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Driving in Croatia - useful facts you need to know before your vacation

Driving in Croatia - useful facts you need to know before your vacation

Find out more about driving routes in Croatia that will lead you to your ideal holiday destination!

When visiting the Croatian coast, especially when you plan to arrive by car or rent one for you vacation, it´s good to know some basic information about the roads that will make it easier to plan your stay in our lovely country.
Croatia, both inland as well as the coast, is in general well connected by motorways (autoceste in Croatian), expressways (brze ceste) as well as state-, county- and local roads.

First, some basic information regarding driving in Croatia.
Driving is on the right hand side of the road in Croatia and overtaking is on the left.
It is compulsory for everyone in a vehicle to wear seatbelts. It´s forbidden to use your mobile phone while driving. However, handfree devices are permitted.
The speed limit on lesser roads is 50 km/h, 130 km/h on the motorways – however, please pay attention to speed limits, signs and all road markings when driving.

Electric cars are still not too common in Croatia, but if you do own one, there are over 40 locations where you can charge your vehicles. Petrol stations are easy to come by, however, there aren´t that many petrol stations on islands so make sure that your tank is full when visiting one of Croatia´s many island. Petrol stations are ususaly open from early in the morning until late in the evening – on motorways, some petrol stations are open 24/7 and they all accept credit cards!

Motorways in Croatia operate on a toll system that is very easy to use. Upon entering the motorway, you take a ticket from the toll booth machine. When exiting, you present your ticket – so don’t lose it! Pay the person at the toll booth for the distance that you have traveled. You can check the toll rates here (

Now when we got that covered, let´s explain the main driving routes you will probably use to get to your destination.


If you are arriving to Croatia by plane, there is a high possibility that your plane lands in Zagreb, Croatia´s capital where the largest airport in Croatia is located. Zagreb is a busy metropolis with just above one million residents.

From Zagreb (when driving towards the coast) you will probably take motorway A1, that connects Zagreb, starting in Lucko, with Karlovac and Bosiljevo. In Bosiljevo the motorway A6 branches off from the A1 motorway. The A1 motorway continues towards Dalmatia, including Zadar, Sibenik, Split and Ploce. So when heading south to visit some of our lovely villas in Dalmatia, this is the route you will probably use.
Please note that the A1 section of the motorway under the Velebit mountain is characterized by very unfavourable weather conditions (wind gusts), leading to cases of temporary closure of specific sections of the A1 motorway, most frequently of the Sveti Rok - Maslenica – Posedarje section.



Starting in Bosiljevo, the A6 motorway continues towards Delnice and Rijeka, one of the largest towns in Croatia. When using this motorway, you will pass the Risnjak National Park (definitely worth a visit). Sections of the A6 motorway that have a gradient greater than 4% are divided into three lanes to prevent traffic problems caused by slower vehicles.


The A7 motorway is known as "Kvarnerska autocesta" and it starts at the border with Slovenia and heads south towards Rijeka, interchanges with the A6 and continues to the Krk island bridge. This motorway is the shortest route between Trieste (Italy) or Ljubljana (Slovenia) and the Adriatic Sea.



The Istrian Y is a motorway complex consisting of 2 sections - one is the A8 motorway, which connects Matulji near Rijeka with Pazin and then with Kanfanar in Central Istria. While using the A8 motorway, you will also pass the Ucka tunnel, the third longest in Croatia after the Mala Kapela and Sveti Rok.

The A9 motorway goes from the Slovenian border, passes Umag, Novigrad, Porec and meets the A8 at Kanfanar. After passing Kanfanar, it continues further south towards Pula. When you check out these 2 motorways on the map, you will see why we call this the “Y”. As you can see, Istria is truly well connected, so make sure to use these roads and visit as many places in Istria as you can.

For scenic drives in Central Istria, make sure to use small, local roads – the views are unbelievable when driving through small villages and picturesque landscapes!


The Adriatic highway, or as you will be told from locals, the “Jadranska magistrala”, is a state road (D8) that stretches along the east coast of the Adriatic Sea. Most of the road is in Croatia, however smaller stretches of the road also pass through the neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as through Montenegro. Until recently, this road was the primary route connecting the coastal parts of Croatia, but in the 2000s the motorways took over a substantial part of the traffic. Since the A1 motorway ends at Ploce, the D8 state road takes over the traffic for destinations further south. The D8 state road is full of curves which make the travel longer, but it also offers scenic views of Croatian coastal towns!

When you travel to your villa in Istria or Dalmatia by car, please make sure that you regularly check different available service information web portals (and/ or radio news) so nothing surprises you on the road.
Useful information regarding traffic flow and road conditions can be found on the HAK webpage (Croatian Automobile Club):

Marija Kancir

+385 1 222 70 50