Solo Travel in Croatia
Croatia is a gorgeous destination to explore. Below is our guide to how to travel solo in Croatia as well as lots of practical information such as where to stay, which tour company to use and how to get around. Find out how to get from the airports and what to do in each place. All companies included have been recommended by solo female travellers and come with our Solo Female Friendly endorsement. Just choose the relevant section or read the full article.
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- Places To Go in Croatia
- Tours in Croatia
- Accommodation in Croatia
- Travelling Around Croatia
- Croatia Itinerary
- Croatia Travel Guide
- What To Pack For Croatia
- Best Time To Visit Croatia
- Travel Insurance For Croatia
- Airports in Croatia
- Travelling Onwards
- Map of Croatia
- Plan a Trip To Croatia
- Solo Travel in Dubrovnik
- Related Posts
Solo Travel in Croatia
Croatia is a popular tourist destination with Old Towns, history and plenty of seafood. This country is so open to tourism that it is easy to solo travel in Croatia; that's why we've given it 4 out of 5 stars. It is a popular tourist destination with great infrastructure, good transport systems and so many places to stay. No matter which destination you visit, you're likely to meet other travellers too. The country is popular with Australians and New Zealanders who you are guaranteed to meet if you decide to do a sailing trip around the party islands in Croatia.
Croatians are proud of their country and heritage. The younger people generally speak English if you need any help whilst in the country. The whole country is not only beautiful but has a comfortable vibe for solos. Just be prepared that the customer service may not be what you're used to. Croatia is a wonderful country to explore independently but you may prefer to visit on a group tour.
Places To Go in Croatia
Croatia was once a destination kept under the radar, but nowadays sees this Mediterranean country rapidly growing as a tourist destination with old towns, diverse islands and a vibrant night scene all adding to its appeal for both older and younger solos.
Sharing borders with Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia is part of former Yugoslavia. The country declared independence in 1991 causing the Croatian conflict which lasted until 1995. Nowadays this peaceful country attracts those who come for its dramatic coastline, Renaissance walled towns and of course, its Croatian charm.
Known as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic,’ the City of Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and its timeless beauty makes it a mecca for history lovers. Once a great trading hub, the city is now one of the biggest tourist destinations in the Mediterranean city with outside cafes and a quaint marina. One of the main draws to Dubrovnik are the Game of Thrones locations. Movie GatGs will recognise many of the settings in this city which starred in the popular series.
Dubrovnik has a magical feel about it. Meander through the secret alleyways of this gorgeous old town and get lost in its timeless beauty, or just people watch whilst tucking into some fresh seafood al-fresco style. The city walls are some of the best preserved in Europe and are best seen early in the morning or at sunset where you can walk along the ancient walls for views of the old town and the sea.
Learn more about the city’s past with a scenic cable car ride and a visit to the war museum. Looking out at one of the most iconic images of Croatia, it’s hard to believe that this was once a town that had been bombed less than thirty years before.
For nature GatGs the tranquility of the Plitvice Lakes are hard to beat. Known for its lakes, alpine forests and heavenly waterfalls, it has some of Europe’s oldest woodlands and was once called “the devil’s gardens,” because of its dense forests. Well sign-posted hiking trails lead you through this stunning landscape and its turquoise-coloured lakes. You could easily spend a whole day here losing yourself within its natural beauty.
For festival GatGs, Croatia has made quite a name for itself on the festival scene. You'll find festivals throughout the country and islands. Visit in the summer and you’ll be dancing to world class DJs in your flip flops. Hvar is a mecca for partygoers and has some of the best nightlife in Croatia. There is even a tiny party island with an exclusive nightclub that you have to take the ferry to.
Head to the northern side of Hvar to Stari Grad, one of the oldest towns in Europe where you can sample some of Croatia's best wine.
Although Dubrovnik is one of the most visited places in Croatia, Zagreb is the capital. This is the largest city with plenty of parks and Habsburg architecture to admire. Zagreb has a vibrant cafe culture. Even in the winter you’ll find locals sitting al fresco underneath heated lamps sipping their coffee or whiling away their evenings in one of the bohemian bars at Tkalciceva Street.
Located at the foothills of Mt. Medvednica, Zagreb has an Upper and a Lower Town. The small funicular railway that runs between the two makes it easy to get around. The Lower Town is where you’ll find many of the museums and if you visit in the summer you can take part in one of the free cultural festivals too.
Zadar is a city rich in heritage with a history that dates back 3000 years. Marble streets gleam back at you as you wander past Roman ruins, ancient monuments and archaeological gems from the Renaissance and Medieval times. It is also home to the Sea Organ, a unique piece of architecture that plays as the waves come in, and the Monument of the Sun which lights up after dusk.
Rovinj is a little gem which many people miss off their Croatia itinerary. This charming fishing port on the west coast of the Istrian peninsula, has an Italian flair. It was once of the most important towns in Istria under the Republic of Venice and is now a romantic Mediterranean town. But you don’t need a partner to visit this small coastal city, just yourself and your sense of adventure will do.
Split is the gateway to the islands and where most of the sailing trips depart from but there is another reason for visiting Croatia’s second largest city. Diocletian’s Palace is one of the most impressive Roman ruins in the world and this ancient fortress now forms the old town of Split. Inside you’ll find cafes, shops and bar-hoppers amongst the few thousand residents who live within the UNESCO-protected remains.
Then there are the day trips. Visit Trogir, a Croatian island which resembles a small Split with a pretty fortress and medieval streets to wander around. Or explore the architectural gems of Sibenik, a coastal destination which is fast-becoming a place to visit. From here you can Krka National Park, another of the country’s regions of nature.
If you choose to go island hopping, Vis is the furthest island from the coast and was once a military base. Mljet is an island to escape the crowds and fall in love with nature. Known as the “Green Island” it is abundant in vegetation with panoramic coastlines and reefs to explore. Rab is also one of the greenest islands in the Adriatic and has a historic town dating back to 360 BC. Then there's Lastovo which remains relatively untouched and is off the beaten path (or sail) with an air of Croatian mystery.
If you love medieval history, walled old towns, islands, partying and festivals then you simply have to experience solo travel in Croatia.
Tours in Croatia
If you feel more comfortable in a group for either part of your trip or the whole duration, G Adventures is a responsible tour company which mainly caters towards budget travellers. Most tours have an average of 10 people and there is no upper age limit. Once you book your trip you pay extra for any excursions you want to do when you’re there.
Starting from 7 day trips from Zagreb to Dubrovnik you can explore Croatia overland or on a sailing trip. If you are planning to explore the Balkans, they also offer trips to Montenegro and Bosnia. If you have longer than 2 weeks you can travel with them down to Greece or explore 9 countries within a month with their classic tour. I have personally used G Adventures and recommend them as a solo female friendly company.
Intrepid Travel is similar to G Adventures with an average of 12 people on each tour. Over 50% of people using their trips are solo travellers. They tend to use hotels instead of hostels and have a more comfortable style of accommodation hence the trips can appear a bit more costly than G Adventures.
Trips start from an 8 day Croatia Sailing Adventure from Split to Dubrovnik, to a 29 day Vienna to Dubrovnik trip. With both tour companies you share a room with someone of the same gender or you can pay extra for your own room.
MedSailors – If you’ve ever wanted to sail around the Mediterranean but have no experience as a sailor, then hop aboard a Medsailors tour instead. Medsailors arrange sailing trips to Croatia where you get a chance to try out your sailing skills (if you feel inclined too). Catering for 18 to 35 year olds, the sailing trips are week-long. As a solo you get paired up in a cabin.
- Secret Zagreb – Explore the secret side of the city on a Secret Zagreb Walk or take one of their ghost tours instead and learn about notorious witch hunts and dark Croatian writers.
- Zadar Walking Tour – You can easily do your own walking tour around Zadar especially the Old Town but if you prefer the chance to meet others and learn about what you are seeing join a walking tour like this one.
Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide helps you to find top-rated activities and tours in worldwide destinations including Croatia. Choose from a 2-hour Game of Thrones tour in Dubrovnik, a visit to Diocletian’s Palace in Split, or a walking tour in Zagreb. There are several to choose from and it’s really simple to use. Just check the reviews, price and availability then book online. * Check all tours and prices here
Accommodation in Croatia
Depending on what type of accommodation in Croatia you are looking for, you can find anything from a bed in a hostel to a studio apartment just outside the Old Town of Dubrovnik. Even universities open up their rooms during the summer months so you can get a private room for a bargain price.
Beach hotels, self-catering villas and 5-star resorts cater from the budget-conscious including camping to the more luxurious traveller. There is also Airbnb where you can stay with locals. Save $20 off your first stay with this Airbnb link.
Homestay is an alternative to Airbnb. They offer stays in accommodation such as a stay in a luxury apartment with a jacuzzi in Zagreb, or an art apartment in Zadar. You can video call your host family before you go to find the perfect host. Check homestays and prices here.
All of the accommodation below have been recommended by solo female travellers from our Girls about the Globe community and come with a Solo Female Friendly endorsement. For more destinations in Croatia click here for a list of the best accommodation in Croatia for solos.
It may be small but this hostel is only a few hundred yards away from the beach and Pile Gate, and in a really convenient location. There’s a shared kitchen area and fab views from the upper floors. The staff are helpful and on hand to give you any tips about the city and organise some events at the hostel.
There is a large kitchen where you can cook your own meals and eat on the terrace. The beds are comfortable and if you choose a private room you may be in the annex building with some of the dormitories.
- Prices from £18 a night for a bed in a mixed dorm
- To book, check prices or availability for Hostel Angelina Old Town
Escape the Old Town and stay in Gruz instead. This 4 star hotel offers views of the bay and the Elafiti Islands and is only a short bus trip from the Old Town. Watch the ferries come into the bay whilst enjoying some local cuisine or the buffet breakfast (which is additional). If you need to unwind after a days’ sightseeing, go for a dip in the swimming pool or relax in the spa.
If you’re hiring a car there are parking spaces at the hotel. They also arrange your airport shuttle if you don't have a car. The rooms are extremely clean and come with air conditioning, a satellite TV and a hairdryer. Choose from a standard double or twin room. You can also upgrade to a sea view or half board option.
- Prices from £38 for a double room with a private bathroom
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Adria
In a good location with very friendly staff, Downtown Hostel is within the Palace of Diocletian. It’s also close to the beach, just a 10 minute stroll away. There is a shared kitchenette, modern bathrooms, and the hostel offers bike hire so you can explore more of the area.
Because of its location, expect to hear music until the early hours but you can always meet others in the common room for some company in the evenings. The 24 hour reception is ideal if you are arriving late into Split, and the bus station and ferry is nearby making it easy to arrive or depart from. Choose from a bed in a 4 or 8 mixed dorm room, or upgrade to a double room with your own private bathroom.
- Prices from £14 a night in an 8-bed mixed dorm
- To book, check prices or availability for Downtown Hostel
Aptly named after its location, you’ll find this cool hostel in the main square close to the popular Ban Jelacic Square and bars and restaurants. With bright rooms and high ceilings you’ll have lots of privacy in the boxed-shape beds. The rooms are en suite too.
The hostel has a nice vibe and it’s a great place to relax and chat to other travellers in the lounge area. The staff are accommodating and will help will any advice you need on Zagreb and are on hand 24 hours a day.
They have 4, 6 and 8 bed dorms including a female-only one (6 beds) or you can chose a double room with a balcony if you need more privacy.
- Prices from £11 for a bed in an 8 bed dorm
- To book, check prices or availability for Main Square Hostel
Located in the centre of Zagreb, this funky hostel is ideally based for those wanting to sightsee. The staff are really friendly and there is a downstairs bar to mingle with others. The lockers aren’t that big though so take a padlock with you to lock your bags. They have different size dorms from 4 beds to 11 beds plus a 6-bed female dorm; or pay extra for a studio or double room.
- Prices from £20 for a bed in an 8 bed dorm room
- To book, check prices or availability for Swanky Mint Hostel
Travelling Around Croatia
Hiring a car is easy but the Croatian drivers do drive a bit erratically so take care if you decide to hire a car. There are one-way systems in Split which can be a bit confusing.
The country is beautiful is drive around and the road from Split to Dubrovnik is a stunning scenic one which takes you through the border of Bosnia. To hire a car I recommend pre-booking your car hire so you can collect your car when you arrive at the airport. If you are taking it one-way you may encounter a one-way fee. Find car hire here.
The country is well connected with buses. The bus from Split to Dubrovnik takes approximately 3 hours and costs £17. Be prepared to pay extra for your bags and to not have air-conditioning.
There are also trains which connect the major cities. If you are short on time then taking a tour or hiring a car for the day is the quickest way to visit places out of the way.
If you’re planning on spending some time on the islands then consider a sailing trip. Not only is this a great way to see more than one island but you also get to sleep onboard a yacht and experience the coastline. Travelling as a solo means that you’ll have to share a cabin with someone else unless you pay for two.
If you are on a budget then the cheapest way to see the islands are by ferry. Taxi boats can take you anywhere you want to go. You can reach Dubrovnik from Split by taking a 4.5 hour ferry ride. The ferry costs approx £30.
There are so many lovely places to see that you should definitely spend a week here. Even Dubrovnik itself is worth three days at least. If you live in Europe you can visit one of the cities for a 3 night break.
7 days itinerary:
- Stay in Split and do day trips to the islands from there.
- Zadar (3 nights), Sibenik (2 nights), Split (2 nights)
- Dubrovnik (4 nights), Split (3 nights)
Ten days itinerary:
- Zagreb (3 nights), Dubrovnik (4 nights), Split (3 nights)
- Split (3 nights), Hvar (3 nights), Dubrovnik (4 nights)
- Dubrovnik (3 nights), Tisno (1 night), Zadar (2 nights), Pula (2 nights), Zagreb (2 nights)
Two week’s itinerary:
- Dubrovnik (3 nights), Split (3 nights), Zadar (3 nights), Pltivice Lakes (2 nights), Zagreb (3 nights)
- Zagreb (3 nights), Plitvice (1 night), Zadar (3 nights), Split (3 nights), Trogis (1 night), Dubrovnik (3 nights).
Croatia Travel Guide
If you need a guide book for your travels we recommend Rough Guides. Covering where to go and when to go, things not to miss, itineraries, getting around, festivals and events, history, and maps, they are amongst the most comprehensive guides on the market. If you prefer Lonely Planet click here for all Croatia guide books.
If you are planning on travelling to Croatia for the first time, the Rough Guide to Croatia covers topics such as: book your trip, accommodation, getting there, getting around, food and drink, and travel essentials. They also include things not to miss, as well as maps so you can find your way around easily when you’re offline. Follow carefully planned itineraries, so you can maximise your time and know exactly where to go. They’re your travel Bible.
What To Pack For Croatia
If you’re unsure what to pack for Croatia, we have created a guide of our favourite solo travel products to help you decide what to pack. One of our favourite travel products for Croatia is P20 suntan lotion. This is perfect if you are planning a sailing trip around the Croatian islands. Find out why we love this below and click on the link to discover all of our favourite travel products:
Riemann P20 Suntan Lotion
P20 is great for active Girls about the Globe. Whether you’re sailing or just sunbathing, you apply it to your body before you go out and it lasts all day. It comes in factor 15 to factor 50, and covers all skin types for up to 10 hours. You still get a great tan if you’re in the sun all day and you only need to apply it once. It’s water resistant too.
Best Time To Visit Croatia
Your budget may determine when you can visit Croatia. The most expensive time to go is during the school holidays in July and August. If you don't like crowds or the heat then avoid these two months and travel before or after instead.
The best time to visit Croatia is May and June or September. October is still a great time to go here if you’re not planning to sunbathe as the weather is slightly cooler for sightseeing. You can still visit places such as Dubrovnik and Zagreb in the winter months where there are still activities in the low season. Seeing the frozen Plitvice Lakes is stunning.
Croatia is popular with cruise ships so you will find that Dubrovnik’s Old Town gets busy with passengers disembarking ships between March to October. Plan your trip around the cruise ships for a quieter holiday.
This chart shows the average maximum day temperatures for Split (from January to December).
Travel Insurance For Croatia
Croatia is a safe country to explore but travel insurance is always recommended especially if you are planning on hiring a car or joining a sailing trip.
I recommend True Traveller for UK and European residents, and World Nomads for U.S. and worldwide citizens. Both companies allow you to buy insurance when you are already on the road, and offer different plans depending on your needs.
Airports in Croatia
There are nine airports in Croatia of which seven operate as international airports. Low cost airlines such as Easyjet, Vueling, Wizz Air and Germanwings fly into Croatia. If you are looking for a cheap flight to Croatia, low cost airlines also fly into Zagreb. Below are 5 of the main airports and how to get to and from each one. For all other airports check Rome 2 Rio.
From Dubrovnik Airport – From the airport it takes 25 minutes in a taxi into Dubrovnik and will cost you approx £40. Save your pounds by taking an airport shuttle instead which stops at Pile Gate (easy to access the old town) and also the Gruz Port bus station. The bus takes 30 minutes and costs £6. It departs hourly. Find bus schedules at Atlas Croatia.
From Pula Airport – Taxis cost £16 and take 8 minutes or there is a shuttle for £11 which only takes 15 minutes. You need to pre-book the shuttle. Check here for details
From Split Airport – Line 37 bus operates from the airport to the city. They depart every 30 minutes and cost £3 for the 40 minute journey. Click here for timetables. Taxis are quicker and will cost you £40 for the 25 minute journey.
From Zadar Airport – Zadar has its own airport but it’s easy to get here from Split or Zagreb. A taxi costs £20 for the 12 minute journey. There are airport buses from Zadar which run from the airport terminal to the Old Town and bus/train station. These cost £3 and take approx 20 minutes. Check bus schedules here
From Zagreb Airport – Buses run from the airport to Zagreb’s main bus station. Bus company Pleso Prijevoz leaves 30 minutes from early morning until 8pm and takes 30 minutes costing £5. From the main station you can take tram 6 to the city centre. Taxis cost approximately £29 for the 20 minute journey. You can also book a bus shuttle on demand. The prices differ depending on your destination. Click here for details
Croatia borders Slovenia, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro. Being on the border of so many countries means that you have a wide choice of places to travel to next. You can even travel across the water to Italy.
To Italy – You can reach Italy by ferry from either Hvar which goes to Pescara, Zadar to Ancona, or Rovinj to Venice. Direct Ferries have timetables.
To other European countries
Buses – International buses run from Zagreb to other European countries such as Austria, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Slovenia. Travel from Dubrovnik to the Bay of Kotor (a stunning place).
Train – You can also take a train which although may be a bit slower, can be a good way of seeing the scenery. Trains go to Germany, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia, Hungary and Austria. The main train station in Zagreb takes credit cards and the staff speak good English.
Where can I go from here?
Bosnia – 50 mins
Austria – 1 hr 10 mins
Serbia – 1 hour
- Can I drink the water? Yes but check with your accommodation before you drink the tap water or take your own water filter with you.
- Is tipping expected? Yes. Leave at least 10% if you can.
- Fixed price or barter? Usually fixed price.
- Any ATMs? Yes.
- Which side of the road do they drive? The right-hand side.
- Good for vegetarians? Yes.
- Any seven wonders of the world? No but Dubrovnik's Old Town should be.
Map of Croatia
Plan a Trip to Croatia
If you are ready to plan a trip to Croatia here are some useful links to help you plan your trip including airlines which fly there, where you can volunteer and eco accommodation.
Budget Rating – £45 a day
Current Time in Zadar
Capital – Zagreb
Population – 4.253 million
Language Spoken – Croatian
Best Time to Go – July & August
Did you know? Scenes from the Game of Thrones were filmed in Dubrovnik.
If you’ve ever wanted to camp on island then Eco Camping Glavotok on the island Krk offers eco camping just minutes from the beach. They offer sports activities and horse riding to keep you entertained.
Obonjan Island is the idea place to go glamping. It is one of the islands in the Sibenik archipelago, and offers accommodation in an eco-friendly bell tent or a boutique forest lodge, all within a natural island landscape.
Stay in an eco shelter in Bisevo and help support a social entrepreneurship project. There is no running water, instead they collect the rainwater. You’ll definitely need a torch, trekking shoes and mosquito repellent for this adventure. There is a minimum stay of 3 nights.
Volunteer in dolphin conservation and assist in the researching bottlenose dolphins to understand why they have declined by 50% in the last 50 years. This program is located in Funtana on the coast and is for 11 days.
Experience the culture of Croatia during their May to September festivals.
Learn how to cook Croatian style on the island of Brac with Culinary Croatia. You’ll learn the art of peka, and how to make the lamb dish vitalac, plus other techniques which date back to the Bronze age.
Sample the olive oil and wine on a day trip from Split. The island of Solta is known for its olive oil, honey and wine. Cruises take 45 minutes to reach the island and leave in the mornings and the afternoons.
SOS Children’s Villages have been working in Croatia since the Croatian War of Independence. They work with families who have children with mental and physical disabilities, and started a more recent programme in response to the refugee crisis.
Suncokret Center for Community Development is a non-profit organisation which was founded during the postwar period to help deprived members of the society. They give eco workshops to teach construction with natural materials and permaculture, and arrange international volunteer camps.
Mind Body & Soul
Head to the Istrian peninsula at Istarske Toplice for hot springs and thermal spas.
Summersalt Yoga offers yoga retreats with a difference. They combine yoga with their passion for surfing and stand up paddle boarding. Spend a week on a full immersion of mind, body and soul with meditation, massages, and delicious vegetarian food. They also give back to world communities and make an impact as part of the B1G1 organisation.
Suncokret Body & Soul Retreat is a unique boutique holistic yoga retreat on the island of Hvar. Take part in their holistic retreat where you can experience the cultural sites of the island to enhance your whole personal experience.
Treat yourself at the luxurious wellness and spa centre at Hotel Dubrovnik Palace.
Issues in the Country
Children from the Roma community face discrimination in Croatia. Not only do these children have the highest school drop-out rate in the country but their families suffer the highest rates of mortality and unemployment.
- Solo Travel in Dubrovnik
- Best Accommodation in Croatia for Solos
- 5 Reasons to do Tandem Skydiving in Croatia
- Sailing in Croatia
- Solo Travel in Slovenia
- Solo Travel in Europe
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