Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Traffic in Croatia

Zagreb is the capital city of Croatia, the biggest and busiest city in this beautiful country. I've been driving a lot more lately so I have a couple notes to make on traffic in Zagreb.
Let me start by saying that coming from Philadelphia, I'm an experienced city driver. I'm not afraid to be aggressive (thanks to my time living in Cairo, I really got to learn what aggressive driving is all about). So many times, there is ridiculous, crowded traffic for no reason except that a car decided to stop in it's lane before a stop light forcing the other cars to merge into the other lane to drive around it. These stopped cars are either stopping to pick or drop someone off (in the stupidest place possible) or simply because they feel like it, or (unfortunately) their car breaks down. Usually, it's for a stupid reason though and more often than not, it's someone who is not from Zagreb who doesn't know how to drive in a city. The traffic is nowhere near as bad as on Broad Street in Philly during rush hour, or at any time of the day in Cairo, but it still gets pretty bad. Don't even get me started on when it's raining. I know people tend to forget how to drive almost everywhere when it's raining but in Croatia, it seems to go to a new level.

One of my favorite streets to drive on in the city is called Zeleni Val which means the Green Wave. If you drive at a steady pace straight down the road (very close to center city), you will catch all green lights along the way! Fantastic!

This kind of "wave" would be very useful in Philly!

The other thing to mention is the combination of old and new roads throughout Croatia. Highways and bridges are still being built all over Croatia. The tolls on the highways are ridiculously expensive. Even the shortest trip on a highway passing through one exit can be a cost of about $5 and the tolls start at that price and go all the way up to 240 Kuna which is about $43! Although the highway can be a HUGE time saver, the cost for the tolls alone (forget the rising cost of gas) can cause a serious dent in your vacation spending fund. The old roads in Croatia take longer, but often times the view along the way can be very beautiful.

When Tomislav and I drive from Zagreb to Dubrovnik, we take the highway for as long as we can take it and then take the old roads the rest of the way. The road follows the coast so it's windy and hugs the Adriatic sea along the way. It's absolutely gorgeous! If you get the chance to visit Croatia, I would recommend driving down the coast and stopping along the way, whenever your heart fancies it! The great thing about Croatia is that the Adriatic Sea is open to swimmers all over the place. Taking a break from driving for a dip in the Jadransko More...ahh what could be more refreshing?!

You can see from the look of us here, taking a break to swim in the sea was a great way to break up our long drive!


  1. I actually just drove by myself in Zagreb for the first time over the weekend, and again to the airport today! So, what a perfectly timed post. :) I am super envious of your driving experience. I'm used to tons of space and wide open desert, so driving here is really different for me. It makes me so nervous!

  2. Congrats on driving!! The only thing that still gets me nervous sometimes (I just act like I know what I'm doing and it's ok then) is driving in round-abouts! They are new to me. Don't be scared, you can do it! :)

  3. Reading your blogs makes me more eager to experience and live in Croatia. My amazing man is from Croatia. I am from Toronto and we have no beach here except freezing lakes. So having all the imaginations of beautiful beaches from my bf and your wonderful stories allows me to expand my future plans of living in Croatia ; ))



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