Croatia Travel Guide: Things to Do, See and Eat visiting Croatia

Nestled along the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea, Croatia, or “Hrvatska” in its native tongue, is a gem of Europe that offers a unique blend of rich history, breathtaking nature, and Mediterranean charm. This Balkan nation is where the shimmering waters meet ancient towns, where the scent of pines blends with the aroma of fresh seafood, and where the past coexists harmoniously with the present.

Geography & Landscape

Croatia is a land of geographic contrasts. From the expansive Pannonian Plains in the northeast to the densely forested Dinaric Alps that stretch along the coastline, the country is marked by varying landscapes that offer an array of experiences. The nation’s 1,104 kilometers of coastline is intricately jagged, dotted with over a thousand islands and islets, making it one of the most indented coastlines in the world. This maritime expanse is home to renowned spots like the Dalmatian Coast, which is strewn with ancient towns and azure waters.

Historical Tapestry

Croatia’s history is as diverse as its landscape. From the ancient Illyrians and Romans to the medieval Croat kingdoms, the Renaissance republic of Dubrovnik, and the tumultuous 20th century, Croatia has been a crossroads of cultures and empires. This confluence is evident in its UNESCO World Heritage sites like the Palace of Diocletian in Split and the Old City of Dubrovnik. Every cobblestone and fortification tells a story, making the country a haven for history buffs.

Culture & Traditions

While it’s easy to get lost in Croatia’s past, its vibrant culture and traditions are very much alive today. Festivals like the Dubrovnik Summer Festival and the Pula Film Festival showcase the nation’s artistic prowess. Additionally, Croatia’s gastronomy is a reflection of its rich cultural heritage. From the truffle-infused dishes of Istria to the seafood platters of Dalmatia and the hearty stews of Slavonia, Croatian cuisine is a delightful journey for the palate.

The Adriatic Jewel

Croatia’s coastline is perhaps its most alluring feature. Beaches like Zlatni Rat on the island of Brač and Banje in Dubrovnik are a testament to this allure. However, the country’s maritime charm isn’t limited to its beaches. The islands, like Hvar, Korčula, and Pag, offer a blend of nature, history, and vibrant nightlife.

Natural Wonders

Beyond its coastline, Croatia boasts eight national parks. The most iconic of them, Plitvice Lakes National Park, is a cascading ensemble of lakes and waterfalls, which seem to have been plucked out of a fairy tale. Meanwhile, Krka National Park offers a similar, albeit more interactive experience, as visitors can swim in its refreshing waters.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or someone seeking the serene embrace of the Mediterranean, Croatia beckons with a promise of unforgettable experiences. This guide aims to unravel the myriad attractions and nuances of this Adriatic jewel, ensuring travelers are well-equipped to soak in all that Croatia has to offer.

Croatia Travel Guide: Top 101 Things to do in Croatia For Visitors

Croatia Country Guide: A Brief History Of Croatia

The history of Croatia is as layered and textured as its famed Adriatic coastline. For the discerning traveler, understanding Croatia’s past not only provides context to the stunning historical sites and cities they encounter but also deepens the appreciation of this Balkan nation’s resilience and cultural richness.

Prehistoric Croatia:

Long before the establishment of settlements and kingdoms, Croatia was home to prehistoric cultures. The Vindija Cave in northern Croatia contains one of the world’s most significant Neanderthal finds. Sites such as Vučedol, located near Vukovar, provide insight into the Copper Age Vučedol culture, which flourished around 3000 BC.

Ancient Times:

The Illyrians, an Indo-European people, settled in present-day Croatia during the Bronze and Iron Ages. By the 4th century BC, the Greeks established colonies, leaving behind artifacts like the Pharos agreement, a stone inscription from the island of Hvar.

However, it was the Romans in the 1st century BC who dramatically influenced Croatia’s landscape. Under Roman rule, towns like Salona (near Split) thrived. Today, the monumental Palace of Diocletian in Split stands as a testament to Roman architectural grandeur.

Early Medieval Period:

As the Western Roman Empire fell, the Croats, a Slavic people, migrated to the area in the 7th century AD. By the 9th century, they formed two duchies, which later united under a single ruler, laying the foundation for the medieval Croatian Kingdom. The Church of St. Donatus in Zadar and the intricate stone carvings in Trogir trace back to this period.

Union with Hungary:

In 1102, following a dynastic crisis, Croatia entered into a union with Hungary. This period was marked by battles against the Venetian Republic and the Ottoman Empire. Despite the external challenges, cities like Dubrovnik (then known as Ragusa) flourished as independent maritime republics.

Ottoman Intrusions and Habsburg Rule:

The Ottoman Empire’s advance in the 15th century reshaped Croatia’s borders and demographics. The military frontier (Vojna Krajina) acted as a buffer zone against Ottoman incursions. By the late 17th and 18th centuries, much of Croatia was under the Habsburg Empire. The architectural and cultural influence of this period is evident, especially in the baroque buildings of Zagreb, the capital.

19th and Early 20th Century:

The 19th century witnessed a cultural revival. The Illyrian movement sought to affirm Croatian linguistic and cultural identity. By the end of World War I, Croatia became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, later renamed Yugoslavia.

World War II and the Socialist Period:

During World War II, Croatia was declared an independent state, albeit under Italian and German influence. The post-war period saw Croatia as a republic within socialist Yugoslavia under Tito’s leadership.

Independence and the Homeland War:

The late 20th century was pivotal. Amidst rising nationalist sentiments, Croatia declared independence in 1991. However, this was followed by the tragic Homeland War with Yugoslav forces. The war-torn city of Vukovar and the shelled Dubrovnik are somber reminders of this period.

Modern Croatia:

Since the war’s end in 1995, Croatia has embarked on a journey of healing and growth. Joining the European Union in 2013, modern Croatia balances its dynamic past with its aspirations, welcoming travelers to partake in its storied history.

Croatia’s history is a tapestry of ancient civilizations, powerful empires, cultural revivals, and national struggles. For travelers, every historic site, from the ancient arenas to the medieval walls, tells a story – a tale of endurance, pride, and transformation. As you walk the streets of Croatia, remember that you are treading on layers of history, each with its own tale to tell.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Croatia Top Attractions and Best Places to Visit in Croatia


Of all the former regions that comprised Yugoslavia, it is not hard to argue that Croatia got one of the best deals upon the dissolution of the former country.  An azure coast kissed by a Mediterranean climate, replete with white sand and pebble beaches. Engrossing architecture that has spanned eras from the Renaissance to the Romans. Tiered lakes and waterfalls that will make you pinch yourself to check you to see whether you are actually within a dream space, rather than in reality.

All of these things are within your reach in Croatia, and often, at a cut rate discount compared to its neighbour across the Adriatic, Italy. Its freedom came at a cost though, as when it attempted to assert its independence in 1991, Serbia cried foul, and a war resulting from contested regions containing ethnic Serb populations raged on for four years until 1995.

After those tough times, Croatia has grown into a place to be for the global jetset for the reasons cited above, but in spite of its growing profile, it remains an affordable option compared to the standard bearers of the more westerly portions of Southern Europe, making a solid destination whether you are on a backpacking Euro trip, or if you are part of the luxury traveling crowd.

Currency: Croatian Kuna

Languages: Croatian

After controlling the levers of a massive empire for many years back in the 4th century AD, Diocletian had the same aspirations then as many of us do these days: he wanted to retire to a simple life of the Adriatic Coast, far from the pressures and politics of Rome.  As such, Diocletian’s Palace was born, with the exquisite marble columns and stonework sitting in an apt location, surrounded by spectacular limestone karsts.

After the age of the Romans, this palace was used as a defensive position by locals seeking protection from Slavs that were invading their territory. Appreciating its qualities after that, people in the area used the walls to make a new community within its protective cocoon; even today, there are locals still living in the homes and working the businesses that they had set up within the home of a former Roman emperor.

Diocletian’s Palace isn’t the only walled city recognized by UNESCO in Croatia, as the more famous Walls of Dubrovnik usually crops up in the mind of knowledgeable travelers when they think of historical attractions within this country. Built in the 7th century by the Byzantines to guard their interests, its intimidating fortifications hold the auspicious distinction of never being breached by an invading army during the entire Middle Ages, and it even recently repelled the Serbs during the Croatian War of Independence during a long siege that lasted several months. The Old City of Dubrovnik, situated behind this incredible set of defenses, sustained more damage than the walls themselves, testifying to the brilliance of those that constructed them all those years ago.

While there are more famous Roman era arenas that can be seen in Europe, one of the most intact of these can be found in Croatia in Pula.  The Pula Arena is not only in excellent condition after a couple millennia of aging, but it also has retained all four of its sides, giving visitors the best possible mental image of what this sporting venue looked and felt like back in its heyday. Its place in Croatian society is so revered, that you can also find it on the back of the 10 Kuna note, so be sure to save a copy before leaving the country (10 Kuna = just under $2, so you won’t lose much money doing this!)

Zagreb cityscape views from a high vantage point in Croatia

Other Cultural Attractions: Trip to Croatia

Hedonists will want to hop amongst the Croatian Islands, which are known for their beach getaways and culture-filled old towns alike. Hvar should be your first stop, as its pebble beaches, historical buildings, vibrant nightlife and amazing restaurants make for a compelling place to spend a large portion of your Croatian holiday. Those into especially brag-worthy beaches should check Brac out, as it is well-known for a sandy peninsula that will win your heart over at first sight!

One of the most spectacular natural sights in the Balkans, if not Eastern Europe can be found at Plitvice Lakes National Park, which protects a set of tiered lakes and waterfalls that send photography enthusiasts into a picture-taking frenzy, while the remainder will be too entranced by its beauty to take more than a few snaps. Sadly, swimming is not allowed, but the sights around will more than make up for it!

What To Eat

The hearty fare of Croatian cuisine will impress most food obsessed travelers with its rich, meaty flavours. Start with Čobanac, also known as shepherd’s stew, as it was consumed by those taking long shifts while watching over their flocks.  This meaty bowl of goodness contains three types of flesh (most often beef, pork plus another type of meat like chicken, mutton, etc), potatoes, herbs, and a ton of paprika.

Crni rizot makes good use of the bounty of the sea and Croatia’s Italian influence through the ages, as it is a black risotto that contains octopus, parmesan and Grana Padano cheese, tomatoes, onions, seasonings and rice in a pot of heavenly goodness.  Be brave and ignore the ink black colour … you’ll be glad you did.

Your reward for trying new things will be Kremsnite, a truly decadent Croatian dessert that uses vanilla and rum to flavour a sweet experience that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.  You will be floating in heaven with each bite…!

Hvar dock views in Croatia during golden hour

Top 101 Things To Do in Croatia For Visitors

Croatia offers a splendid blend of history, nature, culture, and relaxation. Here’s a comprehensive list of the top 101 things to do:

Historical & Architectural Wonders

  1. Diocletian’s Palace in Split: This ancient Roman palace is the heart of Split, blending antiquity with the vibrancy of modern life.
  2. Dubrovnik’s Old City Walls: Walk along the medieval fortifications for panoramic views.
  3. Pula Arena: A remarkably preserved Roman amphitheater.
  4. St. Donatus Church, Zadar: A pre-Romanesque architectural gem.
  5. Euphrasian Basilica, Poreč: A UNESCO-listed Byzantine masterpiece.
  6. Tvrdalj Castle, Hvar: Renaissance residence of the poet Petar Hektorović.

Natural Beauties

  1. Plitvice Lakes National Park: Explore cascading lakes and waterfalls.
  2. Krka National Park: Waterfalls you can swim beneath.
  3. Paklenica National Park: A rock-climbing haven.
  4. Mljet National Park: Dense forests and saltwater lakes.
  5. Kornati National Park: A nautical paradise of islands.
  6. Risnjak National Park: For mountain enthusiasts.
  7. Cave Baredine: Dive into Croatia’s underground world.
  8. Blue Cave, Biševo: Witness the magical blue light.

Hvar cityscape views from a high vantage point in Croatia overlooking the town and the water

Island Adventures

  1. Hvar: Enjoy nightlife, lavender fields, and historical sites.
  2. Brač: Visit the famous Zlatni Rat beach.
  3. Korčula: Explore the birthplace of Marco Polo.
  4. Vis: Discover hidden beaches and British fortresses.
  5. Pag: Taste the renowned cheese and enjoy beach parties.
  6. Elaphiti Islands: A serene escape near Dubrovnik.
  7. Lokrum: Dubrovnik’s nearby getaway with botanical gardens and fort ruins.

Beaches & Watersports

  1. Rovinj Beaches: Experience the Istrian coastline.
  2. Makarska Riviera: Sunbathe on pebble beaches.
  3. Banje Beach, Dubrovnik: Swim with iconic views.
  4. Sakarun Beach, Dugi Otok: A sandy paradise.
  5. Kitesurfing in Nin: The Adriatic winds await.
  6. Diving in Premantura: Explore underwater wrecks.

Culinary Experiences

  1. Truffle Hunting in Istria: Then, savor your finds.
  2. Taste Pelješac Oysters: Fresh from the sea.
  3. Dalmatian Peka: A traditional slow-cooked dish.
  4. Sample Istrian Wines: Such as Teran and Malvasia.
  5. Visit the Pag Cheese Factories: Learn about its production.

Art, Culture & Festivals

  1. Dubrovnik Summer Festival: Experience theatrical performances.
  2. Pula Film Festival: A celebration of cinema in the ancient arena.
  3. Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb: Unique, poignant exhibits.
  4. Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb: Croatia’s modern artistic expressions.
  5. Rector’s Palace, Dubrovnik: Dive into the city’s history.
  6. Attend the Sinjska Alka: A 300-year-old knightly tournament.
  7. Poreč Open Air Festival: A summer of music, theater, and cinema.
  8. Motovun Film Festival: Cinema in a picturesque hilltop town.

Activities & Adventure

  1. Zipline over the Cetina River: A thrilling view of nature.
  2. Hiking in the Učka Mountains: Breathtaking vistas.
  3. Horse Riding in Slavonia: Experience Croatia’s plains.
  4. Sea Kayaking around Dubrovnik: Paddle the Adriatic.
  5. Climbing in Omis: For adrenaline junkies.
  6. Biking on the Parenzana Trail: Trace an old railway route.
  7. Sailing the Adriatic: Rent a yacht or join a tour.

Wellness & Relaxation

  1. Istarske Toplice: Thermal springs with healing properties.
  2. Opatija: Croatia’s old-school riviera with spa hotels.
  3. Dugi Otok Salt Lake: Nature’s own spa experience.

Local Experiences

  1. Lace Making in Lepoglava: Witness this intricate craft.
  2. Agrotourism in Istria: Stay on a working farm.
  3. Join a Klapa Performance: Traditional Dalmatian acapella.
  4. Olive Oil Tasting: Especially in Istria and Dalmatia.

Split local souvenirs for sale in Croatia

Shopping & Souvenirs

  1. Dolac Market, Zagreb: A bustling fresh produce market.
  2. Buy a Licitar Heart: A gingerbread craft symbol of Zagreb.
  3. Shop for Lavender in Hvar: Direct from local producers.

Nightlife & Entertainment

  1. Carpe Diem, Hvar: Iconic beach club and nightlife.
  2. Club Revelin, Dubrovnik: Party in a 16th-century fortress.
  3. Bars of Tkalciceva, Zagreb: Experience the city’s pulse.

Family Activities

  1. Aquarium Pula: Delve into the Adriatic’s marine life.
  2. Girandella Beach, Rabac: A family-friendly shoreline.
  3. Glavani Park: A fun adrenaline park for all ages.

Religious & Spiritual Sites

  1. Marija Bistrica: Croatia’s major pilgrimage site.
  2. Saint Blaise Church, Dubrovnik: Dedicated to the city’s patron saint.

Zadar distinct architecture in Croatia

Off the Beaten Track

  1. Samobor: A picturesque town known for its kremsnite pastry.
  2. Hum: Touted as the world’s smallest town.
  3. Osijek: Discover baroque architecture in Slavonia’s largest city.
  4. Zadar’s Sea Organ: Hear the music made by the waves.

Seasonal Activities

  1. Advent in Zagreb: Voted Europe’s best Christmas market multiple times.
  2. Carnival in Rijeka: A vibrant February celebration.

Educational Stops

  1. Ferdinand Budicki Automobile Museum, Zagreb: A treat for car enthusiasts.
  2. Visit the Tesla Birthplace Museum: In Smiljan.
  3. Archeological Museum, Zadar: Explore Croatia’s ancient past.

Wine & Dine

  1. Bibich Winery: Savor gourmet pairings.
  2. Konoba Batelina, Banjole: Seafood at its finest.
  3. Vinodol, Zagreb: Traditional Croatian dishes in a cozy setting.

Rovinj old buildings reflection on the water in Croatia

Romantic Escapes

  1. Rovinj: Stroll its cobbled streets at sunset.
  2. Opatija: A walk by the Lungomare promenade.
  3. Valentine’s Day in Lovran:** Enjoy the cherry festival in this romantic coastal town.

Historic Towns & Villages

  1. Varaždin: A baroque gem in the north.
  2. Šibenik: Home to the UNESCO-listed St. James Cathedral.
  3. Motovun: A hilltop town in Istria famous for truffles.
  4. Ston: Walk its ancient walls and indulge in fresh oysters.

Wildlife & Birdwatching

  1. Kopački Rit: One of Europe’s largest wetlands, a birdwatcher’s haven.
  2. Lokrum Island: Meet the resident peacocks and rabbits.

Photography Spots

  1. Marjan Hill, Split: Panoramic views of the city and the Adriatic.
  2. Dubrovnik’s Cable Car: Capture the iconic red rooftops.

Camping & Outdoor

  1. Camp in Brijuni National Park: A unique island experience.
  2. Stargaze at Lastovo: An official dark sky park.

Day Trips

  1. Trsat Castle in Rijeka: Overlooking the Kvarner Bay.
  2. Neretva Delta: Enjoy a traditional boat ride and savor mandarins.
  3. Telašćica Nature Park: Relax by the salt lake and admire the cliffs.

Traditional Events

  1. Sinj Alka Tournament: A 300-year-old equestrian competition.
  2. Dubrovnik’s Libertas Film Festival: For movie buffs.

Workshops & Classes

  1. Tie-making in Zagreb: Learn about Croatia’s contribution to global fashion.
  2. Traditional Cooking Classes in Dalmatia: Make dishes like ‘pašticada’ or ‘soparnik’.

Boat Tours

  1. Gulet Cruises: Traditional wooden boats for a luxurious sailing experience.
  2. Sunset Cruises in Zadar: Experience the sun setting into the sea.

Winter Activities

  1. Skiing in Sljeme, Zagreb: Enjoy snow sports near the capital.
  2. Ice Skating in King Tomislav Square, Zagreb: A winter wonderland in the heart of the city.

Croatia, with its rich history, stunning natural beauty, and diverse cultural experiences, offers something for every type of traveler. From the cobblestone streets of historic towns to the pristine beaches of the Adriatic, the serenity of national parks to the buzz of urban nightlife, Croatia promises a memorable journey of discovery and delight. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, gastronomy, or history, Croatia’s tapestry of experiences awaits you.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

What To Eat and Drink in Croatia

Croatia boasts a rich culinary tapestry that reflects its diverse cultural and geographical influences. From the seafood-dominated Dalmatian coast to the heartier fare of the continental interior, Croatian cuisine offers a delectable journey for the palate. Here’s a comprehensive guide to what you should eat and drink while in Croatia.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Croatian Dishes to Savor

1. Peka: A traditional Balkan dish, peka involves baking meat (often lamb or veal) and vegetables under a bell-like dome, or ‘ispod čripnje’. The dish is cooked with embers, giving it a distinctive taste.

2. Crni Rižot (Black Risotto): This is a seafood risotto made black with squid ink. It’s a must-try for seafood lovers visiting the Adriatic coast.

3. Buzara: A method of preparing seafood, especially prawns and scampi, with a sauce made from garlic, olive oil, white wine, and fresh herbs.

4. Ćevapi: Small, seasoned sausages made of minced meat, often served with somun (a type of flatbread) and raw onions.

5. Soparnik: A savory pie with a filling of Swiss chard, garlic, and olive oil, typical of the Dalmatian hinterland.

6. Pašticada: A Dalmatian pot roast dish made from beef marinated in wine, prunes, and cloves, then slow-cooked with vegetables.

7. Gregada: A fish stew with white wine, garlic, and olive oil, typical of the island of Hvar.

8. Ispod Tavajuna: Fish or octopus cooked under an iron pan filled with embers.

9. Zagorski Štrukli: A pastry dish from the Zagorje region, filled with cottage cheese and often served with cream.

10. Kulen: A spicy cured pork sausage from Slavonia.

11. Fuži: Handmade pasta, often served with a truffle sauce in Istria.

12. Skradinski Rizot: A slow-cooked veal risotto from the town of Skradin.

13. Punjene Paprike: Bell peppers stuffed with a mix of meat and rice, then cooked in a tomato sauce.

Squid ink black risotto is a must try Croatian cuisine for visitors to Zadar, Croatia

Desserts and Sweets

14. Kremsnite: A creamy custard cake, especially popular in the town of Samobor.

15. Fritule: Small deep-fried doughnut-like treats flavored with lemon and raisins, often made for Christmas.

16. Makovnjača & Orahnjača: Sweet rolls filled with poppy seeds or walnuts.

17. Rožata: A Dubrovnik version of crème brûlée.

18. Trogirski Rafioli: Sweet almond-filled pastries from the town of Trogir.

Drinks to Try

19. Rakija: A strong fruit brandy, with variations including ‘šljivovica’ (plum), ‘travarica’ (herb), and ‘lozovača’ (grape).

20. Vino (Wine): Croatia has an ancient wine culture. Some must-try types include:

  • White: Malvazija (Istria), Pošip (Korčula), Grk (Korčula)
  • Red: Teran (Istria), Plavac Mali (Pelješac), Babić (Primošten)

21. Pivo (Beer): Croatia has a rising craft beer scene. Besides international brands, try local ones like Ožujsko and Karlovačko.

22. Pelinkovac: A bitter herbal liqueur, similar to Jägermeister.

23. Maraschino: A cherry liqueur originally from Zadar.

24. Gemisht & Bevanda: Popular mixtures – the former is white wine with sparkling water, and the latter is red wine with still water.

25. Biska: A mistletoe brandy from the region of Istria.

Croatian seafood pizza is a must-try dish in Pula, Croatia

Traditional Croatian Cheese & Dairy

26. Paški Sir (Pag Cheese): From the island of Pag, this hard sheep’s milk cheese is renowned for its distinctive flavor, influenced by the island’s salty winds and aromatic herbs on which the sheep graze.

27. Dinarski Sir: A hard cheese made in the Dinaric Alps, it’s known for its strong and rich flavor derived from cow, sheep, or goat milk.

28. Skuta: A fresh curd cheese, similar to ricotta, often used in desserts or paired with truffles in Istrian dishes.

29. Crikvenica’s Grated Cheese: This is a unique dairy product, dried and grated, often sprinkled over pasta and other dishes.

Soups & Broths

30. Maneštra: A thick bean soup from Istria, which often includes potatoes, cabbage, or sauerkraut.

31. Riblja Juha (Fish Soup): A clear fish broth made with white fish, tomato, onion, and various herbs, popular along the coast.

32. Fazol (Bean Soup): A hearty bean soup, sometimes made with smoked meats, commonly found in the continental region.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Seafood Delights

33. Brodetto: A rich Adriatic fish stew made with various types of fish and shellfish, tomatoes, wine, and olive oil.

34. Sardines on the Grill: A simple yet delicious preparation of fresh sardines, often enjoyed along the Dalmatian coast.

35. Brudet od Jegulje (Eel Stew): A speciality from the Neretva Delta, where eels are a delicacy.

Croatian seafood shrimp in Split, Croatia

Meats & Poultry

36. Odojak (Roasted Pork): Often found at festivals or family gatherings, it’s a whole pig roasted over an open fire.

37. Pohana Piletina: Crispy breaded chicken, a popular dish across the Balkans.

38. Purica s Mlincima: Roast turkey with a unique type of flatbread, typical of Zagreb and the Zagorje region.

Olives & Oils

39. Istrian Olive Oil: Recognized globally for its quality, the olive oil from Istria has a rich, fruity flavor. Olive oil tasting is a must when in the region.

40. Dalmatian Olive Tapenade: A spread made from olives, capers, and anchovies, perfect when spread over crusty bread.

Beverages & Coffee

41. Vruća Čokolada (Hot Chocolate): Thick and creamy, Croatian hot chocolate is closer to a dessert than a drink.

42. Kava (Coffee): Coffee culture is big in Croatia. The most commonly served is a strong espresso, but “kava s mlijekom” (coffee with milk) is also popular.

43. Prošek: A sweet dessert wine from Dalmatia, not to be confused with Prosecco.

44. Rakija od Smokava (Fig Brandy): A variation of the classic rakija distilled from ripe figs.

Pastries & Breads

45. Pinca: A sweet bread made during Easter, flavored with citrus zest and sometimes raisins.

46. Pogacha: A traditional round bread, often used in special occasions and ceremonies.

47. Krafne: Croatian doughnuts, often filled with jam, chocolate, or custard.

The Croatian culinary landscape is as diverse as its geography. With its pristine coastline and fertile plains, the nation produces some of the finest ingredients which are transformed into hearty, flavorful dishes. Whether you’re indulging in the freshest seafood by the Adriatic or enjoying a glass of Istrian wine under an olive tree, the gastronomic delights of Croatia are bound to leave an indelible mark on your travel memories.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Top Restaurants In Croatia

Croatia’s culinary scene has flourished in recent years, drawing inspiration from its Mediterranean and Balkan neighbors while emphasizing local ingredients and traditions. From world-renowned establishments to hidden culinary gems, Croatia offers a myriad of gastronomic delights. Here are some top restaurants you must consider when visiting:

Pasta with truffles is a classic Croatian cuisine that is well worth trying all over the country

Restaurant 360 – Dubrovnik

Overlooking the historic Dubrovnik walls and the Adriatic, Restaurant 360 offers a mix of Mediterranean and modern European cuisine. With a Michelin star to its name, the restaurant emphasizes innovative dishes while incorporating local ingredients.

Pelegrini – Šibenik

This Michelin-starred restaurant in the heart of Šibenik, near the famous cathedral, offers a modern take on Dalmatian classics. Chef Rudi Stefan combines traditional elements with innovative techniques, resulting in a unique dining experience.

Monte – Rovinj

Located in the picturesque town of Rovinj, Monte boasts a Michelin star and is known for its eclectic approach to Mediterranean dishes. The ambiance complements the culinary delights with its blend of rustic and contemporary decor.

Bevanda – Opatija

Offering breathtaking views of the Kvarner Bay, Bevanda stands out for its seafood delicacies. The restaurant has a rich history and delivers dishes that are deeply rooted in the Mediterranean culinary tradition.

Vinodol – Zagreb

Situated in Croatia’s capital, Vinodol offers traditional continental Croatian dishes. The restaurant’s tranquil terrace, combined with its timeless menu, makes it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

Laganini Lounge Bar & Fish House – Hvar

On the exclusive Palmižana bay of Hvar, Laganini is known for its seafood dishes, especially the fresh lobster and oysters. Its lounge setting with a beach view makes it an ideal spot for relaxation and gourmet indulgence.

Dvor – Split

Nestled beside the sea and surrounded by pine trees, Dvor offers a romantic setting. It’s known for its grilled dishes, especially the fish and steaks, cooked on an olive wood grill.

Konoba Češka Kuća – Slavonia

A testament to the rich culinary tapestry of Slavonia, this restaurant is renowned for its game dishes, freshwater fish, and traditional Slavonian specialties. Its rural setting offers an authentic Croatian dining experience.

Konoba Mika – Zadar

This family-run tavern is a gem in Zadar, offering traditional Dalmatian fare. Their signature lamb and octopus dishes, cooked under a bell (peka), are particularly noteworthy.

Bokeria Kitchen & Wine Bar – Split

Inspired by the vibrant La Boqueria market in Barcelona, Bokeria combines the freshness of Mediterranean ingredients with a modern flair. The wine list, predominantly featuring Croatian wines, complements the savory offerings.

Konoba Dubrava – Dubrovnik

Located on the hills overlooking Dubrovnik, this restaurant is famous for its traditional peka dishes, especially lamb and octopus. The ambiance, enriched by the surrounding nature, amplifies the dining experience.

Restaurant Noel – Zagreb

Holding a Michelin star, Noel offers an exquisite fine-dining experience in the heart of Zagreb. Their menu is a fusion of Croatian and international cuisines, paired with an extensive wine list.

Meneghello – Palmižana, Pakleni Islands

Situated on the Pakleni Islands, just off the coast of Hvar, Meneghello offers an oasis of flavors with its Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Surrounded by botanical gardens and crystalline waters, it’s an idyllic setting for savoring fresh seafood and organic produce.

Nautika – Dubrovnik

With terraces that offer views of the sea and the fortresses of Lovrijenac and Bokar, Nautika delivers both culinary excellence and an unbeatable ambiance. Their seafood dishes, sourced from the Adriatic, are legendary.

Alkar – Sinj

Named after the traditional knight tournament “Alka”, this restaurant in Sinj offers specialties from the Dalmatian hinterland. Their meat dishes, particularly veal and lamb, are renowned and are best paired with local wines.

Mala Hiža – Mačkovec

Located in the northern region, close to Čakovec, this restaurant specializes in traditional dishes from Međimurje. Their goose dishes and pumpkin seed oil specialties are must-tries.

Plavi Podrum – Opatija

This iconic spot in Opatija seamlessly blends traditional and contemporary. Known for its seafood dishes, Plavi Podrum offers a wine list that boasts some of Croatia’s finest selections.

Konoba Mate – Korčula

In the picturesque island of Korčula, Konoba Mate stands out with its authentic ambiance and traditional Dalmatian dishes. Their homemade pastas and seafood dishes, especially black risotto, are particularly sought-after.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Batelina – Banjole, Istria

Run by a fisherman’s family, Batelina is the epitome of fresh seafood. The menu changes based on the catch of the day, ensuring freshness and authenticity.

Takenoko – Zagreb

Offering a change of palate, Takenoko in Zagreb specializes in contemporary Asian cuisine with a focus on Japanese dishes. From sushi to tempura, it’s a must-visit for those looking for international flavors.

Konoba Varoš – Split

Located in the old Varoš district of Split, this traditional konoba (tavern) is known for its Dalmatian classics. Their grilled fish and octopus salad are standout dishes.

Fosa – Zadar

Nestled in a small harbor, Fosa offers a modern twist on Croatian seafood. With its beautiful setting and inventive menu, it’s a culinary destination in Zadar.

Stancija Meneghetti – Bale, Istria

Set in a wine estate in Istria, this restaurant is as much about the ambiance as it is about the food. Serving Mediterranean dishes with a touch of Istrian tradition, paired with their in-house wines and olive oils, it’s a holistic gourmet experience.

Bowa – Šipan Island

Situated on one of the Elaphiti Islands, Bowa offers cabana dining with crystal clear waters at your feet. Their five-course seafood menu is the highlight, offering a taste of the pristine Adriatic.

Croatia’s dining landscape mirrors its diverse cultural and geographical tapestry. Whether you’re seeking fresh seafood along the Adriatic coast, hearty meat dishes in the hinterlands, or modern fusion cuisine in urban centers, Croatia’s top restaurants promise to offer a culinary journey worth remembering. Always consider making reservations in advance, especially during the peak tourist season, to ensure a seat at these sought-after establishments.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Must-Visit Destinations And Cities in Croatia

Croatia, a jewel of the Adriatic, has rapidly grown as a sought-after travel destination, thanks to its pristine beaches, rich history, and vibrant culture. Its stunning landscapes range from the azure waters of the Dalmatian coast to the lush greenery of its inland forests. Here’s a detailed guide to some must-visit cities and destinations in Croatia:

Dubrovnik coastal views alongside the city wall in Croatia

Dubrovnik – The Pearl of the Adriatic


  • City Walls: Wander atop these well-preserved medieval walls, offering panoramic views of the city and the sea.
  • Old Town: Limestone-paved streets, Baroque architecture, and the Sponza Palace give a glimpse into the city’s rich history.
  • Lokrum Island: A quick boat ride away, this island offers botanical gardens, fort ruins, and the Dead Sea, a small salt-filled lake.
  • Cable Car: Reach the peak of Mt. Srđ for a mesmerizing view of Dubrovnik and the surrounding islands.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Split – A Living Museum


  • Diocletian’s Palace: An ancient palace turned maze of streets, home to many of Split’s residents, restaurants, and shops.
  • Riva Promenade: A bustling waterfront area perfect for evening strolls.
  • Marjan Hill: A verdant oasis providing hiking trails and panoramic views of the city and Adriatic.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Zagreb – Croatia’s Vibrant Capital


  • Gornji Grad (Upper Town): Visit the historical core of the city, home to the Gothic Zagreb Cathedral and colorful St. Mark’s Church.
  • Museum of Broken Relationships: A unique museum showcasing personal mementos from failed relationships.
  • Dolac Market: Experience local flavors at this bustling farmers’ market.

Zagreb distinct church with country flag in Croatia

Plitvice Lakes National Park – Nature’s Masterpiece


  • Lakes & Waterfalls: Explore 16 terraced lakes interconnected by waterfalls, set amidst lush forests.
  • Wooden Walkways: Traverse the park via these paths, offering an immersive experience.
  • Biodiversity: The park is home to various species, including brown bears, wolves, and myriad birds.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Rovinj – A Picturesque Coastal Gem


  • Old Town: Wander through cobblestone streets leading up to the hilltop church of St. Euphemia.
  • Golden Cape Forest Park: A park boasting beaches, cycling trails, and bird-watching spots.
  • Batana Eco-museum: Learn about the traditional boat of Rovinj, the batana.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Hvar – The Lavender Island


  • Hvar Town: Known for its 13th-century walls, the main square anchored by the Renaissance-era Hvar Cathedral, and a bustling nightlife.
  • Stari Grad Plain: A UNESCO World Heritage site showcasing ancient agricultural practices.
  • Pakleni Islands: A group of islands off Hvar’s coast, ideal for swimming, boating, and relaxation.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Pula – An Ancient Roman Hub


  • Pula Arena: One of the best-preserved Roman amphitheaters globally, still used for concerts and events.
  • Temple of Augustus: A Roman temple dedicated to the goddess Roma and Emperor Augustus.
  • Kamenjak National Park: A short drive away, this park is known for its rugged coastline, clear waters, and dinosaur footprints.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Zadar – A Melody of Waves


  • Sea Organ: A unique installation where the sea’s waves produce musical notes.
  • Sun Salutation: A solar-powered installation that produces a light show at dusk.
  • Roman and Byzantine Ruins: Wander through Zadar’s historic core, exploring its rich past.

Sailboat out on the water in Zadar, Croatia

Krka National Park – The River’s Dance


  • Skradinski Buk: A massive, clear pool with high waterfalls at one end and cascades at the other.
  • Visovac Island: Home to a Franciscan monastery, this island is in the middle of the Krka river.
  • Roski Slap: Another beautiful spot with cascades, nature trails, and historical remnants.

Korčula – The Island of Marco Polo


  • Korčula Town: Often referred to as “Little Dubrovnik”, it’s known for its medieval walls and well-preserved buildings.
  • Local Wines: Taste the Grk and Pošip wines, native to the island.
  • Vela Luka: A peaceful bay town, perfect for relaxation and exploring nearby caves.

Istria – Croatia’s Tuscany


  • Truffle Hunting: Istria is famous for its truffles, especially in the Motovun forest region. Join a truffle hunting tour and savor this delicacy in local dishes.
  • Poreč: Home to the UNESCO-listed Euphrasian Basilica, showcasing intricate Byzantine mosaics.
  • Rovinj: As previously mentioned, it’s a picturesque coastal town with cobbled streets and a vibrant art scene.

Osijek – The Baroque Beauty


  • Tvrdja: A well-preserved baroque fortress with bastions, a central square, and the Church of the Holy Trinity.
  • Promenade along the Drava: Enjoy riverside cafes and cycling paths.
  • Kopački Rit: One of Europe’s largest wetlands, teeming with bird species and home to deer and wild boar.

Brač Island – Home of the Golden Horn


  • Zlatni Rat Beach: This iconic beach, often referred to as the Golden Horn, shifts with the tides and winds.
  • Brač Stone: The island’s white stone was used in many famous buildings, including the White House. Visit the quarries and the stonemasonry school in Pučišća.
  • Olive Oil Museums: Discover the island’s tradition of olive oil making and taste the rich flavors.

Šibenik – A Renaissance Retreat


  • St. James’s Cathedral: A UNESCO World Heritage site, this cathedral boasts a unique blend of Gothic and Renaissance architecture.
  • St. Michael’s Fortress: Offering panoramic views of the town and the Adriatic Sea.
  • Krka National Park: As previously mentioned, it’s just a short drive away from Šibenik.

Varazdin – Croatia’s Baroque Capital


  • Old Town: A pedestrian-only zone with baroque buildings, palaces, and the Varaždin Castle.
  • Varaždin Cemetery: Designed in the style of a park, with sculptures and greenery.
  • Spancirfest: A yearly street festival transforming the city into a stage for music, theater, and art.

Makarska Riviera – The Azure Stretch


  • Makarska Beach: A long pebble beach lined with pine trees and cafes.
  • Biokovo Nature Park: Dominating the skyline, it offers hiking trails with panoramic views of the sea and islands.
  • Nautical Activities: From windsurfing to jet-skiing, the riviera is an adventurer’s playground.

Slavonia – The Golden Plains


  • Kopački Rit: As mentioned, this nature park is one of Europe’s most significant wetlands.
  • Wine Routes: Slavonia’s fertile plains produce some of Croatia’s best wines. Visit vineyards and wine cellars for tastings.
  • Đakovo: Home to the famous Stud Farm, which breeds the Lipizzaner horse.

Mljet Island – A Green Paradise


  • Mljet National Park: Home to two saltwater lakes, Veliko and Malo Jezero, and the small island of St. Mary with its Benedictine monastery.
  • Cycling and Hiking: Numerous trails crisscross the island, making it ideal for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Odysseus Cave: Legend says Odysseus was trapped here; today, visitors can swim in its luminous waters.

Pag Island – A Blend of Beaches and Cheese


  • Zrće Beach: Renowned for its summer festivals and vibrant nightlife, it’s a hotspot for party-goers.
  • Pag Cheese: Taste the famous Pag cheese (Paški Sir), a savory sheep’s milk cheese that embodies the island’s unique terroir.
  • Lace of Pag: Discover the intricate handmade lacework, a tradition listed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Trogir – A Historic Harbor Town


  • Historic Core: A UNESCO World Heritage site, the town boasts a splendid collection of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque buildings.
  • Kamerlengo Castle: Explore this medieval fortress with panoramic views of the town and surrounding waters.
  • Ciovo Island: Linked by a bridge to Trogir, it offers beautiful beaches and quaint chapels.

Vis Island – Croatia’s Remote Gem


  • Blue Cave: Located on the nearby Biševo Island, this cave is famous for its mesmerizing blue glow at certain times of the day.
  • Military Tours: Being a former military base, the island offers tours showcasing abandoned tunnels and submarine pens.
  • Stiniva Cove: A secluded beach framed by towering cliffs, often touted as one of the best in Europe.

Rijeka – The Maritime and Cultural Hub


  • Korzo: The city’s main promenade, lined with Habsburg-era buildings, cafes, and shops.
  • Trsat Castle: Perched atop a hill, the castle offers a panoramic view of the city, Kvarner Bay, and beyond.
  • Carnival of Rijeka: Join the festivities of one of the biggest carnivals in Croatia, with parades, masks, and traditional dances.

Cavtat – The Serene Seaside Town


  • Rector’s Palace: An emblem of Gothic-Renaissance architecture, it now houses the Baltazar Bogišić Collection of historical artifacts.
  • Seafront Promenade: A peaceful path that winds along the harbor, lined with ancient pines and palm trees.
  • Račić Mausoleum: A masterpiece designed by the famed Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović.

Brijuni Islands – The Presidential Archipelago


  • National Park: Comprising 14 islands and islets, the park is a haven for indigenous and exotic species, set amidst Roman and Byzantine ruins.
  • Safari Park: Experience the island’s unique fauna, including elephants, zebras, and native Istrian oxen.
  • Roman Villa: Discover the ruins of a luxurious Roman villa in Verige Bay.

Crikvenica Riviera – The Health and Holiday Haven


  • Thalassotherapy: Due to its special climate, Crikvenica became a recognized health tourism spot in the late 19th century. Today, you can indulge in therapeutic treatments and wellness programs.
  • Aquarium Crikvenica: Dive into the Adriatic’s marine life without getting wet, showcasing local species and those from tropical climes.
  • Town Museum: Learn about Crikvenica’s transformation from a Roman station to a modern tourist destination.

From the winding streets of ancient cities to the tranquil beauty of national parks, Croatia’s diverse offerings cater to every traveler’s taste. Whether it’s the pull of history, the allure of nature, or the charm of the Adriatic Sea, Croatia is a mosaic of unforgettable experiences waiting to be explored. As you journey through this beautiful nation, ensure you soak in the local culture, savor the cuisine, and bask in the warmth of Croatian hospitality.

Hvar ruins and a pile of rubble in Croatia

Off The Beaten Path Destinations And Small Towns in Croatia

The heart of Croatia’s charm often lies beyond its famed cities and tourist hotspots. From the enchanting whispers of its hinterlands to the serene hum of its lesser-known coastal nooks, Croatia promises hidden treasures for those willing to seek them out. Let’s wander through these off-the-beaten-path destinations and quaint towns.

Samobor – A Sweet Delight

Location: Just west of Zagreb.


  • Samoborska Kremsnita: Taste the famed local dessert, a cream cake that’s a favorite among locals and visitors.
  • Samobor Castle: The ruins of this medieval fortress offer panoramic views of the town.
  • Carnival: Experience a rich tradition dating back over 185 years, filled with colorful masks and playful events.

Ston – The Great Wall of Croatia

Location: Pelješac Peninsula.


  • Ston Walls: One of the longest defensive walls in Europe, it offers spectacular views of the Adriatic and surrounding salt pans.
  • Oyster and Mussel Farms: Treat yourself to fresh seafood, straight from the pristine waters of Ston Bay.
  • Ston Saltworks: Learn about traditional salt production methods still in use today.

Hum – The Smallest Town in the World

Location: Istria Peninsula.


  • Size: Home to fewer than 30 residents, the town’s quaint charm is accentuated by its cobblestone streets and ancient stone houses.
  • Glagolitic Alley: A series of stone monuments dedicated to the ancient Glagolitic script.
  • Hum Biska: Sample the locally made mistletoe brandy, known for its medicinal properties.

Motovun – The Hilltop Giant

Location: Istria Peninsula.


  • City Walls: Wander along the ancient walls for breathtaking views of the Mirna River valley.
  • Motovun Film Festival: A celebration of independent and avant-garde films.
  • Truffle Delights: Located in the heart of truffle country, don’t miss trying out various truffle-infused dishes.

Komiža – A Fisherman’s Haven

Location: Vis Island.


  • Fishermen’s Traditions: Dive deep into the town’s maritime traditions at the Fishing Museum.
  • St. Nicholas Monastery: Perched on a hill, it offers panoramic views of the town and sea.
  • Proximity to Biševo: Take a boat ride to the nearby Blue Cave, one of Croatia’s natural wonders.

Grožnjan – The Town of Artists

Location: Istria Peninsula.


  • Artistic Soul: Meander through studios and galleries showcasing local and international artworks.
  • Jazz Is Back!: An annual jazz festival transforming the town into a musical hub.
  • Cobblestone Streets: Lose yourself in the labyrinthine alleys, lined with historic homes and creative spaces.

Vrbnik – Wine and Stone

Location: Krk Island.


  • Žlahtina Wine: Visit local wineries and taste this native white wine.
  • Narrowest Street: Experience Klančić Street, reportedly one of the narrowest in the world.
  • Vrbnik Statute: Written in 1388, it’s among the oldest legal documents in Croatia, and you can learn about it in town.

Skradin – The Gateway to Krka

Location: Near Šibenik.


  • Krka National Park: Accessible by boat from Skradin, you can marvel at the cascading waterfalls and crystal-clear pools.
  • Skradinski Buk: A stunning multi-tiered waterfall and a perfect spot for a refreshing swim.
  • Local Gastronomy: Taste Skradin risotto, cooked for hours under a bell-shaped dome.

Bol – A Windsurfer’s Dream

Location: Brač Island.


  • Golden Cape (Zlatni Rat): While Bol itself is well-known, many of its coves and beaches remain less explored. The shape of this pebble beach changes with the tide, currents, and wind.
  • Windsurfing: The channel between Brač and Hvar offers excellent conditions for windsurfing.
  • Bol Marina: A quieter spot, perfect for enjoying the sun setting over the Adriatic.

Starigrad-Paklenica – Nature’s Playground

Location: Near Zadar.


  • Paklenica National Park: This park, often overshadowed by its popular neighbors (Plitvice and Krka), is a haven for hikers and climbers, with its dramatic canyons and diverse flora and fauna.
  • Velebit Botanical Garden: Discover the unique plant species native to Velebit Mountain.
  • Mirila: Stone monuments along the mountain paths, which once marked burial sites, offering a glimpse into ancient customs.

Fažana – The Gateway to Brijuni

Location: Istria Peninsula.


  • Brijuni National Park: While Brijuni often garners attention, Fažana, the small town on the mainland, remains a peaceful retreat with a rich fishing tradition.
  • Sardine Park: A tribute to the town’s fishing heritage, offering insights into traditional sardine processing.
  • Beaches: Tranquil pebbled beaches, perfect for a quiet day by the sea.

Mali Lošinj – The Island of Vitality

Location: Lošinj Island.


  • Apoxyomenos Museum: Dedicated to the ancient Greek statue found in the waters near the island.
  • Dolphin Watching: The waters around the island are home to a resident pod of dolphins.
  • Aromatic Gardens: Discover the medicinal herbs native to the island.

Pučišća – Stone and Sea

Location: Brač Island.


  • Stonemasonry School: Brač’s white stone is renowned worldwide. The school offers insights into the age-old craft of stonemasonry.
  • Quiet Harbors: Unlike its bustling neighbor Bol, Pučišća offers a more tranquil experience.
  • Historic Architecture: Many buildings here are built using the native Brač stone, showcasing its beauty and versatility.

Cavtat – Dubrovnik’s Tranquil Neighbor

Location: Near Dubrovnik.


  • Maškovića Han: A 17th-century inn that’s the westernmost monument of Ottoman architecture.
  • Laid-back Vibe: Escape the crowds of Dubrovnik for a more relaxed coastal experience.
  • Rat Peninsula: Walk this verdant peninsula for serene sea views.

Nin – The Cradle of Croatian Civilization

Location: Near Zadar.


  • Saltworks: Visit the ancient salt pans and learn about traditional salt production.
  • The Smallest Cathedral: Church of the Holy Cross, known as the world’s smallest cathedral.
  • Queen’s Beach: A sandy haven, famous for its therapeutic mud.

Osor – Where History Meets the Sea

Location: Between the islands of Cres and Lošinj.


  • Osor Archaeological Collection: Hosted in the Bishop’s Palace, the collection displays relics from ancient and medieval times.
  • Moving Bridge: A daily spectacle as the bridge opens to let boats pass, connecting the islands of Cres and Lošinj.
  • Osor Musical Evenings: A renowned summer event showcasing classical music concerts.

Trpanj – A Healing Harbor

Location: Pelješac Peninsula.


  • Healing Mud: Pozora Beach is famed for its therapeutic mud, which visitors can apply directly from the seabed.
  • Historic Chapels: Explore numerous chapels, each telling tales of past centuries.
  • Peaceful Beaches: Relish the tranquil pebbly beaches lining the coastline, a stark contrast to more crowded tourist hubs.

Labin – A Town of Art and Revolution

Location: Istria Peninsula.


  • Old Town: Wander through Labin’s historic heart, filled with art studios, baroque palaces, and ancient churches.
  • Mining Museum: Delve into Labin’s history as a coal mining town and experience the life of a miner.
  • Spectacular Views: The town, perched on a hill, offers breathtaking views of the Kvarner Bay and Rabac.

Baška – The Script and the Sea

Location: Krk Island.


  • Baška Tablet: Discovered in a nearby church, this stone tablet from the 12th century contains inscriptions in Glagolitic script, representing one of the earliest evidences of Croatian written language.
  • Vela Beach: A nearly 2 km long pebbly beach that promises azure waters and relaxation.
  • Educational Trails: Walk the trails that weave through the island, introducing visitors to its rich flora, fauna, and cultural heritage.

Slavonski Brod – A Taste of the Pannonian Plain

Location: Northern Croatia, along the Sava River.


  • Brod Fortress: An impressive baroque military fortification that stands as a testament to the town’s strategic importance in past centuries.
  • Franciscan Monastery: Home to a rich library and the town’s museum.
  • Traditional Cuisine: Dive into the culinary delights of the region, including kulen (a spicy sausage) and fish paprikash.

Varaždin – Baroque Beauty

Location: Northwest Croatia.


  • Baroque Evenings: This internationally renowned music festival celebrates baroque music in the backdrop of a baroque city.
  • Old Castle: Housing the City Museum, this medieval fortress gives insights into the rich history of the region.
  • Cemetery: Strangely enough, the Varaždin cemetery is a beautiful sight. Designed as a park, it’s a serene blend of art and nature.

Gorski Kotar – Croatia’s Green Lung

Location: Between Karlovac and Rijeka.


  • Diverse Flora and Fauna: Often referred to as the green jewel of Croatia, its thick forests are home to lynx, bears, and wolves.
  • Cave Adventures: Explore the Lokvarka and Vrelo caves, among the deepest in Croatia.
  • Lakes and Hiking: With lakes like Bajer and Fužine, and numerous hiking trails, it’s a nature lover’s paradise.

Croatia’s allure doesn’t just reside in its famous landmarks and cities. Its soul is very much alive in the quiet alleys of its small towns, the untouched beauty of its hidden corners, and the age-old traditions kept alive by its people. These destinations, although off the mainstream tourist radar, promise authentic experiences and a deeper connection to the land and its culture. They are the uncharted verses of Croatia’s poetic landscape, waiting to be read and cherished.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Tours For Visitors To Croatia

The splendor of Croatia, with its sparkling Adriatic coastline, majestic mountains, historic cities, and sumptuous cuisine, offers an intoxicating mix for travelers. To truly absorb the essence of this Mediterranean gem, consider these comprehensive tours. Each is designed to offer unique experiences, ensuring memories that last a lifetime.

Historic Croatia: Walk Through Time

Duration: 10 days


  • Dubrovnik’s Ancient Walls: Traverse the ancient fortifications of the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic,’ absorbing panoramic views and centuries-old history.
  • Split’s Diocletian’s Palace: Walk in the footsteps of Roman emperors in this ancient palace-cum-living city.
  • Pula’s Roman Arena: Marvel at one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheaters in the world.
  • Trogir: Wander through this UNESCO-listed town, a testament to Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture.

Croatian Gastronomic Journey

Duration: 8 days


  • Istrian Truffle Hunt: Join locals and their trained dogs to unearth the treasured Istrian truffle.
  • Dalmatian Wine Tasting: Sip on wines from the Pelješac Peninsula and the island of Korčula.
  • Slavonian Kulen Experience: Dive into the flavors of Croatia’s spicy sausage, complete with local folklore.
  • Cooking Classes: From crafting Istrian pasta to baking Dalmatian pastries, get hands-on with Croatian culinary traditions.

Adriatic Sailing Adventure

Duration: 7 days


  • Island-Hopping: Discover the islands of Hvar, Brač, and Vis, each with its unique allure, beaches, and traditions.
  • Blue Cave Exploration: Marvel at the ethereal blue glow of this natural wonder on Biševo Island.
  • Historic Korčula: Explore the rumored birthplace of Marco Polo and soak in its medieval charm.
  • Mljet National Park: Anchoring by this pristine island, take a dip in its two salt lakes.

Croatian Nature and National Parks

Duration: 9 days


  • Plitvice Lakes: Traverse wooden pathways as you hop between cascading lakes and waterfalls.
  • Krka Waterfalls: Revel in the beauty of waterfalls and even enjoy a swim beneath them.
  • Paklenica National Park: Discover the dramatic canyons and endemic flora and fauna.
  • Kopački Rit: Europe’s Amazon, a vast wetland teeming with bird species.

Wellness Retreats and Spa Sojourns

Duration: 6 days


  • Istarske Toplice: Indulge in mineral-rich thermal waters believed to have healing properties.
  • Lošinj Island: Known as the ‘Island of Vitality,’ partake in aromatic and therapeutic experiences.
  • Opatija: Dubbed the ‘Croatian Monte Carlo,’ rejuvenate with luxurious treatments amid Belle Époque architecture.

Active Croatia: Biking, Hiking, and More

Duration: 8 days


  • Cycling Istria: Pedal through picturesque landscapes, from hilltop towns to vineyards.
  • Hiking Biokovo Mountain: Challenge yourself with a trek to the peak, rewarded by Adriatic vistas.
  • Sea Kayaking: Paddle the serene waters around the Elaphiti Islands or Dubrovnik’s ancient walls.
  • Zipline over the Cetina River: Experience an adrenaline rush as you zip over canyons and waterfalls.

Cultural Festivals and Traditions

Duration: Varies based on events.


  • Pula Film Festival: Dive into cinematic art in the ancient Roman amphitheater.
  • Dubrovnik Summer Festival: Enjoy theater, dance, and music in historic venues.
  • Sinjska Alka: Witness a 300-year-old equestrian competition steeped in tradition.
  • Rijeka Carnival: Immerse in one of Europe’s most vibrant carnival celebrations.

The Hidden Gems of Croatia’s Islands

Duration: 7 days


  • Lastovo Archipelago: Revel in one of the most remote island groups in Croatia, known for its pristine nature, clear waters, and starry nights.
  • Galesnjak (Lover’s Island): A naturally heart-shaped island, it’s a secluded spot perfect for romance and relaxation.
  • Silba Island: Car-free and packed with beaches, it’s an oasis for those seeking peace.
  • Susak: Famous for its unique sandy landscape and vibrant folk costumes, it offers a glimpse into a rich culture.

Croatian Art and Architecture Tour

Duration: 10 days


  • Zagreb’s Museum of Contemporary Art: Dive into the modern art scene in Croatia’s vibrant capital.
  • Euphrasian Basilica in Poreč: Marvel at one of the finest examples of Byzantine art in the world.
  • Mimara Museum: Housed in Zagreb, it showcases an eclectic collection spanning from ancient to modern times.
  • Varaždin: Experience baroque architecture at its finest in this northern gem of a city.

1Underwater Croatia: Diving and Snorkeling Tour

Duration: 8 days


  • Bisevo’s Blue Cave: Snorkel in the mesmerizing blue luminescence of this famous cave.
  • Wreck Diving: Explore the sunken ships off the coast of Istria and Dalmatia, remnants of past naval battles.
  • Kornati National Park: A diver’s paradise, this area boasts vibrant marine life and intriguing underwater rock formations.
  • Pelješac Peninsula: Dive amidst underwater vineyards and discover a unique winemaking process.

Musical Croatia: A Symphony of Sounds

Duration: Variable, based on concert schedules.


  • Zagreb World Music Festival: Immerse in the rhythms of the world in this annual event.
  • Pula’s Arena Concerts: Experience music in the historic Roman amphitheater, under a canopy of stars.
  • Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra Performances: Listen to classical compositions set against the backdrop of the ancient city.
  • Ethno Ambient Salona in Solin: Dive into the traditional sounds of Croatia and its neighboring countries.

Adventure Awaits: Croatia’s Extreme Sports Tour

Duration: 7 days


  • River Rafting on the Cetina: Navigate the rapids amidst lush green canyons.
  • Paragliding in Istria: Soar over the peninsula, enjoying panoramic views of the blue Adriatic and green landscapes.
  • Free Climbing in Paklenica: Scale vertical rock faces in one of Europe’s most popular climbing spots.
  • Bungee Jumping from the Maslenica Bridge: Experience an adrenaline rush from one of Croatia’s highest bungee jumping points.

Croatia offers a palette of experiences for every traveler. Whether you’re a history buff, a food connoisseur, an adventurer, or someone seeking solace and wellness, the country has a tour tailored for you. Each journey weaves a tapestry of memories – from the warm hospitality of its people, the echoing tales from ancient walls, the flavors of the land and sea, to the untouched beauty of its natural wonders. Embarking on these tours is not just about discovering Croatia but also about rediscovering oneself amid its timeless charm.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Croatia Accommodations Guide: Hotels, Guesthouses and Hostels

With its rich history, stunning landscapes, and inviting Adriatic coast, Croatia has been steadily climbing the list of Europe’s most sought-after travel destinations. Accommodations are an integral part of any travel experience, and in Croatia, they range from opulent hotels to cozy guesthouses and budget-friendly hostels. Here’s an in-depth look at the accommodation options available.

Luxury Hotels

Aman Sveti Stefan (Sveti Stefan Island)

  • Overview: A luxurious retreat on a private island, this hotel is housed in a restored 15th-century fishing village.
  • Features: Private beaches, fine-dining restaurants, spa, and impeccable views of the Adriatic Sea.
  • Unique Selling Point: The blend of rustic charm with contemporary luxury.

Hotel Bellevue (Dubrovnik)

  • Overview: Nestled in a cliff with direct beach access, it offers a modern touch in the historic city.
  • Features: Indoor pool, top-tier restaurant, and spa.
  • Unique Selling Point: The stunning beachside location within walking distance of Dubrovnik’s Old Town.

Boutique Hotels and Guesthouses

Pucic Palace (Dubrovnik)

  • Overview: A 17th-century baroque palace turned boutique hotel located in the heart of the Old Town.
  • Features: Vintage decor, rooftop restaurant, and wine bar.
  • Unique Selling Point: Its historic charm, making guests feel like they’ve stepped back in time.

Villa Tuttorotto (Rovinj)

  • Overview: An intimate guesthouse overlooking the harbor, offering a mix of modern comfort and antique elegance.
  • Features: Unique room designs, extensive wine list, and personalized service.
  • Unique Selling Point: Breathtaking sunset views from its waterfront location.

Mid-Range Hotels

Hotel Marul (Split)

  • Overview: A family-run establishment situated 500 meters from Diocletian’s Palace.
  • Features: Modern amenities, courtyard garden, and local cuisine offerings.
  • Unique Selling Point: Its prime location, allowing easy exploration of Split’s key attractions.

Hotel Vila Sikaa (Trogir)

  • Overview: Set in a stone building on the waterfront, it offers views of historic Trogir and the sea.
  • Features: Comfortable rooms, top-notch service, and a restaurant serving Dalmatian cuisine.
  • Unique Selling Point: The stunning view of the UNESCO-listed old town.

Budget Accommodations and Hostels

Hostel Old Lab (Zagreb)

  • Overview: Located in the city center, this hostel has a quirky, modern design.
  • Features: Shared dormitories, private rooms, communal kitchen, and game area.
  • Unique Selling Point: Its social atmosphere, making it easy for solo travelers to meet others.

Boutique Hostel Forum (Zadar)

  • Overview: A blend of modern design in a historic setting, it’s close to the Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun.
  • Features: Various room options, including dormitories and private suites, with views of the sea or old town.
  • Unique Selling Point: Its central location and the rooftop terrace with panoramic views.

Key Tips for Accommodation in Croatia:

  1. Seasonality Matters: Prices can soar during peak season, especially along the coast. Book in advance or consider traveling during the shoulder season.
  2. Consider Agrotourism: Especially in Istria, where visitors can stay on working farms, enjoying fresh produce and local experiences.
  3. City Taxes: Most cities charge a small tourist tax, which may be added to your accommodation bill.
  4. Authenticity: Opt for locally-run accommodations to get a more authentic Croatian experience.

From the grandeur of five-star hotels to the humble charm of hostels, Croatia’s accommodations offer something for every type of traveler. Whether you’re looking for a lavish seaside escape, a historic nook in an ancient city, or a budget-friendly hub to meet fellow travelers, Croatia ensures a memorable stay. Remember, the best place often isn’t just where you rest your head, but where you feel the heart of the destination beats.

Hvar castle views from a distance in Croatia

The Best Day Trips In Croatia

With its mosaic of historic towns, pristine beaches, lush national parks, and archipelagoes, Croatia offers a plethora of opportunities for day trips. Whether you’re a history buff, nature enthusiast, or simply looking for sun and sea, these day trips promise an authentic Croatian experience.

1. Plitvice Lakes National Park

Overview: As Croatia’s most popular national park, Plitvice boasts 16 interconnected terraced lakes, waterfalls, and verdant forests.

  • Highlights: Veliki Slap (the tallest waterfall in Croatia), boat ride across Kozjak Lake, and wooden walkways weaving through water cascades.
  • Tips: Wear comfortable shoes, and try visiting early in the morning or late afternoon during peak seasons to avoid crowds.

2. Krka National Park

Overview: Located near Šibenik, Krka National Park is renowned for its tumbling waterfalls and the serene Krka River.

  • Highlights: Skradinski Buk waterfalls, Visovac Monastery situated on a small island, and the chance to swim near certain waterfalls.
  • Tips: Bring your swimwear for a refreshing swim, and consider visiting the ethno village to learn about traditional Dalmatian crafts.

3. Istrian Peninsula

Overview: Often likened to Tuscany, Istria boasts rolling hills, vineyards, olive groves, and medieval hilltop towns.

  • Highlights: The Roman amphitheater in Pula, the Venetian-style coastal town of Rovinj, and the truffle-rich forests near Motovun.
  • Tips: Indulge in an Istrian wine and truffle tasting tour to savor the region’s gastronomic delights.

4. Kornati Archipelago

Overview: Comprising 140 islands, this national park is a paradise for sailors, divers, and nature lovers.

  • Highlights: Cliffs on the outer islands, the turquoise bays for swimming and snorkeling, and the Tureta fortress on Kornat Island.
  • Tips: Ensure you have a valid entry ticket (often included in tour prices) and bring sun protection and water due to limited shade.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

5. Dubrovnik to Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Overview: The historic town of Mostar, with its iconic Ottoman-style bridge, is a fusion of Eastern and Western cultures.

  • Highlights: Stari Most (Old Bridge), cobbled streets of the old bazaar, and Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque’s minaret for panoramic views.
  • Tips: Don’t forget your passport, and consider exchanging some currency into Bosnian Convertible Marks for small purchases.

6. Split to Trogir

Overview: Just a short drive from Split, Trogir is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its well-preserved medieval architecture.

  • Highlights: The Cathedral of St. Lawrence, Kamerlengo Castle, and the seafront promenade.
  • Tips: Visit the town’s Green Market for fresh produce and local specialties.

7. Zadar to Pag Island

Overview: Known for its barren landscapes, unique cheese, and lace-making tradition, Pag offers a unique Adriatic experience.

  • Highlights: Sampling the famous Pag cheese, visiting the old town of Pag, and exploring the secluded beaches.
  • Tips: If visiting in summer, the Zrće Beach is a hub for nightlife and music festivals.

8. Dubrovnik to Korčula Island

Overview: Often called “Little Dubrovnik”, Korčula boasts medieval walls, a historic old town, and claims to be the birthplace of Marco Polo.

  • Highlights: Marco Polo’s alleged birth house, the Moreška sword dance performance, and local white wines like Pošip.
  • Tips: Consider renting a bike to explore the island’s serene landscapes and vineyards.

9. Rijeka to Opatija

Overview: A short journey from the vibrant port city of Rijeka, Opatija is often dubbed the ‘Monte Carlo of Croatia’, boasting a history as a favored getaway for European royalty and aristocrats.

  • Highlights: The Lungomare seaside promenade, the iconic Girl with the Seagull statue, and Villa Angiolina with its lush park.
  • Tips: Enjoy a coffee or meal in one of the many belle-époque style cafes or restaurants along the main promenade.

10. Poreč to the Baredine Cave

Overview: Just a stone’s throw from the ancient town of Poreč, the Baredine Cave offers a journey into the subterranean wonders of Istria.

  • Highlights: Stalactites and stalagmites formations, an underground lake, and the unique olm (a pale aquatic salamander).
  • Tips: The cave’s temperature remains steady, so bring a light jacket. Wear comfortable shoes as you’ll be navigating slippery surfaces.

11. Zagreb to Samobor

Overview: A quick trip from the bustling capital, Samobor is a picturesque town nestled amidst green hills and known for its culinary delights.

  • Highlights: The medieval Samobor Castle ruins, the town square, and tasting the famous Samoborska kremšnita (a creamy custard cake).
  • Tips: Hike to the castle ruins early morning for spectacular views of the town below.

12. Dubrovnik to Elaphiti Islands

Overview: A chain of 13 islands, the Elaphiti Islands are perfect for those seeking serene beaches and untouched nature.

  • Highlights: The botanical garden on Lokrum, sandy Šunj Beach on Lopud, and the olive groves of Šipan.
  • Tips: Frequent boat tours are available from Dubrovnik; however, renting a private boat or kayak gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace.

13. Split to Šolta Island

Overview: A lesser-visited gem, Šolta is just a short ferry ride from Split and offers authentic island life.

  • Highlights: Maslinica’s historic castle, the scenic village of Stomorska, and tasting the locally-produced honey and olive oil.
  • Tips: Rent a bike to explore the island’s quaint villages and hidden coves.

14. Osijek to Kopacki Rit Nature Park

Overview: Located near Osijek, Kopacki Rit is one of the largest wetlands in Europe, making it a haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.

  • Highlights: Boat tours offering sightings of numerous bird species, deer, and wild boar; and the distinct marshy landscape.
  • Tips: Visit in spring or fall for the best birdwatching opportunities. Don’t forget your binoculars and mosquito repellent.

15. Makarska to Biokovo Nature Park

Overview: Towering above the Makarska Riviera, Biokovo Mountain offers hiking, panoramic views, and unique flora and fauna.

  • Highlights: The newly opened Skywalk, a horseshoe-shaped platform offering views of the coast; and the Kotišina botanical garden.
  • Tips: Weather can be unpredictable, so dress in layers and wear sturdy hiking shoes.

Croatia presents travelers with endless opportunities for exploration. These day trips only scratch the surface of what this Adriatic gem has to offer. Whether you’re delving into historic towns, savoring world-class wines, or plunging into azure waters, each day trip becomes a story, a memory, and a testament to Croatia’s timeless allure.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Croatia Transportation Guide

Croatia, with its rich history, spectacular coastline, and picturesque islands, is a traveler’s paradise. However, getting around can seem daunting for first-time visitors. This comprehensive guide to Croatia’s transportation system will ensure you traverse the country with ease and confidence.

Air Travel

Overview: Croatia has several international airports that connect it to numerous European cities and, during peak season, even farther afield.

  • Major Airports: Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Split, Pula, Zadar, and Rijeka.
  • Tips: Internal flights can be a quick way to jump between major cities. Croatia Airlines, the national carrier, offers frequent flights, especially between Zagreb and the coastal cities.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube


Overview: Buses are a popular and efficient means to travel across Croatia. They often serve routes not connected by train, making them ideal for reaching more remote areas.

  • Major Bus Companies: Autotrans, FlixBus, and Autobusni Kolodvor.
  • Tips: Purchase tickets in advance during peak season. While many bus stations offer ticket sales, online platforms also provide a convenient booking option.


Overview: Though not as extensive as the bus network, trains in Croatia are comfortable and great for longer journeys, especially in the northern and interior parts.

  • Rail Operator: HŽ Putnički Prijevoz.
  • Tips: The train connection between major cities like Zagreb and Split is scenic. However, the Dalmatian coast and islands aren’t accessible by train.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Ferries and Catamarans

Overview: Given Croatia’s extensive Adriatic coastline and over 1,000 islands, ferries and catamarans are vital for island hopping.

  • Main Operators: Jadrolinija, Krilo, and G&V Line.
  • Tips: Summer sees an increased frequency of services, but it’s advisable to book in advance. Some smaller islands might only have connections a few times a week.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Cars and Motorbikes

Overview: Renting a car or motorbike can be the best way to explore Croatia at your own pace, especially the countryside.

  • Tips:
    • Remember Croatia drives on the right.
    • Major highways (like the A1) are toll roads.
    • Always carry your driving license, car rental documentation, and passport.
    • Parking in major cities can be challenging, especially in the older parts which were not built for modern traffic.


Overview: Croatia’s diverse landscape, from its coastal roads to its hilly interiors, makes it a fantastic destination for cycling.

  • Tips:
    • Coastal roads can be busy during peak season.
    • Many cities, like Zagreb, have dedicated bike lanes and bike-sharing programs.
    • Helmets are a must!

Local Transport

  • City Buses: Most cities have their own bus network, which is an efficient way to get around. Tickets can be bought on the bus or at kiosks.
  • Taxis & Ride-Sharing: Taxis are available in most towns and cities. Uber operates in Croatia, especially in bigger cities and tourist areas.

Boats and Yachts

Overview: For those looking to explore the Adriatic intimately, chartering a boat or yacht is an option.

  • Tips:
    • A range of services from basic boats to luxury yachts are available.
    • You’ll need appropriate licenses to operate them, but many come with their own crew.


Modern transport in Croatia is increasingly considering the needs of people with disabilities. Major airports, bus stations, and newer trains are equipped with facilities for passengers with reduced mobility. Ferries and catamarans, given their significance in Croatia, also often cater to these needs.

Croatia’s transportation network is diverse and generally efficient, offering a range of options suitable for different travel preferences and budgets. Whether you’re journeying through historic inland cities, exploring secluded beaches, or island hopping across the Adriatic, the country’s transportation system ensures you can navigate with ease. Always plan in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to ensure availability and to get the best prices.

Boats out on the water in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Croatia 1 Day Travel Itinerary

Nestled along the Dalmatian Coast, Dubrovnik – often referred to as the “Pearl of the Adriatic” – offers an enticing blend of history, culture, and scenic beauty. In just one day, you can immerse yourself in its magic. Let’s embark on a day’s journey through this UNESCO World Heritage site.


7:30 AM – Breakfast at “Gradska Kavana”

  • Begin your day with a hearty Croatian breakfast at Gradska Kavana, overlooking the historic Renaissance fountain of Onofrio and the Church of St. Blaise. Relish pastries, cured meats, cheeses, and some fresh juice or coffee.

8:15 AM – Walk the City Walls

  • Right after breakfast, before the sun climbs too high and crowds pour in, embark on a walk along Dubrovnik’s iconic city walls. These walls, which stretch around 2 km, offer panoramic views of the Old Town and the shimmering Adriatic Sea.
  • Tip: Wear comfortable shoes and carry water. This walk involves steps and inclines.

10:00 AM – Explore Dubrovnik’s Old Town

  • Descend from the walls and wander the limestone-paved streets of the Old Town. Marvel at the Gothic-Renaissance architecture and perhaps visit the Rector’s Palace and the Dubrovnik Cathedral.

Late Morning:

11:30 AM – Ride the Dubrovnik Cable Car

  • Head to the cable car station and take a ride up to Mount Srđ. From the summit, soak in breathtaking views of Dubrovnik, Lokrum Island, and the endless blue horizon of the Adriatic.

12:30 PM – Lunch at “Panorama Restaurant”

  • Located atop Mount Srđ, Panorama boasts views as sumptuous as its menu. Savor traditional Croatian dishes like octopus salad, grilled fish, or pasticada (a stewed beef dish) paired with a glass of local wine.


2:00 PM – Maritime Museum & Fort Lovrijenac

  • After descending from Mount Srđ, venture to the Maritime Museum to explore Dubrovnik’s seafaring history. Later, head to Fort Lovrijenac, a fortress perched on a 37-meter high rock, often dubbed “Dubrovnik’s Gibraltar”.

4:00 PM – Relax at Banje Beach

  • Located just outside the city walls, Banje is Dubrovnik’s most famous beach. Dip your toes in the Adriatic, relax on the pebbled shore, or partake in watersports.


6:30 PM – Stroll along Stradun

  • As the day’s heat begins to dissipate, enjoy a leisurely stroll along Stradun, the main thoroughfare of the Old Town. Lined with historic buildings and lively cafes, it’s the heart of Dubrovnik’s social life.

7:30 PM – Dinner at “Nautika Restaurant”

  • Nestled on the sea-facing city walls, Nautika offers a blend of luxury dining with views of the sea and Fort Lovrijenac. Relish dishes like lobster from Vis, black risotto, or lamb from the neighboring islands.

9:30 PM – Nightcap at “Buža Bar”

  • Conclude your day at this cliffside bar, accessed through a hole in the city walls (Buža means “hole-in-the-wall”). Sip on a cocktail or local wine, with the sound of waves crashing below and stars twinkling above.

While a day is hardly enough to encompass all that Dubrovnik has to offer, this itinerary ensures you experience its quintessential charms. From its historic monuments and azure beaches to its culinary delights and vibrant nightlife, Dubrovnik promises memories that linger.

Passenger ferry in Split, Croatia leaving the port

Croatia 3-4 Days Travel Itinerary

Dalmatia, the coastal region of Croatia, is characterized by its crystal-clear waters, historic towns, and sumptuous Mediterranean cuisine. This 3-4 day itinerary offers a taste of its splendor, covering Dubrovnik, Split, and the enchanting islands in between.

Day 1: Dubrovnik


  • Dubrovnik’s Old Town: Start early to avoid crowds. Wander through the limestone streets, explore baroque buildings, and visit the Rector’s Palace and Dubrovnik Cathedral.
  • City Walls Walk: Post breakfast, embark on a walk atop the city walls. Marvel at the panoramic views of terracotta rooftops against the azure Adriatic backdrop.


  • Lunch at Proto: This acclaimed seafood restaurant serves local dishes like fish brodetto and black risotto.
  • Fort Lovrijenac: Visit this historic fortress, understanding its strategic significance and admiring the views of the city walls from afar.
  • Relax at Banje Beach: Unwind with a swim or simply lounge at this picturesque beach, which lies at the foot of the city walls.


  • Dinner at Nautika: Experience gourmet dining with a view, feasting on dishes inspired by the Adriatic.

Day 2: Split


  • Travel to Split: Opt for a scenic drive or take a catamaran/ferry. The journey offers a chance to witness the stunning Dalmatian coastline.
  • Explore Diocletian’s Palace: Dive into history as you explore this UNESCO World Heritage site. From the underground cellars to Peristil Square, there’s a myriad of sites to discover.


  • Riva Promenade: Stroll along this vibrant strip, enjoying the sea breeze, and perhaps grabbing a gelato or coffee from one of the many stalls.
  • Marjan Hill: A hike (or bike ride) up this hill rewards you with panoramic views of Split and the surrounding islands.


  • Dinner at Konoba Marjan: Nestled on the slopes of Marjan Hill, this restaurant offers traditional Dalmatian dishes with a modern twist.

Day 3: Island Hopping – Hvar & Pakleni Islands


  • Ferry to Hvar: Start your day with a ferry ride to Hvar, an island known for its historical sites, lavender fields, and vibrant nightlife.
  • Hvar Town: Visit the Hvar Fortress, walk the quaint streets, and indulge in some shopping at local boutiques.


  • Pakleni Islands: Take a taxi boat to this group of islets off Hvar. Swim in secluded bays, sunbathe on rocky beaches, and enjoy a lunch at one of the beachside restaurants.


  • Hvar Nightlife: Return to Hvar and experience its famed nightlife. Beach bars like Hula Hula and nightclubs like Carpe Diem offer a blend of cocktails, music, and sea views.

Day 4: Trogir (or Optional Return to Dubrovnik)


  • Travel to Trogir: Just a short drive from Split, Trogir is a UNESCO World Heritage site, known for its well-preserved Romanesque and Renaissance buildings.
  • Historic Exploration: Visit the Cathedral of St. Lawrence, Kamerlengo Castle, and stroll along the promenade.


  • Čiovo Island: Connected to Trogir by a bridge, this island offers beautiful beaches and quaint villages.


  • Return to Dubrovnik (optional): If you’re flying out from Dubrovnik or have accommodations there, consider heading back in the evening.
  • Dinner in Dubrovnik: If you return to Dubrovnik, have a farewell meal at Pantarul, known for its fresh, seasonal, and local dishes.

This 3-4 day itinerary offers a blend of history, relaxation, and natural beauty. While it captures the essence of Dalmatia, the region’s richness ensures that there’s always more to explore on subsequent visits. Safe travels and sretan put! (That’s “happy journey” in Croatian.)

Zadar sunset views out of the water in Croatia

Croatia 1 Week Travel Itinerary

Croatia is a country where every turn promises an enchanting experience, from sun-soaked beaches and historic towns to lush national parks. This 1-week itinerary offers a taste of its diverse beauty.

Day 1: Dubrovnik – The Pearl of the Adriatic


  • Old Town Exploration: Dive into Dubrovnik’s history with a tour of its UNESCO-listed Old Town, exploring landmarks like the Rector’s Palace, Onofrio’s Fountain, and the City Walls.


  • Lokrum Island: Take a short ferry ride to this island, a haven of botanical gardens, a saltwater lake, and the ruins of a Benedictine monastery.


  • Dinner at “360°”: A Michelin-starred restaurant set atop the city walls, offering Mediterranean delicacies with an innovative twist.

Day 2: Pelješac Peninsula & Korčula


  • Drive to Orebic: Embark on a scenic drive along the Pelješac Peninsula, stopping at vineyards en route to sample the region’s famous Dingač red wine.


  • Korčula: Take a ferry to Korčula Island. Explore Korčula Town, often dubbed “Mini Dubrovnik” due to its medieval walls and historic structures.


  • Dinner at “LD Terrace”: Taste traditional Dalmatian dishes with a modern flair.

Day 3: Split & Trogir


  • Split’s Diocletian’s Palace: Dive into Roman history as you explore the winding streets of this ancient palace.


  • Trogir: Just a short drive from Split, delve into this UNESCO-listed town, marveling at its historic buildings and the beautiful promenade.


  • Dinner at “Konoba Nikola”: Located in Stobreč, enjoy traditional Croatian dishes like peka.

Day 4: Hvar Island


  • Hvar Town: Begin with Hvar’s historical sites, like its Renaissance-era cathedral and the hilltop fortress offering panoramic views.


  • Stari Grad: Visit this ancient town, known for its charming streets and the UNESCO-listed Stari Grad Plain.


  • Nightlife in Hvar: Experience Hvar’s vibrant nightlife at beach clubs and bars.

Day 5: Plitvice Lakes National Park

Morning & Afternoon:

  • Plitvice Exploration: Spend your day amid cascading waterfalls and crystal-clear lakes in Croatia’s most famous national park.


  • Dinner at “Licka Kuca”: Near the park, savor traditional dishes like roasted lamb and trout.

Day 6: Zadar & Šibenik


  • Zadar: Visit the Sea Organ, the Sun Salutation installation, and St. Donatus Church.


  • Šibenik: Explore Šibenik’s Cathedral of St. James, a UNESCO site, and wander its medieval streets.


  • Dinner at “Pelegrini”: Enjoy a gourmet meal at this Michelin-starred restaurant in Šibenik.

Day 7: Return to Dubrovnik with Stops at Makarska & Ston


  • Makarska: Take a morning stroll on Makarska’s beautiful beach promenade, and perhaps hike up to Biokovo Nature Park.


  • Ston: Known for its ancient salt flats and the Walls of Ston, often dubbed the “Great Wall of Croatia”.


  • Farewell Dinner in Dubrovnik at “Pantarul”: Celebrate your Croatian journey’s conclusion with a meal that merges tradition and innovation.

This 7-day itinerary offers a snapshot of Croatia’s diverse appeal, balancing relaxation and exploration. While it captures the country’s quintessential experiences, Croatia’s depth ensures that each visit can unearth new adventures.

Pula Roman Ruins in Croatia

Croatia 14 Day Travel Itinerary

Unfurling over two weeks, this itinerary offers a deep dive into Croatia’s diverse allure, combining the stunning Adriatic coastline with the lesser-trodden interior treasures.

Day 1 & 2: Dubrovnik

Day 1 – Arrival & Old Town:

  • Morning: Arrive in Dubrovnik and settle into your accommodation.
  • Afternoon: Discover the UNESCO-listed Old Town, visiting key attractions like the Rector’s Palace, City Walls, and Sponza Palace.
  • Evening: Enjoy dinner at “360°” with scenic views.

Day 2 – Lokrum & Fort Lovrijenac:

  • Morning: Take a ferry to Lokrum Island, exploring its botanical gardens and monastery ruins.
  • Afternoon: Return to the mainland and visit Fort Lovrijenac.
  • Evening: Dine at “Pantarul,” a haven of local flavors.

Day 3: Elaphiti Islands

  • Full Day: Embark on a boat tour to these idyllic islands, particularly Sipan, Lopud, and Kolocep. Enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and seafood delicacies.

Day 4: Pelješac Peninsula

  • Morning: Drive to Mali Ston. Visit the Walls of Ston and enjoy oyster tasting.
  • Afternoon: Continue to Orebic. Explore vineyards and sample the region’s famous red wine.
  • Evening: Overnight in a local guesthouse.

Day 5 & 6: Korčula & Mljet

Day 5 – Korčula:

  • Morning: Take a ferry from Orebic to Korčula. Explore Korčula Town and its historic sites.
  • Afternoon: Cycle or drive around the island, visiting beaches and small villages.
  • Evening: Dine at “LD Terrace.”

Day 6 – Mljet National Park:

  • Full Day: Take a day trip to Mljet Island. Visit the national park, saltwater lakes, and St. Mary’s Monastery. Return to Korčula for the night.

Day 7 & 8: Split & Trogir

Day 7 – Split:

  • Morning: Arrive in Split and explore Diocletian’s Palace.
  • Afternoon: Relax at Bacvice Beach and stroll the Riva Promenade.
  • Evening: Taste Dalmatian cuisine at “Bokeria Kitchen & Wine.”

Day 8 – Trogir:

  • Full Day: Explore the UNESCO-listed town of Trogir, marveling at the Cathedral of St. Lawrence and the historic seafront.

Day 9 & 10: Hvar & Pakleni Islands

Day 9 – Hvar:

  • Morning: Take a ferry to Hvar. Visit St. Stephen’s Square and Fortress.
  • Afternoon: Explore the lavender fields and the ancient Stari Grad Plain.
  • Evening: Experience Hvar’s nightlife.

Day 10 – Pakleni Islands:

  • Full Day: Boat tour to the Pakleni archipelago. Dive into crystal-clear waters, sunbathe, and savor fresh seafood.

Day 11: Plitvice Lakes National Park

  • Full Day: Wander through this UNESCO-listed park, traversing wooden pathways alongside cascading waterfalls and pristine lakes. Overnight in a nearby hotel.

Day 12: Zadar

  • Morning: Arrive in Zadar. Visit the Sea Organ and the Sun Salutation.
  • Afternoon: Explore Roman ruins and the Church of St. Donatus.
  • Evening: Dine at “Pet Bunara.”

Day 13: Istria – Pula & Rovinj

  • Morning: Drive to Pula. Explore the ancient amphitheater and Roman temples.
  • Afternoon: Head to Rovinj. Wander its Venetian-era streets and visit the Church of St. Euphemia.
  • Evening: Savor Istrian dishes at “Monte” in Rovinj.

Day 14: Departure from Zagreb

  • Morning: Drive to Zagreb, Croatia’s vibrant capital.
  • Afternoon: Briefly explore the city’s main square, Ban Jelacic, and the historic Gornji Grad.
  • Evening: Depart from Zagreb Airport.

This two-week itinerary promises a comprehensive experience, encapsulating Croatia’s multifaceted charm, from the allure of the Adriatic to the mysteries of its hinterlands. Safe and memorable travels!

Pula ancient cobbled streets in Croatia

Croatia 1 Month Travel Itinerary

Spanning 30 days, this comprehensive itinerary offers a unique blend of Croatia’s coastal elegance, island magic, and the untouched charm of its interiors. Revel in the full breadth of Croatian experiences from the north to the south and east to west.

Week 1: Istria & Kvarner

Day 1-3: Pula

  • Pula Arena: Explore one of the world’s best-preserved Roman amphitheaters.
  • Temple of Augustus: Admire the Roman temple dedicated to the first Roman emperor.
  • Day trips: Fazana and the Brijuni Islands, known for their national park and Tito’s former summer residence.

Day 4-5: Rovinj

  • Old Town: Wander the cobblestone streets and ascend to the Church of St. Euphemia.
  • Golden Cape Forest Park: Delight in the natural beauty and beaches.

Day 6-7: Opatija & Kvarner Islands

  • Opatija: A resort town with Habsburg-era villas.
  • Kvarner Islands: Visit Krk and Cres, enjoying their nature, culture, and historical sites.

Week 2: Dalmatian Coast

Day 8-10: Zadar

  • Historical sites: The Roman Forum, St. Donatus Church, Sea Organ, and Sun Salutation.

Day 11-14: Split

  • Diocletian’s Palace: Explore this living monument where locals still reside.
  • Marjan Hill: Offers panoramic views of the city.
  • Day trips: Nearby Trogir and the ruins of Salona.

Week 3: Islands & Dubrovnik

Day 15-17: Hvar

  • Hvar Town: Historic sites, nightlife, and beaches.
  • Stari Grad: A UNESCO site with ancient agricultural fields.

Day 18-20: Korčula

  • Old Town: Dubbed “Little Dubrovnik”, with medieval walls and marbled streets.
  • Beaches: Vela Przina Beach and Pupnatska Luka.

Day 21-23: Mljet

  • Mljet National Park: Saltwater lakes and tranquil nature.

Day 24-27: Dubrovnik

  • Old Town: Rector’s Palace, Sponza Palace, City Walls, and Fort Lovrijenac.
  • Day trips: Lokrum Island and Elafiti Islands.

Week 4: Interior & Capital

Day 28-29: Plitvice Lakes National Park

  • Waterfalls & Lakes: Traverse wooden pathways through the stunning cascades and turquoise waters.

Day 30-31: Zagreb

  • Gornji Grad: The historic upper town with the Stone Gate and Zagreb Cathedral.
  • Museum Hopping: Visit the quirky Museum of Broken Relationships and the Croatian Museum of Naive Art.
  • Mirogoj Cemetery: A serene park filled with ornate mausoleums.

A month in Croatia allows you to deeply immerse yourself in its diverse landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. From the sun-drenched shores of the Adriatic to the bustling streets of its historic cities, Croatia’s allure lies in its multifaceted beauty and the warmth of its people. Enjoy every moment of this epic journey!

Croatia flag in Hvar flapping in the wind

Croatia 3 Month Travel Itinerary

Three months in Croatia lets you not just skim the surface, but dive deep into the country’s tapestry, absorbing its unique cultural, historical, and natural delights. This extensive journey will take you from the northernmost to the southernmost parts, the eastern hinterlands to the Adriatic coast, balancing tourist hotspots with local gems.

Month 1: Northern Croatia & Istria

Week 1: Zagreb & Surroundings

  • Day 1-7: Begin in the vibrant capital, Zagreb. Explore its historic Gornji Grad, museums, parks, and Mirogoj Cemetery. Take day trips to nearby places like Samobor and Varazdin.

Week 2: Istrian Peninsula

  • Day 8-14: Pula, Rovinj, and Poreč. Visit ancient Roman ruins, medieval towns, and dine on truffle-infused dishes.

Week 3: Coastal & Highlands

  • Day 15-21: Opatija, Rijeka, and Motovun. Experience the Austro-Hungarian riviera charm and venture inland to hilltop towns.

Week 4: Kvarner Bay

  • Day 22-28: Explore islands Cres, Lošinj, and Krk. Savor seafood, swim in secluded coves, and hike trails with panoramic views.

Month 2: Dalmatian Coast & Islands

Week 1: North Dalmatia

  • Day 29-35: Zadar and Šibenik. Explore historical sites, the Krka National Park waterfalls, and the Kornati archipelago.

Week 2: Central Dalmatia

  • Day 36-42: Split, Trogir, and Salona. Roam ancient palaces, Roman ruins, and unwind on the Bačvice beach.

Week 3: Dalmatian Islands

  • Day 43-49: Hvar, Brač, and Korčula. Vineyards, medieval towns, and iconic beaches like Zlatni Rat await.

Week 4: South Dalmatia

  • Day 50-56: Dubrovnik, Cavtat, and Pelješac Peninsula. Walk Dubrovnik’s walls, relish Pelješac wines, and kayak in the Elafiti Islands.

Month 3: Inland & Eastern Croatia

Week 1: Herzegovina Influence

  • Day 57-63: Metković and the Neretva Delta. Enjoy birdwatching, photo safaris, and taste the unique eel dishes.

Week 2: Parks & Nature

  • Day 64-70: Plitvice Lakes and Paklenica National Parks. Embrace the cascading waterfalls, pristine lakes, and rugged canyons.

Week 3: Slavonia

  • Day 71-77: Osijek, Đakovo, and Slavonski Brod. Dive into the diverse culture influenced by the Ottoman Empire, visit the Kopacki Rit Nature Park, and experience hearty Slavonian gastronomy.

Week 4: Closing the Circle

  • Day 78-84: Return to Zagreb. Explore places you may have missed initially and take a few day trips, perhaps to Trakošćan Castle or Lonjsko Polje Nature Park.

Travel Tips:

  1. Seasonal Changes: In three months, the weather can change significantly. Pack accordingly.
  2. Public Transport: Buses are efficient for inter-city travel. For islands, ferries and catamarans are the best choice.
  3. Accommodation: Opt for Sobe (private rooms), boutique hotels, and rural farm stays to immerse yourself in local culture.
  4. Local Festivities: Engage in local festivals and events which can provide unique experiences.

Three months in Croatia offers an unparalleled deep dive into a nation of varied landscapes, deep-rooted traditions, and vibrant modernity. Embrace the leisurely pace, the diverse regional influences, and the captivating beauty of Croatia’s lesser-known corners. This journey is more than just sightseeing—it’s a transformative immersion. Safe travels!

Dubrovnik people walking around in the historic old city in Croatia

Is Croatia A Safe Country To Visit?

Croatia, known for its sparkling Adriatic coast, ancient cities, and diverse landscapes, is also often recognized for its safety, especially compared to many other European tourist destinations. However, like all countries, there are nuances to understand. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the safety scenario in Croatia:

General Safety:

  • Low Violent Crime Rates: Incidents of violent crime are comparatively rare in Croatia, especially against tourists. The country’s tourism industry is significant, and there’s a general understanding among locals about the importance of making tourists feel welcome and safe.
  • Petty Crimes: As with many tourist hotspots around the world, there are instances of pickpocketing, particularly in crowded places like popular beaches, tourist attractions, and public transport. Split, Dubrovnik, and Zagreb’s popular spots can see occasional pickpocketing incidents.

Health Safety:

  • Medical Facilities: Croatia has a good standard of medical facilities, particularly in urban areas. However, if traveling to remote areas, it’s advisable to carry essential medications as facilities could be sparse.
  • Cleanliness & Food Safety: Croatia maintains European standards of cleanliness. Tap water is generally safe to drink, and food hygiene standards in restaurants and hotels are high.
  • Vaccinations: No special vaccinations are required for Croatia unless you’re coming from a country with a risk of yellow fever.

Road Safety:

  • Condition of Roads: The condition of major roads and highways (like the A1) is excellent. However, some rural roads can be narrow and winding.
  • Driving Behavior: Croatians drive on the right side of the road. While most drivers adhere to regulations, be cautious of aggressive drivers or those overtaking on narrow roads.
  • Pedestrian Safety: Pedestrian zones are widespread in city centers. However, always be cautious and use pedestrian crossings where available.

Natural Safety:

  • Sea Currents: The Adriatic Sea is generally calm, but there can be occasional strong currents. It’s advisable to heed local warnings and always supervise children.
  • Wildlife: While Croatia is home to various wildlife, including bears and snakes, encounters are rare, especially in touristy areas.
  • Weather-Related Risks: Summers can get quite hot, so it’s essential to stay hydrated and protected against the sun. Winters, especially inland, can be chilly with snow, so come prepared if visiting during this season.

Political & Social Safety:

  • Stability: Croatia is a stable democracy and a member of the European Union. Political upheavals that affect tourists are infrequent.
  • Landmines: Croatia suffered from a war in the 1990s, and while most of the country is now safe, there are still some areas with landmines. These areas are marked, and it’s essential to heed warnings and stay on marked paths.

Tips for Safe Travel:

  • Stay Informed: Like any other destination, stay updated on local news and events.
  • Respect Local Customs: Croatians are hospitable, but it’s always good to be aware of local customs and etiquettes to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Travel Insurance: Always travel with comprehensive insurance covering theft, loss, and medical problems.

Croatia is undoubtedly one of Europe’s safer destinations for travelers. Its combination of natural beauty, rich history, and Mediterranean charm draws millions every year. By taking the usual precautions that one would while traveling anywhere and respecting local customs, tourists can expect a memorable, secure, and delightful Croatian experience. Safe travels!

Coastal views in Dubrovnik of the ancient architecture in Croatia

When Is The Best Time To Visit Croatia?

Croatia, with its pristine beaches, historic towns, and verdant national parks, is a destination that offers unique experiences year-round. However, the “best” time to visit can vary based on what you’re seeking. Let’s delve deep into the nuances of Croatia’s seasons to help you pinpoint the ideal time for your trip.

Understanding Croatia’s Climate:

Croatia can be broadly categorized into two climatic regions:

  • Coastal/Mediterranean Climate (Adriatic Coast): Warm summers and mild winters.
  • Continental Climate (Inland): Hotter summers and cold winters with possible snowfall.

Seasonal Breakdown:

Spring (March – May)

  • Weather: Spring sees gradually rising temperatures, blossoming flowers, and greener landscapes. By May, coastal areas are pleasantly warm.
  • Crowds: Fewer tourists compared to the peak summer months, making it a peaceful time for exploration.
  • Highlights: This period is excellent for outdoor activities like hiking and exploring national parks, especially Plitvice Lakes and Krka, as waterfalls are in full flow.
  • Festivals: Easter celebrations are vibrant, particularly in towns like Dubrovnik and Hvar.

Summer (June – August)

  • Weather: Hot and sunny, particularly along the coast. Inland areas, especially Zagreb, can get quite warm but are typically less humid.
  • Crowds: Peak tourist season. Coastal towns, particularly Dubrovnik, Split, and Hvar, can be crowded.
  • Highlights: Ideal for beach lovers, island hopping, and water sports. Yacht weeks and sailing are popular.
  • Festivals: Summer festivals, including the Split Summer Festival, Dubrovnik Summer Festival, and numerous music festivals like Ultra Europe, abound.

Autumn (September – November)

  • Weather: Mild and pleasant, though with a higher chance of rain as November approaches.
  • Crowds: A decline in tourists post-August, offering a more relaxed environment.
  • Highlights: Grape harvest season in wine regions such as Istria and Dalmatia. A great time for truffle hunting in Istria.
  • Festivals: Various food and wine festivals, including the Days of Truffles in Istria.

Winter (December – February)

  • Weather: Coastal areas have mild winters, while inland areas can be chilly with snowfall, particularly in regions like Gorski Kotar.
  • Crowds: Apart from the holiday season, tourist numbers are considerably low.
  • Highlights: Skiing in areas like Sljeme near Zagreb. Christmas markets, especially Zagreb’s, are festive and popular.
  • Festivals: Advent in Zagreb, Dubrovnik Winter Festival, and St. Blaise Feast in Dubrovnik.

Personal Preferences:

  • Beach & Sun: Late June to early September.
  • Sightseeing & Culture: May-June and September-October, due to pleasant weather and fewer crowds.
  • Nature & Hiking: Late spring (when flora is in bloom) and early autumn.
  • Skiing & Snow: January and February.
  • Budget Travel: Late autumn and winter, except during Christmas/New Year.

Final Tips:

  • Ferry Schedules: If you’re planning to visit islands, note that many ferries have limited schedules outside the summer months.
  • Accommodation: While summer sees higher rates, you might find substantial discounts and deals in the off-peak seasons.

The best time to visit Croatia truly depends on individual preferences. Whether it’s the sun-soaked beaches, historic sites without the crowds, festive winter markets, or the natural beauty in spring and autumn, Croatia has something special in store every season. Whatever you choose, the country’s charm is sure to leave a lasting impression.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Top Festivals and Events in Croatia

Croatia, an enchanting blend of Mediterranean charm, historic significance, and Balkan vibrancy, offers an array of festivals and events that reflect its rich cultural tapestry. From the modern vibes of electronic music festivals to age-old traditions, here’s a detailed guide to the most prominent festivals and events in Croatia:

Music Festivals:

Ultra Europe (Split)

  • Time: July
  • Description: One of Europe’s premier electronic music festivals, Ultra Europe is a haven for electronic dance music lovers. Big-name DJs grace the stages, and the beach parties, boat parties, and electrifying main events guarantee a thrilling experience.

INmusic Festival (Zagreb)

  • Time: June
  • Description: Croatia’s biggest international open-air festival, INmusic has welcomed artists ranging from Arctic Monkeys to Florence + The Machine. Set on the Lake Jarun’s isles in Zagreb, it offers a unique ambiance.

Soundwave (Tisno)

  • Time: August
  • Description: This eclectic festival celebrates electronic, reggae, funk, jazz, and soul music. Its serene coastal location and intimate vibe make it stand out.

Film and Arts Festivals:

Pula Film Festival (Pula)

  • Time: July
  • Description: The oldest film festival in Croatia, it showcases international and Croatian films in the stunning setting of a Roman amphitheater.

Motovun Film Festival (Motovun)

  • Time: Late July
  • Description: Set in the picturesque town of Motovun, this festival focuses on films from small cinemas or independent productions, providing a platform for lesser-known cinematic gems.

Dubrovnik Summer Festival (Dubrovnik)

  • Time: July – August
  • Description: Celebrating theatre, ballet, classical music, and film, this festival uses the entire city as its stage, from fortresses to squares and streets, highlighting Dubrovnik’s rich heritage.

Traditional and Cultural Festivals:

Sinjska Alka (Sinj)

  • Time: August
  • Description: A 300-year-old tradition, it’s a knightly tournament where riders on horseback aim lances at a metal ring (Alka) at full gallop. It commemorates the victory over Ottoman invaders.

Rijeka Carnival (Rijeka)

  • Time: January – March
  • Description: One of the largest carnivals in Europe, it’s a colorful blend of parades, masked balls, concerts, and traditional events. It culminates with the International Parade, drawing participants globally.

Festa sv. Vlaha (St. Blaise Festival, Dubrovnik)

  • Time: February
  • Description: Celebrating Dubrovnik’s patron saint, St. Blaise, this festival has been held for over a millennium. Expect parades, church services, and processions, combined with folklore performances.

Food and Wine Festivals:

Days of Truffles (Istria)

  • Time: September – November
  • Description: Celebrating the truffle season, this event allows you to savor dishes with this prized ingredient. Cooking demonstrations, truffle hunts, and wine pairings add to the allure.

WineOs (Osijek)

  • Time: April
  • Description: A relatively new but rapidly growing festival, WineOs celebrates Slavonian and Croatian wines, along with gastronomic delights.

Miscellaneous Events:

Zagreb Advent (Zagreb)

  • Time: December
  • Description: Awarded the best Christmas market in Europe multiple times, Zagreb transforms into a winter wonderland with ice-skating rinks, pop-up bars, traditional food stalls, and a plethora of concerts and events.

Split Festival of Mediterranean Film (Split)

  • Time: June
  • Description: The largest regional film festival, it showcases a curated selection of the latest films from the Mediterranean region.

Croatia’s multifaceted festivals offer immersive experiences that allow visitors to connect deeply with the nation’s pulse. From the euphoria of renowned music festivals to the solemnity of age-old traditions, the country’s events capture a vast emotional spectrum, ensuring memories that linger long after the trip concludes. Whether you’re a cinephile, history buff, foodie, or music lover, Croatia’s vibrant festival scene offers something for everyone.

Souvenir stand in Rovinj, Croatia

Croatia Shopping Guide and Souvenir List

Blessed with a rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, and an array of traditional crafts, Croatia is a shopper’s paradise. Whether you’re wandering the cobbled streets of ancient cities or exploring the coastal markets, you’ll find a plethora of authentic items to bring back home. Here’s a detailed shopping guide and souvenir list to ensure you leave with the very best of Croatia.

Traditional Crafts and Handmade Items:

Licitar Hearts

  • Description: Brightly colored, decorative gingerbread hearts often adorned with mirrors, these are not just edible treats but also symbolic gifts of love.
  • Where to Buy: Primarily in Zagreb, especially during Christmas markets.

Cravat (Necktie)

  • Description: The necktie has its roots in Croatia, originating from the scarves worn by Croatian soldiers in the 17th century.
  • Where to Buy: Upscale boutiques and souvenir shops across Croatia, especially in larger cities.

Lace from Pag and Lepoglava

  • Description: UNESCO protected, the intricate lacework from Pag and Lepoglava is highly valued and makes for a precious memento.
  • Where to Buy: Pag Island for Pag lace and Lepoglava for its variant.

Food and Drink:

Olive Oil

  • Description: Croatian olive oil, especially from Istria, is considered some of the best in the world.
  • Where to Buy: Istria region, local markets, or specialized stores in major cities.

Truffles and Truffle Products

  • Description: The forests of Istria are rich in this culinary gold. You can purchase them fresh, or as oils, spreads, and pastes.
  • Where to Buy: Istrian markets, specialty stores, and even some supermarkets.


  • Description: With its diverse wine regions, Croatia offers a wide range of wines. Popular varieties include Plavac Mali, Malvazija, and Teran.
  • Where to Buy: Wineries, specialized wine shops, and even local markets.


  • Description: A potent fruit brandy, commonly made from grapes, plums, or figs.
  • Where to Buy: Local markets, liquor stores, or directly from producers in villages.

Fashion and Jewelry:

Mediterranean Coral Jewelry

  • Description: The Adriatic Sea is home to red coral, which is crafted into beautiful jewelry pieces.
  • Where to Buy: Coastal cities, especially Dubrovnik.

Traditional Croatian Costumes

  • Description: While you might not wear them, these intricate costumes make for a beautiful keepsake.
  • Where to Buy: Local markets in inland Croatia or specialized stores in bigger cities.


Lavender Products

  • Description: From the fields of Hvar come a range of lavender products, including sachets, oils, and soaps.
  • Where to Buy: Hvar Island or local markets in Split and Dubrovnik.

Dalmatian Soap

  • Description: Handmade soaps often combined with local ingredients like rosemary, lavender, or olive oil.
  • Where to Buy: Split, Dubrovnik, and other coastal towns.

Maraschino Liqueur

  • Description: A cherry liqueur originating from the city of Zadar.
  • Where to Buy: Zadar, supermarkets, or liquor stores throughout Croatia.

Shopping Tips:

  1. Bargaining: In markets, a little polite bargaining can sometimes fetch you a better price.
  2. Authenticity: When buying pricier items like coral jewelry, ensure you’re purchasing from a reputable seller.
  3. Taxes: For higher-priced items, ask about tax-free shopping to get a VAT refund when leaving the EU.

From artisanal crafts to gastronomical delights, shopping in Croatia offers a rich tapestry of experiences and mementos. As you traverse the diverse regions, each purchase becomes a story, a tangible memory of the landscapes, history, and traditions of this Adriatic gem. Whether you’re sipping on a local wine, adorning a piece of coral jewelry, or simply indulging in the scent of lavender, each souvenir brings a piece of Croatia into your home.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Where To Visit After Your Trip To Croatia?

Croatia, with its shimmering coastlines, rich history, and diverse culinary landscape, provides an excellent introduction to the vast array of experiences Europe has to offer. But where should one head after basking in the Adriatic sun? Depending on your interests, there are numerous captivating countries and destinations nearby. Let’s traverse these options with depth:

Slovenia: The Green Heart of Europe

Why Visit: Just north of Croatia, Slovenia offers verdant landscapes with Alpine mountains, dense forests, and mysterious caves. Ljubljana, the capital, is charming and vibrant, while Lake Bled’s iconic island church is a sight to behold.

Key Highlights:

  • Lake Bled: Take a traditional wooden boat to the island and ring the church bell for luck.
  • Postojna Cave: Europe’s most visited karst cave, home to the unique olm or “baby dragon.”
  • Ljubljana: With its dragon bridge, lively riverside, and baroque architecture, the city is perfect for a leisurely exploration.

Italy: A Blend of Modernity and Antiquity

Why Visit: West of Croatia, Italy offers an unrivaled combination of art, history, and gastronomy. From the canals of Venice to the ancient ruins of Rome, there’s something for every traveler.

Key Highlights:

  • Venice: Known for its romantic gondola rides, historic palaces, and vibrant carnival.
  • Florence: The cradle of the Renaissance, home to masterpieces of art and architecture.
  • Tuscany: Rolling hills, vineyards, and rustic farmhouses – a gastronomic paradise.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Hungary: Where East Meets West

Why Visit: Northeast of Croatia, Hungary is a landlocked country known for its thermal baths, grand architecture, and rich history.

Key Highlights:

  • Budapest: Divided by the Danube, explore the Buda Castle, soak in the Széchenyi Thermal Bath, and indulge in traditional goulash.
  • Eger: A charming town known for its castle, baroque buildings, and red wines.
  • Balaton Lake: Central Europe’s largest freshwater lake, ideal for relaxation and water sports.

Montenegro: The Hidden Gem of the Adriatic

Why Visit: South of Croatia, Montenegro boasts a stunning coastline, medieval towns, and dramatic mountain ranges, all within a relatively compact area.

Key Highlights:

  • Kotor: A UNESCO World Heritage site nestled between mountains and a bay, characterized by winding streets and medieval architecture.
  • Durmitor National Park: A paradise for hikers and nature lovers.
  • Sveti Stefan: A picturesque islet with luxury resorts.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Bosnia and Herzegovina: A Tapestry of Cultures

Why Visit: Bosnia and Herzegovina, to the southeast of Croatia, is a nation of deep cultural layers and heart-rending history.

Key Highlights:

  • Mostar: Famous for the Stari Most (Old Bridge), a symbol of reconciliation and architectural marvel.
  • Sarajevo: A city that tells tales of the Ottoman Empire, Austro-Hungarian rule, and recent conflicts.
  • Kravice Waterfalls: A scenic natural wonder, perfect for picnicking and swimming.

Serbia: Crossroads of Eastern and Western Europe

Why Visit:
Southeast of Croatia, Serbia is a land where cultures, religions, and empires have converged over the centuries. Its rich history, welcoming people, and vibrant nightlife make it a unique European destination.

Key Highlights:

  • Belgrade: The capital city with an electric nightlife, the historic Belgrade Fortress, and bohemian Skadarlija district.
  • Novi Sad: Home to the Petrovaradin Fortress and host of the famous EXIT music festival.
  • Niš: One of the oldest European cities, it’s known for its historical significance and landmarks like Niš Fortress and the Skull Tower.

Austria: Imperial Grandeur and Alpine Beauty

Why Visit:
To the northwest of Croatia, Austria blends imperial history with stunning alpine landscapes. Its cities are renowned for classical music, art, and cafe culture.

Key Highlights:

  • Vienna: Dive into the Habsburg dynasty’s grandeur with sites like Schönbrunn Palace, Belvedere Palace, and the State Opera.
  • Salzburg: The birthplace of Mozart, with a charming old town and the imposing Hohensalzburg Fortress.
  • Hallstatt: A picturesque village by a pristine lake, often considered one of the most beautiful in the world.

Greece: Cradle of Western Civilization

Why Visit:
Further southeast from Croatia, Greece offers ancient ruins, sun-kissed islands, and a delectable culinary scene.

Key Highlights:

  • Athens: Visit the iconic Parthenon, explore the historic Plaka district, and delve into Greek ancient history at the Acropolis Museum.
  • Santorini: Famous for its breathtaking sunsets, white-washed buildings, and dramatic landscapes.
  • Crete: The largest Greek island, offering beaches, ancient ruins, and the mythical Minotaur’s labyrinth.

Macedonia (North Macedonia): A Blend of Old and New

Why Visit:
Located southeast of Croatia, North Macedonia offers a mosaic of East and West, ancient and modern.

Key Highlights:

  • Skopje: The capital city with its blend of Ottoman and European architecture, statues, bridges, and the Kale Fortress.
  • Ohrid: A UNESCO World Heritage site, it’s home to one of Europe’s oldest and deepest lakes, with numerous churches and an ancient theater.

Albania: Undiscovered Beauty of the Balkans

Why Visit:
South of Montenegro, Albania boasts untouched Mediterranean beaches, archaeological treasures, and warm hospitality, all without the crowds.

Key Highlights:

Romania: Mythical Landscapes and Transylvanian Tales

Why Visit:
Northeast of Croatia, Romania beckons with its untouched landscapes, imposing castles, and the legendary folklore of Dracula.

Key Highlights:

  • Bucharest: The nation’s capital, often dubbed the “Paris of the East” for its elegant architecture and lively arts scene.
  • Bran Castle: Popularly linked with the legend of Dracula, it offers both historical insights and panoramic views.
  • The Painted Monasteries of Bucovina: Unique Eastern Orthodox churches with colorful exterior frescoes depicting biblical scenes.

Bulgaria: A Fusion of Natural Beauty and Ancient Civilizations

Why Visit:
Bulgaria, located southeast of Serbia, is a hidden gem offering diverse landscapes, from the sunlit Black Sea coast to snow-peaked mountains.

Key Highlights:

  • Sofia: The capital is a blend of Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and Soviet influences.
  • Plovdiv: Europe’s oldest continuously inhabited city, known for its Roman amphitheater and bohemian Kapana district.
  • Rila Monastery: A UNESCO site and an epitome of Bulgarian Renaissance architecture.

Poland: A Testament to Resilience and Heritage

Why Visit:
North of Croatia, Poland is a country of profound history, medieval towns, and natural wonders.

Key Highlights:

  • Warsaw: The capital’s Old Town, meticulously rebuilt after WWII, is a testament to Polish resilience.
  • Krakow: A historic gem with Wawel Castle, the Jewish Quarter, and close proximity to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial.
  • Wieliczka Salt Mine: An underground wonder with chapels, statues, and lakes carved entirely from salt.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Slovakia: The Central European Marvel

Why Visit:
Bordering Austria and Hungary, Slovakia is a haven of castles, mountains, and caves, often overlooked by mainstream tourism.

Key Highlights:

  • Bratislava: A picturesque capital located on the Danube River with a blend of medieval and modern charm.
  • High Tatras: A majestic mountain range perfect for hiking, skiing, and breathtaking panoramas.
  • Spis Castle: One of the largest castle complexes in Central Europe, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Turkey: Where East Meets West

Why Visit:
Southeast of the Balkans, Turkey offers an enthralling mix of ancient cities, diverse landscapes, and rich traditions.

Key Highlights:

  • Istanbul: A city straddling two continents, it boasts iconic sites like Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the bustling Grand Bazaar.
  • Cappadocia: Famous for its surreal landscapes, cave churches, and hot air balloon rides.
  • Ephesus: One of the best-preserved ancient cities in the Mediterranean region.

Tips for Picking the Next Destination:

  1. Duration of Stay: Some countries, like Slovenia and Montenegro, are compact and may require less time than, say, Italy or Hungary.
  2. Interests: Choose based on what excites you: art and history (Italy), nature (Slovenia), or perhaps a mix (Hungary).
  3. Budget: While Croatia is relatively budget-friendly, countries like Italy can be more expensive, whereas Bosnia and Herzegovina can be even more cost-effective.

While Croatia offers a rich travel experience in itself, the neighboring regions provide a diverse continuation to your European adventure. Whether you’re tracing historical timelines, seeking natural wonders, or diving into culinary explorations, the tapestry of cultures and landscapes that surround Croatia promises to make your journey truly unforgettable.

Dubrovnik rooftop views in Croatia

Croatia Travel Guide: Final Thoughts

Ah, Croatia! A gem in the crown of Europe that gleams with crystal-clear waters, rugged coastlines, and tales that echo through its historic cities and verdant forests. As our journey through this magnificent nation draws to a close, let us take a moment to reflect on the spectrum of experiences Croatia offers and how best to carry them in our traveler’s heart.

A Land Steeped in History:

Every brick and cobblestone in Croatia carries a story. From the ancient Roman amphitheaters to Venetian palaces, and from the struggles of recent history to its emergence as a beacon of tourism, Croatia’s resilience and rich tapestry of influences make it a captivating destination for history aficionados.

Natural Wonders Aplenty:

Few countries blend the azure of the sea with the emerald of its forests quite as beautifully as Croatia. The Plitvice and Krka National Parks with their cascading waterfalls, the undulating hills of Istria, and the Dalmatian Coast’s sun-kissed allure remind us of nature’s power to astonish and inspire.

Gastronomic Delights:

Croatia’s culinary landscape is as diverse as its geography. From the truffles of Istria and the seafood-laden feasts of the Dalmatian coast to the hearty flavors of Slavonia, Croatian cuisine is a delightful exploration of taste, texture, and tradition.

An Emblem of Cultural Fusion:

Over the centuries, Croatia has been a melting pot for various civilizations and cultures. This rich blend is evident in its art, architecture, festivals, and even day-to-day life. The harmonious fusion of Slavic roots with Roman, Venetian, Hungarian, and Ottoman influences has birthed a unique culture that’s both diverse and unified in its essence.

Beyond the Mainstream:

While places like Dubrovnik, Split, and Hvar often steal the limelight, Croatia’s charm is equally potent in its lesser-known corners. Towns like Motovun, Rovinj, and Osijek offer authentic experiences, untouched by mass tourism. It is in these quieter spaces that one often finds the most genuine connection to a country’s soul.

A Testament to Hospitality:

Beyond the breathtaking vistas and historic landmarks, it’s the Croatian people who leave an indelible mark on travelers. Their warmth, hospitality, and pride in sharing their nation’s stories and traditions make every interaction special.

Sustainable and Mindful Travel:

As tourism continues to boom, it becomes imperative for travelers to tread lightly, respecting the local culture, environment, and economy. Croatia offers numerous eco-friendly accommodations, promotes local produce, and urges visitors to be conscious of their ecological footprint, ensuring the country remains pristine for generations to come.

Croatia, with its blend of Mediterranean sun, Balkan history, Central European charm, and Adriatic beauty, truly offers an all-encompassing experience for every traveler. As you leave its shores or prepare to embark on this adventure, remember that every journey, every interaction, and every sunset viewed is not just a moment in time but a chapter in the ongoing story of a nation and its people. Croatia is not just a destination; it’s an emotion, a revelation, and most certainly, a call to return.

Ode To Croatia

In the heart of Europe where the Adriatic gleams, Lies a land of wonder, a realm of dreams. Croatia, oh Croatia, with your tales so old, Where ancient cities sparkle and stories unfold.

From Dubrovnik’s walls where the sea winds dance, To the cobbled streets of Split, where history stands in a trance. Hvar bathed in golden sun, a jewel of the coast, While Plitvice’s cascades, nature’s beauty boast.

The sapphire waters beckon, with islands strewn like pearls, Mountains rise in majesty, as the horizon unfurls. Vineyards stretch in splendor, beneath the Istrian sun, While truffle-scented forests hint at culinary fun.

Amidst the Dalmatian echoes and Slavonic song, There’s a rhythm, a heartbeat, a place where you belong. Oh traveler, as you wander, let Croatia’s spirit soar, For in its embrace, you’ll discover so much more.

With every step and every gaze, a new story begins, In the land of thousand islands, where magic never thins. So, pack your dreams and hopes, and let your heart set sail, For Croatia’s timeless beauty will forever leave a trail.

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