Croatia is a fascinating country in Southeast Europe and a perfect destination to enjoy your one-week holiday. Starting with its capital Zagreb and carrying on with Dalmatian coastal wonders, planning an immersive one week in Croatia experience has never been simpler. If you are careful in organizing your stay and include a variety of visit-worthy destinations, there is no doubt Croatia will be a place where you will return.
In the capital city of Zagreb, you can immerse yourself in the charm of the Upper Town, where the cobblestoned streets will lead you toward mediaeval buildings. The overall experience will be relaxed and nonchalant, ensuring you won’t be tired.
Our full guide covers:
- Basic Introduction
- Where to stay in Croatia
- How to get around
- What to see in Croatia
- Things to do in Croatia
- Tickets you have to buy before – must read
- Food and Restaurants
- Day Trips from Croatia
- Itinerary for Croatia
- Packing List
- City Map
As your Croatia one week itinerary takes you to the South, by the mesmerising Dalmatian coast, you will witness a picturesque blend of turquoise water and authentic historic sights. A few of the cities you can explore here are Split, Dubrovnik, Makarska and Zadar. Delving into their narrow streets and meeting the kind locals will frame your notion of history telling a story over the azure waters of the Adriatic Sea.
What will provide the greatest getaway experience are the islands. They feature landscapes that rejuvenate and recharge with everything that nature offers there.
Spending one week in Croatia is a great choice for families, couples, solo travellers and luxury travellers. Depending on your personal preferences and travel companions, you can choose the most suitable accommodation to stay in each of the cities this itinerary covers.
So, without any further ado, let’s delve into the details!
1. Basic Introduction
Before we continue, here is some basic info about this country, which I am certain you will find incredibly helpful while planning your Croatia one week itinerary.
Currency: EUR (€)
As of March 2023, Croatian kuna can only be exchanged for euros in Croatia, under the terms set out by the Croatian National Bank.
Language Spoken: Croatian
Population: 3.899 million (2021)
Known for: nature, culture, history and gastronomy
Accommodation: hotels, hostels, private apartments and vacation rentals
Find more details in our where to stay in Croatia section below.
Public Transport: Busses and ferries
More under how to get around.
Safety: safe destination
Electricity: 230V/50Hz (European plug). Remember to pack your travel plug adapter.
2. Where to stay in Croatia
The best place to stay during your one week in Croatia depends on your preferences, as well as on the type of experience you are seeking. Whether you prefer historical sites, natural wonders, beachside relaxation or vibrant cities, Croatia can provide it This country boasts a variety of places to stay, each of them attractive by its charm, architecture, history and an unforgettable view of the Adriatic Sea.
To feel the unique spirit of the country, we have chosen the best places to visit during your trip:
2.1 Where to stay in Zagreb
Zagreb, the capital city of Croatia, offers a range of accommodations to suit different preferences and budgets. There are many places to visit in this city, so you can explore several ones during your 1 week in Croatia. Don’t miss visiting Upper Town, Lower Town, the vibrant street Tkalchicheva, or Jarun Lake, which is an oasis for relaxation amidst the urban background. Other popular locations include Britanac Square, famous for its flea market on Sundays, Ban Jelacic Square and Maksimir Park.
As for accommodation, here are a few places to lodge in during your one week in Croatia.
FLOK Tkalciceva, Upper Town
With its fantastic location in the center of Zagreb, FLOK Tkalciceva makes you feel everything is just a few steps away. The rooms have garden views, and are very clean and comfortable, offering everything you might need, including a coffee machine. This accommodation enjoys an incredibly convenient location, situated around 700m from Ban Jelacic Square and a kilometer from The Archeological Museum, Cvjetni Trg, and many more landmarks. FLOK Tkalciceva is great for families and couples, with an airport shuttle available on request.
Sheraton Zagreb Hotel, Lower Town
Sheraton Zagreb Hotel is in the very heart of Zagreb, and its location cannot be better for your one week in Croatia. The hotel features a heated free swimming pool and a gym. The rooms are known for the cosy atmosphere they provide. Moreover, at the Sheraton Zagreb Hotel, you can try traditional Croatian and international cuisine, of course, and spend nice moments in the Café Imperial or in the Piano Bar. This hotel is perfect for couples and solo travelers, both!
2.2 Where to stay in Plitvice Lakes National Park
Plitvice Lakes National Park is a mesmerising natural wonderland nestled in the heart of Croatia. Plitvice is not just a destination; It is a journey into the heart of this European gem. As you wander through its landscapes, you’ll discover the magic that has made this park a UNESCO-protected land- a perfect destination to include in your Croatia one week itinerary!
There are a total of 16 lakes and many stunning waterfalls, painting serene landscapes in shades of blue and emerald green.
Here are a couple of hotels that will welcome your stay:
House Luketić, Rastoke
Located in the village of Rastovaca, House Luketić is 15km away from the entrance of the Plitvice Lakes. The rooms have private bathrooms, and in the big yard of the house, there is a shared garden including a BBQ and a seating area.
This place is perfect for families and couples.
Natura Plitvice Lakes, Plitvice Lakes
Located 1.6 km from the Plitvice Lakes entrance, Natura Plitvice Lakes offers an outdoor fireplace and a mini-market within the accommodation. The rooms have a private bathroom, and you can also enjoy a delicious breakfast.
2.3 Where to stay in Split
Split is a captivating city on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast that seamlessly blends ancient history with a vibrant atmosphere. The city provides an immersive experience that leads you to the walls of the iconic Diocletian’s Palace and along the sun-kissed shores of the Adriatic Sea. Marjan Hill offers a perfect panoramic escape, while Riva Promenade is a place where you can feel the vibes of the town. The art gallery of Mestrovic, the most prominent sculptor in Croatia, is also one of the must-visit locations.
Palace Wall Residences, Diocletian’s Palace (Old Town)
Palace Wall Residences is in the center of Split, near Bacvice and Ovcice beaches. The apartments have been renovated, and since it has family rooms, it is perfect for a family one-week holiday in Croatia. The nearest airport, Split, is 22 km away.
Lugo Apartments, Bacvice
Lugo Apartments provides its guests with a fully equipped kitchen, a bathroom with a shower, and a patio. Some of the rooms also have balconies. The starting points of several sightseeing tours are very close to the apartments. Split City Museum, the Cathedral of St. Domnius, and Gregory of Nin are all very close to the property. Moreover, Lugo Apartments are close to Bacvice and Ovcice beaches, making it a perfect place to stay during your one week in Croatia. This location is pretty much appreciated by couples. There is a paid airport shuttle offered to the guests.
2.4 Where to stay in Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is a town of timeless beauty, which is why you shouldn’t exclude it from your Croatia one week itinerary. Nestled on the southern tip of Croatia, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a mix of red-roofed buildings, ancient city walls and captivating Adriatic views.
Walking along the cobblestoned streets of the Old Town, you will feel like you’re walking through history. The panoramic views from the City Walls are unforgettable and Fort Lovrijenac is definitely a symbol of the town’s resilience.
Lokrum Island, on the other hand, provides an incredible experience and a tranquil oasis for a short boat escape from Dubrovnik. This spot is a heaven for food enthusiasts, so don’t miss enjoying the delicious specialities.
Buža Apartment, Old Town
Located within the UNESCO-protected historic walls of the Old Town and not more than 30 meters from the closest beach, Buža Apartment offers landmark views, a kitchen, and 2 bathrooms. The town landmarks Sponza Palace and the Stradun Promenade are 100 meters away. Many bars, cafes, and restaurants are located in the area. The most popular beach in the town, known as Banje, is 500 meters away from the apartment, while the Dubrovnik Bus Station and the Ferry Port are only 2.5 km away. This makes it a great location for couples and families to add to their one-week Croatia itinerary.
Studio Calma, Ploche
Very close to Ploce and 32 km from the Kravica Waterfalls, Studio Calma offers a fully equipped kitchen and a private bathroom. It can be visited in any season, since there is heating as well. The nearest airport is Mostar, 63 km away.
2.5 Where to stay in Rijeka
Rijeka is a port city nestled along the stunning coastline of Croatia. With a rich maritime heritage, a lively cultural scene and a touch of industrial charm, Rijeka offers a unique blend of history and modern energy.
Korzo – the heart of the town, Trsat Castle with a great view, Molo Longo – the walking path by the sea and the Fiumara Gallery, located by the river bank are the most popular landmarks to visit.
As for accommodation, here are the best places to consider during your 1 week in Croatia:
Apartman Flavia, City Center
Offering fascinating sea views and located at the waterfront, Apartman Flavia features 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, and a dining area with a fully equipped kitchen. Its great location for families is enhanced by the nearby children’s playground. Glavanovo and Grchevo beaches are close by, and the nearest airport is just 25 km away.
Linden Trsat, Trsat
Linden Trsat will welcome you with a fascinating view of the lake and the nearby mountains, and its proximity to Grchevo Beach is also something you’ll find very convenient. Located 500 m from Trsat Castle, here you will find a fully equipped kitchen and commodities. The balcony gives an opportunity to dine with a view. Because of the location, Linden Trsat is a great accommodation for those fond of skiing, hiking, and cycling.
2.6 Where to stay in Zadar
Zadar’s timeless charm emerges from the blending of antiquity and modernity. The Sea Organ, which is an architectural marvel, is a solar-power masterpiece and a visual spectacle, that celebrates the beauty of the sea. Taking a walk by the Riva and the Old Town gives a feel as if you were experiencing the century-old beauty of the place.
Another place to visit during your 1 week in Croatia is the Kornati Islands. These are a nautical paradise, giving you a chance to get on a boat to reach the archipelago near the town and enjoy the crystal-pure waters. What you will also see here is the most picturesque sunset…the one that even Hitchcock has defined as the most beautiful in the world.
Lux Luna Apartments & Rooms Old Town, Old Town
Located in the Old Town district, Lux Luna Apartments & Rooms Old Town offers sophisticated and modern accommodations. The location is close to Podbrig, Maestrala, and Karma beaches, and only 80 m from the city centre. Every unit has a private bathroom, and some of them have a fully equipped kitchen. Landmarks such as The Captain’s Tower, Five Wells Square, and Zadar City Gate are also near the apartment. This is a very attractive location, especially for couples.
Town Square Apartment
Surrounded by several beaches, Town Square Apartment is a great choice for your one week in Croatia. It has a great positioning and offers 3 bedrooms, a big living room, and 2 bathrooms. A few museums are also nearby, and Kornati Marina is only 28 km away. Staying in this apartment will be a delight, and opportunities for sightseeing and traveling the coastal part are numerous. Zadar is the nearest airport.
3. How to get around Croatia
After we have decided which places to lodge in during your Croatia one week itinerary, let us now explore the transportation options available in the country. Before we do, let me just say that it will be quite easy for you, as there are several options do choose from!
- Car Rental: It is very popular and convenient, making it the best way to explore the country. All big cities and airports have Car Rental services. The road network in Croatia is well-organised and the roads are safe.
- Public Transportation: This is a very cost-effective means of transport. It connects large cities, towns and villages. There are long-distance and local distance buses. I must note that the stations are pretty centrally located.
- Taxis: They are mostly available in urban areas and are always a great choice for short-distance rides, especially when you have luggage. There are a few things you have to be careful of before you set off for your 1 week in Croatia: make sure that the taxi has a regular sign and ask about the price per kilometre before you get into the vehicle. Pay attention if the driver has started the metre before he starts the ride.
4. What to see in Croatia- The Must-Do’s
To make your one week in Croatia more convenient, below is the list of the places I think you simply have to see:
The must-do’s are:
- Explore the historic Old Town in Zagreb, a UNESCO World Heritage site
- Visit Rector’s Palace, Sponza Palace and the Cathedral
- Climb Marjan Hill for panoramic views
More great sights to see in Croatia are:
- Explore the Korzo, the main pedestrian street in Rijeka
- Take boat rides on the lakes for different perspectives
5. Things to do in Croatia
Explore Dubrovnik’s Old Town
Dubrovnik Old Town stands as a living testament to centuries of history, culture, and maritime glory. Surrounded by mediaeval walls and overlooking the sparkling Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik’s Old Town is a blend of architectural wonders, narrow cobblestone streets, and cultural richness.
Stradun is the main street that runs through the heart of the Old Town. Lined with charming shops, cafes, and historic buildings, it is the lively artery where locals and visitors converge. A walk along the City Walls offers a unique perspective of the Old Town, while the visit of the Onoforio’s Fountain can be the water symphony allusion in any sense. The Old Town was a filming site for “The Game of Thrones”.
During their one week in Croatia, visitors immerse themselves in the beauty of the pristine beauty of the landscapes. This natural wonderland is nestled in the heart of the country. It is famous for its cascading waterfalls, crystal-clear lakes and lush greenery.
In other words, this place is a heaven of two worlds. There are Upper and Lower Lakes and each has a unique charm. The magical cascades and the biggest waterfall, where the water plunges from a 78-metre high spot, is a real sensory spectacle. Breathtaking by all means. You will be walking through wooden pathways or you can choose to have a ride across Lake Kozjak in a boat. This visit is an unforgettable experience.
Tour Diocletian’s Palace in Split
This ancient marvel, built by the Roman Emperor Diocletian in the 4th century, stands as a living testament to the grandeur of the Roman Empire. The Golden Gate or the Silver Gate are imposing entrances to this historic complex.
Peristyle Square in the central courtyard, surrounded by majestic columns and arches, served as the ceremonial centre of the palace. As a special part of the visit, I will emphasise the Diocletian’s cellars, where you’ll discover a labyrinth of vaulted halls.
Experience the Sea Organ in Zadar
When you come to Zadar, where nature and art converge in a unique symphony along the Adriatic coast, there’s one thing that is simply a must-see- the Sea Organ. It is a unique architectural marvel which transforms the rhythms of the sea into a melodic masterpiece.
6. Tickets you have to buy before (Must Read)
Before you set off for the ultimate 1 week in Croatia adventure, it’s important to have everything prepared. So, why not buy some of the tickets in advance?
Here is a list of what you can buy before:
Make sure that all the details regarding your accommodation are well set before you start your one-week holiday in Croatia.
Entry Tickets to Attractions
Croatia is usually very crowded in the summer months and the tourists are eager to visit as many places and landmarks as possible, because of the historical story of the coastal region. That is why the best option is to buy your tickets online days before your holiday, or just a day or two before the visit to a certain place.
Ferry and Boat Tickets
Here is a website that will make your ferry and boat ticket purchase easier. It is a smart and better solution, than waiting for hours on a hot sunny day.
7. Food & Restaurants
These are some of the well-known specialities I wholeheartedly recommend you try during your one week in Croatia:
- Octopus Salad
- Black Risotto
- Istrian Truffles
Here are my recommendations for some of the best-known Croatian restaurants:
8. Day Trips from Croatia
How to do the day trips? There are 3 options:
During your one week in Croatia, here are a few short trips you can consider taking:
- Zagreb: Upper Town (Gornji Grad); Ban Jelačić Square; Tkalciceva Street
- Plitvice Lakes National Park: Hiking Trails; Boat Rides; Wildlife
- Split: Diocletian’s Palace; Old Town; Marjan Hill
- Dubrovnik: City Walls; Rector’s Palace; Stradun (Placa); Lokrum Island
9. Itinerary for 7 days
Day 1-2: Zagreb
- Morning: Arrive in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia
- Afternoon: Explore Ban Jelacic Square, St. Mark’s Church and the historic Upper Town
- Evening: Enjoy a dinner at a traditional Croatian Restaurant
- Morning: Visit the museums and some galleries in Zagreb
- Afternoon: Walk through Spiza Place and Cvjetni Trg
- Enjoy delicious Croatian cuisine in a fine-dining restaurant
Day 3: Plitvice Lakes National Park
- Morning: Drive to Plitvice
- Afternoon: Explore the magical lakes and waterfalls
- Take a boat ride on Lake Kozjak
- Visit the remaining parts of the National Park
Day 4-5: Split
- Morning: Drive to Split
- Afternoon: Visit the Diocletian’s Palace, Peristyle Square and the vibrant Riva Promenade
- Evening: Relax in a restaurant and enjoy a dinner by the sea.
- Morning: Take a ferry to Hvar
- Afternoon: Explore the town, visit the Hvar Fortress and enjoy the most sunny island vibes
- Evening: Take the last ferry to Split, so you can continue your adventure of exploring Croatia the next morning.
Day 6-7: Dubrovnik
- Morning: Walk the City Wall and enjoy the view of the sea
- Afternoon: Time for visiting the key attractions like Rector’s Palace, Dubrovnik Cathedral
- Evening: Walk on Stradun, the main cobbled street which is the best place to feel the summer night vibes. You can also enjoy a dinner by the sea or relax with a cocktail in one of the bars on Stradun
- Morning: A day walk through Dubrovnik’s Old Town.
- Afternoon: Take a boat to the Lokrum Island
- Evening: Enjoy a farewell dinner overlooking the Adriatic Sea
10. Packing List
- Lightweight clothing
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Light jacket or sweater
- Rain jacket
- Sun protection factor
- Sunglasses and a hat
- Health essentials
- Bug repellent
- Winter gear if visiting in Winter
Optional but always useful:
I truly hope that this one week in Croatia itinerary will help you have the time of your life while you’re exploring this Mediterranean gem. For more immersive travel destinations, don’t forget to read the rest of the blogs.
11. Printed Guides & Map
These guides are best for the ones looking for a printed version.
Once you come to Croatia, you will also receive a paper map of the city.
Here is again our map of Croatia with the recommended hotels and neighborhoods.
Questions? Contact us
I tried to make this guide as useful and complete as possible. However, chances are you still have questions left.
Therefore, any questions? Anything not clear?
Please get in touch with us, I would be very happy to help. I want to make this guide as useful as possible for you.
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