HOW TO CREATE AN EPIC CROATIA ROAD TRIP

Croatia road trip

HOW TO ROAD TRIP CROATIA + TRAVEL TIPS

So, you are planning a Croatia road trip? With cities like Dubrovnik, Split, Rovinj, or national parks and beaches, this country is a perfect road trip destination in Europe.

Public transportation in Croatia is not bad. Also, you could do guided day tours to visit the top places in the country. However, given Croatia´s geography – stretched over length – it is not easy to visit all the top places as day trips. To create a perfect Croatia itinerary, driving is the best way to get around.

To visit all the places mentioned in this post, I suggest spending at least 14 days in the country. However, you can also skip a few places and do a 5- 7- or 10-day Croatia road trip. 

Before talking about the best places to visit, here are some tips for driving in Croatia.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means, I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.

DRIVING TIPS & RULES FOR ROAD TRIPPING CROATIA

Driving in Croatia is amazing. I have driven in a few countries (mostly in Europe), and it was probably the best conditions I have come across – better than in Germany, France, Switzerland, Spain, and of course better than in Italy.

  • The roads, even in the mountains, are not as narrow as in many other countries. Plus, most of them are in great condition.
  • The streets and roads are not very busy and the best: Croatian drivers are quite friendly (unlike in Italy, I must say).
  • People could argue that tolls are high in Croatia – and it is true. Tolls for highways in Croatia are insane. For 100 km you pay around 10€ (just roughly) – BUT… here comes the good news:
  • If you drive along the D8 – along the coast – you can avoid the tolls. The most beautiful street to drive to in Croatia is free – and you will have amazing scenic views along the way.
  • Gas and diesel prices are quite high, though. Prices change daily but are higher than in Germany or Austria, for example. 
  • Also, it is pretty easy to find parking in most cities and towns (at least compared to Italy and if you do not visit in July or August) – an exception is Dubrovnik. If you park in the city center – fees can be up to 240€ – for 24 hours!

Street in Croatia, driving

  • Croatia has done a great job. There are many great spots if you want to take a break and enjoy the views. So, pack enough food and drinks for many stops – there is no need to rush to get from one place to the next.
  • When you plan to visit any of the islands, like Hvar, you will need to use the ferry or a boat but can leave your car in Split.
  • In general, I did not worry about safety – don’t leave any valuables on display and take your wallet, etc., with you (and put everything that could attract thefts in the trunk).
  • If you need to rent a car, check out rental prices here and make sure to rent a car in advance. This applies especially if you visit during the busier months.
  • If you drive all the way down to Dubrovnik, make sure you have an insurance card with you (either if you drive your own and a rental car) as you will cross borders with Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Check out my accommodation guide for Croatia.

BEST STOPS FOR A ROAD TRIP IN CROATIA

So, here is the perfect Croatia road trip itinerary (skip whatever you want or add other places). If you only have 7-day in Croatia, check out my one-week itinerary.

Zagreb

Start (or end) your trip in Zagreb, the capital of the country It ranks among the oldest cities in Central Europe dating back to the 11th century.

Cemetery in Zagreb, Croatia
Cemetery of Mirogoj

Located more inland than other popular cities in Croatia, Zagreb still has a lot to offer. Its architecture sets it apart from other Croatian towns as well, with a heavy Austrian-Hungarian influence.

  • You will want to visit some places: the Cathedral, the Museum of Broken Relationships, shopping at Dollar Market, seeing St. Mark’s Church, eating at Tkalciceva Street, and walking through the cemetery of Mirogoj which is just outside of Zagreb’s city center.

Zagreb is, however, a little more challenging to reach because it is located in the north, close to the Slovenian border. If you have less than 10 days, I would skip it.

TIP: Driving in Zagreb is fine. It is busy but not as crazy as in other European capitals. If you can, book accommodation with free parking though. I recommend staying 1 or 2 days in Zagreb if you have 10 + days in Croatia.

WHERE TO STAY IN ZAGREB:

Plitvice Lakes

One of the most stunning and famous natural landmarks in Croatia is the Plitvice Lakes. The Plitvice Lakes National Park is the oldest and largest national park and is almost 80% covered in forest. It is a popular destination for hikers with many trails. It is a biodiverse region with many threatened species and was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979.

It is a favorite among visitors and is a popular place to visit for your Croatia road trip. Plitvice Lake in Croatia

The lakes themselves feature stunning colors in their water.

The Plitvice Lakes are actually made up of 16 larger lakes and numerous smaller ones, the largest in all of Croatia is Veliki Slap

You can circle them, exploring along eight different routes.

Tip: There are enough parking spots (paid) at Plitvice Lakes. Depending on your speed, I think something between half a day or a full day is enough. Some people spend more than one day, but for me, about 6 hours were enough to see most of it.

The only downside to the Plitvice Lakes is that they are located inland and away from any other travel destinations in Croatia, so you will have to detour on your road trip to reach them.

WHERE TO STAY AT PLITVICE LAKES NATIONAL PARK: 

  • I stayed at a clean, tidy, and nice (though simple) pension a few kilometers near the lakes. The owners were really nice, too. So definitely a place I recommend staying at. Check out the rates for the Pansion House Prijeboj.

Rovinj

Located close to the Italian border – in fact, just across Venice’s water – and on the northwestern side of Croatia is Rovinj.

Rovinj has a very Italian feel to it. From the Venetian architecture to the cobblestone streets and colorful houses, Rovinj will remind you of a town on the coast of Italy. It sits on the Istrian coast, just below the Lim Fjord. There are a lot of charming houses and narrow little streets that are fun to wander and explore.Croatia, Rovinj the best streets_

  • Some of the highlights of visiting Rovinj are strolling through the old town, climbing the bell tower, exploring the artistic street of Ulica, and taking a walk on the promenade.
  • If you like the beach, there are a few where you can go to relax or swim. And there are also boat cruises offered to see Rovinj from a different perspective.

TIP: Parking in the town center might be difficult in the summer months. Book accommodation that has parking included or park a bit outside and walk to the city center/accommodation. It is a small town but lovely and so different from the rest of the country, making it special.

Unfortunately, it is quite a detour from the Plitvice National Park, so you have to think, whether you want to add it to your road trip. If you visit, I recommend staying for at least one night.

WHERE TO STAY IN ROVINJ

I recommend staying in or near the old town of Rovinj.

  • Rooms Barbieri: I picked a little B&B near the old town. Prices are good, they allowed dogs, and they offer free parking. It just takes a short (and lovely) walk to get to the old town. However, there are not many rooms, so book early if you want to stay here. Find out more about the little B&B I stayed at.
  • For a more luxurious stay – just a 10-minute walk from the old town  – check out Grand Park Hotel Rovinj rates.
  • Hotel Adriatic is a very well-rated boutique hotel in the old town. Find out more about the rates.

Pula

From Rovinj, you could continue and visit Pula. Pula is a seaside city located at the Istrian Peninsula’s tip and has a very tragic past.

It was founded during the prehistoric era and, over the course of many centuries, was occupied and destroyed, and rebuilt repeatedly. It was favored because of its strategic location within a protected harbor.

Pula has been occupied by the forces of the Romans, the Ostrogoths, the Venetians, and the Allied forces from World War II over the years.

Pula Amphitheatre a must for Crotia road trip itinerary
@shutterstock

Nowadays, it is a popular destination because of its beautiful and historic landmarks and Roman ruins, its beaches, and its coastline. Visit the Roman Amphitheater and some of the many museums in Pula. It is also the home of various festivals.

TIP: With only 2 weeks in Croatia (or less), I would limit my time here and visit the Roman Amphitheater and then spend the rest of the day driving to Zadar.

Zadar

Founded in the 4th century, Zadar has an ancient history. Located along the western coast of Croatia by the Adriatic Sea, Zadar is the country’s oldest continuously inhabited city.

Zadar from above with Arzo Travels_

Despite its fame, this town is not very busy or crowded, so it is easy to explore and enjoy. You can definitely see the best of Zadar in one day: see the Forum, visit the ancient square, stroll down Kalelarga Street, and see the church of St. Donatus.

You can take in the views from the bell tower and stroll the promenade, where visitors can listen to the Sea Organ’s unique sounds and watch the sunset. Zadar has a very laid-back vibe to it, so take your time exploring this Croatian town for the day before heading to your next road trip destination.

Tip: I am very honest – Zadar wasn’t my favorite stop. Compared to other places here, it lacked attractions, but it is a perfect stop-over. So, from your way to Pula, I would probably spend the evening here (it is charming in the evening) and then continue the journey the next day.

Krka National Park

Spend half a day (or a day) at Krka National Park. It is located in the southern part of Croatia and, similar to Plitvice Lake, has beautiful waterfalls.

Situated along the Krka River, the national park has a series of seven waterfalls that are scattered throughout the area. There is the Roški Slap in the north, a cascade close to a nature trail, and the Krka Monastery, which was created above the catacombs from Roman times.

To the south, Skradinski Buk waterfall is surrounded by two watermills. You can actually swim in the water here.

KRKA National Park a must for 7-day Croatia itinerary
@shutterstock

Also in Krka National Park is on Visovac Island, which was where the Franciscan Monastery of Our Lady of Mercy was located in the 15th century. 

I skipped it – I visited Plitvice Falls and was not too eager to see these falls as the weather was not great. So, I can tell you what I have heard. These falls are not as impressive as Plitvice Lake’s, but they are still a good place to visit.

Tip: It is a great alternative if you don’t want to drive up north for the Plitvice Lakes or if you want to swim. Since it is close to Zadar and even closer to Šibenik, it would make a great stop before discovering these two beautiful towns below.

Trogir and Šibenik 

Now, it is time to head to Trogir and Šibenik. You can’t road trip Croatia and miss out on these beauties! Located along the Adriatic Sea’s western shores, these two towns are absolutely beautiful and quite charming.

Sibenik is one of the most beautiful towns in CroatiaŠibenik is famous as the filming location for the show Game of  Thrones, but besides that, it also has a lot of old, picturesque streets and famous landmarks. The town has two UNESCO World Heritage sites: Šibenik Cathedral and St. Nicholas Fort. Trogir is a must-see in CroatiaTrogir felt like a mini version of Split, but even more lovely with its colorful streets, little cafes, and friendly people. There is a really nice seaside promenade that you can stroll, as well as other sights like the Trogir Cathedral, the clock tower in the market square, Kamerlengo Castle, and the bell tower.

The streets themselves are a sight, and you should spend some time exploring these two towns on foot to really get a feel for them.

TIP: Both places are absolutely gorgeous, and you could do them in one day. It is enough time to see the main attractions but I suggest staying overnight in Sibenik or Trogir.

Where to Stay in Trogir:

  • Hotel Brown Beach House & Spa looks like a lovely hotel with a pool, lovely views. It is located quite close to the city center. You can check out rates here.
  • Hotel Concordia is located in the old town – I think, location-wise, it cannot get much better, and it seems to offer great value for money! Find out more about the hotel here.

Split

Then it is time to visit Split – and spend a day or two in Split, which is located on a peninsula in the southwestern part of Croatia, jutting out into the Adriatic Sea.

Diocletian’s Palace in Split is one of the top attractions

Split is one of the most famous and popular cities in the country. It can be very crowded here, partly because it was another filming location for Game of Thrones (GoT) because there are many beautiful landmarks that you won’t want to miss.

Visit the Cathedral and the Bell Tower of Saint Domnius, see Diocletian’s Palace and explore the Peristyle (Peristil) and the Vestibule, and see the City Gate. Klis Fortress is another must-see for GOT fans. 

You can also hike up Marjan Hill for views of the surrounding scenery and walk the promenade

Tip: Split is lovely, though, with a limited time in Croatia (less than 10 days), I would not spend more than 1 day in Split.

Where to Stay in Split:

Hvar

Hvar is one of Croatia’s most popular islands – known as a famous port city as well as a party spot.

But it also has a rich history and lovely architecture done in the Italian Renaissance style. The old town is great to walk through and explore.

There are lots of caves, forests, and secluded beaches for outdoor activities like hiking and swimming. 

Hvar is one of the best places to stay in Croatia
@shutterstock

To reach the island, you will need to leave your car in Split and take the ferry to enjoy a day in Hvar. It will take a few hours to reach, but it should be worth it.

Where to stay in Hvar:

  • While I did not stay in Hvar myself, this hotel seems like a great place to stay when visiting Hvar.

Omiš

Spend a day (or half) in Omiš, a port town just southeast of Split, situated where the Cetina River and the Adriatic Sea meet. During the 12-14th centuries, it was a pirate town, so it’s an interesting place to explore

Omis view from the fortress

It has lovely scenery and is a very unique and pretty town that really shouldn’t be missed. Huge gorges surround Omiš. For adventure lovers, it’s even better – you can enjoy biking, canyoning, ziplining, rock climbing, and rafting.

Head up to Castle Mirabella, which offers great views of the old town, mountains, and river. A little farther away is Starigrad Fortica, a 15th-century fortress built during the Croatian-Ottoman wars, which also offers nice views.

There are many churches to see, including the remains of the 5th-century Church of St. Euphemia.

TIP: Omis is the perfect place…for anyone actually! Beautiful scenery, a lot of activities of adrenaline junkies, easy hike opportunities, and more. 

Punta Rata & Baska Voda

Punta Rata & Baska Voda beaches are among the best to visit in Croatia. The coastline of the country is gorgeous, so visiting one of these two beaches will allow you to enjoy the beauty even more. Punta Rada Beach in CroatiaPunta Rata is well-known as the prettiest beach in Croatia. Baska Voda town in Croatia is a beautiful hidden placeThere are more than a few in this area, but this is a good place to stop and, if the weather cooperates, go for a swim or lay out in the sun. It is surrounded by pine trees and has clear water and smooth sand.

Baska Voda is also along the Adriatic coastline and has smooth sand and clear waters. This beach is a little busier, though, as you’ll notice as you walk along the promenade.

Tip: You might long for a day at the beach after driving and visiting the many towns and villages. This is the place to rest and chill. One day or two here might be enough to sunbathe and chill at the beach, but of course, you could stay here much longer.

However, more great places are waiting for you.

Mostar, Blagaj Monastery, Kravice Falls, and Pocitelj (Bosnia-Herzegovina)

To get to Dubrovnik, you must cross into Bosnia-Herzegovina. So, why not visit some of the most popular destinations along the way!

Old Bridge seen from the beach in Mostar

Mostar, located by the Neretva River, is wonderful! You should take time to stroll through the many shops and market stalls down the city’s alleys. Also, take in the panoramic views from the minaret of the Koski Mehmed-Pasha Mosque and see Stari Most, a famous reconstructed bridge from medieval times.

In the southeastern region of the Mostar basin, you will find the ancient Blagaj Monastery built 600 years ago on the cliffs, along with a Turkish bath and mausoleum.

Blagaj is a good half a day trip from Mostar

The Kravice Falls are lovely cascading waterfalls found on the Trebižat River, in the center of Herzegovina, and just south of Mostar.

Also in Herzegovina is Pocitelj, a historic village with an open-air museum that you can explore.

TIP: I adore Bosnia-Herzegovina. I loved the people, the places…in addition to that, it is also much cheaper than Croatia, so make a gas stop here and do some shopping if you are on a budget. You could visit the places in 1 day – but with crossing the border, I actually suggest spending a night in Mostar before heading to the last place on your Croatia road trip itinerary.

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is one of the most popular and famous cities in the country. Located in the south of Croatia, along the coast of the Adriatic Sea – Dubrovnik is unique.

One of the downsides of Dubrovnik is its location. It is quite far from other main places in the country. However, it is really worth it.

After the excursion (with or without a stop in Bosnia), you will be back in Croatia and visit Dubrovnik.

Dubrovnik should be on every Croatia road trip

It is known for its 16th-century walls that encircle the city and a very well-preserved old town that dates back to medieval times. The 2-kilometer-long walls are walkable and offer great views of the city.

You can also see more filming locations from Game of Thrones. Other landmarks to visit include hiking up Srd Mountain, seeing St. Blaise Church, Rector’s Palace, the Dominican Monastery, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Fort Lovrijenac, and Sponza Palace.

The Old Town and the many buildings throughout the streets make wandering one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik.

Tip: The old town of Dubrovnik is car-free. Park your car outside the city center – and walk or take a bus to get to the old town. Parking prices are ridiculously high. Driving up Srd Mountain can be challenging for people who cannot drive the extremely narrow mountain roads. 

Where to Stay in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is busy. I mean, really busy, and this is why I recommend staying at least one or two nights. This way you can explore the city when the visitors are gone (many people visit only for a few hours).

CONCLUSION OF MY CROATIA ROAD TRIP

I think the Croatia road trip was one of the most fun road trips I have had. The scenery, the streets, the people – not to forget the places you get to visit will surely make your trip amazing!

Avoid highways (for the costs) and see what the country has to offer along the coast. You will meet many friendly locals and beautiful spots. So, enjoy your Croatia road trip and drive safely!

PIN ME FOR LATER – ROAD-TRIPPING CROATIA

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Croatia road trip, places to visit and more travel tips

Safe Travels, Arzo

 

BEST 2 DAYS IN ZAGREB ITINERARY

Best things to do in Zagreb, Croatia in 2 days. An itinerary - cover

TOP THINGS TO DO IN ZAGREB IN 2 DAYS

Are you planning your Zagreb itinerary and wondering about the best things to do in Zagreb in 2 days (or 1 day)? Then this post is for you. Find out about what to do in Zagreb – where to go and what to see, plus some travel tips.

Croatia´s capital is a fun and lively city that offers quite a few attractions. Zagreb might surprise you. It is different from the rest of Croatia. Actually, it reminded me more of Austria or Hungary (no surprise, given its history) with its beautiful buildings and architecture.

I would lie if I said that Zagreb was my favorite place in Croatia. No, it is not, but I still really liked it and definitely think it should be on your Croatia itinerary.

So, enough talking – let’s dive in and find out about how to spend 2 days in Zagreb.

Let´s start with attractions in the Upper Town and what you will find there.

The oldest part of the city is a little city dream, with its many cobblestone streets stretching between two hills – Kaptol and Gradec

First of all, how do you get to the Upper Town? It might sound like you would need to do a tedious hike/ride up, but it is quite easy to get from the Lower Town to the Upper Town. You can either walk up or take a funicular ride up.

Ride the Shortest Funicular in the World 

To get up to the Upper Town, you could take the funicular. Apparently, it is the shortest funicular ride in the world. The funicular runs frequently. I walked up, but many people use the funicular for a quicker ride, and it has become the main tourist attraction itself.

  • It takes less than one minute and costs less than $1 to get up.

Shortest funicular in Zagreb, Croatia

Visit Lotrščak Tower

If you get up via the funicular (or climb the stairs), you’ll see one of the oldest buildings in Zagreb: Lotrščak Tower.

Lotrscak tower in Zagreb, Croatia a must-see in 2 days
@shutterstock

It was a part of the southern gate and town defenses, dating back to the 13th century. I admit that I just passed it even though it is one of the last remaining fortifications in the city and one of the main attractions in the city. Maybe I did not pay much attention to it, because I wasn’t around at noon.

At noon every day, there is a cannon fire. That tradition started more than a hundred years ago as a victory sign against the Ottomans in the 13th century.

I was somehow unaware that you could climb the (narrow) stairs and enjoy even more elaborate views of Zagreb from the tower.

  • The entrance fee is around $3 for the tower.

Stroll the Strossmeyer Promenade

If you get up via the funicular, you arrive at the Strossmeyer Promenade which is one of the most romantic promenades in Zagreb – according to the locals.

View from the promenade in Zagreb

Historic Zagreb towers sunrise view, capital of Croatia
@shutterstock

It is also known as Zagreb Stross and it is filled with many chestnut trees, and you’ll also find benches to just sit down and enjoy the place!

It runs along the remains of Zagreb’s medieval defensive walls and offers beautiful panorama. Make sure to walk all the way to the end to have a great view of the Zagreb Cathedral.

Admire St. Mark´s Church

In Croatia, you’ll find many churches! So what makes St. Mark´s Church stand out? Well, let me show you this picture.

St. Marks Church in Zagreb a place to visit in 2 days

Such a colorful, tiled roof is surely unique. I have not seen any other church roof similar to this, so it does not surprise me that it has become an icon in Croatia.

The church dates back to the 13th century! The roof was constructed in the 1880s, though it is also one of the oldest churches in the country.  On the left, you’ll see the medieval coat of arms of Croatia, Dalmatia, and Slovenia, while on the right is the coat of arms of Zagreb.

If you visit between late April and October – and on the weekend – you can watch the guard changing ceremony that takes place at noon.

  • You can visit for free if you attend the daily mass. It is closed most of the time, so check out mass times. 

Walk Grič Tunnel

Grič Tunnel was built during World War II, with its primary purpose to shelter civilians from bombings during WWII and the Croatian War of Independence towards the end of the 20th century.

Tunnel in Zagreb

But that aside, this has become a major tourist attraction. You can walk the 350-meter-long tunnel now, and once in a while, even events take place there.

  • There is no entrance fee – and best of all, you’ll also find toilets there.

There are several entrances: 

  • Mesnička Entrance
  • Radićeva 19 Entrance
  • Art Park Entrances 1 and 2
  • Ilica Entrance 

Rest at Art Park

If you walk the tunnel, you can get out at Art Park.If you are into quirky art or need a little park to rest in, then the Art Park might be the perfect place for you.

I admit, though it was listed in many posts as a top place to visit in Zagreb, I would skip it on my next visit.

If you are with children, you might want to check out this little park that hosts some interesting outdoor art pieces. If you are short on time or aren’t overly into art, it is probably not a must-see.

Dolac Market

Then head back to the city center and see what the Dolac Market has to offer. It is the city´s main, open-air farmers’ market and is popular amongst locals and visitors.

You can shop for some fresh fruits or bread (and many more things) every day from 7 am. On Sundays, it is open until 1 pm; on the other days, it is held until 3 pm.

Visit the Cathedral

Close to the Colac Market is the Zagreb Cathedral – officially named Zagreb Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Assumption – a must-see. 

cathedral and Blessed Virgin Mary monument in Zagreb. Croatia
@shutterstock

It is the tallest building in Croatia and is located on the Kaptol Square. But you can see it from afar because of its twin, 108-meter-high (354 ft) spires.  The Cathedral has been there since the 11th century, though it was severely damaged a few times – the last big restoration took place in the late 19th century.

  • You can visit the church during the day, and visitors are more than welcome to attend the daily masses.

Stroll Tkalčićeva Street

This pretty street is vibrant and full of restaurants and small shops and it is populat amongst visitors. But don’t just sit down in one of the restaurants – make sure to look at the colorful houses behind the bars and shops.

Zagreb attraction in Croatia

Here you’ll also find the statue of Mary Juric Zagorka, a famous Zagreb journalist.

  • Fun fact: This street used to be the first real red-light street in all of Europe, and almost every house here used to be a brothel.

Visit the Museum of Broken Relationships

The Museum of Broken Relationships is probably the most famous museum in the city. However, I still did not go, but it seems to be one of the best places to add to your itinerary.

Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb, Croatia a popular spot

The museum is actually about failed love relationships, and so it exhibits personal objects left over from former owners, accompanied by their stories and emotions.

I haven’t mentioned yet that Zagreb is also known as the City of a Million Hearts – it is all about love here.

  • The entry fee is around $5.

Walk Through Stone Gate

You could either take the funicular to get to the Upper Town but there are actually several ways to get up – one is via the Stone Gate (Porta di Pietra). 

Stone Gate located at Upper Town of Zagreb built in the 13th century for your 2-day Zagreb itinerary
@shutterstock

It is the only remaining entrance of Zagreb’s old fortifications and the eastern gate to the old town.

It also dates back to the 13th century, and if you go through the gate nowadays, you will find a shrine and stone slabs praising the Mother of God. I saw quite a few people lighting candles and thanking the Lady for protection. 

Apparently, on Tuesdays at 8 pm, locals pray and sing here, and visitors are welcome to join. 

From there, you are within minutes of the lower town of the city.

Of course, it really depends on your speed and if you visit the churches and the museum, but you can easily spend one day in the city’s upper town. Then, you will have one full day to spend in other parts of the city.

Day 2 in Zagreb

Visit Mirogoj Cemetery

There used to be a time when I thought doing cemetery sightseeing was weird – and then I started traveling more in Austria, where cemeteries are often the main tourist attractions, like in Hallstatt or Salzburg.

Cemetery in Zagreb, Croatia

And it seems that the Austrian influence is strong here, as one of the most beautiful cemeteries is here in Zagreb: Mirogoj Cemetery.

It is a cemetery, but also a beautiful park and an open art gallery. The beautiful buildings are mostly covered by greenery, and it is really a very photogenic place (or as it is called nowadays, “Instagramable”).

Cemetery in Zagreb is a must-see in 2 days

You can freely walk around. If it were not for the graves and statues, I would have a hard time believing it is a cemetery. Many famous people are buried here, including many of the country´s politicians, nobles, poets, and artists.

  • Free to visit

End Your Day at Zagreb 360 

Zagreb Eye is an observation deck and a Viewpoint Bar. It is situated on the top floor of the iconic Zagreb Ilica Skyscraper, and you can have great views from there.

aerial cityscape Croatia, view from Zagreb 360 a gapped place to end your 2 days in Zagreb
@shutterstock

Due to bad weather, I skipped this – though I am normally totally into views like these. But with rain and bad weather, I had to skip it.

However, I think it is a perfect place to end your itinerary – right at the bar with a drink and a view that is probably the best in the city.

CONCLUSION: 2 DAY ZAGREB ITINERARY

Hopefully, this post will help you plan your 2 days in Zagreb. As you can see, it is a quite relaxed itinerary with not too many activities, and you might need less than 2 full days, but after all my busy time in Croatia, this stop was perfect for taking it easy. If taking it easy while still seeing quite a lot, this Zagreb itinerary is perfect for you, too (so I hope).

As mentioned at the beginning, I had some places I liked more than Zagreb – e.g., Trogir or Rovinj (and Split), so check out my other Croatia posts!

Safe Travels, Arzo

THINGS TO DO IN DUBROVNIK IN 2 DAYS

WHAT TO DO – 2-DAY DUBROVNIK ITINERARY

Planning your 2-day Dubrovnik itinerary can feel overwhelming first. After all, this city is amazing, and with all the attractions you can feel lost. So, if you are wondering about the best things to do in Dubrovnik in 2 days, you´ll get your answers here.

Dubrovnik is one of the most unique places in Europe, and I have to say – Dubrovnik did not disappoint. 

Was it busy? Yes. Was it expensive? Yes. Was it touristy? Yes. Do I recommend visiting Dubrovnik? Yes.

Before discussing your 2-day Dubrovnik itinerary – and what makes Dubrovnik so amazing -here are some important travel tips for the city – a quick overview of its history, how to get to the city, where to stay, and more.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means, I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.

TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR 2-DAY DUBROVNIK ITINERARY

Dubrovnik is the most southern city in Croatia. It was an independent republic for a long time, and even today, it feels different from the rest of Croatia.

Located on the Adriatic Sea, it is also known as the Pearl of the Adriatic and has been a tourist magnet for decades.

While it was partly damaged in the war in the 1990s, it is almost completely rebuilt and is a super safe and clean city. Did I say city? I am not actually sure if Dubrovnik qualifies as a city, as it has less than 50,000 inhabitants.View from CIty Walls in Durovnik

How to Get to Dubrovnik

By Car: Getting to Dubrovnik from other parts of Croatia is not as easy as one might think, especially if you are not aware of the geography. The area of Dubrovnik is separated from the rest of Croatia by another country – Bosnia-Herzegovina.

In the late 17th century, when the Ottoman Empire ruled Bosnia-Herzegovina, Dubrovnik was an independent republic. Dubrovnik, known for its trade and lacking experience in warfare, was scared of the Venetians’ attack, so they agreed to give up some land to the Ottoman Empire. By doing this, they hoped to be protected from attacks – and it worked (until Napolean came, but that is another story).

This is just a short explanation for the unusual geography and why, now, about 20 km of coastline still belongs to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

So, you cannot easily drive from Split to Dubrovnik. You have to cross borders. And unlike crossing borders within the European Union, here you will be controlled at the border (Croatia is part of the EU, but Bosnia-Herzegovina is not).

One day, there might be a bridge connecting Dubrovnik to the rest of Croatia, but for now, make sure to bring your ID/Passport with you.

Driving in Dubrovnik is okay, but finding a parking spot that does not cost you an arm and a leg is difficult. You cannot drive in the old town (it is car-free), but you have to pay a high price to park your car in front of the old town.

  • Some hotels offer parking for about 40€ a day. Parking in a garage next to the old town is around 40€ a day, too. I found a parking spot next to the Pile Gate for 10€ – AN HOUR. For Europe, this is a LOT of money. If you do not want to pay 240€ for parking a day, then either park in the garage or look for a free parking spot about 3km outside the old town center. I saw many more free parking spots when driving up Srd Mountain, where you can park and take a bus to get to the old town.
  • I parked in Babin Kun (just type that in your GPS) and then took the #6 bus to the Pile Gate (about 15 minutes, bus ticket is about 2€ one way). Unfortunately, when I wanted to get back, I was denied admittance to the bus because apparently dogs are not allowed on, and since I had some luggage with me, I had to take a taxi (about 15€ for a three-kilometer drive).
  • However, if you stay longer in Dubrovnik, free parking is the way to go. And yes, it is actually quite safe to leave your car on the street if you do not leave valuables on display.

By Plane: Dubrovnik Airport is located near the village of Cilipi, 20 km south of Dubrovnik. There are many flights within Europe from April to October.

An airport shuttle bus frequently departs after every scheduled flight. They also stop at the Pile Gate, at the main entrance to the old town. It takes 30 minutes (a one-way ticket costs 40 Kuna, or about 5,50€). You can also reach the town by public bus.

By Bus: You can easily reach Dubrovnik by bus from many places in Croatia. Public transportation to main destinations like Dubrovnik is good, and the bus network is reliable in Croatia. 

It takes about 9 hours by bus to reach Dubrovnik from Zagreb and around 4 hours to reach Dubrovnik from Split. Tickets from Zagreb are around 32€ (one way) and 17€ from Split to Dubrovnik. Check out schedules on the Dubrovnik Bus Terminal website.

Pssst… Here is my Zagreb itinerary with tips on how to spend a weekend in Croatia´s capital.

By Ferry: You could also take a ferry from Split. A catamaran takes four and a half hours each way (including several stops on the islands of Brac, Hvar, Korcula, and Mljet en route). 

How to Get Around in Dubrovnik in 2 Days

  • The old town of Dubrovnik is car-free. But you actually do not need a car at all.
  • It is also small, so you can easily walk around the main sights and landmarks. If you stay outside the old town, you can use public transportation.
  • If you plan to use public transportation and do several activities, a Dubrovnik Card might be a good idea (you can get unlimited rides on public transportation and entrance to the city walls, etc., for 1, 3, or 7 days). 
  • To get up Srd Mountain, you can use the cable car (more on that later), hike up, or drive up.

Dubrovnik map how to get around

Best Time to Visit Dubrovnik

  • I always say there is no reliability when it comes to seasons and weather. Even in the Balkans, weather cannot be predicted.
  • However, I recommend visiting during the shoulder season, meaning April, May, and early June, or September and October. 
  • I visited in May. The weather was moody, but it was not too crowded. So, I probably would visit again around this same time of year (weather was moody all over Europe, so this year is just crazy).

Where to Stay in Dubrovnik For 2 Days

I suggest staying in the old town of Dubrovnik

Normally, I book accommodation spontaneously, but it was actually not easy finding something good last-minute in Dubrovnik (and it was just early May). After staying at my hotel for one night, I wanted to book for another night. However, it was fully booked, so I had to switch hotels.

So, here are my recommendations for places to stay in Dubrovnik.

Where to Eat in Dubrovnik

Nisha Restaurant: A vegan restaurant on a side street with delicious food. It is a bit expensive though and had minimal seating. So my tip is to avoid getting there between 1 pm and 2 pm and head there earlier or later for lunch.Vegan food in Dubrovnik

How to Book Tours and Activities in Dubrovnik

  • You can buy your Dubrovnik Card at the tourism center right outside the old town and in some old town shops. I recommend buying the 1-day Dubrovnik Card that is valid for 24 hours. The entrance to the city wall is included. Before buying the card, you should calculate for yourself it is worth it or not.
  • If you want to buy tickets for the city walls only, you can get them at the entrance gate of the city walls or book them online in advance.
  • For tours, I normally use GetYourGuide – they are great. You can visit most places in Dubrovnik independently and explore the city on your own. Still, there are some fun tours, and with GetYourGuide, you can cancel up to 24 hours in advance without any cancellation fee, and they are very helpful with questions.

More Tips for Your Dubrovnik Itinerary

  • Bring cash. Cards are accepted in some restaurants and stores, but I had to pay cash once in a while.
  • Also, euros and dollars are not accepted widely, so change some money to Kuna.

How Many Days to Spend in Dubrovnik?

You could see the main attractions in 1 day, but with two days in Dubrovnik, you can see more places and also you can see the city without the crowds.

During the day, Dubrovnik is crowded. Busy, hectic, partly unpleasant. If you are here before the crowds arrive (normally before 10 or 11 am) or once the crowds leave (after 5 to 6 pm), it will be much more fun.

ULTIMATE THINGS TO DO IN DUBROVNIK IN 2 DAYS

Now, let´s talk about your Dubrovnik itinerary.

Day 1 of 2 Days in Dubrovnik

Here is how the first day in Dubrovnik could look like.

City Walls

There is no way around it – my favorite activity and probably the very best thing to do in 2 days in Dubrovnik is to walk the city walls. I love medieval towns and cities and have walked many walls – but the city walls in Dubrovnik are one of the best-preserved and most amazing city walls/fortification systems ever. Dubrovnik city walls is the best activity

TIPS FOR VISITING THE CITY WALLS

  • The walls include three forts (Minceta, Bokar, and St. John), 16 towers, 6 bastions, 2 corner fortifications, and 2 citadels. Some of the walls are as high as 25 meters – and the views are as impressive as these stats.
  • Even if you are on a budget, this is an activity I highly suggest. Yes, ticket prices are quite high, but you will see the stunning old town from a great perspective.
  • The city walls are almost 2 km long. You will walk along the whole old town, and while it is “only” 2km, it took me about 3 hours to walk them. This included many breaks to take pictures and have a coffee – and then some more short breaks.
  • While “medieval” normally means narrow streets and city walls, this city wall is actually quite wide. There are definitely some stairs you have to climb. If you are not very fit, you can always skip the fortress, which has even more stairs. 
  • It is not very stroller-friendly, though (but at least it was dog-friendly, and they can get up there for free).
  • The walls open at 8 am. You can start from several entrances, but the most common is probably from Pile Gate. There is no way to get up without a ticket – you will have to show your ticket at every entrance. 
  • It gets busy here quite quickly, so I really recommend getting here at 8 am (or around 5 pm). 

Croatia as a solo female traveler

Love

Okay, this might sound weird and a unique thing to do: You can easily find your true, true, true love in Dubrovnik. You do not have to do much. There is just one challenge, and if you pass – true love will come your way. gargoyle head at Stradun

  • All it takes is finding the gargoyle head protruding from a stone wall next to the Franciscan Monastery (near the Pile Gate).
  • Get on the head  (while not falling), take off your shirt while facing towards the wall, and voila… the love of your life will come into your life.
  • Okay, the head sticks out only fifteen centimeters, and its top surface is polished like marble, so it is almost impossible to succeed, but you won‘t know if the myth is true or not if you do not try!

Fort Lovrijenac

After walking the city walls (which should take about 1.5-3 hours) and looking for love, head to Fort Lovrijenac. 

King´s Landing! That is probably the fort’s unofficial name outside the city walls and known as the Dubrovnik Gibraltar.  It is also part of the fortification system and offers beautiful views of the Adria and Dubrovnik.  Fort Lovrijenac in Dubrovnik

I will be honest, I have not watched any episodes of Game of Thrones (yet), but I realized that many people at the fortress tried to recall which scene was filmed in which part of the fortress.Dubrovnik view from Kings Landing

  • The good news: If you have a ticket for the city walls (or the Dubrovnik Card), you do not have to pay an additional entrance fee here.
  • If you are ready for a break, sit down at the “beach section“ that you will find between Fort Lovrijenac and the city walls. It felt great to listen to the waves and take a break before jumping into the commotion of the old town.

Stradun

Stradun (or the Place) is the main street in the old town and one of the most beautiful places in Dubrovnik. According to reviews, it is even one of the most beautiful streets in the world. Strolling it is a treat for your yes!Dubrovnik Stradun is the main street

Dubrovnik Stradun is one of the best things to do

  • If you enter via the Ploce Gate or Pile Gate, you are right at the street – so, no way to get lost here.
  • You have the Onofrio Fountain at the western end of the street and the Bell Tower on the street’s eastern end.
  • It is impressive to stroll the Stradun, sit down in one of the (overpriced) cafes, and have a drink.
  • Watch the crowds of people admiring the various beautiful buildings.
  • I, unfortunately, did not witness people dancing here, but if you are lucky, you might see people showing off local dances, and you can enjoy a bit more of the local traditions.

Dubrovnik Old Town 

Of course, roaming the old town streets is another top thing to do in Dubrovnik. And the best: it is a fun and free activity!

Not all streets blew me away – actually, I missed some colors popping up here and here. ( probably spent too much time in Italy, and my craving for colorful buildings/decor is immense). There are some colorful flowers and flower pots further away from the main streets.Dubrovnik old town - strolling the streets is one the best things to do

Dubrovnik old town - what to do in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik square

  • The residential streets were actually quite picturesque and less-visited.
  • Head towards Za Rokum – the most colorful street I found – and then get lost in the streets on that side of the old town. 
  • You will also find the Rector´s Palace, the Church of St. Blaise, the Dominican Monastery, and the beautiful Dubrovnik Cathedral in the old town – beautiful buildings that are well worth a visit (there is an entrance fee for Rector´s Palace).

Dubrovnik Boat Tour

I am a repeat offender – but I cannot help it. I love boat cruises! So, my advice should not surprise you – in Dubrovnik: You should go on a boat cruise! Dubrovnik city walls seen from a boat which is one of the top things to do in two days

  • And the good news: boat cruising can be comparatively affordable (around 10€ for a 45-minute cruise), but you will see the city from a different perspective.
  •  Plus, on a warm day, this is the best way to cool off! 
  • The cruises start outside the city walls at the old port, and you can buy tickets there. They run quite frequently. 

Old Port

As stunning as the old town of Dubrovnik is, the old port is beautiful, too. So, make sure to leave the old town at the end of the main shopping street – Stradun – and stroll the port. Dubrovnik port is one of the most beautiful places to visit

  • You will find restaurants, boats, and yachts, and also a lively and fun atmosphere here.
  • This is also where the boats sail from.

Buza Bar

This Buza Bar is probably one of the most famous spots in Dubrovnik.

What makes the bar so popular is the location: It sits on a cliff, outside the wall. You will probably have to use GPS to find it. Stroll the old town and then go through a little door/hole outside the city walls).

Now, you have the ocean in front of you, plus a few seats to have a drink (and cliffs where many people sit and enjoy their drinks and the view).Dubrovnik Buza Bar is one the best places to see

There are several bars like this, but this is the most popular one – especially if you want to watch the sunset. In that case, come a bit easier to be sure to get a spot, as it gets busy for sunset.

The above-mentioned activities will most likely fill a full day in Dubrovnik. Of course, it depends on how fast you are, what time you start your day, and when you end your day.

Day 2 of 2 Days in Dubrovnik

For day 2 in Dubrovnik, I suggest the following activities. This is not a real itinerary but rather suggestions and you won’t be able to do all of the things but can choose those that appeal the most to you.

Beaches

Whether you want to start your day relaxed or want to come here during the day, spending some time at the beach in Dubrovnik is a great way to chill. Dubrovnik beachesI am not much of a beach person, and it was definitely too cold for laying out at the beach at the beginning of May (when I visited), but Dubrovnik does have some nice beaches – many close to the old town.

Banje Beach is the most popular, just a few minutes walk from the old town, but there are apparently some more that are less busy and a bit farther away (including Pasjaca Beach).

  • Be aware that Croatia and Dubrovnik beaches are mostly pebble beaches, not sand beaches.

Kayak or Snorkel

Do you want to be more active? Then, kayaking is the right activity for you. Kayaking is one of the three sports I hate the most – yes, I tried it and disliked it, but others enjoy it, and it is a big thing in Dubrovnik.

You can see the city from the other side and can even kayak to Lokrum Island. Check out kayak tours in advance – click here to find out more and get prices.

Lokrum Island

Your eyes will probably catch this small, green island quite quickly when walking the city walls. You can visit this little, uninhabited island. Lokrum Island covers 72 hectares and is located on the eastern Croatian coast, near Dubrovnik, and you can get there either via boat or by kayaking. Dubrovnik Lokrum island is one of the best activities in DubrovnikOn the island, you can discover the botanical garden and visit the Benedictine Monastery.

Apparently, some garden scenes in Game of Thrones were filmed at the botanical garden and the former monastery (of course). This is also where you will find the Iron Throne (at the monastery). Game of Thrones tours show you the Iron Throne and King´s Landing – click here for more information.

Walking Tour

Though I wish that I could be a walking encyclopedia, I often learn about the history and culture of a place in-depth only when I do a walking tour – whether it is a free tour or not. Dubrovnik main tourist squareAnd while the city is small, there is a lot of history and information that a local guide can best convey to you.

Tours take about 60-120 minutes, and you can get valuable insights. So, if you are in Dubrovnik for more than one day, then book a tour to complete your itinerary for Dubrovnik.

Game of Thrones Tour

Dubrovnik was a tourist magnet long before the war in the 1990s and long before the TV show Game of Thrones. 

However, apparently, 30% of visitors now come because of the show. And so, it is no surprise that a guided “Game of Thrones” walking tour is one of the most popular activities in Dubrovnik. To find out more about  

Srd Hill / Mountain

Last but not least: I am all about the views when I travel. So, of course, if you ask me about what to do in Dubrovnik, I will tell you to add a trip to Srd Mountain to your Dubrovnik itinerary and end your first or second day in Dubrovnik here.  Dubrovnik old town view Srd Hill

Dubrovnik old town view Srd Mountain

  • It stands at 413 meters high, and the views are incredible – the red roofs, the ocean, Lokrum Island,  Elaphite Island – this is a million-dollar view.
  • There is also a panorama restaurant where you can have a drink or dine (you also get the views for free if you don’t sit at the restaurant).
  • Next to the restaurant is a museum to find out more about the war in the 1990s and information on the Dubrovnik Republic.
  • There is – normally – a cable car that takes you up. The cable car station is just a stone’s throw from the old town. Check out their website if you consider taking the cable car.
  • You can also hike up (it should take between 45-90 minutes to get up), take a taxi, or even drive in your own car. I drove up there. The street (one-way mostly) is narrow, and it gets busy. It is not for the faint-hearted. Though I do not recommend it for inexperienced mountain drivers, there are much worse streets in the Balkans, Italy, and other parts of Europe to drive on. And if I can do it, you can do it, too.

So, getting on top of Srd mountain is another must-do in 2 days in Dubrovnik.

More Things to Do in or Near Dubrovnik

If you stay longer in Dubrovnik than two days, you could add one of the following activities to your itinerary for Dubrovnik.

Lapadska Obala

A less-visited area, this street is great for escaping the crowds. I cannot say that I was totally in love and smitten, but I enjoyed walking the street and seeing the different and more unique views of Dubrovnik. From here, you can also spot the pretty Franjo Tudman Bridge, which is an eyecatcher because of its unique shape and design.

If you enjoy walking, you can walk from the old town, or hop on a bus to get there (bus number 6).

Kotor

Kotor, the main tourist destination in Montenegro, is quite close to Dubrovnik, and you can get to Kotor either by bus, car or book a tour. It is a fun day trip, and Kotor is absolutely stunning. Kotor view from fortress

THINGS TO DO IN KOTOR AS A DUBROVNIK DAY TRIPS

  • Stroll the old town and with cute streets and buildings
  • You can hike up to St. John´s Fortress and enjoy amazing views of the Bay of Kotor
  • Visit the pretty village of Perast close to Kotor
  • For guided tours, click here and find out more about a day trip from Montenegro to Dubrovnik

Mostar

I have become a fan of Bosnia-Herzegovina – and Mostar, close to the Croatian border – is a good idea for a day trip from Dubrovnik. While one day in Bosnia-Herzegovina is surely not enough, this day trip gives you a good idea of Bosnia´s beauty.View from old bridge, one of the most Instagrammable places in Mostar

TIPS FOR VISITING MOSTAR FROM DUBROVNIK

  • Make sure to take your ID/passport and check visa regulations for Mostar (and Kotor) as both cities/countries are, unlike Croatia, not part of the European Union.
  • You can easily drive to Mostar yourself or check out guided tours. 
  • In Mostar, visit the famous Stari Most Bridge.
  • Stroll the beautiful old town with its cute streets and charming little shops.

CONCLUSION: 2 DAYS IN DUBROVNIK ITINERARY

I was totally smitten when I visited Dubrovnik – despite the crowds and the price tag.

And yes, Dubrovnik in 2 days is a good amount of time to spend in this incredible city. But if you want to do day trips, plan in some extra days because there are many more beautiful places to see close to Dubrovnik. 

I hope you can create your amazing 2-day Dubrovnik itinerary and have a great trip.

READ MORE: 

Safe Travels, Arzo

 

EPIC ONE WEEK IN CROATIA – ITINERARY

Best things to do and see in Croatia, The best itinerary for a road trip with the best places to visit

HOW TO HAVE AMAZING 7 DAYS IN CROATIA

If you are wondering about the most beautiful places to visit in one week in Croatia, then this 7-day Croatia itinerary is perfect for you. And if you stay longer than 7 days – even better. I will share tips with you on how to spend seven days + in Croatia.

Croatia had been on my radar for a while – even though I have never watched one episode of Games of Thrones, nor am I a beach person.

But guess what? Croatia is just a stunningly beautiful country and well worth a visit – whether you are a Games of Thrones fan or not. Whether you are a beach fan or not. The country has so much for everyone, and there is a lot to do and see. 

So, whether you visit the country for 7 days, 10 days, or 14 days, this Croatia itinerary will help you find the most beautiful spots and have many fun experiences along the way. Beach in Croatia, road trip in Croatia 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.

TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR CROATIA ITINERARY

In this post, you will find out:

  • Best time to visit Croatia
  • Best way to get around in Croatia for a week
  • Language in Croatia
  • Food in Croatia
  • Currency / Money
  • Internet in Croatia
  • Where to stay in Croatia for 7 days
  • Solo female travel tips for Croatia
  • Places to visit in 7 days in Croatia
  • More places to add to your Croatia itinerary
  • Day trips outside of Croatia

Before talking about the Croatia itinerary, here are some travel tips.

Best Time to Visit Croatia For 7 Days

  • The best time to road trip Croatia (or just visit) is during the shoulder season.
  • I visited in April and had a good time. Still, I think that May, early June, September, or October would have been a better choice. The scenery gets even more beautiful, more tours and activities are offered (quite a few bell towers, etc., were closed for renovations in April), and it gets a bit warmer.
  • With the heat in the summer months (June, July, and August), the tourists come, and prices for accommodations are significantly higher.

7 Days in Croatia – Road Tripping or Using Public Transportation?

I kept mentioning it in my Instastories and am still convinced: Croatia is one of the best countries in Europe to road trip. Most of all, it is very easy to drive here. I was a bit worried about driving in Croatia (especially as I was driving in my own car), but my worries were unfounded. Street D8 in Croatia_

Driving in Croatia is amazing.

  • Even in the mountains, the streets are not as narrow as in many other countries and are mostly in good to great condition. They are also not busy, and drivers are quite friendly. 
  • Plus, you’ll have the freedom to stop whenever you want. If you drive along the D8 – along the coast – you can avoid the tolls (which are expensive as heck in Croatia – for 45 km, I paid around 5.50€!) and have amazing scenic views. 
  • Croatia has done a fantastic job with building these roads, and there are many great spots if you want to take a break and enjoy the views.
  • If you need to rent a car, make sure to rent a car in advance (especially if you visit during the busier months).
  • Gas and diesel prices are quite high, though.
  • Finding parking spots in most cities and towns (at least compared to Italy and if you do not visit in July or August) is not a big challenge in the shoulder season – an exception is Dubrovnik. Check out my guide on road-tripping Croatia.

However, public transportation also works for this one-week Croatia itinerary. 

  • Though I did not use public transportation a lot, it is known that Croatia has a great network of buses that frequently travel between popular attractions and destinations.

When you plan to visit any of the islands, like Hvar, you will need to use the ferry or a boat. 

Languages in Croatia

  • Croatian is the official language, but I never had any issues with not speaking it.
  • Many people speak English, and German is quite widely spoken. So, with English, you are good to go and don’t have to worry about language barriers.

One Week in Croatia – What to Eat

Croatia is known for its good food. However, if you do not eat animals, it might be a bit problematic. There are pizza and pasta, but the options are quite limited. The dishes I had were great, but I mostly booked apartments where I cooked my own food. 

While it is possible to survive as a vegetarian, it might be quite hard as a vegan – at least in the smaller places. Bigger cities tend to have more veggie and vegan-friendly dishes.

Currency / Money

  • Though Croatia is part of the EU, it does not have the €.
  • The official currency in Croatia is the Kuna.
  • 1 Kuna is about 1.3€ ($1.60) – rates can change quickly, though, so this is only an estimation of when this post was written.
  • You can find foreign currency exchange centers throughout all cities and towns. 
  • Many restaurants and smaller shops do not accept credit cards, so always have some cash on you.
  • Euros are widely accepted, but the rates are often terrible, so change money as early as possible and no later than on your arrival.

Accommodations For 7 Days in Croatia

In Croatia, you will find anything from cheap hostels and apartment rentals to luxury hotels. Most of the time, I stayed in small apartments that I found on booking.com.

In spring, there was no issue booking a day in advance or on the same day. I am a very spontaneous person, though. If you are picky with your accommodation and want to have many options, booking a few weeks in advance is probably a better idea (especially in the busy months).

However, in Dubrovnik, hotels were quickly booked, even in spring. Definitely book in advance if you want to get good accommodation.

I will offer some tips on where to stay at each destination.

If you prefer staying in one, two, or three places and take day trips, I suggest staying in/near Dubrovnik (though it is expensive) or Split and take trips from there.

One Week in Croatia: Solo Female Travel

I traveled to Croatia as a solo female traveler – well, kind of. My little doggy was with me. I can say that traveling alone in Croatia felt safe and great with or without him. Croatia as a solo female travelerI never felt insecure or unsafe, and I totally recommend visiting Croatia either with friends, family, your partner, or alone. It is a safe country in Europe and safer than many others worldwide or areas in the US.

Beware of pickpocketing in busy areas, keep valuables close to you, and do not leave valuables on display in your car – basically, a bit of common sense, but nothing to be overly wary of. 

People are friendly, and they speak English very well, which makes communication with others easy. And with so many people from all around the world, it is easy to make new friends if you actually prefer doing a few activities with others rather than alone.

Pin me For Later – 7-Day Croatia Itinerary

The post isn’t finished yet – below you will find out about the best places to add to your Croatia itinerary. But do not forget to PIN ME for later.7-day Croatia itinerary, Arzo Travels

PLACES TO VISIT IN CROATIA IN ONE WEEK – ITINERARY

This Croatia itinerary starts either in Dubrovnik or Split. However, feel free to tweak the itinerary so that it fits you. I do not recommend visiting Croatia for less than one week, as you would miss out on too much of its beauty.

Split (1 – 1,5 Days)

Split should be on any Croatia itinerary! Split is the 2nd largest city in Croatia. It lies on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea and is spread over a central peninsula and its surroundings.

It is one of the most famous and popular cities, and this is for a reason. Yes, it gets crowded (even in the shoulder seasons because of the touristic cruise ships), but it is still worth visiting. Split waterfront is one of the most beautiful places in Split, CroatiaI personally think 1 or 1.5 days is wonderful and enough if you don’t have endless time in Croatia. One of the reasons for Split´s popularity is because it was one of the filming locations for Game of Thrones.

Things to do in Split:

  • So, definitely make sure to explore Diocletian’s Palace (free) with the Cathedral and Bell Tower of Saint Domnius (small entrance fee), the Peristyle (Peristil), Vestibule, and the City Gates.
  • For great views (other than the bell tower that was closed during my visit), hike up Marjan Hill (about 20-30 minutes of uphill walking) and soak in the scenery. Stroll the area and have dinner at the Riva promenade.
  • If you are a GoT fan, you might want to enjoy Klis Fortress’s views (entrance about 9€), which is located outside the old town. Even if you are not a GoT fan, the panorama is well worth a visit!
  • Check out my Split guide for more detailed information.

WHERE TO STAY IN SPLIT

Trogir and Šibenik (1 – 1,5 Day)

You can base yourself in or near Split and do a fun day trip. Or you can stop on your way to Split and visit these two pretty towns.

Actually, pretty is a bit understated. Trogir and Šibenik are two extremely beautiful places and should be on any Croatia itinerary. 

Trogir and Šibenik are small towns and absolutely charming. 

SIBENIK

Šibenik is a historic city on the Adriatic coast. The town center is small and I went back and forth through the few old but very picturesque streets of the town.

Streets in Sibenik, must see in two weeks in Croatia

And what I had not known before my visit: Šibenik is actually a filming location for Games of Thrones. So, this is also a must-see for all GoT fans. 

Looking back, I regret not having visited the St. Michael’s Fortress as well. I suggest planning enough time for the old town and a short hike to the fortress which sits on a hill and promises nice views.

  • Visit the two UNESCO World Heritage sites – Sibenik Cathedral and St. Nicholas Fortress – but also have coffee in one of the cute cafes or restaurants around and just let the flow take you.

You can probably have your lunch here and then head to the next place.

TROGIR

Pretty, pretty Trogir! Trogir lies on a small island connected to the mainland and the island of Čiovo by bridges. It felt like a little Split, but actually more charming with its very picturesque cafes and cute, colorful streets and lovely people. Trogir view from the fortress, Trogir is a must on Dubrovnik itinerary

  • Stroll the old streets, visit the Trogir Cathedral (small entrance fee) and enjoy the views from the bell tower, and see the clock tower at the market square.
  • Go to Kamerlengo Castle for the views (small entrance fee), and relax at the seaside promenade. This is also a good place to end the day.
  • Check out my more detailed guide for Trogir. 

WHERE TO STAY IN TROGIR

In case you want to spend a night in Trogir, which seems like a good idea, here are some hotels.

  • Hotel Brown Beach House & Spa looks like a lovely hotel with a pool, lovely views, and proximity to the city center. You can check out rates here.
  • Hotel Concordia is located in the old town – I think, location-wise, it cannot get much better, and it seems to offer great value for money! Find out more about the hotel here.

Krka National Park (1 Day)

Another day trip from Split could be Krka National Park. The Krka National Park is known for its beautiful waterfalls and nature trails – similar to the Plitvice Lakes.

KRKA National Park a must for 7-day Croatia itinerary
@shutterstock

The weather was not always on my side, so I decided I wanted to spend the sunny days in a town/city rather than at Krka National Park, and thus skipped it.

After reading reviews, it seems the Krka National Park is a little less spectacular than Plitvice National Park. However, at Krka, you can swim, which seems reason enough to visit.  

If you stay in Croatia for only 7 days, one national park is probably all you can fit in. Krka is closer to cities like Split or Zadar, and it does not take that much time to get there, while Plitvice National Park is located in the north, and getting there is much more time-consuming.

Omis (1 Day)

Another one of Croatia‘s prettiest, most unique places is the small town of Omis, located among stunning scenery. Omiš is also a port in the Dalmatia region.Omis view from the fortress

Known as a former pirate town in the 12-14th centuries, it is a small central Dalmatian town located between Split and Makarska, situated in the Cetina River’s mouth and surrounded by massive gorges that remind me of fjords in certain parts.

Omis view from the fortress of the fjords

There is no place like Omis – and it is the perfect place for adventure lovers.

  • Ziplining, rock climbing, biking, rafting, and canyoning are big in Omis!
  • But there is more to it than adventurous activities – take the time and do a short 10-minute uphill hike to get to Castle Mirabella. It will be worth it. If you don’t want to pay a few euros for the entrance fee, you will have nice views before you even reach the ticket counter. However, I recommend paying the fee (I think it was about 3€) and taking a few more steps for a better panorama of the old town.
  • I wish that I had stayed longer, so I could have hiked the Starigrad Fortica to enjoy the views from there, which takes a few hours to get to.

Well, there will hopefully be the next time, but here is my tip for you: Stay in Omis for at least one full day if you like to be a bit more active.

Italy or Croatia? Check out my comparison to find out which country is the perfect travel destination for you.

Dubrovnik (2 Days)

Dubrovnik is a city in southern Croatia fronting the Adriatic Sea. It is out of the world!

While I still think Venice is probably the most unique city in the world, Dubrovnik is up there. Yes, there are many old towns and well-preserved medieval places in Europe and Croatia. However, Dubrovnik is seriously different.Dubrovik from city walls

Dubrovnik view from Mount Srd

Expensive as heck and crazy busy, it is not everyone´s favorite – but I totally loved it!

You should plan at least 2 days in Dubrovnik (because driving there from Split will take a few hours), and then you will have about 1,5 days to discover the town. 

  • The best activity – by far – was walking the city walls. You can stroll the complete walls, which are about 2 km long, and you have the best views from there. This activity costs around 30€ and is probably the most expensive “entry fee“ in the area. But the views are so worth it. Tip: you can buy a Dubrovnik Card, it might help you save money.
  • Take the time to stroll the old town and streets, and check out all the filming locations of GoT (including King´s Landing).
  • Also, go on a boat cruise to see the old town from another angle.
  • If you have time, head to Srd Mountain for amazing views. You can get up via cable car, hike up (it should take about one hour), take an uber or taxi, or drive in your own car. I drove myself, even though the reviews on TripAdvisor made it look like a horror trip. It is probably not for the inexperienced mountain driver, but it was not too bad.
  • I have a more detailed Dubrovnik itinerary that you can read here.

WHERE TO STAY IN DUBROVNIK

MORE PLACES TO SEE IN CROATIA IN 7 – 14 DAYS

So, if you have more than 7 days in Croatia and don’t mind driving around, then here are a few places to visit.

Zagreb (1-2 Days)

You can start your Croatia trip in the country’s capital if you stay longer than one week. Zagreb Mirogoj Cemetary is a must-seeZagreb is often overlooked for the more popular city of Dubrovnik. And while Zagreb does not lie on the coast (unlike many other cities, towns, and villages on this itinerary), it is well worth spending a day or two.

Zagreb is totally different from other cities in the country – it feels more like Vienna with its Austrian-Hungarian architecture that is different from most other Croatian cities’ architectural styles.

The only problem I see with Zagreb is the fact that it is not centrally located. It is quite far to the north (near the Slovenian border), making it difficult to get to. But other than that, there is no reason not to go.

  • In one day, you can visit the Cathedral,
  • shop for food at Dollar Market,
  • Visit the Museum of Broken Relationships, 
  • Admire the unique St. Mark´s Church,
  • Have lunch at Tkalciceva Street,
  • and if you have any time left, visit the stunning cemetery of Mirogoj (which is located a bit outside the city center).
  • Check out my 2-day Zagreb itinerary.

If you are in Croatia for 14 days, then plan in at least 1.5 days in Zagreb and then consider the travel time to the next destination (which probably will be the Plitvice Lakes, Zadar, or Rovinj). However, with only 1 week, I would probably skip Zagreb – just because it is quite far from other main tourist attractions. 

Plitvice Lakes (1 Day)

One of the most famous and popular tourist destinations in Croatia is the Plitvice Lakes. And if you have already seen images, you know why. This place is stunning and unique. Plitvice Lake in CroatiaThe Plitvice Lakes National Park is the oldest and largest national park in Croatia. Famous for its many waterfalls and gorgeous colors of the waters, it offers some lovely hikes and stunning views – about 80% of the park is covered with forest.

It is also one of the most biodiverse regions in the country (including many threatened species).

It has UNESCO World Heritage Status since 1979, and with 16 bigger lakes (and many smaller ones), the facts alone impress. The highest waterfall in all of Croatia is the Veliki Slap, at 78 meters.

You can choose from one of the eight circular routes (if all are open) to walk the lakes – four from Entrance 1 and four from Entrance 2. Depending on the hiking trails you pick, you can spend about 2-8 hours in the park.

I read some reviews and posts that recommend staying two days, but I was actually good to leave after half a day. But like Zagreb, the location is a bit unfortunate. It is located inland and far away from other popular travel destinations.

Entrance fees (depending on the time of your visit): Winter months are around 8€; April, May, September, and October are around 14€; summer months are around 34€.

Parking: Many parking spots are available at Entrances 1 and 2, about 1€ an hour.

  • Where to Stay at Plitvice Lakes National Park: I stayed at a clean, tidy though simple pension a few kilometers near the lakes – the owners were really nice, too. So definitely a place I recommend staying at. Check out the rates for the Pansion House Prijeboj.

Rovinj (1 Day)

A bit of Italy in Croatia – Rovinj is one of Croatia’s most northern cities and is close to the Italian border. If you travel around Croatia for a bit, you will notice it is different from many other Croatian cities. Actually, it looks a bit like an Italian coastal town.Croatia, Rovinj seen from a boat trip Venetian architecture and cute cobblestone streets make it one of the most beautiful places in Croatia.

Located in the northwest of Croatia, on the Istrian coast below the Lim Fjord, it is a perfect place to visit towards the end or beginning of your Croatia trip.

Rovinj has some charming, narrow streets, so make sure to take your time strolling the old town, exploring the artistic street of Ulica, climbing the bell tower, enjoying some time at the promenade, and going on a boat cruise. You can also go to one of the beaches and swim. If you are not much of a beach person, you can see all of the top sights within one day in Rovinj.

Where to Stay in Rovinj

  • I recommend staying in or near the old town of Rovinj. I picked a little B&B near the old town. The prices were good. They allowed dogs (which isn’t always the case here in Croatia) and offered free parking. Within a few minutes, I was in the old town. However, there are not many rooms, so book early if you want to stay here. Find out more about the little B&B I stayed at – Rooms Barbieri.
  • For a more luxurious stay – just a 10-minute walk from the old town  – check out Grand Park Hotel Rovinj rates.
  • Check out my 1-day itinerary for Rovinj for more travel tips.

Zadar (1 Day)

If you stay 10-14 days in Croatia, you might want to add Zadar to your itinerary. Zadar is another coastal city – actually, it is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Croatia (founded in the 4th century).Zadar view from the Bell Tower, one of the best places to visit in CroatiaUnlike many of the other famous places in Croatia, Zadar did not feel busy and crowded. It was actually way more laid-back. Probably a bit too laid-back for me. Two days was a bit too much for me, but a one-day stop in Zadar is definitely a great idea.

In one day, you can experience the highlights of Zadar easily. And here are some tips for what to do in Zadar. The ancient square and the Forum are a must as well as the church of St. Donatus and strolling Kalelarga Street.

I loved the views from the bell tower, but one of the most unique places in Croatia is probably the promenade, where you can listen to the Sea Organ that plays music from the ocean waves. It sounds weird and is weird, but a nice weird. You can end your evening watching the sunset at the promenade and greeting the moon.

Where to Stay in Zadar: 

  • I stayed at Apartments Aria. I love to cook my own food and had my dog with me, and I needed free parking, so it was great for me (plus super clean and a nice but basic little apartment). It was a bit too far from the main tourist attractions (about 15 minutes), but this was a good place other than this. Here is one of the best-rated hotels in Zagreb.

Punta Rata & Baska Voda (1-2 Days)

It is time for the beach. I know, the reviews of the beaches in Croatia are mixed. Baska Voda town in Croatia is a beautiful hidden placeThe water color is stunning and the nearby towns are beautiful, but the beaches are mostly pebble beaches. Personally, I am not a fan of pebble beaches. However, if you visit in the summer, you surely want to take a day off and relax after all those busy days (or in preparation for all the busy days to come).

If you road trip Croatia and drive along the D8, then the Makarska Riviera will be your friend! This coastline is perfect for spending a few days (or just a few hours), relaxing, taking a swim, and escaping the crazy crowds of Split or Dubrovnik.

Punta Rata was rated one of the prettiest beaches, and so I headed there. Not to swim or to chill at the beach (it was quite windy actually and too cold for swimming), but to see if it is really nice and if I should recommend it to you!

Yes, this beach looks quite lovely. But in this area, there are several beautiful places – so whether you choose this one or go to Baska Voda with its busier promenade, is up to you.

If you want to take a break and chill, this is the place and time.

Hvar (1-2 Days)

I had to, very unhappily, skip Hvar. Hvar is known as one of the most popular islands in Croatia.

However, I had a few days in mind when I wanted to visit, and there were rain and storms on all of those days. Hvar Island in Croatia in 10 daysI decided that I do not want to spend the money on a visit to Hvar when the weather is bad. So, eventually, I have to go back to Croatia to visit Hvar.

Hvar is Croatia’s premier party town! So, here is where you come to have a great party.

But it is also known for its beautiful old town, perfect for getting lost in and whether you get there for a day only to stay overnight (it takes a few hours to get to Hvar from Split). I think it would make a good stop on your Croatia 10-day itinerary.

  • Where to stay in Hvar: While I did not stay in Hvar myself, this hotel seems like a great place to stay when visiting Hvar (keep in mind that Hvar is quite expensive).

DAY TRIPS OUTSIDE OF CROATIA

I recommend doing a few day trips (or at least one day trip) to another country. With one week in Croatia, you might not be able to see them – but tweak the itinerary and prioritize the places most appealing to you.

Kotor

Beautiful Montenegro! Montenegro is one of the prettiest countries in the world and one day is surely not enough (despite its small size). However, many people drive to Kotor from Dubrovnik for a day. Kotor view from fortressThis is definitely doable – the drive is scenic, but plan in some time for border control. One day in Kotor is not a lot of time, but you can get a good glimpse of this pretty country on that day!

Parking in Kotor’s center might be a bit difficult in the busy season, so I recommend snapping up a parking slot outside the center (driving in the old town is not allowed at all) and walking to the old town from there.

Most people walk to the fortress and head to the Castle of San Giovanni and climb the many stairs. Like seriously, many stairs. I read different numbers, but it is definitely more than 1,200 stairs. The views are amazing, though and this is why so many people do it! There is a small entrance fee.

You can also climb the Ladder of Kotor (which is free) and then climb through a window and get onto the fortress. It is not illegal at all, and you can save money but also avoid some stairs. This path takes longer but has fewer stairs. I chose this path because I traveled with my dog. 

Check out my Kotor travel tips.

Mostar / Blagaj / Kravice Falls and Pocitelj

Even though one week in Croatia might not be enough to visit places outside of the country, Mostar is one of the most popular day trips from Dubrovnik, and the reason is simple.Stari Most in Mostar is one of the main attractions in Bosnia Herzegovina

It is extremely pretty, and many take the opportunity to visit another country: Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

The region of Dubrovnik is separated from the rest of Croatia by Bosnia and Herzegovina, which owns about 20 km of coastline. If people drive from Split to Dubrovnik, they have to pass Bosnia-Herzegovina (or take a detour and cross Serbia, etc. – which would be insane).

Croatia plans to build a bridge that connects Dubrovnik to the rest of the country, but at the moment, crossing Bosnia is the only and easiest way.

So, Mostar is gorgeous, but if you have some time, I actually suggest visiting Pocitelj, Kravice Falls, and Blajag Monastery. Book a hotel in Mostar for the night and explore Mostar on day 2 before heading back to Croatia.

Kravica Waterfalls in BosniaPersonally, I would stay even longer in beautiful Montenegro/Bosnia. Still, since this is a Croatia itinerary, I stuck with two days in Bosnia and one day in Montenegro for now.

P.S. Make sure to bring your ID/passport along as you will most definitely be checked at the borders and if you drive, make sure you have the “green insurance paper” with you.

You might have to spend some time at the border control. Normally, it takes me about 10-15 minutes to get through, but once it took me about an hour and it was during the shoulder season, so my tip is to be at the border control very early to avoid the lines. 

Read my Mostar travel guide for more information.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON VISITING CROATIA FOR ONE WEEK

So, whether you stay one week in Croatia or longer, your trip will surely be anything but boring!

The country is rich in beautiful places – whether you are into stunning outdoor places or cute towns and cities with impressive architecture and loads of history and culture – Croatia has something for everyone. I hope you enjoy the time as much as I did, and this one-week Croatia itinerary has helped you plan your trip and find out about the best places to visit.

More: Best places to stay in CroatiaSafe Travels, Arzo

 

UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SPLIT IN 1 OR 2 DAYS

The best Split itinerary, here is how to spend one day in Split, Croatia

WHAT TO DO IN SPLIT – 1 OR 2 DAYS IN SPLIT

Are you planning your Croatia itinerary and explicitly your Split trip and are wondering about the best things to do in Split in 1 day (or 2 days)? Here you will find out how to plan your itinerary along with many travel tips.

With an abundance of colorful, medieval towns and villages on the coast of Croatia (and in Europe, in general), there are so many places to visit that you have to focus on the prettiest. One of the prettiest coastal towns in Croatia might just be Split. 

So, whether you are in Split for one or two days, here is my Split itinerary so you can see the best places and experience the best the city has to offer. But before talking about the best things to do and see, here are some tips for your Split trip.Split logo at the waterfront in Split

TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR SPLIT ITINERARY

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.

Split is located on the Dalmatian Coast, on a small peninsula, and has become a very popular tourist attraction.

The Marjan Hill rises on the western side of the peninsula, and the Mountains Kozjak and Mosor rise high on the north and northwest sides of the city – making it one of the prettiest coastal towns in Europe (and it is often called Dubrovnik´s little sister).

Best Time to Visit Split

Split gets extremely popular in the summer months.

  • Especially if you enjoy swimming, sailing, and other water sports the summer months might be the best months to visit.
  • However, this also means it gets busy as heck, resulting in higher prices for accommodations (and also for some activities) and more crowds in July and August but also in June and early September it is still busy and expensive.

Spring and fall might be the best months to visit Split.

  • I visited in April. had some lovely weather. Of course, we cannot rely on the weather and it can be crazy. But spring and fall are normally not warm enough to enjoy long beach days.
  • Also, some activities and tours were not open as construction was going on and the weather forecast predicted some rainy days in Split. 
  • So, I suggest visiting in May, early June, or late September (and even October) if you don’t want to rub shoulders with all the other tourists and pay less for accommodations.

If you visit Split for one day, come early – then you have Split without the crowds, at least for a short time.

How to Arrive and Get Around Split (Old Town) in 1 Day

GETTING TO SPLIT

  • From Split Airport: The cheapest way is to get to the old town via line 37 bus. It takes about 40 minutes to reach the main Split bus station. Alternatively, there is a slightly faster airport shuttle service (for a higher price).
  • By car:  It is easy to drive in Split (compared to driving in Italy´s cities), but you might be better off leaving your car in one of the parking slots outside the old town (mostly paid, but if you park a bit further out, you can find free ones as well).
  • By train: There is a train station and you can get there from Zagreb (one-way tickets are around 28€).

GETTIG AROUND SPLIT

  • In Split, you will mostly walk. Just make sure to wear comfortable shoes (just saying: cobblestone alleys and hills) – because this itinerary will include some walking. You do not have to walk 20km + but in the old town, where most of the attractions are, you cannot get around via bus/car, so you have to do some walking.
  • If you do day trips, you can do them easily by car (except the islands) or public transportation (local and regional buses are great for visiting places on the mainland). 
  • When getting out to the islands, you have your choice of regular ferries and more expensive speedboats, depending on which islands you’re headed to and when.

Where to Stay for 2 Days in Split

If you stay overnight in Split, book your accommodation in the Old Town – ideally. With a dog and a car, I was limited, but without these constraints, a place directly in the old town would have been my choice.

Most of the tourist attractions are found in or immediately near Diocletian’s Palace, making it a very convenient area to stay in. 

Many places to stay at are so-called apartments – especially convenient when you are like to prepare your own food (as a vegetarian in the Balkans this was the main reason to book an apartment for me).

Split waterfront is one of the most beautiful places in Split, Croatia

HOW EXPENSIVE IS SPLIT?

Croatia is still quite affordable compared to many countries in Western Europe, but it is far from being super cheap. Split is no different – you can find cheap food and places to stay, but drinks in the tourist hotspots (like Riva Promenade) are no bargain. And if you want to splurge, you will find many luxury accommodation and restaurants.

CURRENCY in Split

The currency is the Croatian Kuna. However, the € is often accepted (but it will probably be more expensive to pay in euros).

I often say “a few €“ in this post – as it would sound like a lot of money if I wrote “a few hundred Kuna.“  In May 2021: 10 Kuna = 1.35€ (around $1.50).

HOW TO CREATE YOUR SPLIT ITINERARY FOR 1-2 DAYS

One day in Split may not sound like a lot, but with a day here, you will be able to experience and visit the best places in Split. Use this itinerary for Split to find out about the main attractions and best places.

BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN SPLIT IN ONE DAY

Tip: Start the day early, as the tourists from the cruise ships and bus tours will arrive quite early, so to beat the crowds you have to be there before them.

Day one begins with the sights in Split’s ancient center around Diocletian’s Palace, before wandering to nearby city attractions.

Diocletian’s Palace

The best thing to do in Split – whether you stay one day or two days in Split – is visiting the Diocletian’s Palace.

A little city, within the old part of the city…The Diocletian’s Palace is one of the best-preserved monuments of Roman architecture in the world. Diocletian’s Palace in Split is one of the top attractions

Diocletian’s Palace in Split is the answer to the question what to do in SplitIf you enter Diocletian´s Palace (ideally via the Golden Gate, a 4th-century Roman stone entryway with arches & ornate statues), you will have an impressive start to your day in Split.

Emperor Diocletian is considered to be the founder of Split in the 3rd century. The palace was built for Emperor Diocletian’s retirement (this huge fortified palace took up much of the modern city center) and is a rectangular building (approximately 215 x 180 meters) with four large towers at the corners, doors on each of its four sides, and four small towers on the walls.

I suggest getting here first, as it gets very busy during the day. This way, you have the option to experience the place without the crowds. There are, however, a few attractions within the Diocletian’s Palace-

  • HOW TO GET TO DIOCLETIAN´S PALACE: Diocletian´s Palace is located in the old town of Split. I loved entering the via Golden Gate – so you might want to do the same.
  • OPENING HOURS / PRICES: Diocletian´s Palace is part of the old town – and so it is open 24/7. You can enter and stroll this area for free – for certain attractions within Diocletian´s Palace, you have to buy tickets.

Peristyle (Peristil)

The Peristyle is the main and most important square of Diocletian’s Palace, and it is a great place to see what the city looked like back in the day. Diocletian’s Palace in Split is one of the best places to visit in SplitFor a while, it was also the religious center and the ideal theater scenery, perfect for opera classics and works of ancient literature.

Now, you can have a drink in one of the cafes and watch people admiring the place (they probably also admire the Egyptian influence, as the Peristyle is closely watched over by a 3500-year-old and perfectly preserved sphinx).

  • HOW TO GET TO PERISTYLE: Peristyle is located within the Diocletian´s Palace in the old town of Split.
  • OPENING HOURS / PRICES: Peristyle is part of the old town – and so it is open 24/7 and it is free to see.

The Substructures

Diocletian’s Palace substructures represent one of the best-preserved ancient complexes of their kind and are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

In Roman times, their function was to elevate the Emperor’s chambers on the floor above, but they were also the storage area for the palace; now, they are used for different things. You´ll find painting and sculpture exhibitions, theater plays, fairs (including the International Flower Fair), souvenir shops, and more.

  • HOW TO GET TO SUBSTRUCTURES: It is located within the Diocletian´s Palace and the entrance is through Porta Aenea, from the Riva, or down the stairs from the Peristyle.
  • OPENING HOURS / PRICES: Unfortunately, I could not find any updated data on opening hours and the entrance fee. Though it is part of Diocletian´s Palace it is an attraction you have to pay for and it is not open 24/7.

Cathedral and Bell Tower of Saint Domnius

Then, head to the Cathedral and Bell Tower of Saint Domnius, one of Split’s other major landmarks, which is just around the corner. Cathedral and Bell Tower of Saint Domnius in Split is a must-seeAmong the European cathedrals, this one finds its seat in the oldest building – the Mausoleum of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. You can visit the cathedral for an entrance fee (The Cathedral + The Baptistery + The Crypt), or get a combined ticket to also climb the Saint Domnius Bell Tower. 

The Bell Tower of Saint Domnius (standing at 57 meters) is the most original Dalmatian Medieval architecture, which was started in the 13th century, and you can now enjoy the views from there. 

It was under renovation during the time of my visit, but it is supposed to be open again – so make sure to climb all the steps to enjoy views of Diocletian’s Palace, the waterfront, and Marjan Hill.

City Gates

There are four city gates and, if you can, check them all out. As they surround Diocletian’s Palace, they are not far from each other and each is worth seeing on its own.Golden Gate in Split is one of the top things to see in Split

Silver Gate in Split should be on your Split itinerary

  • HOW TO GET TO THE GATES: The four gates are the Golden Gate (a great way to enter Diocletian’s Palace if you don’t stay in the old town), the Silver Gate (great if you want to get to the Green Market afterward), the Brass Gate (if you want to head to the promenade straight away), and the Iron Gate.

Vestibule

Sneak a different and unique view of the Cathedral from the Vestibule. The vestibule was used to enter the residential part of the palace. Pay attention to the single flowers there (very small ones, can you spot them? How cute are they?). Vestibule in Split, what to see in Split in one dayThere is also the Ethnographic Museum. For a small entrance fee, you can learn more about the traditional costumes, crafts, and culture of the Dalmatian Coast. Apparently, you can also get to the rooftop terrace and enjoy great views from there (if you don’t want to climb all the stairs at the bell tower).

Depending on the speed of your sightseeing trip, you will probably spend half a day here. So, even if you do not climb the bell tower, you will stroll the streets and spend a few hours here.

Is it time to think about lunch before heading to the next Split sight? If you prefer fresh fruits and veggies to a meal in a restaurant, head out via the Silver Gate and you will arrive at the Green Market, where you can buy fresh produce for your lunch/dessert.

P.S. Apparently, the city of Split has forbidden free walking tours. So, while you can enjoy free walking tours in Dubrovnik there are none in Split. If you want to have a guided tour, you can check out rates for walking tours here.

Marjan Hill

For great free views, head to Marjan Hill. Marjan Hill is the perfect place for nice walks and easy hikes and it just takes a short walk from the last attraction. Marjan Hill in Split is one of the main attractions in SplitPass the Riva Waterfront Promenade (for now) and the fountain at the end of it, and you will find a long staircase that leads you to Marjan Hill. After 10 minutes (and many steps), you will have great views over Split and the Dalmatian Coast from the Telegrin peak. Restaurant with flowers in Split up on Marjan Hill with the best viewThere is a restaurant with very cute decorations – but if you prefer some more walking, head to the church farther up, visit the Jewish cemetery, or stroll and chill in the park above the Telegrin peak. Of course, it is up to you, but I think that if you are following this itinerary, it will be afternoon now and you should be heading to the River Waterfront.

Tip: If you want to check out the Marina, then don’t head to the River promenade, but instead turn left, coming down the hill to enjoy a nice stroll along the Split Marina.

Read more: Best areas and hotels to stay in Croatia

Boat Tour

I am normally always ready for a boat tour, but on that day, I skipped the tour (for unknown reasons – I still can’t understand why I did not do it).  With 1 day in Split, it is a great way to see the city from a different angle and also to get a fresh breeze on a hot day.Boat Tour in Split is one of the best activities

  • TIMES AND PRICES: For around 20€ though, you can do a 90-minute cruise and see Split from the water, There are even some sunset cruises that you can enjoy! If you want to do a sunset cruise check out rates here.

Riva Waterfront Promenade

It is time to think about dinner, and the best place to have it is probably at Riva Waterfront Promenade. This is a popular and busy place – the promenade is paved with marble and lined with palm trees – just lovely! Riva Waterfront in Split is a main place to goIf you are not hungry yet, relax on one of the benches and work on your tan before grabbing a good seat at one of the many bars and restaurants that line the harbor. It is also a beautiful place to watch the sunset, so make sure to get a front-row seat.

Watch the Sunset

If you stay one full day in Split you can watch the sunset.

The Riva Promenade is probably one of the best spots to watch the sunset – and convenient, as you can combine it with your dinner. There are quite a few benches to lounge on and end your day the chill way. However, I can imagine it gets quite busy in the summer months, so make sure to grab a seat before all the other people come.

This is the perfect spot to end your day in Split and you might want to continue your Croatia road trip.

PLACES TO VISIT IN SPLIT IN 2 DAYS

If you do all of the above-mentioned activities you probably will not have time to do more activities. However, if you stay 2 days in Split (or longer) or want to skip one of the above-mentioned places, then here are a few more tips on things to do and see in Split.

Games of Thrones Locations Tour

By no means, I am a Games of Throne fan (I just have not gotten to see one episode) – BUT I know, that there are some filming locations in Split, so this is why GoT fans love it here. Visit the Diocletian’s Palace and more filing locations – check out Games of Thrones tours here.

Klis Fortress

Games of Thrones fans know about this fortress: Klis. However, it is not only for GoT fans but a nice trip from the old town of Split for anyone who enjoys great views or wants to escape the crowds in Split.Klis Fortress in Split is a must-see In the mountain pass between Mosor and Kozjak is the small village of Klis with the famous fortress that is open to visitors. From there you can enjoy beautiful views of Split and the Adriatic Sea. I met one of my Instagram friends who is a hardcore GoT fan and had visited the fortress a couple of times – but she did not mind visiting again with me.

She gave me some information about the filming location and scenes – not that I can remember that much but this was another location in Spilt. You can drive and park in front of the fortress for free – but you can also get there by bus.

The website says, the entrance fee is about 6€  but actually, prices have increased and we paid around 8€ in 2019. It probably is about a half-day trip from Split.

There is also a longer GoT tour that also covers the Klis Fortress – find out more about this tour here.

If you have one day in Split and aren’t into GoT, then I would skip the fortress though.

Bačvice Beach

So, what about some beach time? There are a few beaches in Split, so if you are here in the summer months and want to cool down, there a couple of places to choose from.

Bačvice Beach is just behind the city’s ferry terminal. It is easy to reach from the town center and, thus, a great place to stop. This is one of Split’s most popular and accessible beaches – with one day in Split you might not want to spend too much time here, but cooling down in the summer sounds like a plan, right?

Trogir

One of my favorite places in Croatia is actually Trogir – it is a bit like Split but smaller and less busy and it makes a perfect half-day or full-day trip from Split. So, if you stay 2 days in Split, I suggest taking this trip. Trogir view from the fortress, Trogir is a must on Dubrovnik itineraryI spent only half a day there and there is not much to do but Trogir is the perfect place to rest, stroll, and watch people. It is just about 30km from Split and you can get there by bus or car. I have a more detailed post on Trogir that you can read here.

Blue Cave

If Split is your base, then a boat tour exploring the islands of Hvar, Biševo, Vis, Ravnik, and Budikovac, and the Blue Cave might be the perfect experience for you. Since I traveled with a dog, I had to pass on this but this sounds like me kinda my thing and is probably also your thing?

Here is a tour that will tell you a bit more about it.

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Split itinerary, best things to do and see in Split in one day

Split is a beauty. I would lie if I said, it is my favorite town in Croatia – there are places I liked better but I think, it is a must for any Croatia itinerary and it was beautiful. It can be crowded at times so, visiting off-season is probably the best time to explore this city.

Hopefully, this post helps you planning and organizing your Split itinerary and finding the most beautiful places in the city. Whether you stay one day in Split or 2 days in Split – enjoy!

Planning to see more of Croatia´s beauty? Then check out my Rovinj travel guide.

Safe Travels, Arzo

MOST EPIC AND BEST DAY TRIPS FROM SPLIT, CROATIA

Best day trips from Split, Croatia, the best places to visit near Split

MOST EPIC DAY TRIPS FROM SPLIT – BEAUTIFUL PLACES NEAR SPLIT, CROATIA

Croatia is surely among the top tourist destinations in Europe. Warm weather, nice beaches, cute towns and lively cities, pretty islands, great scenery, friendly people, great value for your money, and Split is one of the best places to see in the country.

And from Split you can do visit many places nearby – so, here are the best day trips from Split.

Split, located in between Dubrovnik and Zadar, is a great base from which to visit this beautiful country’s surroundings! If you prefer having one base and take day trips within Croatia (and surrounding countries), then Split is one of the best choices (here are more great areas to stay).

There are many fun places quite close to Split, and here are some of the most beautiful places near Split that you can mostly visit on your own – by car or bus/train – but you can also do guided tours.

So, after discovering Split for a day or two, it is time to explore the rest of the country with these beautiful day trips from Split!

Trogir

One of the best day tours from Split is heading to the north. Trogir is like Split´s little brother – actually, they look similar, though it is smaller and less well known. 

Trogir view from the fortress, Trogir is a must on Dubrovnik itinerary

Seaside promenade in Trogir, Croatia

Trogir is even more beautiful than Split and has more of a special charm – but like in Split, you will find beautiful Venetian architecture, narrow streets, and many cafes. And also a busy waterfront that is lined with tourists.

For good views of the town, visit Kamerlengo Castle or climb the Cathedral stairs, which is located at the main square.

Trogir is really small though – because of the unique atmosphere, I could have spent much longer there, but for most of you, one day is more than enough, and thus, it is the perfect half-day or full-day trip from Split.

Getting there: Trogir is very close to Split (around 30 minutes), and you can either drive or take a bus and explore the town.

Sibenik

Another beautiful place near Split is Sibenik. I almost skipped it, but luckily, I decided to go, and I highly recommend visiting here.

Sibenik is one of the most beautiful towns in Croatia

Sibenik view of the church is one of the most beautiful places in Croatia

If you are short on time, you can combine it with a trip to Trogir, which is just south of the town, but it is also a good individual day trip from Split.

There is the magnificent St. James’s Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site that you can reach after climbing a few steps on a stunning staircase. Sibenik is small, but its streets were full of charm and beautiful cafes and restaurants.

To enjoy great views of the old town, head to St. Michael’s Fortress or even to Barone Fortress. Even if you walk around quickly, you will still get to experience the beauty of the town.

If you are a Game of Thrones fan, you probably have Sibenik on your itinerary, right? It has become more famous because of its use as a GoT filming location, but regardless of that, this place is small and cute and great to visit from Split.

Getting there: You can either drive to Sibenik or take a train or bus. If you want to combine Sibenik with nearby Krka National Park, rather than with Trogir, a day tour is probably the best choice.

Plitvice Lakes National Park

One of the most famous places in Croatia is the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Honestly, its location is the only downside when visiting – getting there from Split takes about three hours. But Plitvice Lakes is indeed stunning, which is why it is one of the most popular day trips from Split.

Plitvice Lake in Croatia

When you visit the largest waterfall in Croatia, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is caused by the flow of Plitvice Stream down a cliff, you can hike the upper and lower lakes with its countless waterfalls (seriously, you cannot even count them because there are too many) and hop on a boat or bus in between.

Prices for the entrance vary and depend on your visit season, but the cost is 10-30€.

Getting there: It takes about three hours by car or 3.5 hours by bus. You can also do guided tours from Split (I know this is not an easy day trip, but it will be worth it).

Zadar

From Split, you can also visit a more off-the-beaten-path city in Croatia – well, not a real hidden gem, but it is still not overly crowded like Dubrovnik or Split.

Zadar view from the Bell Tower, one of the best places to visit in Croatia

Zadar old town in Croatia in 7 days

Driving to Zadar on your own will allow you to drive the beautiful toll-free Street, D8. Though it takes almost 2 hours, it is such a beautiful drive that you will not even mind.

So, what is Zadar like? Well, to be 100% honest, Zadar was not my favorite place, but if you are looking for a quieter and more unique city to visit from Split, then Zadar is your place.

The town center of the old town, with the ancient square, the Forum, is a must and different from all the other old towns in Croatia. Also, listen to the Sea Organ that plays music from the ocean waves – as mentioned, Zadar is truly different from other cities in Croatia.

Before heading back to Split, watch the sunset in Zadar, which is supposed to be one of the most beautiful in the world.

Getting there: If you drive yourself, drive along the toll-free D8 that offers great views, which takes about 2 hours (breaks not included). There is also a bus going from Split to Zadar (and vice versa), but you need to do some additional driving (taxi) from Zadar train station to Zadar city center).

There is also a ferry taking you from Split to Zadar.

Omis

Here is another one of my favorite places: Omis. Like Zadar, Omis is unique and different from the rest of Croatia´s towns and cities. It is perfect for outdoor lovers and just about anyone who appreciates beautiful towns.

Omis view from the fortress of the fjords

Omis view from the fortress

So, located just 30km south of Split, this former pirate town from the 12th-14th century is a small central Dalmatian town that you could visit for half a day to explore the pretty and narrow streets.

Take the time to go up to Castle Mirabella, which is just a short uphill walk and offers panoramic views of the Omis and its scenery.

If you are a more active person, you can go ziplining, rock climbing, biking, rafting, and canyoning in Omis! If these are your kind of activities, then Omis is probably the best place to experience them.

Getting there: You can drive to Omis, and it takes about half an hour. Buses are taking you to Omis (between 30-50 minutes).

Punta Rata and Baska Voda

Though Split has its own beaches, there are some better ones if you head towards the south along the Makarska Riviera.

Punta Rada Beach in Croatia

Baska Voda town in Croatia is a beautiful hidden place

I have not seen any guided tours here. If you have a car, you can easily drive to Punta Rata and Baska Voda and enjoy some of the area’s prettiest beaches.

The drive was scenic, the beaches were beautiful, and there were so many small places along the way that you can stop anywhere – but these are probably the best places for a getaway from Split. 

Getting there: For these places, I recommend driving, so they are more flexible as getting there by public transportation is too time-consuming.

Dubrovnik

Ah, how can I lie? Dubrovnik is a city that deserves more of your time. But it is also expensive and totally crowded. Thus, I can understand if you want to visit only for a day and arrive via Split.

Dubrovnik views from the city wall

Dubrovnik old town view Srd Mountain

The stunning town walls that encircle the old town of Dubrovnik, the views that come with it, all the Game of Thrones filming locations, the stunning views from Srd Mountain – if you do a trip from Split for one day, you can surely not see all of Dubrovnik´s highlights. Still, at least you get an excellent glimpse of the city.

Getting to Dubrovnik is time-consuming, not only because it is about 230 km from Split, but also because you have to cross borders (Bosnia-Herzegovina divides Croatia, and getting to Dubrovnik, which is in the very south of Croatia, means you have to face border control). Depending on how busy the border is, it can take a while, but Dubrovnik is a must, so a day trip is better than no trip.

If you are not sure whether to drive yourself or take a guided tour, know this: parking in Dubrovnik is costly and can cost up to 10€… AN HOUR (there are cheaper options available). So, a guided tour might not only be more stress-free but also cheaper.

Getting there: I always take the toll-free D8 because of the most scenic views (and because tolls in Croatia are expensive as heck). You need to have your ID/passport with you. I crossed this border several times and always had to show my ID). With one day only, however, it´s probably the quickest way.

There are also buses from Split to Dubrovnik, but they take quite a while (around 4,5 hours).

Krka National Park

Pack your bathing clothes because in this national park, under the waterfalls, you can actually swim.

Krka National Park

I had to pass in this case, as the weather was not on my side, but Krka National Park is kind of similar to the Plitvice Lakes National Park, but much closer to Split, and you can actually swim here.

So, whether you hop into the water, walk on the wooden pathways by the many lakes, falls, and waterways, or marvel at Skradinski Buk (a spectacular cliff waterfall), this is a good alternative if you do not want to drive all the way up to Plitvice Lakes National Park.

Getting there: You can drive (about 90 minutes), or get there by bus and then take a ferry or do a guided tour.

Cetina River

Looking for more adventurous activities and trips to take from Split? Then canyoning near the Cetina River is probably the perfect choice for you.

This tour, definitely not something I fancy, means climbing over rocks and trekking through waterfalls and pools in the Cetina River’s dramatic canyon.

This half-day trip from Split includes swimming, canoeing, and getting to the Gubavica Waterfall – surely not for the people who want to sit back and chill. 

Hvar Island

Without any data to back it up, I would claim that one of the most popular day trips from Split is a trip to Hvar Island. Unfortunately, the weather was not on my side, and heavy storms rolled in during my visit, which forced me to skip it.

Hvar Island in Croatia in 10 days

The island of Hvar is probably one of the prettiest islands in Croatia and perfect if you want to take a day trip via boat from Split.

While Hvar is also known to be a party island, you probably will not experience that if you are only there during the day. Hvar is also known for being a summer resort with a beautiful old town, perfect for getting lost in.

Enjoy the 13th-century walls, the hilltop fortress, and the main square anchored by the Renaissance-era Hvar Cathedral. You can also visit other islands, like the Pakleni Islands, which are close by.

Getting there: You need to take a ferry to get to Hvar (you can, theoretically, take your car with you).

Mostar

Consider visiting beautiful Mostar! I have become a fan of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and my advice is to spend a lot more time in the most underrated country in Europe – but Mostar does make a great day trip from Split.

Stari Most in Mostar is one of the main attractions in Bosnia Herzegovina

Mostar shop selling souvenirs in the old town

Mostar is a small city located in the southern part of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it is trendy – in the summer months, it can get hot, but if you are a good swimmer, you can hop into the river. You can also watch people dive from the famous Stari Most (old bridge), a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Mostar was once under the Ottoman Empire’s rule, and you can still see the Turkish influence. The cobblestone streets and beautiful shops and stores make Mostar one of the prettiest old towns. You can drive here on your own. Your car needs to have international insurance if you drive from Split to Mostar), then make stops at Kravice Waterfalls and Blagaj Monastery, too.

Getting there: My tip is to drive yourself (crossing borders, so make sure to have all documents with you, including the green card for your car and your ID/passport), and the drive takes about 2,5-3 hours (scenic drive, though). Buses are going to Mostar from Split 3,5-4,5 hours one way) and also guided tours.

Blue Cave

Traveling with a dog meant that I had to pass on this day tour: visiting the Blue Cave. The island of Biševo makes another great trip from Split, as you can find the Blue Cave on the island’s east coast. 

You can get into the cave with a boat and marvel at the incredible watercolors – the water looks incredible due to light that comes up through the water and which then illuminates the cave in that blue glow. 

You need to get there via a speedboat as it is located on the farthest territorial point on the Croatian Adriatic Coast. A guided tour is the best option.

Brac 

There is a day cruise that will take you from Split to the south coast of Brac. This cruise leg lasts about 2.5 hours and is the perfect time to relax and enjoy the sights.

Brac, Croatia

When you arrive at the southern port of Bol, enjoy strolling the small streets and take the Šetnica promenade, which will lead you to Golden Horn Beach. This is one of the most popular beaches in Croatia and perfect for taking a swim. What makes it unique is that the shape of the beach changes under the strong winds that buffet the island.

This cruise will take most of the day, but it is a fun and relaxing way to explore Brac as a day trip from Split.

You can get there via ferry or catamaran and organize it yourself or do a guided tour.

MAP WITH PLACES TO SEE NEAR SPLIT

In all honesty, I think road tripping Croatia is the best way to explore the country (given the geography), but even if you decide to have one base – Split – you still can see quite a bit of the country.


You could spend weeks and explore the surroundings and beautiful places near Split – and hopefully, these tips will help you decide on the best day trips from Split.

PIN ME FOR LATER – DAY TOURS FROM SPLIT, CROATIA

Best day trips from Split, Croatia, Arzo Travels

Safe Travels, Arzo

ULTIMATE PACKING LIST FOR EUROPE IN WINTER

What to pack for Europe in winter

WHAT TO PACK FOR WINTER IN EUROPE

If you are want to find out what to pack for Europe in winter, then this post is for you.

While you might have to think about which places to visit in Europe in winter, you will also need to plan what to pack for the cold winter months in Europe.

While Europe might not be the biggest continent, weather conditions strongly vary. It does make a big difference whether you visit North countries like Iceland or Norway, Central Europe like Switzerland or France, or Southern Europe with places like Valencia in Spain.

If you head to Southern Spain, you will not need all the super warm winter clothes – and you will be happy with some warm pullovers and jeans. In the Nordic countries, you will definitely need to pack differently.

In this post, you will find one general part of what to pack in Europe for winter. You will find out what to pack for warmer countries like Spain or Malta, what to pack if you visit “cold” countries like Switzerland, Estonia, or Iceland in winter.

First ski experience in Verbier, Switzerland what to pack in winter

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product/service via my link (at no extra cost to you). More about it here.

Winter Weather in Europe

Before talking about what to bring to Europe in winter, we should talk about the weather in Europe in winter. Your packing list depends on where you visit.

Southern Europe is much milder and warmer than Eastern Europe or Northern Europe. While you could wear a light jacket in Southern Spain in the winter months, you surely have to dress very warmly in countries like Norway or Iceland.

If you come to Europe in winter – come prepared. 

Be advised that the average temperature can reach as low as -10° degree Celsius in countries like Iceland and Norway and while it gets up to 15° degree Celsius in other countries.

Climate change has lead to a much warmer climate in many countries. I remember the years – as a little child – where we had many days with freezing temperatures in Germany. And a lot of snow – but nowadays, snow is no longer the rule for many parts of Europe. But it can be.

What to do in Alicante, Costa Blanca

What to Bring to Europe in Winter – General Items

So, the first part of the post is a general packing list. Then you will find an additional packing list for winter.

Luggage for Europe

Here is what luggage/bags you might need for your winter Europe trip.

  • Suitcase: Though it depends, where exactly and for how long you travel, I recommend taking a good, light, and quality suitcase with you where all your clothes and most of your toiletries fit in.
  • Carry-On: If you visit for longer and aren’t a minimalist, then you might need extra carry-on luggage.
  • Laundry bags: They are great if you travel for longer and don’t want your dirty and clean clothes to mix up. I prefer them over plastic bags.
  • Packing Cubes: They are the new must-items when it comes to traveling, they are convenient, and they also come in cool colors. I recommend using packing cubes because it makes packing and organizing easier.
  • I choose a cross-body handbag with a zipper (to be safe) and several extra pockets for my handbag. My tip: The size of the handbag is important: do you carry a camera with you? A water bottle? Keep that in mind when you decide on one handbag.
  • Passport Holder: since I have become more minimalistic, I prefer not to use a passport holder, but if you need a passport (and an ID is not enough), you might want to have one.
  • I recommend a beach bag or a cotton bag for a day at the hotel pool or some shopping. Plastic bags – fortunately – do cost money in many parts of Europe…and plastic sucks anyway, so with a cotton bag you use for years, you do the environment a favor. And it looks much better than carrying your shopping in a plastic or paper bag.

Toiletries to Pack for Europe in Winter

Lately, I have reduced the care products. Less is better if you ask me. However, in winter, our skin is also subject to stress. You will find a detailed list – even if I do not use all products below throughout the year, you might use more products.

If I travel for 10 days or shorter, I take travel-sized toiletries, which I refill with my natural and organic beauty products from home. To pack light, shampoo, conditioner, hair masks, cleaning water, and cleansing milk are all in small bottles.

Of course, you could buy toiletries in Europe as well, but if you do not want to waste your time in drug stores or supermarkets, use this checklist for Europe.

  • (TSA Approved Clear) Travel Toiletry Bag (if you fly)
  • Sunscreen (even in winter – depending on where you travel to. If you go for a ski trip, then take it, but you most likely will not need it for most other winter trips).
  • Travel bottles to refill – I refill them with my own organic products that I normally use (I do not use shampoo & conditioner provided by hotels)
  • Electric Hair Removal Epilator (only if you stay longer than a week or if you remove your body hair with it) – otherwise, a razor or whatever you prefer.
  • Face cream – (which I also use as a hand cream, so I do not have to take another cream).
  • Refillable Travel Size Perfume Bottle
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste and mouthwash plus Dental floss
  • Tissues
  • Deodorant
  • Magnifying make-up mirror
  • Nail polish and nail polish remover + glass nail file
  • My favorite hairbrush (especially for longer hair) – or if you have less space, take a comb
  • Hair ties
  • A small cosmetic bag with the following items: Mascara / Rouge / Eyebrow powder (Taming & Shaping Kit For Brows) / Tweezer / Eyeliner and Eye Shadow / Make-up brushes/ Cotton swabs

Here are a few more items that I personally do hardly use but which might be important to you, so I added them here:

hair spray, hand cream, foundation, powder, lipstick, sanitiser

Tech Stuff to Pack for Europe

  • I have my laptop with me whenever I fly – however, I do work online while traveling, and I also watch Netflix on it.
  • My phone is, without a doubt, one of my most useful and important (travel) items.
  • My camera is a must – because Europe has so many great spots that need to be photographed.
  • I have to admit that I still don’t have a kindle, so a “real” book is often an essential
  • Power Charger – how long does your phone battery last? Not long? Neither does mine, so this  is an essential
  • Do you need an adapter? It depends on where you travel to Europe, so please check if you need one for your destination.

Random Things to Pack for Europe

  • Umbrella (in many countries, like Germany, Switzerland, or England is can still rain quite a lot in the winter)
  • Guides
  • Medicine (headache pills etc.)
Cycling in London in winter

Clothes to Pack for Europe in Winter

The key is dressing in layers for Europe in winter. The temperature can reach freezing levels, and yet the sun can be deceptively strong. Dressing in layers allows you to keep warm without compromising on comfort. 

Also, it really depends on where exactly you travel. As I mentioned before, Southern Europe has mild weather in winter where you will not need a super warm jacket and gloves plus a hat.

Depending on where you travel, the wind might make you feel much colder than the temperature actually says.

In the worst-case scenario, hypothermia and frostbite will result if you’re wet and not appropriately dressed.

Your items should be versatile in function. For example, pack a jacket that is both waterproof and warm. Also, comfortable walking shoes are essential.

December in Iceland, Golden Circle with Arzo Travels

Everyday Attire Essentials For Europe In Winter

At the top of your Europe winter packing list should be the following versatile, essential items. Using these items to dress in layers will keep you both stylish and warm. 

  • Coat – Warm And Waterproof: A warm, waterproof jacket should be one of the very first items that you think to pack. Avoid choosing a bulky jacket that takes up a lot of space. This can make you feel uncomfortable when you have layers underneath. Instead, opt for a lightweight, trench raincoat that will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable. 
  • Hat: Science tells us that we lose up to 10% of our body heat through our heads, meaning that it’s essential to keep this area warm. A knitted beanie is a perfect solution for keeping the warmth in while you venture out.  A hat will keep you toasty warm whether you’re on the slopes, sipping coffee, or exploring the sights. 
  • Gloves: Have you ever tried to use your phone with frozen fingers? It’s a nearly impossible task. A pair of gloves can do wonders for your mobility, dexterity, and comfort. This makes it one of the most important items on your Switzerland packing list. When selecting your options, it’s worth investing in a pair that can dry quickly and are touch-screen compatible.
  • Scarf Or Turtleneck: A warm scarf and/or turtleneck sweater are key items for keeping your neck covered. Not only do these items keep you warm, but they also prevent you from getting ill (and thereby ruining the fun). A turtleneck sweater is perfect as a garment to wear underneath your jacket, while the scarf can be removed easily. 
  • Leggings: There’s a reason that almost every woman owns a pair of leggings. They are both comfortable and snug. Leggings are an essential item to pack as you can dress them up or down. You can even wear them underneath your denims as an extra layer of warmth. 
  • Socks: When it comes to packing socks for your Switzerland trip – the thicker the better. Chances are that you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors in the snow, and you’ll want your feet to be warm and cozy. If you plan on hitting the slopes at any stage, then you’ll want your socks to be extra-thick or padded for increased comfort. 
  • Thermals: A quality set of thermals is your key to enjoying the winter weather in Switzerland. They provide the extra layer of heat that will allow you to spend an extra hour on the slopes, or to pack fewer items on your road trip instead of excess clothing.
  • Comfortable Walking Shoes: If you can only pack one pair of shoes, then make sure that they are a trusty pair of waterproof snowshoes. You’ll want your shoes to be as versatile as possible. Snowshoes allow you to enjoy a variety of activities while keeping your feet warm and dry. 
Verbier in Switzerland in the winter

WInter Sport Clothes to Pack

One of the best top reasons to visit e.g. Switzerland during the winter months is winter sports opportunities. While most ski resorts will offer rental equipment, there are a few essentials to pack for yourself. 

  • Ski Jacket: When choosing the perfect ski jacket, you need to consider warmth, level of waterproofing, and freedom of movement. A jacket that is adjustable in fit seals effectively and dries quickly is the perfect apparel for snowboarding, skiing, and other winter outdoor sports.
  • Ski Pants: A trusty pair of insulated ski pants are the next essential item for all winter sports fans. Make sure that your choice of pants is breathable, warm, and waterproof. These details will keep you dry, warm, and comfortable on the slopes.  
  • Winter Protection: There are a few items that will make your winter vacation all the more comfortable. The last thing you want is to be soaked on your first day or get a migraine from snow blindness. 
  • Umbrella: Regardless of what time of year you visit Switzerland, it’s always a smart move to pack a foldable umbrella. The nifty item doesn’t take up too much space. It can be the difference between a stroll in the city streets and getting caught in a flu-inspired downpour. 
  • Chapstick: Visiting Switzerland in winter will most likely find you spending hours of fun on the snow-covered slopes. This can quickly dry out your lips and burn your skin. In this instance, you’re going to be grateful that you’ve packed your moisturizing stick of Chapstick. 
  • Sunglasses: The best days on the slopes are the ones accompanied by clear, sunny skies and good conditions. These circumstances also increase the sun’s glare on the white snow, making it close to unbearable on your eyes. A pair of polarized sunglasses or ski goggles can protect your eyes from the wind and bright light.

CONCLUSION: WHAT TO PACK FOR EUROPE IN WINTER

Europe in winter is a fantastic travel destination. Whether you come for a ski trip in Switzerland, explore the Christmas markets in London or want to have a weekend trip to a warmer place like Valencia – Europe is so diverse and has something for every taste.

Just be aware of what to pack for Europe in winter, and you can enjoy a fantastic time in Europe.

Stay safe and enjoy!

Safe Travels, Arzo

Italy or Croatia? Which Place is Better to Visit?

Italy or Croatia, which is the better country to visit?

WHERE TO GO? CROATIA VS ITALY

Europe is rich in stunning countries. And two amazing places are Italy and Croatia. But which country is the better travel destination – Italy or Croatia?

While finding the perfect travel destination depends a lot on personal choices, there are a few parameters that might help you to find out if you should travel to Italy or Croatia.

Comparing countries is difficult and personal – this is supposed to be a post helping you to find the better destination to travel to. But it is not based on facts, but more based on my experiences and my impressions. So, you might disagree and have a different opinion, but this is for the readers who need some help when they are totally unsure about what to expect.

Spoiler: I think both countries are great and eventually you should visit Croatia and Italy. 

But of course, it is not always possible to visit both countries in a short period of time and so I have compiled a list. This list should help you in your decision-making process and finding out whether Croatia or Italy is the best to visit for you at the moment.

Maybe you agree, or maybe you disagree – however, these are not facts but just my opinion.

So, without further ado, here are the arguments for or against Italy/Croatia.

Better Place For History Nerds – Italy Vs Croatia

Italy and Croatia both have a long history and buildings that tell a lot about the past. Both countries impress with medieval towns and sights. Dubrovnik views from the city wallIn Croatia, we have Dubrovnik with its medieval walls (that are still very-well maintained), Split, Sibenik, Pula, and more perfect places for anyone – not just the history geeks.

However, Italy takes the cake here. Rome alone has so much to offer for history fans – hardly any other city in Europe can compete. Just think of the ColosseumFlorence Michelangelo David StatueThen we have the birthplace of the Renaissance – Florence. And let’s not forget all the small old towns that you can find in almost any town and city in Italy. 

Italy does not only win against Croatia but would win this category against most countries, so the winner is clear here!

ITALY 1: 0 CROATIA

Is Italy Or Croatia Better For Road Tripping

Which country is better for road trip? Italy or Croatia? My winner is clear: Croatia is the better place to road trip. At least, it is the more relaxed place to road trip. You may know that I drive regularly in Italy, but I am always anxious as heck – driving in Italy stresses me out (and also other non-Italians I have spoken to).Best places to visit in the Dolomites The thing with driving in Italy is: The views are often scenic – depending, of course, on where you drive, but especially in the mountainous northern part of Italy, where the window views are amazing.

However, if you use the highways in Italy, you have to pay. A lot. The tolls are extremely high. But if you use the side streets, it will take you forever to get from one place to another.

Then, you have the crazy Italian driving style. I‘ll try to say it nicely – drivers in Italy are not very considerate. They tailgate (but somehow often don’t want to overtake), honk their horns whenever they feel like it, speed down narrow streets, and so on. 

Yes, I love Italy and Italians, but driving in Italy has been – so far – not a thing I truly enjoy. In addition to this, cars without a special permit often cannot drive into town centers.

However, many people regularly report that the GPS does not warn them, and it can easily happen that you drive there and receive a high fine (ask me, Bergamo charged me 70€).  Of course, it was my fault. With all the stress that already comes with driving in Italy, this is an unnecessary extra problem.

Driving in Croatia, on the other hand, is like a dream come true. Yes, tolls on the highways are extremely high. D8 street in Croatia when road trippingEven higher than in Italy, BUT there are many, even more, scenic routes that you can drive for free. You can avoid paying toll highways most of the time – even if you drive from Rovinj to Dubrovnik, you can basically – and easily – drive without using highways. And I promise the roads and views are amazing.

Streets are mostly not narrow, but mostly wide enough – even the mountain roads. And streets, apart from cities and busy towns, are not busy, making driving in Croatia a lot of fun. 

Also, the drivers in Croatia are completely different from the drivers in Italy.

They are much more considerate and patient. Yes, I love driving in Croatia – actually, the Croatia road trip has been one of my favorite trips so far (probably even better than driving in Switzerland with its amazing mountain roads).

ITALY 1: 1 CROATIA

Which Country is Cheaper? Italy Vs Croatia

Croatia and Italy are both NOT budget-friendly destinations, in general. 

Croatia is no longer a hidden gem with great prices – but most countries aren’t the most expensive travel destinations in Europe either.Fort Lovrijenac in DubrovnikIf you visit in the summer months, both places will be expensive – you have pricey Dubrovnik (very pricey Dubrovnik actually) and Hvar in Croatia and many expensive places in Italy like Florence, Lake Como, Rome… (I could go on forever.)Tourists places in Rome in two daysSo, in general, visiting either of the countries in July or August is not the best idea for your budget – but even though Croatia is not a cheap destination, overall, I would definitely say it is still cheaper than Italy in terms of accommodations, food, and activities.

If you are budget-conscious, then Croatia is probably the better place to visit, though prices increase with the more visitors the country gets.

ITALY 1: 2 CROATIA

Traveling With Dogs in Italy Or Croatia

If you are a dog owner, you might be wondering whether Italy or Croatia is more dog-friendly.Lago di Braies in the DolomitesWe have a clear winner: Italy is probably the most dog-friendly country in Europe (along with San Marino). 

This comes from two things: my dog loves Italy, and the people in Italy love my dog. It is such a tight bond that they have created in the last few years.

So, why is Italy so dog-friendly? First of all, quite a lot of accommodations allow dogs.  Sure, not all do, but compared to many other countries in Europe, dogs are often welcomed – and many times, without an extra charge.

Second, Italians show a lot of affection for dogs (at least to smaller dogs). My dog, Puppygak, makes friends daily. He normally is not the friendliest dog, but Italians talk to him in such a beautiful voice (and Italian is such a sweet language that dogs like it generally, I assume).

Next, you can take dogs (smaller and medium-sized at least) into many indoor places. Taking dogs into restaurants is quite common in many countries, but in Italy, I was allowed to take my dog into some museums, grocery stores, churches (yes, you have read that right), and other indoor buildings. 

Of course, sometimes dogs were not allowed, and sometimes dogs were only allowed if carried in bags. In popular places like Pisa and Florence, dogs were not allowed at the main attractions at all. But in the end, no other country has been as dog-friendly as Italy.

What about Croatia? Well, Croatia is not really dog-unfriendly, but it is also not really dog-friendly. If you filter accommodations on Booking that allow dogs, you will realize that a lower percentage than in Italy allows dogs. And thus, that leaves you with a smaller choice of accommodations.Traveling in Croatia with a dog Also, dogs are not allowed in most buildings – I was even kicked out of a bus in Dubrovnik because of my dog.

I did not even check if dogs were allowed because I assumed it would be fine (especially because he was carried in a little bag).

On the other hand, he was allowed on boats in Dubrovnik and Rovinj.

So, I would not say Croatia is very dog-unfriendly, but Italy is the best place to visit in Italy with a dog.

ITALY 2: 2 CROATIA

Are the People in Croatia or Italy Friendlier?

There is no clear winner, and it is a close call, though I would probably say that Italians might win by a hair. 

My experiences with Italians have been pretty positive – although Italians often vote for right-wing parties. And I have heard from some other visitors, especially colored people, that they experienced some blunt racism even when they visited for only a few days.

Luckily, I haven’t experienced anything like that. Yes, I do look Italian, but people quickly realize I am a foreigner – due to my lack of language skills. But I love how friendly the people are – yes, Italian men are very flirty, but even the women are amicable.

What about Croatians? Croatians are friendly, too – but somehow, they seem more reserved, and younger women, in particular, were not as friendly.

As for language, Croatians often speak better English (and many even speak some German,) but even communicating with Italians wasn’t a big issue. So, for me, Italians are the friendlier ones – but I sometimes wonder if the people are so overly friendly in Italy just because they really like my dog?! 

I don’t know, and I have heard other opinions, so my tip is to be open-minded in this category.

ITALY 3: 2 CROATIA

Where Are Better Mountains and Lakes? Croatia or Italy

To be more precise, the Dolomites in northern Italy, South Tyrol, is one of the most stunning outdoor places in Europe, if not the world.Best lakes to visit in the Dolomites, Italy

Stunning lakes, like Lago di Braies and Lago di Carezza or Lago di Sorapis, and the uniquely shaped mountain range of the Dolomites, make Nort Italy one of the most distinctive unique areas in the world. This alone is reason enough to declare Italy, the winner for mountain and lake lovers. 

Yes, Croatia is mountainous, too. Driving in the mountains in Croatia is fun, and the views are beautiful, too.Dubrovnik old town view Srd HillBut the Dolomites win the race and bring the trophy home for all of Italy.

ITALY 4: 2 CROATIA

Is The Weather in Croatia Or Italy Better

Both countries have a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and colder (and wetter) winter months. So, both are great for beach vacations in summer and perfect for sightseeing in spring and fall. And in winter, you can do some winter sports – at least in some areas of both countries.

It gets freezing in northern Italy in the winter months, and it is a perfect place for winter sports – but you can do winter sports in Croatia, too.

There is no winner in this category.

ITALY 5: 3 CROATIA

Where Are Better Waterfalls – Italy Vs Croatia

Italy is known for many things, and though there are some waterfalls in Italy, it surely is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Italy.Plitvice Lake in CroatiaOne of the first attractions that come to mind when talking about Croatia, though, is the Plitvice National Park with its many, many waterfalls.

Then there is the Krka National Park with even more waterfalls – so, if you chase amazing waterfalls, then Croatia is the place to go.

ITALY 5: 4 CROATIA

Best Fashion Country – Italy or Croatia

Are you a shopping addict? Then head to Italy – Italy is the fashion capital of Europe.  Especially around Milan, people are just extremely beautifully dressed, and in general, Italians are the best-dressed people. 

It does not surprise that many famous fashion designers, like Armani, are Italian.

If you are a shopping addict, and especially into fashion, Italy is the better place to visit.

ITALY 6: 3 CROATIA

Where to Party – in Italy Or Croatia?

This is another category that I personally cannot really judge first-hand. Given the many big cities, I assume Italians have a lot of parties taking place. However, it seems that visitors love Croatia as a party destination. Think about the Yacht Weeks and Hvar – the party island. Younger people who like to party tend to flock to Croatia!

ITALY 6: 4 CROATIA

Are the Beaches in Italy Better or in Croatia

Are you looking for a relaxed and still fun beach holiday? Okay, I am not the expert here as I am not the biggest beach person – but both Italy and Croatia have beautiful beaches.

Due to their locations, both countries have many beaches, and it will never take too long to find a beach. You can even combine a city trip with some days at the beach. But there are differences. Beach in Croatia, road trip in Croatia

Many of Croatia‘s beaches are rocky or pebbly beaches – which is not to everyone’s taste. The water is clear and stunning, but it really comes down to whether you like sandy beaches or not.

There are definitely enough beaches to choose from, and if you really want to find a sandy beach, you can find those, too. Beaches in Italy are also stunning – not all beaches are sandy here, either, but you can find more of them.

So, both places are great for a beach vacation, and I cannot really name a winner.

ITALY 7: 5 CROATIA

Is Food in Croatia as Good as in Italy?

If asked for one of the world’s best foods, many would probably name Italy in their top 3.Vegetarian food in Italy-2

Italy has some amazing food – pizza and pasta are just some of the delicious food options. Let’s not forget about antipasto and gelato.

Yes, food in Italy is great, and I don’t know anyone who seriously dislikes Italian food. There are, however, some big differences between southern and northern Italian food (I am more into southern Italian food, with its vegetables).

BUT Croatia is actually also known for good food – seafood and meat lovers especially are in heaven in Croatia. The food here is heavier though not bad. You can find international dishes (like the Indian food in the picture), but that is not typical Croatian food.Vegan food in Dubrovnik

Though I do not eat any seafood or meat, I did have some great dinners there, and Croatia for sure did not disappoint.

However, given the overall reputation of food in both countries, Italy wins here.

ITALY 8: 5 CROATIA

Where is the better Wine – in Croatia or Italy

So, for many, this might be another important aspect. Where do you get better wine? This is another category I am no expert in, but think of Tuscany!Wine tasting at Ruffinio Relais Tuscany estate

Besides the green rolling hills, it is all about wine – what wine lover does not dream of visiting Italy and trying all the different wines? The biggest wine producer in Italy has also opened its own relais – perfect for anyone who wants to combine a vacation with wine tasting!

Yes, Croatia also has a long history of wine production. If you drive through Croatia, you will find many vineyards along the way – but when competing against Italy, Croatia gets the short end of the stick.

ITALY 9: 5 CROATIA

Where to Go? Croatia or Italy?

This comparison is totally based on my own judgment. Of course, I tried to back it up here and there with facts, BUT please do not take it too personally. 

It should help you find the perfect destination – we are all different and are all looking for different things when traveling. Both share a lot of similarities, but also some differences.

I do like both countries and have enjoyed my time there. But of course, it is not only we humans that are different but also our countries. Maybe you agree, or maybe you disagree and have had different experiences. Either way, don’t take my opinion for fact, though I try to be as honest as I can be!Safe Travels, Arzo

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