The public bus would be the cheapest, the taxis would be the most expensive, and a private transfer service would be somewhere in the middle, but it would be the most convenient, pleasant and helpful way to get to your destination in the city, by far
The new airport (Franjo Tudman) is actually in Velika Gorica which was before suburb of Zagreb, now it has a status of city, and it is a few km east of where the old airport stood. Franjo Tudman Airport is approximately 15km from the main square in Zagreb (Trg bana Josipa Jelacica).
1. The cheapest route (aside from walking): public transportation
This is a relatively new way to reach downtown because the old airport did not have direct line with a city bus to downtown Zagreb, there was only an airport shuttle bus (also listed below as an option).
Even though there was a rumor that the airport will be connected with Zagreb by tramline, it hasn’t happened yet. For now, it’s just the bus!
In the opposite direction, it leaves at 4:30am from Velika Gorica coming towards Zagreb (except on Sundays, when the first bus leaves at 5:35am).
The last bus every day leaves Kvaternikov Square at 11:25pm and in the opposite direction, it leaves Velika Gorica after midnight at 12:15am.
Buses go every 35 minutes throughout the day.
Here is the link to the schedule of the 290 bus line => http://www.zet.hr/UserDocsImages/voznired/290.pdf
*Kvarternikov Square isn’t the main square, but it’s downtown and just a short tram ride with number 11 or 12 to reach the main square, Trg Bana Josipa Jelacica.
The same ticket is valid for both buses and trams, so you can continue your ride without having to buy an extra ticket. The only catch, is they are valid for 30 mins of riding, so if your total ride exceeds half an hour, you’ll have to buy 2 tickets (8kn, or ~1EUR)
The second cheapest option is to go with the airport shuttle bus, which connects the main bus station to the airport, and it’s a direct link (so it’s faster than the previous city bus option).
The airport buses are located on the right side of the airport when you exit the doors, and the price of the ticket is 30KN (4 EUR) one way or 40KN (5.50 EUR) round trip. Driving time is 35-40 minutes.
The shuttle buses from the central bus Station depart every half hour, every day from Monday to Sunday between 4:30am and 9:30 pm.
The buses from the Zagreb’s airport depart every half hour, every day from Monday to Sunday between 06:00am and 10:30pm.
Here is the link to the schedule of the airport shuttle bus => http://www.plesoprijevoz.hr/page/timetable
The central bus station is not right in the city center, but it’s not too far away. You can take tram number 6 and the ride will last around 10-15 mins.
3. Getting to the city center with Uber or Bolt
Uber and their competitor Bolt are present in Croatia legally from September 2018. There are now a few rules in place to make the services better for the customer. Every driver either has to have a taxi license, or work under someone who has a taxi license. Cars also have to be newer than 7 years, and every car has to have taxi signs on the top and labels on the side of the cars with the name of the taxi company displayed.
The price with Uber or Bolt from the airport to downtown Zagreb is around 100KN (14EUR). The advantage of these applications is the price transparency, you will always know the exact amount of money that you will spend before you order the vehicle.
The disadvantage is that the Uber drivers will not wait for you with your name sign at the arrival gate, nor help you with your luggage. They also won’t come into the airport parking because parking is too expensive and would eat up their profit. Instead, you’ll have to walk out of the airport to the nearby bus station for pick up (which could get tricky with a lot of luggage).
Airport parking is 27Kn for 1hour so that would take almost ⅓ of their price. Uber and Bolt drivers used to take advantage of the Kiss & Fly area to pick up their passengers (which you can enter free for 10 mins), but now airport security doesn’t allow it.
The other disadvantage of Uber, is that many drivers do not speak English so it might be difficult to communicate with them.
4. Getting to the city center with the local taxi company
When you leave the airport building you will see a long line of taxis who pay a yearly fee to be able to park there and wait for guests. The advantage of using taxis is that they are right outside the airport, you don’t have to walk far to jump in the car. You also don’t have to preorder anything, there will always be cabs coming to pick up new guests.
The disadvantage of taxis could be the price transparency. There have been many stories about airport taxi drivers overcharging their passengers, and not telling them how much the price would be up front. They may use taximeters which calculate the price based on the number of kilometers driven, but every driver can set his or her price per kilometers freely, which could result in a pricey ride.
For example, I heard that one of my friend’s guests from his Airbnb accommodation were very differently charged for their rides to the same location in the city center. One paid 240KN (33EUR) the other one 330KN (44EUR) for his ride. So my advice is that before you sit in the taxi at the airport, ask for the approximate price, otherwise you could be very surprised.
5. Getting to the city with Luxury Transfers Zagreb
Lastly, I wanted to present you with the most convenient and helpful way to get from Zagreb airport to your destination in the city of Zagreb. The company provide door to door service from the arrival gates inside the airport (waiting with a sign and a friendly smile) to the doors of your hotel, Airbnb or Booking accommodation.
All drivers speak English perfectly, so you will not have a problem communicating (say if you want to ask about where to eat, what’s going on in the city, or any other recommendation).
All vehicles are almost new, they’re regularly inspected, very clean and spacious so don’t have to worry about whether or not your luggage will fit!
Well that just about sums up your options of getting from the airport to the center, or vice versa. You can walk (not recommended), take the city bus, an airport shuttle, a taxi or hire a private transfer company to come pick you up, wait for you at the arrivals gate, and help you with your bags with door to door service :)
If you would like to book one of the transfers click here => https://luxurytransferszagreb.com/
We hope this blog will help many travelers visiting Zagreb