All you need to know about the Zagreb Airport at Pleso – arrivals, departures, parking, transfers, shopping and facilities, and some rather embarrassing signs for an international airport.
Arriving in Zagreb has become a lot more comfortable with the opening of the much-anticipated new airport terminal in Pleso, which was named after the late President Franjo Tudjman. Additionally, the futuristic design is certainly a big improvement on the old airport terminal. Here is what you also need to know about reaching and using the airport of Zagreb, which can and has handled over 3 million passengers a year.
- What’s with all the names?
- How to get to Zagreb Airport from Zagreb city centre – Pleso Prijevoz
- Driving to Zagreb Airport
- Taxis at Zagreb Airport: a Warning and the Uber Option
- Zagreb Airport Parking – What You Need to Know
- Rent a car Zagreb Airport options
- Rijeka to Zagreb Airport Direct Shuttle
- Flights to Zagreb – Which Airlines Fly to Pleso?
- Zagreb Airport Arrivals
- Zagreb Airport Departures
- Doha, Seoul, Dubai, Toronto, But Where are the Cheap Flights to Zagreb Airport?
- Internal Flights from Zagreb Airport to Dubrovnik, Split, Pula, Zadar and Osijek
- Are There Hotels at Zagreb Airport?
- Zagreb Airport Transfer Options to Split, Dubrovnik and Elsewhere
- Checking in at Zagreb Airport
- Facilities at Zagreb Airport – Shopping and Restaurants
- THOSE Zagreb Airport Signs – Toilets Disabled
- A Brief History of Zagreb Airport
- Zagreb Airport – Useful Numbers
- How Many Passengers Travel Through Zagreb Airport?
COVID-19 Testing at Zagreb Airport
It is possible to get tested for COVID-19 at Zagreb Airport. Both the PCR and rapid antigen tests are offered. Find out more on the airport website.
The official airport code for Zagreb is ZAG. There is another code, however, which is often used in connection with the airport – MZLZ – this stands for the name of the company operating the airport -Međunarodna zračna luka Zagreb d.d., which translates as the International Airport of Zagreb. The official name, as we already mentioned, is “Franjo Tuđman Airport”, but you will often hear the locals calling the airport “Pleso”, after the village where it’s located.
How to get to Zagreb Airport from Zagreb city centre – Pleso Prijevoz
If you are looking for a comparatively cheap way to get to Zagreb city centre from the airport, look no further than the bus shuttle service called Pleso Prijevoz. The ride takes about 40 minutes to the main Zagreb bus station, which is generally pretty central and just a short walk from the train station and centre, and tickets cost 40 kuna one way. The timetable allegedly follows through with the flight schedule, and you can learn more about the shuttle timetable on the official website. Tickets can be bought through the driver.
In addition to that option, it might be even cheaper (10 kuna) with the new 290 bus service between Velika Gorica and Zagreb Kvaternik Square, which started last year. The journey to the centre takes about 1 hour 15 mins, with some 16 stops altogether. Moreoever, it starts VERY early in the morning (04:20) and you can check out the timetable here (opens a .pdf document).
Driving to Zagreb Airport
The new airport terminal is situated about 17km south of the city centre, close to the town of Velika Gorica, and it is not far from the motorway south of the city which links all corners of Croatia. Driving time with no traffic is less than 30 minutes, but you are advised to plan for some delays to be safe.
Taxis at Zagreb Airport: a Warning and the Uber Option
What to say? Above all, be VERY careful with taxis from the airport in Zagreb. Only licensed taxi drivers from nearby Velika Gorica are allowed to park at the airport, a privilege they seem to enjoy taking advantage of as a result, with MUCH higher prices from the airport than to it from the centre. How much more then? It really depends, however, and I heard one story which perhaps sums it up best. A businessman ordered an Uber from a hotel in central Zagreb to the airport. Upon being charged 90 kuna for the ride, he handed over a 1000 kuna note, expecting to get 100 back. After a while, he understood that the price was 90 and not 900 as he has thought:
“How can it be 90 to the airport then, when I was charged 800 from the airport to my hotel in Zagreb?”
While this is surely an extreme example, prices of 200 – 300 kuna are common. You can always order an Uber via the application regardless, and the days of physical attacks on Uber drivers by Zagreb taxi drivers seem to be over.
Zagreb Airport Parking – What You Need to Know
Parking at Franjo Tudjman International Airport is not particularly cheap, according to the rates published on the airport website:
|Categories (stay time)||Rates (HRK)|
|Up to 10 minutes||FREE|
|Up to 1 hour||27 HRK|
|2 hours||47 HRK|
|3 hours||70 HRK|
|From 3 to 6 hours||78 HRK|
|From 6 to 12 hours||110 HRK|
|From 12 to 24 hours||150 HRK|
|From 24 to 48 hours||210 HRK|
|From 3rd to 5th day each day additionally||72 HRK|
|From 6th day each day additionally||68 HRK|
If you are quick, however, there is a Kiss and Fly drop-off option directly at the passenger terminal. For more information on all the parking options and fine print, visit the parking section of the official website.
As one would expect, there is a large choice of car rental companies, all of which have a presence in the arrivals hall. Here is the full list (keep in mind that this is the pre-pandemic list, and that it’s possible that some of the providers might have scaled back their operations);
Active, Alamo, National, Enterprise, AutoRent, Avant, Avis & Budget, Car-rental.hr, CARWIZ, Dollar & Thrifty, Europcar, Fleet, Goldcar & Rhodium, Hertz, Last Minute, M.A.C.K., Nova & Right cars, Oryx, Ride Car + Filipović (2 different operators at one desk), SIXT, UniRent. Tripadvisor has a nice overview of the options for car rental at the Zagreb airport.
There is also another Pleso Prijevoz bus shuttle in addition to the one to Zagreb city centre – a direct service to the centre of Rijeka. The trip costs 150 kuna one way (250 return), with tickets available online no later than 24 hours prior to departure. The shuttle leaves Rijeka’s Jelačić Square at 05:00, returning at 15:30. For more information and to book, visit the Pleso Prijevoz website.
Here is a list of the airlines which used to fly into Zagreb before the pandemic:
Air Canada Rouge, Aeroflot, Aegean Airlines, Air France, Eurowings, Air Serbia, Emirates, Air Transat, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Czech Airlines, EL AL Israel Airlines, Iberia, KLM, Korean Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Norwegian, Qatar Airways, Sun d’Or, Swiss, Trade Air, Turkish Airlines, Vueling.
Currently, the number of flights is greatly reduced. As the tourist season gets closer and the pandemic is put under control, there will be more and more flights and airlines flying to the Zagreb Airport.
Find out more about flights to and from Zagreb Airport from Skyscanner, the world’s leading flight reservation platform.
Want to keep an eye on plane arrivals? You can keep track of live arrivals here. In addition, below a map of the arrivals area.
Check-in times for international departures are two hours before the flight and 90 minutes for domestic departures. Live departures are available on the airport website and there is also a map of the airport departures hall above. If you are on a connecting flight, you will need a minimum of 40 minutes.
There has been a welcome increase in inter-continental flights to Zagreb after the terminal was opened, which was somewhat halted by the pandemic. Firstly, Qatar Airways started to offer excellent daily connections to Doha and the world. Qatar has been followed by Emirates/Flydubai from Dubai, Transat from Toronto (summer only) and Korean Air, which launched their flights as a result of the surge in demand from Seoul. In addition, rumours and discussions about connections from China and the United States would be excellent additions if they came to pass.
And yet, for all the improving connections from afar, there are very few cheap flights to Zagreb from the European budget carriers. This is partly due to the higher prices of operating at Zagreb Airport, as well as perhaps an attempt to protect Croatia Airlines from cheap competition. It is in stark comparison with nearby Budapest, for instance, whose fortunes have been transformed since Hungarian national carrier ceased operating in 2012. If you are interested in this topic, TCN recently had a fascinating interview with Jost Lammers, CEO of Budapest Airport.
Croatia Airlines, the national carrier, operates a number of internal flights within Croatia, but the network is not as comprehensive as one might expect, especially out of season. It is also debatable what the financial or time savings are flying from Zagreb to Split Airport, for example, once you take travel to and from both airports and check-in times are taken into account. For the latest Croatia Airlines schedule, visit their official website.
One other Croatian airline also worth checking out is Trade Air from Osijek, which operates a number of internal flights. This includes one from Split to Dubrovnik, but not from Dubrovnik to Split… The only current Zagreb connection is Osijek, but this could change. You can find their latest schedule here.
There are no hotels at the airport, but several in nearby Velika Gorica. With Zagreb so close, there is no real need to stay in Velika Gorica, but if that is your plan, the 4-star Hotel Royal Airport is probably your best bet, some 4km from the airport.
Apart from the Pleso Prijevoz connection to Zagreb city centre and one to Rijeka mentioned above, there are no official transfer options directly from the airport, and a trip into Zagreb will be required as a result.
Looking for a fast, reliable and trouble-free transfer to or from Zagreb Airport? Contact TC transfer partner Adriatic Transfers for your one-stop solution.
Check-in for international flights is at least 2 hours before departure, 90 minutes for domestic flights. You can check in online, and there are self-check-in services offered by four airlines, for instance – Croatia Airlines, Air Canada, Air France, KLM and Korean Air.
Looking for a little duty-free or airport shopping while you wait for your flight? Here is what was on offer before the pandemic, and currently some of those stores are closed:
In addition, if you are feeling a little hungry or thirsty, there is a reasonable choice. You can find all the places on the map below.
There is also free Wi-Fi at the airport, and here is how you access it, according to the airport website:
“Franjo Tudjman Airport now offers free Wi-Fi access throughout the Terminal. Available in all public areas and aircraft gate lounges, F&B facilities as well as business lounge.
Firstly, simply connect to the “Zagreb_Airport_Free” network following these instructions:
Ensure your Wi-Fi setting is turned on.
Then find “Zagreb_Airport_Free”
Afterwards, enter details and accept the Terms & Conditions.
Accept Privacy Statement and then click.
Finally, Start Browsing: You are connected :)”
No smoking (including electronic cigarettes) is permitted in public parts of the airports, although there are designated smoking areas.
There is a prayer room available, as well as baby-care facilities.
As TCN reported at the time, the new airport terminal opened in March 2017, a major upgrade on the old Pleso airport. It didn’t take long for some people to question some of the work done, however, particularly with the translation of the signs. ‘Toilet Disabled’, which literally means the toilet has been taken out of use, made national headlines as a result. After spending 300 million euro on the terminal, was someone also trying to save money with Google Translate, or employ a non-English-speaking cousin? Despite the outcry at the time, here is one of the signs more than 3 years later, in October 2020.
It was not the only issue with the signage at the airport, however, as it seemed that the MZLZ logo had been taken from a free Internet site and simply (but expensively) had the colours changed. Read more about that here.
The current airport runway is actually the third in Zagreb’s history, with the first airstrip constructed in 1909 in Črnomerec, just 6 years after the infamous inaugural Wright brothers flight. Slavoljub Penkala, he who invented the pen, built an aircraft after that and conducted a test flight in June 1910.
It was followed by a new airport in the Borongaj neighbourhood from 1926 to 1962, and it played an important role as an airbase in the Second World War. The airport was bombed as a result and seriously damaged by the Allies.
The origins of today’s airport date back to the Germans in 1943, however, as the Nazis built an airstrip near the village of Pleso, which lies between Zagreb and Velika Gorica. After becoming a civilian airport, the first flight took place much later, in 1962. Since those humble beginnings of a 2.5km runway and platform which could handle five planes, Pleso Airport was continuously expanded and upgraded, culminating in the modern new terminal we have today.
Take a video tour of the new airport terminal in the video below, for instance, through the eyes of a passenger flying out to Barcelona shortly after it opened in March 2017.
Medical Help – use an internal telephone then dial 2120. The operator can make sure an ambulance is quickly sent to the right part of the airport. If you need help finding a telephone, then please ask a member of airport staff – 05:00 – 23:00 Tel: +385 1 4562 120 (2120 – in-house number)
Airport information – 060 320-320 for calls within the national network. The price of call 1,74 HRK per minute for calls from a fixed line and 2.96 HRK for calls from a mobile network.
Airport Police Station Pleso – +385 1 45 70 221 www.zagrebacka.policija.hr
Lost & Found Office – + 385 1 456 2229 [email protected]
Airport Customs – +385 1 6511 833 [email protected]
In 2017, the airport recorded 3,092,047 passengers and 41,585 aircraft operations.
For the latest information on flight news to Zagreb and the rest of Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN flights to Croatia page.