Once you have seen the Zagreb attractions, it is time to visit the Adriatic. This is how to get from Zagreb to Split or from Split to Zagreb.
Zagreb is the capital of Croatia and has become increasingly popular over the last five years as the entry point into Croatia for holidaymakers as there has been a massive increase in the number of flights into this beautiful city. The city also won the best European Christmas market award on several occasions, meaning the city is truly magical during Christmas.
Whether you’re flying into Zagreb, the main airport in Croatia, visiting Zagreb, or considering exploring Croatia beyond Zagreb, one of the most popular questions asked is how to get from Zagreb to Split and back again.
The great news? Travel from Zagreb to Split and from Split to Zagreb is easy, with travel times only taking just a few hours. This is because these are, without a doubt, two of the most popular cities in Croatia.
Split is located on the Dalmatian coast and is Croatia’s largest coastal city. The heart of the Split is the UNESCO-listed Diocletian’s Palace and the famous Riva. Being on the Dalmatian coast, you can easily combine beach time and getting your fill of history and culture.
Let’s also not forget Split has a major ferry port, which will get you to the magnificent Croatian islands where so many spend their summers. Many people also ask how to get from Split to Zagreb via Plitvice Lakes, which is quickly done along the route! Split, in other words, is the ideal place to base yourself for a Croatian holiday.
How exactly do you get from Zagreb to Split, and then how to get from Split to Zagreb?
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How Far Is Zagreb From Split
What is the distance from Zagreb to Split? This is a question many travelers ask when touring Croatia. The distance from Split to Zagreb is 408 kilometers. The route will take you from Croatia’s capital through continental Croatia to coastal Croatia through the Velebit Mountains.
The drive from Zagreb to Split will take 4 hours along the A1, so it’s a good idea to make a couple of pit stops along the way, of which Plitvice Lakes is by far the most popular. Of course, you can choose to drive, take the bus, train, or plane, or take a private transfer. Let’s check each option out, one by one.
Now we will cover the primary modes of transport from Zagreb to Split in more detail.
Map Zagreb To Split
Private Transfer From Zagreb To Split
If you want a hassle-free journey, book a Zagreb to Split transfer or a Split to Zagreb transfer and take the stress out of the whole thing.
A private transfer from Split to Zagreb will pick you up at your Split Hotel (door-to-door service), take care of your luggage, and you’ll be whisked off in a new vehicle equipped with free WiFi and bottled water. Along the way, feel free to make a couple of photo stops before your driver drops you off at your hotel in Zagreb.
Many travelers like to travel from Zagreb to Split via Plitvice Lakes or Krka National Park. Plitvice is along the “old road” route, saving you from having to backtrack to visit the National Parks once you are in Split. It’s actually much cheaper doing it this way.
In summary, A taxi from Zagreb to Split is the best way to get from Zagreb to Split unless you hire a private helicopter. Clearly, that would be the BEST!
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Zagreb To Split By Car
If you want to head off on your own steam and drive from Zagreb to Split or drive from Split to Zagreb, you can expect approximately a 4-hour drive, depending on traffic.
The Split to Zagreb drive is primarily a motorway along the A1, so pretty straightforward. Do bear in mind that motorways in Croatia are subject to tolls. A one-way toll fare between Zagreb and Split will cost around 27 euros.
All you need to do is leave Zagreb, enter the A1 motorway at Lucko, and follow the signs to Split. If there are any road closures along the way, which occasionally happens, there will be marked diversions. These may add a little time to your journey, but it shouldn’t be excessive.
Alternatively, you can go along the old highway between Zagreb and Split, which was in place before the motorway was built. This will take you longer because of speed restrictions, but it is a beautiful drive and is ideal if you have a bit more time and you’re not in a rush to arrive at your destination. Plus, you can incorporate some stops along the way, like Karlovac, Rastoke, Plitvice, and Korenica.
Zagreb to Split Car Rental
There are many Zagreb car rental companies and Split car rental companies, so you can shop for a great deal if you opt to rent a car in Croatia. With the popularity of one-way travel, if you’re not planning on heading back to Zagreb when making your way through Croatia, most will let you drop the vehicle off in Split, which is super convenient.
In summary, driving from Split to Zagreb is very easy, and you have two options: Motorway and the old road.
Zagreb To Split Bus
The cheapest and probably easiest public transport option is to take the Zagreb Split bus. There are numerous (around 50) services throughout the day, serving the route every hour, including throughout the night. Most buses travel directly from Zagreb to Split with one stop (for about 15mins) at the midway point.
The remainder takes the old highway or do a combination of the old highway and new motorway. If you want to travel from Split to Zagreb by bus during the dark hours and arrive in the morning, you can take the night bus, giving you a full day in Zagreb. With that said, journey times vary based on the route taken and can be anywhere from 4.5-9 hours.
The night service takes about 9 hours, with many stops. The first Zagreb to Split bus of the day leaves at 5 am. Book your ticket beforehand, as this is a very popular and busy route.
Book Your Bus
As far as the buses go, they are comfortable, and some have WiFi onboard, with regular bathroom breaks along the way. Prices vary according to the bus company you use, but they are 14-27 euros in general. Getting from Zagreb to Split by bus is the cheapest way of traveling between Split and Zagreb.
Zagreb To Split Car Sharing
Relatively new to the Croatian market and mostly popular with Students, Car Sharing services like Bla Bla Car operate in Croatia. You will also find dedicated groups and pages on social media dedicated to car sharing. Car or ride-sharing is still in its infancy in Croatia.
Split to Zagreb Train
The train from Zagreb to Split will take about 6 hours and cost you roughly the same as a bus, around 27 euros. The train from Split to Zagreb is very scenic, too. It’s just LONG – like, really long. Oh, and packed….and this train to Split from Zagreb has no catering facilities.
The Zagreb to Split train runs between the two cities twice per day. Additionally, there is also a Zagreb to Split night train, which runs daily during the summer, from May onward, and three times a week during the off-peak season. Remember that the Zagreb to Split night train takes a little longer, but it is comfortable, and there are sleeping carriages you can book.
It is highly advised to book your train to Split from Zagreb ticket beforehand. This is especially true from May to September when the volume of visitors is higher. If you are keen to take the train, another service that is offered is the option to transport your car or motorbike.
Types Of Trains
Split – Zagreb is serviced by two types of trains, a day train and a night train. The day train departs twice a day and takes approximately six hours. InterCity (IC) trains run between Split and Zagreb. The 1st class wagons provide more space and comfort for passengers than the 2nd class wagons. Reservations are required on these trains. Night trains are equipped with sleeping and couchette cars and can transport cars and bicycles. The approximate journey of a night train is seven hours, and reservations are not required.
For more information, check out the Croatian Railways website.
Zagreb To Split Flight
Flights between Zagreb and Split or flights from Split to Zagreb are your best option if you are short on time and need to get to Split or Zagreb instantly. Flights are direct and take around 40 minutes, which is drastically quicker than any other option! There are downsides, however, namely the airport layover if you don’t have a reasonable connection.
Zagreb Airport is located around half an hour from Zagreb, while Split Airport is around 25 minutes away from the center and easily accessible by bus and taxi. Compared to other forms of public transport, the price is much higher for a Split to Zagreb flight. Check out Croatia Airlines for Zagreb to Split flight schedules.
Zagreb To Plitvice Lakes To Split
If you have a little time on your side, we recommend stopping at Plitvice Lakes National Park on your transfer between Split and Zagreb. Plitvice Lakes is Croatia’s most famous National Park and an absolute must-see destination in Croatia.
This UNESCO-listed National Park and its 16 interconnected lakes and falls are simply spectacular. Those who decide to make the Plitvice Lakes stop also make a short stop at the watermill village of Rastoke, which is also along the route and well worth a visit.
If you want to travel from Zagreb to Split via Plitvice Lakes, your best options are:
- Split to Zagreb via Plitvice transfer – Here, you get a professional driver, a new vehicle, and fixed prices
- Taxi from Split to Plitvice Lakes and then a cab from Plitvice Lakes to Zagreb – This is an expensive option, and that meter is always running. Many vehicles are old and run down, making the private transfer a much better choice.
- Bus from Zagreb to Plitvice and then Bus from Plitvice to Split.
Unfortunately, the only time and cost-effective option for a Zagreb to Split via Plitvice Lakes transfer is by using a private transfer service. All other options require public transport, and no one-way group tours currently operate this service.
If you would like a Split quote to Zagreb via Plitvice Lakes private transfer, contact Octopus Transfers Croatia.
What Sites Are There Between Zagreb And Split?
There are several interesting places you can make a stop when traveling from Zagreb to Split, especially if you have a bit of time up your sleeve. We have already talked about Plitvice Lakes National Park, so here are a few more for you to consider:
- Watermill Village of Rastoke
- Knin Fortress
- Zrmanja Canyon
- Klis Fortress (Game of Thrones film location for Mereen)
- City of Zadar
- City of Trogir
- City of Sibenik
- Krka Waterfalls National Park
- Paklenica National Park
You have many options for travel from Split to Zagreb and Zagreb to Split. Together, they offer options that suit the budget and needs of all types of travelers.