Many times I have been asked how to travel from Zagreb to Split (or vice versa), especially in summer period. Here is a useful guide how to find the best way to travel between two of Croatia’s biggest cities.
Upon entering to Croatia via Zagreb, many tourist are searching the best way to reach Adriatic coast. There are many ways of traveling from Zagreb to the capital of Dalmatia region. Some of them are slower but more economic while others are much faster but call for the higher travel costs.
From the point of time saving, it is obvious that flying between two cities, is the fastest way. From Zagreb's airport a flight takes less than an hour to Split airport.
If you are interested in natural beauty, unspoiled nature, national parks, mountain landscapes, than no doubt, traveling by car is for you.
If you aren't in a hurry to reach Split as soon as possible, don't miss to drop in for a day or two visiting UNESCO natural heritage site of Plitvice Lakes on the way to the seaside.
Let's start from the fastest but more expensive way of traveling between two cities. If it's true that time is money than flying is not so expensive.
Flights are very frequent and from my experience, very regular between two airports. A flight from one to other airport takes from 45 to 50 minutes.
Including the time you are going to lose traveling from/to the airports, as well as check-in times, in the end you should be in less than 3 hours, on Split Riva Promenade.
Croatia airline is the main company on this route with very frequent flights. It may seem strange but Croatian airline company, often has cheap deals between the two airports. Prices are sometimes on a par with the price of the bus and train.
Below you can see some daily flights starting from early one at 06:30 to the late evening at 22:00 with the best round trip prices:
The price of one way ticket goes from € 92 to 113. To see all offers and to book a seat online visit Croatia-Airlines website.
The driving distance between two cities is about 410 km. Traveling by car, has some advantages but it’s consider the most expensive way of traveling.
Driving to Split by car is more flexible as you have a freedom to stop when and where you want or to visit most interesting sights. The first place you would like to visit is National Park of Plitvice Lakes.
Traveling by car requires approximately 3 hours and 50 minutes taking E71 highway route (check Google map E71 highway routs), driving all the way to Dugopolje and from there taking direction to Split city center.
You should consider a tool fees on this route, that will cost you 174 Kuna (24 EUR). If you want to know the cost of gasoline to drive between the two destinations for these 410 km, than you’ll spend approximately 454 Kuna (60.60 EUR).
This calculation is based for a car (gasoline) that consumes 8 l/100 km, considering the price of Eurosuper 95 - 08,94 kn / l (Euro 1,19) or Euro Disel BS - 08,13 / l (Euro 1.09).
If you are driving a car on diesel fuel, the costs would certainly be lower (more or less 10 Euro).
If you want to rent a car for this trip, below you can find the best, discount airport rentals offers (Zagreb airport code ZAG)
Considering that there are approximately 30 daily buses that cover this route, the bus has been always regarded as an excellence service, very frequent and cheap.
On this route run different bus companies but if you buy your bus tickets online in advance, the best option is to use Autotrans line between two cities.
Bus station Zagreb and Bus station Split are connected every day. During the year with two and during the season with five departures a day.There is 453 kilometers between Zagreb to Split, and a bus ride takes about 5 hours and 30 minutes.
Autotrans online booking offers the cheapest First minute tickets with an additional online discount of 5%. You can find a ticket for only 60 Kuna (08 Euro or 08,90 USA $).
This company also offers on all domestic lines special discount offers for passengers under 26 years of age (from 15 to 30 %), persons over 60 (from 15 to 30 %) and special offers for children of 4-12 years old (50 % discount) and children from 0-3 years old (80 %). Check here all types of tickets!
All buses starts from Zagreb bus station, Avenija Marina Drzica 4, Zagreb. The price and bus comfort depend on which road you decide to take. (faster E71 highway is obviously more expensive). Ticket prices range from 115 Kuna to 205 ( plus additional 10 Kuna fee for luggage). Hand luggage is free of charge.
If you decide to stop by Plitvice Lakes on the way to Split you will have to buy two tickets, one from Zagreb to Plitvice and the second one from Plitvice to Split. Keep in mind that a bus on E71 route to Split, doesn't stop at Plitvice Lake.
On National park Plitvice lakes there is no bus station but a number of bus stops on the main road passing through the national park. National park has two official entrances, from where you have various walking trails trough the park. Read more here!
Most of the buses departure from the bus stop at entrance 1, some also from entrance 2 and Mukinje entrance. When you buy a ticket to Plitvice, don’t forget to indicate the entrance number! The entrance will be clearly indicated on your bus ticket when buying online
Train is also very popular way of transportation between two cities. Actually it’s the only train connection that runs between Croatia’s inland with Central Dalmatia.
There are two daytime trains from Zagreb and a night train during he summer season. Latest schedules can be found on very reliable Bahn.de website (also in English).
In this moment there are 3 trains, one night train and two daylight, running between two cities: