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There are many airports in Croatia, from the commercial civilian airports to the military and sports airports. Meet them.
- An introduction to the airports in Croatia
- How many airports are there in Croatia?
- Visiting tourist? Meet the 9 civilian airports: Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik, Zadar, Pula, Rijeka, Osijek, Brac & Losinj
- Can you fly to Hvar Airport? Yes and No
- Where to find an airports in Croatia map?
- Do seaplanes still run in Croatia?
- The sport airports in Croatia
- Military airports of Croatia
- Which airports near Croatia are good arrival options?
Until the pandemic hit in 2020, airports in Croatia were booming. Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik have all unveiled shiny new terminals in recent years to meet the increased need. But while tourism and business flights to Croatia may be the biggest source of passenger numbers, there are also a number of sport and military airfields. And don’t forget that flying out for a Croatian holiday does not necessarily mean flying into a Croatian airport. There are many great options in nearby countries, all of which offer a quick onward journey to your Croatian holiday.
There are seven civilian airports in Croatia, all of which cater to the tourism demand: Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik, Zadar, Rijeka and Osijek on the mainland. Two island airports – Brac and Losinj – complete the list.
There are also 13 sports airports, as well as 3 military airports.
Visiting tourist? Meet the 9 civilian airports: Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik, Zadar, Pula, Rijeka, Osijek, Brac & Losinj
All the 9 commercial airports in Croatia have seen an upsurge in traffic (with the possible exception of Osijek) prior to the pandemic. We have produced a detailed TC guide to each of them. In this way, you know what to expect in terms of facilities and onward journey to the destination.
Simply click on the destination link to go to the TC Airport in a Page guide. Zagreb (ZAG), Split (SPU), Dubrovnik (DBV), Zadar (ZAD), Pula (PUY), Rijeka (RJK), Osijek (OSI), Brac (BWK) & Losinj (LSZ)
I got SO many questions about flights to Hvar when I lived there. Yes there IS an airfield, but there are NO commercial flights. Additionally, there are restrictions on the number of passengers allowed per flight (from memory it is 6).
Hvar Airport (LDSH) is actually a grassy strip in the middle of the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Stari Grad Plain. Discussions about a proper airport on eastern Hvar surface every few years without any progress.
A map of the civilian airports in Croatia.
A map of the sports airports in Croatia.
August 27, 2014 was an historic day in modern European seaplane history, as the first scheduled flight took off from near Split Airport to Jelsa on Hvar. Sadly, the European Coastal Airlines service stopped in 2016. There is occasional talk of resurrecting the project with different players. But for now, the Croatia seaplane dream remains a fading memory.
In addition to Hvar, there are 12 other sport airfields in Croatia, including Sinj. Sinj was actually the first airport for Split. These days it is used for a variety of sports, as are the others.
The full list of sport airports in Croatia is: Cakovec (LDVC), Cepin (LDOC), Grobnik (LDRG), Hvar (LDSH), Ivanic Grad, Koprivnica (LDVK), Lucko (LDZL), Otocac (LDRO), Sinj (LDSS), Slavonski Brod (LDOR), Varazdin (LDVA), Vrsar (LDPV), and Zabok (LDZK)
There are three military airports: Divulje (LDHD) next to Split Airport, Udbina (LDZU), and Zaton, home to the Sepurine training base.
It was not until 2007 when Ryanair opened its base in Zadar that budget airlines came to Croatia. Prior to that, the off-season choices were either very expensive, or they involved a combination of cheap flight to a nearby country and then bus or train to the final destination in Croatia. Budget flight options have exploded in the last 15 years in Croatia, but it is still worth looking at some of the nearby countries for budget options.
The last time I flew to the UK, for example, was one November. It was quite a drive from Hvar to Tuzla in Bosnia and Hercegovina, but we decided to do some sightseeing on the way. Four return tickets at 30 euro each made it well worthwhile.
Flights to Italy to reach Croatia
Ryanair to Trieste as one of the most popular routes back in the day. Close to the Slovenian border, a bus connection would have you in Istria or Rijeka in two hours. Trieste is an important option today, as is Venice Treviso, a major low-cost hub.
Budapest Airport, a fantastic international hub
Zagreb residents look on with envy at the transformation of Budapest Airport after the demise of national carrrier Malev in 2012. The Hungarian capital has become a magnate for both intercontinental flights, as well as the base of WizzAir.
Consequently, there are endless flight options. The airport is only two hours from the Croatian border, and you can pick up a rental car at the airport.
Podgorica or Tivat Airport, your gateway to Dubrovnik
Perhaps it is an unlikely option for some, but Montenegro is becoming increasingly attractive as a flight option for Dubrovnik. Especially in the winter months. Montenegro is doing a much better job at offering tourism all year, and some airlines are responding to that.
Tivat Airport is less than 2 hours to Dubrovnik And Ryanair is one budget airline which serves the capital Podgorica all year.
Ljubljana Airport is close to Zagreb
Zagreb is 15-minute drive to the Slovenian border, and one needs less than two hours to reach Ljubljana. There are several flight options coming to the Slovenian capital, with easyJet one of the budget players.
Banja Luka, Tuzla, Mostar and Sarajevo, the BiH connections
Whisper it quietly, but BiH is offering an increasing choice of flights. And some of these are from quite unusual places. Given the Islamic connection, there has been a rise in connections from the Middle East. Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Mostar and Tuzla are all offering some interesting budget flight options. And all four are reasonably close to Croatia’s eastern borders.
Graz and the train to Zagreb, a very civilised way to arrive
Graz used to be my favourite airport to use back in the day. A clean and small airport, followed by a picturesque 4-hour train journey to Zagreb with lunch on board.