There’s so much to see and do in Croatia that one week hardly seems like enough time. However, you would be surprised what you can fit into one week. By flying into Zagreb and making your way south, you’ll get to experience more of Croatia than Dalmatia. But of course, no itinerary would be complete without a few days in Split and Dubrovnik. Here’s your perfect itinerary for one week in Croatia starting in Zagreb.
Day 1: Arrive in Zagreb
This itinerary starts in Zagreb. If you’re coming from the U.S., you’ll likely have a layover somewhere in Europe and arrive in Zagreb in the afternoon. We checked into the Canopy by Hilton Zagreb before heading out for a few hours of sightseeing.
This itinerary doesn’t give you a ton of time in Zagreb, but it’s enough to see the highlights which include exploring Upper Town, Zagreb Cathedral, and St. Mark’s Church.
Grab dinner on Tkalčićeva Street before heading back to the hotel.
You can check out the full Zagreb itinerary here.
Day 2: Visit Plitvice Lakes
Day 2 is a long day which includes a visit to Plitvice Lakes en route to Split. Plitvice Lakes National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site made up of 16 lakes fed by waterfalls formed by runoff from nearby mountains.
Plitvice Lakes National Park covers almost 75,000 acres. You’ll spend the bulk of the day here.
We found this was one of the most convenient ways to transfer between Zagreb and Split while getting to visit Plitvice Lakes.
You can read the full details of the Plitvice Lakes tour here.
Days 3 and 4: Split
Exploring Split and Trogir
For your first full day in Split, spend the morning checking out Split’s top sites, the highlight of which is Diocletian’s Palace. This palace and fortress was built by the Roman emperor Diocletian in the 4th century AD. It now houses winding city streets with shops and restaurants among the ruins of the former palace.
Game of Thrones fans may be interested in visiting the basement of Diocletian’s Palace, which doubled as the place where Daenerys kept her dragons in Meereen.
In the afternoon, take the ferry to nearby Trogir, a small island town with Greek, Roman, and Venetian influence.
Once back in Split, it’s time for a walking tour to learn more about the history of Old Town and Diocletian’s Palace.
A Day Trip to the Blue Cave, Hvar, and More
On your second day in Split, spend the day out on the water visiting the spectacular Blue Cave and nearby islands.
We booked a tour with Waterworld Croatia which uses a highspeed boat to bring you to three caves and four additional stops on other islands including Vis, Hvar, and Brač. You can read the full details of the tour here.
You can read the full Split itinerary here.
Days 5 and 6: Dubrovnik
Explore Dubrovnik’s Old Town
Depart Split early in the morning by ferry and plan to arrive in Dubrovnik around noon. Dubrovnik isn’t huge so you can fit a lot into an afternoon.
After checking into the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik, head to Old Town to walk the city walls. Dubrovnik’s city walls completely enclose Old Town and take about 2 hours to walk depending on your speed.
After walking the city walls, head to Onofrio’s Fountain to meet your guide for a Game of Thrones walking tour. The tour guide will show images from Game of Thrones to point out how different places in Dubrovnik were transformed into Kings Landing.
Swimming in Dubrovnik
On your last full day in Dubrovnik, spend some more time wandering around Old Town and going for a swim. There are some beautiful swimming spots and beaches around Old Town. We stopped at several throughout the day including Porporela right outside the Old Town’s walls.
For the more adventurous swimmer or cliff diver, you can check out Buza Beach.
For a more relaxed day, head to Danče Beach about 15 minutes from Old Town on foot.
In the evening, head back to Old Town for yet another walking tour! Unlike the Game of Thrones tour, this one focuses on the history of Dubrovnik.
For dinner, you can’t go wrong with a meal at Taj Mahal, a Bosnian restaurant in Old Town. This place is super popular so be sure to make a reservation.
You can read the full Dubrovnik itinerary here.
Day 7: Depart from Dubrovnik
On your last day in Croatia, head to Dubrovnik’s airport for your flight home. A week in Croatia flies by, doesn’t it?