Getting from Italy to Croatia is getting easier. An overview of the options by land, sea and air – by bus, car, train, plane, ferry, and catamaran.

2021 Reality: Epidemiological Measures

In order to get from Italy to Croatia, you will most probably need to go through Slovenia. While that complicates things somewhat for the travelers in these COVID-19 times, the complication actually is minimal. As we’ve mentioned in our article on crossing the border between Croatia and Slovenia, you are allowed to transit Slovenia within 6 hours without any documentation or additional questions asked.

  • You can enter Croatia from Italy if you have a negative PCR test (not older than 48 hours) or you must quarantine upon entry for 14 days. Transit through Croatia without the test is allowed – you must leave within 12 hours.
  • You can enter Italy from Croatia if you have a negative PCR or antigen test, not older than 48 hours, or you must quarantine for 14 days. Italy allows you to stay for 36 hours without the test, in case of transit.

This info is current at time of writing (Feb 2021) and will be updated periodically. For the latest news, please refer to COVID-19 in Croatia Travel Update or get an answer in real time from the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community (you will need to download the app).

Flights from Italy to Croatia

Before the arrival of Ryanair to Zadar in 2007, cheap flights to Italian airports such as Venice and Trieste followed by a long bus journey to a final destination in Croatia were the most cost-effective (and often quickest) ways of getting from the UK to Croatia.

I fondly recall the joys of a flight from London to Trieste, after which a two-hour bus ride brought me to Rijeka. After that, a short 11-hour overnight bus to Split, and then a wait for the 2-hour ferry to Stari Grad. And then the bus to Jelsa and I was home. Ah, the joys!

We almost managed to forget those days by the time the pandemic hit. At some point, Split had more than 100 destinations connecting to it, for example. Flights to Italy remain an interest option, however, especially for people visiting Istria.

But the flight scene from Italy to Croatia had also improved immensely in recent years, with even the island of Lošinj connected directly with Venice. Unfortunately, the number of the connecting flight is currently drastically reduced, but here is an overview of the flight options from Italy:

Flights from Italy to Split

Croatia Airlines flies daily from Rome to Split. (In early 2021: twice weekly)

Flights from Italy to Dubrovnik

Vueling Airlines – Rome, Thursdays, Sundays 23.12.-24.03. (In early 2021: discontinued)

Flights from Italy to Zagreb

Croatia Airlines – Rome via Split, every day from 28.10.2018 to 23.12.2018. (In early 2021: twice weekly)

Flights from Italy to Pula

easyJet – Milano-Malpensa (MXP), Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays during the summer months. (In early 2021: discontinued)

Flights from Italy to Zadar

easyJet  – Milan, Tuesdays, Thursdays, 25.06.2019. – 01.09.2019. (In early 2021: discontinued)

Vueling – Rome, Saturdays, 22.06.2019. – 07.09.2019. (In early 2021: discontinued)

Flights from Italy to Lošinj

From June to September, the island of Lošinj is connected with Lugano and – from 2019 – Venice. (In early 2021: discontinued)

For the very latest flight news from Italy to Croatian airports, follow the dedicated TCN flights page.

Train from Northern Italy to Zagreb

I fondly remember a 7-hour train journey to Venice from Zagreb many years ago. Arriving in that gorgeous city and leaving the train station to the splendour of the Grand Canal was an unforgettable experience.

Sadly, it seems that the service has been discontinued, and the most relevant transfer by train these days is from Zagreb to Trieste, via Ljubljana. The connection is actually to Villa Opicina, which is a Northern suburb of Trieste. Getting to Trieste from Villa Opicina is very easy, and you can choose between the train, tram, bus and taxi.

You travel from Zagreb to Ljubljana by train and then switch to another train which takes you to Villa Opicina. To find out more and book tickets, go to Croatian Rail website.

Timetable and fares

Zagreb – Ljubljana – Villa Opicina from €21:
B 1210 Zagreb Central Station 12.35 – Ljubljana 15.14
and then in Ljubljana you can choose between RG 1896 Ljubljana 18.55 – Villa Opicina 20.55 and RG 1824 Ljubljana 6.00 – Villa Opicina 07.50

Villa Opicina – Ljubljana – Zagreb from €21:
You can choose when you’ll get from Villa Opicina to Ljubljana: RG 1825 Villa Opicina 09.45 – Ljubljana 11.37 or RG 1897 Villa Opicina 19.45 – Ljubljana 21.40, and then connect to Zagreb B 1211 Ljubljana 14.45 – Zagreb GK 17.12.

Children aged 4 to 12 pay half price. Children under the age of 4 travel free.

From Italy to Croatia By Bus

Northern Italy is well-connected with northern and western Croatia. This is especially true for towns in Istria and Venice. There are regular, year-round bus lines connecting Istria with Venezia. During the whole year, you can travel between Venezia and Pula, while during the tourist season, it is possible to travel to Croatia from Mestre and Trieste as well. Some of the towns in Istria connected with Italy by bus are: Buzet, Pazin, Rovinj, Pula and Medulin. There are also several bus connections to Zagreb.

The individual lines can be found here (in Croatian).

There is also the Flixbus option. The map of bus destinations is here.

Driving from Italy through Slovenia to Croatia

Since Italy and Croatia do not share a land border, it is necessary to go through Slovenia. The main border crossing used by people travelling from Italy via Slovenia to Croatia are Kaštel and Plovanija in Istria County, Rupa and Pasjak in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, and Bregana near Zagreb, for traveller going to the Zagreb region and eastern Croatia. If you plan to use highways in Slovenia and Croatia, it will be necessary to pay the toll.

The cost of the Slovenian vignette (cheapest option) is 15 euro for 7 days. It is likely you will enter Croatia via Istria – learn more about the Istrian motorway network.

Private transfers between Italy and Croatia

If you are looking for a private transfer between Italy and Croatia, please contact us on [email protected] Subject Italy Transfer.

Ferries to Croatia from Italy – Bari to Dubrovnik

A popular connection from southern Italy to Croatia is the Jadrolinija ferry from Bari to Dubrovnik, which will runs from April to late November in 2021. The 2021 schedule has already been announced, and you can find it on the Jadrolinija website.

Stari Grad (Hvar) and Split to Ancona by Ferry

Jadrolinija also maintains a year-round connection between Ancona and Split. In the summer months, Stari Grad on Hvar is also included. The 2021 schedule has already been announced, and you can find it on the Jadrolinija website.

SNAV has already announced its 2021 car ferry schedule from Ancona to Split. In 2021, the service will operate between May and October, several times weekly.

Ancona to Zadar with Jadrolinija

Jadrolinija also maintains a direct car ferry service from Ancona to Zadar. The 2021 has been announced, and the line will operate between early July and mid-September. You can access the schedule on the Jadrolinija website.

Venice to Istria: Umag, Pula, Poreč and Rovinj

There are some great catamaran connections between Venice and Istria in the summer season, and these allow tourists in Italy to get a taste of Istria. The journey in the opposite direction, of course, is a nice additional day trip for tourists relaxing in Italy. It is nice to have interesting neighbours! For more information about tickets to Venice from Umag, Pula, Poreč and Rovinj, visit the Istrian Sun website. In 2021, the services will be available starting in late April or early May.

Pesaro to Lošinj, Rab, Novalja, Rovinj and Zadar

While Venice might be the most famous Italian destination in the region, it is not the only one. Pesaro is also an important connecting point for tourism between Croatian and Italy.

During the previous tourist season, there were fast catamaran links between Pesaro and Lošinj, Rab, Novalja, Rovinj and Zadar in season. The 2021 timetables have yet not been announced, but when they are, you’ll be able to see them on this link.

Daily cruise to Venice from Poreč, Rovinj, Umag and Pula

A pleasant cruise to Venice, lasting around 2 and a half hours, is an amazing opportunity for tourists in Istria to explore this famous Italian city on a great day trip.

The boat departs from Poreč, Rovinj, Umag, and Pula. The schedule for 2021 has not been announced. For more information, visit the Adriatic Lines website.