So you picked Europe for your Summer holiday? In this case, you should absolutely visit Croatia and follow this 7 Day Croatia Itinerary to have the best experience.
WWB writer and Croatian local, Maja will show you a destination so breathtaking that you can:
- Upgrade your photography skills
- Indulge in local food and wine
- Explore national parks
- Relax on adorable beaches
Whether you prefer to turn this one week in Croatia into a 7 day Croatia road trip or take advantage of the local transport, you will see that Croatia is very easy to travel around.
In addition, it is one of the safest destinations for all kinds of travellers. If the reason for your visit is to:
- Get away from it all
- Take part in outdoor watersports
- As a honeymoon getaway
- Or you plan to visit as a family with children, 1 week in Croatia is perfect for everyone.
Situated centrally on the European continent, Croatia also stretches over the Eastern part of the Adriatic Sea with 1244 islands and coastal waters, making it a perfect destination for sailing, swimming or diving.
It is also, according to The Telegraph, one of Europe’s tastiest regions.
Some people find it difficult to pick which part of Croatia to go first and many visitors wonder how many days in Croatia are enough. But, 7 days in Croatia is adequate time for an enjoyable holiday.
This 7 day Croatia Itinerary should present an overview of how to create an individual Croatia 7 day tour and how to cover the best of Croatia in 7 days.
Here is the summary of the week in Croatia Itinerary:
- Why Visit Croatia
- Croatia 7 Day Itinerary
- When To Visit Croatia
- How To Arrive
- How To Travel Around Croatia
- How To Pick Where To Stay
- Prices and Travel Costs
- Useful Travel Tips
- Best Food to Eat
- Fun facts
Dear reader, some of the links on here are affiliate links and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. Hope you find the information here useful! Thanks.
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7 Day Croatia Itinerary:
Day 1: Zagreb
Day 2: Plitvice Lakes NP
Day 3: Split
Day 4: Krka NP
Day 5: Brač or Hvar Island
Day 6: Dubrovnik
Day 7: Dubrovnik
7 Day Croatia Itinerary
Day 1: Zagreb
Arrival In Zagreb:
It is likely that your 7 day Croatia itinerary will start with your plane landing at Zagreb Airport, which is only 17 km from the city.
Once you arrive, the best way to get to the city is by the Airport Shuttle Pleso which goes to and from the main bus station every half an hour or according to the arrival schedule.
Tickets can be bought online in advance and the price is 35kn (5,50$)
You can also use taxi service, but the one-way prices to the city centre may vary from 75kn/ 11,80$ to 250kn/40$ depending on the company, so before accepting the service, check the price range.
There is also a local ZET bus number 290, which might be cheaper, but will stop 20 times and if you have lots of luggage might be good to avoid.
Things To Do In Zagreb:
- Go for a ride on the world’s shortest cable car
- Relax in the city’s parks
- Enjoy the coffee culture
- Take part in city tours or
- Visit museums
Zagreb can be explored in many different ways, but the good thing is that for seeing the main attractions you won’t need public transport. Even if you do, the cheapest 1 zone ticket is only 4 kn (60 cents).
You can also purchase a 24- hour Zagrebcard for 98 kn (15,50$), which will save you some money by offering free transport by the Zagreb city transportation system as well as free entry to some Zagreb museums plus the Zagreb Zoo. The full list of free entries and discounts will be included with your card.
The price for the 3-day card is 135 kn / 21$.
If you would rather spend your day enjoying the peace in the greenery than chasing sights and tourist spots it will be your lucky day because ¾ of the city’s surface area is covered with parks, lawns and flower beds.
Park Zrinjevac is the locals’ spot to unwind on lawns or go for a stroll along tree-lined avenues. Make sure you check the weather conditions on the vintage weather app, the meteorological pillar on the parks’ square.
Another place for a relaxing walk is in the Botanical Garden.
Zagreb also has a renovated cable car, connecting the city with the nature park Mount Medvednica. The ride takes 16 minutes. Zagreb Funicular, on the other hand, is the world’s shortest cable car used for public transport. The ride takes 64 seconds and connects Upper and Lower Town.
The city’s most romantic promenade called Summer on Stross starts on June 25th and lasts 100 days and hosts concerts and exhibitions.
If you want to find out about the city’s history, there is the Zagreb Time Travel Tour. You need to rent a tablet for 199 kn/31$ (up to 3 people). The tour lasts 1,5 hours and covers the city centre area.
Another way to experience time travel is to download the interactive XR application called HIS-Story.
For bicycle lovers, Bike Tours Zagreb starts from 34$/ 3h. The price includes the bike and the local tour guide.
Renting a guide for individual walking tours starts at 215 kn/34$ per person and lasts about 3 h. The ticket for the Hop on – Hop off Panoramic City Tour is 115 kn / 18$.
For electric car lovers I suggest visiting Rimac Car Factory, Rimac factory tours can be booked online and the price is for 2 people, or you can visit on your own, the standard ticket is 225 kn / 35$ Tours start at 10 am or 1 pm and must be booked in advance. Factory visits are currently unavailable because of the Covid situation.
When it comes to museums, there are the usual ones ( archaeological, ethnographic, technical) and the unusual ones (Museum of Illusions, Museum of Torture or the Museum of Broken Relationships). The most popular is the Museum of Broken Relationships or Brokenships which shows failed relationships by exhibiting intimate reminders from people all over the world.
Zagreb 24 – hour Itinerary:
- Start exploring the city from Ban Jelačić Square, visit the Dolac Market and continue to the Zagreb Cathedral.
- Take a break and enjoy a cup of coffee at Tkalčićeva Street.
- Climb Felbinger stairs where at the top you will see the Stone Gate. At noon try to be at Lotršćak Tower when the cannon is fired.
- After that, descend to Ilica street on the funicular, where most locals go shopping.
- Visit a museum, for example, the Museum of Broken Relationships
- Go for a walk in one of the city’s parks
- Take the tour Secrets of Grič. Recommended by both locals and tourists, the tour is a night walk with lanterns around the old part of the city and you will learn a lot about its history. Tour guides are actors who perform scenes based on the novel ‘Witch of Grič’. It lasts about 1:15h and tickets are 150 kn /23,50$.
Zagreb Food Tip:
Štrukli: It is an indigenous Croatian pastry dish, combined with fresh cottage cheese, cream and other ingredients.
Day 2: Plitvice Lakes National Park ( UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Plitvice Lakes NP activities:
- Depending on which entrance to the park you take, the routes will be marked in different colours, there are 2 entrances with 4 routes each
- Enjoy the most famous viewpoint of the lake, just after entrance 1
- Explore the Lower Lakes
- Go on a boat to visit the Upper Lakes
- Unfortunately, swimming is not allowed
On your second day, take the local bus to Plitvice Lakes. The NP can be reached by bus in 2:30h, the price is by Arriva is 85 kn/13€.
The most stunning wonder of nature in Croatia can be booked as a day trip from Zagreb or you can create it as a trip on your own. The entry fee to the park is 300 kn / 47$, the number of tickets has a daily limit, so booking in advance is recommended. It includes boat rides on the park’s biggest lake and free use of the electric train that connects the beauty spots in the eastern part of the park.
A pricier option is booking an all-inclusive tour with a tour company, the price for this itinerary would be 283$/ 1800kn (up to 4 people). The overnight option at Hotel Jezero is 510 kn / 80$, ticket included.
Day 3 & 4: Split
(Bus Plitvice Lakes to Split) lasts 4:30 h and the one-way ticket by Flixbus is 169kn /26$.
Activities To Do In Split:
After your arrival, you will have the afternoon left for lunch. The best way to eat like a local is to enter one of ‘konobas’ (taverns).
After that, it is time to explore the town, the best to do it is by going for a walk around the 1700- year old Unesco Heritage Site – the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian. It is impressive, very well preserved and the city itself is built around its walls. The Palace can be entered through 4 gates: Bronze, Golden, Silver and Iron Gate.
- Walk along the waterfront Riva
- Touch the toe of the Gregory of Nin statue, and make a wish!
- Climb to the 75 metres high top of the St. Domnius Cathedral and enjoy the views of the city and the islands
- Go to one of the city’s sandy beaches such as Bačvice to play the picigin game, which was invented there
- Go to Marjan hill to enjoy the views of the city
- Go to Pazar the city’s main market square
- Visit Froggyland, a small museum displaying a collection of stuffed frogs in human poses
- If you want to experience the nightlife, bars and clubs are mainly in the city centre area, or at Bačvice beach
Split Food Tip:
- Pašticada– a spiced beef stew marinated in vinegar and herbs, stewed in gravy containing dried fruit and spices, served with gnocchi.
- Pršut– prosciutto ham slow-dried in the wind
- Cheese produced on the island of Pag
- Maraschino-cherry liqueur
Even Anthony Bourdain admired Croatian food, wine and cheese, as you can see in the Youtube clip: No Reservations Croatia
If you want to follow his Croatia culinary Itinerary, you can do here Follow the Steps of Anthony Bourdain in Croatia
Day 4: Krka NP
Activities to do in Krka NP:
- Visit Visovac Island and Krka Monastery
- Go for a hike
- Take a boat ride
- Take a picture at Skradinski Buk or Roški Slap waterfalls
- Visit Oziđana cave
Individual tickets are 20kn-330 kn/31$-52$, depending on how many sites or waterfalls you want to visit, the 330kn one includes everything plus the boat transports. The duration also varies.
The park can be reached by local bus from Split to Skradin, it takes 1:15 h and the return ticket is 79kn / 12,50$. The last bus to Split goes at 19:25, be sure not to miss it.
I suggest taking the earliest bus and coming back in the afternoon so that you can still take a ferry to one of the islands. Unfortunately, bathing next to the waterfalls is not allowed anymore.
In the afternoon take the ferry to the nearby islands Brač or Hvar. A one-way ticket is 55kn/8,60$ and the trip to either of the islands lasts 1 hour.
Day 5: Hvar / Brač:
Things To Do In Brač:
- Stay in the charming village Bol and relax on the most beautiful Croatian beach called Zlatni Rat, which moves its shape according to the direction of the wind. The beach is recommended as a top beach by Roughguides.
- Go windsurfing, kitesurfing, scuba diving or kayaking
- Go hiking to Mt. Vidova Gora to enjoy the views and take some nice photos
Brač / Hvar Food Tips:
- Try local wines and olive oil
- Lamb on a spit
- ‘Peka’ meals, any sort of meat and veggie meal cooked under terracotta lid over burning embers
- Fish stew
- Soparnik– a vegetable pie
Things To Do In Hvar:
- Take a walk around the Hvar Town and the Old Town
- Take a speed boat to Pakleni Islands
- Enjoy the nightlife taking place at one of the waterfronts bars
- Try local wine, olive oil and the Paprenjak cookie
- Take the boat trip to blue and green cave
- Get some tan at Dubovica beach
Hvar is the sunniest island in Croatia and one of the top 10 most beautiful islands in the world. It has ideal weather conditions and can be visited all year.
After 5 days in Croatia, it is time for the Jadrolinija afternoon ferry from Brač or Hvar to Dubrovnik takes 4-5 hours and the one-way ticket is around 215kn/ 34$.
Days 6&7: Dubrovnik
Things To Do In Dubrovnik:
- Walk around the Old City, many memorable scenes from the Game of Thrones were filmed here, as well as on other city locations. It is another Unesco World Heritage Site.
- Take the Dubrovnik cable car to Srđ hill to get the best views of the city. There is also a hiking trail to the top.
- Visit the summer festival at the Lovrijenac Fort
- Travel back in time walk along the 1,940 m long City Walls, one of the best-preserved medieval protective walls. The entrance is 200kn/31$. It is an Insta-worthy place to visit, but only if you’re not afraid of the hights.
- Visit one of the oldest pharmacies in the world in the Franciscan Monastery. The pharmacy still works and if you want to buy a local souvenir at the end of your trip, you can buy some of their popular products made from local lavender or roses.
- Other souvenir ideas are the ‘arancini’ -dried candied orange peels, olive oil, coral jewellery
- If you want to get away from the crowds, take the boat to Botanical Gardens on Lokrum Island, only 600m from the city
- Take a break and enjoy the city’s coffee drinking culture in coffee spots such as Gradska Kavana
We saved the best for last. You will conclude this 7 day Croatia Itinerary in the UNESCO world heritage site and one of the most visited Croatian cities.
Named as the Pearl of the Adriatic by George Bernard Shaw, the city has been visited for years by international celebrities. It is not just another seaside destination and this makes it also the most expensive spot of the 7 day Croatia Itinerary.
If you are interested in exploring more of Dubrovnik, you can get more ideas in this article Dubrovnik Itinerary 7 days.
Dubrovnik Food Tip:
- Black Cuttlefish risotto
- Buzara– mussels cooked in a wine broth
- Smokvenjak– a cake made of dried figs
Some of the food listed in the 7 day Croatia itinerary is also recommended by BBC good food.
Day 7: Departure From Dubrovnik
- After 6 days in Croatia, spend the remaining time on one of the beaches, such as Banje Beach or Uvala Lapad Bay
- Visit Mlini, a fishing village 20 minutes away (by bus) with many beaches to choose from
- Take a boat tour to Elafiti Islands
In summary, if you want to see most of the country this is the best itinerary for Croatia because it includes the capital city, National Parks, tourist spots, Unesco Heritage Sites, most beautiful beaches, ferry rides and food tips.
If you don’t have a full week to explore, you can read about other itineraries, such as Croatia Itinerary 5 days or 6 days in Croatia Itinerary.
On the other hand, if the presented itinerary seems too fast for you and you prefer slow travel, I suggest you get more information here 10 Day Croatia Itinerary and here Croatia Itinerary 14 days.
When To Visit Croatia
Croatia is nice to visit any time of the year, but from October to March are not the best months, public transport or hotels might not operate as in the peak season. The ‘swimming time’ begins in May.
If you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy the beaches in peace, May and September are the months to go. Whichever month you pick, there will be something to see or do.
However, the presented 7 days in Croatia itinerary is best to be done in June, July or August. It is the time to attend cultural and music festivals and all the hotels and restaurants are open. Because of the nice weather, it is also the best time to participate in outdoor activities.
How to arrive
Arriving by plane: There are 9 International airports in Croatia, for Croatia in a week itinerary you will need the Zagreb Airport for your arrival and Dubrovnik Airport for the departure. The remaining airports are in Split, Pula, Rijeka, Zadar, Osijek on the mainland and two on the islands of Brač and Mali Lošinj. The country is linked by direct flights to most European cities.
The country is also connected to neighbouring and other European countries by international bus lines. There are daily train connections to Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Austria, Switzerland and Germany.
How to travel around Croatia
By car: Once you have arrived, there are usual transportation options to start your one week in Croatia itinerary. If you feel confident enough to turn this Croatia itinerary 7 days into a Croatia road trip 7 days, the most comfortable option is to rent a car.
Make sure you bring your valid driving licence. If it is a non-Latin one, you will need an additional International Driver’s Permit. You can make an online request for it before your arrival and it will last for 30 days.
For checking any road or traffic conditions it is useful to download the HAK app onto your phone. If you decide on a car rental, the easiest way to do it is right at the airport.
By bus: The best way to travel around Croatia is to take a bus, any city or small village can be reached by bus. They are faster than trains and are kept in good condition.
Since many locals also prefer travelling by bus, it is advisable to book your tickets for the 7 Day Croatia Itinerary at least one week in advance. Routes and timetables can be checked at the page BusCroatia or Arriva.
The approximate bus ticket prices for this particular itinerary :
Note: All tickets are one-way and luggage are priced separately 2-3$ per bag.
Zagreb – Plitvice Lakes: 85 kn / 13$
Plitvice Lakes- Split: 169kn/26$
By train: If you want to travel through Croatia efficiently, avoid trains at all costs! Trains are not kept in a good condition, they are slow, infrequent and often late.
Although there are seasonal offers and discounts, train travel is still not cheaper than the bus. For example, a one-way train ride from Zadar to Split lasts approx. 6-7 hours compared to a bus ride which lasts 3 hours.
They are also useless for a traveller along the coast because Split is the last destination. If you want to check any schedules or timetables, the official website is HZPP.
By ferry: In contrast to trains, ferries are punctual and overall a good way to travel along the coast. Timetables can be checked on Jadrolinija, the national carrier which owns most ferries.
If you decided to do this journey by car, don’t worry, you can embark on ferries in your car, you can even take your pets or bikes on a ferry. Just note that taking the car on a ferry is expensive.
Another type of ferry is a catamaran, which is much quicker but can not be boarded by a car or bike.
A ferry from Split to Brač will cost about 55 kn /9$ and will last approx. 1 hour.
A ferry from Brač to Dubrovnik will cost about 215 kn / 34$ and will last approx. 5 hours.
By plane: Croatia has a national carrier called Croatiaairlines which connects major cities within the country. Note that this is not a budget airline, so don’t expect cheap tickets. A one-way ticket from Zagreb to Dubrovnik or Zadar to Dubrovnik would cost you about 117$.
There is another more budget-friendly airline Trade Air, operating mainly in the peak season, connecting major Croatian cities Osijek- Zagreb- Pula- Rijeka- Split- Dubrovnik. It operates twice a week and a one-way ticket from Split to Dubrovnik can sometimes be as cheap as 60$.
Taking a taxi: Taxi prices are reasonable in the big cities but can be quite expensive for tourists in coastal towns. Prices are not fixed and depend on the company. Some most common taxi companies are Cammeo, Eko, Radio Taxi or Ride2. Uber also operates in Croatia.
Avoid being ripped off by asking for and agreeing to the price before you step into the car. Many taxi companies have smartphone apps, so you can check the prices.
How to pick where to stay
If you are looking for a budget option, you would probably use Hostelworld. For regular hotels, Booking com is the most common option. There is also Airbnb for renting a private home or Couchsurfing if want to meet locals and stay in their spare rooms or couches. Even if you haven’t picked where to stay, you can always go to the Tourism Board Office and they will help you find adequate accommodation.
Prices and Travel costs
Following this a week in Croatia itinerary shouldn’t require you to spend more than ca. 500$ per person for the whole week, depending on the accommodation you pick. If you want to save money during your stay, buying a Croatia Pass might help. It is selected according to the region and the number of attractions you plan to experience in that region.
Although Croatia is an EU member state, the national currency is the KUNA – HRK: 1kn = 7,4 € / 6,3 S
Let’s go through some average prices:
- Hostels vary from 90 kn/15$ (dorm room) to 250 kn/40$ (single room) in Zagreb and from 120kn /19$(dorm) to 350kn/55$ (single) at the coastal towns.
- Hotels in Zagreb vary from 250 kn/40$ (3 star single room) to 800 kn126$ (5 star single room), and on the seaside from 1200 kn/190$ (3 stars) to 2500kn/395$ (5 stars).
- A bottle of water: 6-10kn / 1-2$(1/2 L)
- Coffee starts depending on the type and the destination from 10kn -20kn/2-3$
- An average meal in a restaurant starts at about 50Kn/8$ per person.
- One McDonalds meal starts at around 40kn/6$
- If you want to buy groceries and cook your food, this will cost from 200kn to 250kn per person per week (30-40$)
- The cheapest taxi ticket in Zagreb (up to 3km) would make around 20kn/3$ the cheapest taxi ride from the airport to the city centre is 50kn/8$
- If you want to grab something quick to eat on the go from the local bakery, it will cost from 5kn to 20 kn/1-3$ per person, coffee is of course also cheaper on the go and will cost about 8 kn/ 1,50$
- Museum prices: approx. 70kn/10$
- National Parks prices: approx. 200 kn/30$
Useful Travel Tips:
- Most people speak good English, especially in tourist spots
- Avoid political discussions
- Dress modestly (during daytime and while visiting sights, churches, monuments), keep your swimsuits for the beach only
- Tipping is not obligatory but appreciated (15% of the bill)
- Book buses, ferries and hotels ahead during the high season
- Most beaches are not sandy, so bring water shoes
- Nearly all private accommodation only accepts cash, so have enough in advance
- Do not drink before driving, but do try some local wine
- There is almost no crime, but pickpockets do operate in tourist areas
- Currency is not the Euro but the Kuna (HRK), so make sure to exchange
- You can exchange your Bitcoins at The Croatian Post offices for a commission of 6%, there are 55 around the country
- The Power supply is 230V/ 50HZ, so you might need a power adapter or plug type C with two round pins
- There are 300 free Wifi hotspots throughout the country
- EU citizens can travel with their ID cards
- Tap water is safe to drink, so bring a reusable water bottle
- For emergency situations, call 112
- And of course, get travel insurance before the trip
Best food to eat in Croatia
This 7 day Croatia itinerary would not be complete without listing all the delicious food typical for the country. The gastronomic offer in the country is exquisite. It would be a shame not to taste:
- Local wines
- Locally produced olive oils
- Cheese produced on the island of Pag
- Pršut (prosciutto ham slow-dried in the wind)
- Kulen (spicy sausage from eastern Croatia)
- Maraschino cherry liqueur
- Truffle dishes
- Black (cuttlefish) risotto
- Or some sweet delights such as Štrukli (a dish made of cottage cheese), Fritule (fried yeast dumplings with raisins), Kroštule (pastry deep-fried in oil), Smokvenjak (cake made of dried figs) or Arancini (dried and marinated orange peels).
Some Fun Facts About Croatia
Croatian people take coffee drinking very seriously and would sometimes sit and socialize for hours while taking sips of coffee. It is a social ritual and the main reason there are coffee shops on every street corner. It has become so common that the phrase ‘let’s meet for coffee’ is simply an invitation to socialize, whether you drink coffee or something else.
The national currency HRK-Kuna refers to the animal ‘marten’ because in the past the currency of the region was animal skin or pelts
The famous dog breed Dalmatian originates from Dalmatia (Croatia)
Croatians have a word for ‘doing nothing’ called Fjaka
To conclude, I hope you enjoyed reading all that Croatia has to offer. With this 7 Day Croatia Itinerary you will be equipped with enough information to explore it on your own. Have a great time!