19 days in Turkey, Bulgaria & Croatia Itinerary

19 days in Turkey, Bulgaria & Croatia Itinerary

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Route & dates

19 days in Turkey, Bulgaria & Croatia Itinerary

Start: New York City, United States
Fly:  38​h
1
Istanbul, Turkey
— 4 nights
Drive:  6​h 30​min
2
Selcuk, Turkey
— 2 nights
Drive:  11​h 30​min
3
Sofia, Bulgaria
— 3 nights
Fly:  6​h 45​min
4
Zagreb, Croatia
— 2 nights
bus:  8​h 30​min
5
Dubrovnik, Croatia
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
6
Split, Croatia
— 3 nights
Fly:  14​h
End: New York City, United States

4
nights
Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul ©
A physical and cultural bridge between Europe and Asia, the transcontinental city of Istanbul serves as a living reminder of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires.
Get some cultural insight at Basilica Cistern and Sultan Ahmed Mosque. Your inner history buff will appreciate Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya) and Sultanahmet District. The adventure continues: get engrossed in the history at Topkapi Palace, explore the activities along Bosphorus Strait, take in panoramic vistas at Galata Tower, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Suleymaniye Cami .

To find more things to do, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Istanbul journey builder .

New York City, USA to Istanbul is an approximately 15-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of bus, flight, and shuttle. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time to Eastern European Time, which is usually an 8 hour difference. In July, daily temperatures in Istanbul can reach 84°F, while at night they dip to 68°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Selcuk.

Things to do in Istanbul

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods
Highlights from your plan
Topkapi Palace ©
Topkapi Palace
Sultan Ahmed Mosque ©
Sultan Ahmed Mosque

2
nights
Selcuk, Turkey

Selcuk ©
An ideal base camp for exploring the Aegean coastline, Selcuk draws big tourist crowds due to its proximity to the ancient city of Ephesus.
On the 26th (Fri), delve into the distant past at Public Latrine and then delve into the distant past at Ephesus Terrace Houses. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the ancient world of Meryemana (The Virgin Mary's House), delve into the distant past at Bibliotheque de Celsus, explore the ancient world of Ancient City of Ephesus, explore the ancient world of Efes Antik Kenti Tiyatrosu, then explore the ancient world of Curetes Street, and finally explore the ancient world of The Temple of Artemis.

For where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Selcuk online travel planner .

You can fly from Istanbul to Selcuk in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of shuttle and flight; or drive. When traveling from Istanbul in July, plan for a bit warmer days in Selcuk, with highs around 95°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 71°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 28th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Sofia.

Things to do in Selcuk

Historic Sites Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Ancient City of Ephesus ©
Ancient City of Ephesus
Bibliotheque de Celsus ©
Bibliotheque de Celsus
Efes Antik Kenti Tiyatrosu ©
Efes Antik Kenti Tiyatrosu

3
nights
Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia ©
Spend time in one of Europe's oldest cities, the vibrant Bulgarian capital of Sofia.
Get some cultural insight at St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral and National Museum of History. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Boyana Church and Vitosha Boulevard. Step out of Sofia to go to Pernik and see Regional History Museum Pernik, which is approximately 46 minutes away. There's much more to do: take in the awesome beauty at Vitosha Mountain, learn about all things military at National Museum of Military History, take in the spiritual surroundings of The Rotunda Church of St George, and admire the striking features of Temple Sveti Nikolay.

For more things to do, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, read Sofia online day trip planner .

Getting from Selcuk to Sofia by flight takes about 8.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Traveling from Selcuk to Sofia, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Plan for little chillier temperatures traveling from Selcuk in July, with highs in Sofia at 84°F and lows at 58°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Wed) early enough to travel to Zagreb.

Things to do in Sofia

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trip

Regional History Museum Pernik
Highlights from your plan
Boyana Church ©
Boyana Church
St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral ©
St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral
Vitosha Mountain ©
Vitosha Mountain

2
nights
Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb ©
Zagreb boasts a combination of Austro-Hungarian and Socialist architecture, but it is beloved for its outdoor cafe culture.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Thu): appreciate the extensive heritage of Upper Town (Gornji Grad), see the interesting displays at Museum of Broken Relationships, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at St. Mark's Church (Crkva sv. Marka), then see the interesting displays at Zagreb 80's Museum, and finally admire the striking features of Cathedral of the Assumption. On the 2nd (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: examine the collection at Budi Ponosan, then take the plunge with a skydiving experience, and then get interesting insight from Tours.

To find ratings, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, read Zagreb vacation builder website .

You can do a combination of flight and shuttle from Sofia to Zagreb in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Traveling from Sofia to Zagreb, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. July in Zagreb sees daily highs of 84°F and lows of 60°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Fri) to allow time to travel to Dubrovnik.

Things to do in Zagreb

Historic Sites Adventure Neighborhoods
Highlights from your plan
Upper Town (Gornji Grad) ©
Upper Town (Gornji Grad)
Museum of Broken Relationships ©
Museum of Broken Relationships
St. Mark's Church (Crkva sv. Marka) ©

2
nights
Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik ©
Along the Dalmation Coast, the city of Dubrovnik has become famous for its pedestrian-only Old Town surrounded by fortress walls, and its historical heft has earned it World Heritage Site status.
Get some cultural insight at Walls of Dubrovnik and Fort Lovrijenac. Take a break from the city and head to Island of Lokrum and Scuba & Snorkeling. Explore Dubrovnik's surroundings by going to Cavtat (Cavtat Old Town & Church of Our Lady of the Snow). There's lots more to do: examine the collection at War Photo Limited, take an in-depth tour of Franciscan Monastery, steep yourself in history at Rector's Palace, and take in the local highlights with Walking tours.

For maps, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Dubrovnik trip planner .

Getting from Zagreb to Dubrovnik by flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Zagreb in August, expect a bit warmer with lows of 70°F in Dubrovnik. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Mon) to allow time to take a bus to Split.

Things to do in Dubrovnik

Tours Historic Sites Outdoors

Side Trip

Cavtat
Highlights from your plan
Dubrovnik City Walls ©
Dubrovnik City Walls
Rector's Palace ©
Rector's Palace
Island of Lokrum ©
Island of Lokrum

3
nights
Split, Croatia

Split ©
Experience an authentic Adriatic lifestyle in Split, the largest city along the sea's coast.
On the 6th (Tue), walk around Marjan Park, explore the world behind art at Galerija Mestrovic, then steep yourself in history at Old Split, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Cathedral of Saint Domnius, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at Church Of St. Roch. On the 7th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: see the interesting displays at Froggyland, do a tasting at Putalj Winery, and then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

To find other places to visit, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Split online attractions planner .

You can take a bus from Dubrovnik to Split in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly. Expect a daytime high around 88°F in August, and nighttime lows around 69°F. On the 8th (Thu), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Split

Historic Sites Adventure Tours

Side Trips

Ruins of the Solin Amphitheatre, The St. Lawrence Cathedral and Bell Tower, Church Of St. Roch
Highlights from your plan
Putalj Winery ©
Putalj Winery
Galerija Mestrovic ©
Galerija Mestrovic
Cathedral of Saint Domnius ©
Cathedral of Saint Domnius

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