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Our Time In Croatia – Answering All Of Your Questions

by Tony · 9 comments

Sunset Croatia DrasniceSometimes you all surprise us…

We have loved Croatia since we stayed there for 5 weeks in the early summer of 2012. We have also told everyone we meet that it was one of the best places we visited as far as food (big Italian influence), people (incredibly friendly), and price.

While everyone we tell about Croatia usually acts surprised, they don’t seem to interested in visiting. But then, you all started to email us asking for advice.

Apparently more than a few of you have had your curiosity piqued about this great country and wanted tips based on our experience. So since you all have been asking, I thought I would deliver a comprehensive breakdown of our time in Croatia.

Where We Stayed

Located on the Southern coast of Croatia in the region of Dalmatia, Drasnice was the perfect place to recharge our batteries.

A town of 2,000 at the peak of tourist season in the summer, we stayed there just before the flood of visitors arrived. This meant it was just us and 200 locals in this sleepy seaside town.

Drasnice Map

Most restaurants were not open yet and the ones that were had limited menus. We didn’t care. There was a small grocery store in town that had just enough not-rotten (wouldn’t call it fresh) produce and plenty of canned goods to keep us happy in our tiny kitchen.

Because it was a small town and we were the only visitors, we apparently stood out during our 5 week stay.

One day at the grocery story, I found a credit card on the ground by the cashier. I handed it over when I checked out and made some hand gestures letting the cashier know it wasn’t mine.

Three days later I was sitting by the beach side bar having a beer at sunset when a 50 year old woman came strolling up to me and handed me a bottle of homemade wine (at least 20 proof… yikes!) and a delicious strudel. Pulling out her wallet and pointing to her credit card, she nodded her head and walked away. Instantly realizing that this must have been the owner of the credit card I had found at the grocery story, I laughed trying to imagine what was said to find me:

“The Americans found your wallet. Yeah, the only tourists in town. You can always find them down at the bar. They like to drink, so bring them some of your crazy alcoholic wine!”

The Apartment

This place was vintage… straight out of the 70s. Orange kitchen counters and furniture, brown carpet, and what looked to be a first generation color TV. The bathroom was so small that you had to squeeze around the half open door, step into the shower, and then shut the door to even have privacy.

But if was perfect for us.

Found on airbnb for $20 per night, we could not have been happpier. Despite the tiny bathroom and lovely décor, it had a functioning kitchen, was above a beach side bar, and was 30 feet from the beach. Pure bliss.

Where We Visited


Drasnice Croatia

We spent most of our time working and relaxing in the town of Drasnice. Not typically a final destination for most, you would normally pass it by bus when traveling between the larger cities of Split, Makarska, or Dubrovnik.


Yachts in Croatia?

Located 20 minutes north of Drasnice, we often saw this town referring to itself as the Croatian Riviera… while definitely a destination for yachts and with a nice seaside atmosphere, this claim seemed a little bold. Definitely a beautiful place to walk around for a few hours though.


For a place I knew nothing about, I was blown away by Split. Because Croatia was once part of the Roman and Venetian empires, you can feel the influence in a lot of places. Giant Roman walls are visible throughout Split and old forts can still be walked by tourists. The food is also excellent and is a combination of classic seaside fare mixed with Italian.


We were only in the Capital city for a full day and night before we had to fly out of its airport. We stayed in the historic section of the city and were impressed with the cool architecture and the fairly lively night scene. It was much more appealing than I first thought it would be and possibly worth a stay of a few days.


Bus travel up and down the coast is incredibly easy. Used by most of the locals, you will have no problem navigating the system. As long as you know the name of the town you are going to, your bus driver will get you there. I would advise you also write down the names of towns surrounding yours, just so you can notice when you are getting close. You don’t want to be at the mercy of a bus driver who forgets to tell you that you’re at your stop!

Best Time To Visit

Croatian Sunset

We stayed in Croatia for all of May and would highly recommend this time of the year to travel there. It is the shoulder season for Croatia, when the weather turns beautiful and the cities and town are still untouched by tourists.

The local bartender that we lived above in Drasnice said that June-August is swamped with tourists. Now, maybe you aren’t like us and are interested in doing more than working and relaxing. If so, maybe you would like it when the tourists come. As our bartending friend said, the parties rage all night and just continue into the next day. But for us? We’ll take the peace and quiet of May.

How We Got There

There are a few options to get to Croatia if you are traveling in Europe, but we wanted to try something a bit different. Since we were in Umbria, Italy before we went to Croatia, we found a fairly cheap ferry from the eastern coast of Italy to the west coast of Croatia. While an experience, we opted not to pay the extra few dollars for guaranteed seats thinking that we could just find some open ones when we boarded the ship. Big mistake. Take the overnight ferry to Croatia if you want… but pay for seats!

How We Left

We flew to Turkey after Croatia and left from the international airport in the capital city of Zagreb. Again, the bus system made everything easy and we found a nice 5 hour bus ride from Drasnice to Zagreb.

Places We Most Want To Visit In Croatia For Our Next Visit

Two places that everyone loves that we didn’t get to see: Dubrovnik on the southwest coast and Plitvice Lakes National Park in the center of Croatia.

Dubrovnik is a major tourist destination and is listed as a UNESCO heritage site. In the middle ages it became known as a maritime republic and was the only eastern Adriatic city-state to rival Venice.

Dubrovnik Rooftops

Venice! If that doesn’t interest you… I don’t know what will.

The Plitvice Lakes National Park is just ridiculously stunning. I have seen numerous pictures of this place from friends and every time I can’t believe it’s real. Lagoons and waterfalls the color of liquid diamonds.

Plitvice Lake

Just do a Google image search of it to see more of what I am talking about. It is incredibly high up on my list of places anywhere in the world that I want to visit next.

Our Articles About Our Time In Croatia

If you want to read some of the adventures we had in Croatia, try out these articles:

Further Reading On Travelers’ Experiences In Croatia

We did a lot of research before we made it to Croatia and have kept reading about it since we left. Here are some of our favorite articles on Croatia that entertained, educated, and made us desperate to visit again.

Adventurous Kate found the most beautiful village in the world during her travels in Croatia.

Would you expect the best museum you’ve ever experienced to be in Zagreb? Michael Hodson probably didn’t… but it was.

Still need inspiration? Check out the 10 most beautiful places in Croatia.

What About You?

Have you been to Croatia? We would love to hear about your experience there and if it was as great as ours. Thinking about going? Ask us your questions in the comments and please share on Twitter and Facebook. Let’s get the Croatia conversation started!

About Tony
Quit his job to try actually following his dreams for once... and is currently loving it. He is working hard to to make this life-style permanent by writing about his adventures and brainstorming money making opportunities with his partner-in-crime, Meg.

photos by: Leshaines123 & 29cm
JME Marketing June 13, 2013 at 10:35 am

I remember traveling from macedonia to croatia great family time!

Tony June 28, 2013 at 11:12 pm

What a great trip! Any time a family can do a trip like that together and not kill each other… it’s impressive. Sounds amazing!

Linda Sherman June 28, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Thanks for making more people aware of Croatia. It’s a wonderful place to visit.

Tony June 28, 2013 at 11:13 pm

Thanks for the appreciation, Linda! One of the biggest surprises in our travels was the coast of Croatia. So underrated too!

Ante Mazalin | SailingEurope July 5, 2013 at 11:27 am

I’m glad you guys had a nice time in my country and thank you for publishing this comprehensive guide.
Take care

Tony July 5, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Thanks, Ante!

Your country was such a delight… we have been telling everyone we meet that they need to go.

Glad you enjoyed the article!


Daniel Bacic November 24, 2013 at 4:46 am

Hi Mate,

I love your blog and have visited Croatia many times. I live in Australia and tell everyone about this awesome place. Only thing is all Australians are now raving about it and it has truly been discovered. Every second person I speak too says it is possibly their favourite country in Europe. I note you did not make it to Dubrovnik or the island of the Coast of Split. This is a must- Korcula Island (Korcula Town town of Marcol Polo) , Vela Luka, Brac island (Town of Pucisca- Adventurous Kate’s favourite town and Bol(with Golden Horn beach) , Hvar (Town of Hvar and Stari Grad town) , and Island of Vis(Town of Komiza and Vis town and also visit Staniva Cove beach- just stunning. Also do a day trip to the Blue and Green Coves. I must also make special mention the area around the City of Sibenik- visit the Dalmatian Village restaurant at Solaris resort beach- given you guys like food you will rate this place as one of the best outdoor restaurants you have ever been too. It is a small outdoor village created from stone right on the beach which serves as a restaurant- thus your eating a meal in a restaurant which is like a Disney village (only real and not tacky)creation ancient seaside town. Also the Krka waterfalls near Sibenik(second in beauty to only Plitvice lakes in Croatia- just as beautiful just smaller) are a must and the towns of Vodice and Murter Island are a must- so beautiful and use it as a base for a day trip to Kornati islands. The Northern region of Istria and Kvarner are also gorgeous. Town of Rovinj is a gem and inland towns of Groznjan and Motovun and Porec make this place comparable to Tuscanny. Island of Krk and town of mali and Veli Losinj and Krk town are fantastic as is the austro Hungarian Palace town of Opatija. Everyone heads to Dubrovnik and Split but trust me Google these other town I mentioned above and you will be awestruck. Just to let you know that picture you posted above under the name Makarska is actually the town of Trogir near Split. Cheers- love your work

Tony November 24, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Daniel… Awesome!

We definitely want to get back there as we loved the places we visited. It sounds like you have seen the whole country :)

We actually went to Trogir as well and I am super impressed you were able to tell from that pic. We thought Trogir was pretty great too, but lived only a short bus ride away from Makarska which is why we talk about it a lot.

Thanks again for reading and commenting!


Molly @ Molly On the Move January 16, 2015 at 11:44 am

Plitvice Lakes have been on my travel list for ages! Looks like y’all had an amazing time :)

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