I was surprised by the amount of things to do in Croatia. This small country in south central Europe is well-known for its beautiful Mediterranean coast lines, crystal clear water, and persevered medieval cities. These cities contain spectacular Roman runes that have stood the test of time.
Croatia’s also home too many diverse and breathtaking islands like Hvar and Mijet. Farther from the coast, there are many natural wonders like Plitvice Lakes and impressive cities like Zagreb to visit. Tourism in Croatia has exploded in recent years, turning it into a tourist hot spot in Europe.
Yet, its popularity is relatively young, leaving the prices affordable. Everyone I have talked to that’s been to Croatia tells me I need to go their immediately. Maybe, because of my wish see everything I’m easily influenced, but if a lot of people tell me I need to go somewhere it instantaneously jumps up on the list of must see places.
Some of my favorite things to do in Croatia include hopping around the best islands in Croatia, and sailing the coast; taking in everything that Croatia has to offer, and so many things to do. This time backpacking Europe I knew Croatia would be one of my first stops.
Because of the cheap price you can venture and see many of the things to do in Croatia without breaking your budget.
In case, you wondering about the best things to do in Croatia? This post has you covered.
Things to do in Croatia
Explore the Ancient City Walls of Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik (“The Pearl of the Adriatic”) is an amazingly well persevered medieval city. Thousands of tourist flock to Dubrovnik to stroll down the marble streets while taking in the beauty of the coast.
It became a major sea power in the 13th century which left a mark as it is now home to some absolutely stunning Gothic, and renaissance churches and monuments.
The main attraction of Dubrovnik is the cities medieval city walls, offering great views of Dubrovnik, and the Dalmatian Coast. Other exciting sites in Dubrovnik include the Sponza palace, Rector Palace, and a Dominican monastery.
Best Day Trips from Dubrovnik: Kotor, Mostar
Located in Montenegro, and from all my research Kotor seems like the most popular day trip from Dubrovnik, with a beautiful bay, a highly reviewed old town, and great churches. I’m making Kotor a priority to visit.
Mostar’s also highly rated, and has many sites to explore such as an old bazaar, a mosque, and Kravice Falls. They’re all worth checking out if you have the time. The islands of Kolocep, Lopud and Sipan, Lokrum are also near. Plitvice should be at the top of your things to do in Croatia!
Plitvice is Croatia’s largest national park. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.and It is an unforgettable experience when backpacking Croatia. Covered with natural green forests, lakes, and stunning waterfalls; it redefines the words natural beauty.
The park’s known for the wide variety of colors that can change daily depending on the different minerals in the water and how the sunlight hits them. When I learned this I sped through traffic home and look up pictures. Places like Plitvice are reasons to travel and if this isn’t on your bucket list you should add it and start to come up with your own best travel memories quotes..
Spilt is known for a few things (other than having an awesome name). It’s also the largest city on the Adriatic. Split’s built around Diocletian’s Palace, the infamous roman emperor, who could have used some Marcus Aurelius’ quotes. . It’s here in which he retired and filled his palace with unique and exotic wonders, it’s a must see. He even had a statue of a sphinx imported to his palace from Egypt. Today, cafes (where I will get my daily caffeine fix, and way too many sweets), restaurants, and markets cover Split’s city center. It seems like a great place to relax and recharge your batteries for a few days.
Over my years of traveling, I have learned something about myself. I’m a complete sucker when it comes to ancient, roman ruins (Maybe this explains my obsession with Italy). This makes Pula’s, three-story Amphitheater a treat. Built around 67 A.D, the limestone theater is amazingly well persevered, making it one of the most intact Roman Theater’s in existence today. Experiences
Island Hopping the Dalmatian Coast.
I first heard about Croatia’s sailing group tours of backpackers who couldn’t praise it enough. Throughout my travels, I have heard at least a hundred times that I need to make this a part of my experience. So I am! And if everything I heard is true, it’s something you should consider too.
I did a sailing adventure with Busabout and absolute loved it.. Where I will spent 8 days sailing Croatia around the coast and islands, hitting up beautiful places like Dubvorink, Hvar Spilt, and Korcula along the way, It’s a great way to relax and recharge my batteries by swimming in the clear waters of the Adriatic, fishing off the back of the boat if I want, (I gave up fishing when I was ten and bored out of my mind), or taking in all the sites. Sailing the Datamation Coast is hands down one of my favorite things to do in Croatia.
Scuba diving on the Island of Mljet.
Mijet is another of Croatia’s breathtaking national parks that’s relatively untouched by man. These islands have a ton of coral reefs and underwater caves. It’s some of the cleanest and clearest water on earth. You can see at least 15 meters (50 ft.) below the surface. Scuba diving is on my bucket list and Mijet seems like a great place to cross it off.
Cable Car over Dubrovnik
The cable car over Dubrovnik seems like the perfect way to grab some great views of the city and the surrounding coast. From the top you can see up to 37 miles while taking in the entire city, the surrounding coast, and the wonderful fresh air.
I was surprised how much I loved Zagreb. The capital of Croatia has charming markets, and city streets (Not as wild as the markets in Mexico).. It is a good place to start your journey then head south and visit all these things to do in Croatia.
Tips Before Traveling to Croatia
- If you are from the United States, European Union, Australia or many other countries; you do not need a Visa to enter Croatia. If you are unsure whether this applies to you, view the list of Visa exempt countries here. Croatia’s isn’t in the Schengen Zone, meaning it does not take away from your 90 days in the EU. However, there’s talk of them joining in the next year so be sure to double-check before you visit.
- Croatia currency uses the Croatian Kuna, but a few vendors will accept euros.
- Buses and trains (direct ones) take around the same time. The trains are more comfortable but if you on a tight budget, buses are cheaper.
- Traveling the Coast? Boats Baby!
- Check out my complete list of Croatia Travel Tips.
Croatia has a ton of ancient sites and islands to explore that I didn’t get to mention above. Croatia is a place to relax, and enjoy being one holiday, and it’s one of the countries. There are so many things to do in Croatia that you will need to visit many times to get the full experience.
Be sure to check out my Europe Tips, to help you travel like a king.
37 thoughts on “10 of the Best Things to do in Croatia”
This is a great list. We were looking into visiting Croatia next year as well. So much beauty there!
Everything in Croatia looks unreal. I’m sure you will have a great time!
Hi Stephen — This is my first time here on your site. Glad to see you’ll be headed to Croatia. It’s such a breathtaking country. We went there for our honeymoon in summer 2010 and could not have picked a more ideal location. Enjoy every minute of it! Happy travels in 2013!
Thanks Ellen, I can’t wait to actually get there. I head there right after Egypt for about a month. I can’t wait. Thanks for checking out my site. Safe travels.
Man, epic amounts of info there! Im planning on moving to Europe in 2013 and definitely want to get myself to Croatia – even more now from reading this!
Thanks Ash! Have a great time in Europe! What country are you moving?
Thanks Ash. I am stoked for Croatia! What part of Europe are you thinking about moving?
Croatia seems to be breathtaking, unfortunately I have not made it there yet. I will definitely put it on my list now, Kotor and Plitvice Lakes look absolutely stunning !
Plitvice’s breathtaking, I hope you can make it there soon Freya. Thanks for the comment!
Nice post! We have no idea what our travel itinerary is going to be next year, but Croatia is definitely on the bucket list!
John & I travelled to Croatia with Russia and Beyond sailing trip in 2005. Wonderful place we visited Dubrovnik, Korcula, Mijet, Ston & Havar 7 days was definately not enough time but hope to go there again. At the time I wan’t into scuba diving, but I believe it is fantastic. Loving you blog xx
We’ve been to Croatia in August 2012. It’s an amazing country! I really loved it! I regret we didn’t have a chance to visit Plitvice, I was dreaming to see those lakes and waterfalls!
I know Alyona I can’t wait. Every single thing about the Croatia seems appealing. Oh well if you miss Plitvice the first time, it just give you one more reason to go back. 🙂
Great post on Croatia, Stephen – and thanks a lot for the shout out!
We really enjoyed the sailing tour amongst the Dalmatian Islands as well – it was a real blast! You’re going to have an awesome time 🙂
What a great roundup of places to see and I love the aerial pic of taken from the cable car over Dubrovnik. Wow!! Looking forward to your future travel posts!
It has never crossed my mind to visit Croatia until i saw those pics you posted, it is unbelievable.
Glad I could help! Hope you make it there soon.
So you can totally take me there!!!
Yes! This June 🙂
This is great! We have plans to get to Croatia later this year, and after reading this post and seeing the photos, Im so excited!
Croatia has been on my list for a long time. It just looks beautiful beyond words.
Thanks for igniting my excitement for Croatia!
Thanks Nicole. I agree Croatia’s beauty is limitless. When are you headed there?
Ah Plitvice lakes was my favorite place in Croatia! I went in the winter when I only had to share the trail with some little critters scampering here and there. Great list! I can’t wait to go back and explore more 🙂 (I’m a sucker for Roman ruins, too!)
Beth I just went there and fell in love. Plitvice might be the most beautiful place on the planet. Croatia is an amazing country.
Croatia is definitely my favourite place in Europe.
My sister has backpacked across Europe numerous times and Croatia was one of her favorite places.
They all sound amazing! Looks very tranquil and relaxing places to go!
Wow! What an oasis! Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos!
Beautiful post, what a treat to visit Croatia and so many other places through your posts. Thanks so much.
very nice i like it very much
such good photos. thank you so much for sharing!!
Oh my gosh it’s beautiful. I would love to visit sometime.
Those are some amazing pictures. I would love to visit.
One of my friends said Croatia was her most favorite country ever. It is truly beautiful!
I didn’t know Croatia was that beautiful! Loved your pictures!
Wow, Croatia looks absolutely beautiful! It wasn’t on my list before, but it is now!