreb and coastal cities akin to Rijeka, Pula or Break up. Croatian Railways has schedules and costs.

Flying is the quickest means between Zagreb and the coast, and whereas connections between the coastal cities are much less frequent, the connection between the Istrian capital of Pula and Dubrovnik, for instance, might be helpful in case you time it proper.

There aren’t many flights to the islands – most guests simply get a ship from the closest mainland port – though you’ll be able to attain Brač Island from Zagreb. The nationwide provider is Croatia Airlines.

Pag bridge in Croatia
Lease a motorbike and trip the shoreline of  islands like Pag © PATSTOCK / Getty Photographs

Bicycles are a good way to discover the islands

Bikes are straightforward to lease alongside the coast. Comparatively flat islands akin to Pag and Lošinj provide probably the most relaxed biking, however the winding, hilly roads on different islands have extra spectacular views. 

Biking requires warning: many roads are busy highways, with no bicycle lanes. You’ll see Nextbike’s rent stations in lots of cities, particularly Zagreb, which has first rate biking infrastructure – obtain the app to get began. Some vacationer places of work, particularly within the Kvarner and Istria areas, have maps of routes and bike-rental data.

Buses and trams provide metropolis transportation

Many cities and resorts are sufficiently small to stroll round. Zagreb’s tram network is helpful for the prepare and bus stations, whereas a brief funicular connects the Decrease and Higher Cities. Native buses are pretty frequent in most cities, and usefully join Lapad Bay with central Dubrovnik. Bus tickets are often 10KN to 20KN, with a small low cost in case you purchase tickets at a tisak (newsstand), and have to be stamped when you’re on board.

The Jadrolinija car ferry docked at Korcula town.
You may get a major view of Croatia’s most scenic places by driving the ferry © Jon Davison / Lonely Planet

Why I like touring by ferry in Croatia

Touring by ferry or catamaran in Croatia might be wonderful. Sitting on the deck, you’re feeling such as you’re in an excellent unfurling tapestry. Lopsided pines, vivid wildflowers, coves, porpoises and fishing villages roll by because the solar shifts overhead. I’ve sailed to verdant islands, wild dance events, Roman ruins and secluded seashores, however irrespective of how thrilling the vacation spot, I all the time really feel a contact of disappointment after I step again on shore.

Accessible transportation in Croatia

Mobility-impaired vacationers will discover the cobbled streets and countless steps of Croatia’s previous cities difficult. Many seashores are accessed by way of steps or rocky walkways, with these close to accommodations and resorts extra prone to have ramps.

Public bathrooms at bus stations, prepare stations, airports and enormous public venues are often wheelchair-accessible. Bus and prepare stations in Zagreb, Zadar, Rijeka, Break up and Dubrovnik are accessible, however the ferries usually are not. Get extra data with Lonely Planet’s free Accessible Travel guides.


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