Zagreb, Croatia's capital, is the arrival and departure point for many visitors and also has its fair share of tourist attractions. Its airport is located nine miles (15 km) south-east of the city center with many international flight connections as well as domestic flights operated by Croatia Airlines to Bol, Dubrovnik, Osijek, Pula, Rijeka, Split, and Zadar. An airport bus service links the main bus station to the airport with scheduled departures every 30 minutes.

Traveling by road via private transfer services or renting a car and driving yourself, is an efficient way to travel thanks to Croatia's excellent toll highways. While the train network is not very extensive, there are a few good rail connections with its capital city, notably with the cities of Rijeka, Karlovac, Split, Osijek, and Varaždin.

Traveling by train is often not a faster option than driving or taking a bus, so do check timetables carefully. Buses run from Zagreb's main bus station to destinations throughout the country and this is also a budget-friendly and comfortable way to travel in Croatia.

This 14-day itinerary takes travelers to some of Croatia's finest highlights, including Dubrovnik, the Pelješac peninsula, Korčula island, the national parks of Krka and Plitvice Lakes, and the capital city of Zagreb.

From Pula

Duration: 3.5 - 7.5 hours

Daily flights link Pula in the Istrian peninsula directly to Zagreb in just 40 mintues. Other flights make a stop in Zadar on the way, adding an extra hour to the flight time. The journey by car can take 3.5 to 4 hours, while buses make the trip in the same time or longer, depending on the route and number of stops on the way. The journey by night bus is the longest, at 7.5 hours. There are no train connections between Pula and Zagreb so making the trip by train is not an option.

From Rijeka

Duration: 2 - 4.5 hours

It's a two-hour drive from Rijeka to Zagreb along the toll highway linking the two cities. Buses can take slightly longer but there are up to 20 daily departures on this route. Another possibility is to travel by train but this is the least popular option because the trip takes 4 to 4.5 hours, notably longer than the bus.

From Zadar

Duration: 45 minutes - 3.5 hours

The quickest and most convenient way to travel to Zagreb from Zadar is by plane. There's a daily direct flight with a flight time of only 45 minutes. If traveling by road, a car journey will take three hours while the bus trip is only 30 minutes longer. There are up to daily 20 bus services on this route with departures almost every hour.

While there is a train connection between Zagreb and Zadar, it is not direct and requires a change in Knin. The total journey by train could take up to 16 hours and for this reason is not recommended.

From Split

Duration: 50 minutes - 6.5 hours

It's a short 50-minute flight from Split to Zagreb with up to four direct flights operating each day by Croatia Airlines. If you decide to travel by road instead and make the drive yourself with a rental car or via a private transfer, this will take 4.5 to 5 hours.

A bus trip will be slightly longer. Up to 15 buses connect Split to the capital, a route that takes 5 to 6.5 hours depending on the number of stops on the way. Another option is to travel by train. Two daily trains run on this route: a morning train takes just over six hours, while the night train is slower, with a total journey time of eight hours.

From Dubrovnik

Duration: 1 hour - 12.5 hours

Taking an internal flight is the fastest way to travel from Dubrovnik to Zagreb. There are up to five flights a day linking the two cities with a total flight time of one hour.

Making the journey by road will take much longer. If you're traveling via a private car transfer or driving a rental car, it will take at least six hours to cover the 600-km route. A bus journey will take significantly longer because of the scheduled stops in other cities along the way. There are up to 13 direct buses making the journey between Dubrovnik and Zagreb every day, with the total travel time varying between 8.5 to 12.5 hours. 

Learn more about How to Get from Dubrovnik to Zagreb

Written by Isabel P, updated Sep 26, 2019