Getting around Croatia
Zagreb (ZAG), Rijeka (RJK), Split (SPU), Pula (PUY) and Dubrovnik (DBV) international airports all receive domestic flights Domestic services also run to Zadar (www.zadar-airport.hr) and Osijek (www.osijek-airport.hr), which both handle some international traffic, and the smaller airports on the islands of Brac (www.airport-brac.hr) and Los¡inj (www.airportmalilosinj.hr). The main domestic routes operated by Croatia Airlines (www.croatiaairlines.hr) are Zagreb-Dubrovnik and Zagreb-Split.
Note: Buying domestic tickets whilst in Croatia can sometimes be cheaper than online.
There is a good motorway network (though it doesn’t yet extend down the coast to Dubrovnik). In some areas the road quality decreases somewhat, and the main coastal highway gets extremely congested during peak season.
The last decade has seen considerable investment in Croatia's roads and the country has an extensive network of highways (designated as E roads) and unclassified roads. Motorway connections are continually improving, and Croatia's 11 motorways are designated with the numbers A1 to A11.
The A1 is the main artery between Zagreb and Split. The A2 runs between Ljubljana (Slovenia) and Zagreb (Croatia), connecting Zagreb directly to the Western European highway system.
Motorways are designated ‘A’, highways as ‘E'. The A1 is the main artery between Zagreb and Split.
International and local car hire firms have offices in Croatia's airports, cities, bigger towns and leading resorts.
Registered taxis are easy to find, safe and since fares were regulated recently, reasonably priced.
Local tourist agencies in many main centres hire bikes, and some local tourist boards (eg Zagreb County, www.tzzz.hr) have cycle routes and maps online.
Regular coaches operate between most towns (see Zagreb bus station website, www.akz.hr).
The minimum driving age is 18. Speed limits are 130kph (81mph) on motorways, 110kph (62mph) on highways, 50kph (31mph) in built-up areas and 90kph (50mph) outside built-up areas. Heavy fines are imposed for speeding. The legal blood-alcohol limit is 0.05%. It is compulsory for front and rear passengers to wear seat belts. It is illegal to use a handheld mobile telephone while driving. Headlights should be turned on at all times. Driving is on the right.
Hrvatski Autoklub (HAK) operates an emergency service (tel: 987 or +385 1 987 if calling from a mobile phone; www.hak.hr).
National or International Driving Permit. All motorists should also carry a valid passport or national identity card as proof of identity at all times. A Green Card should be carried by visitors (except EU nationals) taking their own car into Croatia. National registration in country of origin is required for all foreign vehicles. Third party insurance is mandatory when hiring a car and a valid credit card is also needed.
Most towns and cities have a comprehensive local bus network; trams operate in many cities (Zagreb, Split, Osijek, etc). The historic centre of some towns (Split, Dubrovnik) are pedestrianised and pleasantly car-free.
Zagreb: The centre of Zagreb can easily be navigated on foot. It also has a good network of trams and buses run by ZET (www.zet.hr), as well as a funicular and taxis.
Dubrovnik: Dubrovnik's Old City is pedestrianised. Libertas (www.libertasdubrovnik.hr) operates efficient bus services, with stops just outside the Pile and Ploče gates.
Croatian Railways (www.hznet.hr) operates trains in Croatia. The main rail routes are Zagreb-Split, Zagreb-Rijeka and Zagreb-Osijek. There are no trains to Dubrovnik. It is generally quicker to travel by bus. An upgrading of the track between Zagreb and Split now means that this journey can be done in 5 hours 25 minutes.
InterRail One-Country Pass: offers travel for three, four, six or eight days in one month within Croatia. Travel is not allowed in the passenger's country of residence. Travellers under 26 years receive a reduction. Children's tickets are reduced by about 50%. Supplements are required for some high-speed services, seat reservations and couchettes. Discounts are offered on Eurostar and some ferry routes. Available from Inter Rail (www.interrailnet.com).
Jadrolinija (tel: (051) 666 111; www.jadrolinija.hr) is the main provider of car and passenger ferries and catamarans in Croatia. There are regular connections between the main ports and the offshore islands. A coastal service runs all the way from Rijeka in the north to Dubrovnik in the south, via Split, Stari Grad and Korcula.