UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SPLIT IN 1 OR 2 DAYS

The best Split itinerary, here is how to spend one day in Split, Croatia

HOW TO SPEND 1 OR 2 DAYS IN SPLIT

Are you planning your Croatia itinerary and explicitly your Split trip and are wondering about the best things to do in Split in 1 day (or 2 days)? Here you will find out how to plan your itinerary along with many travel tips.

The best towns, villages, and cities are those on the coast, right?! Well, while this might not always be true, coastal towns indeed are some of the prettiest places here in Europe.

With an abundance of colorful, medieval towns and villages on the coast of Croatia (and in Europe, in general), there are so many places to visit that you have to focus on the prettiest. One of the prettiest coastal towns in Croatia might just be Split. 

It is located on the Dalmatian Coast, on a small peninsula, and has become a very popular tourist attraction and a must-see in Croatia. The Marjan Hill rises on the western side of the peninsula, and the Mounts Kozjak and Mosor rise high on the north and northwest sides of the city – making it one of the prettiest coastal towns in Europe (and it is often called Dubrovnik´s little sister).

So, whether you are in Split for one or two days, here is my Split itinerary so you can see the best places and experience the best the city has to offer. But before talking about the best things to do and see, here are some tips for your Split trip.

Split logo at the waterfront in Split

TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR SPLIT ITINERARY

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Best Time to Visit Split

Split gets extremely popular in the summer months – especially if you enjoy swimming, sailing, and other water sports. However, this also means it gets busy as heck, resulting in higher prices for accommodations (and also some activities) and more crowds.

I visited in April. I had some lovely weather, but it is definitely not warm enough to enjoy long beach days. Also, some activities and tours were not open as construction was going on and the weather forecast predicted some rainy days in Split. 

So, I suggest visiting in May, early June, or late September (and even October) if you don’t want to rub shoulders with all the other tourists.

How to Arrive and Get Around Split (Old Town)

From Split Airport: The cheapest way is to get to the old town via the line 37 bus. It takes about 40 minutes to reach the main Split bus station. Alternatively, there is a slightly faster airport shuttle service.

By car: It is easy to drive in Split (compared to driving in Italy´s cities), but you might be better off leaving your car in one of the parking slots outside the old town (mostly paid, but if you park a bit further out, you can find free ones as well).

I arrived by car, but left it at my hotel in front of the old town and walked everywhere easily, as most of the sights are located in the historic center. 

By train: There is a train station and you can get there from Zagreb (one-way tickets are around 28€).

Just make sure to wear comfortable shoes (just saying: cobblestone alleys and hills).

If you do day trips, you can do them easily by car (except the islands), boats, or public transportation (local and regional buses are great for visiting places on the mainland). 

When getting out to the islands, you have your choice of regular ferries and more expensive speedboats, depending on which islands you’re headed to and when.

Accommodation in Split

Book your accommodation in the Old Town – ideally. With a dog and a car, I was limited, but without these constraints, a place directly in the old town would have been my choice.

Most of the tourist attractions are found in or immediately near Diocletian’s Palace, making it a very convenient area to stay in. 

Many places to stay at are so-called apartments – especially convenient when you are like to prepare your own food (as a vegetarian in the Balkans this was the main issue for me).

I stayed at Apartments Hani. Surely nothing fancy here but it was fine with me as it was quite close to the old town and it had a washing machine and a small kitchen. There are not many rooms, so if you want to stay here, you must book early. Check out rates and availability at Apartments Hani.

For more luxury, check out the Hotel Park Split by Bačvice Beach which is one of the most luxurious places to stay in Split.

If you are looking more for a mid-range hotel in the old town, then Golden Gate Dreams Rooms might be a perfect choice. It is located in the old town and has great ratings – find out more about rates and availability here.

Split waterfront is one of the most beautiful places in Split, Croatia

HOW EXPENSIVE IS SPLIT?

Croatia is still quite affordable compared to many countries in Western Europe, but it is far from being super cheap. Split is no different – you can find cheap food and places to stay, but drinks in the tourist hotspots (like Riva Promenade) are no bargain.

CURRENCY

The currency is the Croatian Kuna – however, the € is often accepted (but it will probably be more expensive to pay in euros).

I often say “a few €“ in this post – as it would sound like a lot of money if I wrote “a few hundred Kuna.“  In September 2020: 10 Kuna = 1.38€ (around $1.50).

HOW TO CREATE YOUR SPLIT ITINERARY FOR 1-2 DAYS

One day in Split may not sound like a lot, but with a day here, you will be able to experience and visit the best places in Split. Use this itinerary for Split to find out about the main attractions and best places.

WHAT TO DO IN SPLIT IN ONE DAY

Tip: Start the day early, as the tourists from the cruise ships and bus tours will arrive quite early, so to beat the crowds you have to be there before them… ideally.

Day one begins with the sights in Split’s ancient center around Diocletian’s Palace, before wandering to nearby city attractions.

Diocletian’s Palace

The best thing to do in Split – whether you stay one day or two days in Split – is visiting the palace.

A little city, within the old part of the city… This is one of the best places in Split, and Diocletian’s Palace is one of the best-preserved monuments of Roman architecture in the world. Diocletian’s Palace in Split is one of the top attractions

Diocletian’s Palace in Split is the answer to the question what to do in SplitIf you enter Diocletian´s Palace (ideally via the Golden Gate, a 4th-century Roman stone entryway with arches & ornate statues), you will have an impressive start to your day in Split.

Emperor Diocletian is considered to be the founder of Split in the 3rd century. The palace was built for Emperor Diocletian’s retirement (this huge fortified palace took up much of the modern city center) and is a rectangular building (approximately 215 x 180 meters) with four large towers at the corners, doors on each of its four sides, and four small towers on the walls.

You can enter and stroll this area for free. I suggest getting here first, as it gets very busy during the day. This way, you have the option to experience the place without the crowds.

Here are the main attractions of Diocletian’s Palace:

Peristyle (Peristil)

The Peristyle is the main and most important square of Diocletian’s Palace, and it is a great place to see what the city looked like back in the day.

Diocletian’s Palace in Split is one of the best places to visit in Split

For a while, it was also the religious center and the ideal theater scenery, perfect for opera classics and works of ancient literature.

Now, you can have a drink in one of the cafes and watch people admiring the place (they probably also admire the Egyptian influence, as the Peristyle is closely watched over by a 3500-year-old and perfectly-preserved sphinx).

The Substructures

Diocletian’s Palace substructures represent one of the best-preserved ancient complexes of their kind and are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

In Roman times, their function was to elevate the Emperor’s chambers on the floor above, but they were also the storage area for the palace; now, they are used for different things. You´ll find painting and sculpture exhibitions, theater plays, fairs (including the International Flower Fair), souvenir shops, and more.

The entrance is through Porta Aenea, from the Riva, or down the stairs from the Peristyle (there is an entrance fee of a few €, but you can buy combined tickets that can help you save money).

Cathedral and Bell Tower of Saint Domnius

Head to the Cathedral and Bell Tower of Saint Domnius, one of Split’s other major landmarks, which is just around the corner.Cathedral and Bell Tower of Saint Domnius in Split is a must-see

Among the European cathedrals, this one finds its seat in the oldest building – the Mausoleum of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. You can visit the cathedral for an entrance fee (The Cathedral + The Baptistery + The Crypt), or get a combined ticket to also climb the Saint Domnius Bell Tower. 

The Bell Tower of Saint Domnius (standing at 57 meters) is the most original Dalmatian Medieval architecture, which was started in the 13th century, and you can now enjoy the views from there. It was under renovation during the time of my visit, but it is supposed to be open again – so make sure to climb all the steps to enjoy views of Diocletian’s Palace, the waterfront, and Marjan Hill.

City Gates

There are four city gates and, if you can, check them all out. As they surround Diocletian’s Palace, they are not far from each other and each is worth seeing on its own.Golden Gate in Split is one of the top things to see in Split

Silver Gate in Split should be on your Split itineraryThe four gates are the Golden Gate (a great way to enter Diocletian’s Palace if you don’t stay in the old town), the Silver Gate (great if you want to get to the Green Market afterward), the Brass Gate (if you want to head to the promenade straight away), and the Iron Gate.

Vestibule

Sneak a different and unique view of the Cathedral from the Vestibule. The vestibule was used to enter the residential part of the palace.  Pay attention to the single flowers there (very small, can you spot them? How cute are they?).Vestibule in Split, what to see in Split in one day There is also the Ethnographic Museum. For a small entrance fee, you can learn more about the traditional costumes, crafts, and culture of the Dalmatian Coast. Apparently, you can also get to the rooftop terrace and enjoy great views from there (if you don’t want to climb all the stairs at the bell tower).

Depending on the speed of your sightseeing trip, you will probably spend half a day here. So, even if you do not climb the bell tower, you will stroll the streets and spend a few hours here.

Is it time to think about lunch before heading to the next Split sight? If you prefer fresh fruits and veggies to a meal in a restaurant, head out via the Silver Gate and you will arrive at the Green Market, where you can buy fresh produce for your lunch/dessert.

P.S. Apparently, the city of Split has forbidden free walking tours – so, while you can enjoy free walking tours in Dubrovnik there are none in Split. If you want to have a guided tour, you can check out rates for walking tours here.

Marjan Hill

For great free views, head to Marjan Hill. Marjan Hill is the perfect place for nice walks and easy hikes.

Marjan Hill in Split is one of the main attractions in Split

Pass the Riva Waterfront Promenade (for now) and the fountain at the end of it, and you will find a long staircase that leads you to Marjan Hill. After 10 minutes (and many steps), you will have great views over Split and the Dalmatian Coast from the Telegrin peak.

Restaurant with flowers in Split up on Marjan Hill with the best view

There is a restaurant here with very cute decorations – but if you prefer some more walking, head to the church farther up, visit the Jewish cemetery, or stroll and chill in the park above the Telegrin peak.  Of course, it is up to you, but I think that if you are following this itinerary, it will be afternoon now and you should be heading to the River Waterfront.

Tip: If you want to check out the Marina, then don’t head to the River promenade, but instead turn left, coming down the hill to enjoy a nice stroll along the Split Marina.

Read more: Best areas and hotels to stay in Croatia

Boat Tour

I am normally always ready for a boat tour, but on that day, I skipped the tour (for unknown reasons – I still can’t understand why I did not do it). For 20€ though, you can do a 90-minute cruise and see Split from the water, and with 1 day in Split, it is a great way to see the city from a different angle and also to get a fresh breeze on a hot day.

Boat Tour in Split is one of the best activities

There are even some sunset cruises that you can enjoy! If you want to do a sunset cruise check out rates here.

Riva Waterfront Promenade

It is time to think about dinner, and the best place to have it is probably at Riva Waterfront Promenade.  This is a popular and busy place – the promenade is paved with marble and lined with palm trees – just lovely!

Riva Waterfront in Split is a main place to go

If you are not hungry yet, relax on one of the benches and work on your tan before grabbing a good seat at one of the many bars and restaurants that line the harbor. It is also a beautiful place to watch the sunset, so make sure to get a front-row seat.

Watch the Sunset

If you stay one full day in Split you can watch the sunset.

The Riva Promenade is probably one of the best spots to watch the sunset – and convenient, as you can combine it with your dinner. There are quite a few benches to lounge on and end your day the chill way. However, I can imagine it gets quite busy in the summer months, so make sure to grab a seat before all the other people come.

This is the perfect spot to end your day in Split and you might want to continue your Croatia road trip.

PLACES TO VISIT IN SPLIT IN 2 DAYS

If you do all of the above-mentioned activities you probably will not have time to do more activities. However, if you stay 2 days in Split (or longer) or want to skip one of the above-mentioned places, then here are a few more tips on things to do and see in Split.

Games of Thrones Locations Tour

By no means, I am a Games of Throne fan (I just have not gotten to see one episode) – BUT I know, that there are some filming locations in Split, so this is why GoT fans love it here. Visit the Diocletian’s Palace and more filing locations – check out Games of Thrones tours here.

Klis Fortress

Games of Thrones fans know about this fortress: Klis. However, it is not only for GoT fans but a nice trip from the old town of Split for anyone who enjoys great views or wants to escape the crowds in Split.Klis Fortress in Split is a must-see In the mountain pass between Mosor and Kozjak is the small village of Klis with the famous fortress that is open to visitors. From there you can enjoy beautiful views of Split and the Adriatic Sea. I met one of my Instagram friends who is a hardcore GoT fan and had visited the fortress a couple of times – but she did not mind visiting again with me.

She gave me some information about the filming location and scenes – not that I can remember that much but this was another location in Spilt. You can drive and park in front of the fortress for free – but you can also get there by bus.

The website says, the entrance fee is about 6€  but actually, prices have increased and we paid around 8€ in 2019. It probably is about a half-day trip from Split.

There is also a longer GoT tour that also covers the Klis Fortress – find out more about this tour here.

If you have one day in Split and aren’t into GoT, then I would skip the fortress though.

Bačvice Beach

So, what about some beach time? There are a few beaches in Split, so if you are here in the summer months and want to cool down, there a couple of places to choose from.

Bačvice Beach is just behind the city’s ferry terminal. It is easy to reach from the town center and, thus, a great place to stop. This is one of Split’s most popular and accessible beaches – with one day in Split you might not want to spend too much time here, but cooling down in the summer sounds like a plan, right?

Trogir

One of my favorite places in Croatia is actually Trogir – it is a bit like Split but smaller and less busy and it makes a perfect half-day or full-day trip from Split. So, if you stay 2 days in Split, I suggest taking this trip.Trogir view from the fortress, Trogir is a must on Dubrovnik itinerary

I spent only half a day there and there is not much to do but Trogir is the perfect place to rest, stroll, and watch people. It is just about 30km from Split and you can get there by bus or car. I have a more detailed post on Trogir that you can read here.

Blue Cave

If Split is your base, then a boat tour exploring the islands of Hvar, Biševo, Vis, Ravnik, and Budikovac, and the Blue Cave might be the perfect experience for you. Since I traveled with a dog, I had to pass on this but this sounds like me kinda my thing and is probably also your thing?

Here is a tour that will tell you a bit more about it.

PIN ME FOR LATER – 48 HOURS IN SPLIT

Split itinerary, best things to do and see in Split in one day

Split is a beauty. I would lie if I said, it is my favorite town in Croatia – there are places I liked better but I think, it is a must for any Croatia itinerary and it was beautiful. It can be crowded at times so, visiting off-season is probably the best time to explore this city.

Hopefully, this post helps you planning and organizing your Split itinerary and finding the most beautiful places in the city. Whether you stay one day in Split or 2 days in Split – enjoy!

Planning to see more of Croatia´s beauty? Then check out my Rovinj travel guide.

Safe Travels, Arzo

MOST EPIC AND BEST DAY TRIPS FROM SPLIT, CROATIA

Best day trips from Split, Croatia, the best places to visit near Split

MOST EPIC DAY TRIPS FROM SPLIT – BEAUTIFUL PLACES NEAR SPLIT, CROATIA

Croatia is surely among the top tourist destinations in Europe. Warm weather, nice beaches, cute towns and lively cities, pretty islands, great scenery, friendly people, great value for your money, and Split is one of the best places to see in the country.

And from Split you can do visit many places nearby – so, here are the best day trips from Split.

Split, located in between Dubrovnik and Zadar, is a great base from which to visit this beautiful country’s surroundings! If you prefer having one base and take day trips within Croatia (and surrounding countries), then Split is one of the best choices (here are more great areas to stay).

There are many fun places quite close to Split, and here are some of the most beautiful places near Split that you can mostly visit on your own – by car or bus/train – but you can also do guided tours.

So, after discovering Split for a day or two, it is time to explore the rest of the country with these beautiful day trips from Split!

Trogir

One of the best day tours from Split is heading to the north. Trogir is like Split´s little brother – actually, they look similar, though it is smaller and less well known. 

Trogir view from the fortress, Trogir is a must on Dubrovnik itinerary

Seaside promenade in Trogir, Croatia

Trogir is even more beautiful than Split and has more of a special charm – but like in Split, you will find beautiful Venetian architecture, narrow streets, and many cafes. And also a busy waterfront that is lined with tourists.

For good views of the town, visit Kamerlengo Castle or climb the Cathedral stairs, which is located at the main square.

Trogir is really small though – because of the unique atmosphere, I could have spent much longer there, but for most of you, one day is more than enough, and thus, it is the perfect half-day or full-day trip from Split.

Getting there: Trogir is very close to Split (around 30 minutes), and you can either drive or take a bus and explore the town.

Sibenik

Another beautiful place near Split is Sibenik. I almost skipped it, but luckily, I decided to go, and I highly recommend visiting here.

Sibenik is one of the most beautiful towns in Croatia

Sibenik view of the church is one of the most beautiful places in Croatia

If you are short on time, you can combine it with a trip to Trogir, which is just south of the town, but it is also a good individual day trip from Split.

There is the magnificent St. James’s Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site that you can reach after climbing a few steps on a stunning staircase. Sibenik is small, but its streets were full of charm and beautiful cafes and restaurants.

To enjoy great views of the old town, head to St. Michael’s Fortress or even to Barone Fortress. Even if you walk around quickly, you will still get to experience the beauty of the town.

If you are a Game of Thrones fan, you probably have Sibenik on your itinerary, right? It has become more famous because of its use as a GoT filming location, but regardless of that, this place is small and cute and great to visit from Split.

Getting there: You can either drive to Sibenik or take a train or bus. If you want to combine Sibenik with nearby Krka National Park, rather than with Trogir, a day tour is probably the best choice.

Plitvice Lakes National Park

One of the most famous places in Croatia is the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Honestly, its location is the only downside when visiting – getting there from Split takes about three hours. But Plitvice Lakes is indeed stunning, which is why it is one of the most popular day trips from Split.

Plitvice Lake in Croatia

When you visit the largest waterfall in Croatia, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is caused by the flow of Plitvice Stream down a cliff, you can hike the upper and lower lakes with its countless waterfalls (seriously, you cannot even count them because there are too many) and hop on a boat or bus in between.

Prices for the entrance vary and depend on your visit season, but the cost is 10-30€.

Getting there: It takes about three hours by car or 3.5 hours by bus. You can also do guided tours from Split (I know this is not an easy day trip, but it will be worth it).

Zadar

From Split, you can also visit a more off-the-beaten-path city in Croatia – well, not a real hidden gem, but it is still not overly crowded like Dubrovnik or Split.

Zadar view from the Bell Tower, one of the best places to visit in Croatia

Zadar old town in Croatia in 7 days

Driving to Zadar on your own will allow you to drive the beautiful toll-free Street, D8. Though it takes almost 2 hours, it is such a beautiful drive that you will not even mind.

So, what is Zadar like? Well, to be 100% honest, Zadar was not my favorite place, but if you are looking for a quieter and more unique city to visit from Split, then Zadar is your place.

The town center of the old town, with the ancient square, the Forum, is a must and different from all the other old towns in Croatia. Also, listen to the Sea Organ that plays music from the ocean waves – as mentioned, Zadar is truly different from other cities in Croatia.

Before heading back to Split, watch the sunset in Zadar, which is supposed to be one of the most beautiful in the world.

Getting there: If you drive yourself, drive along the toll-free D8 that offers great views, which takes about 2 hours (breaks not included). There is also a bus going from Split to Zadar (and vice versa), but you need to do some additional driving (taxi) from Zadar train station to Zadar city center).

There is also a ferry taking you from Split to Zadar.

Omis

Here is another one of my favorite places: Omis. Like Zadar, Omis is unique and different from the rest of Croatia´s towns and cities. It is perfect for outdoor lovers and just about anyone who appreciates beautiful towns.

Omis view from the fortress of the fjords

Omis view from the fortress

So, located just 30km south of Split, this former pirate town from the 12th-14th century is a small central Dalmatian town that you could visit for half a day to explore the pretty and narrow streets.

Take the time to go up to Castle Mirabella, which is just a short uphill walk and offers panoramic views of the Omis and its scenery.

If you are a more active person, you can go ziplining, rock climbing, biking, rafting, and canyoning in Omis! If these are your kind of activities, then Omis is probably the best place to experience them.

Getting there: You can drive to Omis, and it takes about half an hour. Buses are taking you to Omis (between 30-50 minutes).

Punta Rata and Baska Voda

Though Split has its own beaches, there are some better ones if you head towards the south along the Makarska Riviera.

Punta Rada Beach in Croatia

Baska Voda town in Croatia is a beautiful hidden place

I have not seen any guided tours here. If you have a car, you can easily drive to Punta Rata and Baska Voda and enjoy some of the area’s prettiest beaches.

The drive was scenic, the beaches were beautiful, and there were so many small places along the way that you can stop anywhere – but these are probably the best places for a getaway from Split. 

Getting there: For these places, I recommend driving, so they are more flexible as getting there by public transportation is too time-consuming.

Dubrovnik

Ah, how can I lie? Dubrovnik is a city that deserves more of your time. But it is also expensive and totally crowded. Thus, I can understand if you want to visit only for a day and arrive via Split.

Dubrovnik views from the city wall

Dubrovnik old town view Srd Mountain

The stunning town walls that encircle the old town of Dubrovnik, the views that come with it, all the Game of Thrones filming locations, the stunning views from Srd Mountain – if you do a trip from Split for one day, you can surely not see all of Dubrovnik´s highlights. Still, at least you get an excellent glimpse of the city.

Getting to Dubrovnik is time-consuming, not only because it is about 230 km from Split, but also because you have to cross borders (Bosnia-Herzegovina divides Croatia, and getting to Dubrovnik, which is in the very south of Croatia, means you have to face border control). Depending on how busy the border is, it can take a while, but Dubrovnik is a must, so a day trip is better than no trip.

If you are not sure whether to drive yourself or take a guided tour, know this: parking in Dubrovnik is costly and can cost up to 10€… AN HOUR (there are cheaper options available). So, a guided tour might not only be more stress-free but also cheaper.

Getting there: I always take the toll-free D8 because of the most scenic views (and because tolls in Croatia are expensive as heck). You need to have your ID/passport with you. I crossed this border several times and always had to show my ID). With one day only, however, it´s probably the quickest way.

There are also buses from Split to Dubrovnik, but they take quite a while (around 4,5 hours).

Krka National Park

Pack your bathing clothes because in this national park, under the waterfalls, you can actually swim.

Krka National Park

I had to pass in this case, as the weather was not on my side, but Krka National Park is kind of similar to the Plitvice Lakes National Park, but much closer to Split, and you can actually swim here.

So, whether you hop into the water, walk on the wooden pathways by the many lakes, falls, and waterways, or marvel at Skradinski Buk (a spectacular cliff waterfall), this is a good alternative if you do not want to drive all the way up to Plitvice Lakes National Park.

Getting there: You can drive (about 90 minutes), or get there by bus and then take a ferry or do a guided tour.

Cetina River

Looking for more adventurous activities and trips to take from Split? Then canyoning near the Cetina River is probably the perfect choice for you.

This tour, definitely not something I fancy, means climbing over rocks and trekking through waterfalls and pools in the Cetina River’s dramatic canyon.

This half-day trip from Split includes swimming, canoeing, and getting to the Gubavica Waterfall – surely not for the people who want to sit back and chill. 

Hvar Island

Without any data to back it up, I would claim that one of the most popular day trips from Split is a trip to Hvar Island. Unfortunately, the weather was not on my side, and heavy storms rolled in during my visit, which forced me to skip it.

Hvar Island in Croatia in 10 days

The island of Hvar is probably one of the prettiest islands in Croatia and perfect if you want to take a day trip via boat from Split.

While Hvar is also known to be a party island, you probably will not experience that if you are only there during the day. Hvar is also known for being a summer resort with a beautiful old town, perfect for getting lost in.

Enjoy the 13th-century walls, the hilltop fortress, and the main square anchored by the Renaissance-era Hvar Cathedral. You can also visit other islands, like the Pakleni Islands, which are close by.

Getting there: You need to take a ferry to get to Hvar (you can, theoretically, take your car with you).

Mostar

Consider visiting beautiful Mostar! I have become a fan of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and my advice is to spend a lot more time in the most underrated country in Europe – but Mostar does make a great day trip from Split.

Stari Most in Mostar is one of the main attractions in Bosnia Herzegovina

Mostar shop selling souvenirs in the old town

Mostar is a small city located in the southern part of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it is trendy – in the summer months, it can get hot, but if you are a good swimmer, you can hop into the river. You can also watch people dive from the famous Stari Most (old bridge), a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Mostar was once under the Ottoman Empire’s rule, and you can still see the Turkish influence. The cobblestone streets and beautiful shops and stores make Mostar one of the prettiest old towns. You can drive here on your own. Your car needs to have international insurance if you drive from Split to Mostar), then make stops at Kravice Waterfalls and Blagaj Monastery, too.

Getting there: My tip is to drive yourself (crossing borders, so make sure to have all documents with you, including the green card for your car and your ID/passport), and the drive takes about 2,5-3 hours (scenic drive, though). Buses are going to Mostar from Split 3,5-4,5 hours one way) and also guided tours.

Blue Cave

Traveling with a dog meant that I had to pass on this day tour: visiting the Blue Cave. The island of Biševo makes another great trip from Split, as you can find the Blue Cave on the island’s east coast. 

You can get into the cave with a boat and marvel at the incredible watercolors – the water looks incredible due to light that comes up through the water and which then illuminates the cave in that blue glow. 

You need to get there via a speedboat as it is located on the farthest territorial point on the Croatian Adriatic Coast. A guided tour is the best option.

Brac 

There is a day cruise that will take you from Split to the south coast of Brac. This cruise leg lasts about 2.5 hours and is the perfect time to relax and enjoy the sights.

Brac, Croatia

When you arrive at the southern port of Bol, enjoy strolling the small streets and take the Šetnica promenade, which will lead you to Golden Horn Beach. This is one of the most popular beaches in Croatia and perfect for taking a swim. What makes it unique is that the shape of the beach changes under the strong winds that buffet the island.

This cruise will take most of the day, but it is a fun and relaxing way to explore Brac as a day trip from Split.

You can get there via ferry or catamaran and organize it yourself or do a guided tour.

MAP WITH PLACES TO SEE NEAR SPLIT

In all honesty, I think road tripping Croatia is the best way to explore the country (given the geography), but even if you decide to have one base – Split – you still can see quite a bit of the country.


You could spend weeks and explore the surroundings and beautiful places near Split – and hopefully, these tips will help you decide on the best day trips from Split.

PIN ME FOR LATER – DAY TOURS FROM SPLIT, CROATIA

Best day trips from Split, Croatia, Arzo Travels

Safe Travels, Arzo

HOW TO SPEND AMAZING 2 DAYS IN DUBROVNIK

Best things to do and see in Dubrovnik, Croatia, The best itinerary and the best places to visit

THINGS TO DO IN DUBROVNIK IN 2 DAYS – ITINERARY

Planning your 2-day Dubrovnik itinerary can feel overwhelming first. After all, this city is amazing, and with all the attractions you can feel lost. So, if you are wondering about the best things to do in 2 days in Dubrovnik, you´ll get your answers here.

Dubrovnik is surely one of a kind. It is one of the most unique places in Europe, and I have to say – Dubrovnik did not disappoint. 

Was it busy? Yes. Was it expensive? Yes. Was it touristy? Yes. Do I recommend visiting Dubrovnik? Yes.

I have traveled extensively in Europe, and I have seen a good number of old towns. Dubrovnik, however, plays in a different league.

In addition to the old town and the stunning city walls that were its fortification system, you will find beautiful scenery that includes beaches, islands, and mountains. Dubrovnik is a small city, but there is so much to do and see – it has quite many attractions and highlights, and there is no shortage of points of interest.

Before discussing your 2-day Dubrovnik itinerary of sorts (it is not a real itinerary, but close), here are some important travel tips for the city – like here is a quick overview of its history, how to get to the city, where to stay, and so on.

TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR 2-DAY DUBROVNIK ITINERARY

Dubrovnik is the most southern city in Croatia – it was an independent republic for a long time, and even today, it feels different from the rest of Croatia.

Located on the Adriatic Sea, it is also known as the Pearl of the Adriatic and has been a tourist magnet for decades – given the amazing old town and its city walls, this is no surprise.

While it was partly damaged in the war in the 1990s, it is almost completely rebuilt and is a super safe and clean city.

Did I say city? I am not actually sure if Dubrovnik qualifies as a city, as it has less than 50,000 inhabitants.View from CIty Walls in Durovnik

How to Get to Dubrovnik

Before talking about what to do in Dubrovnik, let´s discuss how to get there first.

By Car: Getting to Dubrovnik from other parts of Croatia is not as easy as one might think, especially if you are not aware of the geography. The area of Dubrovnik is separated from the rest of Croatia by another country – Bosnia-Herzegovina.

In the late 17th century, when the Ottoman Empire ruled Bosnia-Herzegovina, Dubrovnik was an independent republic. Dubrovnik, known for its trade and lacking experience in warfare, was scared of the Venetians’ attack, so they agreed to give up some land to the Ottoman Empire. By doing this, they hoped to be protected from attacks – and it worked (until Napolean came, but that is another story).

This is just a short explanation for the unusual geography and why, now, about 20 km of coastline still belongs to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

So, you cannot easily drive from Split to Dubrovnik. Do not get me wrong – Bosnia-Herzegovina is a wonderful country, beautiful and safe, but you have to cross borders. And unlike crossing borders within the European Union, you will be controlled at the border (Croatia is part of the EU, but Bosnia-Herzegovina is not).

One day, there might be a bridge connecting Dubrovnik to the rest of Croatia, but for now, make sure to bring your ID/Passport with you. Check out my Croatia road trip itinerary.

PLUS: The views are scenic, and you might want to stop many times along the way if you drive the D8.

Driving in Dubrovnik is okay, but finding a parking spot that does not cost you an arm and a leg is difficult. You cannot drive in the old town (it is car-free), but you can pay a high price to park your car there.

Some hotels offer parking for about 40€ a day. Parking in a garage next to the old town is around 40€ a day, too. I found a parking spot next to the Pile Gate for 10€ – AN HOUR. For Europe, this is a LOT of money. If you do not want to pay 240€ for parking, then either park in the garage or look for a free parking spot about 3km outside the old town center (I saw many more free parking spots when driving up Srd Mountain, where you can park and take a bus to get to the old town).

I parked in Babin Kun (just type that in your GPS) and then took the #6 bus to the Pile Gate (about 15 minutes, price is about 2€ one way). When I wanted to get back, I was denied admittance to the bus because apparently dogs are not allowed on, and since I had some luggage with me, I had to take a taxi (about 15€ for a three-kilometer drive).

However, if you stay longer in Dubrovnik, free parking is the way to go. And yes, it is actually quite safe to leave your car on the street if you do not leave valuables on display.

By Plane: Dubrovnik Airport is located near the village of Cilipi, 20 km south of Dubrovnik. There are many flights within Europe from April to October.

An airport shuttle bus frequently departs after every scheduled flight. They also stop at the Pile Gate, at the main entrance to the old town. 

It takes 30 minutes (one-way ticket costs 40 Kuna, or about 5.5€). You can also reach the town by public bus.

By Bus: You can easily reach Dubrovnik by bus from many places in Croatia. Public transportation to main destinations like Dubrovnik is good, and the bus network is reliable in Croatia. 

It takes about 9 hours by bus to reach Dubrovnik from Zagreb and around 4 hours to reach Dubrovnik from Split. Tickets from Zagreb are around 32€ (one way) and 17€ from Split to Dubrovnik.

Pssst… Here is my Zagreb itinerary with tips on how to spend a weekend in Croatia´s capital.

Check out schedules on the Dubrovnik Bus Terminal website.

By Ferry: You could also take a ferry from Split: This catamaran takes four and a half hours each way (including several stops on the islands of Brac, Hvar, Korcula, and Mljet en route). 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.

How to Get Around in Dubrovnik in 2 Days

The old town of Dubrovnik is car-free, and it is also small, so you can easily walk around the main sights and landmarks in Dubrovnik. If you want to visit other places or stay outside the old town, you can use public transportation. It is quite extensive and cheap (warning: dogs are not allowed on buses). However, to see the best places in Dubrovnik, you can mostly walk.Dubrovnik map how to get around In Dubrovnik, you will not need a car at all. My tip: if you want to rent a car, get it after the days in Dubrovnik (or return it before your trip to Dubrovnik).

To get up Srd Mountain, you can use the cable car (more on that later), hike up, or drive up.

If you plan to use public transportation and do several activities, a Dubrovnik Card might be a good idea (you can get unlimited rides on public transportation and entrance to the city walls, etc., for 1, 3, or 7 days). 

Best Time to Visit Dubrovnik

I always say there is no reliability when it comes to seasons and weather. Even in the Balkans, weather cannot be predicted. It is not always warm and sunny – not even in May. However, I recommend visiting during the shoulder season, meaning April, May, and early June, or September and October. 

I visited in May. The weather was moody, but it was not too crowded (though busy) and probably would visit again around this same time of year (weather was moody all over Europe, so this year is just crazy).

Where to Stay in Dubrovnik For 2 Days

I suggest staying in the old town – it is more expensive and you do not have free parking, but you can easily stroll the old town when day tourists are gone, making it much more pleasant.

I stayed in Dubrovnik for two nights. I normally book spontaneously, but it was actually not easy finding something good last-minute in Dubrovnik (and it was just early May). After staying at my hotel for one night, I wanted to book another night. However, it was fully booked, so I had to switch hotels.

So, here are my recommendations:

Villa Flora: A good choice in the old town, just a minute from Stradun. Not super modern, nor extremely fancy, but a nice hotel if you do not want to spend a fortune. Click here to check out prices for Villa Flora.

Rector´s Villa: It is located just outside the old town (one minute from the Pile Gate and next to Fort Lovrijenac). This is great for those who want to self-cater, as it provides a little kitchen in each room. Find out about the rates for Rector´s Villa here.

Hilton: If you are looking for a more luxurious hotel near the old town (just 200 meters outside the old town), you may want to check out the Hilton in Dubrovnik.

Where to Eat in Dubrovnik

Nisha Restaurant: A vegan restaurant on a side street with delicious food (a bit expensive though and had minimal seating, so my tip is to avoid getting there between 1 pm and 2 pm, and head there earlier or later for lunch.Vegan food in Dubrovnik

How to Book Tours and Activities in Dubrovnik

You can buy your Dubrovnik Card at the tourism center right outside the old town and in some old town shops.

You can buy tickets at the entrance gate of the city walls.

For tours, I normally use GetYourGuide – they are great. You can visit most places in Dubrovnik independently and explore the city on your own. Still, there are some fun tours, and with GetYourGuide, you can cancel up to 24 hours in advance without any cancellation fee, and they are very helpful with questions.

More Tips for Your Dubrovnik Itinerary

Bring cash. Cards are accepted in some restaurants and stores, but I had to pay cash once in a while. Also, euros and dollars are not accepted widely, so change some money to Kuna.

ULTIMATE THINGS TO DO IN DUBROVNIK IN 2 DAYS

2 days in Dubrovnik is the minimum if you ask me, and here is how to create your Dubrovnik itinerary.

Day 1 of 2 Days in Dubrovnik

Here is how the first day in Dubrovnik could look like.

City Walls

There is no way around it – my favorite activity and probably the very best thing to do in 2 days in Dubrovnik is to walk the city walls. I love medieval towns and cities and have walked many walls – but the city walls in Dubrovnik are one of the best-preserved and most amazing city walls/fortification systems to walk.Dubrovnik city walls is the best activity They include three forts (Minceta, Bokar, and St. John), 16 towers, 6 bastions, 2 corner fortifications, and 2 citadels. Some of the walls are as high as 25 meters – and the views are as impressive as these stats.

Even if you are on a budget, this is an activity I highly suggest. Yes, about 30€ is way too expensive, but if you have only a limited time in Dubrovnik, you will have seen the stunning old town from a great perspective.

The city walls are almost 2 km long. You will walk along the whole old town, and while it is “only” 2km, it took me about 3 hours to walk them. This included many breaks to take pictures and have a coffee – and then some more short breaks.Croatia as a solo female traveler While “medieval” normally means narrow streets and city walls, this city wall is actually quite wide. There are definitely some stairs you have to climb – but if you are not very fit, you can always skip the fortress, which has even more stairs (but keep in mind that there are still some stairs to climb, but I think they are doable for everyone).

It is not very stroller-friendly, though (but at least it was dog-friendly, and they can get up there for free).

The walls open at 8 am. There are several entrances (but there is no way to get up without a ticket – you will have to show your ticket at every entrance) that you can start from, but the most common is probably from Pile Gate.

It gets busy here quite quickly, so I really recommend getting here at 8 am (or around 5 pm).

Love

Okay, this might sound weird and a unique thing to do: You can easily find your true love in Dubrovnik. You do not have to do much.gargoyle head at Stradun All it takes is finding the gargoyle head protruding from a stone wall next to the Franciscan Monastery (near the Pile Gate). Get on the head  (while not falling), take off your shirt while facing towards the wall, and voila… the love of your life will come into your life.

Okay, the head sticks out only fifteen centimeters, and its top surface is polished like marble, so it is almost impossible to succeed, but you won‘t know if the myth is true or not if you do not try!

Fort Lovrijenac

After walking the city walls (about 1.5-3 hours), head to Fort Lovrijenac. 

King´s Landing! That is probably the fort’s unofficial name outside the city walls and known as the Dubrovnik Gibraltar.  It is also part of the fortification system and offers beautiful views of the Adria and Dubrovnik parts. Fort Lovrijenac in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik view from Kings Landing

I will be honest, I have not watched any episodes of Game of Thrones (yet), but I realized that many people at the fortress tried to recall which scene was filmed in which part of the fortress.

So, it is a must-see in Dubrovnik. The good news: If you have a ticket for the city walls (or the Dubrovnik), you do not have to pay an additional entrance fee here.

If you are ready for a break, sit down at the “beach section“ that you will find between Fort Lovrijenac and the city walls. It felt great to listen to the waves and take a break before jumping into the commotion of the old town.

Stradun

Stradun (or the Place) is the main street in the old town and one of the most beautiful places in Dubrovnik, and according to reviews, even one of the most beautiful streets in the world. I am not sure about that, but it is impressive to stroll the Stradun, sit down in one of the (overpriced) cafes and have a drink, and enjoy watching the crowds of people admiring the various beautiful buildings.Dubrovnik Stradun is the main street

Dubrovnik Stradun is one of the best things to doIf you enter via the Ploce Gate or Pile Gate, you are right at the street – so, no way to get lost here. You have the Onofrio Fountain at the western end of the street and the Bell Tower on the street’s eastern end.

I, unfortunately, did not witness people dancing here, but if you are lucky, you might see people showing off local dances, and you can enjoy a bit more of the local traditions.

Old Town 

Of course, strolling the old town streets is another one of the top things to do in Dubrovnik, and that is actually a good free thing to do.

Not all streets blew me away – actually, I missed some colors (I probably spent too much time in Italy, and my craving for colorful buildings/decor is immense) at the beginning until I found them further away from the main streets. Dubrovnik old town - strolling the streets is one the best things to do

Dubrovnik old town - what to do in DubrovnikDubrovnik squareThe residential streets were actually quite picturesque and less-visited (head towards Za Rokum – the most colorful street I found – and then get lost in the streets on that side of the old town). 

But you will also find the Rector´s Palace, the Church of St. Blaise, the Dominican Monastery, and the beautiful Dubrovnik Cathedral in the old town – beautiful buildings that are well worth a visit (entrance fee for Rector´s Palace).

Boat Tour

I am a repeat offender – but I cannot help it. I love boat cruises! So, my advice should not surprise you – in Dubrovnik. You should go on a boat cruise! And the good news: boat cruising can be comparatively affordable (around 10€ for a 45-minute cruise), but you will see the city from a different perspective.Dubrovnik city walls seen from a boat which is one of the top things to do in two days Plus, on a warm day, this is the best way to cool off! The cruises start outside the city walls at the old port, and you can buy tickets there (they run quite frequently). The above-mentioned activities will most likely fill a full day in Dubrovnik – of course. It depends on how fast you are, what time you start your day, and when you end your day.

Old Port

As stunning as the old town of Dubrovnik is, the old port is beautiful, too. So, make sure to leave the old town at the end of the main shopping street – Stradun – and stroll the port.Dubrovnik port is one of the most beautiful places to visit You will find restaurants, boats, and yachts, and also a lively and fun atmosphere here. This is also where the boats sail from.

Buza Bar

This bar is probably one of the most famous spots in Dubrovnik – and though I have not checked Instagram for my Dubrovnik trip, I guess it is one of the main Instagram spots in Dubrovnik, too.Dubrovnik Buza Bar is one the best places to see What makes the bar so popular is the location: It sits on a cliff, outside the wall. You will probably have to use GPS to find it. Stroll the old town and then go through a little door/hole (outside the city walls, so there is no entry fee or anything like that). Now, you have the ocean in front of you, plus a few seats to have a drink (and cliffs where many people sit and enjoy their drinks and the view).

There are several bars like this, but this is the most popular one – especially if you want to watch the sunset (in that case, come a bit easier to be sure to get a spot, as it gets busy for sunset).

Srd Hill / Mountain

Last but not least for the first day: I am all about the views when I travel. So, of course, if you ask me about what to do in Dubrovnik, I will tell you to add a trip to Srd Mountain to your Dubrovnik itinerary and end your first or second day in Dubrovnik here.Dubrovnik old town view Srd Hill

Dubrovnik old town view Srd MountainIt stands at 413 meters high, and the views are incredible – the red roofs, the ocean, Lokrum Island. Even Elaphite Island is a million-dollar view.

There is also a panorama restaurant where you can have a drink or dine (you also get the views for free if you don’t sit at the restaurant). Next to the restaurant is a museum to find out more about the war in the 1990s and information on the Dubrovnik Republic.

There is – normally – a cable car that takes you up. The cable car station is just a stone’s throw from the old town. However, it was closed at the time of my visit (apparently, the owner did not pay his taxes for a couple of years, so the city shut it down), but it has apparently opened again. Check out their website if you consider taking the cable car.

However, you can also hike up (it should take between 45-90 minutes to get up), take a taxi, or even drive in your own car.

I drove up there, and though I do not recommend it for inexperienced mountain drivers, there are much worse streets in the Balkans, Italy, and other parts of Europe to drive on. And if I can do it, you can do it, too.

So, getting on top of Srd mountain is another must-do in 2 days in Dubrovnik.

Day 2 of 2 Days in Dubrovnik

However, for day 2 in Dubrovnik, I suggest the following activities (you won’t be able to do all of the things but can choose those that appeal the most to you).

Beaches

Whether you want to start your day relaxed or want to come here during the day (when it gets warmer), spending some time at the beach in Dubrovnik is big.Dubrovnik beaches I am not much of a beach person, and it was definitely too cold for laying out at the beach at the beginning of May (when I visited), but Dubrovnik does have some nice beaches – many close to the old town.

Banje Beach is the most popular, just a few minutes walk from the old town, but there are apparently some more that are less busy and a bit farther away (including Pasjaca Beach).

Tip: Be aware that Croatia and Dubrovnik beaches are mostly pebble beaches, not sand beaches.

Kayak or Snorkel

Do you want to be more active? Then, kayaking is the right activity for you. Kayaking is one of the three sports I hate the most – yes, I did it and disliked it, but others seem to enjoy it, and it is a big thing in Dubrovnik. It seems that it is a popular water activity in Dubrovnik – and you can see the city from the other side and can even kayak to Lokrum Island.

You can book kayak tours in advance – click here to find out more and get prices.

Lokrum Island

Your eyes will probably catch this small, green island quite quickly when walking the city walls. This little, uninhabited island can actually be visited. Lokrum Island covers 72 hectares and is located on the eastern Croatian coast, near Dubrovnik, and you can get there either via boat or by kayaking.Dubrovnik Lokrum island is one of the best activities in Dubrovnik On the island, you can discover the botanical garden and visit the Benedictine Monastery.

Apparently, some garden scenes in Game of Thrones were filmed at the botanical garden and the former monastery (of course).

This is also where you will find the Iron Throne (at the monastery) – Game of Throne fans know what I am talking about.

Game of Thrones tours showing you the Iron Throne and King´s Landing – click here for more information.

Walking Tour

Though I wish that I could be a walking encyclopedia, I often learn about the history and culture of a place in-depth only when I do a walking tour – whether it is a free one or not.Dubrovnik main tourist square And while the city is small (there are only 50,000 inhabitants), there is a lot of history and information that a local guide can best convey to you.

Tours take about 60-120 minutes, and you can get valuable insights. So, if you are in Dubrovnik for more than one day, then book a tour to complete your itinerary for Dubrovnik.

Check out guided Dubrovnik tours here – and here is some information on the free walking tour.

Game of Thrones Tour

Dubrovnik was a tourist magnet long before the war in the 1990s and long before the TV show Game of Thrones. However, apparently, 30% of visitors now come because of the show. Knowing how busy it gets in Dubrovnik, this means a lot of people are coming because of GoT. And so, it is no surprise that a guided “Game of Thrones” walking tour is one of the most popular activities in Dubrovnik. To find out more about  

More Things to Do in or near Dubrovnik

If you stay longer in Dubrovnik than two days, you could add one of the following activities to your itinerary for Dubrovnik.

Lapadska Obala

A less-visited area, this street is great for escaping the crowds. I cannot say that I was totally in love and smitten, but I enjoyed walking the street and seeing the different and more unique views of Dubrovnik. From here, you can also spot the pretty Franjo Tudman Bridge, which is an eyecatcher.

If you enjoy walking, you can walk from the old town, or hop on a bus to get there (bus number 6).

Kotor

Kotor, the main tourist destination in Montenegro, is quite close to Dubrovnik, and you can get to Kotor either by bus, car or book a tour. It is a fun day trip, and Kotor is absolutely stunning.Kotor view from fortress You can hike up to St. John´s Fortress and enjoy amazing views of the Bay of Kotor, and you can stroll the old town of the town in one day.

For guided tours, click here and find out more about a day trip from Montenegro to Dubrovnik.

Mostar

I have become a fan of Bosnia-Herzegovina – and Mostar, close to the Croatian border – is a good idea for a day trip from Dubrovnik. While one day in Bosnia-Herzegovina is surely not enough, this day trip gives you a good idea of Bosnia´s beauty.

View from old bridge, one of the most Instagrammable places in Mostar

Make sure to take your ID/passport and check visa regulations for Mostar (and Kotor) as both cities/countries are, unlike Croatia, not part of the European Union. You can easily drive to Mostar yourself or check out guided tours.

CONCLUSION: 2 DAYS IN DUBROVNIK ITINERARY

So, I was totally smitten when I visited Dubrovnik – despite the crowds and the price tag. I hope you can create your amazing 2-day Dubrovnik itinerary and have a fun time in the city.

And yes, Dubrovnik in 2 days is possible because one day would see the main sights. But if you want to do day trips, plan in some extra days because there are many more beautiful places to see close to Dubrovnik.

READ MORE: 

Trogir in one day (one of my favorite places in Croatia)

Rovinj is completely different than Dubrovnik- find out more about this Croatian city here

Safe Travels, Arzo

ULTIMATE LIST: WHAT TO PACK FOR EUROPE IN WINTER

What to pack for Europe in winter

PACKING LIST FOR EUROPE TRIP

If you are want to find out what to pack for Europe in winter, then this post is for you.

While you might have to think about which places to visit in Europe in winter, you will also need to plan what to pack for the cold winter months in Europe.

While Europe might not be the biggest continent, weather conditions strongly vary. It does make a big difference whether you visit North countries like Iceland or Norway, Central Europe like Switzerland or France, or Southern Europe with places like Valencia in Spain.

If you head to Southern Spain, you will not need all the super warm winter clothes – and you will be happy with some warm pullovers and jeans. In the Nordic countries, you will definitely need to pack differently.

In this post, you will find one general part of what to pack in Europe for winter. You will find out what to pack for warmer countries like Spain or Malta, what to pack if you visit “cold” countries like Switzerland, Estonia, or Iceland in winter.

First ski experience in Verbier, Switzerland what to pack in winter

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product/service via my link (at no extra cost to you). More about it here.

Winter Weather in Europe

Before talking about what to bring to Europe in winter, we should talk about the weather in Europe in winter. Your packing list depends on where you visit.

Southern Europe is much milder and warmer than Eastern Europe or Northern Europe. While you could wear a light jacket in Southern Spain in the winter months, you surely have to dress very warmly in countries like Norway or Iceland.

If you come to Europe in winter – come prepared. 

Be advised that the average temperature can reach as low as -10° degree Celsius in countries like Iceland and Norway and while it gets up to 15° degree Celsius in other countries.

Climate change has lead to a much warmer climate in many countries. I remember the years – as a little child – where we had many days with freezing temperatures in Germany. And a lot of snow – but nowadays, snow is no longer the rule for many parts of Europe. But it can be.

What to do in Alicante, Costa Blanca

What to Bring to Europe in Winter – General Items

So, the first part of the post is a general packing ist. Then you will find an additional packing list for winter.

Luggage for Europe

Here is what luggage/bags you might need for your winter Europe trip.

  • Suitcase: Though it depends, where exactly and for how long you travel, I recommend taking a good, light, and quality suitcase with you where all your clothes and most of your toiletries fit in.
  • Carry-On: If you visit for longer and aren’t a minimalist, then you might need an extra carry-on luggage.
  • Laundry bags: They are great if you travel for longer and don’t want your dirty and clean clothes to mix up. I prefer them over plastic bags.
  • Packing Cubes: They are the new must-items when it comes to traveling, they are very handy and they also come in cool colors. I recommend using packing cubes because it makes packing and organizing easier.
  • For my handbag, I choose a cross-body handbag with a zipper (just to be safe) and several extra pockets. My tip: The size of the handbag is important: do you carry a camera with your? A water bottle? Keep that in mind when you decide on one handbag.
  • Passport Holder: since I have become more minimalistic, I prefer not using a passport holder but if you need a passport (and an ID is not enough) you might want to have one.
  • For a day at the hotel pool or for some shopping, I recommend a beach bag or a cotton bag. Plastic bags – fortunately – do costs money in many parts of Europe…and plastic sucks anyway, so with a cotton bag you use for years, you do the environment a favour. And it looks much better than to carry your shoppings in a plastic or paper bag.

Toiletries to Pack for Europe in Winter

Lately, I have reduced the care products. Less is better if you ask me. However, in winter, our skin is also subject to stress. You will find a detailed list – even if I do not use all products below throughout the year, you might use more products.

If I travel for 10 days or shorter, I take travel-sized toiletries which I refill with my natural and organic beauty products from home. To pack light, shampoo, conditioner, hair masks, cleaning water, and cleansing milk are all in small bottles.

Of course, you could buy toiletries in Europe as well, but if you do not want to waste your time in drug stores or supermarkets, use this checklist for Europe.

  • (TSA Approved Clear) Travel Toiletry Bag (if you fly)
  • Sunscreen (even in winter – depending on where you travel to. If you go for a ski trip, then take it but you most likely will not need it for most other winter trips).
  • Travel bottles to refill – I refill them with my own organic products that I normally use (I do not use shampoo & conditioner provided by hotels)
  • Electric Hair Removal Epilator (only if you stay longer than a week or if you remove your bidy hair with it) – otherwise a razor or whatever you prefer
  • Face cream – (which I also use as a hand cream, so I do not have to take another cream).
  • Refillable Travel Size Perfume Bottle
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste and mouthwash plus Dental floss
  • Tissues
  • Deodorant
  • Magnifying make-up mirror
  • Nail polish and nail polish remover + glass nail file
  • My favorite hairbrush (especially for longer hair) – or if you have less space take a comb
  • Hair ties
  • A small cosmetic bag with the following items: Mascara / Rouge / Eyebrow powder (Taming & Shaping Kit For Brows) / Tweezer / Eyeliner and Eye Shadow / Make-up brushes/ Cotton swabs

Here are a few more items which I personally do hardly use but which might be important to you, so I added them here:

hair spray, hand cream, foundation, powder, lipstick, sanitiser

Tech Stuff to Pack for Europe

  • I have my laptop with me whenever I fly – however, I do work online while traveling, and I also watch Netflix on it.
  • My phone is, without a doubt, one of my most useful and important (travel) items.
  • My camera is a must – because Europe has so many great spots that need to be photographed.
  • I have to admit that I still don’t have a kindle, so a “real” book is often an essential
  • Power Charger – how long does your phone battery last? Not long? Neither does mine, so this  is an essential
  • Do you need an adapter? It depends on where you travel to Europe, so please check if you need one for your destination.

Random Things to Pack for Europe

  • Umbrella (in many countries, like Germany, Switzerland, or England is can still rain quite a lot in the winter)
  • Guides
  • Medicine (headache pills etc.)
Cycling in London in winter

Clothes to Pack for Europe in Winter

The key is dressing in layers for Europe in winter. The temperature can reach freezing levels, and yet the sun can be deceptively strong. Dressing in layers allows you to keep warm without compromising on comfort. 

Also, it really depends on where exactly you travel. As I mentioned before, Southern Europe has mild weather in winter where you will not need a super warm jacket and gloves plus a hat.

Depending on where you travel, the wind might make you feel much colder than the temperature actually says.

In worst case scenario, hypothermia and frostbite will be a result if If you’re wet and not appropriately dressed.

Your items should be versatile in function. For example, pack a jacket that is both waterproof and warm. In addition, comfortable walking shoes are essential.

December in Iceland, Golden Circle with Arzo Travels

Everyday Attire Essentials For Europe In Winter

At the top of your Europe winter packing list should be the following versatile, essential items. Using these items to dress in layers will keep you both stylish and warm. 

  • Coat – Warm And Waterproof: A warm, waterproof jacket should be one of the very first items that you think to pack. Avoid choosing a bulky jacket that takes up a lot of space. This can make you feel uncomfortable when you have layers underneath. Instead, opt for a lightweight, trench raincoat that will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable. 
  • Hat: Science tells us that we lose up to 10% of our body heat through our heads, meaning that it’s essential to keep this area warm. A knitted beanie is a perfect solution for keeping the warmth in while you venture out.  A hat will keep you toasty warm whether you’re on the slopes, sipping coffee, or exploring the sights. 
  • Gloves: Have you ever tried to use your phone with frozen fingers? It’s a nearly impossible task. A pair of gloves can do wonders for your mobility, dexterity, and comfort. This makes it one of the most important items on your Switzerland packing list. When selecting your options, it’s worth investing in a pair that can dry quickly and are touch-screen compatible.
  • Scarf Or Turtleneck: A warm scarf and/or turtleneck sweater are key items for keeping your neck covered. Not only do these items keep you warm, but they also prevent you from getting ill (and thereby ruining the fun). A turtleneck sweater is perfect as a garment to wear underneath your jacket, while the scarf can be removed easily. 
  • Leggings: There’s a reason that almost every woman owns a pair of leggings. They are both comfortable and snug. Leggings are an essential item to pack as you can dress them up or down. You can even wear them underneath your denims as an extra layer of warmth. 
  • Socks: When it comes to packing socks for your Switzerland trip – the thicker the better. Chances are that you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors in the snow, and you’ll want your feet to be warm and cozy. If you plan on hitting the slopes at any stage, then you’ll want your socks to be extra-thick or padded for increased comfort. 
  • Thermals: A quality set of thermals is your key to enjoying the winter weather in Switzerland. They provide the extra layer of heat that will allow you to spend an extra hour on the slopes, or to pack fewer items on your road trip instead of excess clothing.
  • Comfortable Walking Shoes: If you can only pack one pair of shoes, then make sure that they are a trusty pair of waterproof snowshoes. You’ll want your shoes to be as versatile as possible. Snowshoes allow you to enjoy a variety of activities while keeping your feet warm and dry. 
Verbier in Switzerland in the winter

WInter Sport Clothes to Pack

One of the best top reasons to visit e.g. Switzerland during the winter months is winter sports opportunities. While most ski resorts will offer rental equipment, there are a few essentials to pack for yourself. 

  • Ski Jacket: When choosing the perfect ski jacket, you need to consider warmth, level of waterproofing, and freedom of movement. A jacket that is adjustable in fit, seals effectively, and dries quickly is the perfect apparel for snowboarding, skiing, and other winter outdoor sports.
  • Ski Pants: A trusty pair of insulated ski pants are the next essential item for all winter sports fans. Make sure that your choice of pants is breathable, warm, and waterproof. These details will keep you dry, warm, and comfortable on the slopes.  
  • Winter Protection: There are a few items that will make your winter vacation all the more comfortable. The last thing that you want is to be soaked on your first day, or get a migraine from snow blindness
  • Umbrella: Regardless of what time of year you visit Switzerland, it’s always a smart move to pack a foldable umbrella. The nifty item doesn’t take up too much space. It can be the difference between a leisurely stroll in the city streets and getting caught in a flu-inspired downpour. 
  • Chapstick: Visiting Switzerland in winter will most likely find you spending hours of fun on the snow-covered slopes. This can quickly dry out your lips and burn your skin. In this instance, you’re going to be grateful that you’ve packed your moisturizing stick of Chapstick. 
  • Sunglasses: The best days on the slopes are the ones accompanied by clear, sunny skies and good conditions. These circumstances also increase the glare of the sun on the white snow, making it close to unbearable on your eyes. A pair of polarized sunglasses or ski goggles can protect your eyes from the wind and bright light.

CONCLUSION: WHAT TO PACK FOR EUROPE IN WINTER

Europe in winter is a fantastic travel destination. Whether you come for a ski trip in Switzerland, explore the Christmas markets in London or want to have a weekend trip to a warmer place like Valencia – Europe is so diverse and has something for every taste.

Just be aware of what to pack for Europe in winter, and you can enjoy a fantastic time in Europe.

Stay safe and enjoy!

Safe Travels, Arzo

HOW TO CREATE AN EPIC CROATIA ROAD TRIP

Croatia road trip

HOW TO ROAD TRIP CROATIA + TRAVEL TIPS

So, you are planning – or at least considering – a Croatia road trip? With cities like Dubrovnik, Split, Rovinj or the national parks and the beaches, this country is a perfect destination in Europe.

With so many scenic areas overlooking the water and in the mountains, for example, it’s so nice to be able to slow down and enjoy them. Croatia is a beautiful country and taking a road trip is probably the best way to explore it.

Public transportation in Croatia is not bad – and also, you could do guided day tours to visit the top places in the country. However, given Croatia´s geography – stretched over length – it is not easy to visit all the top places as day trips. To create a perfect Croatia itinerary, driving is the best way to get around.

To visit all the places mentioned in this post, I suggest spending at least 14 days in the country. However, you can also skip a few places and do a 10-day road trip (even a 5- or 7-day road trip would be possible with this itinerary).

Before talking about the best places to visit, here are some tips for driving in Croatia.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.

DRIVING TIPS & RULES FOR ROAD TRIPPING CROATIA

Driving in Croatia is amazing, and thus I think, a road trip is amazing. I have driven in a few countries (mostly in Europe), and it was probably the best conditions I have come across – better than in Germany, France, Switzerland, Spain and of course better than in Italy.

The streets, even in the mountains, are not as narrow as in many other countries. Plus, most of them are in great condition. The streets are not very busy and the best: Croatian drivers are quite friendly (unlike in Italy, I must say).

People could argue that tolls are too high in Croatia – and it is true: tolls for highways in Croatia are insane. For 100 km you pay around 10€ (just roughly) – BUT… here comes the good news:

If you drive along the D8 – along the coast – you can avoid the tolls. The most beautiful street to drive to in Croatia is free – and you will have amazing scenic views along the way.Street in Croatia, driving

Croatia has done a great job – there are many great spots if you want to take a break and enjoy the views. So, pack enough food and drinks for many stops – there is no need to rush to get from one place to the next.

Gas and diesel prices are quite high, though (prices change daily but are higher than in Germany or Austria, for example).

Also, it is pretty easy to find parking in most cities and towns (at least compared to Italy and if you do not visit in July or August) – an exception is Dubrovnik. If you park in the city center – fees can be up to 240€ – for 24 hours!

When you plan to visit any of the islands, like Hvar, you will need to use the ferry or a boat but can leave your car in Split. In general, I did not worry about safety – don’t leave any valuables on display and take your wallet, etc., with you (and put everything that could attract thefts in the trunk).

If you need to rent a car, check out rental prices here and make sure to rent a car in advance (especially if you visit during the busier months).

If you drive all the way down to Dubrovnik, make sure you have an insurance card with you (either if you drive with your own and a rental car) as you will cross borders with Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Check out my accommodation guide for Croatia.

BEST STOPS FOR A ROAD TRIP IN CROATIA

So, here is the perfect Croatia road trip itinerary (skip whatever you want or add other places). If you only have 7-day in Croatia, check out my one-week itinerary.

Zagreb

Start (or end) your trip in Zagreb, the capital of the country. However, if you have at least 10 days, skip it.Cemetery in Zagreb, Croatia

Located more inland than other popular cities in Croatia, Zagreb still has a lot to offer and should not be overlooked. It is, however, a little more challenging to reach because it is located in the north, close to the Slovenian border.

Its architecture sets it apart from other Croatian towns as well, with a heavy Austrian-Hungarian influence.

You will want to visit some places: the Cathedral, the Museum of Broken Relationships, shopping at Dollar Market, seeing St. Mark’s Church, eating at Tkalciceva Street, and walking through the cemetery of Mirogoj which is just outside of Zagreb’s city center.

Tip: Driving in Zagreb is fine – it is busy but not as crazy as in other European capitals. If you can, book accommodation with free parking though. I recommend staying 1 or 2 days in Zagreb. If you have only 10 days in Croatia, then I would spend 1 day in Zagreb and not longer.

Where to stay in Zagreb:

I stayed at an Airbnb but here is one of the best-rated hotels in Zagreb that you can check out.

Plitvice Lakes

One of the most stunning and famous natural landmarks in Croatia, the Plitvice Lakes is a favorite among visitors and is a popular place to visit for your Croatia road trip.Plitvice Lake in Croatia The oldest and largest national park in Croatia, the Plitvice Lakes National Park, is almost 80% covered in forest. It is a popular destination for hikers with many trails.

And the lakes themselves feature stunning colors in their water. Some waterfalls can be seen here, including the largest in Croatia, Veliki Slap. It is a biodiverse region with many threatened species and was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979.

The Plitvice Lakes are actually made up of 16 larger lakes and numerous smaller ones.

You can circle them, exploring along eight different routes. The only downside to the Plitvice Lakes is that they are located inland and away from any other travel destinations in Croatia, so you will have to detour on your road trip to reach them.

Tip: There are enough parking spots (paid) at Plitvice Lakes. Depending on your speed, I think something between half a day or a full day is enough. Some people spend more than one day, but for me, about 6 hours were enough to see most of it.

Where to Stay at Plitvice Lakes National Park: 

I stayed at a clean, tidy, and nice (though simple) pension a few kilometers near the lakes – the owners were really nice, too. So definitely a place I recommend staying at. Check out the rates for the Pansion House Prijeboj.

Rovinj

Located close to the Italian border – in fact, just across Venice’s water – and on the northwestern side of Croatia, Rovinj has a very Italian feel to it. Unfortunately, it is quite a detour from the Plitvice National Park, so you have to think, whether you want to add it to your road trip.Croatia, Rovinj the best streets_

From the Venetian architecture to the cobblestone streets and colorful houses, Rovinj will remind you of a town on the coast of Italy. It sits on the Istrian coast, just below the Lim Fjord. There are a lot of charming houses and narrow little streets that are fun to wander and explore.

Some of the highlights of visiting Rovinj are strolling through the old town, climbing the bell tower, exploring the artistic street of Ulica, and taking a walk on the promenade.

If you like the beach, there are a few where you can go to relax or swim. And there are also boat cruises offered to see Rovinj from a different perspective.

Tip: Parking in the town center might be difficult in the summer months – book accommodation that has parking included or park a bit outside and walk to the city center/accommodation. I recommend staying in Rovinj for at least one night. It is a small town but lovely and so different from the rest of the country, making it special.

Where to Stay in Rovinj

I recommend staying in or near the old town of Rovinj.

Rooms Barbieri: I picked a little B&B near the old town. Prices are good, they allowed dogs, and they offer free parking. It just takes a short (and lovely) walk to get to the old town. However, there are not many rooms, so book early if you want to stay here. Find out more about the little B&B I stayed at.

For a more luxurious stay – just a 10-minute walk from the old town  – check out Grand Park Hotel Rovinj rates.

Hotel Adriatic is a very well-rated boutique hotel in the old town. Find out more about the rates.

Pula

From Rovinj, you could continue and visit Pula. Pula is a seaside city located at the Istrian Peninsula’s tip and has a very tragic past.

Pula Amphitheatre a must for Crotia road trip itinerary
@shutterstock

It was founded during the prehistoric era and, over the course of many centuries, was occupied and destroyed, and rebuilt repeatedly. It was favored because of its strategic location within a protected harbor. Pula has been occupied by the forces of the Romans, the Ostrogoths, the Venetians, and the Allied forces from World War II over the years.

Nowadays, it is a popular destination because of its beautiful and historic landmarks and Roman ruins, and its beaches, and coastline. Visit the Roman Amphitheater and some of the many museums in Pula. It is also the home of various festivals.

Tip: With only 2 weeks in Croatia (or less), I would limit my time here and visit the Roman Amphitheater and then spend the rest of the day driving to Zadar.

Zadar

Founded in the 4th century, Zadar has an ancient history. Located along the western coast of Croatia by the Adriatic Sea, Zadar is the country’s oldest continuously-inhabited city.

Zadar from above with Arzo Travels_

Despite its fame, this town is not very busy or crowded, so it is easy to explore and enjoy. You can definitely see the best of Zadar in one day, including these activities: see the Forum, visit the ancient square, stroll down Kalelarga Street, and see the church of St. Donatus.

You can take in the views from the bell tower and stroll the promenade, where visitors can listen to the Sea Organ’s unique sounds and watch the sunset. Zadar has a very laid-back vibe to it, so take your time exploring this Croatian town for the day before heading to your next road trip destination.

Tip: I am very honest – Zadar wasn’t my favorite stop. Compared to other places here, it lacked attractions, but it is a perfect stop-over. So, from your way to Pula, I would probably spend the evening here (it is charming in the evening) and then continue the journey the next day.

Krka National Park

Spend half a day (or a day) at Krka National Park. It is located in the southern part of Croatia and, similar to Plitvice Lake, has beautiful waterfalls. Honestly, I skipped it – I saw Plitvice Falls and was not too eager to see these falls as the weather was not great. So, I can tell you what I have heard.

KRKA National Park a must for 7-day Croatia itinerary
@shutterstock

These falls are not as impressive as Plitvice Lake’s, but they are still a good place to visit. Situated along the Krka River, the national park has a series of seven waterfalls that are scattered throughout the area. There is the Roški Slap in the north, a cascade close to a nature trail, and the Krka Monastery, which was created above the catacombs from Roman times.

To the south, Skradinski Buk waterfall is surrounded by two watermills. You can actually swim in the water here.

Also in Krka National Park is Visovac Island, which was where the Franciscan Monastery of Our Lady of Mercy was located in the 15th century. 

Tip: As mentioned, I haven’t visited myself, but people who visited most loved it (especially if you don’t want to drive up north for the Plitvice Lakes) and if you want to swim. Since it is close to Zadar and even closer to Šibenik, it would make a great stop before discovering these two beautiful towns below.

Trogir and Šibenik 

Now, it is time to head to Trogir and Šibenik. You can’t road trip Croatia and miss out on these beauties! Located along the Adriatic Sea’s western shores, these two small towns are absolutely beautiful and quite charming.

Sibenik is one of the most beautiful towns in CroatiaŠibenik is famous as the filming location for the show Game of Thrones, but besides that, it also has a lot of old, picturesque streets and famous landmarks. The town has two UNESCO World Heritage sites: Šibenik Cathedral and St. Nicholas Fort. Trogir is a must-see in CroatiaTrogir felt like a mini version of Split, but even more lovely with its colorful streets, little cafes, and friendly people. There is a really nice seaside promenade that you can stroll, as well as other sights like the Trogir Cathedral, the clock tower in the market square, Kamerlengo Castle, and the bell tower.

The streets themselves are a sight, and you should spend some time exploring these two towns on foot to really get a feel for them.

Tip: Both places are absolutely gorgeous, and you could do them in one day – that would be enough time to see the main attractions, but since they are cute, I suggest staying overnight in Sibenik or Trogir and spend more than the minimum amount there.

Where to Stay in Trogir:

Hotel Brown Beach House & Spa looks like a lovely hotel with a pool, lovely views. It is located quite close to the city center. You can check out rates here.

Hotel Concordia is located in the old town – I think, location-wise, it cannot get much better, and it seems to offer great value for money! Find out more about the hotel here.

Split

Then it is time to visit Split – and spend a day or two in Split, which is located on a peninsula in the southwestern part of Croatia, jutting out into the Adriatic Sea.

Diocletian’s Palace in Split is one of the top attractions

This is one of the most famous and popular cities in the country and a must-see. It can be very crowded here, partly because it was another filming location for Game of Thrones because there are many beautiful landmarks that you won’t want to miss.

Some of the best things to do in Split are to see the Cathedral and Bell Tower of Saint Domnius, visit Diocletian’s Palace, explore the Peristyle (Peristil) and the Vestibule, and see the City Gate.

You can also hike up Marjan Hill for views of the surrounding scenery. Klis Fortress is a must-see for GOT fans, and inside Split, the promenade is another popular destination, great for strolling and dining. 

Tip: Split is lovely, though, with a limited time in Croatia (less than 10 days), I would not spend more than 1 day in Split.

Where to Stay in Split:

I stayed at Apartments Hani – surely nothing fancy here but it is quite close to the old town, and it had a washing machine and a small kitchen (there are not many rooms, so if you want to stay here, you must book early). Check out rates and availability at Apartments Hani.

If you are looking for luxury accommodation, check out the Hotel Park Split by Bačvice Beach – it is one of the most luxurious places to stay in Split.

If you are looking more for a mid-range hotel in the old town, then Golden Gate Dreams Rooms might be a perfect choice. It is located in the old town and has great ratings – find out more about rates and availability here.

Hvar

Hvar is one of Croatia’s most popular islands and is known for being very pretty and sunny.

Hvar is one of the best places to stay in Croatia
@shutterstock

To reach the island, you will need to leave your car in Split and take the ferry to enjoy a day in Hvar. It will take a few hours to reach, but it should be worth it.

Hvar is a famous port city as a party spot in Croatia, and seeing yachts parked in the harbor would not be out of the ordinary.

But it also has a rich history and lovely architecture done in the Italian Renaissance style. The old town is great to walk through and explore.

There are lots of caves, forests, and secluded beaches for outdoor activities like hiking and swimming. But for nightlife, like bars and nightclubs, Hvar is one of the best spots in Croatia.

Where to stay in Hvar:

While I did not stay in Hvar myself, this hotel seems like a great place to stay when visiting Hvar (keep in mind that Hvar is quite expensive).

Omiš

Spend a day (or half) in Omiš, a port town just southeast of Split in Croatia. It is situated where the Cetina River and the Adriatic Sea meet.

Omis view from the fortress

It has lovely scenery and is a very unique and pretty town that really shouldn’t be missed. Huge gorges surround Omiš. During the 12-14th centuries, it was a pirate town, so it’s an interesting place to explore. For adventure lovers, it’s even better.

This is a popular destination for those who enjoy biking, canyoning, ziplining, rock climbing, and rafting. You can also head up to Castle Mirabella, which offers great views of the old town, mountains, and river. A little farther away is Starigrad Fortica, a 15th-century fortress built during the Croatian-Ottoman wars, which also offers nice views.

There are many churches to see, including the remains of the 5th-century Church of St. Euphemia.

Tip: Omis is the perfect place…for anyone actually! Beautiful scenery, a lot of activities of adrenaline junkies, easy hike opportunities, and more. The town center is small yet very cute! If you want to zip-line or do other activities, then do it in Omis.

Punta Rata & Baska Voda

These two beaches are among the best to visit in Croatia.Punta Rada Beach in Croatia Most Croatian beaches are, unfortunately, pebble beaches and therefore not very good for relaxing. But the coastline of the country is gorgeous, so visiting one of these two beaches will allow you to enjoy the beauty even more. Punta Rata is well-known as the prettiest beach in Croatia. Baska Voda town in Croatia is a beautiful hidden placeThere are more than a few in this area, but this is a good place to stop and, if the weather cooperates, go for a swim or lay out in the sun. It is surrounded by pine trees and has clear water and smooth sand. Baska Voda is also along the Adriatic coastline and has smooth sand and clear waters.

This beach is a little busier, though, as you’ll notice as you walk along the promenade.

Tip: You might long for a day at the beach after driving and visiting the many towns and villages. This is the place to rest and chill. One day or 2 here might be enough to sunbathe and chill at the beach, but of course, you could stay here much longer.

However, more great places are waiting for you.

Mostar, Blagaj Monastery, Kravice Falls, and Pocitelj (Bosnia-Herzegovina)

To get to Dubrovnik, you must cross into Bosnia-Herzegovina. So, why not visit some of the most popular destinations along the way!

Old Bridge seen from the beach in Mostar

Mostar, located by the Neretva River, is wonderful, and you should take time to stroll through the many shops and market stalls down the city’s alleys. Also, take in the panoramic views from the minaret of the Koski Mehmed-Pasha Mosque and see Stari Most, a famous reconstructed bridge from medieval times.

In the southeastern region of the Mostar basin, you will find the ancient Blagaj Monastery built 600 years ago on the cliffs, along with a Turkish bath and mausoleum.

Blagaj is a good half a day trip from Mostar

The Kravice Falls are lovely cascading waterfalls found on the Trebižat River, in the center of Herzegovina, and just south of Mostar.

Also in Herzegovina is Pocitelj, a historic village with an open-air museum that you can explore.

Tip: I adore Bosnia-Herzegovina – I loved the people, the places…in addition to that, it is also much cheaper than Croatia, so make a gas stop here and do some shopping if you are on a budget. You could visit the places in 1 day – but with crossing the border, I actually suggest spending a night in Mostar before heading to the last place on your Croatia road trip itinerary.

Dubrovnik

One of the bad things about Dubrovnik is that it is quite far from other main places in the country – which makes this road trip a bit long. However, it is really worth it.

After the excursion (with or without a stop in Bosnia), you will be back in Croatia and visit Dubrovnik, a unique town located in the south of Croatia, along the coast of the Adriatic Sea.

Dubrovnik should be on every Croatia road trip

It is known for its 16th-century walls that encircle the city and a very well-preserved old town that dates back to medieval times. This town is bustling and also very expensive compared to others in Croatia. But it has a lot of worthwhile sights as well. The 2-kilometer-long walls are walkable and offer great views of the city.

You can also see more filming locations from Game of Thrones. Other landmarks to visit include hiking up Srd Mountain, seeing St. Blaise Church, Rector’s Palace, the Dominican Monastery, Dubrovnik Cathedral, and Sponza Palace. And you can shop and eat along the Stradun.

Just outside of the city walls is Fort Lovrijenac. The Old Town and the many building throughout the streets make wandering one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik.

Tip: Park your car outside the city center – and walk or take a bus to get to the old town. Parking prices are ridiculously high. In Dubrovnik, you can walk to most attractions so you will not need a car. Driving up Srd Mountain can be challenging for people who cannot drive the extremely narrow mountain roads. This was a fun drive but probably the most challenging drive I did in Croatia.

Dubrovnik is busy. I mean, really busy, and this is why I recommend staying at least one or two nights or one night if you have added many other beautiful places on your Croatia road trip itinerary already. This way you can explore the city when the visitors are gone (as many visit only for a few hours).

Where to Stay in Dubrovnik

Villa Flora: It is a good choice in the old town, just a minute walk from Stradun. It is not super modern, nor fancy, but a nice hotel if you do not want to spend a fortune. Click here to check out prices for Villa Flora.

Rector´s Villa: Located just outside the old town (one minute from the Pile Gate), this place is great for those who want to self-cater, as there is a little kitchen in each room. Find out about the rates for Rector´s Villa here.

Hilton: If you are looking for a more luxurious hotel near the old town (just 200 meters outside the old town), you may want to check out the Hilton in Dubrovnik.

CONCLUSION OF MY CROATIA ROAD TRIP

I think the road trip was one of the most fun road trips I have had. The scenery, the streets, the people – not to forget the places you get to visit will surely make your trip amazing!

Avoid highways (for the costs) and see what the country has to offer along the coast – you will meet many friendly locals and beautiful spots. So, enjoy your Croatia road trip and drive safely!

PIN ME FOR LATER – ROAD TRIPPING CROATIA

Croatia road trip, places to visit and more travel tips

Safe Travels, Arzo

Italy or Croatia? Which Place is Better to Visit?

Italy or Croatia, which is the better country to visit?

Italy or Croatia? Which Place is Better to Visit?

Which place to visit in Europe? Which country is the better travel destination – Croatia or Italy? 

While finding the perfect travel destination depends a lot on personal choices, there are a few parameters that might help you to find out if you should travel to Italy or Croatia.

Comparing countries is difficult and personal – this is supposed to be a post helping you to find the better destination to travel to. But it is not based on facts, but more based on my experiences and my impressions – so, you might disagree and have a different opinion, but this is for the readers who need some help when they are totally unsure about what to expect.

Spoiler: I think both countries are great and eventually you should visit Croatia and Italy. 

But of course, it is not always possible to visit both countries in a short period of time and so I have compiled a list. This list should help you in your decision-making process and finding out whether Croatia or Italy is the best to visit for you at the moment.

Maybe you agree, or maybe you disagree – however, these are not facts but just my opinion.

So, without further ado, here are the arguments for or against Italy/Croatia.

History

Italy and Croatia both have a long history and buildings that tell a lot about the past. Both countries impress with medieval towns and sights. Dubrovnik views from the city wallIn Croatia, we have Dubrovnik with its medieval walls (that are still very-well maintained), Split, Sibenik, Pula, and more perfect places for anyone – not just the history geeks.

However, Italy takes the cake here. Rome alone has so much to offer for history fans – hardly any other city in Europe can compete. Just think of the ColosseumFlorence Michelangelo David StatueThen we have the birthplace of the Renaissance – Florence. And let’s not forget all the small old towns that you can find in almost any town and city in Italy. 

Italy does not only win against Croatia but would win this category against most countries, so the winner is clear here!

ITALY 1: 0 CROATIA

Road Trip

Which country is better for road trip? Italy or Croatia? My winner is clear: Croatia is the better place to road trip. At least, it is the more relaxed place to road trip. You may know that I drive regularly in Italy, but I am always anxious as heck – driving in Italy stresses me out (and also other non-Italians I have spoken to).Best places to visit in the Dolomites The thing with driving in Italy is: The views are often scenic – depending, of course, on where you drive, but especially in the mountainous northern part of Italy, where the window views are amazing.

However, if you use the highways in Italy, you have to pay. A lot. The tolls are extremely high. But if you use the side streets, it will take you forever to get from one place to another.

Then, you have the crazy Italian driving style. I‘ll try to say it nicely – drivers in Italy are not very considerate. They tailgate (but somehow often don’t want to overtake), honk their horns whenever they feel like it, speed down narrow streets, and so on. 

Yes, I love Italy and Italians, but driving in Italy has been – so far – not a thing I truly enjoy. In addition to this, cars without a special permit often cannot drive into town centers.

However, many people regularly report that the GPS does not warn them, and it can easily happen that you drive there and receive a high fine (ask me, Bergamo charged me 70€).  Of course, it was my fault. With all the stress that already comes with driving in Italy, this is an unnecessary extra problem.

Driving in Croatia, on the other hand, is like a dream come true. Yes, tolls on the highways are extremely high. D8 street in Croatia when road trippingEven higher than in Italy, BUT there are many, even more, scenic routes that you can drive for free. You can avoid paying toll highways most of the time – even if you drive from Rovinj to Dubrovnik, you can basically – and easily – drive without using highways. And I promise the roads and views are amazing.

Streets are mostly not narrow, but mostly wide enough – even the mountain roads. And streets, apart from cities and busy towns, are not busy, making driving in Croatia a lot of fun. 

Also, the drivers in Croatia are completely different from the drivers in Italy.

They are much more considerate and patient. Yes, I love driving in Croatia – actually, the Croatia road trip has been one of my favorite trips so far (probably even better than driving in Switzerland with its amazing mountain roads).

ITALY 1: 1 CROATIA

Budget

Croatia and Italy are both NOT budget-friendly destinations, in general. 

Croatia is no longer a hidden gem with great prices – but most countries aren’t the most expensive travel destinations in Europe either.

If you visit in the summer months, both places will be expensive – you have pricey Dubrovnik (very pricey Dubrovnik actually) and Hvar in Croatia and many expensive places in Italy like Florence, Lake Como, Rome… (I could go on forever.)

So, in general, visiting either of the countries in July or August is not the best idea for your budget – but even though Croatia is not a cheap destination, overall, I would definitely say it is still cheaper than Italy in terms of accommodations, food, and activities.

If you are budget-conscious, then Croatia is probably the better place to visit, though prices increase with the more visitors the country gets.

ITALY 1: 2 CROATIA

Dog

If you are a dog owner, you might be wondering whether Italy or Croatia is more dog-friendly.

Lago di Braies in the Dolomites

We have a clear winner: Italy is probably the most dog-friendly country in Europe (along with San Marino). 

This comes from two things: my dog loves Italy, and the people in Italy love my dog. It is such a tight bond that they have created in the last few years.

So, why is Italy so dog-friendly? First of all, quite a lot of accommodations allow dogs.  Sure, not all do, but compared to many other countries in Europe, dogs are often welcomed – and many times, without an extra charge.

Second, Italians show a lot of affection for dogs (at least to smaller dogs). My dog, Puppygak, makes friends daily. He normally is not the friendliest dog, but Italians talk to him in such a beautiful voice (and Italian is such a sweet language that dogs like it generally, I assume).

Next, you can take dogs (smaller and medium-sized at least) into many indoor places. Taking dogs into restaurants is quite common in many countries, but in Italy, I was allowed to take my dog into some museums, grocery stores, churches (yes, you have read that right), and other indoor buildings. 

Of course, sometimes dogs were not allowed, and sometimes dogs were only allowed if carried in bags. In popular places like Pisa and Florence, dogs were not allowed at the main attractions at all. But in the end, no other country has been as dog-friendly as Italy.

What about Croatia? Well, Croatia is not really dog-unfriendly, but it is also not really dog-friendly. If you filter accommodations on Booking that allow dogs, you will realize that a lower percentage than in Italy allows dogs. And thus, that leaves you with a smaller choice of accommodations.Traveling in Croatia with a dog Also, dogs are not allowed in most buildings – I was even kicked out of a bus in Dubrovnik because of my dog.

I did not even check if dogs were allowed because I assumed it would be fine (especially because he was carried in a little bag).

On the other hand, he was allowed on boats in Dubrovnik and Rovinj.

So, I would not say Croatia is very dog-unfriendly, but Italy is the best place to visit in Italy with a dog.

ITALY 2: 2 CROATIA

People

There is no clear winner, and it is a close call, though I would probably say that Italians might win by a hair. 

My experiences with Italians have been pretty positive – although Italians often vote for right-wing parties. And I have heard from some other visitors, especially colored people, that they experienced some blunt racism even when they visited for only a few days.

Luckily, I haven’t experienced anything like that. Yes, I do look Italian, but people quickly realize I am a foreigner – due to my lack of language skills. But I love how friendly the people are – yes, Italian men are very flirty, but even the women are amicable.

What about Croatians? Croatians are friendly, too – but somehow, they seem more reserved, and younger women, in particular, were not as friendly.

As for language, Croatians often speak better English (and many even speak some German,) but even communicating with Italians wasn’t a big issue. So, for me, Italians are the friendlier ones – but I sometimes wonder if the people are so overly friendly in Italy just because they really like my dog?! 

I don’t know, and I have heard other opinions, so my tip is to be open-minded in this category.

ITALY 3: 2 CROATIA

Mountains and Lakes

To be more precise, the Dolomites in northern Italy, South Tyrol, is one of the most stunning outdoor places in Europe, if not the world.

Best lakes to visit in the Dolomites, Italy

Stunning lakes, like Lago di Braies and Lago di Carezza or Lago di Sorapis, and the uniquely-shaped mountain range of the Dolomites, make Nort Italy one of the most distinctive unique areas in the world. This alone is reason enough to declare Italy, the winner for mountain and lake lovers. 

Yes, Croatia is mountainous, too. Driving in the mountains in Croatia is fun, and the views are beautiful, too.

Dubrovnik old town view Srd Hill

But the Dolomites win the race and bring the trophy home for all of Italy.

ITALY 4: 2 CROATIA

Weather

Both countries have a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and colder (and wetter) winter months. So, both are great for beach vacations in summer and perfect for sightseeing in spring and fall. And in winter, you can do some winter sports – at least in some areas of both countries.

It gets freezing in northern Italy in the winter months, and it is a perfect place for winter sports – but you can do winter sports in Croatia, too.

There is no winner in this category.

ITALY 5: 3 CROATIA

Waterfalls

Italy is known for many things, and though there are some waterfalls in Italy, it surely is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Italy.

Plitvice Lake in Croatia

One of the first attractions that come to mind when talking about Croatia, though, is the Plitvice National Park with its many, many waterfalls.

Then there is the Krka National Park with even more waterfalls – so, if you chase amazing waterfalls, then Croatia is the place to go.

ITALY 5: 4 CROATIA

Fashion 

Are you a shopping addict? Then head to Italy – Italy is the fashion capital of Europe.  Especially around Milan, people are just extremely beautifully dressed, and in general, Italians are the best-dressed people. 

It does not surprise that many famous fashion designers, like Armani, are Italian.

If you are a shopping addict, and especially into fashion, Italy is the better place to visit.

ITALY 6: 3 CROATIA

Party

This is another category that I personally cannot really judge first-hand. Given the many big cities, I assume Italians have a lot of parties taking place. However, it seems that visitors love Croatia as a party destination. Think about the Yacht Weeks and Hvar – the party island. Younger people who like to party tend to flock to Croatia!

ITALY 6: 4 CROATIA

Beaches

Are you looking for a relaxed and still fun beach holiday? Okay, I am not the expert here as I am not the biggest beach person – but both Italy and Croatia have beautiful beaches.

Due to their locations, both countries have many beaches, and it will never take too long to find a beach. You can even combine a city trip with some days at the beach. But there are differences. 

Beach in Croatia, road trip in Croatia

Many of Croatia‘s beaches are rocky or pebbly beaches – which is not to everyone’s taste. The water is clear and stunning, but it really comes down to whether you like sandy beaches or not.

There are definitely enough beaches to choose from, and if you really want to find a sandy beach, you can find those, too. Beaches in Italy are also stunning – not all beaches are sandy here, either, but you can find more of them.

So, both places are great for a beach vacation, and I cannot really name a winner.

ITALY 7: 5 CROATIA

Food

If asked for one of the world’s best foods, many would probably name Italy in their top 3.

Vegetarian food in Italy-2

Italy has some amazing food – pizza and pasta are just some of the delicious food options. Let’s not forget about antipasto and gelato.

Yes, food in Italy is great, and I don’t know anyone who seriously dislikes Italian food. There are, however, some big differences between southern and northern Italian food (I am more into southern Italian food, with its vegetables).

BUT Croatia is actually also known for good food – seafood and meat lovers especially are in heaven in Croatia. The food here is heavier though not bad. You can find international dishes (like the Indian food in the picture), but that is not typical Croatian food.

Vegan food in Dubrovnik

Though I do not eat any seafood or meat, I did have some great dinners there, and Croatia for sure did not disappoint.

However, given the overall reputation of food in both countries, Italy wins here.

ITALY 8: 5 CROATIA

Wine

So, for many, this might be another important aspect. Where do you get better wine? This is another category I am no expert in, but think of Tuscany!

Wine tasting at Ruffinio Relais Tuscany estate

Besides the green rolling hills, it is all about wine – what wine lover does not dream of visiting Italy and trying all the different wines? The biggest wine producer in Italy has also opened its own relais – perfect for anyone who wants to combine a vacation with wine tasting!

Yes, Croatia also has a long history of wine production. If you drive through Croatia, you will find many vineyards along the way – but when competing against Italy, Croatia gets the short end of the stick.

ITALY 9: 5 CROATIA

Where to Go? Croatia or Italy?

This comparison is totally based on my own judgment. Of course, I tried to back it up here and there with facts, BUT please do not take it too personally. 

It should help you find the perfect destination – we are all different and are all looking for different things when traveling. Both share a lot of similarities, but also some differences.

I do like both countries and have enjoyed my time there. But of course, it is not only we humans that are different but also our countries. Maybe you agree, or maybe you disagree and have had different experiences. Either way, don’t take my opinion for fact, though I try to be as honest as I can be!

Safe Travels, Arzo

Where to Stay in Croatia – Best Tips For All Budgets

WHERE TO STAY IN CROATIA – BEST AREAS AND HOTELS FOR ALL BUDGETS

Are Planning a trip to this beautiful country and wondering about where to stay in Croatia? Then this post is for you, as you will find out about the best places to stay in Croatia – the best areas for all budgets.

Croatia has become a top travel destination in Europe – for many good reasons. Beautiful beaches, stunning landscapes, lively and fun cities and islands, cute towns, friendly locals, and the Mediterranean climate are just a few of them.

When I planned my Croatia road trip, I definitely felt overwhelmed. There is just so much to see and, because of Croatia´s geography, it can take forever to get from one place to another.

The country is very stretched out, with another country (Bosnia-Herzegovina) crossing it, which means you must cross borders if you want to get from Split to Dubrovnik, for example (unless you travel by ferry).

You should consider this when planning in which area to stay: Do you want to road trip or do you want to stay in one or two places and do day trips?

This is particularly important as the country is – as mentioned before – so stretched, and getting around is not always fast or easy.

That is why I have divided this post into the best places to stay when road tripping Croatia and the best areas to stay when planning to do day trips.

If you road trip, choosing hotels and places might be easier, and you can get around quicker than if you need a base. 

However, road tripping can also be overwhelming. When not road tripping, my tip is to change areas 1-3 times (depending on the length of your stay) and do day trips.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.

Rovinj

Rovinj in Istria is a beautiful coastal town very high in the north of the country. The town is lovely, and the area reminded me more of an Italian coastal town than the rest of Croatia. The influence of the Venetians is clearly visible here.Croatia, Rovinj seen from a boat tripRovinj is a good place to stay in Croatia if you want to stay in the northern part of the country, or if you road trip and want to see as much as possible. 

For Rovinj, you will probably need one day, and then you could do a few day trips, e.g., visit Pula.

So, if you want to explore Istria, choose that as your base.

Apart from that, other main tourist attractions are quite far from it, and it is not the best place to stay in Croatia for longer – and I suggest changing locations after a few days.

Possible day trips:

  • Pula – about a 45-minute drive
  • Trieste (Italy) – about a 90-minute drive
  • Rijeka – about a 90-minute drive

Where to Stay in Rovinj

I picked a little B&B near the old town. The prices were good. They allowed dogs (which isn’t always the case here in Croatia) and offered free parking. Within a few minutes, I was in the old town, and I was thrilled with my choice. However, there are not many rooms, so book early or check out one of the many other options, as there are many places to stay. Find out more about the little B&B I stayed at – Rooms Barbieri.

For a more luxurious stay – just 10 minutes from the old town – check out the Grand Park Hotel Rovinj rates.

Hotel Adriatic is a very well-rated boutique hotel in the old town. Find out more about the rates.

In general, I suggest staying in or near the old town.

Zagreb

Zagreb is another good place to stay in North Croatia – it is a good option if you want to explore the city in one or two days.

However, while Zagreb is interesting, I have to admit that I would probably skip it with less than 10 days in Croatia. View from the promenade in ZagrebDue to its “remote“ location, getting to Zagreb takes time, and you cannot do many day trips from Zagreb.

Whether you travel by car or public transportation, most main tourist attractions are quite far away, so this is why Zagreb would not be my top choice as your base.

Zagreb could be used as a base to get to the Plitvice Lakes, which are a 2-hour drive away, but that’s basically it.

But if you have more time and want to explore Zagreb, then the city is a good starting or endpoint of your Croatia trip.

For exploring the city, I recommend staying in or near the Upper Town so that you can see the main attractions easily.

Possible day trips:

  • Plitvice Lakes National Park – a 120-minute drive

Where to Stay in Zagreb:

I stayed at an Airbnb but here is one of the best-rated hotels in Zagreb that you can check out.

Plitvice National Park

Plitvice is one of the main attractions in the country. Many tourists come here to see the many, many waterfalls in the Plitvice Lakes National Park. It is the oldest and largest national park in Croatia and has also held UNESCO World Heritage status since 1979. This alone makes it one of the best places to stay in Croatia.Plitvice Lake in CroatiaSo, it gets busy here in the summer months, and I recommend booking in advance.

It is great to stay for one night – there are not many tourist attractions close by, so I would not make it your base, to be honest.

Where to Stay at Plitvice Lakes National Park: 

I stayed at a clean, tidy, and nice (though simple) pension a few kilometers near the lakes – the owners were really nice, too. So definitely a place I recommend staying at. Check out the rates for the Pansion House Prijeboj.

Zadar

Zadar is a coastal town and quite central and a good choice for staying in Croatia for a few days.Zadar view from the Bell Tower, one of the best places to visit in CroatiaWhile I have to openly admit that Zadar was my least favorite place in Croatia, it is a good place to stay in Croatia for one night to explore the city, but it is also a good place for other day trips to Split, Sibenik & Trogir, and the Plitvice Lakes. 

However, getting to Dubrovnik from Zadar is too tedious, in my opinion, and I cannot recommend doing many day trips from Zadar.

So, if you road trip, I suggest staying one night here. And if you don’t road trip, I suggest staying here for a few days to do a few day trips.

Split is probably one of the best places to stay in Croatia – I like the city, but I think that 1 or 2 days is definitely enough unless you want to take it easy.

The old town itself is quite small and “doable“ in one day – but you can do a trip to one of the smaller villages close by or take the time to swim and enjoy some beach time.

Possible day trips:

  • Trogir
  • Sibenik
  • Zadar
  • Plitvice National Park

Where to Stay in Zadar: 

I stayed at Apartments Aria – I love to cook my own food and had my dog with me, and I needed free parking, so it was great for me (plus super clean and a nice but basic little apartment).

It was a bit too far from the main tourist attractions (about 14-minutes), but this was a good place other than this.

Here is one of the best-rated hotels in Zagreb

Split

Looking for more places while wondering where to stay in Croatia? Then consider adding Split as a base for a few bases. What I like the most about Split is its central location. It is so easy to do day trips from here, and if I had to name only one area/city in which to stay in Croatia, I would recommend making Split your base and go on day trips from Split.Marjan Hill in Split is one of the main attractions in SplitDubrovnik is a great city to stay in Croatia, but prices for accommodations are quite hefty – especially in the high season.

Also, food and parking prices (speaking of, it is up to 240€ for 24 hours of parking if you choose the most convenient parking spot in the city center) are high. But while Dubrovnik is very touristy, I still loved it, and I think it must visit.

If you make Split your base, you should/could make a day (or two-day) trip to Dubrovnik. But if you road trip Croatia, then I would stay here for a night at least, as its location makes a trip here quite time-consuming.

Possible day trips:

  • Makarska
  • Trogir
  • Sibenik
  • Zadar

Where to Stay in Split:

I stayed at Apartments Hani – surely nothing fancy here but it is quite close to the old town, it had a washing machine and a small kitchen (there are not many rooms, so if you want to stay here, you must book early). Check out rates and availability at Apartments Hani.

For more luxury, check out the Hotel Park Split by Bačvice Beach – it is one of the most luxurious places to stay in Split.

If you are looking more for a mid-range hotel in the old town, then Golden Gate Dreams Rooms might be a perfect choice. It is located in the old town and has great ratings. Find out more about rates and availability here.

Dubrovnik

This city is a must-see place in Croatia, and I suggest staying here at least one night – as, even with the crowds – it is one of the very best places to stay in Croatia.

Dubrovnik view from Kings Landing

In Dubrovnik, I recommend staying in the old town of the city. Prices are high, but you can take your time strolling the city’s unique old town without the crowds early in the morning or in the evening.

Because what you will find plenty of in Dubrovnik is tourists. Seriously, Dubrovnik gets crowded as heck, and you will enjoy the quietness when the day tourists are not there yet. The TV show Games of Thrones has done its part, but Dubrovnik has been a popular destination even without the show.

I stayed at two different places in Dubrovnik and enjoyed both – one was directly within the city walls and just outside the city walls.

Each had its perks – and one had a kitchen included, which is great if you want to self-cater. However, many hotels in Dubrovnik are small, and accommodations are quickly booked, so especially if you travel during high season, book in advance.

Possible day trips:

Where to Stay in Dubrovnik

Villa Flora: A good choice in the old town, just a minute from Stradun. Not super modern, nor extremely fancy, but a nice hotel if you do not want to spend a fortune. Click here to check out prices for Villa Flora.

Rector´s Villa: It is located just outside the old town (one minute from the Pile Gate and next to Fort Lovrijenac). This is great for those who want to self-cater, as it provides a little kitchen in each room. Find out about the rates for Rector´s Villa here.

Hilton: If you are looking for a more luxurious hotel near the old town (just 200 meters outside the old town), you may want to check out the Hilton in Dubrovnik.

Hvar

I, very, unfortunately, had to skip Hvar. The weather was terrible, and I decided against visiting (I book very spontaneously, but I also visited off-season). However, according to my friends and family that visited, it is a great place to stay for one night.

Hvar is one of the best places to stay in Croatia
@shutterstock

Hvar Town is Croatia’s premier party town! But there is more to it than that.

The town is known for its beautiful old town, perfect for getting lost in and party the nights away. Since it is an island and you need to get to Hear via ferry, it is not the best place to base yourself on many day trips.

Where to stay in Hvar:

While I did not stay in Hvar myself, this hotel seems like a great place to stay when visiting Hvar (keep in mind that Hvar is quite expensive).

Neum

Neum is actually not located in Croatia, but the now southern point of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The history is complicated – however, if you want to visit Dubrovnik from most other places in Croatia (like Split, etc.), you have to cross the border in Bosnia and drive through Neum.

If you take the ferry, you will not cross borders, but you could stay in Neum if you travel by bus or car. Neum is a little beach resort that is, honestly, less beautiful than the Croatian beach towns, but it is also much more affordable.

So, if you are on a budget and are looking for a more affordable place to stay in Croatia (or, in this case, a place to stay near Croatia) and want to get from Split to Dubrovnik, Neum is a great place for a stopover.

Possible day trips:

SUMMARY: BEST PLACES TO STAY IN CROATIA

Croatia is such a diverse country with so many beautiful places to stay. Whether you are a beach or city (or town) person – or you enjoy the mountains – you surely find the best places to stay in Croatia for your Croatia trip. Whenever you are headed to Croatia – hopefully, this post will help you figure out where to stay in Croatia.Safe Travels, Arzo

BEST 2 DAYS IN ZAGREB ITINERARY

Best things to do in Zagreb, Croatia in 2 days. An itinerary - cover

TOP THINGS TO DO IN ZAGREB IN 2 DAYS

Are you planning your Zagreb itinerary and wondering about the best things to do in Zagreb in 2 days (or 1 day)? Then this post is for you. Find out about the best things to do in Zagreb – where to go and what to see, plus some travel tips.

Croatia´s capital is a fun and lively city that offers quite a few attractions and has some beautiful places to visit. Zagreb might surprise you. It is different from other places in Croatia. Actually, it reminded me more of Austria or Hungary (no surprise, given its history) with its beautiful buildings and architecture.

I would lie if I said that Zagreb was my favorite place in Croatia. No, it was not, but I still really liked it and definitely think it should be on your Croatia itinerary.

So, enough talking – let’s dive in and find out about how to spend 2 days in Zagreb.

Let´s start with attractions in the Upper Town and what you will find there.

The oldest part of the city is a little city dream, with its many cobblestone streets stretching between two hills – Kaptol and Gradec. First of all, how do you get to the Upper Town? Don’t worry. It might sound like you would need to do a tedious hike/ride up, but it is quite easy to get from the Lower Town to the Upper Town.

Ride the Shortest Funicular in the World 

To get up to the Upper Town, you could take the funicular. Apparently, it is the shortest funicular ride in the world. It takes less than one minute and costs less than $1 to get up.

Shortest funicular in Zagreb, Croatia

The funicular runs frequently. I walked up, but many people use the funicular for a quicker ride, and it has become the main tourist attraction itself.

Visit Lotrščak Tower

If you get up via the funicular (or climb the stairs), you’ll see one of the oldest buildings in Zagreb: Lotrščak Tower.

Lotrscak tower in Zagreb, Croatia a must-see in 2 days
@shutterstock

It was a part of the southern gate and town defenses, dating back to the 13th century. I admit that I just passed it even though it is one of the main tourist attractions in Zagreb, as it is one of the last remaining fortifications in the city. Probably because I wasn’t around at noon. At noon every day, there is a cannon fire. That tradition started more than a hundred years ago as a victory sign against the Ottomans in the 13th century.

I was somehow unaware that you could climb the (narrow) stairs and enjoy even more elaborate views of Zagreb from the tower.

The entrance fee is around $3.

Stroll the Strossmeyer Promenade

If you get up via the funicular, you arrive at the Strossmeyer Promenade – one of the most romantic promenades in Zagreb. Not that I have checked them all, but according to the locals.

View from the promenade in Zagreb

Historic Zagreb towers sunrise view, capital of Croatia
@shutterstock

It is also known as Zagreb Stross, it is filled with many chestnut trees, and you’ll also find benches.

It runs along the remains of Zagreb’s medieval defensive walls and offers beautiful views. Make sure to walk all the way to the end to have a great view of the Zagreb Cathedral.

Admire St. Mark´s Church

In Croatia, you’ll find many churches – so what makes St. Mark´s Church stand out? Well, let me show you this picture.

St. Marks Church in Zagreb a place to visit in 2 days

Such a colorful, tiled roof is surely unique. I have not seen any other church roof similar to this, so it does not surprise me that it has become an icon in Croatia.

The church dates back to the 13th century – the roof was constructed in the 1880s, though it is also one of the oldest churches in the country.  On the left, you’ll see the medieval coat of arms of Croatia, Dalmatia, and Slovenia, while on the right is the coat of arms of Zagreb.

You can visit the interior for free if you attend the daily mass. It is not open most of the time, so check out mass times. If you visit between late April and October – and on the weekend – you can watch the guard changing ceremony that takes place at noon.

Walk Grič Tunnel

Grič Tunnel was built during World War II, with its primary purpose to shelter civilians from bombings during WWII and the Croatian War of Independence towards the end of the 20th century.

Tunnel in Zagreb

There is no entrance fee – and best of all, you’ll also find toilets there.

But that aside, this has become a major tourist attraction. You can walk the 350-meter-long tunnel now, and once in a while, even events take place there.

There are several entrances: 

Mesnička Entrance

Radićeva 19 Entrance

Art Park Entrances 1 and 2

Ilica Entrance 

Rest at Art Park

If you walk the tunnel, you can get out at Art Park. I admit, though it was listed in many posts as a top place to visit in Zagreb, I would skip it on my next visit.

However, if you are into quirky art or need a little park to rest in, then the Art Park might be the perfect place for you.

If you are with children, you might want to check out this little park that hosts some interesting outdoor art pieces. If you are short on time or aren’t overly into art, it is probably not a must-see.

The Dolac market is the city´s main, open-air farmers’ market and popular amongst locals and visitors. You can shop for some fresh fruits or bread (and many more things) every day from 7 am. On Sundays, it is open until 1 pm; on the other days, it is held until 3 pm.

Visit the Cathedral

Close to the Colac Market is the Zagreb Cathedral – officially named Zagreb Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Assumption – a must-visit on any Zagreb itinerary.

cathedral and Blessed Virgin Mary monument in Zagreb. Croatia
@shutterstock

It is the tallest building in Croatia and is located on the Kaptol Square – but you can see it from afar because of its twin, 108-meter-high (354 ft) spires.  The Cathedral has been there since the 11th century, though it was severely damaged several times – the last big restoration took place in the late 19th century.

You can visit the church during the day, and visitors are more than welcome to attend the daily masses.

Stroll Tkalčićeva Street

This pretty street is a must-visit place. Vibrant and full of restaurants and small shops, it is trendy amongst visitors. But don’t just sit down in one of the restaurants – make sure to look at the colorful houses behind the bars and shops.

Zagreb attraction in Croatia

Here you’ll also find the statue of Mary Juric Zagorka, a famous Zagreb journalist.

Fun fact: This street used to be the first real red-light street in all of Europe, and almost every house here used to be a brothel.

Visit the Museum of Broken Relationships

This is probably the most famous museum in the city. However, I still did not go, but it seems to be one of the best places to add to your itinerary.

Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb, Croatia a popular spot

I haven’t mentioned yet that Zagreb is also known as the City of a Million Hearts – it is all about love here. The museum is actually about failed love relationships, and so it exhibits personal objects left over from former owners, accompanied by their stories and emotions.

The entry fee is around $5.

Walk Through Stone Gate

There are several ways to get to the Upper Town – one is via the Stone Gate (Porta di Pietra). 

Stone Gate located at Upper Town of Zagreb built in the 13th century for your 2-day Zagreb itinerary
@shutterstock

It is the only remaining entrance of Zagreb’s old fortifications and the eastern gate to the old town.

It also dates back to the 13th century, and if you go through the gate nowadays, you will find a shrine and stone slabs praising the Mother of God. I saw quite a few people lighting candles and thanking the Lady for protection. 

Apparently, on Tuesdays at 8 pm, locals pray and sing here, and visitors are welcome to join. From there, you are within minutes of the lower town of the city.

Of course, it really depends on your speed and if you visit the churches and the museum, but you can easily spend one day in the city’s upper town. Then, you will have one full day to spend in other parts of the city.

Day 2 in Zagreb

Visit Mirogoj Cemetery

There used to be a time when I thought doing cemetery sightseeing was weird – and then I started traveling more in Austria, where cemeteries are often the main tourist attractions, like in Hallstatt or Salzburg.

Cemetery in Zagreb, Croatia

Cemetery in Zagreb is a must-see in 2 days

And it seems that the Austrian influence is strong here, as one of the most beautiful cemeteries is here in Zagreb: Mirogoj Cemetery.

It is a cemetery, but also a beautiful park and an open art gallery. The beautiful buildings are mostly covered by greenery, and it is really a very photogenic place (or as it is called nowadays, “Instagramable”).

You can freely walk around. If it were not for the graves and statues, I would have a hard time believing it is a cemetery. Many famous people are buried here, including many of the country´s politicians, nobles, poets, and artists.

End Your Day at Zagreb 360 

Zagreb Eye is an observation deck and a Viewpoint Bar. It is situated on the top floor of the iconic Zagreb Ilica Skyscraper, and you can have great views from there.

aerial cityscape Croatia, view from Zagreb 360 a gapped place to end your 2 days in Zagreb
@shutterstock

Due to bad weather, I skipped this – though I am normally totally into views like these. But with rain and bad weather, I had to skip it.

However, I think it is a perfect place to end your itinerary – right at the bar with a drink and a view that is probably the best in the city.

CONCLUSION: 2 DAY ZAGREB ITINERARY

Hopefully, this post will help you plan your 2 days in Zagreb. As you can see, it is a quite relaxed itinerary with not too many activities, and you might need less than 2 full days, but after all my busy time in Croatia, this stop was perfect for taking it easy. If taking it easy while still seeing quite a lot, this Zagreb itinerary is perfect for you, too (so I hope).

As mentioned at the beginning, I had some places I liked more than Zagreb – e.g., Trogir or Rovinj (and Split), so check out my other Croatia posts!

Safe Travels, Arzo

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