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Croatia Travel Guide – Best Places To Visit In Croatia + Tips


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Rose Solorio



Welcome to Croatia, a beautiful country in Europe known for its stunning coastline, historic cities, and breathtaking natural landscapes. Nestled in the Balkans, Croatia offers a unique blend of history, culture, and outdoor adventures that make it a must-visit destination for travelers. Whether you’re seeking to explore ancient ruins, sunbathe on pristine beaches, or indulge in traditional cuisine, Croatia has something for everyone.


Croatia is a country of contrasts, with a rich history shaped by various civilizations, including the Romans, Byzantines, and Venetians. The influence of these civilizations can be seen in the country’s architecture, traditions, and cuisine. From the charming cobbled streets of the old town in Dubrovnik to the majestic Diocletian’s Palace in Split, there are numerous historic sites waiting to be explored.


But Croatia is not just about history. Its natural beauty is equally captivating. The country is blessed with picturesque islands, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and stunning national parks. The Plitvice Lakes National Park, with its cascading waterfalls and emerald green lakes, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-visit for nature lovers.


One of the highlights of visiting Croatia is its vibrant coastal cities. Dubrovnik, known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” offers a unique blend of history and charm, with its well-preserved medieval walls and stunning views of the Adriatic Sea. Split, on the other hand, is a lively city with a vibrant nightlife and a fascinating UNESCO-listed old town.


Besides the cities, Croatia’s islands are a paradise waiting to be explored. From Hvar, with its glamorous nightlife and luxury resorts, to the tranquil beauty of Korcula, there is an island to suit every traveler’s taste. The crystal-clear waters surrounding the islands are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and sailing.


So, pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable journey through Croatia. In this travel guide, we will take you through the best places to visit in Croatia, from the historic cities to the natural wonders. We will also provide you with valuable tips and insights to make the most of your trip. Get ready to fall in love with the beauty and charm of Croatia!



Start your Croatian adventure in the vibrant capital city of Zagreb. Nestled between the slopes of Mount Medvednica and the Sava River, Zagreb offers a perfect blend of historic charm and modern attractions.


Begin your exploration in the Upper Town (Gornji Grad), where you’ll find beautiful cobblestone streets, picturesque squares, and impressive landmarks. Visit St. Mark’s Church with its iconic tiled roof, which represents the coat of arms of Zagreb and Croatia. Don’t miss the medieval Stone Gate, a picturesque passage believed to have miraculous powers.


Take a stroll down Tkalciceva Street, a bustling pedestrian street filled with cafes, bars, and boutiques. Experience the vibrant atmosphere of the Dolac Market, where locals gather to buy and sell fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and traditional Croatian products.


For art enthusiasts, the Museum of Broken Relationships offers a unique and thought-provoking experience. This museum showcases personal items donated by individuals as a way to express their stories of love and loss.


Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by visiting the tranquil Maksimir Park, one of the oldest public parks in Europe. With its lakes, forests, and walking paths, it’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy nature.


Zagreb also offers a vibrant culinary scene, with a variety of traditional Croatian and international cuisines. Don’t forget to try local specialties like štrukli, a delicious cheese and dough dish, and rakija, a traditional fruit brandy.


As evening approaches, head to Tkalčićeva Street for a lively nightlife scene. Enjoy live music, dance the night away, or simply unwind with a drink at one of the many bars and clubs.


Zagreb is also known for its festive atmosphere, especially during the Advent season. The city comes alive with Christmas markets, ice skating rinks, and concerts, creating a magical ambiance that shouldn’t be missed.


With its historic charm, cultural richness, and vibrant atmosphere, Zagreb is the perfect starting point for exploring the wonders of Croatia.



Dubrovnik, often referred to as the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” is a stunning coastal city and one of Croatia’s most popular destinations. Encircled by ancient walls, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is famous for its well-preserved medieval architecture, charming narrow streets, and breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea.


Start your visit by walking along the majestic City Walls. The walls span approximately 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) and offer panoramic views of the city and the sparkling blue sea. Don’t miss the opportunity to take in the stunning sunset from this vantage point.


Explore the historic heart of the city, known as the Old Town. Stroll along the Stradun, the main street, lined with beautiful buildings, shops, and restaurants. Visit the Rector’s Palace, which houses a museum showcasing the city’s history and art. Marvel at the intricate architecture of the Franciscan Monastery and the stunning Sponza Palace.


No visit to Dubrovnik is complete without walking along the famous Game of Thrones filming locations. Follow in the footsteps of your favorite characters as you visit iconic sites like Lovrijenac Fortress, the Red Keep in the series.


For a unique experience, take a cable car ride to Mount Srd and enjoy panoramic views of the city and the surrounding islands. Take your time to explore the Mount Srd Fortress, which offers insight into Dubrovnik’s history and provides even more incredible views.


Escape the crowds and head to Lokrum Island, located just a short boat ride away from Dubrovnik’s Old Town. This nature reserve is home to lush gardens, walking trails, and peacocks. Relax on the island’s secluded beaches and take a dip in the crystal-clear waters.


When it comes to food, Dubrovnik won’t disappoint. Indulge in fresh seafood dishes, such as black risotto or grilled squid, at one of the waterfront restaurants. Don’t forget to try a glass of local Croatian wine to complement your meal.


In the evening, the Old Town comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere as you enjoy live music, dance performances, and open-air bars.


Dubrovnik’s charm and beauty make it a must-visit destination in Croatia, offering a perfect mix of history, culture, and natural wonders.


Plitvice Lakes National Park

Located in central Croatia, the Plitvice Lakes National Park is a natural wonderland that will leave you in awe of its beauty. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is renowned for its stunning turquoise lakes, cascading waterfalls, and lush greenery.


Explore the park’s network of wooden boardwalks and hiking trails that wind through a series of 16 interconnected lakes. The lakes are known for their vibrant colors, ranging from emerald green to azure blue, thanks to the unique combination of minerals and sunlight.


Marvel at the impressive Veliki Slap, the largest waterfall in the park, which cascades down a limestone cliff. Be prepared to get up-close and personal with nature as you walk alongside the cascading waters.


For a truly immersive experience, take a boat ride across Lake Kozjak, the largest lake in the park. Enjoy the tranquility of the crystal-clear waters and soak in the breathtaking views of the surrounding forested hills.


The park is also home to a diverse array of flora and fauna, including different species of birds, fish, and wildlife. Keep an eye out for shy deer and bears as you explore the park.


Make sure to bring your camera to capture the park’s natural beauty, but also take the time to disconnect and immerse yourself in the serene atmosphere.


Plan your visit during the shoulder seasons, such as spring or autumn, to avoid the crowds and witness the park’s enchanting transformation with changing foliage.


Remember to wear comfortable walking shoes and bring plenty of water and snacks as you explore the park. Follow the designated paths and respect the park’s rules to help preserve this natural treasure.


Plitvice Lakes National Park is a true gem of Croatia, offering a unique and unforgettable experience for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.


Hvar Island

Nestled in the Adriatic Sea, Hvar Island is known for its natural beauty, sunny climate, and vibrant nightlife. With its crystal-clear turquoise waters, pristine beaches, and charming old town, Hvar has become a popular destination for travelers seeking relaxation and fun.


Start your exploration in Hvar Town, the island’s main hub and a picturesque waterfront city. Take a leisurely stroll along the promenade, lined with palm trees and elegant yachts. Explore the narrow winding streets of the old town and discover ancient churches, historic landmarks, and charming cafes.


Head up to the imposing Fortress of Hvar, which offers stunning panoramic views of the town and the surrounding islands. Climb to the top for an incredible sunset experience and capture those Instagram-worthy photos.


Hvar Island is also famous for its beautiful beaches. Visit the secluded coves of Dubovica and Palmizana, where you can relax on pristine sandy shores and swim in the crystal-clear waters. For those seeking a more vibrant beach scene, head to the buzzing Hvar Town Beach, where you can enjoy beach bars, water sports, and a lively atmosphere.


Exploring the island’s lavender fields is a must-do activity. Hvar is known for its lavender production, and the fields burst into colorful blooms in the summer months. Take a leisurely walk or rent a bicycle to explore the fragrant lavender fields and experience the island’s natural beauty.


In the evening, Hvar Town comes alive with its vibrant nightlife. The town offers a wide range of bars, clubs, and beach parties, attracting party-goers from all over the world. Dance the night away under the starry sky and create unforgettable memories.


For a quieter and more authentic Hvar experience, venture to the charming villages scattered across the island. Visit the picturesque village of Stari Grad, one of the oldest towns in Croatia, or explore the tranquil village of Vrboska with its marina and quaint stone bridges.


Indulge in the island’s gastronomic delights, such as freshly caught seafood, local olive oil, and exquisite Croatian wines. Don’t miss out on trying the famous Hvar specialties, including gregada (a traditional fish stew) and peka (a slow-cooked dish).


With its natural beauty, stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and charming villages, Hvar Island offers a complete vacation experience in Croatia.



Situated on the Dalmatian Coast, Split is the second-largest city in Croatia and a treasure trove of historical and cultural landmarks. This vibrant city seamlessly blends the ancient and the modern, making it a captivating destination for travelers.


The focal point of Split is the UNESCO-listed Diocletian’s Palace, an impressive Roman ruin that dates back to the 4th century. Step into history as you wander through the palace’s labyrinthine streets, lined with shops, restaurants, and hidden courtyards. Don’t miss the well-preserved Peristyle, the central square of the palace.


Climb to the top of the Cathedral of Saint Domnius, a magnificent structure that rewards visitors with panoramic views of the city and the Adriatic Sea. Explore the crypt and admire its stunning medieval artwork.


Stroll along the Riva promenade, a lively waterfront promenade lined with palm trees, cafes, and shops. Enjoy a cup of coffee or a refreshing gelato while taking in the vibrant atmosphere of the city.


For a taste of local culture, visit the lively Green Market (Pazar), where you can find fresh fruits, vegetables, and local products. Immerse yourself in the vibrant local atmosphere and interact with the friendly vendors.


Escape the city buzz by visiting Marjan Hill, a lush green oasis located near the city center. Take a leisurely hike or rent a bike to explore the park’s trails, enjoy breathtaking views of Split, and discover hidden beaches along the coast.


Split is also a gateway to the nearby islands, such as Brac and Vis. Hop on a ferry and embark on a day trip to explore their picturesque beaches, charming villages, and crystal-clear waters.


When it comes to dining, Split offers a plethora of culinary delights. Indulge in local seafood specialties, such as black risotto or grilled octopus, or savor traditional Dalmatian dishes like pašticada (marinated beef stew) and peka (oven-baked meat and vegetables).


In the evening, Split’s nightlife scene comes to life. Enjoy live music, DJ performances, and vibrant bars that cater to different tastes and atmospheres. Dance till dawn or simply enjoy a relaxed evening by the sea.


With its rich history, stunning architecture, lively atmosphere, and proximity to beautiful islands, Split is a destination that appeals to all types of travelers.



Located on the stunning Istrian Peninsula, Pula is a vibrant city with a rich history and a vibrant cultural scene. Known for its well-preserved Roman ruins, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine, Pula offers a unique blend of ancient history and modern charm.


The most iconic landmark in Pula is the magnificent Roman amphitheater, known as the Pula Arena. Built in the 1st century AD, it is one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheaters in the world and serves as a venue for concerts, theater performances, and film screenings.


Explore the narrow streets of the old town, where you’ll find charming cafes, local shops, and historic buildings. Visit the beautiful Arch of Sergius and the Temple of Augustus, both remarkable examples of Roman architecture.


Take a leisurely stroll along the seaside promenade, the Lungomare, and enjoy the panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea. Visit the picturesque Brijuni Islands, just a short boat ride away from Pula, and discover their natural beauty and rich history.


Pula is also renowned for its stunning beaches. Bask in the sun on the beautiful Verudela Beach, surrounded by crystal-clear waters and pine trees. For a more secluded experience, head to Kamenjak Nature Park, a rugged peninsula with hidden coves and pristine beaches.


Don’t miss the chance to indulge in the local cuisine while in Pula. Try traditional Istrian dishes like fuži (handmade pasta), maneštra (a hearty vegetable soup), and istarski pršut (Istrian prosciutto). Pair your meal with a glass of Malvazija, a popular local white wine.


Pula also offers a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous festivals, concerts, and art exhibitions throughout the year. Experience the vibrant atmosphere of the Pula Film Festival, which takes place in the Pula Arena and showcases national and international films.


In the evening, the city comes alive with a variety of entertainment options. Enjoy live music performances in local bars and pubs, or dance the night away at one of the nightclubs.


Pula’s unique combination of ancient history, natural beauty, and lively cultural scene make it a captivating destination in Croatia.



Situated on the Adriatic Coast, Zadar is a historic city with a rich cultural heritage and stunning natural beauty. Known for its unique blend of ancient and modern attractions, Zadar offers visitors a captivating experience filled with historical landmarks, beautiful beaches, and breathtaking sunsets.


Start your exploration of Zadar in the historic old town. Take a leisurely walk along the ancient city walls and discover the well-preserved Roman ruins, medieval churches, and charming narrow streets. Don’t miss the impressive St. Donatus Church, a magnificent example of Byzantine architecture.


Visit the famous Sea Organ, an innovative architectural installation that uses the power of the sea to create musical sounds. Relax by the waterfront and listen to the enchanting melodies produced by the waves as they pass through the organ pipes.


Another unique attraction in Zadar is the Sun Salutation, a large solar-powered installation that comes to life with a mesmerizing light show at sunset. Witness the stunning colors and patterns created by the solar panels, which capture the energy of the sun throughout the day.


Zadar is also known for its beautiful beaches. Relish in the sun and the crystal-clear waters at Kolovare Beach, just a short walk from the city center. For a more tranquil beach experience, visit the nearby Nin Lagoon, with its shallow, turquoise waters and sandy beaches.


Don’t miss the opportunity to taste the delicious local cuisine in Zadar. Indulge in traditional seafood dishes, such as black risotto, grilled fish, or squid ink pasta. Don’t forget to try the local maraschino liqueur, made from marasca cherries, which has been produced in Zadar for centuries.


As night falls, Zadar’s nightlife comes alive. Discover the vibrant bars, pubs, and clubs scattered throughout the old town. Enjoy live music performances, DJ sets, and traditional folk music, creating a lively atmosphere that will keep you entertained until the early hours.


Lastly, the city offers a gateway to the stunning Kornati Islands, an archipelago of over 100 unique islands and islets. Embark on a boat tour and explore the pristine beauty of this national park, with its dramatic cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and diverse marine life.


Zadar’s rich history, vibrant cultural scene, beautiful beaches, and stunning natural surroundings make it a must-visit destination in Croatia.



Perched on the picturesque Istrian Peninsula, Rovinj is a charming coastal town known for its romantic ambiance, colorful buildings, and stunning natural landscapes. With its narrow cobbled streets, historic landmarks, and vibrant arts scene, Rovinj offers a delightful escape for visitors.


Explore the old town of Rovinj, which is perched on a hill overlooking the Adriatic Sea. Wander through the labyrinth of narrow streets, lined with colorful Venetian-style houses, art galleries, and boutiques. Discover hidden squares and picturesque viewpoints, offering breathtaking vistas of the town and the sparkling sea.


Visit the iconic Church of St. Euphemia, a Baroque-style church that dominates the skyline. Climb the bell tower for panoramic views of Rovinj and the surrounding islands.


Enjoy the lively atmosphere of the Rovinj Market, where local vendors sell fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and seafood. Immerse yourself in the aromas and flavors of the region as you explore the market and sample local delicacies.


For beach lovers, Rovinj offers a range of stunning beaches, from secluded coves to well-equipped coastal resorts. Spend a day sunbathing and swimming at Lone Bay or indulge in the pristine beauty of Mulini Beach.


Take a boat trip to the nearby islands of St. Catherine and Red Island, where you can explore untouched nature, swim in crystal-clear waters, and enjoy the peacefulness of secluded beaches.


Rovinj is also a haven for art enthusiasts, with numerous galleries and art studios showcasing the work of local and international artists. Discover unique artworks and be inspired by the creative atmosphere that permeates the town.


When it’s time to eat, indulge in the delicious Istrian cuisine that Rovinj has to offer. Treat your taste buds to truffles, olive oil, fresh seafood, and local wines. Don’t miss trying the traditional Istrian pasta dish, fuži, accompanied by a glass of Malvazija, the region’s famous white wine.


As the sun sets, soak in the romantic atmosphere of Rovinj’s waterfront. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the promenade, lined with charming restaurants and cafes. Savor a romantic dinner by the sea, accompanied by stunning views and peaceful surroundings.


With its enchanting old town, stunning beaches, vibrant art scene, and delicious cuisine, Rovinj offers a perfect blend of nature, culture, and relaxation.


Krka National Park

Situated in the Dalmatian region of Croatia, Krka National Park is a natural paradise known for its cascading waterfalls, pristine lakes, and lush greenery. Spanning over 142 square kilometers, this national park offers visitors a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the beauty of Croatia’s diverse flora and fauna.


The main attraction of Krka National Park is the Skradinski Buk waterfall, a spectacular series of waterfalls that form a natural pool. Take a leisurely stroll on the wooden boardwalks that wind through the park, allowing you to get up close to the cascading waters and admire the lush vegetation that surrounds them.


Swimming is allowed in certain designated areas of the park, providing a refreshing and unforgettable experience. Dive into the crystal-clear waters at Skradinski Buk and cool off under the cascading waterfalls.


For a more serene and peaceful experience, explore the quieter parts of the park, such as Roški Slap and the Krka Monastery. Admire the tranquil beauty of the waterfalls and enjoy the peacefulness of the surrounding nature.


The park is also home to diverse wildlife, including various bird species, fish, and amphibians. Keep your eyes peeled for unique and rare species as you venture through the park’s hiking trails and lookout points.


Visit the ethno village of Drniš, located near the park, to get a glimpse of traditional Croatian rural life. Discover ancient stone houses, taste local delicacies, and experience the warmth and hospitality of the locals.


Don’t forget to sample local products made from the park’s rich natural resources. Try the delicious Dalmatian prosciutto, honey, and olive oil, which are all produced in the region.


To fully appreciate the beauty of Krka National Park, consider taking a boat tour along the Krka River. Sail through the stunning landscapes, soak in the tranquility, and enjoy the breathtaking views of the park from a different perspective.


With its magnificent waterfalls, pristine lakes, and diverse wildlife, Krka National Park is a nature lover’s paradise and a must-visit destination in Croatia.


Korcula Island

Nestled in the sparkling Adriatic Sea, Korcula Island is a hidden gem renowned for its natural beauty, rich history, and charming medieval town. With its crystal-clear waters, lush vineyards, and traditional villages, Korcula offers a perfect blend of relaxation and cultural immersion.


Start your exploration in the enchanting Old Town of Korcula, often referred to as a mini-Dubrovnik. Take a leisurely stroll through the narrow cobblestone streets and admire the well-preserved medieval architecture, historic buildings, and stone walls. Visit the stunning St. Mark’s Cathedral and climb the bell tower for panoramic views of the town and the surrounding islands.


Discover the legends and history of the island at the Korcula Town Museum, located in the Gabrielis Palace. Browse through the exhibits showcasing artifacts from the island’s past, including ceramics, coins, and artworks.


Relax on the island’s beautiful beaches, such as Vela Przina, a sandy beach known for its crystal-clear waters and stunning scenery. Enjoy various water sports, go snorkeling, or simply bask in the sun and savor the peaceful atmosphere.


Explore the picturesque villages scattered across the island, such as Lumbarda and Smokvica. Immerse yourself in the local culture and traditions as you stroll through the charming streets, visit vineyards, and sample local wines.


Don’t miss the chance to taste the famous local white wine, Grk, produced exclusively on the island. Pair it with traditional Dalmatian dishes, such as fresh seafood, lamb, and pasticada (a slow-cooked beef dish).


For a more active experience, rent a bike and cycle through the picturesque landscapes, vineyards, and olive groves. Explore the hidden bays and secluded beaches, or hike up to the summit of Mount Klupca for panoramic views of the island.


Venture out to the nearby archipelago and visit the islands of Mljet and Lastovo on a boat trip. Explore their unspoiled beauty, untouched nature, and tranquil atmosphere.


As the sun sets, enjoy the vibrant nightlife of Korcula. Visit the vibrant bars and waterfront restaurants, where you can savor delicious seafood delicacies and enjoy live music performances.


Korcula Island offers a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and laid-back island charm, making it a destination that captivates the hearts of travelers.


Tips for Traveling in Croatia

As you plan your trip to Croatia, here are some essential tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience:

  1. Travel during the shoulder seasons: Consider visiting Croatia in the spring (April to June) or autumn (September to October) when the weather is pleasant, and the crowds are smaller. This allows you to enjoy popular attractions without the overwhelming crowds.
  2. Language: While Croatian is the official language, many locals in popular tourist areas speak English. However, learning a few basic Croatian phrases can go a long way in showing respect and connecting with locals.
  3. Currency: The official currency of Croatia is the Croatian Kuna (HRK). Be sure to have some local currency on hand for smaller establishments, although credit cards are widely accepted in most places.
  4. Transportation: Croatia has a well-connected transportation network. Consider renting a car to explore the country at your own pace. Alternatively, public transportation options, such as buses and ferries, are available for intercity travel and island hopping.
  5. Sun protection: Croatia has a Mediterranean climate, so be sure to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses, especially during the peak summer months.
  6. Try local cuisine: Croatian cuisine is diverse and delicious. Sample traditional dishes like seafood, grilled meats, and local cheeses. Don’t forget to pair your meals with local wines or rakija, a traditional fruit brandy.
  7. Respect local customs: Croatia has a rich cultural heritage, so it’s important to respect local customs and traditions. Dress modestly when entering religious sites and be mindful of local etiquette.
  8. Pack for all seasons: Croatia’s climate can vary depending on the region and time of year. Pack lightweight and breathable clothing for the summer, and bring layers for cooler nights or visits to higher elevations.
  9. Visit lesser-known towns: While popular destinations like Dubrovnik and Split are must-sees, don’t miss the opportunity to explore smaller, less crowded towns and villages like Ston, Trogir, and Motovun, which offer a more authentic Croatian experience.
  10. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water, especially during hot summer days and when engaging in outdoor activities. Carry a reusable water bottle to refill throughout the day.

With these tips in mind, you’re ready to embark on an incredible journey through the wonders of Croatia. Enjoy the stunning landscapes, rich history, and warm hospitality that the country has to offer!