Saturday, September 18, 2021

How To Travel To Croatia

EuropeCroatiaHow To Travel To Croatia

By plane

The only flights from outside Europe are from Tel Aviv and Doha, and occasional charter flights from Tokyo and Seoul. If you are coming from North America, you will need to change to a hub such as London or Frankfurt.

  • Croatia Airlines, the national carrier and member of the Star Alliance, flies to Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Munich, Paris, Prague, Tel Aviv, Rome, Sarajevo, Skopje, Vienna, Zurich and – during the tourist season – Manchester.
  • Adria Airways – Slovenia’s national airline flies from Ljubljana to Split and Dubrovnik (note: there are no flights from Ljubljana to Zagreb, as the two cities are close to each other and about 2 hours away by car/train/bus).
  • Aer Lingus Dublin – Dubrovnik
  • Air Serbia flies from Belgrade to Dubrovnik, Pula and Split in summer
  • Austrian Airlines flies from Vienna to Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik.
  • Alitalia flies from Milan Malpensa to Zagreb and Split.
  • British Airways flies from London Gatwick to Dubrovnik
  • CSA Czech Airlines – member of SkyTeam; flies year-round from Prague to Zagreb and in summer to Split.
  • Darwin Airline flies between Geneva and Dubrovnik (Thursday and Sunday) and Zurich and Dubrovnik (Saturday).
  • EasyJet offers flights to the following destinations in Croatia:
    • London Gatwick – Split
  • Nordica flies from Tallinn to Dubrovnik.
  • FlyBe operates routes between Dubrovnik and two UK destinations, Exeter and Birmingham.
  • GermanWings – low-cost connections from Berlin, Cologne, Stuttgart and Hamburg to Zagreb, Split, Zadar and Dubrovnik
  • KLM connects Amsterdam with Zagreb
  • The Norwegian language connects Oslo with Rijeka, Split and Dubrovnik.
  • Ryanair flies from Dublin and Karlsruhe-Baden to Zadar.
  • Scandjet is a Scandinavian low-cost airline connecting Sweden, Norway and Denmark with Croatia. It operates from :
    • Oslo will separate
    • From Stockholm to Pula, Split and Dubrovnik
    • From Gothenburg to Zagreb, Pula, Zadar and Split
    • From Copenhagen to Pula, Split.
  • TAP Portugal operates the Zagreb-Lisbon route via Bologna three times a week (Wednesday, Friday, Sunday).
  • Vueling, a Spanish low-cost airline, operates between Dubrovnik and Barcelona.
  • Wizz Air flies between Zagreb and London (Luton Airport).
  • In addition, you can use the airports of neighbouring countries that are only a few hours away from Zagreb and Rijeka (with the exception of some of the listed options in Italy):
    • Ljubljana (for EasyJet flights to London Stansted or other Adria Airways flights)
    • Graz and Klagenfurt (for Ryanair flights from London Stansted)
    • Trieste (for Ryanair flights from London Stansted). You can also use Venice Marco Polo (for British Airways flights from the UK) or Venice Treviso (Ryanair flights from Stanstead). Ancona is also an option (Ryanair from Stansted) for those who want to take the ferry [www] or hydrofoil [www] to Zadar and Split. Ryanair also flies to Pescara, which is a short drive from Ancona.
    • Some choose Tivat Airport (in Montenegro), which is easily accessible from Dubrovnik.

By train

The railway network connects all major Croatian cities except Dubrovnik (you can take the train to Split and then catch one of the frequent buses or the more picturesque ferry to Dubrovnik, the station is at the pier). There are direct lines from Austria, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Germany, Hungary (currently suspended due to the immigration crisis), Slovenia, Italy, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia. There are indirect lines from almost all other European countries.

Tourists coming from or going to neighbouring countries should pay attention to the following EuroCity and InterCity lines as well as the EuroNight lines:

  • EC “Mimara”: Frankfurt – Munich – Salzburg – Ljubljana – Zagreb
  • IC “Croatia”: Vienna – Maribor – Zagreb, also with EuroNight train
  • DE 414: Zurich – Zagreb – Beograd (can be booked online with SBB or by telephone with any other rail agency).
  • IC “Adria”: Budapest – Zagreb – Split (currently suspended due to the immigrant crisis, direct connection with Split only in summer)

Deutsche Bahn has a Europe Special/Croatia where they offer Munich-Zagreb from EUR 39.

NB: Although Croatia is covered by some Eurail cards, staff at domestic counters usually have no idea how to validate the card on the first day of use. There are recorded cases where staff stated that the driver would validate the card and the driver simply treats it as a normal ticket. Fortunately, the staff at the international counters (especially in Zagreb) know how to validate the pass and are known to validate it retroactively if needed. They even ask for the contact details of the national ticket seller who gave the wrong information.
It is therefore recommended that travellers have their Eurail pass validated upon arrival in Croatia or have it validated at an international counter, even if the first trip with this pass will be a domestic one.

By car

To enter Croatia, you need a driving licence, registration card and car insurance documents. If you need roadside assistance, you must dial 1987. The following speeds are allowed:

  • 50 km/h – in built-up areas
  • 90 km/h – out of town
  • 110 km/h – on main roads
  • 130 km/h – on motorways
  • 80 km/h – for motor vehicles with caravans
  • 80 km/h – for buses and coaches with a light trailer

When driving in the rain, you must adjust your speed to the wet road conditions. Driving with headlights is not compulsory during the day (during summer time; it is compulsory in the winter months). The use of mobile phones while driving is not permitted. The maximum permitted blood alcohol level is currently 0.05% (in line with neighbouring Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina), although it has fluctuated recently, being lowered to 0% until it was deemed unbearable in the country. Wearing seat belts is compulsory.

Hrvatski Auto Klub [www] is the Croatian automobile club dedicated to supporting motorists and promoting greater road safety. The site provides up-to-the-minute updates, national traffic conditions, weather, numerous maps and webcams throughout Croatia. Content is available in Croatian, English, German and Italian.

By bus

Very good bus network once in the country – cheap and regular.

If you are coming from Italy, there are two buses per day at 11am and 1.45pm from Venice to Istria, with a final stop in Pula. These buses are operated by two different bus companies, but you can buy tickets for both buses at the A.T.V.O. office at the bus station in Venice. The office is in the bus station, but outside, at ground level, in front of where all the buses park. Both buses pass the position b15. The journey takes about 5 hours, with stops in Trieste and Rovinj. You can also catch the bus at the bus station in Mestre, fifteen minutes after the scheduled departure from Venice. From Trieste, Italy is very popular with Europeans, as Trieste is a Ryanair destination. You first cross the Italian-Slovenian border, then the Slovenian-Croatian border, but they are very close to each other.

Dubrovnik and Split are the main destinations for international buses from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. There are daily buses to cities like Sarajevo, Mostar and Kotor (some lines like Split-Mostar run every few hours). Seasonal lines also run between Dubrovnik and Skopje. Border formalities on the buses are extremely efficient and do not require leaving the bus (previous connections from Dubrovnik to Kotor required changing buses at the Croatian border).

Osijek is a very large hub for international transport to Hungary, Serbia and Bosnia, in addition to local buses, and the train station is close to it. Many buses from Zagreb to northern Hungary or Austria pass through Varaždin.

  • From Germany with Čazmatrans [www].

By boat

Ferries are cheap and regularly connect different parts of the coast. Although they are not the fastest, they are probably the best way to see the beautiful Croatian islands in the Adriatic.

Jadrolinija [www] is the main Croatian passenger shipping company, operating the largest number of regular international and domestic ferry and ship routes. The following international routes are served by car ferries:

  • Rijeka – Zadar – Split – Hvar – Korčula -Dubrovnik – Bari
  • Split – Ancona – Split
  • Korčula – Hvar – Split – Ancona
  • Zadar – Ancona – Zadar
  • Zadar – Dugi otok – Ancona
  • Dubrovnik – Bari – Dubrovnik

Blue Line International [www] also covers the international line:

  • Split – Ancona – Split

Venezia Lines [www] offers regular catamaran lines between Venice and the Croatian towns of Poreč, Pula, Rovinj and Rabac.