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Thread: [Europe] Croatia - any advice

  1. #1

    Default [Europe] Croatia - any advice

    Hi

    I'm travelling to Barcelona in Sep and plan to take a flight to Croatia for a short 2/3 days trip.

    For those who have been to Croatia, if you are given the choice, which of the city will you choose ?:

    Dubrovnik, Split or Zagreb ?

    I did some research and I like the old town feel of Dubrovnik and there is this UNESCO waterfall site Plitvice which is about 2 hours from Zagreb. It will be too ambitious and too rush if I were to cover both so though of asking you guys for comments.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

    Default Re: [Europe] Croatia - any advice

    If there's any place in Croatia worth a visit, it has to be Dubrovnik(it's the Croatians who say that). It's their seaside city, with a bit of mediterranean flare and flavour mixed with eastern european charms(don't forget to try squid ink rice!). It's also very touristy so English is widely spoken although it would help if you try your best to pronounce their slavic tongue. Makes getting to a place easier if they know what you're trying to say. I can't really remember what to see since I was only about 14 when I went there.

    Zagreb is their capital of course, it's a big city and they have a very grand cathedral plus a nice old town. And the Medvednica mountain is nice to hike up to and catch views of the city on a clear day. Unlike most of eastern Europe(except maybe Prague, Budapest and Warsaw), Zagreb is very modern, wifi hotspots all over the place, bars and cafes and upmarket bistros and malls. Be warned though, that because it's a big city, the only safe places to visit are mostly in the centre or around better housing areas. There is a high Albanian mafia presence along with skinheads in the poorer industrial quarters. If you do go, Mirogoj cemetry is also worth a visit.

    Split, I've been there but honestly, it's just a port. If you travel to and from Italy, the two ports that are linked are Ancona(Italy), and Split(Croatia).

    Croatia is an oddity, it's affluent and interesting and on the political side of things, a damned mystery why it's not in the EU. Have fun! And I'm sorry if I can't help you more, I was there a few times in my life visiting Croatian friends, the last was last year in the winter. So I can't really be considered a tourist because I can go places that tourists would find hard to get to.

    p.s. I also don't know anything much about the waterfall in Plitvice, curiously I never went, maybe it was not the right time to go to in winter. Heh, who knows?
    Last edited by articulate; 4th August 2010 at 02:48 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: [Europe] Croatia - any advice

    Definitely go to Dubrovnik! I spent 4 nights there and it was NOT enough. I was also at Zagreb and Plitvice Lakes...but given 3 days, just go to Dubrovnik. Like you said, it's not possible to cover both Plitvice and Dubrovnik within 3 days (I spent 7 days just in Zagreb + Dubrovnik and haven't been to Split or north Croatia).

    From there you can spend a day nuahing on the walls, one day you can go off to one of the islands (I went to Korcula, but apparently the Elephati islands are better), or if you're game, head down to Mostar in Bosnia with one of the travel groups. I miss the place!
    Last edited by wangwe; 4th August 2010 at 11:27 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: [Europe] Croatia - any advice

    thanks so much for those info!
    i have booked my flight to dubrovnik

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    Default Re: [Europe] Croatia - any advice

    glad to hear it! if you need a recommendation for backpackers place to stay, PM me.

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    Default Re: [Europe] Croatia - any advice

    Reviving this thread...planning on a 10 day tour of Croatia in late June with my brother, my focus is more for photography whereas for him will be sightseeing.

    My rough itinerary is as follows:
    Day 1 Fly in Zagreb, fly down to Dubrovnik since it's almost 500km and about 8 hrs by bus, no train. Overnight in Dub, maybe catch the sunset of Dub from Mount Srd.
    Day 2 Dub - Sight see old town in morning before the crowd come. Afternoon, maybe visit some other sights, beaches
    Day 3 Dub - maybe visit one or two island, Lokrum?
    Day 4 Dub ferry to Hvar/Brac - thinking of staying over in either one.. not sure which is better, then go Split next day
    Day 4 Havr/Brac to Split - half day tour around the Palace and sights.
    Day 5 Split - visit one of the islands?
    Day 6 Split - Plitvice - Leave around 10am by bus, if possible, reach there by 2pm, do a 2-4 hr walk, overnight plitvice.
    day 7 Plitvice - Zagreb - early morning tour plitvice lakes, do the full tour (6 hrs) if possible, afternoon go Zagreb. Take some night scenes around Zagreb old town square?
    Day 8 - Zagreb - mainly will be spend around the old town area, maybe a short side trip to the mountain near by, Smelje?
    Day 9 - ZAgreb - maybe do a day trip to Varazdin or just stay in Zagreb
    Day 10 - Depart and fly back to SG.


    Appreciate if anyone can shed some light on croatia

  7. #7

    Default Re: [Europe] Croatia - any advice

    I just went Croatia last year for around 8 days during their winter.

    Will definitely recommend driving from Dubrovnik to Zagreb, there are plenty of nice photo opportunities that you can get while driving that will not be possible taking a public transport. Furthermore, everyone will be taking the same bus during summer season, so taking the bus means attractions will most likely be crowded when you arrive.

    The roads in Croatia are easy to navigate and the highway speed limit is 130km/h, meaning you can probably get to locations much faster if you drive.

    Factor in at least 4 hours for plitvice if you intend to walk the entire trail, and maybe abit more if you plan to take alot of photos.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: [Europe] Croatia - any advice

    Hi dodob

    Yes, i also suggested to my brother to drive (i don't drive or rather no licence) but he's not keen on doing.

    Which car company did you rent the car from? I was actually thinking of just a short 2-3 drive like between Split - Plitvice - Zagreb. The rest I think we can manage via ferry/bus or train etc.

    For Plitvice, I read you need about 6 hrs to cover the whole place if you are taking photos so I aim at least 6 hrs there.. preferably a bit more maybe on separate days in case weather no good. Possible to use tripod around the lakes?

    What are your itinerary like?

  9. #9

    Default Re: [Europe] Croatia - any advice

    You can check out Fleet Rent a Car Croatia, it is the best price I can find for any car rentals in Croatia, and was hassle free. They are also quite accommodating to request and surprisingly even gave me a discount on the spot.

    My itinerary is as such:

    Day 1: Land in Split(due to some airport strike in Zagreb) and drive immediately to Plitvice. Reach at around 4pm
    Day 2: Plitvice
    Day 3: Plitvice morning and drive to Trogir (near Split)
    Day 4: Trogir
    Day 5: Drive from Trogir to Dubrovnik
    Day 6: Dubrovnik
    Day 7: Dubrovnik
    Day 8: Dubrovnik to Split
    Day 9: Leave Split at night for Italy

    Yes. You can bring use a tripod around the lakes. One more tip is to get your Euros changed to HKR only in Croatia (not at the airport of course), change it in town, the rates are fantastic.

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    Default Re: [Europe] Croatia - any advice

    Interesting... so u ended up skip Zagreb totally?

    I decided not to rent car since my brother not keen to drive and i can't drive anyway! Decided to fly from Zag to Dub then Split to Zag.. Split to Dub i will likely take a ferry.
    Now my itinerary changed. I'll pm you if i need more info since only two of us are discussing

  11. #11

    Default Re: [Europe] Croatia - any advice

    My highlight was Plitvice Lakes NP, and it was not the best season somemore (end Mar). In summer, it'll be fabulous.
    Dubrovnik is Croatia's no.1 tourist spot, and it shows... it's the most expensive of its cities, but yes, it's very nice
    I'll say reduce no. of days in Zagreb, but of course, if u r a city person, then ok lor

    I walked from 9.30a to 6.30p in Plitvice and enjoyed it!
    But that's me


    Quote Originally Posted by nemesis32 View Post
    Reviving this thread...planning on a 10 day tour of Croatia in late June with my brother, my focus is more for photography whereas for him will be sightseeing.

    My rough itinerary is as follows:
    Day 1 Fly in Zagreb, fly down to Dubrovnik since it's almost 500km and about 8 hrs by bus, no train. Overnight in Dub, maybe catch the sunset of Dub from Mount Srd.
    Day 2 Dub - Sight see old town in morning before the crowd come. Afternoon, maybe visit some other sights, beaches
    Day 3 Dub - maybe visit one or two island, Lokrum?
    Day 4 Dub ferry to Hvar/Brac - thinking of staying over in either one.. not sure which is better, then go Split next day
    Day 4 Havr/Brac to Split - half day tour around the Palace and sights.
    Day 5 Split - visit one of the islands?
    Day 6 Split - Plitvice - Leave around 10am by bus, if possible, reach there by 2pm, do a 2-4 hr walk, overnight plitvice.
    day 7 Plitvice - Zagreb - early morning tour plitvice lakes, do the full tour (6 hrs) if possible, afternoon go Zagreb. Take some night scenes around Zagreb old town square?
    Day 8 - Zagreb - mainly will be spend around the old town area, maybe a short side trip to the mountain near by, Smelje?
    Day 9 - ZAgreb - maybe do a day trip to Varazdin or just stay in Zagreb
    Day 10 - Depart and fly back to SG.


    Appreciate if anyone can shed some light on croatia

  12. #12
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    Default Re: [Europe] Croatia - any advice

    Yes, I actually intend to try and take the 545am bus from Zagreb to Plitvice, figured i would reach there by 830 or so, then walk until evening 5-6pm. For Zagreb, it may seems a lot but first day, Zagreb is only transit as i will ended up in Dubrovnik. Then one full day in Zagreb will actually be full day at Plitvice now that i changed my itinerary.

    Day 1 Fly in Zagreb, fly down to Dubrovnik since it's almost 500km and about 8 hrs by bus, no train. Overnight in Dub, maybe catch the sunset of Dub from Mount Srd.
    Day 2 Dub - Sight see old town in morning before the crowd come. Afternoon, maybe visit some other sights, beaches
    Day 3 Dub - maybe visit one or two island, Lokrum?
    Day 4 Dub take bus to Split, overnight in Split, walk around old town area
    Day 4 Split - half day tour around the Palace and sights, half day at Brac - visit the famous Bol beach?
    Day 5 Split - Full day at Hvar
    Day 6 Split - Zagreb by flight - walk around zagreb central
    day 7 Zagreb -plitvice - early morning tour plitvice lakes, do the full tour (6 hrs) if possible,
    Day 8 - Zagreb - mainly will be spend around the old town area, maybe a short side trip to the mountain near by, Smelje?
    Day 9 - ZAgreb - maybe do a day trip to Varazdin or just stay in Zagreb
    Day 10 - Depart and fly back to SG.

  13. #13

    Default Re: [Europe] Croatia - any advice

    Just a suggestion, on your day 3, do consider a day trip down to Montenegro, the Bay of Kotor is beautiful

  14. #14
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    Default Re: [Europe] Croatia - any advice

    Alexljy, I was thinking about doing a day trip there too but still considering. I think I might skip Bosnia and Montenegro all together so in future i will more likely visit! Haha...

    Any idea how long it takes to Bay of Kotor?

  15. #15

    Default Re: [Europe] Croatia - any advice

    why u wanna fly to zagreb from split, then travel back down to plitvice?
    can just bus to plitvice from split...

    kotor is certainly nice, and that's why I wouldn't do a day trip, heh
    but thats me again... although its only 2+hrs trip between dubbrovnik and kotor


    Quote Originally Posted by nemesis32 View Post
    Yes, I actually intend to try and take the 545am bus from Zagreb to Plitvice, figured i would reach there by 830 or so, then walk until evening 5-6pm. For Zagreb, it may seems a lot but first day, Zagreb is only transit as i will ended up in Dubrovnik. Then one full day in Zagreb will actually be full day at Plitvice now that i changed my itinerary.

    Day 1 Fly in Zagreb, fly down to Dubrovnik since it's almost 500km and about 8 hrs by bus, no train. Overnight in Dub, maybe catch the sunset of Dub from Mount Srd.
    Day 2 Dub - Sight see old town in morning before the crowd come. Afternoon, maybe visit some other sights, beaches
    Day 3 Dub - maybe visit one or two island, Lokrum?
    Day 4 Dub take bus to Split, overnight in Split, walk around old town area
    Day 4 Split - half day tour around the Palace and sights, half day at Brac - visit the famous Bol beach?
    Day 5 Split - Full day at Hvar
    Day 6 Split - Zagreb by flight - walk around zagreb central
    day 7 Zagreb -plitvice - early morning tour plitvice lakes, do the full tour (6 hrs) if possible,
    Day 8 - Zagreb - mainly will be spend around the old town area, maybe a short side trip to the mountain near by, Smelje?
    Day 9 - ZAgreb - maybe do a day trip to Varazdin or just stay in Zagreb
    Day 10 - Depart and fly back to SG.

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    Default Re: [Europe] Croatia - any advice

    Nuts.. I thought about taking bus from Split to Plitvice but my brother didn't want to lug all the luggages by taking bus and didn't want to stay overnight at Plitvice. Also, If i'm not wrong Split to Plitvice takes about 3.5 hrs each way, which will make day trip more difficult and buses are less frequent. Frm Zagreb, it will be less than 2.5 hrs and many buses passed by Plitvice. Lastly, we found out train from Split to Zagreb is like 9 hrs and costs more than flight so might as well fly.. save a bit of time. The hassle of going airport, check in etc i think is still worthwhile.

    As for Kotor, I was thinking of doing a Sarejevo, Mostar and Kotor trip in future if possible. This trip is half photography, half leisure trip so i didnt want to squeeze too much also.

  17. #17

    Default

    I kinda agree with doing bosnia by itself, in my opinion, it's one of the most beautiful country I have visited in former yugoslavia.

    As for zagreb - plitvice, have you considered private transfers? I took a transfer for 6 from plitvice to zagreb, it cost lesser than bus. That will allow you to overnight in plitvice, and probably make the trip less detoury

  18. #18

    Default Re: [Europe] Croatia - any advice

    Ha, for me, it's alot more hassle lugging my luggage for the 2x airport-city commute + checkin stuff etc
    personally, I think more time is wasted instead...

    but anyway, since the preference is not to stay in plitvice, then nothing more to say

    yes, with only 10days, just enjoy Croatia...


    Quote Originally Posted by nemesis32 View Post
    Nuts.. I thought about taking bus from Split to Plitvice but my brother didn't want to lug all the luggages by taking bus and didn't want to stay overnight at Plitvice. Also, If i'm not wrong Split to Plitvice takes about 3.5 hrs each way, which will make day trip more difficult and buses are less frequent. Frm Zagreb, it will be less than 2.5 hrs and many buses passed by Plitvice. Lastly, we found out train from Split to Zagreb is like 9 hrs and costs more than flight so might as well fly.. save a bit of time. The hassle of going airport, check in etc i think is still worthwhile.

    As for Kotor, I was thinking of doing a Sarejevo, Mostar and Kotor trip in future if possible. This trip is half photography, half leisure trip so i didnt want to squeeze too much also.

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    Default Re: [Europe] Croatia - any advice

    Quote Originally Posted by alexljy View Post
    I kinda agree with doing bosnia by itself, in my opinion, it's one of the most beautiful country I have visited in former yugoslavia.

    As for zagreb - plitvice, have you considered private transfers? I took a transfer for 6 from plitvice to zagreb, it cost lesser than bus. That will allow you to overnight in plitvice, and probably make the trip less detoury
    Yes, but i don't think it will be cheap than by bus.. Bus, from what i found out, should be very cheap, like 100kn (about 20 SGD) per way/pax. so it's S$80 for 2 of us. Private transfer i think i only manage to see about Euro 150/way so it will be 300 EURO or about S$500 just for return. Also, I think no point in staying overnight in Plitvice as the hotel is crappy also.

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    Default Re: [Europe] Croatia - any advice

    Quote Originally Posted by nuts View Post
    Ha, for me, it's alot more hassle lugging my luggage for the 2x airport-city commute + checkin stuff etc
    personally, I think more time is wasted instead...

    but anyway, since the preference is not to stay in plitvice, then nothing more to say

    yes, with only 10days, just enjoy Croatia...
    Haha, I just think airport probably more comfy than stuck in the bus for 9 hours. I try to avoid any bus journey more than 4 hrs, spoil my mood also! haha

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