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What's better - rent a car or take buses?

by IleneIRM Online Now Mar 13, 2013 at 6:52 PM

In May - My husband and I will spend 2-3 days in Zagreb (one day will be a trip to Plitvice), then to Split to take ferry to Hvar, stay a couple nights, then to Dubrovnik for 3 nights. Does anyone recommend whether it's best to rent a car for all of this or use buses? We are trying to weigh cost, convenience, comfort, and safety. Thank you.

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16 Answers
  • outdoorz13's Profile Photo

    Re: What's better - rent a car or take buses?

    by outdoorz13 Online Now Mar 13, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    Hi, check out my blog of my trip to croatia at
    http://marysblogaz.blogspot.com/.
    I did the same research as you and determined that renting a car was the way to go. We were so glad we did. Plitvice is tough to get to via bus and having a car was wonderful for driving through the countryside between dubrovnik and split. The roads were wonderful and other than getting a little lost in Split, it wasn't that difficult to drive in the cities. I LOVED Croatia and would be happy to answer any questions. Just message me. Hope this helps

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  • Re: What's better - rent a car or take buses?

    by IleneIRM Online Now Mar 13, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    Hi Mary -- thank you so much! I started reading your wonderful blog and will definitely go back to jot down some notes of places to visit. What time of the year were you there? When you rented the car, were there any extra charges or fees that came as a surprise? How was it to drive & park in the cities? Thank you!

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  • robine's Profile Photo

    Re: What's better - rent a car or take buses?

    by robine Online Now Mar 13, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    Zagreb-Plitvice-Split is MUCH too far to bike.

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  • outdoorz13's Profile Photo

    Re: What's better - rent a car or take buses?

    by outdoorz13 Online Now Mar 13, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    Hi, I just realized I don't think I listed the hotels we stayed in. Geez, how did I miss that. I'll have to look them up and add them. They were all great. We were there in September. Funny you ask about the car; i reserved and paid for the car with a credit card which would cover the extra insurance. however, when we arrived, since i wasn't buying their insurance, they had to place a $10,000 hold on my card in case i totalled the car. My card wouldnt take that large charge so we ended up buying their insurance for only $40. Just their way of getting more money but whatever. We picked up the car as we were leaving Dubrovnik so didn't have to drive in much traffic until we got to Zadar for a quick lunch stop. It was fine driving there and parking. Just remember it's a standard transmission!! The most city driving we did was in Split and it was really fine. Nothing worse than driving in a small US city. We dropped the car at the airport in Zagreb and again didnt really have to drive in the big city.

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  • Muscovite's Profile Photo

    Re: What's better - rent a car or take buses?

    by Muscovite Online Now Mar 13, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    I would vote for a car - gives you independence.
    I don't drive, though :)

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  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    Re: What's better - rent a car or take buses?

    by davidjo Online Now Mar 13, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    If affordable i would always choose to rent a car. How many times have you been on a bus or train looking out of the window and wished you could have time to have a quick photo stop or wander through a small village or park. Driving a car you can stop wherever you want, drive directly to your accommodation INSTEAD OF ARRIVING AT STATIONS, LOADED WITH LUGGAGE AND RELYING ON TAXI DRIVERS TO GET YOU TO AND FROM YOUR HOTEL.

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  • xymmot's Profile Photo

    Re: What's better - rent a car or take buses?

    by xymmot Online Now Mar 13, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    rent the car...it's better than walking to the bus station and carrying your lugguage. Most everywhere I go, any wheels on my own is better than walking.

    cheers tommy x

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  • muratkorman's Profile Photo

    Re: What's better - rent a car or take buses?

    by muratkorman Online Now Mar 14, 2013 at 12:23 AM

    I would go with the "rent a car" option. There are small towns on your route where you would just skip if you travelled with bus such as Krka, Trogir, Zadar, Sibenic and so on. You can check my pages if interested.
    "Amazing port town" - Trogir by muratkorman
    "Another impressive spot in Croatia" - Krka National Park by muratkorman

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  • Asterix101's Profile Photo

    Re: What's better - rent a car or take buses?

    by Asterix101 Online Now Mar 14, 2013 at 1:33 AM


    IleneIRM wrote: In May - My husband and I will spend 2-3 days in Zagreb (one day will be a trip to Plitvice), then to Split to take ferry to Hvar, stay a couple nights, then to Dubrovnik for 3 nights. Does anyone recommend whether it's best to rent a car for all of this or use buses? We are trying to weigh cost, convenience, comfort, and safety. Thank you.

     Hello from Croatia, as you are planning to go from one side of the country to another, I definetely recommend you to rent a car, especially for Hvar. The roads are generally good (highway from Zagreb to Split, Hvar a little bit more challenging :)). 

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  • nheinric's Profile Photo

    Re: What's better - rent a car or take buses?

    by nheinric Online Now Mar 14, 2013 at 5:33 AM

    Hi! I am Nenad from Zagreb. My opinion: take a car!

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  • nheinric's Profile Photo

    Re: What's better - rent a car or take buses?

    by nheinric Online Now Mar 14, 2013 at 5:33 AM

    Hi! I am Nenad from Zagreb. My opinion: take a car!

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  • Re: What's better - rent a car or take buses?

    by IleneIRM Online Now Mar 14, 2013 at 9:00 AM

    Thank you everyone!!! You are all so kind to share your tips and advice and I will go to the links some of you gave. Looks like we'll be renting the car. Any other tips also welcome.... are the ferries to Hvar good? We plan to drive one morning From Zagreb to Split, then get on the ferry (with the car) to Hvar.... then stay a couple of days, drive across the island to take the Drvenik-Sucuraj back to the mainland to head south to Dubrovnik. :)

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  • IvanaP's Profile Photo

    Re: What's better - rent a car or take buses?

    by IvanaP Online Now Mar 14, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    IleneIRM wrote:
    In May - My husband and I will spend 2-3 days in Zagreb (one day will be a trip to Plitvice), then to Split to take ferry to Hvar, stay a couple nights, then to Dubrovnik for 3 nights. Does anyone recommend whether it's best to rent a car for all of this or use buses? We are trying to weigh cost, convenience, comfort, and safety. Thank you.

    Hi! Please do not miss the Kornati National Park as well as the Kamenjak Viewpoint, both located in the Northern Dalmatia. While the Kornati National Park is very well know, the Kamenjak viewpoint was a total surprise for me. It is located above the middle of Lake Vrana (Lake Vrana Nature Park) and it has a stunning view of the entire Lake Vrana  and the beginning of the Kornati islands. Just amazing! You can find the photos as well as more details on aquarius-online.com/amenitie.... And yes, definitely rent a car!

    Hope this helps!

    Ivana

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  • IvanaP's Profile Photo

    Re: What's better - rent a car or take buses?

    by IvanaP Online Now Mar 14, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    IvanaP wrote:

    Hi! Please do not miss the Kornati National Park as well as the Kamenjak Viewpoint, both located in the Northern Dalmatia. While the Kornati National Park is very well know, the Kamenjak viewpoint was a total surprise for me. It is located above the middle of Lake Vrana (Lake Vrana Nature Park) and it has a stunning view of the entire Lake Vrana  and the beginning of the Kornati islands. Just amazing! You can find the photos as well as more details on aquarius-online.com/amenitie.... And yes, definitely rent a car!

    Hope this helps!

    Ivana

    Forgot to mention that you would be passing the Kamenjak Viewpoint on your way to Split. It is only a few kilometres away from the Pirovac exit on the A1 highway. I would definitely recommend it as a stop on your way to Split. However, Kornati islands would require entire day.

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  • Re: What's better - rent a car or take buses?

    by IleneIRM Online Now Mar 15, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    Thank you for all the great tips. :)

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  • KristaB's Profile Photo

    Re: What's better - rent a car or take buses?

    by KristaB Online Now Mar 17, 2013 at 8:54 AM

    If you weren't planning on visiting Plitvice, I'd vote for taking buses and ferries - frequent, safe, clean, reliable mode of transportation in Croatia. I'd suggest renting a car for a longer trip which enables more detailed exploration. As someone already pointed out, the road from Jelsa to Drvenik is rather demanding, if you go to island Hvar with a car then do use it to explore Jelsa, Vrisnik, Pitve, Sveta Nedilja. En route to Dubrovnik in the area close to Peljesac peninsula, look for oyster farms by the road and stop for a special treat od tender tasty oysters, nothing like those huge chewy grey lumps usually sold as 'delicacy' in many places on this planet. Have a wonderful time in Croatia!

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