Getaway Compass

6-Day Croatia Itinerary: Best Things to Do

Croatia Plitvice

Croatia is a beautiful country with medieval cities, stunning national parks, and a beautiful coastline. There are many amazing things to do in Croatia from exploring the medieval city of Dubrovnik, relaxing on a beach in Hvar, to chasing waterfalls in Plitvice National Park. Follow this Croatia 6-day itinerary for how get a taste of Croatia’s cities, beaches, islands, and national parks in just 6 days. 

When to Visit Croatia

The best time to visit Croatia is in late spring or early fall, when the weather is nice but places are less busy. Try to avoid visiting Croatia during July and August which tend to be the busiest time and the weather can get too hot. We visited Croatia in May and had great weather and places weren’t too crowded.

How to Get to Croatia

Croatia has international airports in Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar and Zagreb. The biggest airport is located in the capital of Croatia, Zagreb. Search for flights to Croatia on Skyscanner to find the best flight deal. You can also reach Croatia by train or bus from nearby European countries which have routes to Zagreb. If you want to do a road trip and explore more nearby countries, Croatia is great to combine with Slovenia and Montenegro.

How to Get Around Croatia

Rent a Car: The most convenient and flexible way to explore Croatia is to rent a car and do a road trip. I recommend booking your rental car on Discover Cars which searches across rental car companies to help you find the best price.

Bus: There is a great network of busses in Croatia if you are looking for a budget option. Keep in mind that busses can get busy in the summer, and the schedule is reduced in the winter months.

Boat: Another way to reach different places in Croatia is by boat, with ports in the cities of Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar, and more.

6-Day Croatia Itinerary

Day 1: Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik View
Dubrovnik Houses

One of the best things to do in Croatia is to explore the medieval city of Dubrovnik, known as the Pearl of the Adriatic. Spend the day exploring Dubrovnik, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Start your first day in Croatia at the Walls of Dubrovnik, 1,940 meters (6,365 ft) long walls around Old Town Dubrovnik with incredible views of the city. Spend a couple of hours walking around the city and visiting different shops and restaurants. If you want another view of Dubrovnik, you can take the cable car to the top of the Srd Hill to see a view of Dubrovnik.

TIP: Remember to bring your student ID so you can pay a lower fee at the Walls of Dubrovnik. 

Don’t forget to get a travel insurance policy for your trip! SafetyWing offers affordable, flexible, and reliable travel medical insurance that can be purchased ahead of your travels or while you are already traveling.

Where to Stay in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik Stairs

There are a range of Airbnbs, guesthouses, and hotels within Dubrovnik Old Town. You can find cheaper accommodation options outside of the old town. Start searching for the best place to stay in Dubrovnik on Booking.com. Note that many places in or near Old Town do not have parking included, so if you have a rental car try to find a place that has free parking as parking options near Old Town are limited and expensive. 

Day 2: Krka National Park

If you are looking to see beautiful waterfalls and swim in a natural pool in Croatia you need to explore Krka National Park. Spend the day at Krka National Park following walking trails that take you to beautiful waterfalls along the Krka River.

Skradinski Buk
Krka Walking Trail
Krka National Park2
Krka National Park View

One of the best things to do in Croatia is to visit Krka National Park. Follow the 1900 meter Skradinski Buk trail with the Krka River and waterfalls along the way. Comfortable waterproof sandals or sneakers would be the best for this hike. Skradinski Buk is the longest and most popular waterfall on the Krka River. Below the waterfall is a pool where visitors are allowed to swim. Don’t forget to bring your bathing suit!

Visit the Krka National Park official website for the latest information on walking trails, hours and prices.

How to Get to Krka National Park

Krka National Park is about 3 hours from Dubrovnik. There are 5 entrances to the park. Enter through the main road entrance called Lozovac, which has ample free parking and is the fastest and easiest way to get to the main waterfall. There are busses from April – October that will transport visitors to Skradinski Buk waterfall from the parking lot or you can also hike for about 10 minutes along the 800 meter trail from the parking lot. Note that as a student you can pay child prices, so make sure to bring your student ID.

If you don’t have a rental car and don’t want to navigate the public transportation, you can reserve a public transfer to and from Krka National Park on Bookaway.

Day 3: Split

Split Croatia

Spend the day exploring Split, a beautiful medieval city with many shops and restaurants tucked away in small streets. Exploring Split is one of the best things to do in Croatia. Start with Diocletian’s Palace, an ancient Roman palace and UNESCO World Heritage Site built for emperor Diocletian in 4th Century AD. Next, walk Along the Seafront Promenade (The Riva), admiring the ocean views.

Where to Stay in Split

You can find a range of accommodations in Split by searching on booking.com. We had a great stay at Apartment Koralj which is less than a 10-minute walk from Split Old Town. This adorable studio has everything you need including a washer which was perfect midway through the trip to wash some clothes. Note that most accommodations in Split will not have parking if you are staying right in the old town, and these places will also be more expensive. Instead, try to find a place walking distance from the old town.

Day 4: Hvar Island

Hvar

One of the best things to do in Croatia is to visit a Croatian Island. The island of Hvar offers a great day trip trip from Split. The most convenient way to visit Hvar is to book a tour from Split, such as this Catamaran Cruise To Hvar and Pakleni Islands. If you are looking to see more islands in one day, this speed boat tour takes you to five islands as well as the famous blue cave.

You can also reach Hvar with a 1.5 hour catamaran from Split. There are two main companies that operate this route: Jadrolinija and Kapetan Luka. Make sure to book your tickets online before so you can ensure you have a ticket for the times you want in order to make this a day trip. You can search for ferry times and book tickets to Hvar on Bookaway. Taxis can be very expensive in Hvar, so if you plan on staying here overnight it might be worth it to rent a car ahead of time to explore the island.

Best Things To Do in Hvar

When you arrive to Hvar, walk around Hvar Town and relax at a cafe. Next, spend time relaxing at a nearby beach. We chose to spend the day at Milna beach because it was only about 15 minutes from Hvar Town and it was an interesting and very quiet white pebble beach. If you have time, visit Hvar’s old town called Stari Grad. Note that a taxi to the old town would be very expensive because it is far from Hvar Town. If you have an extra day in Croatia you could spend a night in Hvar and explore the island more.

Day 5: Plitvice Lakes National Park

Veliki Slap

Known for its beautiful lakes and stunning waterfalls, Plitvice Lakes National Park will be the highlight of your 6 days in Croatia. This national park is located about 2.5 hours from Split. Leave Split early to ensure that you have at least 4 hours at the park.

If you aren’t planning on renting a car while in Croatia, the easiest way to get to Plitvice Lakes National Park is with a round-trip transfer from Split.

You can also find organized tours with round-trip transportation from other cities in Croatia including Zagreb and Zadar. If you are looking for transportation from Zagreb you can book this small group tour from Zagreb to Plitvice. If you plan to visit Plitvice while in Zadar, you can book this tour from Zadar.

Plitvice Lakes National Park View

There are several different trails that you can take to explore the park. All trail options are explained on the park’s website here. I recommend trail C which took us about 4 hours, including stopping to take pictures and enjoy the views. This trail is about 5 miles long and allows you to see the most popular waterfalls, including Veliki Slap featured above which is 78 meters tall. Trail C will also allow you to see both lower and upper lakes areas which are breathtaking.

Plitvice Upper Lakes

Day 6: Zagreb

Spend the day walking around the capital of Croatia which also happens to be the largest city. Zagreb is an interesting hub of cultures, with a variety of restaurants, interesting architecture, and relaxing parks.

Zagreb Upper Town

Explore Upper Town: Start your day in Zagreb by trying food on Tkalciceva Street. This street is full of a variety of restaurants from local food, to Israeli food, to Italian food.

Shop at a Local Market: At Dolac Market you can find vegetables, fruit, and flowers. Even if you don’t intend on buying anything it is an interesting local market to stop by in the morning.

Zagreb 360 View

Enjoy the View at Zagreb 360: Look out at the city from all sides of the 16th floor of a skyscraper. Enjoy the view at the café with a refreshing drink.

Zagreb Park
Zagreb Park View

Explore Parks in Lower Town: Break away from the city by walking around the green parks. Two of the popular parks are Park Zrinjevac and Park Josipa Jurja Strossmayera.

Where to Stay in Zagreb

The best area to stay in is Zagreb upper town which has a lot of restaurants and is very walkable. Note that many places in this area do not provide parking, but you can find public parking garages for an affordable price.

We stayed in Guest House Nokturno in Upper Town which is located on an exciting street and is surrounded by many restaurants. The room and bathroom were big and it felt very much like a boutique hotel.

Note: If your international flight is out of Dubrovnik you can return you rental car car in Zagreb and fly back to Dubrovnik to catch your international flight. This itinerary could also be done the opposite direction, starting in Zagreb and making your way to Dubrovnik. If you have extra time, spend a day exploring the neighboring country of Montenegro, located only a 1 hour drive from Dubrovnik. 

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links for products and services I recommend. At no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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Reut and Zack Elopement-5

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