This enchanting Mediterranean country is gaining popularity in recent years for all the good reasons. With pristine beaches in Croatia, picturesque ports, ancient ruins, stunning nature, architectural marvels, and thousands of gorgeous islands, this place has it all. Located on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, Croatia bridges central Europe and the Balkans. Its wonderful climate, i.e. around 2,500 hours of sun per year is what draws tourists to this place. To suit everyone’s taste and interests there are so many fascinating things this Adriatic Coast has to offer. Read on to know what makes this dreamy destination one of Europe’s hottest tourist spots.
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Dubrovnik, Adriatic Pearl
Often referred to as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’, Dubrovnik is one of the most prominent tourist destinations of the Mediterranean. Best of both: the beach vacations and city escapes can be experienced here. Old Town is the heart of Dubrovnik and gives a very romantic ambiance when illuminated. The orange rooftop houses sitting in contrast to the blue skies above makes for picture perfect views. The beautiful houses on either side of the streets have a blend of Gothic and Baroque architecture. This UNESCO world heritage site is an appealing destination in the Mediterranean region because of its mighty walls, magnificent palaces, fountains, and stunning churches.
Location: The southern tip of the Croatian coast
Top Attractions: Lokrum, Banje and Lapad Beaches, Srd Mountain, Lovrijenac, Rector’s Palace, Walls of Dubrovnik
Hvar, Island Of Lavender
Hvar, a beautiful Croatian islands off the Dalmatian Coast, has something for everyone. This island is often called the “island of lavender” because of its beautiful lavender fields. It’s also known for its lush vineyards, stunning churches, beautiful beaches and century-old fortress. The comfortable weather in Croatia, makes it a year-round destination and amongst the top places of visit. This charming place offers outdoor recreation and adventure like hiking, swimming, exploring Archaeological sites and caves. Europe’s oldest public theater constructed in 1612 is right here for theater enthusiasts to enjoy.
Large variety of restaurants, bars and nightclubs with live music and dancing makes the nightlife scenes here very lively.
Location: The Adriatic Sea, off Dalmatian coast
Top Attractions: Lavender fields tour, Paklinski Islands, Grapceva Cave, Šćedro, Stari Grad Plain, Tvrdalj Castle, Franciscan Monastery and Cathedral of St. Stephen.
Split, Mediterranean Flower
The second-largest city Split, also popularly known as the “Mediterranean Flower ” is located on a peninsula off the Dalmatian Coast. This well-preserved UNESCO World Heritage Site is the hottest low-key travel destination for all ages. A striking contrast between the ancient history and modern life is what makes Split a popular tourist destination. The city’s main attraction is its picturesque beaches, Renaissance architecture, exquisite cuisine and dramatic mountains. Apart from visiting the top attractions one can also go swimming, hiking, cycling, shopping or simply stroll along the seaside promenade. This buzzing city is also an intra-regional transport hub to many of the Adriatic islands.
Location: Eastern shore of Adriatic coast, central Dalmatia
Top Attractions: Diocletian Palace, Klis Fortress, Riva Waterfront, Cathedral of St. Domnius, Marjan hill and Bačvice Beach.
Zagreb, Capital City
Zagreb, the capital city of Croatia is a beautiful old town that’s packed with both historic and modern tourist attractions. The unique blend of art, music, culture, and architecture makes Zagreb the perfect city to explore. It is one of the largest cities of Croatia with around 770,000 people residing here. Over a million tourists come in every year to enjoy the various street festivals. This city is divided into Upper and Lower Town, with Upper Town being the historic core while the Lower Town is best for sightseeing and exploring. The vibrant nightlife and the everyday cafe culture is something you just cannot miss while in Zagreb.
Location: Northwestern Croatia
Top Attractions: Mirogoj, Dolac Market, Museum of Illusions, Lauba Art Gallery, Zagreb Cathedral, Croatian National Theater, Jelacic Square.
Trogir, Living Museum
Trogir, a tiny island is not just a living museum but also a UNESCO protected World Heritage Site. Don’t go by its size. The countless historic attractions, different styles of architecture, and picturesque scenery will keep you busy. Trogir is often referred to as the living museum due to the series of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque structures found here. This tiny island within medieval walls is connected by bridges to both the mainland and to Čiovo Island. Trogir is just 28 kilometers from Split Airport which means that it’s very easy to reach. It is a remarkable example of urban continuity and is worthy of a stop on your trip to Croatia.
Location: Between the Croatian mainland and the island of Ciovo
Top Attractions: Cipiko Palace, Kamerlango Castle, Central Square, The St Lawrence Cathedral, Okrug Beach, North Gate
Krka, National Park
Krka National park, one of the notable tourist attractions in Croatia is famous for its waterfalls, caves, hikes and boardwalks. This place is about an hour-long ride from Split and it’s an ideal place for a day trip. The beauty of this place is such that it may make you want to extend your stay. Krka National Park is ranked among the best national parks in Europe because of the park’s most famous network of waterfalls. Out of the seven waterfalls, the Skradinski Buk is the most popular of them for its power and beauty. The park is easily accessible from cities like Split, Zadar and Sibenik. Exploring the picturesque historic sites, walking along the serene landscapes or a boat ride through the park are some of the best things to do here.
Location: Central Dalmatia, near the historic city of Šibenik
Top Attractions: Island of Visovac and Roski Slap waterfall
Zadar, Roman Ruins
Zadar is popularly known for the Romanian and Venetian ruins of its peninsular Old Town. A 2-hour drive from Split will introduce you to a lively and at the same time a little laid-back scene of this charming city. It’s the best place to experience Croatian culture at its finest. Packed with a myriad of historical sites, ancient churches, architectural marvels, medieval buildings and pristine Croatia beaches, Zadar is an incredibly beautiful city that attracts any kind of travelers. The famous Sea Organ by architect-artist Nikola Basic draws crowds with its sound and light spectacles that are truly one of a kind. Locals and travelers love to cool off at the calm and quiet environment in the crisscrossing lanes of cafes and eateries. Though it is well connected with all modes of transportation, Zadar is still an unexplored region.
Location: The Northern Dalmatian Coast of Croatia
Top Attractions: Church of St. Donatus, Zadar Cathedral, Sea Organ, St. Anastasia Cathedral, Monument to the Sun
Rovinj, Fishing Port
The extraordinarily beautiful Rovinj consists of a total of 20 small islands. This calm and serene Mediterranean fishing port is the charm of Croatia. The dramatic landscapes, photogenic beaches, narrow alleys and sun-splashed walkway gives the feel of a romantic old town. A perfect place for couples to laze around and spend time with each other. Tourists visiting Rovinj can engage in a number of fun and thrilling activities like rock climbing, hiking, and cycling. The perfect blend of rural and urban culture leaves visitors asking for more.
Location: West Coast of the Istrian Peninsula
Top Attractions: Lim Fjord, Balbi Arch, Church of St. Euphemia, Sveti Andrija, Heritage Museum
Suggested Reads: 6 Reasons You Must Visit Croatia When You Get The Chance
Some Interesting Facts About This Coastal Paradise, Croatia
- The smallest town in the world ‘Hum’ is in Croatia. You will be surprised to know that only 20 to 30 people live here.
- Croatia shares its borders with five countries. Hungary to the north, Montenegro to the south, Bosnia and Herzegovina/Serbia to the east, and Slovenia to the west. Sea borders are shared with Italy.
- Most popular HBO series ‘The Game of Thrones’ was filmed on the coast of Croatia in Split and Dubrovnik.
- 8 national parks, 11 nature parks and two nature reserves occupy 10% of the land in Croatia.
- The waterfront has been known as the Dalmatian coast since the Imperial Roman times. It’s said to be named after the Dalmatian breed dogs that originated here.
- The Croatian currency (Kuna) is named after a little animal called a rodent.
- Mineral fuels, textiles, transport equipment, electric machinery, wood, iron or steel articles, chemicals, foodstuffs and vehicles are the main exports of Croatia.
- There are about 10 sites in Croatia that’s featured in the UNESCO World Heritage site list.
- This place is a great destination for food and wine. There are nearly 300 wine regions that make quality wines.
- According to Alfred Hitchcock, the city of Zadar in Dalmatia has the most beautiful and stunning sunset in the world. It’s better than the one in Key West, Florida.
- Hvar Island enjoys 2800 hours of sunshine a year which is more than what Sydney, Australia receives.
- Croatians are totally in love with soccer and this game is also a huge part of Croatian culture.
- Croatian is the official language, 95% of the population speak this language.
Croatia tourist places are very different from other destinations. Now that you know that this place has all the ingredients for the ultimate vacation, it’s time to pack your bags to experience the magic of this amazing country. If you know any other beautiful places in Croatia that we have missed, do share them in the comment section below.
The capital Zagreb and Dubrovnik are the most visited cities.
A week’s time is just the right amount of time to visit the main tourist spots here.
Croatia best time to visit is between June to October. By the mid of November the temperature starts to drop.