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My ultimate top 10 tips for Croatia to make the most of your trip

My ultimate top 10 tips for Croatia to make the most of your trip

Croatia is gaining the reputation as one of the hottest destinations in Europe. If you are planning a trip check out my top 10 tips for Croatia to make sure that you have the best possible holiday.

1. DON’T STAY IN THE OLD CITY IN DUBROVNIK

If you are going to Dubrovnik don’t stay in the city itself. It gets crowded (and that is an understatement!). Stay in Lapad (we stayed in Babin Kuk an area of Lapad). Getting around is easy on the buses and these areas are only about 10 minutes away from the main gate into Dubrovnik. On that note an hour ticket for the bus costs 15 kuna if you pay on the bus (or 12 kuna if you buy from a kiosk). Make sure to validate your tickets. Often the bus driver will do it – they were on the whole really helpful. Find out about the buses here!

CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR PERFECT HOTEL IN LAPAD

bus-tickets for dubrovnik

There is a pedestrianized strip in Lapad with lots of bars and restaurants. Visit the Cave Bar at the Hotel More for a drink at sunset. Its beautiful and you get a lovely view. (Consider a meal in the restaurant too – highly recommended!)

view from hotel more in Babin Kuk Croatia

 

READ MORE
Sailing the Elaphiti Islands off the Croatian coast

 


2.WALK THE WALLS OF DUBROVNIK

If you are planning to walk the walls of Dubrovnik (of course you are its a must) go early in the morning or late afternoon if you are there in summer.

Dubrovnik view from the walls

 

Its a gruelling 2 hour walk including lots of steps – not something to do in full on sun.Make sure to wear comfortable shoes  as there are uneven steps and cobbles to navigate along the walls and in Dubrovnik.

 

Take water with you – there are a few places to buy refreshments along the way but they are expensive. There is only one opportunity to get down from the walls but that is a good half way around. Keep your tickets as they checked at that point too!

walls


3. PLAN WHEN TO GO TO THE OLD CITY VERY CAREFULLY

Dubrovnik gets extremely crowded particularly when there are a lot of cruise ships in port. Leave yourself time to get out of the city. Nearly everyone goes in and out through one main NARROW gateway. Imagine a few thousand people trying to get in and out at the same time… You get the picture.

Pile gate

 

READ MORE
A guide of things to do in Dubrovnik in Croatia

 


4. DO VISIT NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES

The roads are excellent in Croatia – probably the best I have seen in Europe. We didn’t hire a car but we did hire a car and a driver for a couple of days to take us to nearby Montenegro and Bosnia. Well worth considering as they are close enough for day trips if you are in Dubrovnik. We used Cheap Dubrovnik Tours and they were excellent.

a waitress in national dress at a restaurant in bosnia herzegovina

 

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How to enjoy a Bosnia day trip from Dubrovnik Croatia

 

a view of kotor-bay in Montenegro

 

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A Montenegro day trip from Dubrovnik

 


6. TAKE THE CATAMARAN TO SPLIT

If you are travelling to Split consider catching the catamaran from Dubrovnik rather than driving or catching a bus. Its a scenic trip and you get a great view of some of the many islands and the coast.

catamaran

If you have time stop off for a few nights on some of the islands – Hvar is a very popular choice (we will definitely do this next visit).

hvar harbour in croatia


7. STAY IN THE OLD CITY IN SPLIT

If you are going to Split I would say the opposite to the advice for Dubrovnik. In Split stay IN the old city. It is like nowhere else I gave ever been a truly magical city. The atmosphere is fabulous and you are surrounded by the Diocletian’s Palace – quite literally!

CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR PERFECT HOTEL IN SPLIT’S OLD TOWN

 

an evening shot of split - top 10 tips for croatia


7. BUY SHOES IF YOU PLAN TO GO SWIMMING

Buy shoes for swimming. The coast isn’t all sandy beaches but can be quite rocky in places. You will also need them if you plan to swim in Krka waterfalls! You can buy swimming shoes all over Croatia so I would just buy them after you have arrived.

krka-waterfalls in croatia

 

READ MORE
Visiting KrKa National Park in Croatia

 


8. TAKE SOME CASH WITH YOU

Although part of the EU Croatia uses their own currency – the Kuna – although Euros seem to be widely accepted too. There were plenty of cash machines and most places take cards too. We did have to pay cash for our apartment in Dubrovnik and in Split so check if you aren’t staying in a hotel if they accept card payments. Also for entry to some places we needed cash – Arboretum Trsteno was example.

kuna - top 10 tips for crotia

 

READ MORE
Visiting Arboretum Trsteno in Croatia - A garden with a view!

 


9. FILL UP WATER BOTTLES AT FOUNTAINS

Save yourself some money and help the environment and reuse water bottles – there are lots of fountains around for you to refill your bottles for free!

bottle-filling at a fountain in dubrovnik


10. VISIT CROATIA!

Go there! That should be number 1 tip! I am sure you will love it.

 

READ MORE
Croatia Itinerary Dubrovnik to Zagreb

 


Those are my top 10 tips for Croatia. Have you been? Is there something else you can add to my top 10 tips for Croatia?

PIN FOR LATER – TOP 10 TIPS FOR CROATIA

Top 10 tips for visiting Croatia with a photograph of Dubrovnik


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38 Comments

  1. October 12, 2017 / 11:36 am

    I completely agree with most of your advice here! Husband and me also stayed in Lapad and loved it, and were totally mesmerized by Split. We stayed a couple of days in Korcula, which is an amazing island and stayed in Trogir near Split, what a gem!
    #FarawayFiles
    Esther recently posted…The Netherlands in autumn: 15 must-do’sMy Profile

  2. October 12, 2017 / 2:05 pm

    Full of useful tips for Croatia. We are planning to head here next summer so read with interest. How did the crowds affect your visit?

    • TracyJane
      Author
      October 15, 2017 / 7:46 am

      One day it was really scary and took a good hour to get out – the police turned up even TV cameras it was that bad – and it felt unsafe. Avoid going in when cruise ships are in – I should have added that as a tip.

  3. October 12, 2017 / 5:32 pm

    Good tips, Tracy. Every time I see those crowds in Dubrovnik, I shudder – it really puts me off visiting. Wish I’d gone in the late 90s when I had the chance. I’d love to explore more of Croatia so these tips will come in very handy. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles
    Clare (Suitcases and Sandcastles) recently posted…Faraway Files #50My Profile

    • TracyJane
      Author
      October 15, 2017 / 7:45 am

      Yes we would try to visit at a quieter time or when there are no cruise ships next time!

    • TracyJane
      Author
      October 15, 2017 / 7:45 am

      yes gets a bit hairy at times – one day took me an hour to get through (I hate crowds and get claustrophobic so it was scary!)

  4. October 13, 2017 / 6:06 am

    Great tips about getting up early to walk the walls and in general explore the city! It does get terribly crowded there! We also didn’t stay directly in the Old Town and loved out hotel with a watering hole! #FeetDoTravel
    Lolo recently posted…The BEST Thanksgiving Care Package!My Profile

    • TracyJane
      Author
      October 15, 2017 / 7:43 am

      It is such a beautiful city the only way to really enjoy it was when it was less crowded. A hotel out of the old city is such a great idea isn’t it!

  5. October 13, 2017 / 7:53 am

    Lovely! We went to Dubrovnik last May and luckily managed to avoid the crowds a bit. Still busy, but not packed like in summer! At any rate, it’s gorgeous! Glad you enjoyed. 🙂 #FarawayFiles

  6. October 13, 2017 / 8:20 am

    Great tips! Especially about the water – that is really handy to know! I can’t believe the amount of people in that photo – I hate crowds, but I am definitely going to Croatia one day. Have pinned this post for use then! Thanks
    Trippin’ Turpins (Kelly) recently posted…Don’t Buy Into Barbaric Animal Tourism!My Profile

    • TracyJane
      Author
      October 15, 2017 / 7:42 am

      It was terrible especially when the cruise ships turned up and regurgitated a few thousand people into the old city – try to check what days they are due in and avoid Dubrovnik on those days!

  7. October 13, 2017 / 8:55 am

    We stayed in Dubrovnik and it was a good way to avoid the crowds, there are lots of airbnb’s there. It’s much less crowded in the morning/evening when the cruise crowds aren’t there! #FarawayFiles

    • TracyJane
      Author
      October 15, 2017 / 7:41 am

      Those cruise ships make such a difference!

    • TracyJane
      Author
      October 14, 2017 / 11:10 pm

      Yes definitely a country to spend a good few weeks exploring!

  8. October 14, 2017 / 8:33 am

    Fabulous tips! Croatia is high on my bucket list and I plan to visit all you have mentioned so this is perfect! Pinned for when I go ..I’m going to need this!! #feetdotravel

    • TracyJane
      Author
      October 14, 2017 / 11:09 pm

      I am sure you will really enjoy it Angie. The only problem are the numbers mainly caused by the cruise ships. If they could stop them or restrict them it would be better – and safer

  9. October 14, 2017 / 3:10 pm

    Great tips Tracy. That gate going into Dubrovnik was a nightmare and exactly how it is in your photos. We were in Istria in September and definitely needed the water shoes there. Croatia is a wonderful country to visit isnt it? Thanks for sharing on #farawayfiles
    Katy recently posted…Faraway Files #50My Profile

    • TracyJane
      Author
      October 14, 2017 / 11:08 pm

      We loved Croatia and will definitely be back! Probably not in July/August next time!

    • TracyJane
      Author
      October 18, 2017 / 8:58 pm

      Yes it definitely gets busy! Early morning the best to see it without crowds of people!

  10. October 19, 2017 / 9:36 am

    Two of my colleagues every year go to Croatia. Now i understand why. And I would love to see Krka waterfalls.

    • TracyJane
      Author
      October 23, 2017 / 9:36 am

      Highly recommend a visit!

  11. October 20, 2017 / 8:32 am

    This is a very useful post for me as I’ll be visiting Croatia this winter. The tip about not staying in Dubrovnik but in Lapad a short bus ride away is invaluable! I can’t believe how many people were in your picture trying to walk through the city gate!
    James recently posted…Sukhothai Restaurant – Thai Food in LeedsMy Profile

    • TracyJane
      Author
      October 23, 2017 / 9:35 am

      Excellent James! Glad it will help your planning 🙂 Enjoy!

  12. October 26, 2017 / 6:46 pm

    Croatia is on my bucket list! These are wonderful photos! I love the take water tip — so basic but still, sometimes I forget!
    Sharon recently posted…The Berlin CathedralMy Profile

    • TracyJane
      Author
      October 28, 2017 / 12:36 am

      Thanks Sharon! Enjoy it when you get there it is wonderful!

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HI THIS IS ME – TRACY

Hello from Australia

Traveller, teacher, train lover, and milkshake connoisseur.Now living and working in my 7th country and experiencing life in Queensland, Australia.

I write to inspire others whatever their age to explore the world - near and far!

I have travelled for over 30 years including solo in my 20's , as a single parent in my 30's and now in my 40's and beyond with my husband. House sitter and aspiring grey nomad a life of location independence is my goal.

Over 40 years ago I dreamt of a life well travelled and that is the life I live!

Dream it, plan it, do it!!

Tracy

“Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life”
-- Michael Palin