Visiting Croatia: Days, Weeks, and Beyond
Spending a week in Croatia is a great choice for most travelers. In seven to 10 days, you can easily explore Dubrovnik, Split, and the Dalmatian Islands, with enough time left over to add another region or national park to the itinerary. With two weeks, you can get off the beaten path, visiting medieval hill towns near Zagreb or exploring Slavonia, rich in Austro-Hungarian history and famous for its lively folk festivals. Of course, it's possible to enjoy Croatia on a shorter trip, too. With five days, go island-hopping along the coast — and if you have just a weekend to spend in the country, simply enjoy the charms of the capital city.
When's the best time of year to visit Croatia? Read all about it here.
Croatia in 2 Days
If you have only a weekend to spend in Croatia, you’ll probably want to stick to a single city. For its scenic setting, architectural beauty, and historic charm, you can't do much better than Dubrovnik, capital of the Dalmatia region. With a couple of days in this coastal gem, you'll stroll through the gleaming old town, ride the cable car up Srđ Hill for panoramic views, walk along the old city walls, try classic Croatian dishes like crni rižot (black risotto made with squid ink), and have drinks at hole-in-the-wall bars. (Read more about the city's best restaurants here and check out this roundup of Dubrovnik's best bars.) Have a relaxing afternoon at the beach or, if you're feeling adventurous, go on a kayaking tour to nearby Lokrum Island.
To get ready for a weekend of unique Dubrovnik experiences, read more about the city here.
Croatia in 3-5 Days
With a few more days to spend in Croatia, travelers can visit a few islands along the Dalmatian coast. After spending some time in Dubrovnik, take a ferry or chartered sailboat out to the island of Korčula for a day of hiking, biking, and winery visits. Or enjoy a boat ride out to the island of Mljet, where a 12th-century monastery sits at the middle of a picturesque lake and tranquil beaches feature views of sea caves.
If you're especially interested in wine tasting and cycling, check out this day tour of Korčula, which could be added onto any Croatian itinerary. If you’d rather skip Dubrovnik and spend all five days on open water, follow this itinerary for a longer sailing adventure.
Croatia in 5-7 Days
Have five to seven days to explore Croatia? Add Split, the country's second-largest city, to your itinerary. After a few days in Dubrovnik, catch a ferry that weaves its way along the Dalmatian coast, stopping for an overnight on the island of Hvar, known for its vibrant nightlife scene. Next on the schedule, you could stop in Brač for a day on a pristine island beach or Korčula for sightseeing in an old city surrounded by 14th-century walls.
When you finally arrive in Split, you’ll want to check out Diocletian’s Palace, a complex of Roman buildings that now house shops, restaurants, and hotels. Go for a walk in the botanical gardens of the nearby Marjan Forest Park, then visit the tiny churches of Marjan Peninsula on an afternoon side trip from Split.
Croatia in 7-10 Days
Staying for at least a week in Croatia opens up a range of new possibilities. Head further north along the coast to the Istrian Peninsula to experience an appealing hybrid of Italy and Croatia: cities like Rovinj and Pula have Roman ruins and Venetian architecture, and their family-run restaurants offer homemade pasta and locally produced wines. Learn more about the region with this ultimate guide to Istria.
If you’re more interested in discovering natural wonders, head to Plitvice Lakes National Park, a natural wonderland of alpine forests, caves, and waterfalls cascading into crystalline pools. In the same region, two other national parks — Risnjak National Park and Učka Nature Park — are havens for cyclists and hikers.
For more, check out these options for seven-day Croatia itineraries.
Croatia in 2 Weeks or More
If you have two weeks (or longer) in Croatia, you’ll have time to delve more deeply into smaller towns, local cultures, regional cuisines, and quieter, more remote natural areas. Consider making Zagreb your base as you explore hilltowns like Samobor, known for its medieval architecture and rich crafts tradition, or go hiking and paragliding in Nature Park Žumberak. For an off-the-beaten-path adventure, detour to the region of Slavonia, where you'll find Slavic castles, grand red-brick cathedrals, colorful regional folk festivals, and interesting Austro-Hungarian history.
See here to read more about Croatia’s five main regions.