Travelling to Croatia can be easy or challenging. It depends on time of the year you're travelling to Croatia, your final destination in Croatia, and the mode of transport you choose.
Zagreb is Croatia's transport hub, and it is well connected with the major European cities throughout the year. You can reach Zagreb from all the major Central and Western European cities either by plane, by bus, and even by train (although to reach Zagreb by train is the most limited option of all).
Travelling to Croatia: transportation options
Travelling to Croatia by plane
Croatia is well connected with the major European airports (Frankfurt, London, Paris, Rome, etc.). Main Croatian airports are Zagreb (ZAG), Split (SPU), Dubrovnik (DBV), Zadar (ZAD), Rijeka (RJK), and Pula (PUY). There aren't any direct overseas flights to and from Croatia. While Zagreb Airport is well connected all year around, the other regional airports get seasonal traffic, mostly from April to October.
The coastal towns, especially Zadar, Dubrovnik and Split, have lots of low cost carriers flying in and out from April to October. For the rest of the year, if you want to travel by plane, you'll need to fly into Zagreb and then take a connecting plane either to Dubrovnik or Split. Zadar and Pula airport stay pretty deserted from October to April. The best way to reach Pula, Rijeka or Zadar during the winter months is by car, or by bus. There is a regular airport bus line connecting Zadar, Pula, and Rijeka Airport with Zagreb Airport during the winter.
The main national carrier is Croatia Airlines. It connects Zagreb with Munich, Bologna, Brussels, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Istanbul, London, Paris, Vienna, Sarajevo, Skopje, and Zurich a year-round. You can reach Split a year-round from Frankfurt, Munich, and Rome, while Dubrovnik has direct flights only with Romethroughout the year.
During the season (mostly from April to October), all the Croatian airports get much more traffic. Croatia Airlines has seasonal flights from Dubrovnik to Athens, Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Paris, Rome, Tel Aviv, Venice, and Vienna. It connects Split with Athens, Beograd, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, London, Lyon, Munich, Paris, Rome, Vienna, and Zurich. Pula is directly connected with Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Munich; Zadar with Munich, and Rijeka with London.
Besides the Croatia Airlines, many low cost carriers have scheduled direct flights to and from the country as well.
Travelling to Croatia by bus
It’s easy to get around Croatia by bus. However to get to Croatia by bus is as challenging as to get to Croatia by plane. Even more so during the off season.
Very few international bus lines connect directly Croatian coastal towns with European hubs. There is a year-round bus connecting Trieste in Italy with Split in Croatia, and with stops in Rijeka, Zadar, Sibenik. During the high season you can reach Dubrovnik directly from Budapest, and Prague. Split you can reach directly from Budapest (seasonal), Bern, Basel, Berlin, Dortmund, Hamburg, Trieste, Prague (seasonal), and Vienna. Istrian towns Umag, Rovinj, Porec and Pula are connected by bus a year-round with Trieste in Italy. Rijeka is connected a year-round with Basel, Berlin, Dortmund, and Hamburg.
Zagreb and eastern Croatia have regular bus line to and from many European countries.
The main national bus companies are Panturist, Croatia Bus, Autotrans, and Touring. We've included direct links to their websites, to help you plan your travelling to Croatia by bus.
Travelling to Croatia by train
Traveling to Croatia by train (or around Croatia) isn't very convenient. International train lines are very few. You can reach Zagreb directly from Munich, Frankfurt, Vienna and Budapest. From April to October, there is an international train from Rijeka to Ljubljana linking further with the train to Munich and Frankfurt. The main national railway company is Hrvatske Zeljeznice (Croatian Railways).