In the context of Europe, Croatia is probably one of the most underrated countries. Tourism in Croatia has set foot deep into the state but it is still to harness the real potential of the land.
When it comes to selecting top rated places to visit in Croatia, things can become a bit difficult. For an unassuming traveler, the country can be full of surprises, and it is highly likely that he or she will be smitten by the gems that this country has to offer.
If someone is having troubles in grasping the true nature of Croatia, a few fun facts may be the perfect way to start digging into the hidden treasures of the country and help in curating a list of top tourist attractions in Croatia.
Here are a few interesting facts about Croatia:
- The Dalmatian coast in Dubrovnik and Split is where the famous HBO series – Game of Thrones had been filmed.
Dubrovnik’s fortified walls are Europe’s best-preserved fortification systems.
- Pula, Istria in Croatia has an amphitheater where the ancient Roman gladiators entertained people with their blood. This amphitheater is one of the only three that are well preserved in the entire world, and yes, it is also the 6th largest in the world.
- UNESCO Intangible Goods – that’s something real, and Croatia and Spain are the two countries with the highest number of those. Gingerbread baking, lace making, and wooden toys carvings are a few to mention.
- There is a beach in Bol on Brac island and it is famous for Zlatni Rat Beach is that it morphs into different shapes and takes up different colors as and when the wind changes.
- Dalmatia in Croatia is the place from where the Dalmatian dogs come.
- The Croatian aquarium is the home to only living Mediterranean seal in the world. That’s the last specimen alive.
- Croatia can be dangerous too! There are some best places in Croatia where landmines (yes, those nasty explosives) still exist. People are allowed to visit those areas but need to get the landmine maps, and of course, some other types of precautions are necessary.
Those facts should suffice for now. There are ample more reasons to be in Croatia – a land of wonders. Now, here is a quick list of the best places to visit in Croatia:
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Table of Contents
- 1 Quick facts and Croatia travel tips
- 2 Here’s the list of the top places to visit in Croatia
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
- 4 Are you on Pinterest? Pin these for later read!
Quick facts and Croatia travel tips
Quick facts about Croatia?
- Capital City? Zagreb
- Currency? Croatian Kuna
- Languages? Croatian
- Where is this place? Southeast Europe
- What is Croatia famous for? Dalmatian Dog, Nikola Tesla, Local Cuisine, and as Game of Thrones Shooting Destination
- Best time to visit Croatia? Spring to Early Summer (May to June) and Late Summer to Autumn (September to October)
- How to get there? You can fly to the major cities in Croatia from all over the world and as well cross its borders by car, bus, or train
- Neighboring countries? Serbia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Hungary
Do you need a visa for Croatia?
In order to enter Croatia, you need to have a valid Schengen visa. If you’re a citizen of the EU group of countries, you can enter Croatia without a visa. However, if you’re a citizen of Canada, the USA, New Zealand, and Australia – you can stay in Schengen areas for 90 days.
Check out our detailed guide on how to apply for a Schengen visa – read it here.
Where to book your flights to Croatia?
Check our handy-dandy guide on how to find the cheapest flights around the world – read it here.
Do you need travel insurance for Croatia?
Remember this: anything can happen! Read our take on why you need travel insurance and how it can save you money when things go unplanned – read it here.
Here’s the list of the top places to visit in Croatia
The capital city of Croatia – Zagreb has a host of surprises under its belt. For those with artistic bend a little love for the Medieval Era, Zagreb is perhaps the best place to start.
Full of historical sites, theaters, galleries and museums, this town offers a unique taste of Medieval times that cannot be ignored.
The famous Jarun lake is yet another attraction that calls for the partying folks more than anyone else. With lake-side discos, this lake has a jovial and free-spirit nature that attracts the ones that love to enjoy life to the fullest. For those with a slightly different taste of tranquility, a refreshing swim or a lazy sailing on the silent waters can be just as magical as one can think of.
The winter lovers are not left out in Zagreb. The nearby Mt. Madvednica is a perfect place for those who want to ski fun or prefer to take a sweeping look at the city of Zagreb.
Learn and read more about Zagreb:
Plitvice Lakes National Park
Now, this is a gem – one of the best Croatia destinations that a tourist can select. The question is, ‘what’s so special about this national park?’.
This national park has been, listed since 1979, as UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a place where 16 crystalline lakes form a surreal atmosphere. All these lakes are connected with each other with waterfalls.
It is not a free place to roam around and requires visitors to buy a ticket. The best way to wander around the park is on foot, and it will take approximately 6 hours or so. But it is worth the time spent.
With more than 120 bird species and resident wolves and bears, this national park never fails to woo the travelers who travel to Croatia. Just one thing to remember – swimming isn’t allowed in any of the lakes. Also, those who want to explore via buses and boats, they are most welcome to do so with free services provided by the park.
Learn and read more about Plitvice Lakes:
Meandering streets connecting stone houses in a small marina to form a charming town with breathtaking sweeping views of the Adriatic Sea – Bol is one of the top places to visit in Croatia.
It is where the iconic shape-shifting pebble beach called the Zlatni Rat beach resides. The beach protrudes out into the sea and changes shape as and when the wind changes.
The beach offers plenty of water activities like sunbathing, swimming, windsurfing and more… And the charming promenade lined with trees running between the town and beach at Bol makes Croatia travel a lifetime’s experience.
Fanning out right into the boundless blue waters of the Adriatic Sea, the walled city of Dubrovnik is something that can be termed as nothing less than ‘Awe-Inspiring.’
Enjoying the elevated status of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dubrovnik by default becomes an outstanding destination in the uncharted waters of Croatia travel for a casual tourist.
For the adrenaline addicts, activities like kayaking, swimming and a host of other water activities add to the thrill. And for the fans of Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik’s fortifications create some déjà vu. A sweeping view of the city can be enjoyed by climbing up the Mount Srd, which remains effortlessly accessible via cable car or by foot.
Learn and read more about Dubrovnik:
- Top Tourist Attractions and Things to do in Dubrovnik (Croatia)
- Best Day Trips from Dubrovnik: Top 10 Activities & Excursions from Dubrovnik (Croatia)
Kornati National Park
For the love of Nature, one should visit Kornati National Park. To be honest, travel to Croatia doesn’t make much sense for tranquility-hunters unless they visit the Kornati Archipelago that is very often dubbed as nautical paradise.
About 140 islands make up this National Park where dramatic caverns, cliffs, and caves of the tight-knit isles throw an awful lot of challenges. These islands are mostly made of Karst Limestone and offer excellent opportunities for hiking.
Yes, for those tourists who love some real excitement, sailing through the National Park adds a whole new dimension. For those who are not big enthusiasts of ‘sail alone’ opportunity, the National Park offers guided tours from Split, Sibenik, and Zadar.
Even diving is an option and so are snorkeling and swimming. Kornati National Park is one of the top Croatian attractions.
Krka National Park
Not all elements of Nature manage to entice everyone. For example, some may like to watch stunning waterfalls while some others may prefer to gaze through green blanket while some others may want to tune their souls with the silence of Nature.
Whatever the reason be, Krka National Park is one of the best places to go in Croatia. The primary attraction of this park is a wide range of stunning waterfalls, the best of which is Skradinski Buk Falls.
Apart from this stunner, there is a host of diversified wildlife that can entice almost anyone at any time. Some human touch can be found in the form of secluded monasteries too.
The 200-meter deep canyon through which the Krka River flows is yet another famous tourist destination in Croatia.
Sightseeing in Croatia can never be complete without a quick trip to Krka National Park, which can be accessed through any one of the five entrances that include Burnum, Krka Monastery, Lozovac, and Skradin.
If there is a place where party goers, nature lovers, and adrenaline addicts coexist in Croatia, then it is none other than Makarska.
Nestled right between Biokovo mountain range and Makarska Riviera, this is a place of everything rocking and everything tranquil. For beach bums, this is a top tourist attraction in Croatia because of the stunning pebbly beaches.
For adrenaline addicts, there’s paragliding, rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, windsurfing and more. For party goers, some exquisite restaurants and bars do the magic while for the individual types, the nature lovers, a relaxing stroll along the waterfront spells all the magic. Those who drop in during the seasons, a vibrant nightlife becomes the reason to die for.
No, this isn’t the place for those who travel to Croatia for a punch of excitement or for those who look at Croatia travel as a destination of art and history. This beach is one of those places where tainted souls find solace or where lovebirds get cozy in the elixir of love.
In 2016, the Stiniva Beach located in Vis Island stole the title of Europe’s best beach awarded by European Best Destinations. It is a white shingle cove, totally secluded and blessed with the clearest of turquoise waters one can find.
Nestled right between soaring cliffs on all sides and a vaulting blue sky above, Stiniva in unarguably one of the famous places to visit in Croatia. It is genuinely impossible to NOT fall in love with this beach. If there is Heaven on Earth, then this is perhaps the place.
A mix of old and new, Split is just a few hours from Dubrovnik making it a perfect day trip for those who are going to base their Croatia travel in the famous port.
Known for its fine architecture and its 4th century Diocletian’s Palace and streets lined with trendy shops and café’s, Split is a wonderful city in Croatia to visit when you get a chance!
Learn and read more about Split:
- Top Tourist Attractions and Things to do in Split (Croatia)
- Top 10 Best Day Trips from Split (Croatia)
Famous as the sunniest spot in Croatia, Hvar is an island with a reputation as the top destination to visit in Croatia. With its sand-lined shores, it guarantees you the best relaxing holiday you deserve.
Not to mention, apart from its beautiful beaches, you’ll also find some quaint spot where you’ll get acquainted with nature as you stroll its lavender fields and vineyards. You might even go for a wine tour if you wish!
A bit less known compared to its famous sister cities such as Zagreb and Dubrovnik, Korčula is indeed a special place to visit if you’re interested in forts overlooking the beautiful Mediterranean sea.
Well-known island locally for its beautiful nature as it has a vast forest to explore, white wine, and ancient fort that will remind you of Dubrovnik –Korčula is the whole package for those who want to experience Croatia without the huge amount of crowds its bigger cities tend to have during the high season.
Read more about other related post:
- Split To Krka National Park: Things You NCeed To Know About Krka Waterfalls Tours From Split
- Top 10 Stunning Castles In Croatia To Visit
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best places to visit in Croatia?
All that is listed on this list are worth the visit! However, depending on what you want to do that can vary. For example, if you would like to explore historical sites then Dubrovnik, Split, and Zagreb are good choices. However, if you’re into beaches then better go to Istria, Bol, and anywhere by the coastal area.
Is it safe to travel in Croatia?
The crime rate is rather low in Croatia but it is still good to be wary of your surroundings when you do visit.
What is the best time of year to go to Croatia?
The shoulder season, the time where there’s less tourist and is still considered “low season” is between May to June (Spring to early summer) and September to October (late summer to autumn). These are the best times to visit as the weather is still pleasant and there will be less crowd.
Where are the nicest beaches in Croatia?
You can check this post out to learn more about the best beaches in the country.
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