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What cities would be the best two home base locations?

My husband and I are planning a two week trip to Croatia and will rent an apartment. We're not much on parks and "nature" so hiking and nature trails are not a must have. We will be renting a car to take day trips.

I would appreciate any advise that anyone has to offer...I don't know very much about this country and I am at a loss as to where to start.

Thanks everyone!

Posted by
1985 posts

Dubrovnik is absolutely beautiful. You will likely get some comments here that's really overrun by tourists and very crowded - and it can be, depending when you go. We were there in late September and it was fine with me. It's a beautiful little city. As for day trips from there - we did two - one to Mostar in Bosnia and one to Montenegro to the Bay of Kotor and some other spots. We did not drive ourselves though and I would check with a rental car agency to make sure you can take a care from Croatia into other countries.

Posted by
6772 posts

If you don't know very much about Croatia, start with a book (Rough Guide, Lonely Planet, etc) and the Croatia travel website ( That seems like a good first step to see what's out there and to decide what sites/areas/attractions interest you most. Once you have your top interests laid out geographically on a map and can work out travel distances between them, it's fairly straightforward to pick two bases. Given the very limited info you provided and without knowing your top interests, I would hesitate to "throw out" two random bases that may or may not work for you. My only advice would be to try not to cover too much - lengthwise from north to south, Croatia is a lot bigger than it seems at first glance and has distinct regions. A lot of people try to see everything and it's impossible, even with two weeks.

Posted by
2080 posts

A guide book would be the place to start. What made you choose Croatia to begin with? Other than avoiding "nature" (one of Croatia's main appeals), what are you interested in seeing and doing?
Two major considerations: 1) what month? and 2) what airports are you likely to fly into? I would check open jaw options for Zagreb, Zadar, Pula, Split, and Dubrovnik.

Posted by
334 posts

Typically, travelers will either go to northern Croatia or southern Croatia. Because of the odd shape of the country, it is easier to pair a northern Croatia trip with Slovenia or the edge of Italy while a southern Croatia trip is paired with nearby Bosnia and Montenegro.

If I were you doing initial research, I would start with trying to figure out which part of the country holds a greater interest. In particular, research Pula/Istria, Zagreb, and Ljubljana for a northern trip and Split, Dubrovnik, Mostar, and Kotor for a southern trip. Also, there are islands you can visit in both a northern or southern trip.

Posted by
2506 posts

You don't know much about Croatia but you are booking a two week trip? You don't like nature or hiking which is a huge draw there (check out Plitvice National Park).? I would learn much more about this country before firming up your plans.

Posted by
5037 posts

When do you propose to visit?

You have said what you don't want, but not what you do want from your visit. Why Croatia if you don't like nature?

Where do you fly into?

It sounds as though Istria may appeal with its old hill towns - you need at least a week for this area. Where after that depends on your interests. Split? A day trip to an island, Split itself, Trogir etc.

Posted by
19464 posts

Zadar has a very nice historic district with a couple of contemporary monuments along the shore. It's a good stopover between Istria and Split (or Zagreb and Split).

I suspect even nature-haters would enjoy the Plitvice Lakes National Park if they had no significant mobility issues and could manage to see it when it wasn't overrun, so I'll just mention that consideration. The trick is to spend the night before the visit very near the park so you can get there very early and have some time before the day-trippers arrive. For non-outdoorsy people it would definitely be a disappointing destination when mobbed.

I like Zagreb a lot, too. It has a very interesting (partly hilly) historic district, plus quite a lot of good museums, mostly in an area near the historic district. Just ignore the sprawling modern city.

As someone else mentioned, Ljubljana, Slovenia can be combined with a trip to northern Croatia. Ljubljana is very nice, with the old town built along the banks of a small river. There's interesting architecture and some worthwhile museums. It has quite a different feel from Zagreb and is smaller.

Istria is much easier to visit with a car, so I'd take advantage of having a car and include Istria in the trip. Be sure to see some of the historic towns in the interior (like Motovun and Groznjan) as well as the coastal resorts (like Rovinj, Porec and the much smaller Vrsac).

Posted by
2 posts

Hi Everyone,
I would like to thank all of you for taking the time to respond to my question. I appreciate it wholeheartedly!

It's not that we are "nature haters"...we just have already done that in our lives...skiing, camping, etc. Since we live in the Los Angeles, CA area we can partake in any sport, hot or cold at any time of the year. We also travel to Mammoth, Aspen, Banff to enjoy the locations and skiing.

You have all given me such great input and we're weighing all your advise. At this point, however, we might not go to this destination since we would miss art museums...we're also considering Vienna and Prague.

Once again, thank you!

Posted by
19464 posts

Both Zagreb and Ljubljana have worthwhile art museums, though granted they are not substitutes for the Louvre or the Prado. For example, the naïve art museum in Zagreb is wonderful, though quite small. Last year I was fortunate to be in Zagreb while there was a special Rodin exhibition. It was so large that I sort of wondered what had been left behind in Paris, whose Rodin Museum had loaned a lot of the pieces.