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.
We went from the small but very nice Zagreb main station to Ljubljana (Slovenia). The nice Austrian train which connects Zagreb with Munich was on time and comfortable and the train ride along the river was beautiful.
Border checks are rather serious though so you wouldn't want to have forgotten your passport or brought too many cigarettes ;) Which we didn't so we were allowed to enter the European union.
We didn't even pay a fortune for our lovely handwritten ticket, it was around 110 kn for a single ride. Amazing when you are used to German rail prices!!!
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.
The train station, Glavni kolodvor, sees more traffic than other points of entry into the city. It is situated right in the heart of the town and very handy to get hotels and all major sights.
The left luggage facilities, Garderoba, are available 24 hours. Each piece of luggage costs 10kn per day (aprox. 1,40 euros).
Getting to town: directly in front of you is Trg kralja Tomislava. It's only a five minutes walk to get the main square, Trg J. Jelacic.
This is the most popular public transportation in Zagreb. Although it doesnt run throughout ALL of Zagreb it does a pretty good job of circling the city. But beware there are "police" that can catch you, so make sure you have a ticket!
(picture taken from http://www.subways.net/croatia/zagreb.htm)
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.
I took a train Budapest-Zagreb. The trip itself takes about 6 hours.
The problem was that the cars were not clearly signed, at least for non Hungarian speaker :)
I hardly found a car going to Zagreb.
But I can't live without adventures... At the border, when I remained alone in my compartment, suddenly a controller came asking "Zagreb?" I said "yes". He said "Only 3 first cars go to Zagreb"... I don't know why maybe smth happened but my car, which was supposed to go to Zagreb, had to be detached from the train. I had to almost run with my lugguage to reach the 1st 3 cars. Luckily, I'm light packer and survived this "ruh" :)
Ticket price is about 23 €.
Zagreb's main train station (Glavni kolodvor) is located about a ten minute walk from the city's main square, Trg bana Jelacic. You can get here from many European cities. For details, check out the website below.
Unfortunately, when I was in Zagreb in February of 2004, the building was under construction, so I wasn't able to appreciate its architecture.
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.
This is the beautiful train station.
As I came by flight, I did not use any trains here, but I understand that beside local trains you can get long distance connections from here to places such as Budapest or Vienna and it will take only few hours.
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.
The main station, called Glavni kolodvor in Croatian, is located in the city center, only 10 min on foot from the Jelacic Square (2 stops by tram). The building is currently under reconstruction to last probably another year since the works are done phase by phase, allowing passengers to use all the services.
Croatian Railways finally have decent web page (http://www.hznet.hr/hr/), at the moment available only in Croatian, but the search engine for international connections is in English too (http://www.hznet.hr/medunarodni.htm).
On the right side of the Glavni kolodvor, the Central Railway Station, (near the Post Office) there is a locomotive which use to be a part of Josip Broz Tito's train.
The steam locomotive remainds us the way we used to travel when we were kids.
Slovene capital Ljubljana and Zagreb are only about 2 hours 20 minutes apart. This would be a very good day trip and has come up intermittently in the forums - here is the current timetable 'there and back again'
Website is for the Slovene side
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.