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What to see in Croatia

Croatia's popularity as a European holiday destination has grown rapidly over the last few decades. There is much to see and do along its magnificent coastline, boasting over 1000 islands, islets, and reefs. Most visitors come to Croatia for the cruising, boating and beaches, but the country also boasts cultural attractions and plenty of ancient history.Many of Croatia's cities are built on the sites of ancient Greek and Roman settlements dating from as far back as the 4th century BC. Explore the Roman ruins in Zagreb and Split, stroll through the cobblestone streets of the fairytale medieval villages, or just enjoy taking in the local cuisine and history. The Croatian History Museum in Zagreb features an impressive display of Neanderthal remains, while culture vultures will enjoy a trip to the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb.Dubrovnik, and in particular its medieval old city, is one of Croatia's top holiday destinations, boasting exquisite beaches along its rugged coastline and a very picturesque cityscape. Split is a great base for exploring the Dalmation coast and is a breathtakingly beautiful old town. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and promises some exciting attractions, such as the city of Trogir and Brac Island just off shore.Spring and autumn are good seasons to visit as milder weather, fewer crowds, and lower prices mean tourists can explore the country more freely; however, summer (June to August) is peak season and the best time to enjoy the country's stunning beaches.Travelling by bus is economical, while ferries and catamarans are the only mode of transport to the islands and a way of life on the coast. For a more relaxed but slightly more expensive option, hiring a car allows visitors to get off the beaten track and explore the stunning country at a leisurely pace.


Brac Island

Brac's main claim to fame is the strip of beach near the resort of Bol that stretches out like a finger into the sea, featuring on almost all Croatian tourist brochures. Brac is the largest of the central Dalmatian group of islands and its major agricultural products are wine, olive oil, and fruit. The island is also known for its exported white stone, which was even used to build Washington DC's White House.Bol and Supetar are the two main resorts on Brac, with attractive old towns and a laidback charm. Bol is the windsurfing capital of Croatia, and Brac is a great destination for a number of watersports. The rest of the island boasts numerous villages and dramatic coastal scenery.Like much of Croatia, the beaches on Brac Island are mainly rocky, boasting stunningly clear blue water and calm seas. If you are desperate to find a sandy beach head down to Lovrecina, which has its own beach bar and restaurant and is a lovely spot to spend the day. Brac is generally less crowded than Split and other popular areas on Croatia's mainland, but can get very busy during the peak summer months.

Website :

Diego Delso

Croatian National Theatre

The building housing the Croatian National Theatre (or HNK Zagreb) is as much a national treasure as the world-class theatre, opera, music, and ballet productions that take place on its stage. Construction began on the theatre building in 1894, with Croatian artist Vlaho Bukovac painting the ceremonial curtain while Viennese artist Alexander Goltz decorated the ceiling of the auditorium.The building was officially opened by Austro-Hungarian emperor Franz-Joseph I at the end of 1895. The theatre is owned and operated by the Croatian Ministry of Culture and it is constantly busy with full performing arts programmes. At the entrance to the theatre visitors can see the famed wall fountain called 'The Source of Life', designed by Croatian artist and sculptor Ivan Meštrovic in 1905.The Croatian National Theatre has hosted famous artists and performers from all over the world and culture vultures shouldn't miss seeing a show. If travelling with a group, the mezzanine boxes are a wonderful way to experience the performances together. It's worth taking a walk by simply to admire the building even for those who don't have the time to catch a performance at the venue itself.

Address : Trg Marsala Tita 15

Website :

Judith Duk

Diocletians Palace

Roman Emperor Diocletian, having abdicated his throne in AD 305, decided to spend the last years of his life in Dalmatia and built a palace for that purpose on the bay of Aspalathos, on the south side of a peninsula extending into the Adriatic Sea.The spot he chose is now the very heart of the city of Split and the palace is still one of the city's main tourist attractions. The building and the entire historic Split inner city area around it have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Within the palace walls are a network of narrow cobblestone alleyways that house a mixture of residential apartments, modern shops, cafes and restaurants, ancient Roman relics, and a magnificent cathedral.The palace is interesting in that it was designed to combine a luxurious residence with the defences of a military camp, having towers and fortifications on its landward sides with three monumental gates.Originally situated on the water, the palace is now fronted by the city's popular waterfront promenade and faces onto the harbour. The buildings are made from local white limestone, quarried on the nearby island of Brac.

Judith Duk

Dubrovnik City Walls

The impressive walls enclosing the ancient city of Dubrovnik were laid out in the 13th century and became an ongoing project for almost two centuries. They are among the finest in the world and are featured prominently on the HBO Series, Game of Thrones.The fortified walls are up to 10 feet (3m) thick on the sea side and at least twice as thick on the land side. Made to guard against invasion by the Turks in the 15th century, they reach 82 feet (25m) in height. Visitors can access the walls via a steep stone stairway and once they reach the top they'll be rewarded with superb views over the old city and out to sea.A walk around the old city from this fascinating vantage point is a must for visitors to Dubrovnik. In fact, it's a good way to get acquainted with the city. The detached Lovrjenac Fort to the west of the old city stood guard against both land and sea invasion and is also worth a visit for some stunning views.

Dennis Jarvis

Dubrovnik Port

Lined with palm trees, Dubrovnik's Old Port is a major focal point of the city thanks to its unforgettable scenery. Located right next to the picturesque UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Old Town, the port features great shopping at small markets along its tiny cobblestoned streets as well as fantastic sightseeing opportunities.Known as the 'Jewel of the Adriatic', the beauty and fun of the Old Port makes Dubrovnik a popular cruise port. The cruise liners generally stop off at the modern Port of Gruz in Dubrovnik, which is less than two miles (2,5km) from the Old Town. The old harbour has a rich history as a trading hub and continues this tradition through its delightful markets and quaint shops.Many different kinds of boat tours are operated from the Old Town harbour and these trips offer a wonderful chance to explore the stunning coastline from the water. Many of these tours will point out attractions and landmarks, and provide insights into the port's history and Dubrovnik in general.

Thomas Kohler

Dubrovnik Riviera

There is enough to do in the area surrounding Dubrovnik to fill any holiday and leave visitors desperate for more time. In close proximity to the city of Dubrovnik there are lots of picturesque villages and stunning resorts to explore.About 11 miles (18km) away, on the road to Split, is the quiet bay of Zaton, with its sandy beaches and pine forest. The town has numerous restaurants, a relic of the days when it was the chosen retreat for the aristocrats of the Dubrovnik Republic.The village of Tristeno features the Arboretum, a Gothic-Renaissance park on the coast. In the centre of this village, visitors are awed by two gigantic sycamore trees which are reputedly 500 years old and standing 197ft (60m) tall.Even closer to the city, the towns of Kupari, Srebreno, Mlini, Soline and Plat lie along a chain of hills descending to the rim of Zupa Bay, known as one of the most beautiful resorts on the Dubrovnik Riviera.Here, visitors will find plenty modern hotels offering a variety of watersports to keep guests entertained. Also very close to Dubrovnik is Lapad Beach, a popular sandy beach with a number of bars and restaurants make a lovely spot to while away a sunny afternoon.

August Dominus

Elafiti Islands

A popular excursion from Dubrovnik is a day trip to the offshore islands of Kolocep, Lopud, and Sipan, which are part of a larger archipelago northwest of Dubrovnik. They are the only inhabited islands in the group and the most popular for visitors.The islands are an escape from the mainland crowds and boast olive groves and orchards, sand and pebble beaches, 15th-century summer residences, and several interesting churches and monasteries.Kolocep is the smallest and closest island to Dubrovnik, and it is beautifully covered in green vegetation. Lopud is the most visited and is famed for the stretch of sandy beach at Sunj. Sipan used to be the summer getaway of choice for aristocratic families in Dubrovnik and is fascinating from an historical point of view.Each of the islands has something unique to offer visitors and it is worth investigating them all if time allows. Kolocep and Lopud are both car-free islands but they are tiny and easy to get around on foot. You can choose to stay on one of these charming islands and accommodation here is generally less expensive than in Dubrovnik.


Franciscan Monastery

The original Franciscan monastery in Dubrovnik was built in the 13th century in the Pile area. But when war broke out in the 14th century, the monks were forced to relocate to gain the protection of Dubrovnik's formidable defensive walls.Parts of the current monastery, and most of the church, have had to be rebuilt over the centuries due to damage. But parts of the complex date back to 1317. This Franciscan church and monastery, still enclosed in the walls of medieval Dubrovnik, boast one of the most beautiful Romanesque cloisters in Dalmatia.Within the monastery complex there is also a working pharmacy, which has been in business since 1317 and is thought to be the third oldest pharmacy in the world. A museum houses relics from the original medieval pharmacy such as medical books, instruments, and weight scales, as well as some gilded church relics.The massive monastery library, one of the richest in Croatia, is renowned globally by historians for its inventory: it contains some 30,000 volumes with 1,500 handwritten documents. The monastery is a great refuge after sightseeing in the heat and crowds of the city. It is cool and quiet and also has some tranquil gardens to venture into.

Address : Placa 2


Hvar Island

Off the coast of Split, just 15 nautical miles (24km) from Baska Voda and accessible by ferry, is the island of Hvar, which abounds with Romanesque and Renaissance buildings and a true Mediterranean atmosphere.Hvar has been populated since prehistoric times, with archaeologists finding evidence of life on the island dating back to 3500 BC. The island is noted for its fertile soil and was the site of the world's first parcelling out of arable land by the ancient Greeks, who farmed here.It is now mainly a wine-growing area, with the island's main towns of Vrboska and Jelsa famed for their Dalmatian vintages. Hvar is dotted with picturesque villages, many of which remain fairly untouched by time and tourism, and are well worth a visit for a glimpse into rural island life in Croatia.Must-see attractions in Hvar include the incredible Hvar Fortress which can't be missed by history buffs and anybody who appreciates a great view. It is a bit of a climb to get to the old fortress but from the site you can see the whole town and harbour. No visit to Hvar would be complete without a visit to Dubovica Beach, which is often delightfully free of the usual crowds.

Website :

Simon Pearson

Korcula Island

Korcula Island is one of the bigger Adriatic islands, boasting beautiful views, secluded beaches, vineyards and olive groves, as well as pretty towns and harbours. Korcula Town is the island's main commercial area and is situated on the northwest coast.This old town, sticking out into the sea, is typically Dalmatian and often likened to a small Dubrovnik, with its red-roofed houses and enclosing walls. Some theorise that Marco Polo was born here and his rumoured house is now a museum open to the public. The town is also famous for its 15th-century Moreska sword dance which is performed during summer.Other main towns on the island include the tourist centre of Lumbarda, which is surrounded by vineyards and coves, and the port town of Vela Luka on the east coast. Korcula is said to have been a favourite Greek holiday spot over 2,000 years ago and since then it hasn't stopped delighting visitors with its culture and green landscapes. Of the 1,000 or so islands in Croatia, Korcula is often ranked most highly as a holiday destination by tourists.

Website :

Berthold Werner

Krk Island

The largest island in Croatian archipelago, Krk is a haven of sparkling beaches and lovely holiday towns. Nicknamed the 'Golden Island', Krk is the nearest Croatian island to mainland Europe and has a laidback Mediterranean atmosphere.Getting to Krk from the mainland is made easy by a 4,500-foot (1.4km) bridge. Once there, visitors are spoiled for choice as there are many beaches and villages to explore. Krk Town is the largest and most popular hub for tourists with many restaurants, shops, and bars in the attractive Old Town area.The best beaches are found in Baska, which boasts more than 30 beaches connected by a promenade. Though most are covered in pebbles, soft mats and chairs are available for hire. Other popular beach towns on Krk include Njivice and the sandy coastline of Klimno Bay, though often these towns have more to offer than just beaches. Vrbnik is home to vineyards that produce some of the best white wines in Croatia, while the August folk festival in Dobrinj draws crowds from all over the country.Krk Island is popular for weekend excursions from the Croatian mainland. However, visitors can easily spend a week exploring the winding streets and hidden corners of the island. A haven for watersports, diving, bird watching, and hiking, there is lots to see and do on Krk for just about anyone.



About 30 miles (47km) south of Split is the popular resort town of Makarska, with its cobblestoned streets and natural harbour nestled in the shadow of Mount Biokovo and fringed with the two green peninsulas of Osejava and St Peter.This beautiful spot offers secluded beaches washed by an azure sea and lies at the heart of the Makarska Riviera, which is characterised by pine forests and a string of white pebble beaches. Makarska was an important trading port throught its history, which spans occupation by the Venetians, Turks, French and Austrians, all of whom left a taste of their culture and tradition behind.The town boasts a world-renowned collection of sea shells, a Franciscan monastery dating from the 16th century, a Venetian fountain, and several churches and Baroque palaces. However, its main attraction is its splendid natural beauty.The main tourist area of Makarska is lined with fashionable boutiques, cafes, and bars, all a stone's throw away from the yachts and catamarans docked in the harbour. Popular photo spots include a few beautiful churches and cathedrals dating back to the 13th century, as well as monuments dedicated to Friar Andrija Kaèiæ Miošiæ and Napoleon Bonaparte.

Jose Miguel

Mljet Island

Covered by small villages, forests, and vineyards, Mljet is famous for its national park on the western half of the island. Main attractions include the two saltwater lakes of Veliko Jezero (Great Lake) and Malo Jezero (Small Lake), as well as a 12th-century Benedictine monastery.The lakes are popular spots for swimming and the beauty of this unspoilt oasis attracts nature lovers and those in search of peace and tranquillity. Mljet is said to be Croatia's greenest island while in Greek mythology it allegedly captivated the legendary hero Odysseus for seven years.Mljet is popular with couples because the lack of crowds and pristine natural beauty, making it ideal for romantic getaways. It is also a great option for those who enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, swimming, mountain biking, hunting, fishing and kayaking. There are of accommodation options on the island and a variety of great places to eat. Mljet could easily keep an outdoor enthusaist suitably occupied for an entire holiday.

Website :

Judith Duk

Plitvice Lakes National Park

The Plitvice Lakes have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the national park that encloses them is the oldest in Southeast Europe. It is the natural beauty of the 16 green and turquoise lakes, linked by waterfalls and surrounded by forests, attracts thousands of visitors every year.Wooden walkways meander over, around and across the magical watery setting that was formed by mineral deposits in the water creating travertine barriers within the constantly changing limestone landscape.The lakes are divided into lower and upper lakes and trails are well marked. Visitors can cover the 11 miles (18km) of walkways on foot, but the park entry ticket also includes the use of buses and ferries that cover certain sections.The incredible lakes are not all the park has to offer; it is a heavily forested area with an extremely diverse variety of flora and fauna, including rare European species like the brown bear and wolf. It is one of the last regions in Europe in which these two species can be found living in the wild.

Website :

Roberta F.


The commercial capital of the idyllic Adriatic Coast is the cultural city and holiday destination of Rijeka, with its international harbour lending it a cosmopolitan flair. Rijeka is not only the gateway to the beautiful coastal island resorts, but a tourist's delight in itself with its charming historic buildings.A stroll along the Korzo Promenade in the old part of town provides an eyeful of classic buildings and a variety of street cafes ideal for resting your feet and enjoying the passing parade. Rijeka also has an annual carnival full of lively music and dancing, providing a glimpse into ancient Slavic folklore and mythology. Revellers don masks to scare away evil forces and there are numerous events, concerts, and the carnival parade.There is plenty to eat, drink, see, and do in this vibrant port city. The best way to see Rijeka's cultural and historical attractions is to follow the well-worn tourist path that takes in all of the most important sights of the town.Most of them are accessible by foot, as they are located in or near the city centre. To see Rijeka's remarkable Trsat Castle, visitors need to grapple with some formidable stone steps. But it is certainly worth the climb.



Sibenik is an historic town, located in central Dalmatia. A notable feature about the town's history is the number of civilizations which have laid claim to the territory: Between the 11th and 12th centuries, Sibenik was claimed by Venice, Byzantium, Hungary, and the Kingdom of Bosnia.After the First World War, Italy briefly claimed Sibenik, and during World War Two it was occupied by the Germans and the Italians. As one might imagine, the town is the product of diverse influences and has a rich cultural heritage.Sibenik is home to the crowning glory of the Dalmatian Coast: the Cathedral of St Jacob. The cathedral was the masterpiece of sculptor Juraj Dalmatinac and is reputedly the largest church in the world to be built entirely from stone.It is unusual for its 71 stone heads on the exterior walls, a beautiful baptistery, the domed roof complex, and various works of art in the interior of the building. The city also makes a good base from which to visit the nearby Krka National Park.


Trakoscan Castle

Trakoscan is a legendary 13th-century Gothic castle that was home to various influential families for centuries before finally falling into abandoned disrepair in the second half of the 18th century, when it belonged to the Draskovic family.In the 1950s, the castle was taken over by the state and turned into a living museum, reconstructing life in a medieval castle. Visitors can explore four levels, including the dungeon, and finish their tour with a stroll through the surrounding parklands.Trakoscan Castle is a spectacular journey for the imagination as it feels so authentic. Guests can wander with freedom through the stone corridors, up and down the winding staircases, and into the various rooms. It is also a great attraction for the younger children as the castle, lake, and forest settings transport the little ones to a fairytale world.The castle features original artefacts from its history, including furniture and weaponry, and displays are informative and well laid out. As wandering through the castle, and its beautiful grounds, can be somewhat tiring, visitors often stop for a break at the restaurant by the lake.

Judith Duk


Trakoscan is a legendary 13th-century Gothic castle that was home to various influential families for centuries before finally falling into abandoned disrepair in the second half of the 18th century, when it belonged to the Draskovic family.In the 1950s, the castle was taken over by the state and turned into a living museum, reconstructing life in a medieval castle. Visitors can explore four levels, including the dungeon, and finish their tour with a stroll through the surrounding parklands.Trakoscan Castle is a spectacular journey for the imagination as it feels so authentic. Guests can wander with freedom through the stone corridors, up and down the winding staircases, and into the various rooms. It is also a great attraction for the younger children as the castle, lake, and forest settings transport the little ones to a fairytale world.The castle features original artefacts from its history, including furniture and weaponry, and displays are informative and well laid out. As wandering through the castle and its beautiful grounds can be somewhat tiring, visitors often stop for a break at the restaurant by the lake.

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