Best Places to Visit in Croatia

14 Top Best Places to Visit in Croatia ( 2024)

14 Top Best Places to Visit in Croatia ( 2024)

Croatia is among the top tourist attractions around the world, lying in the Balkans. It showcases old ruins as well as medieval cities, which is why, the best places to visit in Croatia like the magnificent coastlines, the Plitivivice lakes, and massive islands speak volumes.

Thanks to the best hiking choices and neoclassical buildings located at the mesmerizing Krka National Park, while exploring the capital Zagreb. Furthermore, the medieval time’s municipality, of Dubrovnik, is the favorite tourist spot for visitors in Croatia beyond the water’s surface.

Using our list of the best destinations to visit in Croatia, you surely do not want to miss out on visiting the top best places to visit in Croatia.

Table of Content
1. Krka National Park
2. Zagreb
3. Zadar
4. Dobronik
5. Hvar
6. Plitvice National Park
7. Split
8. Korcula National Park
9. Pula
10. Rovinj
11. Istria
12. Zagorje
13. Zalarin
14. Silba

1. Krka National Park

Krka National Park is a stunning place in Croatia in Central Dalmatia. It’s like a huge nature reserve, filled with beautiful scenery, animals, and historical sites. This park is located along the Krka River, in Sibinik-Knin County. People love it because of its many breathtaking waterfalls and clear, blue-green pools.

Getting to the park is easy. You can drive or take a bus from Split to Sibinik. Once you’re there, you can walk around on well-kept paths or take a boat ride to explore. The main attraction is the waterfalls, especially two famous ones called Skradinski Buk and Roški Slap.

There are trails near the waterfalls where you can take amazing photos. Some of the waterfalls have pools where you can swim. Besides the waterfalls, there’s also lots of lush greenery and wildlife to see, like birds and dragonflies.

But that’s not all! The park also has old monasteries and ancient Roman and medieval sites. Plus, there are amenities like museums, picnic areas, and restaurants for when you need a break. It’s a fantastic destination if you enjoy nature and history.

Krka National Park

2. Zagreb

Nowadays, Zagreb is a huge city where many people live and Croatian culture, schools, and government are centered. The city is split into two parts: the Upper Town and the Lower Town. The Upper Town is the older part with cobblestone streets, old churches, towers, and fancy buildings.

There are some special places you shouldn’t miss if you visit Zagreb. One is the Stone Gate, which has a painting of Mary inside. It’s cool because it survived a big fire back in 1731. Another important spot is Ban Jelacic Square, which is the main square of the city. It’s got old buildings and restaurants all around it. And if you want to buy fresh food or local crafts, you should check out Dolac Market. It’s a big market where you can find almost anything.

Finally, along Strossmayer’s Walkway, you can watch street performers like artists and musicians doing their thing. It’s a fun place to hang out and see some cool stuff.


3. Zadar

One of the best places to visit in Croatia is Zadar, a city with a history spanning three thousand years and located along the stunning northern Dalmatian Coast. Unlike some crowded tourist hotspots, Zadar offers a perfect escape with its abundance of attractions.

At the heart of Zadar lies its Old Town, a charming area perfect for strolls. Here, visitors can explore a wealth of historical sites including Roman ruins, medieval buildings, and ancient churches. Among the must-see landmarks are the Roman Forum, the circular St. Donat’s Church, the 12th-century St. Anastasia Cathedral, the Archaeological Museum, and the venerable University of Zadar, one of Europe’s oldest educational institutions.

Apart from its historic core, Zadar boasts a series of picturesque beaches lining its coastline, inviting tourists to bask in the sun, take a dip, or partake in various water activities. Two standout attractions in Zadar are the Sea Organ and the Sun Salutation, ingenious creations that harness the power of nature to deliver captivating experiences.

Positioned along the city’s scenic promenade, the Sea Organ produces unique melodies as waves interact with its 35 submerged pipes. Meanwhile, the Sun Salutation, having soaked up sunlight throughout the day, puts on a mesmerizing light display come nightfall.


4. Dobronik

Dubrovnik, known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” is a top spot for tourists in the Mediterranean. Situated at Croatia’s southern edge by the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik has a history dating back to the 7th century when it thrived on maritime trade despite threats from Venice and the Ottoman Empire. In the Middle Ages, it bloomed as a hub of culture, learning, and arts.

The city charms with its orange-tiled houses against the azure sky. Its main attraction, the Old Town, is a treasure trove of history with ancient defensive walls, cobblestone streets, grand palaces, and splendid churches. Not to miss is Onofrio’s Fountain, a remarkable 15th-century engineering feat. The Old Town lights up as night falls, casting a romantic spell over its visitors.


5. Hvar

Hvar, a stunning island off the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia, is a hotspot for tourists in the Adriatic Sea. It’s famous for its breathtaking beaches, fragrant lavender fields, and scenic vineyards.

The main hub, Hvar Town, is picturesque with its ancient walls, marble streets, Gothic buildings, and impressive fortress. The town square is a gem, surrounded by historic landmarks like the 17th-century Arsenal and the Cathedral of St. Stephen.

Nature lovers will adore Hvar’s outdoor activities, from cliff hiking to swimming in hidden coves. Boat trips to the nearby Pakleni Islands are popular, offering a chance to explore. Archaeological sites unveil ancient treasures, giving a glimpse into Hvar’s past. Don’t miss the intriguing Grapceva Cave with its unique formations. Quaint villages scattered across the island offer a taste of local life.

Foodies will be spoiled for choice with the diverse dining options, serving Croatian, Mediterranean, and European cuisine. As night falls, Hvar Town comes alive with lively parties, bars, and clubs buzzing with live music and dancing.


6. Plitvice National Park

Plitvice National Park is a stunning natural wonder in Croatia and Europe. It comprises numerous gorgeous lakes, waterfalls, and dense forests. The park’s highlight is its 16 interconnected lakes, split into upper and lower sections.

These lakes, created by natural travertine dams, boast mesmerizing colors ranging from turquoise to blue, green, and gray. Visitors can wander around the lakes and the surrounding area using well-maintained wooden walkways, and they can also opt for boat rides to explore further.

Plitvice National Park

7. Split

Split, Croatia, earned the nickname “Mediterranean Flower” for good reason. It’s a gem on the Dalmatian Coast, boasting ancient Roman structures and charming orange-tiled houses that pop against the backdrop of the turquoise sea and majestic mountains. This city is a magnet for tourists, thanks to its sunny climate, fascinating sights, delicious food scene, and vibrant nightlife. Plus, it’s a convenient hub for exploring the nearby Adriatic islands.

The heart of Split is its historic core, highlighted by the awe-inspiring Diocletian’s Palace. Built by a Roman Emperor back in the 3rd century AD, this sprawling palace feels like its own little city, complete with winding marble streets lined with shops and eateries. Inside, you’ll discover architectural marvels like St. Duje’s Cathedral, Jupiter’s Temple, and Peristil Square, along with two remarkable Egyptian sphinx monuments.

But Split isn’t just about ancient history. Beyond the palace walls, there’s plenty more to see and do. Take a stroll along the charming seaside promenade, where you can soak in stunning views of the Adriatic. Explore the bustling Green Market for local produce and souvenirs. Relax on the sandy shores of Bacvice Beach or venture into the scenic Marjan hill for hiking and cycling adventures. And if you’re a sports fan, catch a football match at the iconic Poljud Stadium.

In short, Split offers a perfect blend of history, culture, natural beauty, and entertainment. It’s no wonder it’s considered one of the must-visit places in Croatia.


8. Korcula National Park

Korcula, a picturesque island situated 30 miles (50 km) off Croatia’s Adriatic Coast, is renowned as the supposed birthplace of the legendary traveler Marco Polo. Easily accessible by ferries from major Croatian cities like Split and Dubrovnik, Korcula is a haven of stunning landscapes, charming towns, rich history, and captivating traditions.

The island boasts lush green forests, vineyards, and olive groves, along with delightful villages such as Blato. Blato is famous for its baroque churches and a scenic boulevard lined with lime trees, offering a variety of shops, restaurants, and hotels. Lambarda, another popular spot on Korcula, is known for its sandy white beaches and intriguing archaeological sites from Greek and Roman times.

At the heart of Korcula lies its main town, also named Korcula Town. Enclosed within historic walls, this town boasts Venetian Renaissance architecture, vibrant markets filled with colorful local produce, and numerous tourist amenities. Whether you’re seeking natural beauty, cultural heritage, or seaside relaxation, Korcula ranks among the top places to visit in Croatia.

Korcula National Park

9. Pula

Pula is a beloved destination with roots tracing back to ancient times when Romans filled its grand arena to cheer on gladiators. Over the years, it has seen many rulers, but today it proudly stands as part of Croatia, showcasing a fascinating mix of Roman relics and diverse cultures.

In Pula, history comes alive at every corner. The show’s star is its majestic Roman amphitheater, the Arena, where thrilling events like the Pula Film Festival occur every July. Wander through the old city gates, marvel at ancient arches, and soak in the atmosphere of the Forum, surrounded by remnants of Roman temples and structures.

But Pula isn’t just about the past. Its natural beauty is equally captivating, with rolling hills and sun-kissed beaches offering endless outdoor adventures. Take a trip to the nearby Brijuni National Park or explore quaint farming villages. Dive into the turquoise waters for fishing, sailing, or snorkeling, and discover relics of history beneath the waves, including World War I warships. Pula’s blend of history, culture, and natural wonders makes it a must-visit spot in Croatia.


10. Rovinj

Though it may seem like a quiet fishing village, Rovinj’s blend of old-world allure and natural beauty makes it a standout among tourist spots. Set on a peninsula in Croatia’s Istrian peninsula, Rovinj isn’t just one island – it’s a cluster of 20, with its charming Old Town nestled on a small piece of land. Here, you’ll find a treasure trove of historic sites, stunning landscapes, delicious dining spots, and all the modern amenities travelers crave.

Exploring the Old Town feels like stepping into a fairy tale, with its narrow cobblestone streets, arches, and stairways leading you past centuries-old landmarks. Marvel at the seven medieval city gates, admire the ancient town clock, and gaze in awe at St. Euphemia’s Basilica, a majestic baroque church filled with incredible artwork.

Don’t forget to visit the lively Valdibora Farmer’s Market, take in the picturesque harbor views, and stroll along Carrera Street, home to charming shops and galleries. And if you wander down Grisia Street, you’ll find local artists and souvenir vendors showcasing their wares.

Venture beyond the Old Town, and you’ll discover a world of natural wonders waiting to be explored. Rovinj’s beaches are renowned for their beauty, offering tranquil coves perfect for swimming and snorkeling.

Head to the nearby islands to discover pristine forests, the breathtaking Lim Fjord, and the Zlatni Rt Forest Park, where hiking, cycling, and rock climbing adventures await. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply seeking relaxation, Rovinj has something special to offer, making it a must-visit destination in Croatia.


11. Istria

Istria is a beautiful region with rolling hills, charming villages, and stunning coastal areas. One of the must-visit places is Rovinj, a lovely town known for its colorful buildings and narrow streets. It sits on its peninsula, offering picturesque views of the Adriatic Sea.

If you’re looking for a change of scenery, head inland to Motovun, a picturesque hilltop town surrounded by forests. You can either take a shuttle bus or enjoy a leisurely walk uphill to reach its medieval walls, where you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the countryside.

For nature lovers, Cape Kamenjak at the southern tip of Istria is a hidden gem. This undeveloped nature reserve boasts secluded rocky beaches and pebble bays, perfect for a peaceful day by the sea away from the crowds.


12. Zagorje

In Zagorje, there are medieval castles that look like they’re from a postcard, just waiting for you to explore. At Trakošćan Castle, built in 1334, you can step back in time. Despite its 19th-century neo-Gothic exterior, inside are much older structures. The castle’s museum tells the story of Croatian aristocracy, and you can wander through its 215-acre grounds, transformed into a romantic park with exotic trees and a lovely artificial lake.

Go a bit further west, and you’ll find Veliki Tabor, a hilltop castle straight out of the 16th century. With its pentagonal towers and atmospheric interiors, it feels like stepping back in time. The surrounding landscapes add to the castle’s charm, making it a must-visit destination for history lovers.


13. Zlarin

The island of Zlarin stands out for its world-famous red coral jewelry, crafted with skill and tradition passed down through generations. But its fame isn’t solely tied to artisanal treasures. Zlarin made waves in 2019 when it became Croatia’s pioneer in banning single-use plastics, setting a green example for the region. This eco-friendly spirit expanded in 2021 when Krapanj, a neighboring island, joined forces for the “Archipelago Without Plastic” campaign, emphasizing the collective commitment to environmental stewardship.

Visitors flock to Zlarin for its picturesque beaches, where clear, warm waters invite swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking adventures. While the beaches may lack sand, the tranquil ambiance and breathtaking views more than compensate. On land, hiking, biking, and rock climbing enthusiasts find ample opportunities to explore the island’s rugged beauty.

Zlarin’s charm lies in its car-free status, encouraging exploration on foot or by bicycle. Accommodations are limited, with just one hotel and a few apartments for rent. During peak times, like summer, it’s wise to plan or opt for nearby Šibenik, using it as a base for day trips to Zlarin. This way, visitors can savor the island’s allure while minimizing their environmental footprint.


14. Silba

Nestled off the coast of Zadar lies the enchanting island of Silba, a haven untouched by cars or hotels, cherished by those seeking serenity. Silba exudes a Bohemian, unconventional atmosphere, drawing artists and free spirits who relish its tranquil ambiance. Families also find solace here, as children revel in the freedom to roam barefoot and carefree.

To secure your stay, it’s wise to book accommodations well in advance, as availability tends to disappear swiftly. Indulge in the island’s culinary delights with a sunset seafood feast at Konoba Alavija, a must-visit spot. Days are best spent soaking up the sun or partaking in beachside activities like volleyball, basketball, or tennis at the lively Sotorišce beach, renowned for its crystal-clear, shallow waters.

Below the surface, the underwater world reveals ancient secrets, including the remains of a sarcophagus dating back over 1,500 years, resting near the shores of Pocukmarak Bay. Silba promises an idyllic retreat where time seems to stand still, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in its natural beauty and rich history.


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