Zagreb and Environs Feature
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Zagreb and Environs Itineraries
To explore Croatia's interior, begin with Zagreb and work your way outward from there. If you have just a day or two, stick to the capital, but the more time you have beyond that, the more you will want to explore. If you're headed to the coast anyway, you'll pass by Plitvice Lakes National Park; keep that natural wonder on your radar screen for a daytime visit at the very least.
If You Have 3 Days
Stick to Zagreb, with a side trip to its immediate environs. As compact as it is compared to other regional capitals such as Budapest, Croatia's capital nonetheless invites long strolls and more than a fleeting look into at least a few of its museums and parks. This alone can take three days; but you can probably cover most key sights without feeling rushed in two days, leaving a bit of time to spare for a half-day excursion to Samobor, for example, or into the hills north of the capital. Renting a car will allow you to cover more of the castles and towns of the Medvednice hills and the Zagorje region, but even if you have only one full day at your disposal, you can take in a couple of such nearby sites by bus.
If You Have 5 Days
Start as above, devoting at least two or, better yet, two-and-a-half days to Zagreb, with a half-day excursion to the Medvednice hills on the third day. Visit a castle or two in the Zagorje, such as Veliki Tabor, on the fourth day, and spend the night either in the nearby countryside or else in Varazdin before making your way back for a fond farewell to Zagreb on the fifth.
If You Have 7 Days
Do all of the above, but take in both a castle in the Zagorje and an afternoon and evening in Varazdin; throw in a one-night visit to Plitvice Lakes National Park, with a daytime stopover in Karlovac on the way. This one-week option will work well if, for example, you wish to spend the second (or first) week on the Adriatic coast.
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