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Travel to Croatia: Cheap Flights, Ferries, and Buses to Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Split, and Istria by Jeanne Oliver

Croatia's Dalmatian coast has become one of Europe's most exciting destinations but getting there can be tricky. If you're coming from outside Europe, be aware that there are no direct flights from North America to Croatia. You'll need to make a stop in another European city for a flight to Croatia. Fortunately there are more and more routes opening up. If you're coming from Italy however, the best bet is usually to take a ferry to Croatia. That's what most Italians do which is why there are more ferries than flights from Italy to Croatia.


In travelling to Croatia, there are four main entry points: Dubrovnik, Istria, Split and Zagreb. Let's take them in order.

Travel to Dubrobnik

It's Croatia's most beautiful spot and well connected by flight, ferry and train. Taking a flight to Dubrovnik is easier between March and October when the season begins to gear up but you'll find connections from London to Dubrovnik three times a week all year. To get to Dubrovnik from Italy, your only choice is Jadrolinija's Bari to Dubrovnik ferry which runs all year but more often in summer. There are buses to Dubrovnik from most other Croatian cities that run frequently and efficiently.

Travel to Istria

The main entry points in Istria are Umag, Rovinj, Porec, Pula and Rabac which are all connected by ferries to Italy but only in the summer season. In addition, there are buses to Pula from Venice and to Rovinj and Porec from Trieste. Pula airport has non-stop flights in the summer from Manchester, London, Edinburg and Glasgow.

Travel to Split

Split is situated in the middle of the Dalmatian coast and makes an excellent entry point. There are non-stop flights to Split from London, Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich, Prague and Rome. If you're coming from Italy, you'll find frequent ferries all year from Ancona and less frequent ferries from Pescara. In the summer, there's a highly convenient overnight ferry that runs from Venice to Split. Split is connected by bus with most other Croatian cities as well as Ljubljana, Mostar and Sarajevo.

Travel to Zagreb

Zagreb is Croatia's capital and connected to most other European capitals by Croatia Airlines. The cheapest way to Zagreb from the UK is by Wizzair which just opened a new service from London to Zagreb. Other low-cost carriers include SNBrussels which has flights from Brussels and Germanwings which has cheap flights from Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg and Stuttgart. There are buses to Zagreb from other Balkan cities but the train is most convenient if you're coming from Ljubljana, Venice, Budapest or Vienna.

About the Author:

Jeanne Oliver has written all three editions of Lonely Planet's Croatia guidebook. To find out more about traveling to Croatia and to book your trip, visit Jeanne's website,

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