Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, and the Croatian city of Split are 284 miles (457 km) apart. The most convenient way to go is by car—rental or private transfer—a drive of about five hours. The route is scenic, taking you through hills, mountains, and eventually near Croatia's famous coastline. If you have time to extend your trip further down the Dalmatian Coast, this 8-day itinerary includes scenic islands and ends in the historical port city of Dubrovnik.
Buses are also an option, although not as convenient as driving. Depending on departure time, you’ll arrive in Split in 8-9.5 hours. If you prefer to sleep through the journey and wake up in Split, there are overnight options through the private bus company Flixbus.
Slovenia's regional trains aren't the most convenient choice, but there are three departures per day—one daytime train and two overnight—direct to Split. The route goes through Zagreb, increasing the journey time to 12-13 hours.
By Rental Car or Private Transfer
Duration: 5 hours
The quickest and most convenient way to reach Split from Ljubljana is by rental car or private transfer. Both can be booked right in the city center, although there are additional companies that leave from the airport. The drive is fairly straightforward, especially through Croatia where you’ll mostly stick to major highways.
Leaving Ljubljana, you’ll follow the A2 highway before connecting to roads 216/218 across the border. Keep in mind that you’ll need to stop here and show your papers. Border crossings tend to be longer in the busy summer months, so plan for a little extra time.
Once in Croatia, the E71 highway will take you to Zadar where you’ll transfer to E65 the rest of the way. Zadar is a great stopping point for some lunch or a stroll along the harbor. The detour to the seaside town of Karlobag is very scenic as you make your way through the Dinaric Alps. Other options include the historic and picturesque towns of Šibenik and Trogir.
Duration: 8 - 9.5 hours
Day and overnight buses are both available, with all routes going through Zagreb. All are direct, so you don’t need to switch buses. Journey times range from 8 to 9.5 hours.
Duration: 12-13 hours
Trains are the least convenient and slowest option. Slovenia regional trains offer three daily departures—one-day train and two overnight trains. Despite its longer journey time, if you’re opting for an overnight route the train is more comfortable than the bus. You can reserve a sleeper car which provides beds and personal sinks in each room. Make sure to book in advance as spaces are limited, especially in the busy tourist season.