Getting around Croatia can be tricky and definitely requires careful planning, largely because of Croatia's unusual geography.
Second: unmissable Dubrovnik is perched awkwardly on the country's tip; getting anywhere else in Croatia involves either backtracking along the coast, driving up through Bosnia or taking a flight to Zagreb.
Nevertheless, the quality of the transport infrastructure is generally good: ferries are reliable, buses are remarkably comfortable and efficient, flights are cheap, and driving is made easier by the modern and well-maintained road network. Trains connect major towns but the network is designed more for residents than tourists who will rarely find it convenient to use the railway.
All internal flights are operated by Croatia Airlines, the national carrier. The price of internal flights in Croatia can be cheaper than taking a train or bus, especially off-season and off-hours. The largest airports are Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik with Zadar, Rijeka, Pula and Osijek also receiving international flights. Flight schedules are highly seasonal especially for international flights. Whether domestic or international, prices are higher in the summer.
Recent crackdowns on drunk driving and speeding have made Croatia's roads much calmer and safer than they once were. As long as foreigners follow the rules, there's no particular problem with driving in Croatia. Of course you'll need to weigh the convenience of having a car against the cost of a car rental. See more on driving in Croatia and car rental in Croatia. If you're driving to Croatia a green insurance card will get you across the border and there are numerous border crossings. See more on driving to Croatia.
Getting around Croatia by ferry in Croatia is both efficient and maddening as you try to figure out the ferry schedule. But it can be done! The vast majority of Croatia ferries are handled by the national carrier, Jadrolinija and most are car ferries designed to provide a link between Croatian islands and the coast. There are a few useful catamarans however that provide links between the islands. It is most important to plan out the ferry route before making your hotel bookings. More on ferries in Croatia.
Ferries to Croatia all originate in Italy, primarily Ancona, Bari and Venice and there are several companies that handle them. Frequency is vastly reduced in the off-season. There are no ferries to Greece or other Mediterranean destinations. See more on ferries to Croatia.
Travelling Croatia by bus is an inexpensive and convenient alternative to a car. The internal bus network is excellent on the mainland but buses on Croatian islands are much less frequent. To explore the islands, I recommend a car rental. See more on buses in Croatia . Buses to Croatia are a good way to enter the country, especially from Italy or Slovenia which have few flights or trains to Croatia. See more on buses to Croatia.
Train There are not a lot of trains in Croatia but they are comfortable. Taking a train can be a comfortable way to get from Zagreb to Split but that's about it. See more on trains in Croatia. If you're coming from Hungary or Austria, you'll find frequent trains to Zagreb from where you can change for a train to the coast. See more on trains to Croatia.
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