15 Popular Places To Go In Croatia

Croatia is not the best-kept secret in Europe.

It has been a favoured travel destination for almost a century now, but earlier on, it was mostly visited by Europeans from Germany and Central Europe.

Even my grandparents used to drive down here for a summer vacation in the 50s.

15 Popular Places To Go In Croatia

Croatia is not the best-kept secret in Europe.

It has been a favoured travel destination for almost a century now, but earlier on, it was mostly visited by Europeans from Germany and Central Europe.

Even my grandparents used to drive down here for a summer vacation in the 50s.

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

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popular places to go in Croatia boats on beach

A lot has changed in the last two decades. Croatia joined the European Union and started recently using the euro.

Overall, the country’s tourism has grown exponentially, and there are many popular places to go in Croatia. 

For a small country of 4 million, Croatia sees a whopping 20 million visitors each year. 

With more than 1700 km of coastline of the stunning Adriatic coast and over 1200 islands, Croatia manages to welcome them all.

There are beautiful cities, national parks, gorgeous islands and small villages to see so let’s focus on the popular places to go in Croatia.

Here is my curated list of 15 must-visit popular places to go in Croatia:

1. Dubrovnik

Known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” Dubrovnik’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, featuring well-preserved medieval walls, baroque buildings, and picturesque cobblestone streets.

It is one of the most popular places to go in Croatia, and it gained popularity after being used as the location for the Game of Thrones series.

The famous Game of Thrones Walking Tour in Dubrovnik is still going strong!

The Old Town is small, where visitors spend most of their time.

However, Dubrovnik also offers lovely city beaches and residential areas outside the Old Town.

It’s a beautiful place to take a sunset cruise and watch the colours change across the water.

Dubrovnik - popular places to go in Croatia

2. Plitvice Lakes National Park

This is Croatia’s most visited national park and probably the most loved.

Nature lovers will be awe-struck by the beauty of this UNESCO-listed park, and I recommend spending a whole day here. 

The park is home to cascading waterfalls, crystal-clear lakes, and lush greenery, perfect for hiking and exploring.

I have visited during spring, summer, and autumn; each experience was so memorable that it is hard to say when the best time to visit is. 

The summer months tend to be busy as this is one of the most popular places to go in Croatia, so I suggest visiting during the shoulder season.

The park has many hiking routes connected with boat rides, and a train also operates there.

Places in Croatia Plitvice

3. Split

Immerse yourself in history as you wander through Split’s ancient streets, highlighted by the magnificent Diocletian’s Palace, a Roman emperor’s retirement home turned bustling hub of shops, cafes, and galleries. 

Split is the second-largest city in Croatia, but it feels cosy.

My favourite thing in the morning is to stroll along the harbour promenade known as Riva as the city wakes up. 

Don’t miss the local market near the old city.

If you’re looking for an excellent day trip, I recommend this full-day catamaran cruise to the Hvar and Pakleni Islands; it’s gorgeous out there!

Places in Croatia Split
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4. Hvar Island

I have visited a few islands in Croatia, and Hvar remains one of my favourites.

With its pristine beaches, lavender fields, and vibrant nightlife, Hvar is a haven for sun-seekers and party enthusiasts. 

The Old Town is a nice place to relax on long summer nights and enjoy a delicious dinner before it becomes a busy party spot. 

You can walk up to the top of the fortress for epic views or go to the lesser-known Pakleni Islands; we’ll discuss those later.

Places in Croatia Hvar

5. Rovinj

I visited Rovinj in search of a smaller and less touristy Dubrovnik lookalike.

Locals recommended Rovinj, and I fell in love. 

This romantic seaside town in Istria is a photographer’s paradise, with its colourful houses, narrow alleys, and panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea. 

There are small art galleries and, once again, excellent food with a heavy focus on seafood.

Rovinj is in Istria, the foodie part of Croatia. Make sure you indulge in a few dining experiences while here and explore the town’s art galleries, shops, and seafood restaurants.

If Rovinj isn’t renowned as one of the most popular places to go in Croatia yet, it’s only a matter of time.

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Places in Croatia Rovinj

6. Zagreb

Croatia’s capital city offers a blend of historic charm and modern vibrancy, and it has an entirely different feel from other coastal towns such as Split or Dubrovnik. 

Zagreb is simply a reflection of the past. The architecture, which includes some newer communist-style buildings from the 1980s, shows the strong influence of the former Austro-Hungarian empire. 

Explore the medieval Upper Town, visit St. Mark’s Church, stroll through the lively streets filled with cafes, museums, and parks, or enjoy the weekend market. 

Popular Places to go in Croatia - Zagreb
Zagreb is by far one of the most popular places to go in Croatia
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7. Korčula Island

Steeped in history and surrounded by azure waters, Korčula is believed to be the birthplace of Marco Polo (you’ll find a museum dedicated to him), and it is the largest of the islands. 

I love it for its vineyards, its well-preserved medieval architecture and olive groves.

Try the local dessert wine made from the GRK (Grk Bijeli) grape. So delicious. 

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Places in Croatia Korčula

8. Pula

You don’t need to go to Italy to see incredible ancient sights; history buffs will be amazed by Pula’s well-preserved Roman ruins, including the impressive Pula Arena.

Pula Arena is one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world. It dates from the 1st century, when the Roman Empire controlled this part of Croatia.

The Temple of Augustus and the Arch of the Sergii are at the start of the entrance to the old town. The nearby beaches are also worth visiting. 

Plan to go to Italy? Check out these 15 Best Places to Visit in Italy

Places in Croatia Pula

9. Makarska

Makarska is a region of Croatia that attracts European visitors for their week or two-week-long summer holiday.

Between the Biokovo Mountains and the Adriatic Sea, Makarska is known for stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a charming seaside promenade lined with cafes, bars, and palm trees. 

If you feel like a beach holiday, even if it is just for a little bit, this is it. 

Places in Croatia Makarska

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10. Krka National Park

Another natural wonder of Croatia, Krka National Park is renowned for its magnificent waterfalls, emerald pools, and lush forests.

Take a boat ride along the Krka River and swim beneath the cascades.

Some incredible hikes lead you across the park’s wooden walkways and bridge network.

Places in Croatia Krka National Park

11. Trogir

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Trogir is a beautifully preserved medieval town on a small island between the mainland and Čiovo Island.

Explore its labyrinthine streets, ancient churches, and Venetian architecture.

The 13th-century cathedral is one of Trogir’s most iconic landmarks, and you can explore the Kamerlengo Fortress, built in the 15th century by the Venetians.

Places in Croatia Trogir
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12. Brač Island

Escape the crowds and discover the unspoiled beauty of Brač Island.

It is known for its rugged coastline, hidden coves, and the iconic Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn) beach, a paradise for windsurfers and sunbathers.

Brac Island is famous for its olive oil production, with olive trees covering much of its landscape.

Olive cultivation has been a tradition in Brac for centuries, and many local families still produce their olive oil using traditional methods.

You can learn about olive oil production by visiting local olive groves and mills. 

Places in Croatia Brač

13. Šibenik

Home to the stunning St. James Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Šibenik is a charming coastal town with a rich history and picturesque waterfront.

Explore its medieval streets and nearby fortresses.

Šibenik also hosts numerous cultural events and festivals annually, celebrating its rich heritage and contemporary art scene.

From the International Children’s Festival to the Šibenik Cultural Summer, there’s always something happening in the city, including music concerts, theatre performances, and art exhibitions.

Join a guided evening walking tour to learn more about this fascinating city.

Places in Croatia Šibenik

14. Kornati Islands 

For an off-the-beaten-path adventure, head to the Kornati Islands, a breathtaking archipelago of 140 uninhabited islands and islets!

The Kornati Islands are a paradise for boaters, sailors, and nature lovers, offering numerous opportunities for adventure and relaxation.

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Visitors can explore the islands by boat, yacht, or kayak, navigating through labyrinthine channels and discovering secluded beaches, underwater caves, and vibrant marine life. 

Snorkelling and diving are popular activities, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the Adriatic’s underwater world, teeming with colourful fish, sea turtles, and coral reefs.

Places in Croatia Kornati Islands

15. Dubrovnik Riviera

Indulge in luxury and relaxation along the Dubrovnik Riviera, dotted with upscale resorts, pristine beaches, and scenic coastal villages like Cavtat and Mlini, offering a perfect blend of serenity and sophistication. 

It is nice to escape the tourist crowds for a day or an afternoon and head out of Dubrovnik, one of the most popular places to go in Croatia.

Don’t miss our EUROPE CITY GUIDES

popular places to go in Croatia Cavtat

And that’s if you’re looking for a short list of amazing and popular places to go in Croatia, maybe even this summer.

Whether you’re seeking adventure, culture, or relaxation, Croatia has something for everyone to discover and enjoy and let’s not forget that Croatian cuisine is delicious!

Travel Tips for Europe

We have many travel guides and tips for Europe— an incredible continent!

Are you travelling on a budget? These ten cheapest European countries will help you plan an itinerary that lets you see as much as possible while there.

Furthermore, if you plan to travel long-term (or at least until the money runs out), these 21 cheapest countries to visit will help you make your hard-earned dollars stretch a bit further.

Delicious cuisine can be enjoyed across Europe, and our food map of Europe will inspire your culinary journey.

For food lovers, don’t miss our top 10 best countries for foodies, a couple of them are located in Europe.

Here are 8 things to know about travelling to Eastern Europe and it’s good to know these 7 misconceptions about Eastern Europe too.

These top 6 travel hacks to save money are great to read when planning your travels.

You’ll need to stay connected while travelling in Europe. We recommend eSIM. It’s easy, reliable and affordable. View eSIMs for individual European countries, or consider a regional eSIM for Europe (which covers 39 countries).

If your travels in Europe are part of a much larger global adventure, then a Global eSIM may be the answer. It connects you in 124 countries, offering data-only eSIM and data/call/text eSIM. The Global eSIM has been a game-changer; we couldn’t imagine travelling without it now.

If you want to travel with like-minded travellers, consider joining a group tour. View the best deals on group tours in Europe.

Check out our best-ever travel tips compiled from more than twenty years of experience.

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