Meal in a Hungarian restaurant car
 

The civilised way...  Lunch in the restaurant car.  Courtesy of Kevin Coumbe

From Zagreb, Ljubljana to...

     

       Click here for journeys starting in another city.

This page explains how to travel from Zagreb or Ljubljana to other key European cities, and how to buy tickets the cheapest way.  Train information is current for 2019.

  Train travel within Slovenia & Croatia

  Trains between Zagreb & Ljubljana

  How to travel from Zagreb to Split, Dubrovnik, Hvar, Korcula, Vis, Brac

  Trains from Ljubljana to Pula

  Trains from Ljubljana to Lake Bled

Before you buy your tickets...

Take a moment to read these tips for buying European train tickets.  It answers all the usual questions, "Do I need to book in advance or can I just buy at the station?", "Can I stop off?", "Are there Senior fares?" and that old favourite, "Should I buy an $800 railpass or just buy a €35 point-to-point ticket online?".  Click here to understand how far ahead you can buy train tickets.

European train travel FAQ...

An introduction to European train travel

 

Senior fares (over 60)

 

Guide to Eurail passes (overseas visitors)

Important tips for buying European train tickets

Youth fares (under 26)

 

Guide to InterRail passes (for Europeans)

How to check European train times

Child fares & child age limits

 

Couchettes & sleepers on night trains

Do I need to book in advance?

Luggage on European trains

 

Train seat numbering plans

How far ahead can I book?

Luggage storage at stations

 

Wheelchairs & special needs

Can I stop off on the way?

Taking a bike by train

 

Real-time service updates

Should I travel 1st or 2nd class?

Taking a car by train

 

Hotels & accommodation

How long to allow for connections?

Taking dogs & pets by train

 

Changing stations in Paris by metro or taxi

How early to arrive at the station?

Maps of the European rail network

 

What to do when things go wrong...


Buying train tickets for journeys within Slovenia & Croatia...

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Zagreb to Split, Dubrovnik & Croatian islands...

Step 1, Zagreb to Split by train...

Option 1, by daytime trains...

An ICN train to Splt at Zagreb station

 

1st class seats on the fast tilting ICN train from Zagreb to Split

The daytime trains to Split:  These fast, tilting, air-conditioned ICN trains link Zagreb & Split once or twice a day through great scenery.  Above right, first class seats on the train to Split.  below left, second class seats.

2nd class seats on the tilting ICN train from Zagreb to Split   ICN train to Split at Zagreb station
Scenery seen from the Zagreb-Split train

Scenery between Zagreb and Split seen from the train...  Photo courtesy of Pαraic Maguire.

Option 2, by sleeper train...

3-bed sleeper on the Zagreb-Split overnight train   Refurbished sleeping-car on the Zagreb-Split overnight train

The overnight train to Split:  The overnight train from Zagreb to Split has a modern air-conditioned sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3-bed compartments with washbasin.  See larger sleeper photo...

Step 2, onwards from Split to Dubrovnik by bus...

Or step 2, onwards from Split to Hvar, Korcula, Vis, Brac by ferry... 

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Ljubljana to Pula for €19...

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Ljubljana to Lake Bled for €7...

View over Lake Bled

View over Lake Bled near Bled Jezero station.  Photo courtesy of Steve Mason.

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Zagreb - Ljubljana from €9...
Scenery between Ljubljana & Zagreb

Great scenery as the train snakes along the Sava between Ljubljana & Zagreb...

  2nd class seats on the Munich-Zagreb train

More scenery along the Sava river in Slovenia.  Now across the border in Slovenia, the EuroCity train runs along the pretty River Sava all the way to Ljubljana and Zagreb...

 

Comfortable seats:  The 2nd class seats in the Slovenian cars are arranged 2+1 abreast, the same as 1st class!

Scenery between Ljubljana, Zagreb & Belgrade

More scenery between Ljubljana & Zagreb along the river Sava...

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Zagreb to Sarajevo...

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Zagreb or Ljubljana to Belgrade, Sofia, Athens, Istanbul...
2nd class seats in a Serbian air-conditioned train   The train from Belgrade to Zagreb & Zurich, about to leave Belgrade

The train from Ljubljana & Zagreb to Belgrade.  Above left, 2nd class seats.

The train from Belgrade to Sofia   2nd class seats on day train from Belgrade to Sofia

The direct train from Belgrade to Sofia.  Just two coaches, but comfy enough, and a scenic run across the Balkans.  Bring your own food & drink.

 

Comfortable 2nd class seats.  Photos courtesy Remco van der Kort.

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Zagreb or Ljubljana to Vienna from €29...
The Croatia train from Zagreb to Vienna

Zagreb to Vienna on the Croatia:  This is the Croatia boarding in Zagreb...

 

1st class open-plan seating as used on the Croatia & Emona.  1st class seats in 6-seat  compartments are also available.

 

2nd class compartment as used on the Croatia & Emona.  Seats in open plan cars are also available

Lunch in Slovenian restaurant car   Slovenian restaurant car

Ljubljana to Vienna on the Emona:  The Emona has a Slovenian restaurant car with inexpensive freshly-cooked meals, beer & wine.  The Croatia has an Austrian restaurant car.

Scenery from the train between Zagreb and Vienna

Sevnica Castle, seen from the Croatia between Zagreb & Zidani Most....

Scenery from the train between Zagreb and Vienna

Scenery between Zidani Most and Maribor in Slovenia on the route of both the Emona & Croatia...

Semmering Railway scenery from the Zagreb to Vienna train

Between Villach & Vienna the Emona & Croatia travel over the famous Semmering Railway, opened in 1854 and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  See the Vienna to Venice by train page for more information, photos & video.

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Zagreb or Ljubljana to Budapest...
EuroCity train Rippl Ronai from Zagreb to Budapest

A Budapest-Zagreb Intercity train at Budapest with comfortable & modern air-conditioned coaches, both Croatian (foreground) and Hungarian (background).  A great way to travel.  Courtesy of Jonathan Hounsome.

Lake Balaton seen from the Budapest to Zagreb train

The trains from Zagreb to Budapest run along the southern shore of Lake Balaton, Hungary's largest lake.  Courtesy of Louise Donnelly.

Sunflowers seen from the train from Budapest to Zagreb

The Zagreb to Budapest train passes fields of sunflowers...  Courtesy of Louise Donnelly.

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Zagreb or Ljubljana to Bratislava & Prague...

Option 1, Zagreb to Prague or Bratislava in a single day...

Option 2, Ljubljana to Prague or Bratislava in a single day...

Option 3, Zagreb to Munich by sleeper, morning express train to Prague - time-effective and saves a hotel bill...

Option 4, Zagreb to Prague or Bratislava with an overnight stop in Budapest...

Option 5, Ljubljana to Bratislava or Prague with an overnight stop in Vienna...

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Zagreb or Ljubljana to Berlin

Option 1, via Vienna:  Although the connections work better via Budapest (see option 2), the trains on the Vienna route are higher-quality and all sectors can be booked online with print-your-own tickets, making it more practical.  And what's not to like about an afternoon in Vienna?

Vienna to Berlin Nightjet sleeper train

Vienna to Berlin by nightjet...  The Vienna to Berlin Nightjet prepares to leave Vienna Hbf.  See the nightjet page for more photos, tips & informationCourtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.

Nightjet deluxe sleeper, 2-bed   Nightjet deluxe sleepe toilet & shower   4-berth couchette compartment from Cologne to Vienna

2-berth deluxe sleeper.  More info about Nightjet trains.

 

...en suite toilet & shower.

 

4-berth couchettes...

Option 2, via Budapest, using the Budapest-Berlin sleeper train...

2-bed sleeper on the Berlin to Budapest-train   Slovakian sleeping-car

A 2-bed double sleeper (above left) in the air-conditioned Slovakian sleeping-car on the Metropol from Berlin to Budapest.  Above right, a morning view of the Berlin-Budapest couchette car (nearest the camera) and sleeping-car in the morning light, en route to Budapest...

Each sleeper compartment is fitted with 3 beds so can be sold as a single, double or triple.  Sleeper compartments convert to comfortable private sitting room for evening use.  A light breakfast is included in the fare.  See larger photo.  See more photos of this type of sleeping-car. Photos courtesy Helmut Uttenthaler.

Option 3, by daytime trains with an overnight stop in Vienna.  If you prefer day trains and a hotel to sleepers, this is the most practical route with high-quality trains, all easily booked online.

Vienna to Berlin ICE train

The ICE Berolina at Vienna HbfCourtesy Helmut Uttenthaler .

1st class table for two on the Vienna to Berlin ICE train   Lunch in the restaurant car on the Vienna to Berlin ICE train

Table for two in 1st class, my favourite configuration.  There are also tables for four in both classes.

 

Lunch in the Bordrestaurant.  I highly recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!

ICE-T train, driving cab   ICE-T train, 2nd class

You can see into the cab at each end of the train.

 

Comfortable 2nd class seats on the ICE-T to Vienna...

Option 4, via Budapest, using daytime trains with an overnight stop...

Option 5, via Munich:

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Zagreb or Ljubljana to Salzburg, Innsbruck, Munich & Germany from €39

Option 1, by daytime trains...

Travelling from Zagreb & Ljubljana to Munich by EuroCity train...

The EuroCity train 'Sava' from Munich to Ljubljana & Zagreb  

The EuroCity train Sava at Zagreb.

 

Scenery between Ljubljana & Zagreb.

Scenery between Ljubljana & Zagreb

Great scenery along the Sava between Zagreb & Ljubljana (taken from an eastbound train)...

  2nd class seats on the Munich-Zagreb train

More scenery along the Sava river in Slovenia.  The EuroCity train runs along the pretty River Sava all the way to Ljubljana and Zagreb...

 

Comfortable seats:  The 2nd class seats in the Slovenian cars are arranged 2+1 abreast, the same as 1st class!

Scenery in the Austrian Alps between Munich & Ljubljana

Through the Austrian Alps...  Clinging to the mountainside high in the Austrian Alps, the train snakes along between snow-capped mountains, absolutely wonderful...

Option 2, using the Zagreb/Ljubljana to Munich sleeper...

Travelling from Zagreb to Munich by sleeper train...

This modern sleeper train is a pleasure to travel on, whether in the privacy of your own sleeper or in economical couchettes.  There's time for dinner in Munich before boarding.

The 'Lisinski' sleeper train from Zagreb to Munich, at Zagreb main station   Sleeper compartment in the Croatian sleeping-car from Munich to Zagreb

The sleeping-car on the Lisinski:  The modern air-conditioned Croatian sleeping-car of the Lisinski from Munich to Zagreb has 10 compartments with washbasin, each of which can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth room, with toilets at the end of the corridor.  Above left, the sleeper arrived at Zagreb.  See larger sleeper photo...

4-berth couchettes on Munich to Zagreb train   Couchette car on Munich to Zagreb train, at Munich

The couchette car on the Lisinski has modern air-conditioned 6-berth and 4-berth compartments.  Above right, the westbound train is seen boarding at Zagreb. See panorama photo.

Scenery between Ljubljana, Zagreb & Belgrade

In summer when it's light you'll see scenery like this between Zagreb & Ljubljana, along the river Sava...

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Zagreb or Ljubljana to Zurich & Switzerland...

Option 1, by direct sleeper train...

The 'Lisinski' sleeper train from Zagreb to Munich, at Zagreb main station   Sleeper compartment in the Croatian sleeping-car from Munich to Zagreb

The Zagreb-Zurich sleeping-car is a modern air-conditioned Croatian sleeping-car like this with 10 compartments with washbasin, each of which can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth room, toilets at the end of the corridor.  It's identical to the Zagreb-Munich sleeper.  See larger sleeper photo...

Scenery in Switzerland from the Zagreb to Zurich sleeper train

Wake up in Switzerland to scenery like this.  Taken from the Zagreb-Zurich sleeper, courtesy of John Richards...

Option 2, by day trains with overnight stop in Vienna...

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Zagreb or Ljubljana to Venice, Trieste & Italy...
Scenery between Trieste and Ljubljana

Scenery in Slovenia, seen from the train from Ljubljana to Trieste...

Regional train from Venice to Trieste, arrived at Trieste Centrale   2nd class seats on the regional train from Venice to Trieste

The hourly regional train from Trieste to Venice.  No reservation necessary, turn up & go!  You sit where you like.

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Zagreb or Ljubljana to Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels, Cologne or London...

Option 1, by comfortable daytime trains with an overnight stop in Munich...

The EuroCity train 'Sava' from Munich to Ljubljana & Zagreb  

The EuroCity train Sava at Zagreb.

 

More scenery along the Sava between Zagreb & Ljubljana.

Scenery between Ljubljana & Zagreb

Great scenery as the train snakes along the Sava between Ljubljana & Zagreb...

  2nd class seats on the Munich-Zagreb train

...and along the Sava river in Slovenia.  Now across the border in Slovenia, the EuroCity train runs along the pretty River Sava.

 

Comfortable seats:  2nd class seats in the Slovenian cars are 2+1 abreast, the same as 1st class!

Option 2, by comfortable sleeper train Lisinski to Munich, then day trains...

The 'Lisinski' sleeper train from Zagreb to Munich, at Zagreb main station   Sleeper compartment in the Croatian sleeping-car from Munich to Zagreb

The Lisinski from Zagreb to Munich.  This is sleeping-car on the Lisinski at Zagreb.  The modern air-conditioned Croatian sleeping-car of the Lisinski from Zagreb to Munich has 10 compartments with washbasin, each of which can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth room, with toilets at the end of the corridor, see the Croatian sleeper video.

4-berth couchettes on Munich to Zagreb train   Couchette car on Munich to Zagreb train, at Munich

The couchette car on the Lisinski has modern air-conditioned 6-berth and 4-berth compartments.  Above right, the westbound train is seen boarding at Zagreb. See panorama photo.

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Zagreb or Ljubljana to Nice...

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Zagreb or Ljubljana to Hamburg, Copenhagen & Scandinavia...

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Zagreb or Ljubljana to Barcelona & Spain...
Mt Canigou in the Pyrenees

Mt Canigou & the Pyrenees...  Seen from the train and one of the highest peaks in the mighty Pyrenees, the 2,784m (9,137 feet) high Mt Canigou dominates the skyline all the way from Girona to Perpignan...

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Zagreb or Ljubljana to Warsaw, Krakow, Bucharest, Kiev & Moscow...

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Hotels in Zagreb, Ljubljana

    

Favourite hotel search & price comparison: hotelscombined.com

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It's been named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site in the World Travel Awards and I recommend it to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling the same hotel for less.

Favourite hotel booking site: www.booking.com

www.booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site, and unless HotelsCombined throws up major price differences I prefer doing my bookings in one place here. 

You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens.  It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...

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Travel insurance & health card

 

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

Take out decent travel insurance, it's essential...

Never travel overseas without travel insurance from a reliable insurer, with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover cancellation and loss of cash and belongings, up to a sensible limit.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheaper than several single-trip policies even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I have an annual policy myself.  Here are some suggested insurers.  Seat61 gets a small commission if you buy through these links.

In the UK, try Columbus Direct or use Confused.com to compare prices & policies from many different insurers.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65, see www.JustTravelCover.com - 10% discount with code seat61.

        If you live in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct's other websites.

  If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

Get a spare credit card, designed for travel with no currency exchange loading & low or no ATM fees...

It costs nothing to take out an extra credit card.  If you keep it in a different part of your luggage so you're not left stranded if your wallet gets stolen, this is a form of extra travel insurance in itself.  In addition, some credit cards are significantly better for overseas travel than others.  Martin Lewis's www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money explains which UK credit cards have the lowest currency exchange commission loadings when you buy something overseas, and the lowest cash withdrawal fees when you use an ATM abroad.  Taking this advice can save you quite a lot on each trip compared to using your normal high-street bank credit card!

Get a VPN for safe browsing when you travel.  VPNs & why you need one explained...

When you're travelling you often use free WiFi in public places which may not be secure.  A VPN means your connection to the internet is encrypted & always secure, even using unsecured WiFi.  In countries such as China where access to Twitter & Facebook is restricted, a VPN gets around these restrictions.  And lastly, you can select the geographic location of the IP address you browse with, to get around geographic restrictions which some websites apply - for example one booking site charges a booking fee to non-European visitors but none to European visitors, so if you're not located in Europe you can avoid this fee by browsing with a UK IP address using a VPN.  VPNs & why you need one explainedExpressVPN is a best buy and I use them myself.

 


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