I am travelling to Croatia for a business meeting/conference in Zagreb September 18-23 and only have a few days prior to the conference for personal travel. I arrive on the morning of September 15 and then need to be in Zagreb on September 18. I am considering two possibilities - either renting a car when I arrive at the Zagreb Airport and spending two nights in the Plitvice Lakes National Park area OR taking a flight in the afternoon to Dubrovnik and spending two nights there and flying back to Zagreb from Dubrovnik on Saturday evening, September 17. I know they are very different experiences but wonder which folks who have been to both would recommend? My time is obviously limited and I am sort of thinking that after the long flight from the US, staying closer to Zagreb by going to Plitvice might be better in terms of logistics, but then who knows when I will ever get back to Croatia again and see Rick's top sight in Croatia (i.e. Dubrovnik). I welcome all thoughts - thanks!
Magnificent natural beauty versus a beautiful city. Choose one.
I visited both in May. Both are great. I guess if I could only see one, and "who knows when I will ever get back to Croatia again" I might go ahead and fly to Dubrovnik. Maybe sitting on one more flight would be less intense than doing the drive alone and Dubrovnik is a great place to visit. Don't get me wrong, so is Plitvice, but you will have more choice and variety in Dubrovnik, I think. I loved walking the walls and also did a bike tour and a kayak trip while I was there, and still had time to attend a good concert and eat a few meals and visit a few bars. In Plitvice, we walked and took pictures and had dinner at our hotel. It was low-key and nice, but you are not kayaking, swimming, biking, bar hopping etc... No idea what you like to do while traveling, but that's my take.
Plitvice was my #1 reason for visiting Croatia. Your choice depends on what type of traveler you are. I prefer nature and parks to cities and towns. Others want just the opposite. If you like national parks and the outdoors, definitely go to Plitvice. If you're not the outdoors type, go to Dubrovnik.