One of the largest Croatian bus companies - AP - is based in Varazdin so it is no wonder they have good bus links not only to Zagreb but also to many other places in Croatia. Plus, most of their international routes to Austria, Germany etc. will also have a stop in Varazdin.
To Zagreb there are departures almost every hour. Most buses take the local road so the journey time is rather long - around 2 hours. One way ticket costs between 50 and 60 kunas (10/2006).
Varazdin can be easily reached by train from Zagreb - there are some 15 trains daily. Travel times depend on the train type and the route they take. Trains taking the Zagorje railroad (via Zabok) are journey back in time with speeds often not exceeding 40 km/h.
Slowest (passenger) trains take 2,5 hours, IC trains will reach Varazdin in 2 hours while tilting ICN "Hitri Varazdinec" needs only 1,5 hours to get there. No wonder ICNs are popular so if you plan using them be sure to buy your ticket at least one day in advance.
Varazdin is definitely a city for cyclists and locals seem to use these unstable two-wheel vehicles very intensively. The large central area of the town is car-free but bicycles are allowed to enter. On larger streets radiating from the center there are bicycle lanes and all public buildings, shops etc. have a bicycle parking in front of their entrances.
This is a story about Boris, a good friend who will, I hope talk to me again, but the story is too good to be kept between us and Zdenka. Boris wanted to take us to visit the castle of Trakoscan, about 20 or less kilometers from Varazdin. We left Varazdin in two cars, ours (with Zdenka guiding us) and Boris in his car. As we left town we decided with Zdenka to take a "scenic" route to Trakoscan through the forest. After about 5 kilometers Boris signaled us to pull over, and said he knows a better route to Trakoscan, so we said okay, lead the way... As we followed Boris we are not paying attention to directions, only to Zdenka and the scenery around us. After about 15 minutes, I see what looks like a toll booth in front of us and I say to Zdenka "I didn't know you have to pay a toll on the roads here". At this point Zdenka sits up very straight and says "There are NO TOLL points here, where are we??"...
We pull up behind Boris at the toll booth and realize that we have arrived at the Croatian -Slovenian BORDER CROSSING. Boris's "scenic" route made a wrong turn somwhere. As we waited in line behind Boris (we could not turn around at this point) we saw Boris speaking with the border guard. Then we see the guard laughing and waving him on. We could only make the guards day better by pointing at Boris and declaring "WE WERE FOLLOWING HIM" as the guard breaks into laughter. They let us make a U turn and we returned to Croatia, none the worse for wear. Needless to say we did not let Boris off the hook, we asked him WHY he wanted to leave Croatia so quickly ^o^ Don't tell Boris you read this, this is a secret between you and me (oh and Zohara, Tal Zdenka, the border guard, etc.....)
(PS: I would like to apoligise to the border guard, I hope that he has "recovered" from his fit - of laughing)
(PSS: Boris if you read this, I apologise, but if a friend can't make fun of a friend, then who can, so I hope you will still be speaking to me after you read this, ^O^, come on now Boris you know it was funny....)
If you plan on reaching Varazdin by car the easiest way is by the A4 motorway. From Zagreb to Varazdin it takes between 30 and 45 minutes. As all motorways in Croatia this is a toll road, check prices at the website below.
Be warned that this is one of the motorways that is notorious of the fog which can be expected anytime, especially from October till May.
If you are just visiting Varazdin there is no need for car because everything is within the walking distances. For the elderly, people with disabilities and those who are too lazy to walk there are recently introduced minibuses that connect the town center with the railway station, cemetery and more distant housing neighbourhoods.
The lines information system is not their strongest point but there is a toll free number you can call. The main terminal is next to the railway station.
Definitely the best way to move around Varazdin is to walk. The town is very pedestrian-friendly, starting from its human size where everything is within an easy reach. A large central area is car-free which makes it ideal for strolling around and enjoying in one of numerous cafe-terraces. Around the central area is a series of parks and walkways connecting it with the surrounding neighbourhoods.
"Španciranje" signifies a popular local walking-culture and there is even a "Špancir-festival" each year celebrating the rich street culture of Varazdin's streets.
Some road distances to Varaždin from:
- Salzburg (Austria): 414 kms.
- Ljubljana (Slovenia): 183 kms.
- Riga (Latvia): 1.665 kms.
- Brussels (Belgium): 1.236 kms.
- Madrid (Spain): 2.227 kms.
Checking the website, you’ll find more road distances together with the driving times and the best routes.
Varazdin is connected with Zagreb by newly built highway.
Since it is only 77 km far from Zagreb you can get it easily by public transportation or by car.
There are very frequent bus lines from Zagreb strarted from early morning to late evening.
Finally, there exist the train connection between Varazdin and all major cities of Croatia.
Nov 2008 - Varazdin runs buses to Zagreb every hour or so for 69k one way. It takes about 90 minutes to Zagreb central bus stn. The airport bus leaves the Central bus Stn every 30 minutes on the hour and half-hour for 30k. AP Bus service has an English speaker to help you.