Nestled in southeastern Europe on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, Croatia is an incredible place to visit. With its balmy weather, sun-soaked beaches, ancient walled towns, rich history, and modern amenities, Croatia provides plenty of phenomenal experiences for everyone. When you plan your trip to visit this amazing country, schedule a trip to experience the wonders of these marvelous destinations. Here are top 10 must visit destinations in Croatia:
Dubrovnik is tops on our list of must visit destinations in Croatia, and for good reason. This 1400-year-old city is one of the world’s most magnificent walled cities and overlooks the calm blue waters of the Adriatic Sea. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Stroll through the narrow alleys of the pedestrian-only Old Town to savor the impressive architecture and experience the pleasure of dining in the plethora of bars and restaurants. Then you can opt to treat yourself to some of the unique items offered in the many quaint shops.
Immerse yourself in history as you visit the 16th-century Sponza Palace. Built with a mixture of Gothic- and Renaissance-style architecture, it currently houses a museum and the State Archives. Some of the documents stored there are over 1000 years old.
Venture out in the evening to experience the ambiance of Dubrovnik’s lively nightlife scene. Listen to live Jazz music at the Troubadour Hard Jazz Café or relax in the rooftop open-air lounge at Banje Beach.
Dubrovnik offers plenty of options for lodging. From sea-side apartments to luxurious 5-star hotels, you can easily find the perfect place to rest after your busy day of sightseeing. There are just as many varieties of food, too. Be sure to treat yourself to the fresh seafood caught daily from the adjacent sea.
Zagreb may seem like an afterthought to some, but we believe this is one of the must visit destinations in Croatia that you should not overlook. Zagreb is the capital of Croatia and is a bustling city with plenty of charm. It is located in the northwestern part of the country along the Sava River. Getting around town is a breeze with the 19 tram lines and 117 buses that run 24 hours a day, but if you prefer to walk around to soak in the incredible ambiance, it’s a very walkable city.
It is difficult to be bored in Zagreb because there are so many museums, restaurants, stores, sporting events, theaters, farmer’s markets, music venues, and outdoor excursions to explore. You can even find odd and quirky things to experience, like the Museum of Broken Relationships in the historical Upper Town region of Zagreb.
Visit Zrinjevac Square in the heart of the city. It is almost always full of vendor’s stalls, and it showcases plenty of festivals and events all year long. Create memories and test your fitness level as you hike up Medvednica Mountain and breathe in the fresh mountain air.
From April through October, the city comes alive with frequent street festivals where music and dancing invigorate and renew your spirit. Even the winter months boast enlivening gatherings such as the annual Christmas Market destination, Advent in Zagreb.
Split is Croatia’s second-largest city and it is situated on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea. Marvel at the ancient Roman architecture of Diocletian’s Palace or watch the animated rivalry of the soccer teams at the modern Poljud Stadium.
Enjoy a production at the Croatian National Theater or visit one of the many museums and art galleries scattered through the city. Tour the Putalj Winery and enjoy the sunset sitting under a delightful pergola in the vineyard surrounded by spectacular views of Split and the nearby mountains.
There is no shortage of delectable places to eat in Split. Opt for traditional Croatian fare and there are plenty of more traditional options as well: Mexican food, Western-style burgers and fries, vegetarian eats, or fresh seafood from the nearby waters.
Hvar is a 68 km-long island (42 miles) in the Adriatic Sea besieged by natural beauty, friendly people, and incredible scenery. Hvar is the sunniest place in Croatia and offers some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Conde Nast magazine named Hvar one of the Top Islands in the World.
Even though it’s not a large island, there are many things to see, do, taste, and experience. It has lush vineyards, secluded coves, stunning beaches, great restaurants, and impressive architecture.
Browse the 13th-century relics at the Episcopal Museum or glimpse the stunning architecture of the old Arsenal which was built in 1611. Visit the pier and take a short boat ride to visit one of the many nearby islands, as well.
The island of Korcula sits in the Adriatic Sea and hosts impressive cathedrals, exquisite beaches, incredible food, and a beautiful Old City.
Climb the tower in the House of Marco Polo and soak up the stunning views of the deep, blue sea. Explore the rich history as you tour the Korcula Town Museum. Or simply take it easy as you relax on the beach. The turquoise waters of Pupnatska Luca Beach are refreshing and sure to soothe your soul.
Pula is situated on the southern tip of the Istria Peninsula, and it is steeped in ancient Roman architecture. The impressive 1st-century Roman Amphitheatre sits in the middle of the city and lets you personally experience the underground passages used by Gladiators long ago.
Venture into the Temple of Augustus to see the ancient relics housed in this 2000-year-old structure. You can find more local artifacts in the town’s Archaeology Museum.
Visit Pula’s aquarium to see the aquatic life found in the region. The aquarium is the largest aquarium in Croatia. For extra adventure, hike around Brijuni National Park where you can see the remains of an ancient Knights Templar church.
Rovinj is on the western coast of the Istrian Peninsula, and it has two official languages: Italian and Croatian. There are many bars, restaurants and art galleries to explore, as well as beautiful beaches.
Go back in time as you enter the impressive Church of St. Euphemia which was built in 1736. Wander through the cobbled streets of the Old Town as you meander through alleys full of restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, and stores.
The best place to enjoy the beauty of Rovinj is to spend some time at the city’s port. Watch fisherman catching fish the way they’ve done for centuries or taste the delicious fresh seafood sitting on an open-air deck at a seaside café.
Krka National Park
Krka National Park surrounds the beautiful Krka River in the middle of Croatia’s stretch along the Adriatic Sea, approximately halfway between Zadar and Split.
The park harbors 7 stunning waterfalls and impeccable natural beauty. Skradinski Buk is the most popular waterfall with an 800-meter (2624 feet) cascade. Get a bite to eat at one of the many nearby cottages that have been converted into eateries. Be sure to explore the quaint craft workshops and souvenir stores, as well.
Upstream of Skradinski Buk you can explore the 14th-century Mother of Mercy Franciscan Monastery. It is perfectly located on a tiny island in the middle of Lake Viskovac so you access it via boat.
Plitvice Lakes National Park
Plitvice Lakes National Park is located in the mountainous region of central Croatia and is one of the oldest and biggest national parks in Croatia. The park has 16 beautiful lakes that are all arranged in cascades.
You can explore the park by yourself, or you can use one of the park’s free boats and buses. From April through October, they leave every 30 minutes. Make sure you experience the wonder of the Veliki Slap, the tallest waterfall in Plitvice National Park. Its waters fall from a height of 78 meters (256 feet).
Mljet Island is a must-see island if you want to escape the crowds and tourists. This little island sits in the southeast area of Croatia in the Adriatic Sea. Half the island is covered by a national park. There are few permanent residents and only one main road. It’s the perfect place to get away and immerse yourself in the splendors of nature in all its glorious beauty.
Get some exercise as you hike, bike, or swim in the pristine waters. Visit the Odysseus cave and try jumping off the rocks into the crystal-clear azure water. It got its name because the Greek legend says that Odysseus was shipwrecked on Mljet Island and it was in this cave that he met the nymph, Calypso.
Bonus Destination: Porec
If your itinerary permits a visit, we also love the historic town of Porec. This 2000-year-old town sits on the western edge of Istrian Peninsula and boasts the impressive Euphrasian Basilica.
The Euphrasian Basilica dates back to the 4th century, and its Byzantine architecture is absolutely fabulous. It features a bell tower, an atrium with stone monuments, and 18 Greek colonnades with animal sculptures. It has several mosaics throughout, dating as far back as the 6th century.
Plan a trip to Croatia and experience the incredible beauty where the ancient blends with the modern. Relax on some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, explore the natural wonders, taste the uniquely delectable Croatian foods, and make memories that will last a lifetime.
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