Hiring a car in Zagreb International Airport
You will find the rent-a-car desks on the ground floor of the terminal, near the exit by the taxi rank. You can rent through 16 different car hire companies here, with some of the Croatian companies being subsidiaries of the larger, internationally known brands. The major ones being represented at Zagreb Airport, are Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz and Sixt.
Most of the cars offered in Zagreb tend to be 2-3 door compact or economy cars, however, the rental companies here do offer people carriers, 4x4s, vans and SUVs if you are travelling with a larger party. Be aware that a manual transmission is standard in Europe, and though vehicles with an automatics transmission are available, they are more expensive on the whole.
Leaving Zagreb International Airport
The airport is located only 16km from the city centre, so a journey into town, without traffic should only take around half an hour.
Follow the D408 southwest to get out of the Airport. Turn right on Zagrebačka ul. And then continue onto Avenija Većeslava Holjevca, this becomes the Ul. Savezne Republike Njemačke which you stay on until you see Avenija Dubrovnik where you take a right. There will be a roundabout where you must take the 3rd exit onto Most mladosti which turns into Avenija Marina Držića, turn left on Ul. kneza Branimira which will take you to Zagreb Central Station, right in the middle of town.
If you have to return your hired vehicle with a full tank of petrol, there are two petrol stations located right by Zagreb Central Station, just off of Avenija Marina Držića.
Driving in Zagreb
Croatians drive on the right side of the road, so be prepared to adjust to the features of the car being in the opposite location you are used to. Though the roads are pretty well maintained in this country, a lot of the roadways outside of the main cities are narrow, and winding, so drive with caution, especially at night. Please note, it is illegal to drive without your headlights on (day or night) during the winter season which runs from October to March. It is also compulsory to have a fluorescent vest available in your car should you break down, and need to change a tyre. Please ensure that your car company provides this.
In Croatia, you are required to hold an International Driving Permit (IDP) as this helps to legitimise your license when you are abroad. Please make sure you carry your IDP, passport and license with you when you are driving in this country.
What can you see and do in Zagreb?
Croatia is becoming more and more known across the world for its fairytale-like beauty, from its medieval towns, to imposing soviet buildings and stately Austro-Hungarian architecture. Zagreb, the capital, is mostly made up of the last two, and it’s fascinating to see how the two combine to create the character of this city.
Start in Gornji Grad in the Upper Town, where you can see much of the town’s attractions, such as St. Mark’s Church with its tiled roof, and the colourful National Theatre, an ochre yellow Neo-Baroque building that holds regular operas, ballet performances and plays. Then have a wander down Tkalciceva, a characterful street with bars, cafes and restaurants.
Visit the Archeological Museum, which delves into the history of Croatia, and even has a Mummy from Zagreb on display. The Ethnographic Museum is a great bet too, if you want to learn more about traditional Croatian culture. Then walk through the pretty Maksimir Park, a huge public stretch of land, whose landscape includes meadows, creeks and lakes. It is a little slice of nature right in the middle of the city.
For a look into Zagreb’s medieval past, the place to go is the Cathedral and Treasury, the tallest building in the city, it punctuates the Zagreb skyline. The original church that stood on the same site was razed by the Tartars, and rebuilt in the 13th century. Explore the nave, and the precious items the Treasury holds.
Please note all information is current as of November 2015.