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 :)