Hey, guys! I am planning a trip for two weeks from Zagreb to Dubrovnik through all attractions i think i found. Question: what's better, stop at every town for 1 or two days; or rent a place in two spots? One close to Istria and and another around Makarska, and drive from those places to Plitvice, Zadar, Trogir, Split, Dubrovnik and etc.?
Croatia is about the size of Illinois, but it's long and skinny, so distances are long, plus most of the highways are toll roads and gas is not cheap. I think at minimum you should select four places to stay. If you don't plan on visiting any of the islands, you could do something like this:
3 nights Zagreb
3 nights Rovinj
1 night Plitvice
3 nights Trogir (day trips to Zadar and Split)
3 nights Dubrovnik
A lot of variants are possible, but this would allow you to do justice to all the places you mentioned.
Thank you, Lane. You think for Split one day is enough?
Of all the locations in Croatia, I think Split gets the most diverse reviews. Some people love it and want to spend a few days there, others feel it's not worth more than half a day.
Personally, I did about a half day there, and it was just about enough. I am a fan of the sculptor Ivan Meštrović, and sadly I did not find time to make it to the Meštrović gallery there (I would have if I knew my ferry to Hvar was going to run an hour late), but otherwise I feel I had plenty of time to explore the area around Diocletian's Palace. I think visiting Split as a day trip from Trogir is more than adequate.
Lane, do you like Zagreb?
Two bases are not enough due to the distances involved, so you'll need to pick several overnight stays.
I'm one of the people who really liked Split and thinks it deserves a leisurely 2 full days (with extra day for Trogir). It's also a great launching point for the islands which could be done as a day trip or over several days. Split and Trogir are so close together, there is no need to stay in both. You can do Trogir as a day trip from Split, or the other way around.
One of my favorite places was the island of Korcula and the beautiful Peljesac peninsula which included two small towns on the way: Ston and Mali Ston. Also, are you interested in any other parks than Plitvice? There's Krka and Mljet, among others.
I did not visit Zagreb. I flew into Zagreb, rented a car at the airport, and immediately drove to Ljubljana and spent the first five nights of my 3-week trip in Slovenia.
Also, I spent two nights each on Hvar and Korcula, so I didn't need to use Split as a base to visit the islands, just as a point of departure.
I spent 2 nights in Zagreb on one of my trips. I liked it very much. It's certainly not a powerhouse city like Paris or London. It's way more low-key. There were not tons of tourists there but that was part of its charm. It has a nice main square and lots of pedestrian strolling. It has an enormous number of street markets...more than in most cities I can think of...possibly because they are close together and so you stroll from one to the next easily. It has a very fun cafe culture...I cannot adequately describe the sea of outdoor cafe tables.
I'm sure people will weigh in here that it's not their favorite city but there was plenty to keep me busy for a day and I was happy I visited.
Thanks guys. I am gonna use, for sure, all your advice and opinions to plan my trip. What Krka and Mljet are famous for?
What Krka and Mljet are famous for?
Just pure natural beauty and nice places to hike around
That's what I am looking for. Thanks
I'd skip Zagreb. Been there and felt it was like a lesser version of Vienna. The coast is where Croatia shines - it is my favorite part of Europe. Spend as long as possible on the coast. I would also add that I love Split. Fascinating history, water, great food. Here's what I would do with two weeks in Croatia:
Zagreb - 1 night to recover
Zagreb to Porec to explore Istria for 3 nights (Motovun, Porec, Rovinj are the highlights)
Porec to Plitvice - 2 nights
Plitvice to Split - 3 nights (Trogir, Sibenik, Zadar)
Split to Korcula via ferry - 3 nights
Korcula to Dubrovnik - 2 nights
This is more moving around than I normally do, but if you have a car, you can do it. My style would be one week in an Istrian village in a villa rental and then one week on Brac, but that's me.
Thanks, Emily. I like it. You guys all gave a lot to think about. And that is really great.
Even if Zagreb is someone's "lesser version of _____(fill in city)", does that mean it's not worthwhile to see? I try to steer from comparing one city to another in a ranking type way (especially cities that are not even of the same size or scale) because each has something to offer, so why not enjoy something for whatever it's worth in its own right? It's good to see a country's cities as well as landscapes or smaller towns, so if you're already flying into Zagreb, why not check it out? (you can always leave earlier or do a side trip one day). I would see Zagreb just for the Naive Art Museum (obviously if that's not something you're into, then skip it, but it's unique).
I do agree that the coastline, islands, and natural parks are really incredible and luckily you'll get to see these as well.
Also unique to Zagreb - The Museum of Broken Relationships. An entire museum related to the detritus of failed relationships. Totally fun to visit. https://brokenships.com