HOW TO HAVE AMAZING 7 DAYS IN CROATIA
- 1 HOW TO HAVE AMAZING 7 DAYS IN CROATIA
- 2 TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR CROATIA ITINERARY
- 3 PLACES TO VISIT IN CROATIA IN ONE WEEK
- 4 MORE PLACES TO SEE IN CROATIA IN 7 – 14 DAYS
- 5 DAY TRIPS OUTSIDE OF CROATIA
- 6 FINAL THOUGHTS ON VISITING CROATIA FOR A WEEK
If you are wondering about the best places to visit in one week in Croatia, then this 7-day Croatia itinerary is perfect for you. And if you stay longer – even better. I will share tips with you on how to spend 7 days in Croatia (and longer).
Croatia is just a stunningly beautiful country and well worth a visit – whether you are a Games of Thrones fan or not. Whether you are a beach fan or not. The country has so much for everyone, and there is a lot to do and see.
So, if you visit the country for 7 days, 10 days, or 14 days, this Croatia itinerary will help you find the most beautiful spots.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This 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.
TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR CROATIA ITINERARY
In this post, you will find out:
- Best time to visit Croatia
- Best way to get around in Croatia for a week
- Language in Croatia
- Food in Croatia
- Currency / Money
- Internet in Croatia
- Where to stay in Croatia for 7 days
- Solo female travel tips for Croatia
- Places to visit in 7 days in Croatia
- More places to add to your Croatia itinerary
- Day trips outside of Croatia
Before talking about the Croatia itinerary, here are some travel tips.
Best Time to Visit Croatia For 7 Days
- The best time to road trip Croatia (or just visit) is during the shoulder season.
- I visited in April and had a good time. Still, I think that May, early June, September, or October would have been a better choice. The scenery gets even more beautiful, more tours and activities are offered (quite a few bell towers, etc., were closed for renovations in April), and it gets a bit warmer.
- With the heat in the summer months (June, July, and August), the tourists come, and prices for accommodations are significantly higher.
7 Days in Croatia – Road Tripping or Using Public Transportation?
Croatia is one of the best countries in Europe to road trip. Most of all, it is very easy to drive here. I was a bit worried about driving in Croatia (especially as I was driving in my own car), but my worries were unfounded.
Driving in Croatia is amazing.
- Even in the mountains, the streets are not as narrow as in many other countries and are mostly in good to great condition. They are also not busy, and drivers are quite friendly.
- Plus, you’ll have the freedom to stop whenever you want. If you drive along the D8 – along the coast – you can avoid the tolls and have amazing scenic views.
- The tolls are expensive as heck in Croatia – for 45 km, I paid around 5.50€!
- Croatia has done a fantastic job with building these roads, and there are many great spots if you want to take a break and enjoy the views.
- If you need to rent a car, make sure to rent a car in advance (especially if you visit during the busier months).
- Gas and diesel prices are quite high, though.
- Finding parking spots in most cities and towns (at least compared to Italy and if you do not visit in July or August) is not a big challenge in the shoulder season – an exception is Dubrovnik. Check out my guide on road-tripping Croatia.
However, public transportation also works for this one-week Croatia itinerary.
- Though I did not use public transportation a lot, it is known that Croatia has a great network of buses that frequently travel between popular attractions and destinations.
When you plan to visit any of the islands, like Hvar, you will need to use the ferry or a boat.
Languages in Croatia
- Croatian is the official language, but I never had any issues with not speaking it.
- Many people speak English, and German is quite widely spoken. So, with English, you are good to go and don’t have to worry about language barriers.
Currency / Money
- Though Croatia is part of the EU, it does not have the €.
- The official currency in Croatia is the Kuna.
- 1 Kuna is about 1.3€ ($1.50). Rates can change quickly, though, so this is only an estimation of when this post was written.
- You can find foreign currency exchange centers throughout all cities and towns.
- Many restaurants and smaller shops do not accept credit cards, so always have some cash on you.
- Euros are widely accepted, but the rates are often terrible, so change money as early as possible and no later than on your arrival.
Accommodations for Your Croatia Itinerary
In Croatia, you will find anything from cheap hostels and apartment rentals to luxury hotels. Most of the time, I stayed in small apartments that I found on booking.com.
In spring, there was no issue booking a day in advance or on the same day. I am a very spontaneous person, though. If you are picky with your accommodation and want to have many options, booking a few weeks in advance is probably a better idea (especially in the busy months).
However, in Dubrovnik, hotels were quickly booked, even in spring. Definitely book in advance if you want to get good accommodation.
I will offer some tips on where to stay at each destination.
If you prefer staying in one, two, or three places and taking day trips, I suggest staying in/near Dubrovnik (though it is expensive) or Split and taking trips from there.
Solo Female Travel Tips
I traveled to Croatia as a solo female traveler – well, kind of. My little doggy was with me. I can say that traveling alone in Croatia felt safe and great with or without him.I never felt insecure or unsafe, and I totally recommend visiting Croatia either with friends, family, your partner, or alone. It is a safe country in Europe and safer than many others worldwide or areas in the US.
- Beware of pickpocketing in busy areas, keep valuables close to you, and do not leave valuables on display in your car – basically, a bit of common sense, but nothing to be overly wary of.
- People are friendly, and they speak English very well, which makes communication with others easy. And with so many people from all around the world, it is easy to make new friends if you actually prefer doing a few activities with others rather than alone.
Pin me For Later – 7-Day Croatia Itinerary
The post isn’t finished yet – below you will find out about the best places to add to your Croatia itinerary. But do not forget to PIN ME for later.
PLACES TO VISIT IN CROATIA IN ONE WEEK
This Croatia itinerary starts either in Dubrovnik or Split. However, feel free to tweak the itinerary so that it fits you. I do not recommend visiting Croatia for less than one week, as you would miss out on too much of its beauty.
Split (1 – 1,5 Days)
Split should be on any Croatia itinerary! Split is the 2nd largest city in Croatia. It lies on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea and is spread over a central peninsula and its surroundings.
It is one of the most famous and popular cities, and this is for a reason. Yes, it gets crowded (even in the shoulder seasons because of the touristic cruise ships), but it is still worth visiting.I personally think 1 day is wonderful and enough if you don’t have endless time in Croatia. One of the reasons for Split´s popularity is because it was one of the filming locations for Game of Thrones.
Things to do in Split:
- So, definitely make sure to explore Diocletian’s Palace (free) with the Cathedral and Bell Tower of Saint Domnius (small entrance fee), the Peristyle (Peristil), Vestibule, and the City Gates.
- For great views (other than the bell tower that was closed during my visit), hike up Marjan Hill (about 20-30 minutes of uphill walking) and soak in the scenery. Stroll the area and have dinner at the Riva promenade.
- If you are a GoT fan, you might want to enjoy Klis Fortress’s views (entrance about 9€), which is located outside the old town. Even if you are not a GoT fan, the panorama is well worth a visit!
- Check out my Split guide for more detailed information.
WHERE TO STAY IN SPLIT
- For a luxury option, 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 has great ratings. Find out more about rates and availability here.
Trogir and Šibenik (1 – 1,5 Day)
You can base yourself in or near Split and do a fun day trip. Or you can stop on your way to Split and visit these two pretty towns. Actually, pretty is a bit understated. Trogir and Šibenik are two extremely beautiful places and should be on any Croatia itinerary. Trogir and Šibenik are small towns and absolutely charming.
Šibenik is a historic city on the Adriatic coast. The town center is small and I went back and forth through the few old but very picturesque streets of the town.
And what I had not known before my visit: Šibenik is actually a filming location for Games of Thrones. So, this is also a must-see for all GoT fans.
Looking back, I regret not having visited the St. Michael’s Fortress as well. I suggest planning enough time for the old town and a short hike to the fortress which sits on a hill and promises nice views.
- Visit the two UNESCO World Heritage sites – Sibenik Cathedral and St. Nicholas Fortress – but also have coffee in one of the cute cafes or restaurants around and just let the flow take you.
You can probably have your lunch here and then head to the next place.
Pretty, pretty Trogir! Trogir lies on a small island connected to the mainland and the island of Čiovo by bridges. It felt like a little Split, but actually more charming with its very picturesque cafes and cute, colorful streets and lovely people.
- Stroll the old streets, visit the Trogir Cathedral (small entrance fee) and enjoy the views from the bell tower, and see the clock tower at the market square.
- Go to Kamerlengo Castle for the views (small entrance fee), and relax at the seaside promenade. This is also a good place to end the day.
- Check out my more detailed guide for Trogir.
WHERE TO STAY IN TROGIR
In case you want to spend a night in Trogir, which seems like a good idea, here are some hotels.
- Hotel Brown Beach House & Spa looks like a lovely hotel with a pool, lovely views, and proximity 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.
Krka National Park (1 Day)
Another day trip from Split could be Krka National Park. The Krka National Park is known for its beautiful waterfalls and nature trails – similar to the Plitvice Lakes.
The weather was not always on my side, so I decided I wanted to spend the sunny days in a town/city rather than at Krka National Park, and thus skipped it.
After reading reviews, it seems the Krka National Park is a little less spectacular than Plitvice National Park. However, at Krka, you can swim, which seems reason enough to visit.
If you stay in Croatia for only 7 days, one national park is probably all you can fit in. Krka is closer to cities like Split or Zadar, and it does not take that much time to get there, while Plitvice National Park is located in the north, and getting there is much more time-consuming.
Omis (1 Day)
Another one of Croatia‘s prettiest, most unique places is the small town of Omis which is also a port in the Dalmatia region.
Known as a former pirate town in the 12-14th centuries, it is a small central Dalmatian town located between Split and Makarska, situated in the Cetina River’s mouth and surrounded by massive gorges that remind me of fjords in certain parts.
There is no place like Omis – and it is the perfect place for adventure lovers.
- Ziplining, rock climbing, biking, rafting, and canyoning are big in Omis!
- But there is more to it than adventurous activities – take the time and do a short 10-minute uphill hike to get to Castle Mirabella. It will be worth it. If you don’t want to pay a few euros for the entrance fee, you will have nice views before you even reach the ticket counter. However, I recommend paying the fee (I think it was about 3€) and taking a few more steps for a better panorama of the old town.
- I wish that I had stayed longer, so I could have hiked the Starigrad Fortica to enjoy the views from there, which takes a few hours to get to.
Well, there will hopefully be the next time, but here is my tip for you: Stay in Omis for at least one full day if you like to be a bit more active.
Italy or Croatia? Check out my comparison to find out which country is the perfect travel destination for you.
Dubrovnik (2 Days)
Dubrovnik is a city in southern Croatia fronting the Adriatic Sea. It is out of the world!
While I still think Venice is probably the most unique city in the world, Dubrovnik is up there. Yes, there are many old towns and well-preserved medieval places in Europe and Croatia. However, Dubrovnik is seriously different.
Expensive as heck and crazy busy, it is not everyone´s favorite – but I totally loved it!
You should plan at least 2 days in Dubrovnik.
- The best activity – by far – was walking the city walls. You can stroll the complete walls, which are about 2 km long, and you have the best views from there. This activity costs around 30€ and is probably the most expensive “entry fee“ in the area. But the views are so worth it. Tip: you can buy a Dubrovnik Card, it might help you save money.
- Take the time to stroll the old town and streets, and check out all the filming locations of GoT (including King´s Landing).
- Also, go on a boat cruise to see the old town from another angle.
- If you have time, head to Srd Mountain for amazing views. You can get up via cable car, hike up (it should take about one hour), take an uber or taxi, or drive in your own car. I drove myself, even though the reviews on TripAdvisor made it look like a horror trip. It is probably not for the inexperienced mountain driver, but it was not too bad.
- I have a more detailed Dubrovnik itinerary that you can read here.
WHERE TO STAY IN DUBROVNIK
- Hilton: If you are looking for a luxurious hotel near the old town (just 200 meters outside the old town), you may want to check out the Hilton in Dubrovnik.
MORE PLACES TO SEE IN CROATIA IN 7 – 14 DAYS
So, if you have more than 7 days in Croatia and don’t mind driving around, then here are a few places to visit.
Zagreb (1-2 Days)
You can start your Croatia trip in the country’s capital if you stay longer than one week.Zagreb is often overlooked for the more popular city of Dubrovnik. And while Zagreb does not lie on the coast (unlike many other cities, towns, and villages on this itinerary), it is well worth spending a day or two.
Zagreb is totally different from other cities in the country – it feels more like Vienna with its Austrian-Hungarian architecture that is different from most other Croatian cities’ architectural styles.
The only problem I see with Zagreb is the fact that it is not centrally located. It is quite far to the north (near the Slovenian border), making it difficult to get to. But other than that, there is no reason not to go.
- In one day, you can visit the Cathedral,
- shop for food at Dollar Market,
- Visit the Museum of Broken Relationships,
- Admire the unique St. Mark´s Church,
- Have lunch at Tkalciceva Street,
- and if you have any time left, visit the stunning cemetery of Mirogoj (which is located a bit outside the city center).
- Check out my 2-day Zagreb itinerary.
If you are in Croatia for 14 days, then plan in at least 1.5 days in Zagreb and then consider the travel time to the next destination (which probably will be the Plitvice Lakes, Zadar, or Rovinj). However, with only 1 week, I would probably skip Zagreb – just because it is quite far from other main tourist attractions.
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 (1 Day)
One of the most famous and popular tourist destinations in Croatia is the Plitvice Lakes. And if you have already seen images, you know why. This place is stunning and unique.The Plitvice Lakes National Park is the oldest and largest national park in Croatia. Famous for its many waterfalls and gorgeous colors of the waters, it offers some lovely hikes and stunning views – about 80% of the park is covered with forest.
It is also one of the most biodiverse regions in the country (including many threatened species).
It has UNESCO World Heritage Status since 1979, and with 16 bigger lakes (and many smaller ones), the facts alone impress. The highest waterfall in all of Croatia is the Veliki Slap, at 78 meters.
You can choose from one of the eight circular routes (if all are open) to walk the lakes – four from Entrance 1 and four from Entrance 2. Depending on the hiking trails you pick, you can spend about 2-8 hours in the park.
I read some reviews and posts that recommend staying two days, but I was actually good to leave after half a day. But like Zagreb, the location is a bit unfortunate. It is located inland and far away from other popular travel destinations.
Entrance fees (depending on the time of your visit): Winter months are around 8€; April, May, September, and October are around 14€; summer months are around 34€.
Parking: Many parking spots are available at Entrances 1 and 2, about 1€ an hour.
WHERE TO STAY AROUND PLITVICE LAKES
- I stayed at a clean, tidy 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 (1 Day)
A bit of Italy in Croatia – Rovinj is one of Croatia’s most northern cities and is close to the Italian border. If you travel around Croatia for a bit, you will notice it is different from many other Croatian cities. Actually, it looks a bit like an Italian coastal town.Venetian architecture and cute cobblestone streets make it one of the most beautiful places in Croatia.
Located in the northwest of Croatia, on the Istrian coast below the Lim Fjord, it is a perfect place to visit towards the end or beginning of your Croatia trip.
Rovinj has some charming, narrow streets, so make sure to take your time strolling the old town, exploring the artistic street of Ulica, climbing the bell tower, enjoying some time at the promenade, and going on a boat cruise. You can also go to one of the beaches and swim. If you are not much of a beach person, you can see all of the top sights within one day in Rovinj.
WHERE TO STAY IN ROVINJ
- I recommend staying in or near the old town of 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. 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 – Rooms Barbieri.
- For a more luxurious stay – just a 10-minute walk from the old town – check out Grand Park Hotel Rovinj rates.
- Check out my 1-day itinerary for Rovinj for more travel tips.
Zadar (1 Day)
If you stay 10-14 days in Croatia, you might want to add Zadar to your itinerary. Zadar is another coastal city – actually, it is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Croatia (founded in the 4th century).Unlike many of the other famous places in Croatia, Zadar did not feel busy and crowded. It was actually way more laid-back. Probably a bit too laid-back for me. Two days was a bit too much for me, but a one-day stop in Zadar is definitely a great idea.
In one day, you can experience the highlights of Zadar easily. And here are some tips for what to do in Zadar. The ancient square and the Forum are a must as well as the church of St. Donatus and strolling Kalelarga Street.
I loved the views from the bell tower, but one of the most unique places in Croatia is probably the promenade, where you can listen to the Sea Organ that plays music from the ocean waves. It sounds weird and is weird, but a nice weird. You can end your evening watching the sunset at the promenade and greeting the moon.
WHERE TO STAY IN DUBROVNIK
- 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 15 minutes), but this was a good place other than this. Check out this hotel here.
Punta Rata & Baska Voda (1-2 Days)
It is time for the beach. I know, the reviews of the beaches in Croatia are mixed. The water color is stunning and the nearby towns are beautiful, but the beaches are mostly pebble beaches.Personally, I am not a fan of pebble beaches. However, if you visit in the summer, you surely want to take a day off and relax after all those busy days (or in preparation for all the busy days to come).
If you road trip Croatia and drive along the D8, then the Makarska Riviera will be your friend! This coastline is perfect for spending a few days (or just a few hours), relaxing, taking a swim, and escaping the crazy crowds of Split or Dubrovnik.
Punta Rata was rated one of the prettiest beaches, and so I headed there. Not to swim or to chill at the beach (it was quite windy actually and too cold for swimming), but to see if it is really nice and if I should recommend it to you!
Yes, this beach looks quite lovely. But in this area, there are several beautiful places – so whether you choose this one or go to Baska Voda with its busier promenade, is up to you.
Hvar (1-2 Days)
Hvar is known as one of the most popular islands in Croatia.
However, when I wanted to visit, there were rain and storms on all of those days, so I had to skip it.So, eventually, I have to go back to Croatia to visit Hvar.
What I know is that Hvar is Croatia’s premier party town! So, here is where you come to have a great party.
But it is also known for its beautiful old town, perfect for getting lost in – whether you get there for a day only to stay overnight (it takes a few hours to get to Hvar from Split).
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).
DAY TRIPS OUTSIDE OF CROATIA
I recommend doing a few day trips (or at least one day trip) to another country. With one week in Croatia, you might not be able to see them – but tweak the itinerary and prioritize the places most appealing to you.
Beautiful Montenegro! Montenegro is one of the prettiest countries in the world and one day is surely not enough (despite its small size). However, many people drive to Kotor from Dubrovnik for a day.This is definitely doable – the drive is scenic, but plan in some time for border control. One day in Kotor is not a lot of time, but you can get a good glimpse of this pretty country on that day!
Parking in Kotor’s center might be a bit difficult in the busy season, so I recommend snapping up a parking slot outside the center (driving in the old town is not allowed at all) and walking to the old town from there.
Most people walk to the fortress and head to the Castle of San Giovanni and climb the many stairs. Like seriously, many stairs. I read different numbers, but it is definitely more than 1,200 stairs. The views are amazing, though and this is why so many people do it!
- Check out my Kotor travel tips.
Mostar / Blagaj / Kravice Falls and Pocitelj
Even though one week in Croatia might not be enough to visit places outside of the country, Mostar is one of the most popular day trips from Dubrovnik, and the reason is simple. Mostar is extremely pretty, and many take the opportunity to visit another country: Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The region of Dubrovnik is separated from the rest of Croatia by Bosnia and Herzegovina, which owns about 20 km of coastline. If people drive from Split to Dubrovnik, they have to pass Bosnia-Herzegovina (or take a detour and cross Serbia, etc. – which would be insane).
Croatia plans to build a bridge that connects Dubrovnik to the rest of the country, but at the moment, crossing Bosnia is the only and easiest way.
If you have some time, I actually also suggest visiting Pocitelj, Kravice Falls, and Blajag Monastery. Book a hotel in Mostar for the night and explore Mostar on day 2 before heading back to Croatia.Personally, I would stay even longer in beautiful Montenegro/Bosnia. Still, since this is a Croatia itinerary, I stuck with two days in Bosnia and one day in Montenegro for now.
P.S. Make sure to bring your ID/passport along as you will most definitely be checked at the borders and if you drive, make sure you have the “green insurance paper” with you.
You might have to spend some time at the border control. Normally, it takes me about 10-15 minutes to get through, but once it took me about an hour and it was during the shoulder season, so my tip is to be at the border control very early to avoid the lines.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON VISITING CROATIA FOR A WEEK
So, whether you stay one week in Croatia or longer, your trip will surely be anything but boring!
The country is rich in beautiful places – whether you are into stunning outdoor places or cute towns and cities with impressive architecture and loads of history and culture – Croatia has something for everyone.
I hope you enjoy the time as much as I did, and this one-week Croatia itinerary has helped you plan your trip and find out about the best places to visit.