Things to do in Croatia: Attractions and places to visit

Harbour - Sudurad, Croatia (Espen Faugstad)  []  CC BY-ND 
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Croatia is a very popular destination in the southern European Balkans. The unique location on the Adriatic coast with countless beaches, the warm climate and the hospitable Croatia make this versatile country a dreamlike holiday paradise.

Croatia has many small islands worth seeing, which invite you to stay and relax. The rich Croatian cuisine, excellent hotels and the breathtaking nature of the country offer holidaymakers from all over the world an ideal combination of relaxation and adventure holidays.

Below we present you the most exciting tours, the most beautiful attractions and the best sights in Croatia.

Croatia-01756 - Old Port Dubrovnik (Dennis Jarvis)  []  CC BY-SA 
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Croatia-00882 - Wow was my comment...... (Dennis Jarvis)  []  CC BY-SA 
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The port of Dubrovnik (Tambako The Jaguar)  []  CC BY-ND 
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1. Plitvice Lakes National Park

This unique national park in the interior of Croatia is an absolute highlight and one of the most popular sights in Croatia. The Plitvice Lakes National Park has a total of 16 different cascading lakes connected by majestic waterfalls. This natural wonder was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as early as 1979.

This magical place has a unique charisma and is a breathtaking natural spectacle, scenes of the Karl May films were shot here in the 1960s. There are a number of different hiking trails that lead through the 296.85 square kilometre park. Especially worth seeing is the 78 meter high waterfall Veliki Slap. The national park is the largest in Croatia and attracts millions of visitors every year.

2. Old town of Dubrovnik

One of the most beautiful cities in Europe is Dubrovnik in the south of the country directly on the Adriatic Sea. In particular, the picturesque, car-free Old Town has developed into one of the most important sights in Croatia and is also visited by numerous cruise ships in summer. Dubrovnik’s old town has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. Numerous movies and also parts of the worldwide successful series “Game of Thrones” were shot in front of this beautiful scenery.

The city walls of Dubrovnik, which are about 1940 meters long and in some places up to 6 meters thick, are popular tourist attractions. They are the best preserved medieval masonry in Europe. A ride with the cable car (Dubrovnik Cable Car) from the old town up to a vantage point on the mountain Srd is worthwhile. Around the city there are great bays and beaches that are definitely worth a visit.

3. Island paradise Hvar

Hvar is one of the many Croatian islands located in the middle of the Adriatic Sea. There are many beautiful hotels and restaurants on the island. The beaches invite to stay and a refreshing bath in the sea and also the old town of Hvar has a lot of sights to offer. In addition to the harbour and the great promenade and a Renaissance main square with a remarkable cathedral, the old city walls also offer great photo motifs for visitors to the island.

Hvar is also known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic”, which is mainly due to its crystal clear waters and beautiful beaches. In the north they are mostly shallow sandy beaches, in the south pebble beaches surrounded by pine forests. An important branch of Hvar’s economy is still wine-growing. The island is known far beyond its borders for its excellent red wine. Olives, lavender and rosemary can still be found in the hinterland.

4. The Blue Grotto

One of the most famous sights of the country is the Blue Grotto. This impressive natural spectacle can be found on the island of Bisevo in the Dalmatia region. The Modra Spilja (Croatian name for the blue grotto) is a cave about 24 metres long and up to 16 metres deep. It has two entrances, one above and one under water, and can only be reached by rowing or paddling boats.

Inside the cave there is an enchanting picture that can hardly be described with words: the interplay of light, water and colour creates a seemingly almost unreal work of art. You just have to see this one. Day trips are offered as guided tours for example from Split, mostly combined tours with a visit to Hvar. The play of colours is particularly beautiful in light seas with only a few waves.

5. Visit to the capital Zagreb

The versatile capital Zagreb offers a number of beautiful sights of Croatia, especially for art and culture lovers. With its approx. 800,000 inhabitants, Zagreb is considered a big city, but is quite manageable, so that all landmarks and attractions are within walking distance. The city is known for its many museums and art galleries.

It also has many other attractions such as the Parliament Building, Zagreb Cathedral, the Botanical Garden and the famous Ban Jelacic Square. There are also great restaurants and cafés in the capital that offer typical Croatian cuisine.

6. Amphitheatre in Pula

The beautiful city of Pula is home to the sixth largest amphitheatre in the world. This building was erected in Roman times and, with its 2000 years, is the oldest and most important landmark of the city. Numerous events, cultural events and concerts still take place here today.

The amphitheatre can therefore not only be visited, you can also inform yourself before your visit about the current program and thus experience an event in this dreamlike scenery very closely.

7. Zlatni rad – the most beautiful beach in Croatia

The probably most beautiful beach of Croatia “Zlatni rad” is located on the island Brac in the area Dalmatia. This section of the beach is covered with fine pebbles and has the shape of a horn, which is why it is also called “the golden horn” in German.

It rises a few hundred metres into the sea, which is why from this beach you have a wonderful and wide view of the water and the island. There are several beach bars in the immediate vicinity so that you can enjoy the sun and the view with a cool cocktail.

8. Jama Baredine – Cave on the fallow field

This approx. 132 meter deep stalactite cave near the city of Porec in Istria is also one of the most popular sights of the country. It is one of the protected natural monuments and has five so-called halls, all of which are filled with fascinating stalactite sculptures.

This miracle of nature is known worldwide and extremely interesting. In the various halls, finds from the cave are also displayed in showcases. A tour through the Baredine Grotto takes about 40 minutes and is also offered in German.

9. The smallest city in the world – Hum

Located in central Istria is another unique attraction: the city of Hum, officially the smallest city in the world. To enter the city, the path leads through a copper city gate, which seems to be like the gate to another time. It is easy to see that this small town with only 20 inhabitants is a fascinating place of its own.

The houses and alleys in medieval style take their visitors back to the past. Hum also has a beautiful church (Maria Himmelfahrt) which is also worth a visit.

10. Dreamlike islands of the Kornati Islands

Also this national park is something very special. It consists of 89 islands and reefs and primarily serves to protect the diverse fauna and flora. The Kornati islands, as this national park is called, are a paradise for bathing enthusiasts, nautical enthusiasts and above all divers. The almost untouched underwater world and the dreamlike small bays offer visitors an exclusive insight into nature.

However, diving is only allowed in the designated diving zones. Especially in the warm summer months, the island park is full of boats and ships that admire the beautiful landscape from the sea. On the larger islands there are countless restaurants and cafés waiting for your guests with delicious food and cool drinks. Especially recommended are the delicious, freshly prepared seafood and fish specialties.

More things to do and activities for your Croatia holiday

Best time to visit Croatia

We recommend the following months as best time to travel for exploring the attractions and acivities of Croatia:

May, June, July, August, and September

You can find more information about the weather, including all climate data, on our climate page for Croatia.

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