Off the Beaten Track: 3 Tips for Visiting Croatia

Do you dream of a Mediterranean vacation without the price tag that would accompany such a trip? The country of Croatia might not be on your radar, but if you love that Mediterranean vibe, it should be. Croatia shares many of Italy’s qualities–and is just a ferry ride away from Venice–but it costs a fraction of the price to visit. The tips below can help you plan your trip.

Money

The most expensive places in Croatia, such as Dubrovnik in the south or the town Hvar on the island of the same name are still fairly inexpensive by Western European standards. You can travel throughout the country cheaply, but doing your research and planning ahead is always a good idea if you want to save money. If you don’t have much saved up, rather than pulling out the plastic, consider taking out a personal loan from a private lender. This can be a fast and easy way to access money with a reasonable payment plan.

Practicalities

If you want to make your vacation as smooth as possible, it’s worth considering the time of year for travel. Croatia can be very busy in July and August, but if you go too far off-season, you risk most restaurants and attractions being closed and an inconvenient ferry schedule to the islands. As for getting around, there is a train system although most Croatians prefer buses. Another option is car rental.

What to See

If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, this trip is not to be missed. Start in Dubrovnik, which you may know better as King’s Landing. Split is another filming location, with the Roman cellars under Diocletian’s Palace having served as the place where Daenerys kept her dragons. If fantasy television holds no interest for you, you will still love the gorgeous and ancient architecture in these places. Further north along the coast you’ll find more Roman ruins, things to do, and towns worth visiting in the Istrian peninsula.

While most tourists stick to the coast, this would mean missing out on the country’s equally stunning interior, including the Plitvice National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. If you have the time, the capital city of Zagreb is worth a day or two. At some point while you are in the country, be sure to stop off at one of the many cafes. Croatians make an art of whiling away an afternoon relaxing and talking over a cup of coffee.

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