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Ultimate 7 days in Croatia Itinerary you should steal!

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We were super excited when we started planning for Croatia. There is SO much to see, and we did TONS of research to find the perfect blend of history, nature and sun & sand. In this 7 days in Croatia Itinerary, we will share our trip, as well as provide you with some insights and tips to plan yours. Or just follow our footsteps!

Glimpses of 7 days in Croatia itinerary
Glimpses of 7 days in Croatia Itinerary

In this Croatia Itinerary 7 days, we will also share details about which cities you should consider visiting for a well-rounded vacation, to experience a li’l bit of everything in the Balkans!  

 Ultimate 7 days in Croatia Itinerary

DayPlaceActivity
Day 1ZagrebArrival
Mirogoj Cemetery
Food Tour
Day 2ZagrebUpper town
Lower town
Sightseeing
Day 3Plitvice LakesDay trip or
transfer to Split
Day 4SplitTravel time
Promenade
Day 5SplitHistoric Split
sightseeing
Day 6DubrovnikTravel time
Beach
Sunset drinks
Day 7DubrovnikOld City sightseeing
GoT tour

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Understanding the country & culture: Croatia Itinerary

Croatia was a part of our larger Balkans exploration. If you are planning to visit the Balkans, without a cruise, starting in Croatia is a good idea. The Balkans comprises of the countries of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia.

St Mark's Church Zagreb
St Mark’s Church Zagreb

To understand Croatia and how it falls within the Balkans and why it is still very different and unique from the rest of the Balkans, it is important to understand its history and demography. 

The Kingdom of Croatia lasted for centuries, from 925 to 1918 (First World War). From the 12th century onwards, it maintained a cordial relationship with the Kingdom of Hungary and later the Habsburg Monarchy. 

Bordered by Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Croatia entered into bitter conflicts between the 15th to 17th centuries. 

7 days in Croatia Itinerary - tosomeplacenew
7 days in Croatia Itinerary – Dubrovnik

Later with the formation of Yugoslavia (union of southern Slavs with Belgrade as its capital), in the mid 20th century, Croatia became a part of this country. 

Croatia declared its independence in 1991 and became a part of the European Union in 2013. 

So, Croatia’s history is very unique. In some ways, it is a young country (as of 1991), with centuries-old tradition and culture. 

Arriving in Croatia: Perfect Croatia Itinerary 7 days

Croatia is located in the southeastern part of Europe, commonly known as the Balkans. Zagreb is the capital city of Croatia, and its international airport – Franjo Tuđman Zagreb Airport is the country’s largest airport. If you are traveling internationally, Zagreb will be your point of entry.

Ban Josip Jelačić Square Zagreb
Ban Josip Jelačić Square Zagreb

Croatia Travel Visa: 

No visa required for EU, Canada or US passport holders. If your passport requires a Schengen Visa, then you have to apply for a multiple visa entry to be allowed into Croatia. 

Croatia, although part of the European Union, is not a part of the Schengen Zone (yet). 

Croatia Currency: 

The official currency is Croatian Kuna, and you can exchange them at the airport, or at the city center area. Many agencies provide currency conversion without commission. 

1 USD = 7.10 HRK/Croatian Kuna 

Day 1 of 7 days in Croatia Itinerary: Arrive and explore Zagreb

Once you arrive in Croatia (Zagreb), spend day one of your itinerary, check into your hotel, ensure you have your money exchanged to HRK, pick up a rental car if you are road tripping, etc. 

Zagreb Tram
Zagreb Tram

Getting to the city center from the Franjo Tuđman Zagreb Airport

Franjo Tuđman Zagreb Airport to the city center is 17 kilometers (10.6 miles) and takes about 25 minutes to arrive (longer with public transportation)

  • Public transport: It takes 1 to 1.50 hours to reach Zagreb city center from the airport. Zagreb Airport bus – ZET 290 – costs about 30-35 kunas (about 5 USD), one way. 
  • Private taxi: The faster option is taking a private taxi to your accommodation/city center. It costs 150-200 kunas (about 22 to 28 USD) one way. 
  • Uber services are available in Zagreb.

For hotels in Zagreb, we highly recommend staying near the center. By doing so, you can easily walk around the city for the 2 days you are here. 

  • Esplanade Hotel: An upscale and posh hotel, situated a few minutes away from the city’s iconic landmarks, the Esplanade Hotel is a treat for luxury travelers. Hotel rooms are clean, with 4 upscale restaurants on-site, and quick access to Jelačić Square and farmers market (lower town). Check out more reviews/prices here
  • International Hotel: Only a few steps away from the heart of the city center is the International Hotel – a mid-range, business style accommodation with many amenities on-site. Very clean hotel rooms with helpful staff. The hotel offers free wifi, has a bar and sauna on site. Check out more hotel reviews here
  • Dolac One Apartments: Located in the heart of the city center and close to many iconic landmarks, the DolacOne Apartment is perfect for both short and long term stays. Rooms are clean, with an attached kitchenette, bathroom, and free wifi. There is a 24-hour restaurant in the building as well. This is an apartment-style hotel (and can be booked via hotels website). Check out hotel prices here

If you are planning to stay away from the city center, and do not have access to a vehicle, we highly recommend getting a Zagreb Card to save money on buses and trams.

For day 1 of your Croatia Itinerary, after checking to your hotel and getting all the nitty-gritty arrangements done, head out for a walk into the old town. 

Zagreb will remind you of the stunning capital cities of Central/Eastern Europe like Prague, Vienna, and Budapest. The old town of Zagreb is hilly – with an upper and lower town – similar to Lisbon. Zagreb has a river – Sava river – which flows through many countries/cities similar to the Danube river, but it doesn’t flow through the city center. 

The city center or old town area is made up of lower and upper towns. The lower town called the Donji Grad is home to 6 squares of Lenuci Horseshoe and Botanical Gardens. It also houses many museums and galleries.

King Tomislav Square at night
King Tomislav Square

King Tomislav Square (Trg Kralja Tomislava) with the Art Pavilion is located in the lower town. This area is perfect for an evening stroll, capturing night time photos or browsing through marketplaces. King Tomislav was the first king of the Kingdom of Croatia. 

The upper town – Gornji Grad – is where you will find some of the iconic landmarks of the city like the Zagreb Cathedral, Croatian Parliament, St Mark’s Church, Museums of Broken Relationship to name a few. 

Zagreb Cathedral at night
Zagreb Cathedral at night

For your first day in the city, consider venturing outside the city center (reserve old town districts for day 2). The Mirogoj Cemetery is a cemetery park, located an easy tram ride from the city center. (15 min tram ride from Kaptol/Upper town to Mirogoj Cemetery).

The cemetery was built in the late 19th century and is filled with Gothic structures and sculptures. The cemetery is a resting place for people from all backgrounds and is a tranquil place for the living, surrounded by greenery and artwork.

The cemetery was designed by the same architect who designed the Zagreb Cathedral, and by paying a visit you can also admire the artwork of various prominent sculptors in Croatia who designed gravestones. 

Cafes at night
Cafes at night

If you are arriving late in the evening, and do not wish to venture out, consider joining a food tour to warm up your belly to the Croatian/Balkan delicacies. Click to view food tour recommendations in Zagreb.

Zagreb is BIG on cafe culture, similar to Vienna. So on your first day, it’s a great time to sit back and enjoy some coffee or drinks. You will find many outdoor cafes offering only drinks (no food) – choose one, sit down and enjoy Zagreb. 

Day 2 of 7 days in Croatia Itinerary: Visit the iconic landmarks of Zagreb

On day 2 of Croatia Itinerary, spend an entire day exploring the historical districts – Upper and Lower town – of Zagreb.

To get acquainted with the city, we highly recommend a 2.50 walking tour of Zagreb in a short time. Highly recommend this tour, which also includes a funicular ride. This tour will also help you understand Croatian history and its role in the Balkans and in Europe. 

  • Wander through the old town – upper & lower town: You can easily spend one full day (and more) wandering through the hills and plains of Zagreb old town, taking photos, eating your heart out, exploring towers, museums, and galleries. 
  • Zagreb Funicular: Zagreb funicular connects upper and lower towns. It is the world’s shortest funicular ride of only 4 minutes (one way for 4 kunas). As soon as you come out of the funicular in the upper town, you will be welcomed by mesmerizing views, including access to the Lotrščak Tower. 
  • Strossmayer Promenade: Head to the Strossmayer Promenade for some mesmerizing views of the city of Zagreb. You can continue your walk or hike after using the funicular. Or you can also walk all the way up for some amazing sights. 
  • Lotrščak Tower: The Lotrščak Tower is a 13th-century fortress. It was used to signal the closing of gates in old town gates. Grič cannon is fired every day at noon from the tower.
  • St Mark’s Church: Located in Upper town is the stunning red and white checkbox tiled church of St Mark. Built in the 13th century (and still functioning), St Mark’s is a Catholic Parish church, built in late Gothic style (some Romanesque features) with the help of sculptors from Prague (14th century). The roof tiles represent the Coat of Arms, which is also seen on Croatian flags. 
  • Museum of Broken Relationships: Situated very close to St Mark’s Church is the Museum of Broken Relationships. This museum is unique and it displays stories, photos, and items donated from separated/failed couples. Admission for adults is 30 HRK (approx. 4 EUR or 5 USD).
  • Museum of the City of Zagreb: Head to the Museum of the City of Zagreb to learn about the cultural, artistic, economic and political history of Zagreb from prehistoric times to the modern period.
  • Stone Gate: The Stone Gate is the eastern gate to medieval Gradec Town. The gate has a painting of the Virgin and Child, which is considered possessing miraculous powers, as it was the only one that was not destroyed in a fire in the 18th century. 
  • Zagreb Cathedral: Zagreb Cathedral is the tallest building in Croatia and it sits beautifully in the Upper town/Kaptol area. It is a Roman Catholic cathedral. It is designed in Gothic style, consisting of 2 tall spires. The cathedral was damaged in the 1880 Zagreb earthquake, and one of its spires was damaged again in the March 2020 earthquake. (We visited before the earthquake)
Zagreb Cathedral
Zagreb Cathedral
  • Dolac Markets: Check out some local markets in Zagreb – Dolac Market. Head to the marketplace with pretty red umbrellas, located near Zagreb Cathedral, shop or window shop local produce, souvenirs, lavender, and other flowers. There are tons of bakeries and restaurants nearby as well for food or break for lunch. 
  • Ban Josip Jelačić Square: Ban Josip Jelačić is the central square in Zagreb. The square features the Manduševac fountain located in its eastern part, and it is on the south side of the Dolac market. It was called the Republic Square, during the Yugoslav period. Today it is a meeting place for people, and it is a pedestrian free downtown zone, with quick access to tram lines.
  • Shop at Ilica street – It is one of the longest streets in Zagreb, filled with shopping outlets and restaurants. 
  • Zagreb 360° – Head to the Zagreb 360 for some city night views. Zagreb Eye is an observation deck, with a bar. 

Day 3 of 7 days in Croatia Itinerary: Explore Plitviče Lakes National Park 

Plitviče Lakes National Park is home to the stunning 2 tier waterfalls in Croatia. It’s known for its 16 terraced lakes, which are joined by waterfalls. The entire national park can be explored in a matter of 4-6 hours walking or hiking around and across the water. 

There are also electric boats that link the upper and lower lakes inside the national park.

Plitvice Lakes National Park
Plitvice Lakes National Park

National Park Hours and fees:

Plitviče Lakes National Park is open daily all year round, with longer opening hours during summer. 

  • Summer hours: 07:00 am to 08:00 pm
  • Off-season: 08:00 am to 04:00 pm

One day adult tickets prices are as follows: 

  • 55 kunas (8 USD) in winter; 110 kuna (16 USD) in April-June and September -October 
  • 180 kunas (26 USD) in July and August. 

Ways to explore Plitviče Lakes National Park and design your day 3 itinerary

  • Day trip or day tour – You can explore the Plitvice Lakes National Park in a day trip from Zagreb. We booked a day tour from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes National Park with a stop at Rastoke town. This is an excellent option if you do not have access to a vehicle and plan to stay in Zagreb for the night. Check out this day tour from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes and Rastoke
  • Road trip from Zagreb To Plitvice Lakes to SplitZagreb to Plitviče Lakes National Park is less than 2 hours (one way). If you are renting a car, you can drive from the capital city to the Park, and then head towards Split. Plitviče Lakes National Park to Split is 2.50 hours, one way. 
  • Note: You also have an option to take a transfer to Split, with Plitvice Lakes National Park tour. Learn more about this tour and transfer here. 
  • Public transport: There are buses available to reach Plitviče Lakes National Park from Zagreb. The journey takes anywhere from 1.50 to 2.50 hours. There are multiple schedules available per day. Prices range from 75 to 100 kunas (10-15 USD) one way. 

Day 4 of 7 days in Croatia Itinerary: Head to Split and explore

On day 4 head to the Dalmatian coast and to the second-largest city in Croatia (after Zagreb) – Split. 

Exploring Split
Exploring Split

Here are a few options to get to Split from Zagreb. 

  • Road trip from Zagreb to Split: The distance from Zagreb to Split is about 400 km (249 miles). The quickest way from Zagreb to Split is to take the A1 motorway heading south in over 4 hours or so. You can also make stops at Zadar and Šibenik, before reaching Split late in the evening. For Zagreb to Split, there is a toll fee of about 200 kunas (28 USD).
  • Road trip from Zagreb To Plitvice Lakes to Split, as mentioned above. Toll fee applies.
  • Public Transport: Buses are available to take you from Zagreb to Split, and you don’t pay toll fees. Multiple bus schedules are available on all days. It takes about 5+ hours one way. You can also choose overnight buses, as some trips could take longer than 5 hours due to multiple stops along the way. 

Because you will be in Split for a short visit, we recommend staying near the promenade or the old town area. This will make sightseeing super easy, as well as finding food/restaurants. The main bus station of Split is located a short walk away from the promenade. 

Accommodation options in Split:

  • St Luke Heritage Hotel: St Luke Heritage Hotel is a beautiful 5-star hotel, with amazing balcony views. Its location near the historic St Luke’s chapel and the iconic Deocletean’s palace makes it a perfect place for the night or two. Check out this luxe hotel here. 
  • Villa Scalaria: Villa Scalaria is a 4-star residence, situated near the old town. It offers free wifi and parking for its guests. The rooms were big and clean. View prices and reviews for Villa Scalaria here. 

On your first day in Split, take it easy. Check in to your hotel and head out for a short walk along the promenade and sit/sip some wine, watching the sun go down.

Day 5 of 7 days in Croatia Itinerary: Exploring Split

To explore Split’s iconic landmarks and attractions, one day is good enough. (for an extended stay in Split to explore more of Croatia refer to itinerary sample number 2). 

Historic old town Split
Historic old town Split

Split is a popular stop-over port for most Mediterranean cruises, and hence it is crowded most times of the year. There are quick (less than 2 hours) walking tours available to give you a high-level understanding of Split and its old town. It is worth taking a short walking tour (and it is not very expensive) to learn about its history.

Old town Split Croatia Itinerary 7 days
Old town Split Croatia

Here are the things to do in Split:

  • Wander through Old Town: Admire the well preserved old town of Split with edifices from the Roman and Venetian area. Walk old squares, shop or window shop local goods. 
  • Diocletian’s Palace: A stunningly preserved 4th-century Roman complex is the Diocletian’s Palace. It stands mighty tall in the middle of Split’s historic core. And this is probably the MOST recognizable image of Split globally. Many of its features and structures have been preserved for centuries, and today is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The popular Game of Thrones was shot here. You can also take a GoT inspired guided tour in Split.
Old town Split
Peristil Square – Diocletian’s Palace Complex
  • Peristil Square: Located right in front of the Diocletian’s Palace is the Peristil Square. This was a Roman court in the old days. There are two 3500-year-old Egyptian sphinxes adorning the square. Today you enjoy a drink or two, soaking the sun and admiring the Diocletian’s Palace. 
  • Cathedral of Saint Domnius: The Cathedral of Saint Domnius is another best-preserved Roman structure in Split. It is the seat of the Archdiocese of Split-Makarska. The octagonal bell tower is the city’s iconic symbol. The cathedral was built in 305 CE as the Mausoleum of Diocletian. The Cathedral, the treasures, the bell tower, and the crypt are open for visitors. Entry fee 25 kunas.  
  • Temple of Jupiter: Dedicated to the Ancient Roman god Jupiter, the Temple of Jupiter is located in the western part of Diocletian’s Palace. Today it is the cathedral’s baptistery area, and it has maintained its original shape and grandeur. 
  • Split City Museum: The City Museum of Split is located in the northeastern part of  Diocletian’s Palace. Although founded in the 20th century as a museum, it houses the remnants of the Papalic family, who built the Gothic palace in the 14th century as their family home. It is stunningly built, with a detailed portal and loggia, and lavish floor halls, in Renaissance style. The museum showcases Split’s history as a settlement from 12 to 17th centuries, spanning the time the Papalic family existed to the Venetian rule. 
  • Golden Gate: Dating back to the 4th century is the Golden Gate of Split. This is “the northern gate” to the Diocletian’s Palace.
  • Statue of Grgur Ninski: Right in front of the Golden Gate is a BIG statue of Grgur Ninski. He is a 10th-century bishop and a Croatian icon, who defined the Pope. It is considered good luck to rub his shiny toe (which I did, unknowingly). 
  • Marjan Hill Stairs: Marjan is a 123-meter hill on the peninsula of the city of Split. Exploring this (via hiking trails) along with the other attractions like the Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments and Mestrovic Gallery, are perfect if you are staying for an extended period of time in Split (itinerary sample 2). For one day, you can try to take the hill stairs for some sunset views, if time permits. 
  • Split Riva Promenade: No time for hill view sunsets, you can always soak in the golden hues from the Split Riva Promenade. 
Split Croatia
Split Croatia

Day 6 of 7 days in Croatia Itinerary: Getting to Dubrovnik

Get excited, as you are heading to Dubrovnik! Known as the “Pearl of Adriatic”, many travelers visit Croatia for Dubrovnik alone! And when you visit this coastal city, you will know why – we ended up staying here for a week. 

Dubrovnik City Walls
Dubrovnik City Walls

Dubrovnik is located at the southern tip of Croatia (part of the Dalmatia Region). Often Split and Dubrovnik are compared, yes there are similarities – both are port cities, are located in Dalmatia coast, both touristy and expensive (as compared to Zagreb. Taxi fares start at 30 HRK here vs 10 HRK in Zagreb – you get it). 

But, and here is a big but. Dubrovnik is super pretty. And it is worth the price tag and time involved in traveling and border control hassles. 

Yea, you heard it. If you are traveling to Dubrovnik by road (group tour, bus or car) there is border control that you have to go through. There is a small patch of land that you have to pass, to travel from Zagreb/Split to Dubrovnik. And that patch of land belongs to Bosnia and Herzegovina (another Balkan country).

Depending on the month/season of travel, you could experience details at the border crossing. If you are traveling on a Schengen visa to Croatia, you should be able to cross Bosnia and Herzegovina, as they have one of the open visas for travelers – visa-free for 97 countries. They also take in multiple entry Schengen visa holders. 

 Here are a few options to get to Split from Dubrovnik 

  • Road trip from Split to Dubrovnik: The distance from Split to Dubrovnik is about 220 km (137 miles). The quickest way from Split to Dubrovnik is via E65 and D8 motorway heading south in over 3 hours or so. For Split to Dubrovnik, there is a toll fee of about 56 kunas (8 USD).
  • Public Transport: Buses are available to take you from Split to Dubrovnik ( and no toll fees, of course). There are multiple bus schedules available, that take anywhere from 3 to about 5+ hours one way. 

Historically, Dubrovnik was a prosperous Republic, who built its force and strength on maritime trade and taxes. For centuries, it remained independent (and also paid heavy taxes aka tribute to stay independent). 

Dubrovnik views
Dubrovnik views

The city of Dubrovnik or Grad Dubrovnik as a Republic (known as the Republic of Ragusa) was centered in the old town, within the city walls (double-walled to stay protected). It had multiple gates for entry and exit, it still does. 

Dubrovnik followed an aristocratic rule, with elected members of the administration to lead the city republic. It never had monarchical governance like Venice, to which it is usually compared. 

The late 18th century and early 19th century saw the decline and end of the Republic under the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy. 

However, the 20th century witnessed more damages to the city when Dubrovnik was attacked by combined forces of Serbia and Montenegro (under the former Yugoslav People’s Army), and a siege that lasted 7 months. 

On day 6 of your Croatia itinerary, prepare to spend 3 to 5+ hours on the road to get to Dubrovnik from Split. Check in to your hotel, relax at a beach or go wandering through the old town at night. 

Lapad Sunset Beach
Lapad Sunset Beach

Hotels in Dubrovnik:

For 2 days in Dubrovnik, we recommend either staying inside the old town (because it’s obvious) or stay a little outside, on the periphery of the old town near a beach (because you missed the beach in Split, here is your opportunity). 

  • Prijeko Palace: Located within the old city walls of Dubrovnik, the Prijeko Palace is a 15th-century hotel offering sea-views, a rooftop bar, and a terrace. All the iconic landmarks are within reach from here. Click to view prices and reviews for Prijeko Palace
  • Dubrovnik Luxury Residence L’Orangerie: A perfect apartment-style hotel with spacious rooms, balconies, washing machines and tons of restaurants and cafes in the building complex. Sunset beach is just across the road, which makes it easy for a full day out in the sun or a romantic evening stroll. To reach the old city, a bus trip is required (about 10 minutes ride for 15 kunas one way, paid to the bus operator. Or you can buy the Dubrovnik Card to save on transportation and museum/attraction entries). Check out prices for rooms at the Luxury Residence L’Orangerie

For your first day in Dubrovnik, with the travel time involved, you will most likely arrive in the evening or late afternoon. Head out to the beach, or wander around the old town and enjoy drinks and dinner. 

Sunset Beach Dubrovnik
Sunset Beach Dubrovnik

Day 7 of 7 days in Croatia Itinerary: Exploring Dubrovnik

Spend an entire day exploring Dubrovnik. We highly recommend heading to the old town pretty early in the morning to make the most of your visit. 

Maybe grab breakfast right in front of the old town (Pile Gate), there are tons of options to choose from. Our picks: Dubravka 1836 Restaurant and Glam Cafe. Both are great outdoor seating options. 

Here are the things to do in Dubrovnik:

  • Guided tour of Dubrovnik with a funicular ride: We took this 4 hours guided walking tour of the old town, learned about its history and went on a funicular ride to capture the beauty of Dubrovnik city walls from afar. The funicular is located outside the old city and is included in the tour cost. Book this guided tour of Old Town and Dubrovnik cable car ride here.
Views from Dubrovnik Funicular
Views from Dubrovnik Funicular
  • Wander through old town: All things about Dubrovnik that you see online, in social media are mostly centered in the old town. Take a wander around, capture photos or take a guided tour. There are 3 ways to enter the old town – Pile Gate (busiest western entrance), Maritime museum and the Ploče Gate
  • The Ploče Gate is the eastern side/gate to the old town. It is also the main entrance to the walled city. From here, the gate leads through the Gate to Luza Square and Stradun or Placa.
  • Game of Thrones Tour: If you are keen on the GoT-themed tour, swap the walking tour for this one (as you only have a day). You will still walk around the town, with GoT scenes location and stories. Book your GoT walking tour here.
  • Walk the city walls: Walking the city walls is a MUST. It comes at a cost though (300 kunas or 43 USD), but you will be welcomed by mesmerizing views of yellow tiled roofs and the pretty blue sea views. It can take anywhere from 1-2 hours to complete the entire loop, depending on the crowd and how often you wish to stop and ponder. But it is doable in 1 hour too. Opening hours differ each season. 
  • Old Pharmacy Museum in the Franciscan Monastery: This is one of the oldest running pharmacies in Europe. There is a drug store right outside the museum, which is located in the Franciscan Monastery, close to the City Walls entrance. 
  • Walk the Stradun or Placa: Stradun or Placa is the main street of Dubrovnik. It was the city’s main thoroughfare in the 13th century and the street ends are marked by fountains and bell towers. There is a tax/customs house which is now a museum, called the Sponza Palace.
  • Most of the houses that you will see today were built after the 1667 earthquake, and hence they are all uniformed and of the same style. Apartments were small, and had commercial complexes at the bottom floor – Dubrovnik was a trade-first community, after all. 
  • The main street is bordered by façade of Sponza Palace, Clock Tower, Gradska Kavana Café, Theatre Marin Drzic, Knežev Dvor (Rector’s Palace), Dubrovnik’s Cathedral and eastern façade of Sveti Vlaho Church/St Blaise Church. 
  • Rector’s Palace: The Rector’s Palace is a palace within the old city walls of Dubrovnik, which was used as the administrative seat of the Rector of the Republic of Ragusa between the 14th century and 1808. The complex also has an armory,  powder magazine, watch house and a prison. The Palace is stunningly built in the Gothic style, with Renaissance and Baroque elements. The columns are so gorgeous. 
  • Dubrovnik Cathedral: The Dubrovnik  Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral and a seat of the Diocese of Dubrovnik.
  • Dominican Monastery: The Dominican Monastery with the stunning church tower is a beautiful structure to admire inside the old town.
  • King’s Landing: Calling all GoT fans, add this to your list. Located only a 2-minute walk away from Rector’s Palace. 
  • Old Port or Porat: The old port of Dubrovnik is within a walking distance from Rector’s Palace. This is where boats would dock in the past and today you can take ferry rides to the Lokrum Islands or the Gruž Ferry Port.
Dubrovnik Cathedral Croatia Itinerary
Dubrovnik
  • Saint Ignatius church: Saint Ignatius church is a catholic church known for its grand stairway (amazing photo spot too). A GoT favorite. 
  • Drinks with views – Buža Bar: After all the walking, head to this cool drinks cafe, where you can sit back, take in sea views and cool off, on a hot day. You will feel as if you are sitting on a cruise deck – AMAZINGGG! (and super affordable). To get to this cool spot, take the lane opposite to the church and a sign-post on your left will take you to these VIEWS!
  • Tvrđava Minčeta – Head to Tvrđava Minčeta, a 14th-century fortress for some sunset views. 
  • Don’t forget to add some shopping and food break in between. There are tons of restaurants and cafes (of all cuisines and favor) to satisfy your appetite. 
  • Revelin Fortress: In the evening/night, head to the Revelin Fortress for some drinks and entertainment. Yup this 15th–16th-century fortress is a nightclub with amazing views and a large terrace for events. 
Dubrovnik City Walls at night

End of Croatia 7 day Itinerary: Tips on flying out

There are many ways to plan for departure from Croatia.

  • Flying from Dubrovnik: Dubrovnik has an airport. But to connect to international flights, you will have to fly back to Zagreb and then hop on to your international connection. Air Croatia flights are good options for domestic flights. Dubrovnik to Zagreb flying time is less than 3 hours, costs about 550 – 1600 kunas (78 – 225 USD)
  • Buses: There are options for overnight buses as well to reach Zagreb from Dubrovnik (you can use overnight service on day 7 or take a bus on day 8 if time/vacation is available). Services depart every four hours and operate every day. The journey takes approximately 8h 15m. Many bus services will make a stop at Split and then head north to Zagreb. Costs 180 to 270 kunas (25 – 38 USD).

More Itinerary Samples: Croatia Itinerary 7 days

Because we stayed in Croatia for longer than a week and used it as a base to explore some of the other Balkan states, we have 3 more suggested itineraries for you to choose from.  There are so many places to explore in Croatia, pick the one that interests you, and make the most of your time!

Streets of Zagreb in Croatia Itinerary 7 days
Streets of Zagreb

Sample 1 – Croatia Itinerary 7 days: Best of 3 cities

  • Day 1 – 2 Arrival and explore Zagreb. 
  • Day 3 Travel to Split and relax at the old town 
  • Day 4 Explore Split city highlights 
  • Day 5 – 6 Drive to Dubrovnik and explore 
  • Day 7 Take a day trip from Dubrovnik or half-day sightseeing, before returning to Zagreb to fly out. Or fly out the next day from Dubrovnik.

Sample 2 – One week Croatia Itinerary: Zagreb and Split

This is the classic Croatia one week itinerary. Exploring Zagreb and Split in 7 days is a popular choice due to short travel distances. It is an easily doable city/day trip combination. With a base in Split, you can also explore more of the inland and islands of Croatia. 

  • Day 1 – 2 Arrival and explore Zagreb
  • Day 3 Day trip to Plitvice National Park (central Croatia) 
  • Day 4 Travel to Split, maybe sightseeing in the evening
  • Day 5 – 6 Explore Split. Venture on day trips to nearby islands and towns.  Or visit Krka National Park, another beautiful waterfall in Croatia. There are many day tours from Split which you can book if you do not have access to a vehicle. Other day trip ideas include Hvar town, Stari Grad. 
  • Day 7 Half day sightseeing in Split, before returning to Zagreb to fly out. Or fly out the next day from Split.
Dubrovnik Fortress
Dubrovnik Fortress

Sample 3 – 7 day Croatia Itinerary: Zagreb and Dubrovnik

  • Day 1 – 2 Arrival and explore Zagreb. 
  • Day 3 Day trip to Plitvice National Park (central Croatia) 
  • Day 4 Travel time to Dubrovnik, maybe sightseeing in the evening. 
  • Day 5 – 6 Explore Dubrovnik 
  • Day 7 Take a day trip from Dubrovnik or half-day sightseeing, before returning to Zagreb to fly out. Or fly out the next day from Dubrovnik.  

Many travelers JUST want to explore Dubrovnik and we don’t blame you. You can easily skip Day 2-3, to spend more time in Dubrovnik. 

Taking day trips to little islands like Lokram, Mljet or even to nearby countries like Montenegro (Kotor, Perast, Budva), Bosnia-Herzegovina (Mostar) can fill up your time in Croatia quite easily. 

Zagreb and Dubrovnik are a great city base to explore more of the Balkan region and venture outside of Croatia. Zagreb provides quick access to Slovenia, and Dubrovnik does the same for Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina. 

Sample 4 – Croatia & Slovenia Itinerary 7 days

Yes, doable! Here is how

  • Day 1 – 2 Arrival and explore Zagreb. 
  • Day 3 Day trip to Lake Bled and Ljubljana Slovenia
  • (you can also spend 2 days in Slovenia. Zagreb to Ljubljana is less than 2 hours away)*
  • Day 4 Travel time to Dubrovnik, maybe sightseeing in the evening.
  • (you can switch Dubrovnik for Split if you are spending 2 days in Slovenia – that will make for a convenient travel plan)*
  • Day 5 – 6 Explore Dubrovnik 
  • Day 7 Take a day trip from Dubrovnik or half-day sightseeing, before returning to Zagreb to fly out. Or fly out the next day from Dubrovnik. Day trip ideas include Kotor (Montenegro), Mostar (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Mljet Islands.

We have included all the recommended tours in the main itinerary for reference and planning. 

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Croatia, and we plan on returning very soon. Zagreb Advent (Christmas markets) are very popular, and that is on my bucket list! 

Zagreb Cathedral
Zagreb Cathedral

Travel tips for 7-day Itinerary Croatia

Here are some quick tips for Croatia and preparing for your trip,

Planning your trip to Europe – If this is your first-ever trip to Europe, consider reading our Europe 101 guide.

Travel Documents 

Croatia is located in Europe and belongs to the EU. If you are traveling with an EU, the US, or Canadian passport you can travel to Croatia without a visa. 

For other passport holders requiring a Schengen visa, you must have a multiple entry Schengen visas to enter into Croatia. Here is a detailed guide to applying for Schengen Visa.

Travel Insurance

We highly recommend insuring your Croatia trip. Get travel insurance for Croatia here.

Packing List – Read our in-depth guide to packing for Europe for all seasons and regions.

Europe Itinerary Samples – Read our itineraries from Europe

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