Interested in travelling to Croatia? Whether it’s exploring the beauty of the country’s vast national parks, or learning about the medieval history of inland capital, Zagreb, Croatia has a lot to offer.
Perhaps you need some inspiration for your bucket list? Find our top 5 places to visit in Croatia with our travel guide below, helping you choose between relaxing on the beaches in Split, following the Game of Thrones tour in Dubrovnik or exploring the beautiful Croatian islands on the Adriatic coast.
Travel To Croatia: Must See Croatia Destinations
• Croatian Islands
• National Parks
What To Do In Croatia
Wondering what to do in Croatia? Dubrovnik is the number one tourist hotspot in Croatia for culture, cuisine and history, combined to make a fabulous holiday destination. Situated on the coast, you can breathe in the sea air whilst taking in the extraordinary architecture of Dubrovnik Old Town. Filled with narrow cobbled streets and tall building walls, this historic city is home to the popular TV programme Game Of Thrones – and with its beautiful gothic and renaissance buildings, it’s not hard to see why. If you’re looking for quirky things to do in Dubrovnik, take the Game Of Thrones tour and truly experience the wonders of the buildings, showing backstage intrigues and where the scenes were set.
“You can’t travel to Croatia without exploring Dubrovnik’s beautiful old walled medieval city centre. Here you will find a myriad of sand coloured ornate buildings, cobbled squares and pretty fountains. George Bernard Shaw once wrote that ‘those who seek paradise on earth should come to Dubrovnik’, and I can’t help but agree with him.”
Claire Collins, Explore.
The only way to see the true vastness of Dubrovnik’s beauty is by cable car. Ride up the mountains on the Zicara-Cable Car to enjoy panoramic views of the city, with up to 37 miles of visibility on a clear day. Or relax at the Panorama restaurant – eating in the sky whilst looking down on the beautiful views of the Old Town, the surrounding villages and the forever spanning landscape. Take a buggy safari or set off on a hiking trail around the off-road mountains up high in the sky whilst coming across sights of fortresses, animals and more, alongside the 360° view of Dubrovnik.
Escape To The Islands
Croatia is well renowned for its beauty inland, but also for its gorgeous span of islands scattering the Adriatic coast. For a true representation of the country, travel Croatia by island hopping. This extraordinary way of travel allows you to see the culture of different islands, experience Croatian cuisine at each place, and witness astounding beauty at every turn. Croatia is home to over 1000 islands, so choose the top places to visit in Croatia for you.
From Split, travel to Hvar – recognised party destination – and Brac, alongside other mini islands. From Dubrovnik, the most popular islands to travel are Lopud; a tiny stretch of land with only one running hotel on the island, Korcula; a medieval town full of Croatian culture and a lively nightlife, and Mljet Island; a National Park filled with beautiful nature and wildlife.
Learn The History Of Zagreb
Explore the capital city of Zagreb. Filled with Croatian culture and history oozing from every corner, this unique city is one of the top places to go in Croatia. The city centre is split into two; the main modernist city, and the old medieval part up a large hill, named Gornji Grad. The main city is home to the hustle and bustle of busy Croatian life, with beautiful fresh fruit, veg and meat markets on every day for locals to buy fresh produce. In the city you’ll also find artwork dotted around, namely a piece dedicated to the solar system created with the Grounded Sun (a 2m golden sphere). This is the easiest point to find in the city. Locals encourage tourists to participate in a scavenger hunt to find the remaining nine planets dotted around the city.
The medieval part of the city is filled with history and culture dating back years. A popular place to visit is St Mark’s church – an interesting piece of reconstructed architecture, situated right next to the Croatian parliament building. The medieval history still seeps through the residential areas of this part of the city – you can still see large spiky balls attached to some rooftops, which were once used as weapons to catch witches flying overhead.
Alongside Croatian history, the city is full of diverse museums, such as the Museum Of Broken Relationships – a controversial collection of objects associated with broken hearted people, creating an unusual and daring exhibition. A fulfilling experience all round, Zagreb is undoubtedly one of the most interesting places to visit in Croatia.
Explore The National Parks
When you visit Croatia, exploring the country’s beautiful National Parks is an essential. Scattered around the country and surrounding islands, you’ll find beauty at every corner with these stunning landscapes and nature reserves. Plitvice Lakes National Park is no exception – located halfway between Zagreb and Zadar, this popular tourist attraction was granted UNESCO World Heritage Status in 1979. Explore the 16 lakes of this National Park whilst spotting the wonderful wildlife preserved for bears, wolves, deer and vast amounts of bird species.
When visiting Split, Krka National Park is a must-see destination for your bucket list. The 73km Krka River dominates the park with its impressive waterfalls, including Skrandinski Buk Falls – one of Croatia’s most famous sights with a collection of 17 waterfalls. Explore over 800 species of vegetation and animals that have made their home around the waters of the Krka River. Krka National Park is also home to the small island of Visovac which contains a Franciscan monk-built monastery and a church.
One of the top places to visit when you travel Croatia? Mljet Island, also known as Mljet National Park. This secluded forest filled island is a national park in itself, with small villages, saltwater lakes and beautiful scenery dominating every corner. Hire bikes and peddle round the island to see as much as possible with an organised day trip – stumble across gorgeous lakes and dive in, with water activities available, quaint restaurants nearby and even take a short boat ride out to the Catholic church, St. Mary’s Island.
Relax in Split
Known for its beautiful seaside location, Split is an essential port of call when you visit Croatia. Explore the numerous beaches and clear water of the Adriatic sea, whilst soaking up the Croatian culture of the city. Zvoncac beach is a beautiful stretch of coast with rocky areas to begin, then evolving into stoned beaches the further along you walk. For a refreshing sea breeze and peaceful relaxation at the beach, Zvoncac is just the ticket. Alternatively, for unique natural beauty, visit Majan Hill – situated on the peninsula of Split, this forest is home to Mediterranean pine trees, medieval chapels and caves, and considered one of the most beautiful places of interest in Croatia.
Perhaps you’re interested in the culture of the Split’s Old Town? With similar buildings to those you’d find in Dubrovnik, explore narrow streets with tall buildings, veering off down winding alleys to unexpectedly come out to bustling squares full of local marketplaces. From quaint restaurants to beautiful historic buildings, exploring the Old Town is one of the best things to do in Split. The Old Town is also located right next to the port, so views of the landscape can be seen whilst indulging in this Croatian culture inland. Use Split as a pit stop if you’re exploring the islands: with Brac, Hvar and more islands merely a short boat ride away, this popular Croatian destination is the perfect way to fully travel Croatia.
What to take to Croatia
Now you’ve found the top places to go in Croatia, it’s time to book your trip – book with Explore to secure a safe pre-organised trip. With your agenda in hand, make sure you pack accordingly – don’t forget protective clothing and insect repellent items to keep your body protected whilst you visit Croatia.
What to wear in Croatia
What do people wear in Croatia? Popular times to visit the country are in the summer months, which means temperatures are likely to reach highs of 28 °C. However, Croatia is sometimes known for thunder storms in the summertime, meaning packing your waterproofs would be a wise idea. When the sun is shining, pop your lightweight jackets away in your rucksack – perfect for day trips when the weather catches you by surprise. You also need to ensure that sturdy footwear is worn as you explore – although beautifully authentic, Croatian cities, especially Split old town and Dubrovnik, are known for their cobbled streets. For day time exploring, invest in a pair of dependable walking shoes.
Have some memorable moments you need to share? Don’t forget to use the #mycraghoppers hashtag on Twitter or Instagram whilst on your travels.