The 20 Best Places to Go in Croatia

Featuring a long Adriatic Sea coastline and encompassing over 1,000 islands, the beautiful Eastern European country of Croatia offers something for everyone.

Are you looking for amazing nature, sandy beaches, crazy nightlife, historical sites, welcoming people or cool sport activities? 

Discover Croatia and enjoy in all of these! 

Here are some of the best places to go in Croatia.

Let's go! 

  • 1. Experience Dubrovnik from the sea and discover a magical city

    Known as the "pearl of the Adriatic", Dubrovnik is one of the most stunning cities in Europe and one of the best places to go in Croatia.

    This gorgeous city's long and turbulent history is ever-present, especially in the "Old Town" (a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979). Long since regarded by Croats as a symbol of freedom, the city walls (which you can walk along) are a must-see! 

    Dubrovnik does, however, offer more than just an abundance of history.

    A fully functional city, it is also a magnificent holiday resort with amazing beaches, activities and some of Croatia's finest shops, restaurants and tavernas. Offering something for everyone, this wonderful city is also an excellent base from which to explore the surrounding regions.

    Time Out offer some great tips on what to do when staying in Dubrovnik.

    Don't miss to make the Dubrovnik Sea Kayak Tour and discover the old city, paddeling around the medieval walls and to the island of Lokrum. 
  • 2. Explore Rovinj and its lovely narrow streets

    Perfectly blending its long, colourful history with 21st Century European resort trappings, the active fishing port of Rovinj - the Istria region's 'jewel' - is quite rightly among the best places to go in Croatia. 

    Officially bilingual (Croatian and Italian) and undoubtedly one of Europe's most unique towns due to its long history of various countries and empires fighting over it (including the Roman, Byzantine, Frankish and Austrian Empires, Italy and Yugoslavia), Rovinj never leaves you short of something to do.
    In addition to numerous gorgeous beaches, the town features two must-see attractions - the stunning 18th Century Saint Euphemia Cathedral and its 60m bell tower and the Rovinj food market, where you can find a vast range of fabulous Croatian produce - and an array of exquisite restaurants.

    ‘FrankAboutCroatia’ offers some great ideas on what do, facilities and more in Rovinj.

    Reserve a table at the Monte restaurant and eat in one of the best restaurants in Croatia.
  • 3. Visit the capital of Croatia Zagreb and discover the upper town

    Situated in Croatia's north-west, Zagreb, the country's capital and its largest city, may lack the appeal of golden beaches, but it still has plenty to offer and certainly deserves its place among the best places to go in Croatia.

    Rich in historical locations and monuments from the city's thousands of years of history, Zagreb is packed with museums and must-see sights in the 'upper town' (Gornji Grad) include the Croatian Parliament, the Presidential Palace and the beautiful Church of St Mark's.

    Then, of course, there are Zagreb's many fantastic stores and shops, which include anything from family-run small shops offering top quality Croatian-made products to international designer boutiques and more. 

    'Foodies' will also thoroughly enjoy the city’s vast choice of fine restaurants, cares, coffee shops and delicious street food vendors.

    You can read more about Zagreb HERE.

    Reserve a table at the Stara Vura restaurant in the upper town and relax with a glass of good wine and excellent food in an unique ambiente. It's a completely rennovated part of the Museum's of Zagreb cellar.
  • 4. Travel to the second largest Croatian city Split and explore the Diocletian Palace

    Located alongside the Adriatic Sea's shores, Split is Croatia's second-largest city and the largest city in the region of Dalmatia. It is also one of Europe's oldest and most exuberant, exciting cities - and one of the best places to go in Croatia.

    In addition to offering a host of breath-taking cultural and historical sites (the Diocletian's Palace, one of the most formidable Roman ruins in existence today, in particular is a must-visit), the city is also home to some of Croatia's finest beaches, including the famous Blue Flag Bacvice beach and the equally popular Firule, Ovcice and Trstenik beaches. 

    Split also offers a wealth of fantastic shopping opportunities including traditional Croatian arts & crafts shops, dazzling designer stores and - something not to be missed - the daily market. At night, the city comes alive with a multitude of restaurants offering both traditional Croatian and international cuisine, cafes, bars and live music & dance venues.

    ‘VisitCroatia’ has a very detailed guide to Split, its history, things to do and more.
  • 5. Discover Rogoznica the biggest marina on the Adriatic sea

    Situated mid-way between Sibenik and Trogir (Sibenik-Knin County, central Dalmatia), Rogoznica sits on a part of Croatia that protrudes far into the Adriatic Sea not far from the famed Cape Planka.

    Developed into one of the best places to go in Croatia within one of the Adriatic's most protected bays, Rogoznica forms part of the popular 'Rogoznica Riviera', which stretches around 50 km along the coast of the Adriatic Sea.
    Home to the Adriatic's most modern, biggest marina (Marina Frapa), which is also well-known as a fantastic place for dance parties, night clubs and other great entertainment, Rogoznica is famous for its mild Mediterranean climate, pebble beaches, Mediterranean vegetation and pine forests, as well as its wonderful Dalmatian fish specialty restaurant and, of course, the unique geomorphological phenomenon known as the "Dragon's Eye". 

    Created around 10,000 years ago (following the last ice age), this some 15-m deep sea lake (or rather, the water in it) apparently 'boils' every 30 years, resulting in the death of every organism living in it. One of the best places to go in Croatia in its own right, the lake is surrounded by a multitude of legends concerning its emergence and owes its name to one of them, according to which it is home to a dragon.

    Learn more about the "Dragon's Eye" legends here.
  • 6. Relax on the beach of the fisherman village Njivice and try some amazing sea food

    Situated in the beautiful Croatian island Krk's stunning Kvarner Bay, the former small fishing village of Njivice is now one of the best places to go in Croatia.

    While the beaches closest to Njivice predominantly consist of a mixture of sand, stone and pebbles, those who don't mind wandering a little further afield will find some of the region's finest pebble beaches and hidden coves perfect for relaxing in peace and swimming in the Adriatic Sea's stunning blue waters.

    A wonderful selection of traditional Croatian food & goods, designer jewellery, beautiful clothes and many other shops makes this town one of the best places to go in Croatia for shopaholics.

    For foodies, the promenade, seafront and the area around the harbour offer a fantastic collection of quaint cafes, bars and restaurants offering sumptuous Croatian and international culinary delights. 

    If You are looking to eat some exuisite food until 5 p.m., the Konoba Nora offers You a discount of 10%. 

    Reserve a table at the Rivica restaurant, one of the best restaurants in whole Croatia. 

    Tripadvisor has a great list of things to do in Njivice - check it out here.
  • 7. Come to Malinska and explore the golden island of Krk

    Located on Krk's Western Coast, Malinska is among the best places to go in Croatia because it is both sheltered from the blustery Adriatic Winds and blessed with a comparatively flat landscape packed with gorgeous woodland areas and some of the finest Adriatic beaches. 

    Whether you hope to relax in peace and quiet on golden sands or wish to get some excitement with sports and other activities; whether you want to explore the surrounding region or simply want to enjoy some of the finest Mediterranean and specialist local seafood cuisine in one of its many restaurants and taverna's, Malinska is among the best places to go in Croatia because it has something to offer for everyone

    Reserve a table at Konoba Bracera and enjoy some sea food, fished the same day by the owner. 

    This video shows some great aerial shots of Malinska
  • 8. Go to Baska and have a great beach holiday

    Sitting right at the end of Krk's beautiful South-Eastern Coast, Baska is a stunning town located where Vela Rika, the island's only river, meets the sea.

    Forming a crescent around the glorious Baska beach, Baska is rapidly becoming one of the best places to go in Croatia, if for no other reason than its stunning Vela Plaza beach. Renowned for its golden sands and cleanliness, this famous beach is also home to one of the best beach bars in Europe, the Blue Bar

    A fantastic place for shopping, bars and both Croatian and international restaurants, Baska is also great as a base from which to explore the wider surrounding area and nearby islands. 

    Find some great ideas for things to do in Baska here.
  • 9. Choose the best things to do in Opatija Croatia

    Overlooking beautiful Kvarner Bay from its location on the Istrian Peninsula, Opatija is the region's longest established resort and one of the most popular, best places to go in Croatia. 

    Offering beautiful countryside, long sandy beaches and many splendid architectural and historic sites (must-see sites include Zvonko Car's stunning, somewhat wondrous "Maiden and the Seagull" statue), Opatija is great for relaxing days on the beach, water sports and many other fun activities.

    Providing visitors with everything you would expect from a modern European resort town, Opatija also boasts some of Croatia's finest traditional Croatian, modern and fine dining European restaurants; entertainment ranging from gentle folk music to modern disco and fantastic shopping opportunities

    This official Opatija Tourist Board video gives you an idea of what you can expect to find in Opatija. 
  • 10. Try some island's finest wine in Vrbnik and enjoy excellent food

    Facing the mainland town of Novi Vinodolski from its 50-m high cliff top location on Krk's eastern part, Vrbnik is the island's oldest place, home to the world's narrowest street and one of the best places to go in Croatia.

    Offering rich cultural heritage, lovely bays along crystal clear sea and many autochthonous restaurants serving delicious traditional cuisine, Vrbnik is also the perfect place to taste golden yellow Zlahtina, the island's finest wine.

    Learn more about this beautiful town here

  • 11. Stay at Novi Vinodolski and experience the Riviera of Crikvenica

    Novi Vinodolski, the cultural, historical and political centre of the Croatian mainland's Vinodol principality, is situated within the mid-part of Croatia's northern coast.

    Rightly placed among the best places to go in Croatia, Novi Vinodolski boasts a very pleasant, mild Mediterranean climate, beautiful evergreen forest vegetation and clear blue seas, not to mention its clean, fresh air. 

    As the cradle of Mazuranic family literates, the town also proudly keeps its memory of the oldest of Croatian low documents, the Vinodol statute. Written in Glagolitica, this document dates back to 1288. 
  • 12. Cover Yourself with black healing mud in Cizici

    Touched by Pine Alley, the island of Krk's trademark, on one side and the sea on the other, Cizici is located within Soline Bay on the island's northern part.

    Boasting healing mud, crystal clear seas and an early start to the swimming season (early spring, due to the sea's high water-temperatures), Cizici is perfect for families, as the beautiful beach borders very shallow water that is only knee-high even 100 m off-shore

    Renowned for its dry-stone walls, traditional architecture, narrow streets and gardens packed with Mediterranean plants, Cizici is among the best places to go in Croatia for having relaxing massages, engaging in an array of sporting activities or simply enjoying some fantastic food in one of the local speciality restaurants.

    It is also a brilliant base from which to explore nearby places of interest, like Biserujka Cave or Dobrinj, a literacy centre of the past where you can find many "glagoljica" inscriptions and documents, for example. 
  • 13. Come to Omisalj and visit ruins of the ancient city of Fulfinum

    Featuring a selection of sandy, pebbly and rocky beaches, Omisalj on the northern part of Krk is an important cultural centre with a mild climate, lots of historical and cultural heritage and a fine selection of restaurants serving, among other delicacies, some of the area's most delicious seafood. 

    This video shows some of Omisalj's many wondrous sights.
  • 14. Have fun in Crikvenica and bring your dog to Monty's beach bar

    Forming part of the "Crikvenica Riviera", which also embraces the towns of Selce, Jadranovo and Dramalj, Crikvenica is located within the Kvarner region, not far from Rijeka city

    Boasting a green, gentle coastline dotted with villas, gardens, parks and sheltered coves, as well as hiking paths and trails into the region's lush mountainous hinterland, Crikvenica has a sandy town beach, pebble beaches and, despite being primarily renowned for its family & health tourism, plenty of entertainment and a vibrant nightlife - making it one of the best places to go in Croatia no matter what your taste may be. 

    Available activities include water sports (diving, water skiing, surfing, sailing, etc.), boat trips, hiking and cycling and local restaurants serve a wide range of tasty seafood delicacies. 

    Find out more about Crikvenica here.
  • 15. Travel to Grizane and relax your senses in middle of the nature

    Located just 5 km from Crikvenica and all it has to offer, the small town of Grizane is a fairly new Croatian tourist destination boasting a nearby paragliding centre (on Tic Hill, which also offers magnificent views over Vinodol Valley, Drivenik Castle and Lake Tribalj), as well as numerous forest tracks leading into pristine, untouched nature.

    A haven of peace for those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, Grizane is also the ideal place for anyone who loves tracking, mountaineering, cycling and other adrenaline-pumping activities. Learn more.
  • 16. Make holiday in Selce, a picturesque seaside resort in the Kvarner Bay

    Situated within a picturesque cove close to Crikvenica, Selce is an award-winning Adriatic resort with stunning natural scenery, wonderfully clean sea, well-tended Blue Flag beaches, a delightful seaside promenade and a multitude of sporting, cultural and entertainment events including, among others, concerts, folklore and painting exhibitions; visitor sport-fishing, sailing regattas, waterfront fish festivals and much, much more.

    There is also a diving centre & school, as well as plenty of water sports facilities. 

    Check out some fantastic Selce views here
  • 17. Stay at the fisherman village Jadranovo and eat fresh sea-food

    Renowned for its unspoilt natural surroundings and beautiful scenery; numerous secluded, romantic beaches and coves; tranquil pine forests, seaside walks and a network of criss-crossing hinterland walking trails, Jadranovo on the "Crikvenica Riviera" is the perfect choice for peaceful, quiet holidays.

    In addition to its stunning scenery, the town also has a gorgeous coastal promenade and, boasting a long tradition of never-failing, welcoming hospitality, a fine range of gastronomic choices. Here are some of the best restaurants in and around Jadranovo.

  • 18. Discover the island of Murter and swimmm in the crystal clear water

    Connected to mainland Croatia via a 12-m long draw bridge, the island of Murter is situated at Kornati National Park entrance. There are four settlements on this beautiful island:

    Murter, the oldest and largest of the settlements, which has a fascinating, valuable architectural ambience and is home to Slanica Cove and one of the Sibenik Riviera's most beautiful beaches.

    Betina, which is regarded as one of the Adriatic's most beautiful places and is home to a marina, a local beach and almost 100 small family run shipyards.

    Jezera, the smallest settlement, which spreads around a sheltered bay and has recently developed into one of central Dalmatia's strongest fishing centres.

    Tisno, the island's youngest town, which has, due to the vast votive pilgrimage to "Our Lady of Caravaggio", become a very important religious centre.

    Rightly deserving its title as one of the best places to go in Croatia, the island also offers a great selection of taverns and restaurants, as well as organised boat trips to the Kornati islands.

    The famous travel blog Placesofjuma shows you what to see and do on the beautiful island of Murter.
  • 19. Eat the best lamb on the island of Cres

    Offering anything from historic towns, monasteries, churches and charming fishing villages to secluded pebble coves, beautiful seaside walks and the "Caput Insulae Eco Centre", which is dedicated to preserving the rare resident griffon vultures, and much, much more, the island of Cres is full of natural and man-made wonders well worth exploring - and without doubt one of the best places to go in Croatia. 

    Find out more about things to do on the island of Cres and discover amazing places.

  • 20. Visit Zadar and enjoy the most beautiful sunset in the World

    Zadar  is the oldest continuously inhabited Croatian city. It is situated by the  seacoast of the Adriatic, at the northwestern part of Ravni Kotari region and faces the islands of Ugljan and Pasman, from which it is separated by the narrow Zadar Strait. 
    Zadar serves as the seat of Zadar County and the wider northern Dalmatian region.

    The town of 3,000-year history situated in the heart of the Adriatic Sea, was crowned with the title of the best European Destination 2016 by the European Best Destination Website. It was also named the “perfect city break in Croatia” by the Times and “Croatia’s new capitol of cool” by the Guardian.

    It has a unique Zadar Riva, perfect for a stroll, especially at night when the sky is clear enough so it’s possible to see the stars and the moon. There is even a great event dedicated to the full moon on the Zadar Riva, called “Noc punog miseca”.

    Situated on the western part of the Zadar Riva is the Sea Organ, where the Adriatic plays it’s endless melody; near it there is another unusual modern sight – The greeting to the Sun.

    The greeting to the Sun is a disc-shaped art installation made out of solar-powered cells that start to glow in all the colours of the rainbow as the sun sets.

    Going in the opposite direction from these sights will get you to the oldest University in Croatia – The Zadar University founded by the Dominicans in 1396 as Universitas Iadertina, a theological seminary, Iadera being the Latin version of Zadar.  Not far from the University, there is a small port called Fosa and one of the best fish restaurants in Croatia that bears it’s name - “Fosa”.

    Above the Fosa area, there is a famous entrance to the old town that was once the main entrance, a Renaissance masterpiece designed by Michele Sanmicheli in 1543, that is considered one of the most beautiful monuments from the Venetian rule in all of Dalmatia – “Kopnena vrata” or the Landward Gate

    The Landward Gate is sometimes called “Lavlja vrata” or “the Lion’s Gate”, because it bears the statue of the Lion of Saint Mark - a symbol of the Republic of Venice. These gates are the part of the Zadar’s fortification system, which has been declared a UNESCO World Herritage Site in 2017.

    From other sites in Zadar there are also Five Wells SquareQueen Jelena Madijevka Park (one of the oldest parks in Croatia), Petar Zoranic SquarePeople’s Square (Narodni Trg), KalelargaForum SquareSt. Donatus Church.

    In Zadar there is a large selection of different restaurantskonobas and there are many cool bars which you can visit. The bar scene is especially flourishing near the university building and in a part of town called Varos.
    Zadar has a lot of interesting museums too, and probably the most interesting ones are the Museum of Ancient GlassArcheological Museum and Museum of Illusions

    There are a lot of things that aren’t mentioned here, because to describe them all a book would have to be written; but all the sensations offered by this beautiful town, in their intensity, could be compared to nothing less than to sensations risen by the beautiful sunset it has. Of the sunset in Zadar Alfred Hitchcock  said in May 1964: “Zadar has the most beautiful sunset in the world, more beautiful than the one in Key West, in Florida, applauded at every evening.”.

    Visit this blog post about Zadar for more info and amazing pictures. 

Ivan Peric, last update: 16.08.2019.


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