Train is a popular mode of transport in Croatia, although the train network isn’t that extensive – trains in Croatia generally feature most within the country’s interior, and far less so along the coast. Zagreb is the central hub of the train network, and within Croatia there’s a high frequency of routes to and from the capital. The two most useful coastal destinations connected to Zagreb by train are Rijeka and Split.
In comparison with Western Europe, tickets are inexpensive. There have also been upgrades of some of the track in recent years to improve journey times; for example, on the Zagreb to Split route and in areas just outside Zagreb as well.
Funnily enough, the upgrade of Croatia’s road system and the construction of motorways has seen some train services reduced in frequency, as journey times by road have also been reduced! For example, the Zagreb – Rijeka train route, previously one of the busiest, has suffered in popularity as the relatively new motorway has reduced bus journey times to only 2 and 1/2 hours – the train takes 4 hours.
Overall, you will probably have more more options in Croatia if travelling by bus as the bus network is far more extensive. This is certainly the case if you are intending to travel along the coastline for there are hardly any routes along it – alternatively, for a much more leisurely option in this case, take a ferry.
One more thing – to answer one of the more frequent questions that we receive, there are no train services to Dubrovnik! (The town does not have a train station.)
Trains in Croatia – Ticket prices
Here are the journey times for the more popular train routes in Croatia. (Ticket prices shown are all for second class travel.)
|From…||To…||Price (Kuna)||Journey Time|
|Zagreb||Split||208||6 hours or 8 hours 20 mins depending on the train|
|Zagreb||Varazdin||65 – 80||2.5 – 3 hours|
|Zagreb||Osijek||140 – 150||5 hours|
|Zagreb||Vukovar||130 – 140||4 – 6 hours|
|Rijeka||Osijek||230 – 240||9 hours|
Prices vary depending on the type of train you take – inter-city (ICN in Croatian), fast (brzi) or passenger (putnicki) train. Some train tickets have an additional supplement that needs to be paid (6 or 16 Kunas, again depending on the type of train) although these have been included in the prices listed above. ICN trains are the fastest and therefore the most expensive, but not all train types operate on all routes.
Some discounts are also available, such as 25% off prices for those with ISIC or Euro 26 cards. Always ask if you can receive a discount (provided you have one of these cards!) when buying your tickets.
Route, timetable and price details can be found at the following websites.
- Croatia Railways You can look up timetables and purchase tickets for domestic routes
- Die Bahn Useful timetable info for both train journeys within the country and international ones to Croatia, as well as routes across Europe
Booking train tickets in Croatia
The Croatia Railways website does now offer online booking for trains in Croatia. You can purchase tickets for journeys up to two months in advance of travel.
Alternatively, you shouldn’t have any problems simply turning up on the day of travel and purchasing your ticket beforehand. You can also do this a few days in advance of your journey if you want to be on the safe side and guarantee a seat on a particular train. (Which is good to do if you are travelling in peak season.)