• ~ mins read

Tucked between the Balkans and central Europe and boasting over 1,200 islands, Croatia is a true jewel of the Adriatic. This sun-kissed country has everything from spectacular natural landscapes to stellar cities and a rich cultural and historical legacy represented in historical sites(including well-preserved Roman ruins), medieval towns, and charming villages. Beyond its cultural and historical allure, Mediterranean delights like fresh seafood, local wines, and delectable pastries abound. Whether exploring ancient cities, relaxing on pristine beaches, or embarking on island adventures, a Croatia trip captivates every traveler. Let’s look at some of the best places to visit in Croatia.

Croatia Family Activity Holiday
  • Julie Stokes
  • From England
5 - Excellent
“We love this holiday so much we have returned several times . The buggy rides, the sn...” Read More
View Incredible Tours in Croatia

1. Dubrovnik

The walled city of Dubrovnik fronting the Adriatic Sea.
Explore the outer edges of the walled city of Dubrovnik by taking a yacht cruise of the Adriatic Sea.

Nicknamed the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic,’ Dubrovnik boasts a captivating blend of rich history, beautiful architecture, and breathtaking coastal views. The fortified city is a UNESCO World Heritage site with medieval monasteries, centuries-old churches, and elegant limestone plazas. The best way to capture the essence of the city is by walking along the ancient city walls, where you can enjoy sweeping views of terracotta rooftops and the Adriatic Sea.


  • Walk atop the city’s medieval walls, discovering fortresses, towers, and cannons.
  • Admire the Baroque elegance of St. Blaise's Church, which is dedicated to the patron saint of Dubrovnik, and attend a concert within its historic walls.
  • Delve into the world of Westeros by exploring Game of Thrones filming locations scattered across Dubrovnik, like the iconic King's Landing and the Red Keep.

Insider tip: If you want to escape the crowds, take a short boat trip to Lokrum Island. You’ll find lush botanical gardens, historic ruins, and a small saltwater lake, offering a tranquil escape from the bustling city.

2. Split

Bacvice Beach in Split; one of the top places to visit in Croatia.
Indulge in some sun and sea at Bačvice Beach, just a short walk from the city center.

Overlooking the Adriatic Sea, Split is a cultural gem with the magnificent Diocletian's Palace at its center. Built by the Roman Emperor Diocletian, this ancient palace features a blend of Roman, medieval, and Renaissance architecture and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The charming streets of Split's Old Town are a labyrinth of narrow alleys, bustling markets, and historic landmarks, such as the Cathedral of Saint Domnius, one of the world's oldest cathedrals.


  • Take a stroll along the Riva Promenade, Split's bustling waterfront. Lined with cafés, shops, and palm trees, this lively promenade is the perfect place to soak in the Mediterranean atmosphere on your trip to Split.
  • Climb Marjan Hill, a lush oasis overlooking Split, for panoramic views of the city and the Adriatic Sea. Wind your way through pine-scented forests to the peak for breathtaking vistas.
  • Join locals in the traditional Croatian water game known as picigin, when in Bačvice Beach.

Insider tip: Explore Diocletian's Palace early in the morning before the cruise ships dock at midday. This way you can enjoy the beauty of this historic site at your own pace and without the crowds.

3. Plitvice Lakes National Park

Tourists hiking the waterfalls path in Plitvice Lakes National Park.
Hike the enchanting waterfalls paths in Plitvice Lakes National Park.

The Plitvice Lakes are nothing less than spectacular! Nestled in the forested heart of Croatia, the Plitvice Lakes National Park is nature at its best, making it one of the most popular places to go in Croatia. Sixteen lakes are connected by a mesmerizing network of cascading waterfalls, creating a series of terraced lakes. The 184-square-mile forest reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has a 22-mile network of walkways and hiking trails that wind around and across the lakes.


  • Experience the tranquility of Kozjak Lake on a serene boat ride and enjoy different perspectives of the surrounding landscapes.
  • Venture beyond the lakes and explore the nearby Barać Caves, an underground wonder with stalactite and stalagmite formations. Take a guided tour to uncover the geological marvels that lie beneath the surface.
  • Hit the hiking trails that wind through the surrounding lush forests and encounter various plant and animal species.

Insider tip: Entry tickets to the park are limited to avoid overcrowding. Be sure to book online in advance.

4. Hvar

The Fortica Fortress on the Hvar island.
Climb the historic steps to Fortica Fortress, perched atop the hill overlooking Hvar Town for panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea, Pakleni Islands, and the red-roofed town below.

The island of Hvar is one of Croatia’s most popular vacation spots, drawing the rich and famous to soak up its beauty. Exuding a timeless charm, the Old Town is pedestrianized and has a large central square overlooked by a 16th-century Renaissance cathedral. Traditional fishing boats and sleek luxury yachts line the pretty fishing harbor. The Venetian Fortica Fortress overlooks the Old Town and is well worth the climb up the hill for the spectacular views of the surrounding islands. The rest of the island is just as beautiful, covered in fragrant lavender fields.


  • Soak up some sun and sea on Hvar's exquisite beaches, from the popular Hula Hula Beach, known for its lively atmosphere and crystal-clear waters, to the more secluded Dubovica Beach with its pebble shoreline.
  • Venture to Stari Grad, one of the oldest towns in Europe, where lavender fields stretch across the landscape. Wander through the aromatic fields, especially in late spring and early summer when the lavender is in full bloom, as a part of your Croatia bicycle tour itinerary.

Insider tip: If you're interested in local, artisan foods and wine, book a table at Hora Hvar. Enjoy local wine tasting and delicious snacks like bread, olive oil, cheese, anchovies, salami, and vegetables—all produced on the island.

5. Trogir

An architecturally beautiful door in the Old Town of Trogir.
Stroll around Trogir’s UNESCO-listed Old Town. Marvel at the beautifully preserved medieval architecture, where narrow cobblestone streets reveal hidden squares and historic landmarks.

Another of the best places to visit in Croatia is the picturesque seaside town of Trogir. Connected to the mainland and the island of Čiovo by a bridge, the beautifully preserved medieval town is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Surrounded by medieval city walls dating to 380 BC, Trogir is home to beautiful buildings like the Trogir Cathedral, Cipiko Palace, and the Church of St. Peter. There are several museums and art galleries, plenty of little gift and souvenir shops, and some of the best seafood restaurants in the region.


  • Step into the military past of Trogir by exploring the 15th-century Kamerlengo Fortress. Climb its towers, wander through the courtyards, and enjoy the views of the Adriatic Sea.
  • Explore the nearby island of Čiovo with its tranquil beaches, charming villages, and a relaxed atmosphere.

Insider tip: Head to Kairos Vineyards, just outside Trogir, for a one-of-a-kind experience. Dine on local dishes and wines in the heart of the farm’s vineyards with beautiful views over the Adriatic.

6. Mljet National Park

Helicopter view of the oldest pine forest in Europe.
Explore Mljet National Park's lush pine forest, the oldest in Europe.

Based on the island of Mljet, Mljet National Park is a nature-lovers paradise with dense woodlands, two interconnected saltwater lakes, and several hiking and mountain biking trails. A flat 5.5-mile trail winds around the perimeter of the lakes and has some spectacular scenic views. Hop on a water taxi to visit the 12th-century Benedictine monastery built on an islet in the middle of the lakes. The lakes are perfect for swimming and kayaking, and there is only one hotel on the island, so you’re guaranteed a quiet escape.


  • Head to St. Mary's Island on Veliko Jezero and visit the 12th-century Benedictine Monastery. Wander through the monastery's peaceful gardens, admire the architecture, and enjoy breathtaking sunsets over the tranquil lakes.
  • Grab a bicycle and explore the network of cycling trails that wind their way through the park. Pedal through dense forests, beside lakeshores, and past ancient Roman ruins.
  • Hike to Odysseus' Cave, a legendary grotto believed to be the hideaway of the mythical Greek hero. Take in spectacular views of the coastline along the way and enjoy a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear waters at the end.

Insider tip: Don’t miss the chance to visit the charming village of Polače. Enjoy traditional Dalmatian cuisine in one of the waterfront restaurants, where freshly caught seafood is a must!

7. Korčula

Tourist area of Korčula.
Explore Korčula, the alleged birthplace of Marco Polo.

The pretty town of Korčula on the island of the same name takes you back to the time of Venetian rule. Surrounded by medieval walls and towers with cobblestone, the town exudes a centuries-old charm that makes it one of Croatia’s top holiday destinations. Korčula is said to be the birthplace of the renowned 13th-century explorer Marco Polo, and you can visit his house here. Don’t miss a performance of the traditional Moreska Sword Dance, the island’s proudest tradition and one of the Adriatic's most unusual customs. The “fighting dance” is staged for tourists just outside the town walls on summer evenings and is not to be missed!


  • Stroll through Korčula Old Town, visit the Cathedral of St. Mark, and climb the bell tower for panoramic views.
  • Take a boat trip to Badija, a small islet off the coast of Korčula. Explore the 14th-century Franciscan monastery, wander through pine-scented paths, and relax on the pebble beaches.
  • Rent a bike and pedal through Korčula's picturesque countryside, adorned with vineyards and olive groves. Follow the scenic trails to secluded beaches and hidden coves.

Insider tip: One of the best places to sample the island’s renowned Pošip white wine is in the small village of Smokvica. Toreta Winery offers a wonderful wine-tasting experience that includes local rakijas and liqueurs.

8. Krka National Park

A young woman admiring the Krka waterfalls during summer.
Swim beneath the waterfalls in Krka River and enjoy the terraced pools and waterfalls from a different perspective.

Nestled along the Krka River in southern Croatia, the Krka National Park is a beautiful reserve with tranquil lakes, cascading waterfalls, and acres of lush forests. Wooden boardwalks wind through the park past the lakes and waterfalls, offering visitors the chance to soak up the park’s natural beauty. Don’t miss the Krka Monastery, built above ancient Roman catacombs and a spiritual center of the Orthodox Dalmatian Eparchy. The park is also home to the Roman Catholic Visovac Monastery, founded by the Franciscans in 1445, and is built on an island in the middle of one of the lakes.


  • Take a boat to Visovac Island, located in the heart of the Krka River. Explore the tranquil surroundings of the island, home to the Franciscan Monastery of Our Lady of Mercy. The monastery houses a rich collection of religious artifacts and manuscripts and is a peaceful retreat in the heart of nature.
  • Hike the scenic trail to Roški Slap waterfall. As you trek through the picturesque landscape, discover a series of smaller waterfalls, ancient mills, and cascading river rapids. The vantage points along the way offer panoramic views of the Krka River canyon.

Insider tip: You are required to pay a nominal fee to use the bathrooms at the falls, so be sure to carry some change with you.

9. Šibenik

Town center and the cathedral of St. James in Šibenik.
Explore the town center and the cathedral of St. James in Šibenik on a walking tour.

Šibenik is a picturesque, medieval town on the Dalmatian coast with a rich history that dates to the 11th century. The beautifully preserved historic Old Town center has striking architecture, such as the 15th-century Cathedral of St. James, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and hailed as one of the most beautiful churches in Croatia. The 16th-century Venetian-built St. Nicholas Fortress rests in the sea channel that leads to the city and is a formidable structure of brick and stone in a triangular shape with 32 resident cannons. St. John's Fortress rests high above Šibenik and offers breathtaking views of the Dalmatian archipelago.


  • Explore the UNESCO-listed, Gothic-Renaissance St. James' Cathedral. Marvel at the intricate friezes and sculptures adorning the cathedral and climb to the rooftop for panoramic views of Šibenik and the surrounding islands.
  • Wander through St. Michael's Fortress and get a glimpse into Šibenik's medieval past. Catch a traditional cultural performance on the fortress’ open-air stage.
  • Plan your visit during the renowned International Children's Festival, an annual event transforming Šibenik into a vibrant stage for artistic performances and cultural celebrations. Join the electric atmosphere as streets come alive with music, dance, and creative expressions.

Insider tip: Climb the Barone Fortress at dusk for the most incredible panoramic views as the sun sets and the city begins to light up.

10. Pula

The ancient ruins of the Roman Amphitheatre in Pula.
Sightsee the ancient ruins of the Roman Amphitheatre in Pula.

The seafront city of Pula on the tip of Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula boasts a rich and storied history, evident in its many beautiful Roman ruins. The star of the show is the Pula Arena, which dates to 27 BC and is the only Roman arena in the world with a complete circle wall. The 20,000-seat stadium is still used today to host outdoor events such as movies, food markets, and music concerts. Check out the Temple of Augustus in the city’s Old Forum and the Arch of Sergius with its impressive mosaic floor.


  • Wander through Pula's Old Town, where narrow streets lead to charming squares, ancient temples, and historic landmarks. Discover the Temple of Augustus, dedicated to the Roman emperor, and the Arch of the Sergii.
  • Attend a concert or a film screening during the summer months at the magnificent Pula Arena and watch the amphitheater come alive with modern entertainment in an ancient setting.
  • Escape to the natural beauty of Kamenjak National Park, located on the southern tip of the Istrian Peninsula. With its rugged coastline, hidden coves, and pristine beaches, Kamenjak offers a haven of relaxation by the sea.

Insider tip: For the freshest seafood in town, venture to the charming town of Fazana, just a short drive from Pula. Book a table at one of the seaside restaurants and tuck into delicious locally-caught seafood.

Croatia is a treasure trove of breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. From the historic charm of Dubrovnik to the cascading waterfalls of Plitvice Lakes, each destination offers a unique array of experiences.

To experience these incredible destinations in Croatia and more, contact one of our experts to help you with a customized trip to Croatia.

Published by Supriya Rayamajhi, updated on January 31, 2024
Plan a trip to CroatiaWe offer different tour types. You can also chat with a local travel specialist if you want a customized tour to Croatia.
  • Robert Pinčević
    Robert PinčevićTravel Expert in Croatia
  • Tomaz Martinek
    Tomaz MartinekTravel Expert in Croatia & Switzerland
Our travel experts are recommended by:
  • BBC
  • Independent
  • Lonely Planet
0 COMMENTSWe welcome your questions or comments to this article. Our travel experts will respond within 48 hours.