Train travel in Croatia isn’t so popular way of traveling around Croatia, like bus or ferry. Anyhow it’s the safest way but much slower than traveling by bus.
Croatia train network is much more extended in continental part of Croatia where trains connect most of the major towns like Osijek, Vinkovci, Vukovar , Slavonski Brod, Varazdin, Karlovac.
Croatia train network to the southern parts of the country is rather limited but those trains to the Adriatic coastal destinations are of the major interest for tourists. Zagreb and its railway station is the main train hub to all parts of Croatia.
Major routes connect the capital city, Zagreb, with the Adriatic coast, where Split, in particular is the most beaten track. Keep in mind, Dubrovnik is the only major Croatian city, that doesn’t make a part of Croatia’s rail network. The good alternative is to use a bus or a flight to reach this top destination.
Train travel in Croatia – Classes and Comfort
In Croatia, local trains offer second-class service only while the first the class is available on the main train routes. One of them is a sleeping car service between Zagreb to Zadar and from Zagreb to Split.
Unless you’re trying to save few kunas, first class is a must-book as compartments are more spacious with more comfortable seats. Booked the sleeping car from Zagreb to Split is rather comfortable way of traveling.
Since the Croatian Railways (Hrvatske Zeljeznice) have added high-speed trains on Zagreb to Split line, travel time has been reduced by almost four hours. If you’re traveling with a rail pass, don’t forget to book a seat. Find out how to travel from Zagreb to Split with a Rail Pass?
Australian travelers can go directly to RailEurope Australia to purchase Croatia train tickets. Travelers from other countries can book and purchase tickets from Zagreb to Split going directly to Rail Europe website.
You can also go to Croatian Railways site to can get schedules and prices in English, details about rail services but you cannot book online.
Once you arrive in Croatia you can reserve and buy your train tickets from any train station in Croatia and pay using kuna. In some bigger railway stations like Zagreb, you can purchase your tickets using major credit cards.
Major train lines in Croatia
If you decide on train travel in Croatia, beside Zagreb to Split line, here are some more frequently used train routes in Croatia:
- Zagreb to Karlovac – with over a dozen daily trains on this route, Some daily trains go to Knin where is possible to find a bus to Zadar.
- Zagreb to Rijeka – there are several daily trains to Rijeka but you must change trains at Karlovac.
- Zagreb to Osijek – there are five daily trains but it’s more faster to take a bus.
- Zagreb to Varazdin – with a dozen daily trains this two and half hour journey is a reasonable alternative to the bus.