If a trip to Croatia is on the cards next summer, then you’re in the right place! As experts in all things Croatia, we’ve put together the ultimate 7 day itinerary that packs the best things to see and do into one week…with plenty of local advice thrown in for good measure!
So, what are you waiting for? Check that your passport is in date, book your flights and get planning!Table of contents
- Day 1: Dubrovnik
- Day 2: Dubrovnik
- Day 3: Hvar
- Day 4: Split
- Day 5: Krka National Park
- Day 6: Zadar
- Day 7: Zadar
- When to go to Croatia
- How to get around Croatia
Day 1: Dubrovnik
How to get to Dubrovnik
Kick start your Croatian adventure by flying into Dubrovnik International Airport, located 30 kilometres from Dubrovnik Old Town. Depending on your departure point, Dubrovnik can be reached by plane, train or bus.
Where to Stay in Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is full of boutique hotels, luxury hotels, guest house accommodation, and of course, hostels. Depending on your travel style and budget, there are plenty of accommodation options to choose from.
If budget allows, opt to stay in the Old Town itself and immerse yourself in the beauty of this ancient city. Whilst staying in the Old Town certainly comes with a price tag, it is one of those experiences that you’ll remember for a lifetime!
If you’re looking for more affordable accommodation options, look for hostels and AirBnb’s that are located just outside of the Old Town. Port Gruz is located a short bus ride away from the Old Town, and you’ll often find the accommodation options are slightly more affordable.
What to Do in Dubrovnik
The ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ is best explored across 2 days, as there is so much to see and do!
First things first, get acquainted with the Old Town! Stroll the centuries old main street, or ‘Stradun’ to locals, and explore the many architectural wonders located within this ancient town.
No visit to Dubrovnik is complete without walking around the City Walls. Stretching almost 2 kilometres in length, these fortified walls have protected the city against invasion many times throughout Dubrovnik’s turbulent past, and certainly are a sight to behold.
After all that walking it’s time for an ice cold drink, and the best place to quench your thirst in Dubrovnik is at Buza Bar. Located on the cliffside of the City Walls, Buza Bar serves up drinks with a view, with many locals and tourists sunbathing, swimming and cliff jumping nearby. It’s the perfect location to spend a couple of hours and watch a magical sunset over the Adriatic Sea.
This evening enjoy dinner and drinks at one of the many Dalmatian restaurants scattered throughout the Old Town.
Day 2: Dubrovnik
Today is all about exploring Dubrovnik’s surrounding hidden gems! Depending on where you’re staying, set off on foot, or via public transport to find some of Dubrovnik’s best beaches.
Beaches in Dubrovnik are well known for their sparkling turquoise water and picture-perfect pebbles. Our top tip: head to Banje Beach and Lapad Beach to soak up some of the best beaches in the region!
This afternoon take part in a Game of Thrones walking Tour and visit famous filming locations, or jump on a ferry and head over to the nearby Lokrum Island. After a 15 minute ferry ride you’ll be able to explore the Benedictine Monastery, swim in the ‘dead sea’ and tour the Botanical Gardens located on the island, complete with peacocks we might add!
One back in Dubrovnik Old Town, ride the cable car up Mt Srd for an incredible view of the sun setting across the islands.
Day 3: Hvar
How to get from Dubrovnik to Hvar
This morning take an early ferry from the mainland city of Dubrovnik to the island of Hvar. The ferry journey between these two destinations is approximately 3.5 hours, so make sure you pack a good book!
Transport: Dubrovnik - Hvar Ferry
Duration: 3.5 hours
Where to stay in Hvar
Hvar is a very large island, one of the biggest in Dalmatia in fact, so there are plenty of accommodation options to choose from in each of the tiny towns! If you’ve only got one day to explore the island, we’d recommend booking your accommodation in Hvar Town, placing you within walking distance of most attractions, bars and restaurants.
What to do in Hvar
Once settled into the sunniest island in Croatia, it’s time to go exploring! Visit the largest Town Square in Dalmatia, sitting at a whopping 4,500m2, explore St Stjepans Cathedral and admire the striking gothic architecture, before climbing the Spanjola Fortress for the most incredible views of the Pakleni Islands.
Hvar is famous for its lavender production, which you’ll probably notice thanks to the abundance of lavender themed gifts, jewellery and even flavoured foods found throughout Hvar Town. Our top tip - make sure you don’t leave the island without trying the lavender ice cream!
Hvar Town has something for everyone, so depending on your travel style, your evening may be spent at a waterfront restaurant indulging in Dalmatian delicacies, or at one of the many bars and nightclubs on offer. If you’re looking to watch the sunset with a cocktail in hand, the sounds of a DJ in the distance will lead you to the famous Hula Hula Beach Bar.
Wherever the night takes you, there’s something for everyone in Hvar Town after dark!
Day 4: Split
How to get from Hvar to Split
Rise and shine and take a morning dip in Hvar before heading onto the ferry to Split. High speed ferries operate regularly (up to 18+ times a day in the high season!), and with the fastest ferry taking a speedy 50 minutes, you can see why trips between these two Croatian hotspots are so popular!
Transport: Hvar - Split Ferry
Duration: 1 hour
Where to Stay in Split
You simply can’t beat the Old Town when staying in the seaside city of Split. There are an abundance of architecturally striking AirBnb’s, guest houses and boutique hotels scattered throughout Diocletian's Palace (how often can you say you stayed in a 4th Century palace on your vacation?!) that are the perfect base for exploring Split. The quaint residential areas surrounding Dicoletian’s Palace are also brimming with apartments and guest houses that are within walking distance of the hustle and bustle, so take your pick!
What to do in Split
The number one thing to do when visiting Split is to explore Dicoletian’s Palace. Built by Roman Emperor Dicoletian in the 4th Century, this impressive palace is now known for its sprawling gift shops, galleries, boutiques, restaurants, bars and even local homes. Explore the cobblestone alleys at your leisure and finish up with a coffee on the waterfront Riva, where people watching is the main attraction!
Once you’ve pounded the pavement, it’s time to get out into nature. Head towards Marjian Hill, the large green park overlooking the city that is affectionately known as the ‘Green Lungs’ of Split. Spotting all of those beaches from above will make you want to head straight to the Sea! Our favourite beach in Split is Bacvice, where you can enjoy the shallow waters and even watch locals play a traditional game of Picigin!
This evening head back out into the Old Town and watch the vibe change from day to night. By night the wine bars and specialty restaurants come alive, turning the palace surroundings into a foodie’s paradise. If partying is more your scene, there are plenty of nightclubs and bars to keep you going well into the night!
Day 5: Krka National Park
How to get from Split to Krka National Park
Enjoy a leisurely morning in Split before heading to Krka National Park on a day trip! Krka National Park is one of eight incredible National Parks in Croatia, located just 1.5 hours north of Split. There are plenty of providers running local buses to Krka National Park a couple of times a day. We would recommend booking in advance, as these day trips are often in high demand!
Transport: Split - Krka National Park Bus
Duration: 1.5 hours
What to do in Krka National Park
Krka National Park offers visitors tranquil park grounds, impeccable walking trails, native flora and fauna, lakes, and of course, the chance to get up close and personal with Roski Slap and Skradinski Buk, two of the impressive waterfalls the National Park is so famous for.
Once you’re back in Split, enjoy your final evening wining and dining at a waterfront restaurant.
Day 6: Zadar
How to get from Split to Zadar
This morning you’ll head to another fantastic waterfront city; Zadar! Hire a car and drive yourself to your next destination or jump on a local bus for the 1.5 hour journey to Zadar.
Transport: Split - Zadar Bus
Duration: 1.5 hours
Where to stay in Zadar
Zadar Old Town sits on an archipelago, making it a great place to stay if you’re hoping to have everything you need within walking distance! If you’ve rented a car, or have mastered the local public transport system, there are also plenty of quaint accommodation options located in the nearby coastal towns of Bibinje and Nin.
What to do in Zadar
Zadar is well known for its famous sunsets and incredible art installations. This bustling cosmopolitan destination has everything you need for a relaxing seaside vacation.
The Old Town offers something for everyone, with impressive fortified walls, hip wine bars and art installations that will make you scratch your head in wonder. But what to do with only one day in the city?
First things first, enjoy strolling around Venetian Zadar. This impressive city is drenched in Venetian architecture and history, making for an interesting and eye opening stroll.
As the afternoon dwindles away, it’s time to head to the waterfront promenade and take your place for the main event - the sunset! Alfred Hitchcock once referred to the sunset in Zadar as one of the most beautiful in the world, and it’s not hard to see why!
Enjoy watching the sun set over the water as the famous Sea Organ plays unique melodies nearby. The force of the wind and the waves creates a symphony of sound through the marble pipes, similar to a harmonica, creating an impressive and haunting sound that is difficult to forget.
After dark, enjoy the light installation that is perched on the southernmost point of the promenade, the Sun Salutation. This impressive installation of solar panels harnesses the power of the sun by day, and by night, creates a lightshow that matches the very hues the sunset is so famous for - impressive huh!
For your final evening in Croatia, treat yourself to a Dalmatian meal and one of Zadar’s signature drinks, the Maraska!
Day 7: Zadar
Fly out of Zadar International Airport, located a short 13 kilometres from the city centre.
When to go to Croatia
Whether you’re chasing the sun, or looking for a family vacation during your winter break, Croatia is impressive all year ‘round! Depending on your travel style, you’ll be able to find a season for every type of traveller.
The Best Times to Travel For:
Active Travellers: April & May, September & October
Sun Chasers: July & August
Families with Kids: April - June, September & October
Winter Lovers: December - March
Learn more about the weather in Croatia and decide when is the best time to plan your vacation.
How to get around Croatia
Croatia is well connected, offering plenty of efficient and affordable transport solutions to tourists.
Local buses connect most major cities and even smaller towns with regular bus schedules. Busses are generally modern, comfortable and are an affordable way for locals and tourists to transit around the country.
High speed catamarans, ferries and even car ferries (that can accommodate cars and scooters) operate throughout the Croatian coastline, connecting mainland destinations with nearby islands. With multiple departures running each day in the high season, travelling by ferry is a safe, efficient and often fun way to get around.
By Hire Car
Croatia has a great network of roads and motorways that are well maintained, allowing tourists to easily hire a car and explore at their leisure. Learn more about driving in Croatia in our handy guide.
7 days is the perfect amount of time to explore one region of Croatia. Croatia is a relatively large country, with many different regions that appeal to different travellers, so we would recommend at least 1 week per region for the best Dalmatian experience.
Split and Dubrovnik are both incredible Croatian destinations, and if you have the time, we’d recommend visiting them both! Both cities have international airports, incredible Old Town fortifications, great beaches and plenty to see and do.
This will heavily depend on the type of vacation you’re planning! Learn more about the weather in Croatia and decide when is the best time to plan your holiday.
Croatia is well connected with local bus and ferry services, allowing travellers to travel around the mainland and islands efficiently! Alternatively, join an organised small ship cruise for the ultimate hassle-free Croatian vacation.
Thanks to the well connected public transport system in most major cities and tourist hubs, it is not necessary to hire a car, and most tourists rely on local ferries and buses to get around.
Croatia currently uses the Croatian Kuna, with plans to adopt the Euro in January 2023. Most restaurants, bars and tourist attractions will accept credit card and cash payments.