Bus Travel in Croatia

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Getting around Croatia by bus is the cheapest and most reliable option for travel within Croatia even though bus services vary greatly in speed and comfort. Timetables are not readily available on the internet apart from the few major cities, so if you are planning your trip in advance, your best option is to call the departure bus terminal. All routes are operated by private bus companies, who have been issued licenses to serve specific routes.

Bus schedules and timetables

The main bus hubs in Croatia, from where you can reach most other cities in Croatia, are:

From Croatia, there are year-around connections to Germany, Austria, Italy, Bosnia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia, Hungary, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and even Sweden.

During summer season, especially July and August, there are additional summer holiday bus routes to the Adriatic coast from almost any country in Europe.

There are a wide range of coach holidays to cities along the Adriatic coast from countries like Germany, Italy, Austria, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and the UK.

Most of the buses in Croatia are new and well-equipped (especially ones that drive between major cities like Split-Zagreb or Rijeka-Zagreb). Buses will almost always have comfortable seats, air conditioning, electrical sockets and in some cases even WiFi.

Cost of Bus Travel

Buses are one of the cheapest transport services in Croatia if you measure it in kuna per km traveled. Popular lines between major cities will cost you around 7 to 10 lipa per Km while less popular lines will be range from 11 to 14 lipa per Km.

You can receive up to a 60% discount if you purchase a round-trip ticket. Round-trip tickets are only valid if you’re traveling back with the same company. This is very important. If you book your return with another company, you’ll have to get a new one-way ticket.

Most bus companies offer discounts to children, student and senior citizens. Discount amount varies from company to company so make sure to ask when buying a ticket.

How to buy a bus ticket

Buying a ticket is fairly simple. You can just show up at the departure bus terminal (called “autobusni kolodvor” in Croatian) and get a ticket at the counter. You can also purchase a ticket on board when the ticket collector comes to you, however this option can sometimes be more expensive then getting the ticket at the terminal. There are also websites that sell bus tickets such as Getbybus.com. You always need to have your ticket with you.

If you carry any larger pieces of luggage that can’t fit in the passenger area of the bus, you will be charged 7 to 10 kn per piece of luggage.

Tips when traveling by bus in Croatia

Croatia is known for it’s heavy traffic jams when the summer season comes so buses may be late or experience delays during transit.

You are not allowed to carry pets or bicycles.

During high season, it is recommended that you purchase a seat assignment, to ensure you will not be standing during the trip.

Drivers sometimes can’t communicate well in English or other languages, which can sometimes be an issue. Although if you know where you need to get off the bus, there really is no need to talk to the driver at all. In my personal experience, all the drivers were friendly and helpful and even if they didn’t speak English well, they still went out of their way to help passengers.

If you are familiar with the route, you can be dropped off before reaching the main bus station at the end destination just by asking the bus driver in advance. Make sure you are specific as possible about where you want to be dropped and that it is along the existing bus route. Don’t ask for a detour.

If you are considering traveling by train in Croatia instead, don’t. Here is why.

Check out our other country-wide transport guides:

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6 thoughts on “Bus Travel in Croatia

  1. Julie Churchward
    May 17, 2019 @ 12:41 am

    Hi, I found your article very useful. However, I have a question you haven’t touch on. I am traveling to Croatia in July with my daughter and 3 grandchildren. They are aged 7,5 and 1. We have decided to travel using trains and buses. Are we correct in thinking this will mean we won’t have to lug car seats?
    Julie

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      May 27, 2019 @ 10:12 am

      Hi Julie,

      The trains and buses don’t provide car seats for small children.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  2. KATIA
    June 10, 2019 @ 1:27 am

    Never get the Croatia bus, it was the worst travel of my life!!! I went from Dubrovnik to Zagreb, in a durty bus, where we had to change the bus in the middle of the night, the driver was very rude and pushed all the passengers, and also, forgot my baggage at the first bus. I was going to carry myself, but he pushed me and said that he was going to do. When I got the baggage 2 days before, there were soma things missing. The day we arrived at Zagreb, the person, I think called Maria, told us that she couldn´t do anything and all we could do was wait until someone called saying that found a baggage…10 hours later, we asked in the bus station about our baggage, and another employee helped us(when we said we were from Brazil) and found our baggage, in the first bus we have taked.

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      June 13, 2019 @ 8:46 am

      Hi Katia,

      How terrible! I am very sorry to hear about your experience. I took a Croatia Bus to Sibenik once, and the bus felt like it might fall apart at any moment. I’m glad someone helped to find your luggage in the end. Thank you for sharing your experience with everyone!

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  3. Leon
    October 15, 2019 @ 11:13 pm

    When you buy a ticket online, where can you print it out in Croatia? Many tickets need to be printed out.

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      October 16, 2019 @ 11:06 am

      Hi Leon,

      Good question! Actually you no longer need to print out bus tickets in Croatia. You can show the bus driver the QR code on your phone without having to print out the ticket.

      If you want to print out your ticket, you can go to a kopirnica (copy shop) to have it printed out.

      Cheers,

      Sara

      {reply}

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