Feast on the catch of the day at a harbourside taverna, wander through a maze of mediaeval streets and go island hopping along the Dalmatian Coast. The exact moment you fall for Croatia may be hard to pinpoint, but with this Croatia travel guide, it’s bound to be quite the love affair.
With its long, resplendent coastline and charming cities – it’s no wonder that Croatia is the country in Europe that’s on everyone’s lips. Over 1,200 islands and a rich history that’s always peeking out from the country’s cosmopolitan culture – you can see why it’s become one of Europe’s fastest growing tourist destinations.
Picture sun-bleached towns, a cosmopolitan capital city, one of the world’s most under-appreciated wine regions and a near-untouched inland landscape.
Sounds almost too good to be true, right?
Croatia may seem like it’s been plucked from a different world – indeed, resting at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, it’s a destination like no other.
Whether you’re looking for the best things to do or details about when to go and where to go when you do, I’ve got you covered with this Croatia travel guide.
Next up is the second-largest city in Croatia, Split. Offering a wonderful blend of ancient and modern attractions, set against a rugged mountain backdrop, and meeting turquoise ocean water, it’s a must. Book your stay at Hotel Ambasador.
For an adventure brimming with culture, loads of history, and stunning architecture, stay in Hvar. Immersing yourself in its world-renowned dance parties and club scene is an experience unlike anything else. Stay at Heritage Hotel Dea Hvar.
Finally, staying in Zagreb will never disappoint. Although it’s relatively small, it packs a punch with the best in local cuisine, a thriving nightlife scene, and various free attractions. Book a room at Maistra City Vibes.
A sturdy pair of hiking trainers for heading out to Croatia’s natural attractions.
A no-brainer when it comes to Croatia travel tips is to get yourself the best travel insurance possible.
Although Croatia is one of the safest destinations in Europe, travel insurance protects you against expenses due to illness, injury, theft, or trip cancellations. AXA Travel Insurance is affordable and offers comprehensive coverage.
A captivating mediaeval island, the rumoured birthplace of Marco Polo, and one of the best-preserved historic centres in Europe, visiting Korçula is a must.
Highlights include St. Mark’s Cathedral and wine tasting in the island’s little-known vineyards.
Escape to Karlovac
Karlovac is one of those lesser-known gems you shouldn’t skip when visiting Croatia. It’s about an hour from Zagreb, and most come to visit the local brewery, Karlovacko, where you can taste one of the best beers in Croatia.
Enjoy Oysters in Mali Ston
Dating back to the 14th century, the region of Mali Ston began life as a military fortification. These days it’s far more famous for its oysters. Learn about the industry and treat your tastebuds to the best oysters around.
Listen to the Sea Organ, Zadar
Tucked beneath a set of steps below the seaside town of Zadar, The Sea Organ is almost unbelievable. It’s surreal to hear the music, similar to whale calls, from its 35 tubes as the wind and sea come together.
See Ancient Ruins in Pula
It can be easy to forget that Croatia was once part of the Roman empire. Dalmatia, as it was then known, was a Roman province and the birthplace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian.
Pula in Croatia serves as a living reminder of this history: with its Roman amphitheatre and smattering of other Roman ruins. These are accompanied by numerous beaches on the quiet shores of the Istrian peninsula.
How to See the Best of Croatia for Free
When you’re travelling through Croatia on a budget, rest assured that there are many ways to experience its highlights without breaking the bank.
Strolling through Dubrovnik’s Old Town or visiting Diocletian’s Palace in Split are both free. You can also roam around the Roman Ruins in Pula at no cost.
Nature lovers can explore Maksimir Park in Zagreb, while you can wander the country’s beaches or go cliff diving without paying a cent.
Dishes to Try in Croatia
Lamb Peka – Slow-cooked lamb with vegetables and potatoes.
Burek – Baked pastry with either meat or cheese filling.
Štrukli – Crepe-like pancake with a sweet or savoury filling.
Dalmatian Platter – A platter of prosciutto-style ham and local cheese.
Top Drinks in Croatia
Croatian Wine – Variety of red, white, and rose wines, such as Malvasia or Grasevina.