There are numerous ways to travel around the beautiful country Croatia and by bus is by far one of the easiest, cheapest and most effective modes of transport.
There are many bus lines which connect thousands of destinations in Croatia and also neighboring countries. Not only does getting around by bus give you a chance to sit back and relax, it also gives you the perfect opportunity to see Croatia and hopefully get a better understanding of why every Croatian you’ll come across is very passionate about their country. Croatia is picturesque and considered one of the most beautiful countries in the world, no matter what season you’re visiting in. If you’re considering traveling across Croatia by bus, here are a few tips to help you get by.
1. Luggage surcharge. It is not uncommon in Croatia to pay up to 10 kuna (1€) per luggage bag (hand luggage is free) before you board the bus, so make sure you have some extra change on you. Also, it will make everyone’s life easier if you always try to carry smaller notes or coins on you.
2. Western travelers generally enjoy the luxury of being about to “swipe their card” anywhere, forget about that whole idea in Croatia, most places only accept cash and in the local currency, Kunas. Even though Croatia is part of the European Union, it still hasn’t adopted the Euro currency which is expected to come into full effect by year 2019.
3. Don’t fret too much, most drivers speak English. Let your bus driver know exactly where you’re getting off, especially if the bus’s final destination is not your own. For example, from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes it is 90 minutes however, the driver is able to drop you in front of your accommodation/hotel as it is on the way to the lakes and on the same road.
4. Although most buses are in relatively good condition, some are not and WiFi is a luxury for the lucky. You should find something to keep you occupied such as a book or a great playlist. Otherwise, this is also a great opportunity to catch up on some sleep.
5. Seating is sometimes allocated but play it by ear. If passengers look as though they are sitting anywhere and don’t seem too fussed, you may do so also. In most cases in Croatia, you can sit anywhere on a bus.
6. Plitvice Lakes to Split is 2.5 hours by car, by bus it is almost 5.5 hours. Why? Because the bus likes to take a “scenic tour.” If it’s your first time in Croatia and time is not a problem, the scenic tour won’t really matter to you, however if you’re on a schedule best keep in mind that a good chunk of your day may be lost looking out a window on a bus, or asleep!
7. If you know that you’re crossing the border by bus, be sure to keep your passport or ID card close to you as they last thing you want is to hold the bus up while you fumble around looking for these documents. I can also assure you that the border officer won’t be too pleasant either!
8. Croatia is often a bit slow with online ventures which is why you’ll hear that the best way to purchase a bus ticket is at the bus station or on the bus itself. If you like to be organized just like myself, I suggest you use vollo.net for all your bus journeys as they have a very simplified and easy booking system to use, not only in Croatia but the Balkan region of Europe.