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It has to be one of the nicest stations in Europe. It's tidy and clean, easy to navigate, and opens up onto a wonderful vista, one of the best in the city, with a flower filled park and the bright yellow renaissance Art Pavillion. You then get to walk along some of the finest streets in the city to the center. The people are also friendly and relaxed, and nothing more than hawkers to spoil your enjoyment of it, and they are innocuous too.
A far cry from other European stations, often built in the worst parts of the cities, left to rot, or become filthy from lack of attention, and filled with the worst scum of the city, attracted to the low security and high density of tired, unwary travellers.
The ticket office is down a corridor to the left of the entrance, with international tickets at the booth down the far right side. The ticket office is open every day, including Sunday, until 18.40. As a guide, tickets to Belgrade are cheap, tickets to Ljubljana are expensive for the distance, and tickets to the rest of Europe pretty reasonable. From Zagreb station you can be in Budapest or Belgrade in about 6-7 hours.
Ticket to Belgrade 140 kuna, or about 20 euros. They accept euros, but the rate of exchange isn't very good. The ticket to Belgrade requires a stop, even though many international timetables claim it to be non-stop.
Zagreb's Train Station of Tears
I knew that my changing trains in Zagreb to get from Sarajevo to Vienna would be tight. What I didn't expect was the consistently rude, disrespectful attitude shown by every single person working in the Zagreb train station. By the time I got off my first train I knew I'd missed my connection and was already resigned to spending seven hours in Zagreb. I wasn't angry or frustrated at all, and I spoke kindly and politely to the staff at the ticket window, at the currency exchange and at the shops, but all I got back was rudeness. To buy a ticket I needed to have Croatian kuna. As it was early in the day no banks were open, but the ticket woman directed me towards an exchange office inside the station. I exchanged some money, but when I asked for smaller notes or coins (for use in the station lockers) the woman told me, "No!" I could see hundreds of coins at her desk beside the bills she gave me, but under no circumstances would she give me the coins, or even smaller bills. I then lugged my backpack back to the ticket counter and bought my ticket- no smiles there. Buying the ticket had given me some change, but I still needed a bit more to use the locker. I tried to buy some gum from a vendor with my smallest bill. They wouldn't take it. Finally a nice girl at a bakery sold me a pastry (seriously, we're now at the point where I think someone is nice because they are willing to accept my money in exchange for an offered good or service) and I collected enough coins to lock my bag up so I could explore the city. The entire mess took nearly an hour... time I could have spent exploring the city. My recommendation for people changing trains in Zagreb is to do whatever it takes- lie, cheat or steal- to get some small denominations of Croatian currency as soon as you arrive.
Rude people aside the station isn't very comfortable, though it does have the bakery inside the hall and a supermarket where you can stock up on food for your train journey.
- Budget Travel
To Zagreb by train
I left Zagreb by direct train to Ljubljana. The trip took about 2,5 hours and in summer 2004 the ticket cost 83,25 Kune (ca. 11,00 Euro).
Zagreb's main train station Glavni Koldvor is an important station for trains between Western and Central Europe. International connections lead to Munich, Vienna, Venice, Athens and Budapest.
The train station is located only a 10 minute walk south of Zagreb's main square (Jelacic Square) in the city centre.
- Budget Travel
The Main Zagreb Railway Station is located just a few minutes from the very center of the city. There are good connections to all parts of the Europe. More information about departures and arrives you can find on web site below.
On my most recent visit to Croatia in August/September 2009, I again opted for the EuroNight train from Zurich HB to Zagreb GLK. Croatian sleeping car was very clean, comfortable and safe. On-board train attendant was friendly, and he spoke some English & German. Passengers on the train were mostly tourists from Australia, Canada, Germany, Switzerland & the USA, with a few Croatian passengers. Round trip fare was about $150.00 USD.
Arriving at Zagreb's main station, I purchased tickets for travel within Croatia. While the platform sign indicated that my train was departing from platform 2, it quickly changed to platform 3, and again changed to platform 1. Somewhat concerned and confused, I asked some passengers waiting on platform 2, none spoke English and/or German. I proceeded to ask a train conductor who happened to be standing on platform 1, though he spoke Croatian only. Looking back at the main Arrival/Departure sign, I noted that the train was departing from platform 2. At that point I quickly walked back to platform 2 and boarded the train, hoping it was the correct one. It was a beautiful morning, sunny and rather hot!
The train was not air-conditioned, and most windows were open. I was sitting across from a young Croatian girl, and she happened to have lived in Germany for a number of years, thus spoke nearly fluent German. We conversed what seemed to be for well over an hour, and I nearly missed my stop. I was pleased to have been able to talk in German, and the young girl was an immense source of information. When I got off at my destination, I had all the info I needed for my 3 day stay, never bothered using my tourist map. My stay was delightful, though every day it seemed rather hot, and I mean very hot.
Upon my return to Zagreb, I re-visited many sights I've seen the year prior, yet I was in total awe of the beauty of the city itself and how much I missed first time around. I returned to Zurich, Switzerland via same EuroNight train. The train was crowded, mainly with tourists. At the border crossing between Croatia and Slovenia (EU), Customs officials boarded the train and asked to see travel documents Passports/Tickets, etc. Some of the passengers happened to be refugees, thus we were all asked to de-board the train. Delay seemed well over an hour, and we were permitted to board the train again. Overnight the train must have done its best to make-up for lost time, as we arrived the next morning at Zurich HB on time, even 2 minutes early! Overall it was a great trip and a pleasure to visit Croatia again.
I look forward to my visit in December 2010. While I was told that Zagreb, Croatia tends to be very cold during winter months, it won’t deter me from enjoying its beauty and less crowded streets, I hope!
American traveler from San Francisco, California
- Budget Travel
The station is very conveniently located on the edge of the city centre.
It has left luggage facilities and currency exchange, plus a couple of decent looking places for takeaway food. I didn't use them so can't comment (I'd had a picnic in the park opposite).
Didn't have to buy a ticket either - had a return from Ljubljana - so don't know how easy that is.
My train was 50 minutes late getting in from Belgrade, but the electronic screens kept passengers updated.
Bit of a miracle I caught the train
I was heading to Ljubljana and bought my ticket and asked which platform the train left from.
As I don't speak Croatian and the ticket sellers spoke very little English all I could gather was platform 2. Okay fair enough.
I went to platform 2 and instant problem. There was platform 2 -1. There was platform 2-2 and there was platform 2A.
I went back and asked again and all they would tell me is 2. Okay. As I know the train leaves at 9-06 I expect I will be able to work it out. There are those TV screens on the platforms indicating which train is arriving.
I slowly realise that the trains don't terminate in Ljubljana but go on to somewhere else. And I don't know the ultimate destination of my train. And the TV screens don't indicate which places the train stops at.
Still I am happy because I know my train leaves at 9-06.
But then it is 9-04 and the TV screens for all three platforms 2 are showing times that say nothing about 9-06.
I am beginning to panic. But luckily a station official arrives. So I ask him. "Ljubljana?" He decisively points at platform 2-1.
Another passenger - nice fellow - tells me he is going to Slovenia so we agree the train will be going from platform 2-1.
But then a train pulls in on platform 2-2 at about 9-14. I am still cool about platform 2-1, patiently waiting.
But then I notice the guy who is going to Slovenia getting on the train! (He had the advantage of speaking the language.)
I take the risk and jump on the train.
I see the guy in the passageway and I ask him "This train?"
He says "I think so." And we both shrug.
The train did stop at Ljubljana so all was well.
But what chaos, what mayhem, what traveller anxiety, what useless tv screens.
EuroNight Zurich - Zagreb
On my recent visit to Zagreb, I opted to take the EuroNight from Zurich, Switzerland to Zagreb, Croatia instead of flying. Granted the trip took significantly longer, though it was well worth it. The Croatian Sleeping Car was very clean, comfortable and safe. The train departs Zurich at 9:40 PM (21:40) and arriving in Zagreb the following morning at 10:52 AM (10:52). The Border/Customs is easy within the EU nations (Austria & Slovenia), while rather strict when entering/exiting Croatia. I'm a citizen of the United States of America and while I speak German, the Border/Customs officials spoke Croatian only, thus making it even more complicated.
At Zagreb Main Station (Glavni Kolodvor), purchasing train tickets for travel within Croatia was yet another challenge since customer service agents spoke Croatian only. Traveling by train within Croatia seems safe, one should note that trains are often late and in some cases very late for whatever the reason. I opted to travel by 1st Class whenever possible as some 2nd Class trains are old and in dire need of thorough cleaning and repair. Passengers are often eager to talk and are very friendly, though one should never let their guard down and be well aware of their surroundings.
Zagreb is a beautiful city, with much to offer and residents are very friendly and eager to assist foreigners/tourists. Downside, Zagreb is not cheap by any means. Other cities within Croatia seem less expensive and offer good options to tourists. Overall, I had a very pleasant and positive experience while visiting Croatia in January & August 2008. I look forward to visiting again and most certainly will opt for the EuroNight from Zurich/Zagreb/Zurich as it is a great alternative to expensive European air travel.
American traveler from San Francisco, California
The train station in Zagreb can be a bit daunting if you don't speak the language: for some reason it's stocked with stuff that is very wary about using there - help the *** out - skills and in fact can be downright unfriendly. The departure/arival signs in the centre of the building are your surest bet, otherwise informations boots are located on the east wing of the building.
There's a couple of places to eat in the building but theh're nothing to write home about. The ATM is on the west wing.
- Family Travel
Train from Budapest
The train from Budapest takes about 6 hours and costs 7140 HUF for a return (its cheaper than a single) second class. There are two direct trains a day I think and the journey takes you past the outside of lake balaton for most of the journey which is stunning.
the tram system in Zagreb is a cheap and conveneint way to travel around the city and to some of its suburbs. you buy tickets from kiosks that are positioned around the streets and validate it when you get on a tram. there is also a night tram service which covers the majority of the areas the day tram covers, but are a little less frequent. these run all through the night.
- Budget Travel
From Budapest to Zagreb
From Budapest keleti Pu we booked the 17h train to zagreb. It takes 6 hours, so would get us in when the trams in zagreb were still operating. We didnt need to change trains but the train was very crowded. Once over the border our tickets were checked and we were joined by 6 drunk croatian students who insisted on smoking in our carriage. We said 'no smoking on train' and they laughed, offered us some of their fizzy wine and said 'you in croatia now, there are no rules'
We had a great journey and they offered to take us to a party an hour away. We sadly declined and said adieu, the tram stop is right outside the station. All very convenient
I came to Zagreb by direct night train from Zurich. The daily train leaves Zurich at 21.40 and arrives in Zagreb the next morning at 10.52 (it also stops in Ljubljana earlier in the morning). The carriages were Croatian. I was in a coupé for 4 but there are also coupés for 6. If you book the top bunks keep in mind that they are very high up!
Back home I chose the day trains leaving Zagreb at 7.50 in the morning, changing in the Austrian town of Schwarzach-St. Veit at around 14:00 and again in Feldkirch at around 18:40 before arriving in Zurich at 20:20. This was a very long journey taking 12,5 hours but I saw some very beautiful scenery (see travelogue).
For the night journey you should ask whether there are "Sparnight" tickets available. I paid for such a savingnight CHF 77 in a couchette coupé with 4 people for one way.
Croatian Railways Ltd.
Ownership form: Limited liability company in 100% ownership of the Republic of Croatia
Activities: Public transport of passengers and freight in domestic and international railway traffic and construction and maintenance of railway infrastructure
Headquarters: Mihanovićeva 12, 10000 Zagreb
* Božidar Kalmeta, Minister for the Sea , Tourism, Transport and Development of the Republic of Croatia
* Marina Matulović-Dropulić, Minister for Environmental Protection, Physical Planning and Construction of the Republic of Croatia
* Ivan Šuker, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Croatia
* Dražen Breglec, State Secretary for transport at the Ministry of the Sea , Tourism, Transport and Development of the Republic of Croatia
* Ante Babić, State Secretary in Central State Administrative Office for the Development Strategy
* Anton Kovačev, President of Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development
* Branko Kreš, Chairman of the Railwaymen's Trade Union of Croatia
President of the Board
Telefon: +385 1 4577-602; 3783-300
Telefaks: +385 1 3783-326
Deputy Board President
Telefon: +385 1 4577-957; 3783-322
Telefaks: +385 1 3783-002
International Union of Railways (UIC)
The International Union of Railways (UIC) was founded on 20 October 1922 . Its headquarters is in Paris. Its main task was is to align and improve the conditions in which the railways are set up and operated, in order to facilitate international traffic. In other words, UIC was entrusted with the task of standardising rail transport. UIC's prime role: to harmonise international railway operating conditions.
On 10 June 1992 Croatian Railways were accepted to UIC as an active member, i.e. as an independent railway administration.
- Budget Travel
To navigate inside the city center and surrounded areas, use the favorite city transport, blue tram! You can find the map with all lines at every tram station or ask for the map in the tourist Info. But be aware, if you are in the hurry, better walk because trams tent to be very slow, particulary in the peak hours (which can be extended during whole working day!)
The one on this pic is the oldest type, but you can still see it running around, quite fast! Nowdays we have several newer, spaciest and fastest trains but the old ones are somehow my favorites! :-) The tickets can be found on street kiosks or at the drivers inside...I recommend kiosk, they are more cheaper and you don't slow the train by talking to the driver!
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