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Best Places to Visit in Croatia

Best Places to Visit in Croatia-Top Croatia Destinations

Croatia is a diverse country, offering everything from historic cities and ancient ruins to stunning coastlines and national parks. This blog post aims to guide you through the best places to visit in Croatia. I’ll also provide mini travel guides for each recommended destination. Whether you’re planning your first trip or looking to explore beyond the well-trodden path, these insights will help you choose the right spots for your travel itinerary. From the bustling streets of Dubrovnik to the serene islands of the Adriatic, let’s explore what makes Croatia a must-visit for any traveler.

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Best Places to Visit in Croatia Travel Guide

Why Visit Croatia?

Croatia is a treasure trove for travelers seeking a blend of history, natural beauty, and cultural richness. Its coastline stretches along the Adriatic Sea, dotted with more than a thousand islands, each offering a unique escape into nature. The mainland is home to ancient ruins and medieval towns where time seems to stand still.

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Croatian cuisine, influenced by diverse regional traditions, promises a delightful culinary journey. Moreover, the country’s relatively compact size and well-connected transport options make it easy to experience its varied landscapes. From the serene beaches of the Dalmatian Coast to the lush forests of its national parks. Croatia offers an unparalleled mix of adventure and relaxation, making it an irresistible destination for all types of travelers.

Top Croatia Travel Destinations

1. Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, often hailed as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic,’ is a stunning testament to medieval architecture and serene sea views. This city is a treasure trove of cultural heritage, set against the backdrop of the crystal-clear Adriatic Sea. From its imposing city walls to the labyrinthine streets of the Old Town, Dubrovnik offers a journey back in time, coupled with modern comforts and breathtaking landscapes.

Mini Travel Guide to Dubrovnik:

  • Top Things to See: Old Town, City Walls, Lovrijenac Fort, and Lokrum Island.
  • Tips for Visiting: Avoid the peak summer months to escape the crowds. Early mornings are best for exploring the City Walls. Don’t miss the chance to enjoy the local cuisine in the backstreets.
  • Other Info: Dubrovnik can be explored on foot, and many of its attractions are within walking distance of each other. Consider a day trip to nearby islands or the Elafiti Islands for a break from the city.

For a more in-depth exploration of what Dubrovnik has to offer check out my full travel guide to Dubrovnik.

2. Split

Best Places to Visit in Croatia

Split, Croatia’s second-largest city, is a vibrant blend of ancient history and modern life. Anchored by the imposing Diocletian’s Palace, Split offers a unique setting where the past is intertwined with everyday life. The city’s dynamic streets, filled with cafes, shops, and bars, pulse with energy, making it a lively hub for both locals and visitors.

Mini Travel Guide to Split:

  • Top Things to See: Diocletian’s Palace, Riva Promenade, Marjan Hill, and the Cathedral of Saint Domnius.
  • Tips for Visiting: Visit early or late in the day to avoid crowds at popular sights. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Riva for a taste of local life.
  • Important Information: Split is a great base for exploring nearby islands like Hvar, Brač, and Vis, with regular ferry connections available.

For a more detailed exploration of Split, check out my full travel guide to Split.

3. Trogir

Best Places to Visit in Croatia

Trogir is a picturesque town set within medieval walls on a tiny island. Linked by bridges to the mainland and the island of Čiovo, it’s known for its well-preserved Romanesque and Renaissance architecture. Walking through its maze of cobblestone streets feels like stepping back in time. There is a peaceful ambiance that’s hard to find in busier destinations.

Mini Travel Guide to Trogir:

  • Top Things to See: The Cathedral of St. Lawrence, the Fortress Kamerlengo, and the charming seafront promenade.
  • Tips for Visiting: Trogir is compact and easily explored on foot. Make sure to climb the cathedral bell tower for breathtaking views of the town and surrounding sea.
  • Important Information: While Trogir is quieter than Dubrovnik or Split, it’s best visited in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall to avoid the peak summer crowds.

For those intrigued by Trogir, be sure to dive into my full travel guide.

4. Plitvice Lakes National Park

Plitvice Lakes National Parks of Croatia

Plitvice Lakes National Park is a natural masterpiece of cascading lakes, waterfalls, and lush forest landscapes. As Croatia’s most popular natural attraction, it showcases sixteen terraced lakes, interconnected by a series of waterfalls and set in deep woodland populated with diverse wildlife. The park offers a serene beauty that changes with the seasons. From vibrant greens in spring and summer to rich golds and reds in autumn, and serene snowscapes in winter, it is a must-visit.

Mini Travel Guide to Plitvice Lakes National Park:

  • Top Things to See: The Big Waterfall (Veliki Slap), the Lower and Upper Lakes, and the panoramic views from the hiking trails.
  • Tips for Visiting: Wear comfortable shoes for the wooden pathways and stairs. Arrive early to avoid crowds and fully enjoy the tranquility of the lakes.
  • Important Information: Entrance is ticketed, and it’s advisable to purchase tickets in advance during peak season. Consider staying nearby to enter the park early or late in the day for the best experience.

For an in-depth exploration and more insider tips on visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park, check out my full travel guide.

5. Krka National Park

Best Places to Visit in Croatia

Krka National Park is a stunning natural wonder located in the heart of Dalmatia. Known for its series of seven beautiful waterfalls, including the famous Skradinski Buk. The park’s rich biodiversity and well-preserved ecosystems make it a paradise for nature lovers and photographers alike. With its easy accessibility from major cities like Split and Trogir, Krka offers visitors the unique opportunity to swim in natural pools right below the waterfalls, a refreshing experience that’s not to be missed.

Mini Travel Guide to Krka National Park:

  • Top Things to See: Skradinski Buk, Roški Slap Waterfall, and the small island of Visovac, home to a Franciscan monastery.
  • Tips for Visiting: Swimming is allowed in designated areas, so don’t forget to bring a swimsuit and towel. Visit in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowds.
  • Important Information: The park is accessible year-round, but swimming is only permitted during the warmer months. Tickets can be purchased online to ensure entry.

For a deeper dive into what makes Krka National Park a must-visit destination, head over to my full travel guide.

6. Slunj/Rastoke

Best Places to Visit in Croatia

Slunj Rastoke is often referred to as the “Small Lakes of Plitvice.” This hidden gem, where the Slunjčica river meets the Korana, is renowned for its picturesque watermills and cascades nestled in a village that seems frozen in time. Rastoke is a place where nature and human history are intricately woven together, showcasing a harmony of natural beauty and centuries-old traditions. It’s a serene spot that offers a glimpse into the quieter, rural life of Croatia, away from the bustling tourist spots.

Mini Travel Guide to Slunj Rastoke:

  • Top Things to See: The watermills, the many small waterfalls, and the charming traditional houses.
  • Tips for Visiting: Take your time to wander and explore the village on foot; it’s the best way to appreciate its beauty and tranquility.
  • Important Information: Rastoke is perfect for a day trip or a relaxing stopover on your way to or from Plitvice Lakes. The village has accommodations and restaurants serving local cuisine, making it a cozy place to stay.

For those looking to discover the peaceful charm of Croatia’s countryside, dive into my full travel guide to Slunj Rastoke.

7. Island Hopping in Croatia

During my travels in Croatia, one regret was not having the opportunity to explore the myriad of enchanting islands that dot the Adriatic Sea. Each island boasts its unique charm, history, and natural beauty, making island hopping an irresistible adventure for any visitor to Croatia. While I didn’t personally experience these island gems, they come highly recommended and I’m confident they would have been highlights of my journey.

Popular Croatian Islands to Visit:

  • Hvar: Known for its sunny days, lavender fields, and vibrant nightlife, Hvar is a favorite among travelers seeking both natural beauty and a lively atmosphere.
  • Korčula: Often referred to as “Little Dubrovnik,” this island is famed for its medieval squares, churches, and beautiful old town, rich in history and culture.
  • Brač: Home to the iconic Zlatni Rat beach, Brač is not just about stunning beaches but also offers hiking and wine tasting opportunities.
  • Vis: A bit more secluded, Vis is ideal for those looking to escape the crowds. It’s known for its untouched landscapes, exquisite seafood, and the mesmerizing Blue Cave on the nearby Biševo Island.
  • Mljet: Much of Mljet is a national park, making it a haven for nature lovers and those looking to enjoy serene lakes and lush forests.

These islands, each with their distinct character, are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Croatia’s island treasures. For anyone planning their Croatian adventure, dedicating time to explore these islands is a must.

Tips for Picking the Best Places to Visit in Croatia for Your Trip

  1. Consider Your Interests: Croatia offers a diverse range of experiences, from historical tours to outdoor adventures. Reflect on what you enjoy most—be it exploring ancient ruins, hiking through national parks, or lounging on beaches—to guide your choices.
  2. Account for Costs: Moving between islands can add up, so factor in transportation costs when planning your itinerary. Consider ferries, private tours, and even local flights as part of your budget.
  3. Balance Nature and History: Croatia is rich in both natural beauty and historical sites. Aim to allocate equal time to exploring its verdant national parks and its ancient city streets to fully appreciate its diversity.
  4. Travel Season: The time of year you visit can significantly affect your experience. Summer offers vibrant nightlife and beach weather but also brings crowds. Spring and fall provide milder weather and fewer tourists, ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities.
  5. Stay Duration: Consider how long you plan to stay. Short trips may benefit from focusing on one or two places, while longer stays can accommodate more extensive exploration, including island hopping.
  6. Local Cuisine: Don’t miss out on Croatia’s culinary delights. Research regions known for specific dishes or wine varieties. Some destinations might offer unique culinary experiences that could become a highlight of your trip.
  7. Accessibility: Check how easy it is to get to your chosen destinations. Some islands or attractions might require multiple modes of transport to reach, which could influence your decision based on your comfort and mobility levels.
  8. Cultural Festivals: Look into any festivals or events happening during your visit. Experiencing a local festival can provide a unique insight into Croatian culture and traditions, making your trip even more memorable.


Croatia’s allure lies in its stunning diversity, from historic cities to breathtaking natural landscapes and idyllic islands. As you plan your journey to the best places to visit in Croatia, remember to blend your interests with practical considerations like budget and season.

Whether you’re meandering through medieval streets, lounging by the Adriatic, or exploring lush national parks, Croatia promises a rich tapestry of experiences. Use these tips to craft an itinerary that captures the essence of Croatia, tailored just for you. Here’s to discovering your best places to visit in Croatia, where every corner holds a new adventure.

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Best Places to Visit in Croatia