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What cities to visit in Croatia

Los Angeles...
1 post
What cities to visit in Croatia


Me and my roommate are planning a graduation trip to Europe and a portion of our time we would like to spend in Croatia. We are thinking 7-8 nights total and would love any feedback on what cities or places to see that should be at the top of our list. So far thinking our top destinations would be Dubrovnik, Hvar, Split, Plitvice lakes, and possibly Krka national park. Not sure if Zagreb or Zadar are recommended. We are looking for sightseeing, beaches, and some nightlife. We are planning to start in Dubrovnik and work our way north to eventually move on to Budapest. These are the locations that have stood out to me so far, but if you have any advice of other areas that are great to visit in Croatia that would be appreciated. Also, not sure how much time we would need in each location with a 7-8 night stay throughout the country. My guess would be (3 nights Dubrovnik, 2 Hvar/Split area, 1 by Plitvice lakes national park, not sure the rest).

I have also seen some forums say that public transportation is not reliable and to rent a car to travel throughout the country, but have also seen the opposite that public transportation is the way to go. Any advice or recommendations is greatly appreciated! Thanks :)

6 replies to this topic
Destination Expert
for Croatia
Level Contributor
17,594 posts
170 reviews
1. Re: What cities to visit in Croatia

Your plan is quite ambitious for such a short time. How much time you need in each location depends on what you want to see/do in each place. It also depends on your travel style. Some people walk around a place, take a few photos and move on. Other prefer to take it slow and enjoy the place.

Having said that, with your limited time, I suggest 2 nights Dubrovnik, 2 nights Hvar, 1-2 nights Split and 1 nights Plitvice. That leaves you no time for Krka NP, Zadar or Zagreb.

"I have also seen some forums say that public transportation is not reliable and to rent a car to travel throughout the country," Public transport is quite reliable. The reason people recommend a car, is that it gives you much more flexibility and enables you to see/do much more in a short time. Car is not recommend in Dubrovnik due to parking shortage.

Ely, Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Dubrovnik
Level Contributor
62,186 posts
88 reviews
2. Re: What cities to visit in Croatia

A few more nights would be better if you could swing it...at least two nights in Dubrovnik...and I believe Zagreb is worth a night or two before moving on to Budapest.

Sarajevo, Bosnia...
Destination Expert
for Dubrovnik, Split, Cavtat, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, Mostar, Zagreb
Level Contributor
8,267 posts
516 reviews
3. Re: What cities to visit in Croatia

Public service CAN be quite unreliable. It happened to me that I waited over 2 1/2 hours for a bus to return to Podgora from Makarska - several PROMET MAKARSKA and GLOBTOUR buses that were supposed to run according to the timetable, going to Ploce, Podgora etc simply did not realise

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
2,174 posts
15 reviews
4. Re: What cities to visit in Croatia

I like Croman's plan and agree with Merry, if you can stretch it to 9 nights you could do two in Zagreb. Its an awesome city that my teens love.

It is tight for Krka though unless you did that on your way to Plitvice, got an early start in Plitvice the next morning leaving in the afternoon for Zagreb. This would be done much easier by car obviously so if renting one is an option I would recommend picking up in Split and dropping in Zagreb. With a car you may even be able to squeeze in a quick stop in Zadar on your way to Plitvice.

Zagreb, Croatia
Level Contributor
1,572 posts
37 reviews
5. Re: What cities to visit in Croatia

Renting a car is definitely the best way to travel Croatia, and costs split between two will make it a reasonable cost.

You need two full days for Dubrovnik, then you can take a catamaran to Hvar, spend 2 days there, boat to Split for 2 days, then get a car and drive to Zagreb in two days via Krka national park, Zadar and Plitvice lakes. That is 8 days. Would be awesome if you could squeeze one day for Zagreb, but in all honesty it is (looks-wise) just a smaller version of Budapest. But with cheaper nightlife :D

Centerville, Ohio
Level Contributor
14,291 posts
3,295 reviews
6. Re: What cities to visit in Croatia

Car rental will provide greatest flexibility for your visit


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