Croatia Week: Itinerary

I’ve planned a sample 7-day trip to Croatia to help guide you through planning your own trip to Croatia. I’ve based it on the Must-Sees I mentioned for the cities and countryside of Croatia and tomorrow I’ll provide you with some helpful tips on how to survive during your travels and how to adapt this for a shorter trip.

This trip plan assumes you’ll take care of transport into Zagreb and out of Dubrovnik. All the information I’m giving you is just a suggestion; you’ll need to confirm current hours, prices, and adapt the plans to your own tastes and schedule. But if you’re ready, here’s one way to visit Croatia.

Upper Town
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Day 1: Zagreb

Start the day walking through the Museum of Broken Relationships. It opens at 9 AM and should take you a little less than an hour to make it through.

Head over to Lotrscak Tower and make sure you’re there at noon for the cannon that shoots off. Synchronize your watch to the cannon’s blast!

Eat some Lunch over at Stari Fijaker, a traditional Croatian restaurant. Walk off your lunch by walking around the town and check into your Hotel, Hotel International. Rest up or explore some more.

Dinner will be at Pingvin, a sandwich shop famous for its create-your-own style creations and fried chicken sandwich.


Pula's Arena (Istria-Croatia)
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Day 2: Pula

Lots of driving today! Drive 3.5 hours from Zagreb to Pula. Depending on how early you got up, you might want to stop for lunch at the 2 hour mark in Rijeka (famous for their seafood) or wait until you arrive in Pula. It’s up to you.

In Pula, visit the 2000 year old gladiator Arena. You’ll also want to walk the historic town and search out Roman artifacts.

Eat Dinner at Konoba Istriana, a popular spot with the locals that specializes in Mediterranean dishes with an Austrian influence. Lots of raves for the truffles, potatoes, fish, ham, and even the octopus!

Rest up at Hotel Histria, a seacoast hotel with saltwater pools and a nearby beach.


Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
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Day 3: Plitvice Lakes National Park

Ready for some more driving? Drive 4 hours from Pula to Plitvice Lakes National Park. Stop for food along the way and be spontaneous, you really never know what amazing tiny town will have the best food.

When you get close to the National Park, check into your hotel early. You’ll be staying Hotel Plitvice, one of the parks on-site resorts. One of the benefits of this is that you only have to buy a daily pass and the front desk can change the date around for you for your second day in the park with no additional charge.

Head to Plitvice Lakes National Park and take Trail B (Entrance 1). It takes around 3-4 hours to complete and the park closes at 8 PM so start before 4 PM and you’ll be fine. You’ll explore the Lower Lakes, take a boat across Lake Kozjak, ride a panoramic train, and see the popular Veliki slap.

Return to your hotel and eat Dinner at their on-site restaurant and rest up for another hike in the morning.


Greeting to the Sun - 30 seconds
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Day 4: Plitvice Lakes National Park and Zadar

Head back to the park and this time take Trail E (Entrance 2). You’ll get the chance to explore the Upper Lakes as well as several waterfalls. This trail will take you 2-3 hours to complete and you’ll want to get there early to beat tour buses. The park opens at 7 AM and is usually overrun by 11 AM so use your judgment.

Grab some Lunch at Lička kuća before leaving town. They serve regional Lika foods that are influenced by the old ways of Yugoslavia.

Drive 2 hours to Zadar. Check into Hotel Kolovare, a relaxing spot with a beach just a 10-minute walk from the historic town.

When you feel rested up, walk into town and check out the Sea Organ. Listen to its tune and walk around the town. Visit the Church of St. Donat. It’s closed for lunch from 2-4 PM and closes for the day at 6 PM so sneak in between 4 and 6.

When you get hungry, head to Kornat for Dinner. You’ll be served typical Dalmatian coastal foods including steak and seafood with beautiful presentation. You can make reservations on their website. After dinner, walk back towards the sea organ and check out the show at the Sun Salutation.


Trg Republike
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Day 5: Split

Wake up and drive 2 hours from Zadar to Split. Visit the Cathedral of St. Dominus (open from 8 AM to noon and 4 PM to 7:30 PM in the high season so watch your timing on this one). You’ll want to grab some Lunch at Pizzeria Galija, a pizza place famous just as much for their pizza as their black beer.

After lunch, head to Diocletian’s Palace. As I mentioned earlier this week, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site from the 4th century.

Check into your hotel, the Kaleta Apartments. It’s a little hard to find so don’t hesitate to call the owners and ask them to guide you. The owners are reportedly friendly and helpful and the rooms come with a minifridge but they accept cash only. Just use a nearby ATM and pay in Kuna, Euros, or the American dollar.

Take some time to relax. Head to the beach, walk the city, sunbathe, or even explore some nearby markets. You’ll want to pick up some breakfast to store in the minifridge for the next day’s early start.

Dinner will be at Konoba Marjan, a place just west of town (again, just ask anyone in town if you need help finding it). If you like fish, split the fish platter for 2 with someone special.


Split Pier
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Day 6: Ferry

Today you’ll be getting up really early to catch the Jadrolinija Ferry. If you want to reserve a spot, consider doing it at a local office during your free time on Day 5. The ferry only departs on specific days (usually Tuesday and Saturday but check the schedule) so you’ll want to plan your trip’s start date around this ferry ride.

The ferry departs Split at 7:30 AM and boards for 2 hours before that. You’ll make brief stops along the way in Hvar, Korcula, and Mljet. You’ll eat Lunch on-board the ferry. The ride can last between 9 and 11 hours so consider getting a small cabin for not much more money to have a place to freshen up and store your luggage.

You’ll arrive in Dubrovnik sometime around 6:30 PM. Splurge in this city and get the hotel that overlooks the harbor since Dubrovnik is known for being a port city. We suggest Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik, a hotel with a private beach and saltwater pools. You’ll stay 2 nights in your chosen hotel.

Grab some Dinner in town at Oliva Gourmet and rest up for the evening. Check out the pool and enjoy your amazing hotel.


Dubrovnik Old Town
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Day 7: Dubrovnik

One last day of being an early bird. Get up and head to the City Walls. This is the most popular place in the city so be here at the opening time of 8 AM or hold off till the crowds die down again after 4 PM. You’ll spend around 2 hours following these walls.

Enjoy Lunch at Kormada, a seafood place that overlooks some beautiful views. I was inspired for this spot by the Essence of Dubrovnik’s own lunch there.

After lunch, walk off the food in Old Town Dubrovnik. Enjoy some swimming at your hotel’s beach (I hear there’s a secret beach that Rick Steves can guide you to as well). Dinner tonight will be at Storia, an Italian restaurant. Make sure to try their gnocchi!



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Author:julie

I'm Julie, I love to travel, I'm very hyper and I like to "hype" things and from that, TravelHyper was born. I'm a Missouri native and I cover St. Louis travel ideas as well as my own travels. I also like to focus on places I want to visit and budget travel ideas by creating trip plans. There's so much world out there and I hope you'll find that it's worth seeing and that vacation doesn't have to be out of reach to you.

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  • http://www.marsbands.com Mars

    I had to zoom out a lot on the map just to find out where Croatia was.  I will look for a band from there.

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  • Daryl

    Hi Julie, based our 7 days in Croatia around your suggested itinerary with a few suggestions from friends and other research from the web. I am writing from the last stop at Bellevue Hotel. This has been brilliant, thanks so much. I commend this to others who are trying Croatia from the first time or who want to cover a lot in a short time. Cheers Daryl & Anne … Australia

  • Stoffel098

    Hey Julie, I have a question regarding the ferry; we are going to Croatia this summer and really want to do the ferry, however we can’t seen to be finding a direct connection Split-Dubrovnik. Do you know why that might be?