The Ultimate Croatia Itinerary: 2 weeks in Croatia

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Is there a European destination that screams summer more than Croatia? Personally, I don’t think so. Gorgeous beaches, historic cities, majestic waterfalls, island hopping tours, sailing, and spectacular sunsets are just a few of the amazing things that Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast has to offer. Throw in the added perks of friendly locals, safe towns, and affordable prices and you have a perfect Europe beach vacation. Ready to go? Here is how to spend 2 weeks in Croatia. 

psst: Looking for a travel credit card with lots of perks (like lounge access) that will also allow you to earn points for travel? This is what I use and recommend. 

Arrival & Departure

For a Croatia itinerary of any length, I highly suggest arriving and departing in different cities to make the most of your time. Croatia may not be huge, but it’s big enough that you don’t want to waste an entire day backtracking through the country just to catch your flight. There are airports in Dubrovnik and Zadar that work well for any Croatia itinerary with a focus on the Dalmatian coast. Shop around to see where offers the best deal book based on that because you really can travel in either direction. 

How to Travel Around Croatia

Croatia itinerary

Getting around Croatia by public transit is actually really easy. Every city has a bus stop and there are usually several options throughout the day. If you are relying on Croatia’s bus system keep in mind that there are two routes the busses can take. There is the fast route which travels along the highway or the coastal route which stops at all the small towns along the Adriatic sea making it longer, but much more scenic. What you choose depends on how you like to travel and your schedule.

Travel by boat is also fairly common in parts of Croatia, especially going out to the islands like Hvar, Korčula, or Vis Island. There are a number of different ferry companies so for the main routes, you can kind of just show up and pick the next available ferry. For routes that run once a day, your best bet will be to book in advance as the seats do go pretty quickly.

If you are comfortable driving, you may want to consider renting a car and doing a Croatia road trip. Having your own car always allows for more freedom and can offer a more scenic way to see the country.

Best Time to Visit Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast


Croatia’s Dalmatian coast is very seasonal and a lot of businesses including restaurants, tours, and accommodation options will close up during the winter months. The summer months of July and August can get pretty crazy with crowds and this is also when the prices will be at the highest. I’d recommend coming during shoulder season: May, June, and September. I visited in September and it was still over 30C degrees every day. While some people suggest going in October, I would warn that a lot of things started to close mid-September while I was there, so do some research first so you don’t end up disappointed.

How to Spend 2 Weeks in Croatia

A two week Croatia Itinerary makes for a great vacation. Two weeks will let you see the highlights of the Dalmatian coast at a relaxed pace so you can really kick back and enjoy. Compared to the bustling cities of Paris, London, or Berlin, Croatia’s coastal towns have a very chilled out vibe. So take it easy, enjoy the old towns and the beaches, and get ready to fall in love with Croatia with this two-week itinerary. 

Zadar: 3-4 Days

Zadar Sunset

Zadar was my favourite place on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast and a must on any Croatia itinerary. It had the beautiful, historic old town, great beaches, and plenty of nearby attractions at a fraction of the cost compared to Split and Dubrovnik, and nowhere near the number of crowds.

Zadar also makes a great base to see two of the best places for waterfalls in the county: Plitvice Lakes National Park (which is a UNESCO World Heritage site) and Krka National Park. Both National Parks are good for walking and hiking trails but know that you are not allowed to swim in the falls (unfortunately you can’t swim at Krka anymore).  I recommend spending a day at each.

Book a day trip to Plitvice National Park from Zadar Here

Zadar old town itself is quite small and you can definitely explore it in one day. Two absolute musts are the Sea Organ and the Greeting to the Sun both of which can be found by the waterfront. This area also makes a great place to watch the sunset which is another must-do since Zadar’s sunsets are said to be some of the finest in the world.

The architecture of Zadar is beautiful and be sure to duck down the small side streets to see what you may find. When you need a break, head to The Garden; a cool day (and night) bar on the city walls that overlooks the pier. Grab a drink and relax on one of the beds (that’s right, I said bed) or couches and just enjoy the views.

Zadar is also known for Maraska Liquor which you can find advertised across town; you can try it in the majority of bars and restaurants in the city. To cool down, be sure to try the city’s gelato. Thanks to the Italian influence, there are many ice-cream parlours and cafes offering delicious gelato. Slasticarna Donat is known for having some of the best (and biggest portions) of gelato in Zadar.

When it comes to beaches, Zadar has a few choices. There are some nearby beaches only about a 15-20-minute walk from Old Town where you can safely swim, rent kayaks, or just relax. Or, you can join a day trip out to one of the islands and enjoy the beaches there. Book a Sailing trip to Kornati from Zadar.

For more on this city, check out my post of the best things to do in Zadar.

Where to Stay in Zadar 

Hostels: Sky Hostel, Boutique Hostel Forum, or The Lazy Monkey

Hotels: Idassa Palace, Hotel A’mare, or Art Hotel Kalelarga 

Split: 2 Days


Split is the starting point for most Croatia sailing tours, a lot of island hopping, and of course is a great city on its own (especially if you are a Game of Thrones fanatic). The Diocletian’s Palace is a must-see. It takes up about half of Split’s Old town and was also a filming location in the 4thseason of Game of Thrones (sadly, I didn’t see any dragons when I visited). The Cathedral bell tower is also worth climbing for the pretty panoramic views over the palace.

Book a Game of Thrones Tour in Split here

Split is also known for its bars and the night scene. If you are looking to party, there are a couple of fun pub-crawls across the city that are fun to join. Split has a ton of bars both within the old city and just outside it, your guide will take you to the best ones depending on the night that you visit. If the idea of clubbing and drinking with a bunch of backpackers isn’t quite to your taste, but you still want to experience Split’s nightlife then head down to the Riva and grab a drink at one of the many bars or cafes that line this area.

When it comes to beaches Split doesn’t have the most impressive beach in Croatia (especially compared to those on the nearby islands). However, Bacvice Beach, only a ten-minute walk from the old town, is a great place to swim and relax on a hot day. You’ll find tourists and locals alike here.

Where to Stay in Split

Hostels: Old Town Hostel Split, Downtown Hostel, or Hostel Dvor

Hotels: Hotel Slavija, Palace Suites Heritage Hotel, or Prima Luce

Hvar: 3-4 Days


Hvar is probably the best known of Croatia’s islands. This beautiful island is a playground for backpackers and celebrities alike. You’ll find giant yachts stationed in the harbour as easily as you’ll find students on summer break because Hvar offers a little bit of everything for everyone.

Hvar Town can easily be explored in half a day. The picturesque old town is fun to explore and it’s worth climbing up to Hvar Fortress to get the views (make sure you bring water). If you are feeling adventurous, rent a scooter and venture around the island. Most people stick to Hvar Town so it’s a good way to get away from the crowds for a day. You’ll be able to find some great beaches, olive groves, lavender fields, and caves along the way.

You can also do some island hopping tours around Hvar, which is a fun way to see the islands or have a lazy beach day. Head down to the Marina and check the boats to see who is going where. Local’s will have signs on which of the smaller islands they are going to and, for a fee, will take a group over to a neighbouring island. Pick one with a nice beach resort where you can rent a sun chair and spend the day relaxing by the sea with a cocktail in hand. Another popular day trip from Hvar is to take a boat out to the famous blue and green caves.

Book a day tour to the Blue and Green Caves here.

As you may already know, Hvar is also known for its party scene. There are a number of day bars, such as Hula Hula, that start the party early. Backpackers can join pub crawls while those looking for something more upscale (including a bigger price tag) head out to Carpe Diem.

For more on Hvar, check out my picks for the best things to do in Hvar. 

Where to Stay in Hvar

Hostels: Hostel Villa Zorana, or Youth Hostel Villa Zorana

Hotels: Riva Hvar Yacht Harbour Hotel, Heritage Hotel Dea, or Pharos Hvar Hotel

Makarska: 1-2 Days


Makarska, located on the Riviera, is a beautiful resort destination that, while still popular, is much less crowded than Split and Dubrovnik. It’s a great place to spend a couple of days relaxing and enjoying the beach life. That being said, if you are looking for a bit of a break from the sun and the sand you can also do some hiking here. There are easy paths along the coastline or you can head into the hills and, if you are a very ambitious hiker, ascend St. Jure which is the highest peak in the Biokovo Mountains (Note that this takes several hours).

Makarska is a pretty town that makes for a great stop on a Croatia itinerary. Plus, spending a day or two here helps break up the long ride between Split and Dubrovnik.

Where to Stay in Makarska 

Try: Hotel Maritimo, Valamar Meteor Hotel, or Casa Galleria Rica

Dubrovnik: 3 Days


Dubrovnik is one of the most visited destinations in the Mediterranean and has gained even more popularity thanks to its alter ego as Kings Landing in Game of Thrones. The walled city, which is perched beside the sea, is stunning and a must-see. However, keep in mind that it will be very crowded and can be quite expensive in comparison to other Croatian cities. I’ll admit I wasn’t a huge fan of Dubrovnik because of this, however, I will also say it’s a must on your Croatia Itinerary.

Dubrovnik’s Old Town can be seen in a day. For your best bet at escaping the crowds, I recommend getting up early to explore before the tourists from the cruise ships arrive. Trust me, when that happens you’ll want to find somewhere to escape to (I liked to head just outside the old town walls- it’s safer there).

Must-do activities in Dubrovnik include walking the wall (again, go early before the cruise ship crowds arrive), taking the cable car up to Srd for gorgeous views, and of course, hitting the beach. The closest beach to Dubrovnik is Banje, just a short walk from the Ploce Gate. This is very much a tourist beach though so if you want to try something more local, you’ll have to walk about twenty minutes from Old Town to Sveti Jakov. It’s beautiful and much quieter.

For those looking to escape the city for a few hours or day and see some of the area’s natural beauty, consider the nearby Lokrum Island or the Elafiti Islands where you can swim, snorkel, and kayak. Another great day trip option is to head to Mostar, Bosnia, which is just a couple hours away. It’s a beautiful city rich in history and, if you have the time, I absolutely recommend going.

Book a day trip to Mostar (in Bosnia and Herzegovina) from Dubrovnik here.

Where to Stay in Dubrovnik

Hostels: Hostel Angelina Old Town, Hostel Sol, or Hostel 365 for U 

Hotels: Hotel Adria, Dominus Rooms, or Scalini Palace

Must-Pack Items for 2 Weeks in Croatia

I HATE packing for travel (I’m the worst) but there are definitely a couple of things you definitely want to have with you when packing for Croatia

      • Reef-safe Sunscreen: Fun fact, most sunscreens kill coral and marine life. So if you plan on swimming in the warm sea then help out the ocean and choose a reef safe sunscreen. I like to recommend reef safe brands for sunscreen and leave in conditioner for long hair. 
      • Water Shoes: I will be the first to admit that water shoes are hideous. But, on the rocky beaches and waterfalls, they are a great option. Not to mention Croatia’s beaches tend to have a ton of sea urchins, so they protect against those too. Grab a good pair of water shoes and keep your feet safe!
      • A good beach towel: I know you can use a sarong or a small towel, but big beach towels that you can sit on and wrap around you are the best. A microfibre towel is a perfect pick for beach destinations because they dry super quick.
      • Rashguards: If you plan on being out on the water for an extended period of time, you may want to consider throwing a rashguard in your bag. Get one with UV protection to help keep you safe from the sun. Nobody wants a bad sunburn on their vacation.
      • Reusable Water bottle: Croatia is hot. Really hot. So stay hydrated and save your wallet by bringing your own quality reusable water bottle. The tap water is safe to drink so use it!

Final Considerations for 2 Weeks in Croatia 

Croatia is an amazing country to travel to and makes for an epic summer vacation destination. The mix of beaches, nature, and historical towns makes it a popular choice for all kinds of travellers, and Croatia is great for solo travel.  That all being said, it is a popular destination so if you plan on coming during high season ‘going with the flow’ may not work so well. I definitely recommend booking your accommodation in advance to avoid disappointment. There’s nothing worse than arriving somewhere than not being able to find a place to stay.

Croatia was one of my favourite countries and travel experiences. It was safe, the locals were friendly, and with so much to see and do I was never bored. So if you are eyeing Croatia as a summer holiday destination then I say go for it. Just keep this Croatia itinerary handy when you go!

Ready to Book Your Trip?

Don’t forget travel insurance!

Please do not travel without travel insurance! I’ve had to use it multiple times throughout my travels and it has saved me thousands of dollars. You can learn more about travel insurance here. If you are looking for a provider I love and recommend SafetyWing. For Canadian readers, take a look at SoNomad.

Book your accommodation

I love and recommend for accommodation. They have a range of hostels, guesthouses, hotels, and resorts. Plus, the platform has a great loyalty program that means the more you book, the more you can save. 

Book your tours

My go-to tour provider that I love to recommend is GetYourGuide. They have options all over the world and partner with local companies for everything from day trips to food experiences and even airport transfers. 

Get connected

If you want to have data while travelling for online maps or any other needs, an esim is one of the easiest solutions. I’m a big fan of Airalo and have used their sim cards around the world from Brazil to Uzbekistan, Greece to the USA. It’s really easy- you download the app, pick what country you want an esim for, and after you purchase it follow the installation instructions. You can use promo code HANNAH3326 to save $3USD on your next esim purchase. 

Not sure what to pack?

I have destination-specific guides for some countries but you can also check my travel essentials and camera gear if you are looking for some ideas. 

Looking for a travel buddy?

Check out my group trips!

Croatia Itinerary


  1. Mark Tomlinson on June 24, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    My quick take on being here barely a week is if you’re landing at Split airport consider Trogir for the first day or two. Virtually walking distance from the airport, camping ground only another half an hours walk away. Given me a chance to get my bearings and plan my journey. Like you seem to be implying, Dalmatia is the main player and I hope to see Zadar, Dubrovnik, Hvar and hopefully Tisno (drum and bass festival) and would be grateful if that’s all I see.
    Next step is scooter hire tent and togs packed Dalmatia here I come.

    • Hannah Logan on June 25, 2019 at 12:53 pm

      I’ve heard good things about Trogir but I didn’t make it there myself

  2. […] spending a little over 2 weeks in Croatia, I can easily say that Zadar was my favourite spot that I visited. It didn’t have the crowds of […]

  3. […] it again, I LOVED Croatia. Zadar was my favourite place that I visited when I spent a little over 2 weeks in Croatia, but the Island of Hvar was a close second. I loved checking out the massive yachts in the port, I […]

  4. ANNA on July 21, 2022 at 2:38 am

    we are thinking of going to Croatia for 4 nights stay in December, so we will not be swimming to taking boat trips, which town would you recommend

    • Hannah Logan on July 21, 2022 at 5:35 pm

      I haven’t been in December so hard for me to say. A lot of places are seasonal so might be a good idea to look more inland. Zagreb might be a good option in this case.

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