Croatia has definitely become a popular destination in Europe. Three weeks or a short city trip – Croatia is suitable for everyone! I suggest in this post a four-day itinerary between the two gorgeous cities of Zadar and Split.
One day in Zadar
I arrived in Zadar early afternoon with a Ryanair flight. There are many flights leaving from all around Europe during summer. After having my COVID certificate checked, I ran to catch the airport bus (timetable here). I suggest you have a bit of cash – a one-way trip costs 25 kn. Alternatively you can take a Uber (about 9-10€ to the city centre).
I dropped my luggage in an extremely well located and trendy hostel with awesome views on the old town – the Boutique Hostel Forum. 45€ for a double room (but one person) with breakfast included – not bad!
What to do in Zadar?
- Sit on the steps of the famous Sea Organ and listen to the relaxing sound of the waves
- Explore the ruins of the Roman Forum
- Walk around the city walls and stumble upon the beautiful Land Gate, then get inside to discover the many churches and squares, such as the pretty Five Wells square
- Visit the Permanent exhibition of Religious Art held by Benedictines: photos forbidden, just enjoy!
At night, get ready to be wawed by the sunset! Then I recommend you to have dinner at the Bruschetta restaurant, where I had a delicious… well bruschetta followed by a very nice ravioli dish. The service was very considerate.
Don’t forget to walk back towards the sea organ to play with the coulourful lights generated by the Greeting of the Sun.
One day in Šibenik
On the next day, I took a Flixbus around midday to take me to the pretty city of Šibenik. The trip was 8€ and about one hour long.
Two main higlights in Šibenik:
– The UNESCO-ranked Cathedral of St. James, which is actually the nicest Renaissance monument in Croatia. Impressive sculpted door and super cute Adam and Eve.
– St. Michael’s Fortress (60kn in high season – all prices here) and its tremendous views on the opposite islands. Walk back down into the Old Town and enjoy the churches, palazzi and pittoresque narrow streets.
Accommodation tip: I slept in an apartment with a large terrace with a perfect view on the town quay: Apartmani Rina.
Should I have been able to stay more days, I would have visited the Krka National Park and its renowned waterfalls in the nearby city of Skradin, a bit less than 20kms away from Šibenik. But I unfortunately needed to leave around midday.
One day in Trogir
2.50€ and one hour later, another Flixbus bus took me to the historic city of Trogir, described on WIkipedia as the best-preserved Romanesque-Gothic complex not only in the Adriatic, but in all of Central Europe. Don’t miss it!
To have a good overview of the medieval city, I decided to go for a climb on the Ciovo island, separated from Trogir by a bridge. Stunning even with a storm arriving!
Like in Šibenik, the best way to discover the city is to walk around with your eyes wide open: the whole old town is ranked by UNESCO!
Anyway, 3 must-do in Trogir:
- St Lawrence’s Cathedral, another example of exquisite Venitian architecture
- Kamerlengo Castle: 25kn to check out the view on the city
- Marmont’s Gloriette: a gazebo built by the French to ‘commemorate’ the Napoleonic occupation where you can sit down and enjoyr a romantic moment
Some practical tips in Trogir:
- Eat a mixed grill in Restaurant Marijana
- Drink original cocktails at CORTE bar
- Sleep in simple and cheap Rooms Roso
Two days in Split
No Flixbus this time to take me to Split. Although the option was there, as the weather was good, I prefered to take a ferry and stop in Slatine to enjoy the turquoise waters (and stone beaches – ouch) of Ciovo island.
Back on the ferry to finally meet Split after several years waiting for that day. And the city definitely didn’t disappoint.
What to in Split?
- A morning run along the water from the Riva to Obojena beach to see real Croatians
- A tour of the city (free tour for instance here) to be sure not to miss all the little details of the impressive Diocletian palace
- Have a cocktail or two on the newly-renovated Riva with a beautiful view on the Marina
- And on another night, climb the maaaaaaaaaaaaaany steps of the Marjan hill for the best sunset
Accommodation tip: I had a very comfy stay in a small studio just outside the old town: Guest House Babina. Also, nice abundant meal nearby at Konoba Fratelli.
Time for me to leave unfortunately. I took a Flixbus back to Zadar (2h15, 14€) as my plane back home was leaving from there. But don’t hesitate to explore the islands (Hvar, Brač) or travel further down to the unrivalled Dubrovnik.
Vidimo se Hrvatska!
All recommendations are mine, no ads. Prices from September 2021.