When travelling around Europe, you should make it a point to explore the fascinating country of Croatia. It may not be Europe’s most popular tourist destination, but once you visit, you’ll realise it has many beautiful places you won’t find anywhere else. From stunning islands to historic cities and breathtaking landscapes, a trip to Croatia will leave you with memories to treasure for the rest of your life.
Best places to visit in Croatia
Zadar is a stunning walled city in the mid-coast of Croatia, with a lovely town centre peppered with ancient Roman ruins, Byzantine churches, and Romanesque cathedrals. Sitting on a peninsula, Zadar is the best place for history buffs, and anyone interested in exploring stunning nature.
Zadar’s defensive walls are UNESCO-recognised. It has a tree-lined promenade, a fun place to stroll and marvel at the stunning ocean views. The area has cute boutiques, shops, cool cafes and bars, a perfect place to rest between sightseeing. Don’t forget to explore its famous ruins and visit some fantastic museums, including the Museum of Illusions.
The uncrowded Adriatic beaches are also among the things to look forward to on your visit to Zadar. Sakarun is the most popular sandy beach in the region, which lies in the northern part of the island of Dugi Otok. The gorgeous cove is renowned for its fine white sand and the turquoise-blue water.
Zadar can also make an ideal jumping-off point for those visiting the stunning Plitvice Lakes National Park. The park is two hours away from the city, with many great stops including beautiful beaches. Plitvice Lakes is a haven for nature lovers and a fantastic place to enjoy outdoor adventures, such as hiking and kayaking.
With so many beautiful places to see in the country, consider a luxury tour in Croatia, a great way to explore many popular areas in one trip. Many of these tours begin in Split, hailed as the gateway to the Dalmatian Islands. Sitting by the sparkling Adriatic Sea, Split offers an irresistible mix of history, great food, and charming alleyways.
Sitting beside the sparkling harbour of Split is the Diocletian’s Palace, one of the most famous landmarks of Croatia and the highlight of your visit to Split. These Roman ruins look very impressive with their jumble of narrow streets and alleyways. The area is also home to great cafes, bars, restaurants, and shops alongside medieval churches and ancient ruins.
Head to the beaches of Split if you want to escape from the tourist crowds. The stunning stretch of coastline from Park Pomoraca to Lučica Zenta is where you’ll find some of the city’s most beautiful beaches. It has an impressive collection of sandy and pebbly beaches, idyllic coves, and promenades. The area offers the perfect setting for relaxation after a day of sightseeing.
Pula is a lovely island at the southern tip of the Istrian Peninsula. The island is historically charming, home to a beautifully preserved Roman Amphitheatre, the Pula Arena. Although the historical sights are the main reasons visitors head to Pula, you’ll find many other great things to explore in this historic city.
When you go sightseeing in Pula, you’ll come across many historical sights, allowing you to understand more about the history of the place. The Pula Arena is the most popular of these sights, a Roman amphitheatre built in the 1st Century AD. Although what you’ll see now are ruins, you can still imagine the arena full of people cheering at the gruesome gladiator fights. Aside from the Pula Arena, the other historical sights you’ll find as you explore the city are the Pula Forum, the Temple of Augustus, and the Pula Cathedral.
Once you have your fill of historical sights, take the time to visit other places in Pula, such as the expansive Pula Market Hall. It’s a two-story indoor market selling fish and local produce. The market is the perfect place to experience the local culture and sample local fare from the food stalls.
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Since Croatia is home to many islands, the best way to explore the country is on a cruise. It’s a great way to see various cities in one trip. You’ll find many excellent cruise excursions in Croatia, with Dubrovnik being a popular stopping point. Set along the sparkling Adriatic Sea, the enchanting city is famous for its medieval walls, impressive churches and squares dating to the Gothic and Renaissance periods.
The Old Town of Dubrovnik is a lovely place to explore on foot. It’s a walled city full of historical wonders. After a day of sightseeing, sit at one of the outdoor cafes or shop at the stalls selling souvenirs and local handicrafts.
As mentioned, Dubrovnik is a stopping point for various cruises around Croatia, thanks to its strategic position along the Adriatic Sea. Thus, one of the best things to do in the city is book a cruise. You can charter boats or join sailing tours that take you to the nearby islands, such as the Elafiti Islands, where you can swim at the beach or enjoy other water activities, such as kayaking.
Zagreb is Croatia’s capital city and one of the places you cannot miss when visiting the country. Lying along the northwest section of the country, flanked by the scenic river Sava, Zagreb is a charming city with a host of quirky attractions.
The city is walkable, so the best way to explore is on foot. Zagreb’s Old Town is the best starting point, where you’ll find its many great attractions, including the Zagreb Cathedral. Other points of interest are the St Mark Church, Dolac Market, and the museum of broken relationships.
Plant lovers should visit the Zagreb Botanical Garden, a gorgeous garden from 1889 with over 10,000 plant species. You’ll especially love the Botanical Garden’s Arboretum, resembling a traditional English-style garden. What’s great about the Zagreb Botanic Garden is that it’s free to enter, and there’s an English-speaking tour available.
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