Need help planning Croatia

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Feb 26th, 2018, 10:27 AM
  #1
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Need help planning Croatia

Hi, I am going to start off by stating the big mistake I have made, and can not fix. We are flying into Zagreb on July 12, BUT flying out of Budapest on the 23rd. For some reason I had it in my mind it would be easy to get from Dubrovnik to Budapest... but I was sorely mistaken.

I am looking for advice on a good itinerary. I would prefer not to pack and unpack a million times. We are a family of 5 (kids are older 15, 18, 23). My son really wants to do Slovenia for a day, but not sure I can fit that in. I hate crowds (bad time of year to go, I know... mistake #2), so I am not keen on a ton of time in Dubrovnik. We are more of the off the beaten path kind of family.

Thank you in advance for any thoughts or advice.


ps I had previously posted about a short sail, I was able to find one, but it just isn't working out...

Last edited by Begue70; Feb 26th, 2018 at 10:40 AM.
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Feb 26th, 2018, 10:34 AM
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If you are more of an off-the-beaten path family, then stay off the beaten path. Can you envision eliminating Dubrovnik? Because if you do so, then you will have a much easier time of it. As I said in your initial post, there are plenty of appealing places in northern Croatia, and though i have not been there, Slovenia sounds absolutely lovely.
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Feb 26th, 2018, 12:34 PM
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I can forgo Dubrovnik, however, I would like to do Split.
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Feb 26th, 2018, 12:48 PM
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Well, you could still spend a night in Dubrovnik. Try to pick one when there are no/fewer cruise ships. (See: Untitled Document ) Then take the bus or train to Mostar and on to Sarajevo. Fly from Sarajevo to Budapest.

Or, if you want to go to Slovenia instead, you could go north to Graz by bus or train, which is a pleasant town not overly touristed, and then via Vienna to Budapest by train.

Last edited by thursdaysd; Feb 26th, 2018 at 12:54 PM.
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Feb 26th, 2018, 04:28 PM
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If Slovenia is a priority, consider several days in Ljubljana. Slovenia’s roads and public transportation work on a hub & spoke system, with Ljubljana at the center, so you can see quite a lot from a base there.

I agree that skipping Dubrovnik is worth considering – and I say that as someone who really enjoyed it! But it doesn’t make a good base, which is a consideration if you don’t want to change hotels often.

And if Split is a priority, Split itself has a lot to offer and it makes a great base for day trips. OR you could defer Split until you go back to visit Dubrovnik….

Zagreb itself is, IMO, underrated, and again, it offers numerous options for day trips.

If I’m counting correctly, you’ve only got 10 or 11 days on the ground, so 3 bases would make sense – Budapest, Ljubljana, one other (Zagreb, Vienna, whatever)….
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Feb 26th, 2018, 05:06 PM
  #6
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Thursdaysd, This is a very interesting idea!!! I will look into it!!

Last edited by Begue70; Feb 26th, 2018 at 05:08 PM.
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Feb 26th, 2018, 05:08 PM
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Kja, Yes, and I really would like to see one of the national parks. I have made it more confusing than it needed to be with my flight choices. But, I can't change it now without incurring a ton of fees. Any favorite things or restaurants in Zagreb?
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Feb 26th, 2018, 05:36 PM
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kja
 
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Do you mean one of Croatia’s National Parks? Or one of Slovenia’s? If the former, you should be able to visit the Plitvice Lakes National Park from Zagreb or Split, although I recommend an overnight in the park.

My favorites in Zagreb range from a tour of the unique National Archives building through visits to its museums and roaming its markets – WAY too many things to list! If you have specific questions, or specific interests, I would be happy to try to respond. Otherwise, I would urge you to consult the Rough Guide to Croatia, which IMO provides excellent coverage of Zagreb (and elsewhere in Croatia).

This old thread has my comments on the restaurants I patronized while in Zagreb (and elsewhere in the area); please note that it’s a very old thread, so you’ll need to do some research to determine whether any of my comments are worth considering for your upcoming trip.
Croatia and nearby locations — restaurant notes
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Mar 13th, 2018, 06:42 PM
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Begue70,

I have hired a private car service to take my cousin and me from Budapest to Zagreb. It's not inexpensive, but you might consider it. (From Zagreb to Budapest.) For two of us, 2 pieces of large luggage and 2 pieces of carry-on, door-to-door Hotel in Budapest to Hotel in Zagreb.. €268. The company has great ratings on TripAdvisor and they can take you all over Eastern Europe (Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, etc). They are called DayTrip. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attracti...e_Bohemia.html. Their website is: https://ondaytrip.com/

I leave for Croatia in 2 weeks. I'll check back in here and tell you how the experience was with the car service.

On another note, if you are flying into Zagreb, but planning to see places further south.. I would immediately head south once you land in Zagreb. Make Zagreb your last stop in Croatia. (There is a train [takes longer, but a lot cheaper] that runs between Zagreb and Budapest.) So, start south and move north. You can do Slovenia from Zagreb.

Good luck!
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Mar 28th, 2018, 06:46 AM
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@Sarge56,
Would you please review your transfer experience from Budapest to Zagreb. Even being a private guide myself I can tell you that's an excellent value you got. Of course depends on the size of the vehicle (only 2 of you or any other people cramped in a small sedan or something like that), communicative capabilities of the driver, his willingness to stop not only for a pit stop, but let's say for a photo shoot, etc.
Unfortunately TA ratings are not necessarily, let's say "affordable".
I am very active on that forum so I can compare my personal and most of my clients vision of the Budapest/Hungary restaurant/hotel/entertainment scenes and sometimes TA reviews are a far cry from reality, really, really biased.
That's why I would be very much obliged for your personal review of that transfer of yours.
Thanks!
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Mar 28th, 2018, 07:03 AM
  #11
 
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Just today on TA someone was looking for people willing to share the ride to Zagreb from Budapest. They have been quoted 400.00 Euros. So your 268 is quite good
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Apr 24th, 2018, 06:34 AM
  #12
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Would love to hear your trip report!
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