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Wondering what the best airport to fly into Croatia is? I’ve got you covered!
Navigating the choice of airports in Croatia, especially on your first visit, can feel a bit overwhelming. Luckily, I’ve been calling Croatia home since 2014 and have been traveling in and out of the country for almost 30 years. So you could say I know a thing or two about flying in and out of here!
Now, pinpointing the best place to fly into Croatia isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. It really depends on your travel plans – where you’re staying, if you’re flying back from the same place, planning a road trip, and other exciting details.
In this post, I’m going to walk you through the top 3 airports you’re most likely to land at in Croatia. I’ll share the good, the bad, and everything in-between to help you make an informed decision and kickstart your trip smoothly.
So, ready to find out which Croatian airport is your perfect match? Let’s take a closer look at the top 3 airports in Croatia.
Where to Fly Into Croatia: Best Airport
There are 3 major airports you will likely be flying into when traveling to Croatia. Depending on where you’re coming from and your final destination in Croatia, certain airports may be more convenient than others.
The 3 major airports in Croatia are Zagreb, Split, and Dubrovnik.
Now let’s break them down:
Zagreb Airport (ZAG)
The Zagreb airport, officially Franjo Tuđman Airport Zagreb (Zračna luka Franjo Tuđman Zagreb), is located right in the capital of Croatia.
This airport is the largest and busiest in the country, making it a convenient option if you are coming from other European cities or even further destinations. Its central location is ideal if you’re looking to explore the inland hidden gems of Croatia or the picturesque region of Istria.
Zagreb is also an excellent starting point for a Croatia road trip, where you can easily rent a car upon landing and drive down the coast while stopping in Plitvice Lakes or Krka National Park along the way. If it’s your first time in Croatia, this is what I’d personally recommend!
Once you’re done exploring, you can drop off your rental in Split or Dubrovnik before flying back home.
Pros and Cons of Zagreb Airport
- The airport boasts a brand new terminal that opened in 2017, offering a modern and sleek experience from the moment you land.
- The airport is small and easy to navigate, meaning less stress and more straightforward transitions from the plane to the city or your next flight.
- Zagreb Airport provides the most international flight options throughout the year compared to other Croatian airports
- There are nonstop flights from Toronto (YYZ) to Zagreb four times a week during the summer months, thanks to Air Transat.
- Zagreb airport is situated in the northwest of Croatia. If your main aim is to soak up the sun on the southern coast, you might find it more convenient to fly directly into Split or Dubrovnik to save travel time.
- While it does serve numerous international flights, Zagreb’s offerings might not be as extensive as other larger European airports, limiting some travel options.
Getting From Zagreb Airport to the City
There are a few options for getting from the airport to the city. You can hop on the airport shuttle bus, Pleso Prijevoz, that provides transportation between the airport and Zagreb’s Central Bus Station for €8 per person for a one-way ticket. This is the cheapest option for getting from Zagreb Airport to the city.
The second option is to take a taxi. Taxi drivers can sometimes inflate prices, so I recommend either taking an Uber, or checking the price on Uber before you get into a taxi to ensure you are getting a fair rate.
Split Airport (SPU)
Split Airport, known as the second busiest airport in Croatia, is situated closer to the town of Trogir than to the actual city of Split. Typically, it’s about a 30-minute drive to get from the airport to downtown Split, depending on the traffic conditions and time of day.
The closest airport to Hvar and other popular Dalmatian islands, Split is the best choice if you plan to do any island hopping. It’s also a good jumping off point for various day trips and boat tours, offering easy access to the surrounding regions and attractions.
Pros and Cons of Split Airport
- Its small size makes Split Airport easy to navigate, offering a more relaxed and manageable experience compared to larger, more hectic airports.
- The airport is easy to reach by public bus directly from Split city center, providing a convenient and budget-friendly option when it comes to transportation.
- Compared to Dubrovnik, Split generally offers more flight connections throughout the year, making it a good option for off-season and peak travel.
- Split Airport can become extremely busy during the summer months. It’s a good idea to plan ahead and arrive at least 2 hours before your flight.
- The trip to and from the airport to central Split can be congested in the summer. When planning your travels, consider potential traffic delays to ensure timely arrival for flights or city activities.
Getting from Split Airport to the City
To reach Split from the airport, and vice versa, you can take the direct bus line from the airport to the main Split Bus Station. It is operated by the same company as the one in Zagreb, Pleso Prijevoz. The ticket price is also €8 per person for a one-way ticket.
A cheaper option is to take the Split public bus. Bus lines 37 and 38 both provide transportation to and from the airport with stops in between. You can find more information and current timetables on the Promet Split website.
Finally, you can take a taxi or an Uber to the city. Of course, the same rule applies here as I mentioned for Zagreb – be sure to check the rate on your Uber app to make sure you are not being overcharged.
Pro tip: Make sure you have internet on your phone as soon as you touch down in Croatia with an affordable data plan from Airalo!
Dubrovnik Airport (DBV)
Dubrovnik Airport, officially known as Ruđer Bošković Airport, ranks as the third busiest airport in Croatia. It’s situated in Ćilipi, roughly 22km southeast of the historic Dubrovnik city center.
The airport is actually closer to the charming seaside town of Cavtat – a great alternative if you’re looking to stay near but not directly in the busy Dubrovnik Old Town.
With Dubrovnik’s surge in popularity as a prime travel destination, the airport has ramped up its connectivity, particularly from March to October, to accommodate the influx of global visitors.
For example, if you are flying from the US to Croatia, there are seasonal nonstop flights from New York Newark Airport (EWR) to Dubrovnik, making the Pearl of the Adriatic more accessible than ever.
Pros and Cons of Dubrovnik Airport
- Dubrovnik Airport is serviced by a number of international airlines and offers the convenience of seasonal nonstop flights to Croatia from the United States.
- As a newer airport, it offers modern amenities and services, making flying through this airport both comfortable and efficient.
- Outside the peak summer months, flight options decrease significantly, offering less flexibility if you plan to visit during quieter periods.
- Depending on your departure point, flying into Dubrovnik can be pricier compared to other Croatian airports, especially given its popularity and seasonal demand.
Getting From Dubrovnik Airport to the Old Town
There are 2 options for getting to the Old Town from Dubrovnik Airport.
The first is the Dubrovnik Airport Shuttle Bus that provides transportation to the Old Town for €10 per person for a one-way ticket, and €14 round-trip. After leaving Dubrovnik Airport it first stops at Old Town Dubrovnik (Ploče gate), and then continues onward to the Dubrovnik Main Bus Station in Gruž Port.
The second option for getting from Dubrovnik Airport to the old city is to take a cab or an Uber. You can also download the Bolt app, a popular ride-hailing app similar to Uber. Sometimes they have more affordable rates, so it’s worth checking both before ordering, or getting into a taxi.
Depending on traffic and the time of year, it can take up to 45 minutes to reach the Old Town from Dubrovnik Airport.
Complete List of Airports in Croatia
In addition to the 3 major international airports in Croatia that you are most likely to fly into, here is a full list of commercial airports in the country, including the airport codes for each. These airports are pretty small, so there are not as many flight options from the rest of Europe or North America.
However, a few of theses airports are serviced by Ryanair, so if you’re flying in from somewhere in Europe, it might be worth looking into for a more affordable option.
- Zagreb Franjo Tudman Airport (ZAG)
- Osijek Airport (OSI)
- Pula Airport (PUY)
- Zadar Airport (ZAD)
- Rijeka Airport (RJK)
- Split (SPU)
- Brač Island Airport (BWK)
- Dubrovnik (DBV)
What Airlines Fly to Croatia
Croatia is served by a number of major international carriers to much smaller, regional carriers. Here is a list of the major airlines that fly to Croatia:
- Aer Lingus
- Aegean Airlines
- Air Canada
- Air France
- Austrian Airlines
- British Airways
- Croatia Airlines
- LOT Polish Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Turkish Airlines
International Airports in Croatia Map
Which airport in Croatia should I fly into?
Depending on your travel plans, you will probably want to fly into Zagreb, Split, or Dubrovnik.
Where to fly into Croatia for beaches?
The best airports to fly into Croatia for beaches are Split Airport or Dubrovnik Airport, as they are both located on the coast.
Where to fly into Croatia from US?
This depends on what city in the US you are departing from. Larger hubs like New York, Chicago, and Washington DC will tend to have good connections to most airports in Croatia. I suggest checking flights from your home airport, as well as other nearby airports to see which ones offer the best flight options.
What is the main airport in Croatia?
The main airport in Croatia is Zagreb Franjo Tudman Airport (ZAG).
Which airport do you fly to for Dubrovnik?
You will fly into Dubrovnik Ruđer Bošković Airport (DBV).
The Verdict: Best Airport Croatia
And there you have it! Zagreb, Split, and Dubrovnik remain the top three airports to fly into when traveling to Croatia.
But which one you should fly into Croatia really comes down to your own travel plans, budget, and desires. Remember to consider the pros and cons of each airport, align them with your itinerary, and you’re all set for an unforgettable vacation in Croatia!
Before you go, make sure you pack all the right things for your Croatia trip!
- Do They Speak English in Croatia?
- How to Say Hello in Croatian (With Audio Examples)
- 31 Croatia Hidden Gems + Secret Spots
- How Many Days in Dubrovnik is Enough?
- Is Dubrovnik Expensive? (Complete Guide to Prices in Dubrovnik)
- Is Dubrovnik Worth Visiting?
- Is Split or Dubrovnik Better? Which Destination to Choose
- 3 Days in Split: The Perfect Split Itinerary
- Is Zagreb Worth Visiting?
- The Perfect 2 Day Zagreb Itinerary
- 15 Best Books About Croatia
Croatia Travel Planning Guide
💸 What is the currency in Croatia?
As of January 1st, 2023, the official currency of Croatia is the Euro and NOT the Kuna (which is also the name of the national animal of Croatia).
🇭🇷 What language do they speak in Croatia?
Croatian is the official language of Croatia. Learn some phrases in Croatian before your trip with the Ling app!
🚑 Should I buy Croatia travel insurance?
10000% YES – Seriously, don’t leave home without it. You never know what can happen on the road. I like SafetyWing because they provide excellent coverage for as little as $1.50 a day.
📱 Will my phone work in Croatia?
Maybe – check with your provider to see if you’ll have service while traveling Croatia. If you don’t have service (or it’s too expensive) I recommend getting an eSIM like Airalo. Airalo allows you to have data while traveling without the high costs of roaming. They have super affordable plans available for 190+ countries, including Croatia. Download the app and get your plan before you leave home so that you have data as soon as you touch down in Croatia!
🏨 What’s the best way to book my Croatia accommodations?
For Croatia hotels, Booking is by far the best site.
🛫 What’s the best site to buy Croatia flights?
I always use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights.
🚗 Is it safe to rent a Car in Croatia?
Yes! – In fact, renting a car in Croatia is one of the best ways to see the country! I recommend Discover Cars because they check both local and international rental companies to ensure you get the best deal. (Get your Croatia road trip itinerary here)
💦 Is it safe to drink the water in Croatia?
Tap water in Croatia is completely safe to drink, so bring your reusable water bottle and fill up!
Do I need a visa for Croatia?
Depending on where you are coming from you may or may not need a visa to enter Croatia. Check the official Republic of Croatia Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for more information on who should apply for a visa.