Split is well served by both local and intercity buses, and the station is very central, right next to the station and ferry port. You can buy tickets there, and the office is open late even on weekends, although it seemed to shut randomly for a quick "pauze" at inopportune moments.
The buses here run to major Balkan destinations, like Zagreb, Sarajevo, Mostar, Belgrade and Dubrovnik. There's even a few long distance routes, like Frankfurt. Any route south of the city, like Mostar and Dubrovnik, is going to be spectacular: the views along the Dalmatian coast are unforgettable.
Bus quality is quite variable, and depends on the company. All the intercity buses seemed to have air-conditioning, even if it took an hour for it to get the temperature down. The common recommendation is to sit at the back if it gets hot, as the AC works better there. They were mostly comfortable enough.
Seat numbering is totally confusing. The locals don't care, and will get quite frustrated with you if you insist on sitting where you are supposed to. And they won't move. Tourists, however, tend to think that their numbered seat is theirs by right, and will argue with you if you take their seat, even if your seat is already taken by a local!
Just go with the locals and say firmly "seat numbers don't matter" and refuse to budge.
Split is the major hub for buses going up and down the coast, as well as those directed inland.
Croatian intercity bus system may be somewhat confusing with hundred of different private companies, but they create a network that is certainly one of the best in Europe.
Buses are modern and air-conditioned. If you're travelling from a big town like Split you have to buy a ticket at the bus station. It is wise to buy a ticket at least a day before the journey since buses are very popular. Return tickets are cheaper, but in this case you have to return with the same company which can be somewhat limiting factor.
Between Zagreb and Split there are about 30 departures daily by some 15 different companies. This means that at certain periods of the day there are buses every 30 minutes or so.
Your ticket will have the seat number (broj sjedala), and sometimes there are several buses of the same company departing at the same time on the same route, so you'll also have to check for the bus number (autobus broj...).
Note that you have to pay 5-8 kunas for each piece of luggage you want to be stored in bus luggage compartment.
For timetables from Split click on the link below, and then click on "Vozni red". Zagreb bus station website is www.akz.hr.
We travelled by bus from Dubrovnik to Split. The ticket in September 2008 cost 150 Kuna. You actually get 2 tickets Dubrovnik-Metkovic and Metkovic-Split. Make sure you have two little receipt pieces from those two tickets which come stapled together.
There was one guy who didn't have those little pieces stuck to his ticket and he had to pay again, although he was clearly a foreigner travelling with a foreign older person and bought the ticket just before he got on the bus.
The journey is very beautiful and it took about 5.5 hours. Make sure you sit on the left side in the direction of travelling so that you see the beautiful coast. If you are prone to motion sickness, don't forget to bring spearmint chewing gum.
Also a word of WARNING:
Put your passport in your hand luggage because you will cross the Bosnian border twice and if you don't have it you may have to go and dig it out of your luggage and make the whole bus wait. It happened to some backpackers on our bus.
The bus will stop in Neum in Bosnia for an inoffical stop but beware that there may be extremely long lines for the toilets as there are as many as a dozen buses stopping at the same time. I had no chance to reach the toilet.
We arrived in Split by bus from Mostar. It took about 5 . It was a warm day and the AC wasn’t great. Visa was accepted at the terminal in Mostar . The trip cost $25.00 and 3km for our luggage. We should have saved some Bosnian money as they stopped for a cold drink before we entered Croatia.
Traveling to ZAGREB by some buses that go to CITY OF BENKOVAC which is loacated inland to ZADAR , Take 5 hours , SAMBORCEK BUS LINE , ask for SPLIT SIBENIK BENKOVAC ZAGREB, ask information on the day ,, maybe theres a direct bus SPLIT FREEWAY ZAGREB ,
you most proberly will have to go from Spilt busstation to Zadar busstation, and take bus from there to the Airport
The Busschedule for from Split you can find on this page
I took a bus from Split to Dubrovnik which was about 4.5 hours long with one short stop in Bosnia. The bus ride is very beautiful – very windy though! There are numerous buses leaving from Split/Dubrovnik each day. I did not purchase tickets before hand.
A one way ticket was around $30-40/person. The bus I took from Split to Dubrovnik was very nice, clean. The bus I took from Dubrovnik to Split was a little less desirable.
When you get off at Split/Dubrovnik you will be greeted by many people trying to sell you a night in their ‘SOBE’ AKA a room in their home. Be prepared – it is amusing. We did stay in a Sobe for a few nights in Split which was an experience to say the least.
...Continued from part 1 due to lack of space:
- The journey time from Split to Mostar is approximately 4.5 hours. This involves a 2.5 hour journey southwards along the beautiful Croatian coastline, with winding mountain roads, blue seas and picturesque seaside villages (see attached photos). The journey included a 10 minute refreshment stop at Makarska and a 5 minute pick up stop at Ploce;
- At Ploce, the bus turns inland and soon reaches the Croatian-Bosnian border. The bus driver collects all passports and disappears for 5 or 10 minutes while all passengers remain on the coach. He returns and dishes out the unstamped passports to their rightful owners. We were worried that an unstamped passport might cause us problems when we left Bosnia for Serbia a few days later, but such worries were unfounded;
- Shortly after entering Bosnia, the bus pulled in at a bus station in a small town. Passengers with Mostar as their final destination were transferred to another bus which departed 15 minutes later. We had enough time to get a quick drink at a local cafe;
- Upon arrival in Mostar, the bus station is located right next to the train station and just a 10 minute walk from Mostar's old town. We were met at the bus station by the owner of the accommodation than we had booked, but there are taxis available if you don't make such arrangements.
From Split, there are coaches to many other cities and towns in Croatia and the wider Balkan region.
Some of the more popular routes (with several buses departing each day) are to Dubrovnik (further south along Croatia's Dalmatian coast) and to the Bosnian cities of Mostar, Medugorje and Sarajevo.
In May 2007, my friend and I caught a bus from Split to Mostar during a visit to the Balkans. The following information was correct as at that time:
- We purchased our tickets from one of the ticket offices beside the bus station the day before we travelled. The guidebook recommended that we purchase tickets in advance due to this route being popular. In the event, we needn't have purchased them in advance as our coach had only a dozen or so passengers on board. This situation is perhaps different in the busier Summer months;
- Our modern air-conditioned coach was operated by Pan Globaltour Med, a company which operated around half a dozen daily buses between Split and Mostar in May 2007. We opted against the earlier buses departing at 7:00am and 9:30am and caught the 10:55am bus. Further buses departed during the afternoon and evening. If you want an early start, I noticed that there was also a 6:00am bus operated by another company;
- Our one way tickets cost 84 Kunas (approx 8 GBP) per person. Storing luggage in the coach's undercarriage cost a further 6 Kunas (approx 0.60 GBP) per bag;
Continued in part 2 due to lack of space...
If you arrive in Split by air, then you'll need to arrange some sort of transport to the city centre.
Split's airport is located close to the town of Trogir, but is 25km from the centre of Split itself.
As with any airport, there is no shortage of willing taxi drivers that would be more than happy to charge you a small fortune to take you to Split.
However, a cheaper (although slower) option is to catch the bus. Buses leave shortly after the arrival of each regular flight. We landed in Split at 11am, boarded the bus at around 11:30 and departed shortly after midday.
The journey from the airport to the city takes approximately 40 minutes and costs 30 Kunas (less than £3) per person.
Simply put your luggage in the bus's undercarriage and get on board the bus. The driver will come around to collect payment and issue tickets before the bus sets off.
The buses leave from directly outside the arrivals hall and can be identified by the fact that they have "Croatian Airlines" emblazoned on their sides. It is unlikely that you'll confuse them with the coaches that transport charter tourists to their hotels, as these coaches are boarded in the adjacent car park.
The journey from the airport to the city is direct, with no stops en route, and the city's bus terminal is located close to the railway station and ferry terminal, just a couple of minutes walk from the city's promenade.
If you don't already have accommodation booked, you can rely on there being plenty of touts waiting to meet the airport bus and offer you a room.
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