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Slovenia/Croatia itinerary help

Old May 15th, 2016, 11:13 PM
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cmz
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Slovenia/Croatia itinerary help

Hello lovely people!

I will be in Munich this summer, and am currently trying to plan a short trip to Slovenia and Northern Croatia for June. I can't be away for long so I'm trying to fit in into about a week. Looking to go to Ljubljana, Zagreb, and Pula/somewhere coastal. This is what I was thinking for an itinerary, but I am not sure about some things:

Day 1: early morning train Munich --> Ljublana
Day 1-3 in Ljublana
Day 4: early bus to Pula, half day in Pula
Day 5: island/beach
Day 6: afternoon flight from Pula to Zagreb
Day 6-8 in Zagreb
Day 8: overnight train back to Munich

For people who have been before, do you think 2 or 3 days in Ljubljana and Zagreb each is good? Should I do more or less?

If I bus to Pula, what islands or beaches would you recommend around there? How much time should I spend in that area? Is Pula itself worth an overnight?

Traveling as a single young woman, is there anything I should be aware of, are all these places ok for solo travel?

Thank you for any and all help!
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Old May 15th, 2016, 11:57 PM
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Hello.

I was recently in Croatia/Slovenia - Zagreb, Ljubljana, Maribor, Pula, Rijeka....

If I am honest I was disappointed from Zagreb and Ljubljana - they are just ordinary busy, noisy and polluted big cities. 2 days in Zagreb is too much. Croatian see resorts Pula and Rijeka are much more interesting. However hotels in Rijeka are very expensive. I was with car and found one very good camping near Pula, it is very appropriate for families with kids. But if you seek night entertainments, like bars, it will not be very convenient because campings are in 10-20 km distance from Pula and Rijeka.
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Old May 16th, 2016, 04:17 AM
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I disagree with the previous poster re Zagreb and Ljubljana. I think they're both interesting cities, if small, both worth about a day.

That said, Ljubljana is a great base from which to explore Slovenia, so three nights there isn't too much, not at all. If you'll be taking the 8.18am train, you'll arrive in Ljubljana at 2.30pm, giving you a few hours to explore the city. The next day do a day trip to lakes Bled and Bohinj, you will not be disappointed. On the last day, make a half-day trip to either the Postojna or Skocjan Caves and spend the rest of the day in Ljubljana or just explore Ljubljana further.

In Croatia, I would recommend staying one day longer in Istria and spending just one day in Zagreb, as I've said it should be enough. While Pula is the largest town on the Istrian peninsula, the real charm of Istria is in its smaller towns and in the countryside. I recommend staying in Rovinj over Pula, I think it's much more scenic, although Kamenjak near Pula has some good beaches, you can find nice beaches in the vicinity of Rovinj, too.

If you wish to visit an island in that area, you can only really do a daytrip to Brijuni, a group of protected islands just off the coast of Istria. You won't have time to venture further south to Kvarner or Dalmacija and visit the islands there - they're the islands you usually hear about in the media. However, venturing further south requires an additional week or so, especially since you'll be dependent on public transport and August is peak season - many places have a 3-night minimum stay on the islands.

Finally, both countries are very safe and the locals are hospitable, there is nothing special you should fear as a solo female traveller, just take the usual precautions.
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Old May 16th, 2016, 07:56 AM
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I loved Ljubljana - maybe my favorite city in Europe. The center is full of beautiful architecture: neat little bridges, crossing a tiny river, with some cool churches. There's even a castle on the hill - like a fairy tale town. Yet at least for Americans, it doesn't seem very touristy (especially compared to, say, Italy).

But away from the small center, Ljubljana otherwise feels like a fairly ordinary town, with cars and buses, etc. It's still pretty nice, with large pedestrian areas and a vibrant urban life. It's a big student town too. Otherwise, it doesn't take long to explore Ljubljana, because it's pretty small. As mentioned above, it makes a great base to visit Bled, Bohinj, etc. I had a car on one of my trips, and when I drove from Ljubljana to Bled, I detoured through the town of Skofja Loka, a nice town worth a stop - but the drive on from Skofja Loka to Bled through the hills was breathtakingly scenic, one of the highlights of my trip there.

I didn't care for Pula myself. I'd seen Roman ruins in Rome. Pula's are great if you like ruins or just haven't seen them. The town has some hints of character - at least it's not a big tourist town but a real working city. Still, I didn't feel compelled to spend much more than a few hours exploring.

I too much preferred Rovinj, a small fishing village (but very touristy) to the north of Pula with a charming little old town on a hill, with a Venetian bell tower at its church.

Zagreb didn't really charm me, either. There are some interesting sites to see, a nice big (but fairly ordinary) town square in the center, an upper town with some neat buildings, but I was done with them in about half a day. I had a chance to go back to Zagreb recently, because I like to re-visit places I've enjoyed, but I passed on Zagreb entirely, even though I was flying out of there.
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Old Jun 11th, 2016, 12:05 AM
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I may be too late to offer meaningful comments. If you are still looking for input, cmz, just say so!
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Old Jun 11th, 2016, 01:36 AM
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I find rtt comments perfect.
If you like hiking we took a cable car close to Bohinje lake and walked on the ski resort - on top you have a fantastic view.

I don't recommend going to the castle at Llubjlanca, nothing special there unless you've never seen a castle.

Never been to Croatia. If you go past Jasenovac, I've been told it is interesting to visit, it is the only concentration camp not ruled by the Nazis during WW2 and probably the one where the most sadistic crimes were perpetred. They even devised a special gauntlet with a knife to cut faster the throats of Jews, Serbs and other deemed inferior people.
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Old Jun 11th, 2016, 04:42 AM
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It's worth walking up to the Ljubljana castle just for the view down. You don't have to go inside.
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Old Jun 11th, 2016, 06:43 AM
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I agree with Andrew - it's worth it for the view. Plus, there are two very good restaurants in the castle and the walk or funicular ride to the top of the hill aren't that bad either.
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Old Jun 11th, 2016, 07:34 AM
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The view from Ljubljana castle is fantastic, and the restaurant Gostilna Na Gradu up there is excellent. They serve a lot of groups, so you need to reserve to eat there.

Note that if you are eating after the funicular closes and it's too dark to walk down, the restaurant will call a taxi and it is an inexpensive ride, like 1.50 euro pp.

I was at the castle on April 28 and it snowed five hours the day before. Wackiest weather this spring! But it was pretty ��
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