Bus service within Croatia is excellent. Service is fast, efficient and there are usually many buses a day going to popular destinations. For one or two people travelling Croatia on a budget, bus travel is cheaper than renting a car. For three or more people, renting a car may be cheaper. Naturally there's less flexibility travelling by bus but it's easy to go from one town center to another without worrying about traffic, directions or parking. Also, bus travel is the more environmentally responsible choice.
[Get details on buses to Croatia]
The largest bus hub is Zagreb with daily buses whizzing out to any and all Croatian towns. Buses run frequently up and down the coast from Rijeka to Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik. Buses to interior villages are far less frequent. To see the luscious interior of Istria you'll need wheels. Bus services on Croatia's islands link major towns but it can be difficult to visit more than one island destination in a day.
Bus travel is relatively comfortable as companies must compete for customers on popular routes. Seats recline and air-conditioning is standard. Many bus companies are now offering free WiFi. Most routes are daytime only but there are a few night buses between far-flung destinations.
You usually do not need to reserve far in advance but it would be advisable if you are going to a popular coastal destination in the summer. In that case, buy your bus tickets as soon as possible. You can pay with cash or credit card. Also, remember that seating is assigned so if you don't want to be stuck in the back you should buy your ticket at least a day ahead of time, if possible. In truth, the only time assigned seating is enforced is on crowded buses. Most times it is ignored.
Can you buy online? Yes, for most buses. Some bus stations (see below) sell tickets online. I recommend getbybus where you can print out your tickets, go directly to the bus station and board. The booking process is simple.
Otherwise, tickets are only sold at the bus station. Travel agencies do not sell bus tickets.
There are a number of different companies competing for service on the most popular lines, i.e. Zagreb-Split, Zadar, Rijeka, Dubrovnik etc. which keeps costs within bounds. Competition on major routes means that there may be a big difference in prices depending on when you travel. If your hours are more flexible than your budget, check the prices at different times of the day. Be aware that if you buy a return trip you will have to travel on that company's bus!
Baggage placed under the bus sometimes incurs a charge of 7Kn, depending on the bus company. Some bus companies no longer impose a charge. Local buses and most island buses have no baggage surcharge. See more on costs of travel in Croatia.
Buses are a little slower than cars but often not by much. The usual procedure is to stop for 10 minutes every two hours which is not much different from driving. To figure how long your bus trip will take, consult my Croatia driving distances chart and add about 30% extra. That should give you a rough idea of your bus trip.
There is some information on-line even if much of it is in Croatian! By far the best way to get bus schedules is to consult getbybus. You can also take a look at bus station websites but here are the major bus companies with websites and their base city:
|Auto promet Sisak||Sisak|
|Autobusni promet Varaždin||Varaždin|
|Autoprometno poduzeće d.d.||Požega|
|Arrivaport d.d. Šibenik||Šibenik|
|Croatia - Bus d.d.||Zagreb|
|Čazmatrans d.o.o. Putnička Agencija Zagreb||Zagreb|
|Francuzević Prijevoz||Dugo Selo|
|Liburnija d.o.o. Zadar||Zadar|
|Promet Split||Hercegovačka 20, 21000 Split|
The best place for bus information is at the bus station. Check out the following bus station websites which have timetables and pricing information for all arriving and departing buses:
Review: The selection is complete and certain routes are payable from the app. For "not available" routes, buy tickets at the bus station.
Last Updated November 16, 2018
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