How to Get from Budapest to Croatia (Zagreb, Dubrovnik etc) by Train or Bus
The questions about how to get from Budapest to Croatia I’ve have heard a dozen times. Hungary, as Croatia’s northern neighbor is a very popular tourist destination – especially Budapest, the capital.
Summers can be very hot and dry in Hungary. Daily temperatures can go well over 30°C (86°F), especially in July and August. In the summer, the primary targets are naturally the popular seaside resorts in Croatia, as they are close, cheap and amazing.
It’s relatively easy to travel from Hungary to Croatia, especially if you’re traveling to or from Budapest. Budapest is connected by numerous airlines from almost every European county, especially from various UK airports which means there’s plenty of choices for you.
However, at the moment of writing, there are no direct flights between Budapest to Croatia’s seaside resorts, so you will have to find different means of getting from Budapest, Hungary to Croatia.
Fortunately, there are many easy options and we’re going to talk about them all below.
How to plan a trip from Budapest to Croatia by Car
As there are no direct flights between Hungary and Croatia, which are the other means of transportation between the two countries? Before I answer this question, let’s see how far is Budapest from the principal destinations in Croatia.
Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, is the nearest main attraction from Budapest. The shortest distance between the two cities is 344 Km (213 miles). It takes about three hours and a half by car if you take the road M7 and E65/E71 along the Balaton Lake.
The most of the questions I’ve received are in general related to Split and how to reach this popular destination, either from/to Budapest. The shortest distance between the two cities is 750 Km (466 miles) and it will take about 7 hours by car.
If you are heading to the Istria (Croatia) peninsula, the distance from Budapest to Pula (capital of Istria) is 608 Km (378 miles) and it will take approximately 6 hours by car.
The longest trip you have to face is if you decide to get to Dubrovnik (Southern Dalmatia) from Budapest. The distance of 945 Km (584 miles) is considerable if you travel by car.
On this map you have two route options, the first via E71 (passing through Croatia), which is faster and the second one (passing over Bosnia and Herzegovina) which is a bit more more complicated.
Traveling from Budapest to Croatia by train
Most of the trains from Budapest to Croatia will stop at the Zagreb railway station (Zagrebacki Glavni kolodvor). From there, you can take any connection to the main seaside destinations or if you prefer, the Croatia airline company offers daily flights to Pula, Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik.
The average travel time by train between Budapest and Zagreb is 6 hours and 30 minutes. The first train leaving Budapest is at 06:05, the last at 14:45. There is an average of two trains a day between Budapest and Zagreb.
There are two departure stations in Budapest to Croatia (Zagreb)
- The first train to Zagreb leaves at 06.50 AM from Budapest Deli pu (Alkotás utca 1123 Budapest), arriving at 12.48 PM
- The second one leaves at 14.45 PM from Budapest Keleti p (Dohány utcai Zsinagóga VII. Dohány u. 2-8, Pest Budapest) arriving at 20.46 PM.
- Arrival station for both trains: Zagreb gl. kol. (Trg kralja Tomislava 12 10000 Zagreb)
- One-Way ticket is approximately: 18€ – 26€ (130 kn – 190 kn).
IMPORTANT: Make sure to double-check the information above, as it could change at any given time due to various reasons!
Night train from Budapest to Split, Croatia
One of the most popular train routes, though, is a night train from Budapest to Split via Zagreb. This train is running only in the period from June 15th until September 7th, on a daily basis. This line is handled by Hungarian Railways. (Make sure to double check all the info, also, as schedules can always change).
This night train usually departs at 6:53 PM from the Budapest Keleti train station and arrives at the Split train station at 6:56 AM, the following day.
This is a direct night train from Budapest to Split and it is extremely useful if you want to save some money on a hotel as you can spend the night in the sleeper car.
Another option is using one of the daytime trains from Budapest to Zagreb and from Zagreb to Split you can take a night train that runs daily from April 29th to October 29th. This train leaves Zagreb at 23.03 PM and arrives in Split next morning at 06.54 AM.
On night trains 820/821 between Zagreb – Split – Zagreb, Croatian Railways offer also ‘hostel on wheels’ a sleeping car for a surcharge of 77 kuna. There is also a Auto-motor-train for additional 101 Kuna (for your car) or motorcycle for 51 kuna.
Budapest to Croatia by bus
Luckily, there are a lot of buses connecting Budapest to the Croatian main seaside resorts along the Adriatic coast. All buses depart from Népliget Bus Station Budapest, which is easily accessible by public transport.
Below, we’ll talk about some of the options you have, but in reality there might be even more options available.
Remember that Croatia has invested a lot in building their roads infrastructure in the past several years, and you’re going to get perfect quality roads if you choose to go by bus (which is usually faster than the train too).
Budapest to Zagreb by bus
Volanbusz / Eurolines Hungary connects Zagreb, three times a week until June 01. After that, they switch to a daily basis up to the end of October.
The address of the Zagreb bus station is Avenija Marina Drzica 4, 10000 Zagreb. It is the biggest and most contemporary station in this area of Europe.
Budapest to Rijeka, Opatija, Pula, Rovinj and Porec
Volanbusz runs the Adria Express services on every Friday between 15 June and 08 September from Budapest to Istria and Kvarner district. Prices start from 30 Euros for a one way trip.
Budapest – Zagreb – Zadar – Sibenik – Trogir – Split – Makarska
Each Friday, Volanbusz with Dalmatian Express runs this service between 15 June and 10 September. On Saturday, there is the return service to Budapest.
Budapest to Dubrovnik and Budva (Montenegro)
In cooperation with Montenegro express bus service, in the period between June 15th to 10th September, each Friday you can reach Dubrovnik from Budapest.
As I mentioned, there are many other options available when it comes to getting to Croatia from Hungary, especially Budapest. Make sure to double check all the data above, as it is subject to change on a yearly basis – but it is good to know that you have options.
If you are planning to travel to Croatia from Hungary, which method are you going to choose?