The A3 Motorway in Croatia

The A3 motorway is a major route in north-central Croatia. Referred to as the Bregana-Lipovac highway it connects the town of Bregana with southern Zagreb. From there it proceeds further east, terminating at the border crossing into Serbia. It passes through wonderful landscapes, numerous cities and towns, and other popular attractions. This makes it popular with tourists, although it also is a local favourite for those moving about the country. The A3 forms part of Croatia’s toll road network. To travel on these roads, users must purchase an e-vignette. They are immediately valid upon buying it.

The A3 motorway is a major route in north-central Croatia.

History of the A3 Motorway

Construction of what is now the A3 began when this area was still part of Yugoslavia, in the 1970s. The original plan was to link Zagreb and Belgrade. However, the war in the 1990s led to a suspension of construction. By 1995, Croatia had attained independence and construction resumed. In 2000, a section of road from the border with Slovenia at Bregana to Velika Kopanica was opened. The balance of the modern route was finished in 2011, with a 186-kilometre section from Ivanja Reka to Lipovac completing the route.

The Construction of the A3 Motorway

The Croatian government appointed a consortium of companies, led by Austrian construction giant Strabag. Other companies retained to assist in the mammoth project included Viadukt, Konstruktor, Hidroelektra and Osijek-Koteks.

In total, the A3 is around 306 kilometres in length. It is part of the greater European route - E70 which links Austria to Greece. The Croatian portion stretches across the country from west to east, starting in Bregana and ending at the Croatia-Serbia border crossing at Bajakovo. It is essentially the spine of Croatia’s road infrastructure with numerous motorways and state roads peeling off in all directions.

Cities and Towns along the A3 Motorway

By its sheer length, it follows that the A3 would offer a pleasing assortment of scenery and attractions to tourists. The first major city encountered from the western end is the nation’s capital - Zagreb. With a history spanning centuries (as far back as 1134) the city is steeped in history and culture. It is also richly blessed with stunning architecture, particularly influenced by its period under Austro-Hungarian rule.

Brod is home to the Brod Fortress


To the southeast of Zagreb, the A3 passes through another ancient town, Kutina. There’s something for everyone here. Nature enthusiasts can visit the Lonjsko Polje Nature Park or hike on Moslavina Mountain. Those looking for history and culture will find it at the Moslavina Museum and the Church of St Mary of Snow. For something a bit more uptempo, visit Admiral Automat Klub or Cb Indeks.

Slavonski Brod (Brod)

Slavonski Brod, commonly known as Brod, is home to the Brod Fortress, a monastery on the banks of the Sava River, and nearby scenic hill walks. Further along the A3, you’ll reach Vinkovci. It is the oldest city in Europe, having been inhabited for over 8000 years. Unsurprisingly, it is rated as one of the best places in all of Croatia to visit, with history, architecture and culture aplenty.

Other Attractions

Along the length of the A3, there are several other worthwhile tourist attractions. For the nature lover, various wetlands teem with birds, and numerous hiking trails wind through the forested hills. On a more poignant note, the Vukovar Water Tower now stands in memory of the country’s independence struggle.

Major Intersections along the A3 Motorway

Thanks to its length spread across the width of the country, the motorway intersects with numerous other A-routes and state roads. This enables road users to easily access different regions across the nation.

A1 Motorway

In Zagreb, the A3 and A1 intersect. The latter will take you to the coastal city of Split on the Adriatic coastline.

A2 Motorway

Near Bregana, the A3 joins the A2, which will take you from Zagreb to southern Croatia. You can find out more about the A2 Autocesta by clicking the link.

A4 Motorway

Also intersects with the A3 near Zagreb, only this time heads to the Hungarian border. Find out more about the A4 Motorway in Croatia by clicking here.

A5 Motorway

In eastern Croatia, the A5 intersects with the A3, this time connecting Osijek to the Hungarian border.

Various State Roads

All of the D1, D2, D30 and D47 state roads intersect with the A3 motorway. These roads all link to well-known tourist attractions and popular cities.

Other Attractions

With Croatia being a relatively small country, attractions like Krk Island, Split, Plitvice National Park and the Dalmatian coast are never too far away.

To use the A3 Motorway, you must be in possession of a vignette.

Is a Vignette Required to Use the A3 Motorway?

Road users along the A3 Motorway are obliged to be in possession of a vignette. This tax decal is usually placed on the front window of the vehicle. Service stations, post offices and other authorised vendors sell vignettes to the public. Prices depend on the intended route and class of vehicle, e.g. sedan or delivery vehicle.

The A3 Motorway, along with the entire motorway system, is well-managed and maintained. This is thanks to the toll system that generates the necessary income to fund its upkeep. The driver will find clean, safe and well-maintained service stations and rest areas. In effect, by using the Croatian motorway network, drivers are ensuring both its future and any improvements that may be required.

The A3 Motorway connects Bregana (border crossing with Slovenia), Zagreb and Lipovac (border crossing with Serbia)