Getting to Croatia
Americans, Australians, Canadians and many other nationals can enter Croatia with a valid passport and without a visa. Citizens of EU member countries and Bosnia and Herzegovina can even enter the country with a valid identity card. The document of identity must be valid at least three months longer than you plan to stay in Croatia.
Transport services Whether you arrive in Croatia by air, ferry or a cruise boat and you need transportation to your final destination (hotel, apartment or private accommodation) you can use taxi service by calling 970. Taxi usually comes within 10 to 15 minutes from the call except in busy summer season where it depends on how much business they have. 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.
There is a shuttle bus service from the airport to the central bus station, leaving every 1/2 hr and costing 30KN. The bus stop is to the right of the main entrance (if coming out of the airport). From the central bus station the city is within walking distance or many tram lines go past.
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 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.
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. As of 2004, the new 160kph "tilting trains" that connect Zagreb with Split and other major cities in Croatia such as Rijeka and Osijek have been progressively introduced, resulting in higher levels of comfort and significantly faster journeys between cities (Zagreb-Split is now 5.5hrs from 9, Osijek is now 3 when other trains take around 4.5hrs). If you make a reservation early enough you can get a substantial discount, or if you are a holder of an ISIC card etc.
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, the ticket you will buy from the conductor 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").
- Autobusni kolodvor Zagreb - Bus Terminal Zagreb, timetable information, content in Croatian, English
- CroatiaBus - bus company - timetable information, prices, content in Croatian and English.
- Autotrans Rijeka - bus company - timetable informaton, prices, content in Croatian and English.
- Autobusni promet Varazdin [- bus company - timetable informaton, prices, content in Croatian, English and German.
- Contus - bus company - timetable information, prices, content in Croatian and English.
- Libertas Dubrovnik - bus terminal and company information in Dubrovnik, with international and domestic information. Content mostly in Croatian.
Croatia is blessed 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.
- Jadrolinja - 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 Korcula. Check timetables as the schedules are seasonal. The boats are large and have sleeping facilities as the Rijeka-Split leg goes overnight.
- SNAV is Italian company connecting Split with Ancona and Pescara. Check timetables as the schedules are seasonal.
- Azzura lines, is Italian operator connecting Dubrovnik with Bari Check timetables as the schedules are seasonal.
Roads in Croatia are usually well maintained, but usually vey narrow and full of curves. It's difficult to find a true highway with more than one way per direction, the only exceptions being the ones connecting Rijeka, Zagreb, Zadar and Split. Speed limits are thus low (60 - 90 kmh), and it's not recommended to drive faster (although most locals do), especially at night. Be aware of animals crossing the road.
Renting a car is around the same price as in any other EU country (from around ˆ40). 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 in order to avoid negative attention from locals.