Istria Peninsula Buses: from Pula to Umag and Rijeka
Istria Peninsula Buses: from Umag to Pula

Istria Peninsula Buses: from Pula to Umag and Rijeka

The Istria peninsula, the largest in the Adriatic, belongs to Croatia a little less than completely: only small parts of it belong to Slovenia and Italy. Incredibly picturesque landscapes and clean stony beaches have made it a popular resort destination among Europeans. However, the development of public transportation on the peninsula is clearly lagging behind the tourist infrastructure: here the car is still the most convenient means of transportation. I will tell you how to get to the resorts without a car.

Istria is shaped like a triangle. The point of tourist interest in the very north is Umag, in the south is Pula, and in the east, already on the mainland, is the port city of Rijeka and the resort town of Opatija next to it.

Highways are the only means of transportation on the peninsula: there is no railroad along the coast. Most resorts are connected by regular bus services. In summer, the flow of cars from Austria and Germany creates serious traffic jams on Istrian roads, in which everyone is equal: both motorists and bus passengers.

Bus companies in Istria

You can find a flight and buy a bus ticket on the national Croatian ticket aggregator:

However, not all bus companies in Croatia are represented in aggregators. There are several bus companies operating on the peninsula, some of them quite small, and if you need to find the lowest price or play with departure times, it makes sense to check tickets on the websites of the carriers themselves.

  • Črnja Tours is a Croatian bus company with international and intercity flights. It travels all over Croatia, there are flights to Italy, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia. The buses are old, but they provide a basic level of comfort. You can buy a ticket at the station ticket office or from the driver.
  • Arriva is a large international company and its buses can be found all over Europe. They have quite new and comfortable buses in gray, white or blue. The prices are slightly higher than those of Črnja Tours.
  • Brioni is a local bus company that is part of the Nomago group. It covers the largest cities: Pula, Rijeka, Zagreb and Split.
  • Croatia Bus, another Croatian company, connects Zagreb with the cities of the Istrian coast: Rovinj, Poreč, Pula, Rijeka.
  • GoOpti is not exactly an ordinary bus company. It provides transfers between airports, bus or train stations in major cities. The buses are small and the prices are high: for example, a transfer from Pula train station to Rijeka costs about 80 €.
Arriva bus
Arriva bus

Addresses of bus stations in Istrian peninsula cities

Every town has a bus station. The map below shows the bus stations of the major cities in Istria:

  • Umag: Ul. Joakima Rakovca 11
  • Pula: Trg 1. Istarske brigade 1
  • Rijeka: Rijeka Central Bus Station, Žabica, 1
  • Rovinj: Trg na lokvi 6
  • Poreč: Ul. Karla Huguesa 2
Map of bus stations in Istria

Bus from Umag to Pula

From Umag bus station you can go not only to Pula, but also to Trieste, Novigrad, Rovinj, Poreč, Motovun and Groznjan. There are no trains or ferries in Umag, and road transportation is the only option to reach other inter-cities on the peninsula.

  • Fare to Pula: from 8 €
  • Frequency: 1 to 2—4 hours depending on the carrier
  • Travel time: 1.5—3 hours
  • Working hours: from 4.30 to 19.15

Bus from Umag to Rijeka

Rijeka is a large port city, not very adapted for beach vacations. Strictly speaking, Rijeka is already on the mainland, but next to it there is a major resort of Istria, a vacation spot for many tourists — the old and beautiful Opatija.

  • Fare: 8—14 €
  • Frequency: 5 times a day (approximately every 2—2.5 hours)
  • Travel time: 2 to 4 hours
  • Mode of operation: from 5:25 to 20.00.

Bus from Pula to Rijeka

This is one of the most popular routes for tourists on the peninsula, so buses run throughout the day. Pula is home to the largest airport in this part of the country. Through Rijeka, tourists travel further south towards Dubrovnik or north towards Zagreb.

  • Fare: from 10 €
  • Frequency: every 1.5—2.5 hours
  • Travel time: 1.5 to 3.5 hours
  • Working hours: from 00.00 to 21.30

Ferries in northern Croatia

Ferry connections between Istrian cities are practically non-existent. The two major ports are in Rijeka and Pula.

  • From the port of Rijeka you can get by sea transport to other Croatian cities: Dubrovnik, Krk, Lošinj, Cres, Rab, Pag, Ilovik, Susak, Unije.
  • From Pula to Zadar and Maly Losinj.

Our complete guide to Croatia ferry companies: names, website addresses, prices and buying tickets.