This one week in Croatia guide includes everything you need to know for planning your next trip in the Mediterranean! This was easily a top life trip of mine and we soaked up every single minute of this vacation with sunny beaches, delicious food, and beautiful cities.
One Week in Croatia Overview:
This guide walks you through the 3 cities I explored during my one week in Croatia with 2 other girl friends. This includes where to stay, how to get around, what to do, where to eat and drink, and a day by day overview of what we did. We split up our trip as follows:
- Day 1: Split
- Days 2-5: Hvar
- Days 6-7: Dubrovnik
Day 1: Split
Where to Stay in Split:
There are a variety of accommodation options for your time in split including Airbnb, Hostels, and Hotels. If you want to be central would recommend looking for a place close to Diocletian Palace, the Riva Promenade, or Old Town. We generally looked for the most affordable options as we weren’t planning to spend much time in the room anyways so ultimately depends on what your needs and preferences are!
Airbnbs: A few affordable options for 3 guests during your time in Split:
- Romantic Green LOFT- 2 min to Diocletian Palace (where we stayed) – this was in a great location and had beautiful sunset views of the city (pictured below)! Came with a mini kitchen and washing machine as well. Our only complaint was how many stairs we had to take to get up to the room.
- King studio in historical center of Split (Room 3) – “Located 100 m from Diocletian’s Palace and a few steps from People’s Square – Pjaca. Deluxe double room in the old center of Split on Pjaca square offers a private and air-conditioned accommodation with a private bathroom.”
- Apartments Centrum Split No.1 (Studio apartment) – “Studio apartments is located on 1st floor, in downtown of Split with just 200 meters from Diocletian palace. Studio has private bathroom, double bed, closet, sofa for 3rd person, dining table and equipped kitchen as well as free wifi and air condition.”
You can also stay at a hostel in Split if you are coming with a small group or alone to meet other people and make friends! My friend got there a few days before us and stayed at Hostel World. She had a great experience, became friends with the owner Josko who drover her around the city to show her around, and made a ton of friends with other guests before we arrived!
Hotels: There are countless hotel options to stay at in Split as well. A couple worth checking out:
- Divota Apartment Hotel – 4 star hotel with great location and recommended by others
- Cornaro Hotel – 4 star hotel & 3 min walk to Diocletian’s Palace
Where to Eat in Split:
(Compiling all of the top places I found while researching for our trip)
- D16 Coffee – specialty coffee in a cute cafe tucked in the streets of Split
- Brasserie 07 – I’m bummed we didn’t get a chance to try this restaurant as it was top on my list of places to try in Split! Will have to return next time but they have a bunch of options such as chia seed pudding or french toast.
- Bokeria – This is where we ate (photos below) and the food was incredible! Definitely a must eat in Split.
- Basta Bar – great spot along the water (photos below) for pizza and drinks
- Trattoria Tinel – Fried calamari was recommended in reviews
- Zoi – The saffron risotto and sea bass were highly recommended
- Pizzeria Bokamorra – very positive reviews with a cute interior and delicious pizza
- Sexy Cow – great on the go lunch spot with delicious wraps (photos below)
- Zrno Soli – If you pass by this restaurant, reviews were actually not positive, so would recommend AVOIDING!
What do do in Split:
You can easily explore Split in a day. If you choose to stay longer than that, I would recommend choosing from some of the day trips below.
- Walk around Diocletian’s Palace (costs ~$5 to explore the cathedral and tower but can walk around palace for free)
- Visit the Kliss Fortress (costs ~$10 to enter Kliss) It is a medieval fortress with many Game of Thrones filmed there with Daenerys!
- Hike up Marjan Hill for some beautiful views of the city
- Booz Cruise via @boatpartysplit (they have them every week with DJ)
- Explore some beaches all 15-40 min outside the city: Some options include: Bacvice Beach (15 min away), Jezinac Beach (30 min away), Plaza Bene (40 min away), Kasjuni Beach (30 min away), and Znjan Beach (15 min away).
Day Trips out of Split:
- Day trip to Krka Waterfalls (note you canot swim in the water anymore)
- Full day trip to Plitvice National Park (~4hr drive to get there so will take full day. Note you can also not swim in water) You can purchase a day trip excursion to Plitvice here
- Other interesting islands to visit for a day from Split include Brac, Solta, and Drenik Veli!
- Day trip to Trogir
One Day In Split Itinerary
12:40-2pm: Arrive in Split and head to Airbnb to drop off luggage and freshen up.
2:00-3pm: Lunch at Sexy Cow – ordered the skinny chicken wrap which was delish!
3-6pm: Hike to the top of Marjan Forest Park for some amazing views of the city.
6-7pm: Drinks and relax at Basta Bar
7-8pm: Walk around Split and stop at a beach along the coast for some beautiful views.
Then begin your walk back towards AirBnb and stop by Diocletian’s Palace (a 1700 year old Roman building built by the Roman Emperor Diocletian) which is where some Game of Thrones scenes were filmed. If you want to see the palace without any crowds, you would have to visit early morning.
8-9pm: Freshen up for dinner back at Airbnb
9pm: Dinner at Bokeria – We absolutely loved our dinner here and the burrata, vodka cauliflower gnocchi with shrimp, and the angel hair pasta with truffle parmesan were all incredible!!
Days 2-5: HVAR
We loved Hvar so much we extended for an extra day! Changing our ferry was a piece of cake with no change fee, and we were able to cancel one day of our Airbnb with no fees as well.
Where to Stay:
We stayed at this AirBnB which was great bang for our buck and in a very convenient location in the city!
This is the review I left from our stay:
“We loved our time at Zora’s place!! She was so great and greeted us upon arrival showing us a map of the best spots around the island. She even gave us her nephew’s number to schedule a boat tour. The room was perfect for 3 girls since we each had our own bed and the kitchen was great and we used it one morning to cook breakfast. We also liked that there was an additional communal bathroom in the house for other rooms to use as well. Note that there are other rooms in the house that she also hosts so you will not have the house entirely to yourself but you have the personal room and bathroom with communal kitchen. This was not an issue at all for us and we loved our stay! The location was great too – close to the port and very close to the city!”
A few additional Airbnb’s we were looking at:
- Hvar, downtown apartment: Red! – “Located in the centre of town, in a very peaceful area with beautiful sea view on Pakleni islands archipelago.”
- AMAZING SEAVIEW PENTHOUSE STUDIO – “Amazing view at Hvar’s bay and Pakleni Islands, brand new, fully furnished, all appliances available, wi-fi.”
- Hvar Sunny Studio Apartment with a Gorgeous View – “situated on the main sea-side promenade between the Hvar city centre and the Pokonji Dol beach. The apartment has a full view of the island’s coast line, with a large, sea-facing terrace.”
How to Get To Hvar from Split:
We booked a ferry through Bookaway that left at 11:30am from Split (Gat Sv. Petra, 21000, Split, Croatia) and arrived at 12:20pm in Hvar. The ride was very smooth and our AirBnb was within walking distance to the port which was very convenient.
Where to Eat in Hvar:
(Compiling all of the top places I found while researching for our trip – there are also a bunch of supermarkets in Hvar if you want a budget friendlier option to make your own snacks/meals in between nicer meals). We would also often stop for lunch at one of the islands during our excursions during the day.
- Fig – Continue reading to understand the love we had for Fig 🙂 Order the Vegetarian Breakfast Burrito (V, OVG) and the California Toast (OV, OVG)!
- Green Goodness Hvar – Recommended for fresh juices & smoothies!
- Dalmatino – This is a must eat in Hvar and an amazing dining experience with incredible service. Dinner includes multiple rounds of free shots including a liquor that tasted like chocolate after eating a carob fruit and a post dinner lavender shot + dessert wine. Try the Gnocchi Istria and Tuna Tartare!
- Fig – Order the Fig & Farm Cheese Flatbread (V), Vegetarian House Burger (V) (must try), and the Green Chili Chicken Burrito.
- Restoran Mizarola Hvar – A more casual dinner spot with delicious pizzas and a cute rooftop.
- Lungo Mare – Highly recommended restaurant if you enjoy meat dishes (we had a vegetarian friend with us so we did not stop by here)!
- Central Park Club – This is right down the street from Dalmatino with patio seating, live music, and a great ambiance. We came here for drinks one night after dinner and had a blast!
- Konoba Arsenol – Locally owned with stunning views of the bay
- Konoba Menego – If you are looking for a more traditional Croatian dinner, this would be a great spot to try! It is family run and nestled in Old Town along the way to the Fortica.
How to Get Around Hvar:
Walk: Hvar is very walkable and not too spread out. We walked nearly everywhere when going to meals/bars.
Boat: To get to other beaches/islands you can walk to the port and there are a variety of options you can take! We recommend connecting with our boat driver Antonio (+385 91 572 2147) He was amazing! There are a variety of options including taking a water taxi to just get to a single destination, paying for a personal boat driver for the day (we would just text him if we wanted him to pick us up and take us to another island), taking a full day excursion trip with group, or renting your own personal boat for a day.
Scooter: We did not do this during our time in Hvar, but we were very close to doing a full scooter day trip hopping around interior cities within Hvar and stopping by Stari Grad which is supposed to be beautiful! There are a bunch of places within Hvar where you can rent for the day.
What to do in Hvar:
- Explore Old Town – you can easily get lost in the streets wandering around the city
- Hike up to the top of the Tvrdava Fortica at sunset for the best views of the city
- Rent a boat to island hop for the day or pay for a personal driver for the day do drop/pick you up for the day
- Take a boat excursion to explore parts of the island with tour
- Explore the island – you can rent cars or scooters to explore the inner towns of the island
- Spend a day or half day in Stari Grad. This was the one thing we didn’t get a chance to do during our time in Hvar but looks beautiful! There are places you can do wine tastings and explore the lavender fields within this quaint town. (Some things to do in Stari Grad: Srinjo Kola (Middle Street), Tvrdalj Palace, Skor Square, Za Pod Zub, Hora Farm Wine Tasting, Lavender ice cream, and Glavika Hill sunset)
Full Itinerary in Hvar:
Day 2 (Monday) in Hvar:
- 11:30am-12:20pm: Ferry from Split to Hvar
- 12:30-1:30pm: Check into AirBnB, meet host, and get freshened up for day
- 2-3:30pm: Lunch at Fig – easily our FAVORITE restaurant of the trip. The food was incredible and the staff was so welcoming and kind. One of the server’s Alfredo went out of his way to give us a ton of recommendations around the island of where to explore. The veggie burger was INCREDIBLE along with the fig & farm flatbread.
3:30-7pm: Spend the late afternoon at Mustaco beach. This was within walking distance to the city and the walk over was beautiful! We were exhausted from traveling and going out the night before in Split, so this hit the spot just soaking up the sun and laying by the water for the day.
7:30-9pm: We booked it back to the city to make it to the top of the Tvrdava Fortica in time for sunset. Along the way we stopped at a local grocery to pick up a few snacks for a picnic at the top. This is a MUST do in Hvar as the views were incredible!
Nightime: We took it easy for the rest of the night since we had a big day coming up, but there are a bunch of bars/clubs you can head to in the city!
Day 3 (Tuesday) in Hvar Itinerary:
We took a full speedboat day tour with the following stops:
- Green Cave – this cave is on the small island of Ravnik, and ticket was not included. It wasn’t crazy expensive, but if on the fence to go into this cave, we would recommend saving your cash for the blue cave! It was beautiful but the blue cave was a lot cooler inside. Swimming is optional in this cave once inside!
- Blue Cave – Transport to the Blue Cave is made upon arrival to Bisevo Island. Admission is also not included but it was definitely worth the cost! Photos did not do the cave justice and note you cannot swim inside.
- Pakleni Islands – Our last stop was at the most beautiful island Palmizana and we were able to grab a bite to eat + drinks! We had some time to walk around and explore the island.
6:00-7:30pm – Go back to AirBnB and freshen up for night.
7:30pm – End of Night: Cocktails along the pier followed by dinner at Restoran Mizarola Hvar (pest pizza in Hvar). Party at Kiva Bar for the night (note the bar scene was very different than it normally would be due to Covid. Kiva bar was one of the most popular spots during the time we were in Hvar which is why we ended up there. Carpe Diem was also on our list but everyone said it was dead when we were there!)
Day 4 (Wednesday) in Hvar:
11am-1pm: Sleep in and head to Fig Cafe for a late brunch.
1-6:30pm: Spend the rest of the day at Robinson Beach & Pachamama. We started at Robinson to see and quickly walked over to Pachamama to lounge there the rest of the day since they had a much more aesthetic vibe and lots of lounge chairs. We LOVED Pachamama and the owner was so sweet & gave us free shots!! Definitely a must see during your time in Hvar we couldn’t stop taking photos while we were there.
7-8pm: Head back to Airbnb to freshen up for night.
8:30pm: Late dinner at Dalmatino! This was such an incredible experience and absolutely recommend eating here during your time in Hvar. The food was delicious, the ambiance was great, and the service was incredible. They also included a variety of drinks that were included with the meal starting with a liquor that tasted like liquid chocolate – it was incredible! The truffle gnocchi was delicious.
Day 5 (Thursday) in Hvar:
11am: Sleep in and make homemade brunch. We stopped by a supermarket and picked up bread, eggs, avocados, fruit, and creamy Peanut Butter.
Rest of Day: Island Hop around. One of the beaches we absolutely loved was Tri Grede and they had great service along with very comfy chairs/bean bags for lounging. Plus the views were amazing!
Night: Dinner at Fig once again (we weren’t kidding when we said how much we loved this restaurant) and gelato from Icy Bar Hvar (my favorite flavor was oreo)! After that we went out to Kiva Bar for the rest of the night.
Days 6-7: Dubrovnik
Where to Stay in Dubrovnik:
We stayed at this AirBnb within walking distance to the bottom of the gondola and the entrance of Old Town. The host Nikola was so sweet and even greeted us with a bottle of wine!
This is the review I left: “We loved our time at Nikola’s place! He was super responsive and let us check in early and even helped us with our luggage up the stairs. The views from the rooftop were unreal and it was less than a 5 min walk to the entrance of Old Town and the gondola if you want to go up to the top. The rooms were clean and we liked that we each had our own bed for traveling with 3!”
How to Get To Hvar from Split:
You can book a ferry from Hvar to Dubrovnik via Bookaway. Ours was about a 3 hour ride out of Hvar (Harbour of Hvar, Riva, Hvar, Croatia) at 8:50am that arrived at 12:05pm in Dubrovnik. The ferry had seating both upstairs on the deck and inside downstairs. Would definitely recommend heading upstairs during the stops along the way to see some other beautiful towns such as Korčula.
How to Get Around Dubrovnik:
Walk: Old Town is a CAR FREE zone, therefore you must walk everywhere within the city walls. It is very walkable, and we used our phone map GPS to find our destinations.
Uber: Outside of old town you can take Uber’s everywhere and the cost is incredibly cheap! We took an uber from the ferry to our Airbnb. We would recommend calling Uber’s over cabs/other transportation services as they will often upcharge.
Where to Eat in Dubrovnik:
Note we did not have breakfast in Dubrovnik since we arrived Day 1 in the afternoon and had an early morning departure for our excursion Day 2 and packed snacks.
- Urban & Veggie Restaurant – Lots of smoothies, vegan/vegetarian options, and healthy meals.
- Lucin Kantun – Brunch/Dinner options. Has cute inside & alleyway seating
- Panorama Restaurant – We highly recommend visiting during your time in Dubrovnik for an amazing experience with unmatched views! Full recap further below – try the seafood risotto, sea bass, and espresso martinis 🙂
- Nautika Restaurant – highly recommended restaurant with incredible views of Bokar-Festung and the Lovrijenac Fortress. This is a 2 star Micheline restaurant and definitely worth visiting during your one week in Croatia. Would be a great date night spot as it is supposed to be very romantic as well!
- Oyster & Sushi Bar Bota – a highly recommended Japanese & sushi restaurant in Dubrovnik and make sure to make reservations in advance!
- Konoba Bonaca – Seafood with nice mountain view – vegetarian friendly
- Lady Pi-Pi – Very cute dinner spot in Old Town with rooftop views overlooking the city. We stopped here for drinks and really enjoyed our time there and would definitely return!
- Gradska Kavana Arsenal – Located in Old Town with Croatian food specialties. Looked SO cute we wish we could have tried this spot!
- Lucin Kantun – The food here looks incredible with reviews recommending black risotto, tuna tartare, caprese, and the spinach rolls. Has cute inside & alleyway seating
- Fish Restaurant Proto – Family owned seafood restaurant in the heart of Old Town. Very difficult to get a reservation so plan ahead.
- Fourty Four Restaurant – Romantic restaurant in Old Town with seafood, pastas, and meats.
What to do in Dubrovnik:
Activities in the City
- Walk the Dubrovnik city walls (no need to pay for tour you can easily do this on your own)
- Go cliff jumping at Buza Bar
- Take the Cable Car or Uber (cheaper option) to the top of Dubrovnik for the most beautiful sunset view in Dubrovnik (and one of the most stunning views I have seen in my life)
Head to the Beach!
- Banje Beach – one of the most popular beaches in Dubrovnik with great views of the city
- Dance Beach – walking distance form Dubronvik with picturesque swim ladders
- Pasjaca Beach (30 min drive) – a great day trip beach option if you have more time in the city
- Sulic Beach – located just outside of the town walls and less busy than Banje beach
- Sveti Jakov – just a 20 min walk from Old Town behind the old church in Sveti Jakov
- Coral Beach Bar – Trendy beach bar with lots of lounge chairs and beds on the beach
Book an Excursion/Tour
- Boat excursion to explore islands such as Elaphiti – you can book here
- Spend a half day sea kayaking – you can book here
- Old city 1.5 hr walking tour – you can book here
- Game of Thrones walking tour – you can also easily look up the spots and do this on your own. However if you prefer to do a tour – you can book here
Take a Day Trip
- Sokol Tower – This is a great day trip option to explore this fortress outside of Dubrovnik coupled with Pasjaca beach for the day
- Lokrum Island is a day trip option from Dubrovnik. It takes about 20 min to get there on ferry ($21 trip)
Full Itinerary in Dubrovnik
Day 6 (Friday) in Dubrovnik:
Take a ferry out of Hvar at 8:50am (booked via Bookaway) that arrives at 12:05pm in Dubrovnik. Upon arrival in Dubrovnik we took an Uber to the Airbnb (the cost of uber’s are insanely cheap and very reliable in Dubrovnik).
Freshen up in AirBnb and walk over to Old Town for lunch.
We swung by Buffet Skola for a quick lunch (definitely recommend if you are looking for something lowkey and not too pricey – we ordered sandwiches while charging up our phones before exploring!)
Afterwards, walk to Peppino’s for the best gelato of the trip. The toffee hazelnut & Kinder Maxi King were my favorite flavors!
After head over to the castle walls to walk the full loop. You can buy tickets in advance beforehand but I would recommend just purchasing upon arrival. We did not have to wait in any line and they are cheaper in person (about 250 kunas) than online (but still a bit pricier than other activities).
You can walk the walls in an hour or so depending on how often you stop! Even though they are a bit pricier, the views were absolutely worth it. There are also restaurants along the walk that you can stop at for drinks and water.
We were there late June and it was HOT up there – so dress accordingly and be careful with any hats! Mine blew off as we were walking but luckily was able to recover it afterwards.
Dubrovnik City Wall Photos:
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Afterwards walk over to Lady Pi Pi for drinks! This would also be another great dinner spot if you have more time in Dubrovnik. The patio was really cute with very friendly staff.
Freshen up at AirBnb for 6pm dinner at Panorama with some of the most amazing views in Dubrovnik. You can take the Cable Car up but we took an Uber since cheaper and the same amount of time to get to the top.
We ordered the espresso martinis, Risotto (with shrimps & courgettes), Mozzarella with tomatoes, Sea Bass Fillet, Pasta carbonara, and the Chicken Rustico (with potato mousse, marinated kale, and sage sauce). The Risotto and Sea Bass were our favorites but everything was very delicious!
Make sure to walk out to the viewing area for one of the most beautiful sunsets you will see during your one week in Croatia. It was absolutely breathtaking!
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Day 7 (Saturday) in Dubrovnik – Last Day:
9:00am-5:30pm: Full day excursion to explore the Elaphiti Islands. We booked this tour ahead of time and it came with Airbnb pick up and lunch/drinks during the trip. The excursion included 3 stops: Kolocep Island, Sipan (in the Guinness World book of records for the greatest number of olive trees on island), and Lopud Island.
We had a blast on the excursion and it was nice to not have to plan anything and just have them take us around. The crew was very friendly and all of the stops were beautiful. If you are between this and something else, I wouldn’t have been devastated if we missed out on the excursion as there are so many incredible things you can spend your time doing in Dubrovnik!
One of the stops included 3 hours of beach time which was nice to relax and we even joined some locals in a game of Picigin which was so much fun!
Late Afternoon: Cliff Jumping at Buza Bar. (We also stopped for another round of gelato along the way) 🙂
10pm: Late dinner at Pizzeria Castro Dubrovnik. We split the veggie and buffalo pizzas which were both incredible! Afterwards we hopped around Old Town for drinks and then walked over to the pier for more drinks once the bars shut down at midnight due to Covid.
Day 8 (Sunday) in Dubrovnik:
Departure day! Call an Uber to the airport to head back home 🙁
A few additional videos from trip:
Additional Resources to help you plan One Week in Croatia:
- Bucket List Bums Dubrovnik Guide
- 10 Days in Croatia Itinerary
- Zagreb to Dubrovnik Roadtrip Itinerary
- Hvar Guide
- Split Guide
- Split, Hvar, and Dubrovnik Guides
- 7 Day Croatia Roadtrip
I hope you enjoyed this full guide and itinerary to one week in Croatia! We had the most incredible time and it reminded me a lot of my week island hopping in the Greek Islands so be sure to check that out as well for your next vacation! If you have any questions drop them below and more than happy to help.