Zagreb hitchhiking and transport tips
Zagreb airport (Međunarodna zračna luka Zagreb: Ulica Rudolfa Fizira 1) is located 17 km south-east of Zagreb in the suburb of Pleso. A host of airlines provide services amongst which the national carrier Croatia Airlines who offer connections to all the major European capitals. Other selected airline include British Airways (London), Turkish Airlines (Istanbul), Lufthansa (Munich), Iberia (Madrid) & Air France (Paris).
Zagreb Central Train Station, (Glavni kolodvor: Trg kralja Tomislava 12) which is located right in the downtown area, is a major international rail hub and as such there are direct services to Vienna, Budapest, Zurich, Munich, Salzburg, Ljubljana, Sarajevo (one-way 59BAM) and Belgrade (return ticket 44€). The domestic system is also quite well developed with trains to all major towns (except Dubrovnik) and a useful sleeper train between Zagreb and Split (197 kuna / 9h).
Zagreb Central Bus Station (Autobusni Kolodvor: Avenija Marina Držića 4) is located 10 min walk from the train station and is very well connected with services to large European capitals (inc. London, Paris, Amsterdam) as well as numerous cities in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, and Macedonia. There are also national buses to all the major destinations of Croatia.
Local transport in Zagreb is also well developed with trams and buses being the main way to move about town. The tram system operates 15 daytime lines (No 1-9, 11-15, 17) and 4 night-time lines (31-34). A useful map with all the tramlines can be found here.
The bus system includes 113 daytime lines and 4 night-time lines and covers a larger area than the tram, spreading into the surrounding suburbs as well as neighbouring towns. A map for the bus system can be found here. The tickets for bus and trams are the same and cost 12 kuna for 1.5h, when bought from a kiosk, or 15 kuna for 2h, when bought from the driver. There is also a 24h ticket available for 30 kuna.
The Funicular Railway, running between the Upper & Lower towns, is in fact the oldest form of public transport in Zagreb and is one of the steepest in the world. A single ticket costs 4 kuna and it departs every 10 mins.
As with many European capitals all roads in Croatia lead to the capital so connections to the surrounding cities are relatively simple. However, be aware that you have to pay a toll to use any motorway in Croatia.
The A2 heads north, to Maribor (Slovenia) and onto Vienna (Austria). The A4 heads north-east in the direction of Budapest (Hungary) whilst the A3 goes south-east to Belgrade (Serbia). The A2 goes west to Ljubljana (Slovenia) and if you are planning on heading to the Croatian coast (Istria or Krk) use the A1 then A6 or just the A1 to head further south.
Zagreb Hitchhiking Out
The difficulty of hitchhiking out of Zagreb depends a hell of a lot on the direction on which you are travelling. Heading north and south-west, towards the vast majority of Croatia, is relatively painless with easily accessible hitchhiking spots and short waiting times. Heading east, towards Serbia and Hungary is a lot trickier and can involve very long waiting times and covering large distances on foot.
North towards Maribor (Slovenia) & Graz (Austria)
To reach the West Gate Shopping Centre / A2 Toll: from Črnomerec and Ljubljanica bus terminal there is a free bus that runs all the way to the shopping centre, once off the bus it is a short walk to the A2 toll.
North-East towards Varaždin & Budapest (Hungary)
To reach the northbound A4: take bus #212, #225, #275, #277 to Sesvete, and walk along Sesvetska ulica until you see the A4 motorway overhead. You can try the slip road on the other side of the bridge but it is not an ideal spot.
Alternatively, from Kvaternikov Trg take the bus #216 or #276 to Ivanja Reka, you can try hitching anywhere along Slavonska avenija, but be warned there are many different alternative routes by which drivers may be going.
East towards Osijek, Banja Luka (Bosnia) & Belgrade (Serbia)
To reach the Tifon Petrol Station just before the A3 motorway: from Kvaternikov Trg take the bus #216 or #276 to Ivanja Reka. At the petrol station you can try to get a lift to the toll which is located 8km away to the east.
South-West towards Rovinj, Krk, Split
To reach the Lučko Toll on the A1: from the centre, a few public transport changes are necessary. Firstly, take tram #4 or #7 to Savski Most, from here change to bus #111 or #132. Ask the driver to tell you when to exit or alternatively keep an eye for a large restaurant called Calypso. Once off the bus, the toll road is about a 10min walk.
West towards Sambor & Ljubljana (Slovenia)
To reach the bus stop on Ljubljanska Avenija: take tram #5 or #17 from the centre, be prepared that the ride takes around 45mins, exiting at the Precko stop. Locate Ljubljanska Avenija (also called Zagrebacka Avenija) and the huge Konsum supermarket. The bus stop is positioned on the road a little further on.
Written by: Jon