With only 86 miles (140 km) separating them, it's easy to travel from Zagreb to Ljubljana and combine visits to these two European capital cities on the same trip.
A drive from Zagreb to Ljubljana by rental car or private transfer is the most convenient way to go and takes about three hours. Know that you'll need to show your passport at the border, and in high season, border queues can add extra time to your trip. You can also make this trip by bus or train.
This 14-day tour takes in the best of Croatia and Slovenia, including the capital cities of Zagreb and Ljubljana as well as highlights such as Lake Bled in Slovenia, and Rovinj, Plitvice Lakes National Park, and Dubrovnik in Croatia.
By Rental Car
Duration: 2 - 3 hours, more with stops and border traffic
The total travel time from Zagreb to Ljubljana largely depends on the traffic situation. This is a popular route during the summer and roads can get very busy during this time. From Zagreb head west on the E70 toll highway which leads all the way to Ljubljana. The charming town of Samobor is a popular stop on the way thanks to its many wineries, restaurants, and its famous Samobor kremšnita, a type of cream cake.
Note that you will need to show your passport at the Croatian-Slovenian border and that you could face a long wait during the peak summer season. Once across the border, a “vignette” is required to use the highway in Slovenia. You can buy one at one of the service stations along this route. Stick it on the windshield of your car as proof that you've paid the mandatory toll.
Traveling by private transfer from Zagreb to Ljubljana is a good choice for travelers who prefer to avoid navigating European roads and leave the driving to a local. To find out about private transfer services between these two destinations, contact your local travel specialist.
Duration: 2.5 hours
Traveling by bus from Zagreb to Ljubljana is a cheap and convenient means of transportation. There are over a dozen direct buses departing throughout the day from Zagreb's main bus station. Buses are comfortable and some companies like FlixBus offer free wifi and toilets on board. Consider booking your ticket in advance if you're traveling during the peak summer tourist season.
Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes - 2 hours 45 minutes
There are four to five trains running between Zagreb and Ljubljana every day and fares are very reasonable. Note that tickets for international routes cannot be booked online on the Croatian Railways website but can be purchased in advance at any train station.