Croatia hitch-hikers essentials

Ania hitchhiking out of Dubrovnik, Croatia

Types of roads

Knowing what roads to hitch-hike on is easy with our Croatia hitch-hikers essentials guide:

Croatia hitch-hikers essentials1. Autocesta (A) – motorways & dual carriageways with a speed limit of 130 kilometres per hour (81 mph). They have white-on-green road signs as in Italy and other countries nearby. On the whole they are toll highways with a ticket system. Hitch-hiking on them is illegal.

Croatia hitch-hikers essentials2. Brza cesta (D) – expressways ranging from four lane expressways distinguishable only from the motorways by lack of emergency lanes only: to four or six lane urban expressways with numerous at-grade intersections and traffic lights or two lane limited access roads. They have a speed limit of 110 kilometres per hour (68 mph) and have white-on-blue road signs. In the majority, the expressways are not tolled. Hitch-hiking on them is a grey area.

Croatia hitch-hikers essentials3. Državne ceste (D) – sometimes difficult to distinguish from expressways, state roads are assigned one, two or three digit numbers. Speed limits vary from 50 km – 110 km an hour. Hitchhiking on them is legal.

Croatia hitch-hikers essentials4. Županijska cesta (Ž) – Country roads with a four digit number. The speed limit is 50 k/m. Hitchhiking on them is legal.

Map of Motorways and Main Roads

Croatia hitch-hikers essentials


Speed limit on Croatian roads

Croatia hitch-hikers essentials

Absolutely essential hitch-hikers phrasebook

– hello – Bok (bohk)
– thank you – Hvala (HVAH-lah)
– yes – Da (da)
– no – Ne (ne)
– please – Molim (MOH-leem)
How are you…? Kako ste? (KAH-koh steh?) fml. Kako si? (KAH-koh see?) infml
– goodbye – Doviđenja (doh-vee-JEH-nyah) or Zbogom (ZBOH-gohm)
– hitch-hiking – Stopira (STO-pi-ra)
What is your name? – Kako se zovete? (KAH-koh seh ZOH-veh-teh) fml.
Kako se zoveš? (KAH-koh seh ZOH-vehsh) infml.
– I don’t have money – Ja nemam novaca (yah ne-MAM NO-vats-a
 We don’t have money –Mi nemamo novaca (Mi NE-ma-mo No-vats-a)
– money – novac (NO-vats)
– I’m going to … – Ja idem u… (yah EE-dem u…)
– We are going to … Mi idemo u (mi EE-de-mo u…)
– I am…  Zovem se … (ZOH-vehm seh)
– I am from…  Ja sam iz (yah sahm iz…)
– Nice to meet you!  Drago mi je (DRAH-goh mee yeh)
– I don’t understand  Ne razumijem. (neh rah-ZOO-meeyehm)
– now – sada (SAH-dah)
– today – danas (DAH-nahs)
– yesterday – jučer (YOO-chehr)
– tomorrow – sutra (SOO-trah)
– friend – prijatelj (pri-ya-TE-li-yee)
Very useful when they ask you where you’re staying. The concept of Couchsurfing is often too difficult to explain, so just say you’re staying with a friend. You can also use this word to express the relationship between you and your fellow travellers.
– Can you stop? – Može li se zaustaviti? (MO-*se li seh ZAU-sta-vi-ti) (* s from leisure) 
– I want to get out – Želim izaći! (*SE-lim ee-ZAR-chye) (* s from leisure) 
– turn left – Skrenite ulijevo. (SKREH-nee-teh OOH-lee-yevoh)
– turn right  Skrenite udesno. (SKREH-nee-teh OOH-deh-snoh)
– straight ahead – ravno (RAHV-noh) / pravo (PRAH-voh)
– here – ovdje (OV-d-ye)
– over there – tamo (TA-mo)
– beer – piva (PEE-vah)
→ You should know this word, you will be often invited for some.
– bus station – autobusnog kolodvora (AWH-toh-boos-nohg KOH-loh-dvoh)
→ You should know this word and listen out for it to avoid situations when your driver, in their best intentions, takes you off the road and drives you to a station.
– train station – željezničkog kolodvor (ZHEH-lyeh-znee-chkohg KOH-loh-dvoh)
– help me! – Upomoć! (OO-poh-mohch)
– look out! – Pazite! (PAH-zee-teh) fml. Pazi! (PAH-zee) infml.
– street – ulica (OOH-lee-tsah)
– road – cesta (TSES-ta)
– roundabout – kružni tok (k-RU*S-ni tok) (* s from leisure)
– crossroads – raskrižje (RAH-skree-zhyeh)

Red roofs in the town of Rovinj, Croatia

Main Border Crossings

Croatia – Bosnia & Herzegovina

There are sixteen border crossings between Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina. The two most important, and thus busiest, probably being:

Gradiška/Bosanska Gradiška which lies on the motorway E661 and connects Zagreb to the capital of Republika Srpska, Banja Luka.

→ Metković located in the south-east of the country and marks the commonly used main border crossing between Mostar and Dubrovnik.

Croatia – Montenegro

There is one border crossings between Croatia and Montenegro.

Karasovići / Debeli Brijeg is the only border crossing to Montenegro and lies in the deep south of Croatia on motorway 8. We used this border crossing ourselves and it absolutely trouble-free.

Croatia – Hungary

There are five border crossings between Croatia and Hungary. The most important being:

Goričan / Letenye which the endpoint of the Croatian A4 motorway at Goričan and the start of the Hungarian M7 motorway to Budapest. Thus connecting the Croatian and Hungarian capitals.

Croatia – Slovenia

There are sixteen border crossings between Croatia and Slovenia. The most important ones are:

Bregana / Obrežje which marks the end of the A3 motorway from Zagreb and the start of the Slovenian A2 motorway to Ljubljana

Rupa / Jelšane which runs from Italy towards the Southern Croatian coast and is very popular with tourists and truck drivers.

→ Kaštel / Dragonja which is located on the European route E751 and is one of the main and busiest border crossings between Slovenia and Istria. The crossing is set near a small Slovenian airport Portorož and connects with A9 motorway that goes to Pula. At peak summer weekends you might encounter 20km long queues.

Plovanija / Sečovlje – a great alternative to the Kaštel crossing in summer if you want to avoid long queues. it’s used mostly by locals and it’s situated only 2km west from the previous crossing.

Šočerga / Požane which is a small border crossing linking Slovenia and central Istria. Beware, there might not be a lot of traffic, though.

Croatia – Serbia

There are seven border crossings between Croatia and Serbia. The most important being:

→ Lipovac / Batrovci which lies on the former Zagreb-Belgrade main road and signals the end of the Croatian A3 motorway and the beginning of the Serbian motorway 1.

→ Ilok / Backa Palanka which offers a quicker route to Novi Sad. The border crossing is over a bridge though so if you aren’t already in a car you may be in for a long walk. (thanks to kawairakija for this information)

Ania hitchhiking out of Dubrovnik, Croatia

written by: Jon

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  • You could also add Backa Palanka/Ilok border crossing. It is useful for people going from Novi Sad. As I’ve lived there, I used it 3 times.

    It’s on the Danube, so there is a long bridge, on which you can’t hitch. Also border guards are not helpful and they told me I can’t hitchhike there. So, be prepared for some long walks.

    And one thing about highways – it’s really effective to hitch next to the paytolls, at least most of the times. Staff is friendly and sometimes even helps you to catch somebody. I think it’s wise to use sings with the name of destination, as the traffic divides after the tolls. I rarely use signs, but here they were really helpful.

    • – I don’t have money – Ja nemam novaca (yah ne-MAM NO-vats-a)
      – We don’t have money –Mi nemamo novaca (Mi NE-ma-mo No-vats-a)

      The sentences above sound a little unnatural. You can (or even should) skip “ja” or “mi”. It’s like the first part of sentence “I don’t have money, but he/she/they…”. It’s almost the same, as in Polish.

    • We used a toll road while hitchhiking out of Zagreb and it was rather hassle-free, so you are probably right, it’s good to mention that, as some people might not realise this is an option in Croatia. For doing that in Italy we had to speak to the police who told us it was illegal and we had to move. But apparently so it’s not the case in Croatia.