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Slovenia/Croatia Driving Maps

Hello,

I am looking to purchase a Slovenia and Croatia map that will be detailed enough for driving. I know Rick recommends the Michelin maps but it seems the one for Croatia/Slovenia isn’t detailed enough. The maps he offers is 1:1,000,000 from Michelin. RS actually recommends a map that is 1:500,000. I found on Amazon maps offered by Freytag&Berndt, has anyone used these maps?

Thanks in advance!

Adam

Posted by Andrew H.
Portland, Oregon
3302 posts

What is your proposed itinerary? Unless you have a complicated or unusual itinerary, you may not need a special map. On my very first trip to Croatia, I bought a huge fold-up map for driving between Zagreb, Plitvice, Split, Mostar, and Dubrovnik, but I never even needed it. I learned the basic route ahead of time, the roads are well signed (much of that route is a modern expressway), and driving there was easy. Had I ventured off the main roads I might have had more difficulty.

Driving in Slovenia a few years later, I didn't bother with the big map - I got away with a free map from the tourist office. I drove from Ljubljana to Skofja Loka to Bled, over the Vrsic Pass, down to Kobarid, to Lipica, and eventually to Piran. I also did a little research ahead of time, printed out some Google Maps, but again, driving was easy. I never really got lost. Roads are well signed; there are signs pointing to the next town (off the expressways) and once you start thinking that way, navigating is pretty easy.

In 2015 I had my Garmin GPS when I drove across Croatia, Montenegro, and Bosnia. I went much more off-road this time, and my GPS wasn't always right (especially in Bosnia) but I managed just fine. Earlier this year, I used my smart phone with Google Maps as a GPS for driving for just a day in Slovenia - worked beautifully.

Posted by Paul-of-the-Frozen-North
Sioux Falls, SD, USA
1091 posts

In many European countries, you need a map. Not so much in Croatia. It is an oddly shaped country (like a capital C). There are 2 roads down the coast, the express route and the local route. There is one express route from the coast to Zagreb. If you want to go to Plitvice Lakes, there are 3 approaches - from the N on 1, from the S on 1, and from the west off the expressway. So, if you think that the map has not enough detail because it shows few roads, there are actually not that many roads to show.

Posted by Emily
Vienna, Austria
2988 posts

We bought a really great map at the gas station at the border. We always use google maps when driving in Croatia, though.

Posted by Laura
Rick Steves' Europe
15086 posts

Freytag&Berndt are a reputable brand which I've picked up in Europe on occasion. You'll have more choice of maps when you're there, including a couple of brands that Rick mentions at the start of the Julian Alps chapter. Also consider the publication dates - the latest Michelin edition is 2012 and it looks like Freytag&Berndt is 2006.

Posted by Morten
Copenhagen, Denmark
773 posts

Just buy one at the first gas station you come by when you get there.

Posted by Adam OP
NJ
48 posts

Thanks for the advice. We were planning on having our phone’s GPS (Google Maps) but was looking for a paper map as back up. Seems like we should be fine to pick one up while we are there. We should be traveling on major roads/highways the majority of the trip, as we are doing RS recommended 2 week trip and we’ll have a car from Lake Bled to Split.

Thanks again!

Posted by Andrew H.
Portland, Oregon
3302 posts

If you pick up the car outside of Slovenia, don't forget to buy a vignette driving sticker for driving on Slovenian highways before you drive very far in Slovenia. If you rent the car in Slovenia, it should already have a vignette included. Croatia uses tolls on their highways so no need for a vignette there.

Posted by Dejan
Slovenia
390 posts

I like Freytag & Berndt, they make good maps of Central Europe and the Balkans and were my go-to map brand back in the day. Their maps (and other brands) are available at many petrol stations, they will also have the latest updated editions. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by Digbydog
Cincinnati
72 posts

You are smart to not just rely on GPS. A few years ago, after visiting some hilltowns in Istria, we headed to Slovenia following our GPS. When we got to the Slovenian border, the guard looked at our passports and told us that as Americans we could not cross. We thought he was kidding. It turned out that the border was for residents only. If we had not had a paper map, I don't know how we ever would have found our way.

Posted by Dejan
Slovenia
390 posts

You are smart to not just rely on GPS. A few years ago, after visiting
some hilltowns in Istria, we headed to Slovenia following our GPS.
When we got to the Slovenian border, the guard looked at our passports
and told us that as Americans we could not cross. We thought he was
kidding. It turned out that the border was for residents only. If we
had not had a paper map, I don't know how we ever would have found our
way.

That is indeed a problem for overseas (non-EU) tourists and one where a GPS system is absolutely useless. In some areas, there can be up to 50 miles between international border crossings while local border crossings are around every corner. This also used to be the case along the Italy-Slovenia border until Schengen altogether abolished controls. What can make matters worse is that some paper maps fail to note the different categories of border crossings, too.

Luckily, this is a rare occurrence, impossible to occur if crossing on one of the main roads. You would have to be roaming the countryside on side roads to find a local crossing like that.

Posted by rubygott
14 posts

I am looking for a map for this area as well, not necessarily for driving purposes, but to plot out my itinerary. Any suggestions on best map for that? I would like something as recent as possible. Most of what I've seen goes back 10 years or so. (with a few dated 2012)

Posted by Richard
Ston, Dalmatia
73 posts

I don't know where this idea that Freytag&Berndt maps are old comes from, other than by people looking at old stock some vendors are trying to shift. In my opinion, Freytag&Berndt have the best maps of this region, maybe something to do with the fact that Austria was the governing power in the region until 100 years ago.

If you look at the Freytag&Berndt site you will see that the map for this area is 2016 - http://www.freytagberndt.com/en/shop/9783707904307-slowenien-kroatien-bosnien-herzegowina/ .

Posted by aob
12 posts

I second the suggestion of Google maps. We spent 3 weeks in Slovenia and Croatia in September and used downloaded offline Google maps for everything. It helped to create some routes on the maps and to "pin" locations we were interested in visiting while we had WiFi access but even without that we found the map detail to be excellent. And as you adjust your plans on the go you can always update your downloaded maps anytime you have WiFi access.