It is a 6 hour train ride from Zagreb in Croatia to Belgrade in Serbia. We caught the 6am train from Zagreb which commenced in Zagreb.
I cannot tell you if the through train from Switzerland is any different but there was no food or drink on our train and we were not told when we bought our FIRST class ticket. It is a long time for no food nor drink and we did buy our ticket the day before...it was not last minute in a rush.
First class was just a bit more roomy...Oh there was a toilet. And luckily we did not have to hoist our heavy bags on overhead racks as we had a carriage to our selves.
We were saved from starvation as, just by chance, we had a food pack from the hotel (and we do not usually collect a food pack)
Unique Suggestions: Take food. There is a bakery type shop at the train station in Zagreb.
Fun Alternatives: Maybe fly...but we do not like small planes and we like trains.
If you plan to travel on to Serbia you will not find any where to exchange your money in Croatia. Not in your hotel...not in a bank nor at an exchange office. None at Gatwick airport in UK either.
So have a little with you if you plan to cross the border into Sebia. And in Serbia you really need to have some of the local currency.
Unique Suggestions: You can change money at the Railway in Serbia but watch out they might pass you Macedonian money which is of lesser value.
Fun Alternatives: Order Serbian money well in advance just to have a little.
I will put this tip into Serbia as well but it was in Croatia we had the difficulty.
Once you arrive in Zagreb and you want/need to head into town, dont take the Taxi as the are renoun for overcharging "foreigners" (ie. anyone that doesnt come from Zagreb!) The "normal" charge for a Taxi from Airport to Zagreb Train Station (as a reference point) is around 160-180 Croatian Kuna: 21€ - 23€. This price is for the Taxi (1 person or 4!)
On numerous occasions I have witnessed people being charged over 200 Kuna per head! and 500 Kuna for a group of 3 people for a taxi fare to the City Centre! Beware!
The Airport Bus (run by Croatia Airlines) runs to the Central Bus Station and costs 35Kuna per head with extra charge for bags. The Central Bus Station is only a short Tram ride from the City Centre or a 15mins walk if you are up for it.
Unique Suggestions: If you do need to take a Taxi follow the following rules;
a) agree on the price for the trip BEFORE entering the taxi (see average prices below)
b) dont allow the Taxi driver to change the price once you have reached your destination, stick to the agreed price.
c) tipping is not necessary, however, nearly all Taxi Drivers expect it and most likely have factored in 10%-15% on the fare just for good measure.
d) befriend a fellow traveller whilst standing in the Passport Control and ask if they might arrange a taxi on your behalf. This is a little hit & miss but it might be me who you decide to befriend ;-)
e) ask one of the friendly guys at any of the rental counters to order a taxi on your behalf. This may also be a little hit & miss but you might be pleasantly surprised.
f) Pre-Book a taxi over the internet. There are a couple of websites where you can get details (and prices) of independant taxi drivers. I recommend this as a choice as these businesses are professional and courteous relying heavily on word-of-mouth for their livelihoods (www.taxi-zlatko.hr/Cjenik.htm , www.autotaxi-darijo.hr)
Fun Alternatives: Use the Bus.
Croatia Airlines runs a service that leaves every 30mins from the Airport to the Central Bus Station.
It costs approx. 35Kuna per head (bags are extra)
From the Central Bus Station there are regular Trams to the City Centre and a Tram ticket will cost you about 6-8 Kuna.
Average price from Zagreb Airport to;
International / Westin / Sheraton Four Points Panorama / Laguna / Regent Esplanade / Sheraton City / Antunovic Hotel / Dom Sportova - between 160 - 180 Kuna
Hotel Dubrovnik - between 180 - 220 Kuna
- Budget Travel
My first ever trip abroad didn't start with great news. While arriving on Zagreb international airport I took a cab in front and ended being charged 300 kunas (40 euros) for a 11 mile trip to the city center (Sheraton hotel). Apparently that is very common when foreign people step up in the cab while the regular price of airport taxi would be something around 200 kunas or just under 30 euros.
Unique Suggestions: Step up to the cab and ask how much is the price to the destination you need? If you agree to it do not let him change the price while in the middle of the ride (and I've heard it also happens a lot). Or just skip them and find another way of transport.
Fun Alternatives: While in Zagreb city (airport is outside of the town) I found out that taxi drivers are mostly polite,fares are cheap and they mostly speak english. I even found out that you can book your trip online with a number of companies via e-mail,days before the trip itself.I've booked my friend a ride with a company to which i was referred by a cab driver that took me to a dinner about 3 miles from my hotel (it was charged something around 30 kunas). I would recommend their company to everybody or I would recommend you google cheaper airport transfers yourself. If in need I can reffer you to them here ( just to name some of them,since I've been asked about it alot this is the list,just copy and paste this short urls to check them out if interested goo.gl/0bKbrt are my favorite but here is the list of some others you can choose of goo.gl/QN2l7v or goo.gl/V5zWpu or goo.gl/Xbdp4z or goo.gl/eW4HT2 ).As I said,there are also number of other companies that provide cheaper fares so take a look at them. With this company my friend was charged 120 kunas (16 euros!) for the same ride to the same hotel just 2 days after me.
2nd alternative is the bus (Croatia Airlines) that drives you to the main bus station just outside of the city center. Price of the ticket per person is 40 kunas plus extra for the luggage,which isn't much if you are alone since the city transport ticket (tram or bus within the city) is 10 kunas. Nice way to save a bit of money if you are on a tight budget. ;o)
MONEY SAVING TIP:
While in Zagreb city,avoid cabs with yellow taxi (light) signs,they often have prices above average and are even known to be "black cabs". Aim for blue,green or transparent signs. It will save you some extra money.
- Business Travel
- Budget Travel
Taxis are most probably the most expensive transportation method in Croatia, probably in Europe as well. The prices are hugely exaggarated, and add to that that the taxi drivers are going to try to rip you off if they see you're foreign. You better just avoid it...
Unique Suggestions: If you really really have to use a taxi, just use it to get to the nearest train, bus or tram line. Better put in more time than go by taxis, the experience is going to cost you bitterly.
Fun Alternatives: The alternative is always other means of public transportation :) It's cheaper for sure, not as quick, but definately a better choice...
- Business Travel
THIS IS NOT A TOURIST TRAP!!!
A small and old souvenir shop in Radiceva street offers very cute miniature buldings from Zagreb made of ceramics.
Unique Suggestions: During the high season, mostly in front and around the Cathedral, some people offers "souveniers" of low quality and design. I suggest you to buy souveniers in the skops.
- Family Travel
This little guy allowed me to take the picture while he was performing his "music", but I had to pay 10 kuna (1,20 euros).
Some other Gipsy guys are not so cute and polite. If they are selling merchandise, do not buy it because it worth nothing.
Unique Suggestions: The best way to stay out of trouble is to ignore them completely.
- Family Travel
If you want to get to Belgrade in Serbia don't get get confused.
Say Belgrade Serbia.
Some Ticket sellers don't think that you want to go to Serbia and sell a ticket to Biograd in Croatia.
Unique Suggestions: Go back to the counter and try to get your money back.
Fun Alternatives: Say Belgrade - Serbia. There are no confusiosn possible!
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
A tourist trap but for the best of all possible reasons – it’s unmissable. Best way to approach it – up the hill on the funicular from Tomiceva off Ilica, then up the spiral stairs and out on top for the glorious panoramic 360-degree view of the city. Take many photos. Hold your hat on a windy day; cling on if you are at all afraid of heights. The man in the ticket booth was truly the friendliest in all Zagreb – go and see him and brighten his day even if you don’t fancy the view from the top – he loves visitors.
If you simply get into a taxi (outside the railway station, bus station,etc) and state your destination, be prepared to pay through your nose.
Fun Alternatives: Check with Information at the railway station before you take a taxi anywhere, find out what the minimum fare is and how much you might expect to pay for the distance you are travelling. Better yet, don't take a taxi unless you absolutely HAVE to.
- Women's Travel
Many Other countries in the world don't charge Commision Rates in the Money exhange transaction but here in Europe and even in Zagreb, most Bureau De Change charge a commision fee from 3% to 18% per money exhange transaction, depending on the amount you would exhange and the currency you would exhange into Croatian Kuna
Unique Suggestions: Or just withdraw money at International ATM Machines found literally everywhere as they have a fix withdrawal rate of 15 Kunas per withdrawal of what ever amount (up to the maximum withdrawal limit of the machine usually at 3,000 Kunas per transaction) plus additional 20 Kunas that your local bank charges as transaction fee and there is no commision charge whatsoever.
but a caveat, the Croatian Kuna is not exhangeanble in other areas of Europe so you might as well dispose all of your Croatian Kuna Before leaving the Country
Fun Alternatives: or just your your credit card as most restaurants and shops and even many souvenir shops accept international credit cards.
- Family Travel
- Business Travel
- Food and Dining
There is no need to give money to the beggars on the streets, unless you see that they are really disabled. There are sooo much (mostly)Gipsy woman and kids wondering around with babies in their arms (beware! sometimes it's just a doll that looks like a baby!), begging for money. Kids have this tendency of being quite rude when you refuse to give them something. Once i had money on the table, prepared to pay the drinks, and one kid came and left like a wind and took it. I was totally shocked. Don't leave your cellphones, wallets or money on the table if you're sitting outside!
It's not like it happens every second, but it MAY happen, so- better safe then sorry.
Also, i read this article maybe a year ago, about this little begger who told the journalist that he sometimes earns in one day what some people earn in a 2 weeks or even a month!!!
I've told you....
Bulldog Pub at Bogovicena 6 is an overpriced place where people pay to gawk and be gawked at. They do have a good beer selection but the Tomislav is far more expensive and not as good as in its namesake Pivnica. Here's Goran and Mirjana after a few.
There a a few places around town to get online, but surfer beware! Don't waste all your time in here catching up with your VT friends!