The Ultimate Croatia Bucket List – 24 Incredible Ideas for Your Croatia Itinerary

Croatia is fast becoming one of the top countries to visit in the Mediterranean. Not only is the country blessed with plenty of warm, sunny days and delicious cuisine, but there’s also a plethora of things to do in Croatia.

This Croatia bucket list features the very best places to visit in Croatia. Ideas range from jaw-dropping natural landscapes, picturesque and ancient cobbled cities as well as a multitude of white sandy islands.

Whether you’re a seasoned visitor, or a first-timer wondering what to do in Croatia, I guarantee you’ll love some (if not all) of the ideas in this list. These are the best places in Croatia to visit, as told by industry professionals.

So, how many of these bucket list ideas are you going to be adding to your Croatia itinerary?

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Don’t forget your travel insurance.

Before you set off on your awesome trip, make sure you’ve booked your travel insurance. 

Two companies I recommend are True Traveller (for European citizens) or World Nomads.

A Quick Guide to Croatia; What To Visit

In a hurry? then here’s the lowdown of the 24 best places to go in Croatia which feature in this article. You can also download this Croatia bucket list for offline viewing and get it straight to your inbox by clicking here.

  • Plitvice Lakes
  • The Old Town of Dubrovnik & The City Walls
  • Diocletian Palace, Split
  • The Island of Vis
  • Sibenik Old Town
  • Sunset Kayaking at Lokrum Island
  • Mljet National Park
  • Walls of Ston
  • Shipwreck Cove
  • Zadar Promenade, The Sea Organ and Sun Salutation
  • Canyoning in the Cetina Canyon
  • Hvar Island & The Old Town
  • The Roman Amphitheatre of Pula
  • Makarska Riviera
  • Klis Fortress
  • Krka Waterfalls
  • Zagreb, Capital of Croatia & Mirogoj Cemetery
  • Artisan Town of Groznjan
  • Zadar City Walls
  • Old Town of Korcula
  • Rovinj & St. Euphemia Church
  • Music Festivals on Zcre Beach
  • Trogir Cathedral
  • Dream beach Golden Horn in Bol

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24 THINGS TO ADD TO YOUR CROATIA BUCKET LIST

Plitvice Lakes

One of the top Croatia attractions are the stunning UNESCO listed Plitvice Lakes. The lakes were not only Croatia’s first national park, founded in 1949, but it’s also the largest and attracts thousands of visitors a year. Because the lakes top the list of Croatia must-see attractions, it’s a good idea to purchase tickets in advance to save the hour-long queue at the onsite ticket office.

The Plitvice Park become a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979 and consists of 16 azure blue, picturesque lakes each connected to each other through cascades and waterfalls. Over 8km of wooden boardwalks meander their way between the pools allowing you to literally, walk across the lakes. 

One of the first things you’ll notice is how vibrant the lakes are, in shades of bright blue, turquoise and greens. This colouring comes from the natural minerals in each of the lakes. Due to this careful natural balance, it is forbidden to swim in the lakes. 

The lakes are surrounded by over 29,482 dense woodland and forest which is home to a variety of Croatian wildlife such as deer, wild boar and birds. In the national park, there have also been sightings of bears and wolves, which are native to the region, however, they prefer to keep away from the noise of tourists. If you decide to visit, you’ll learn why the Plitvice Lakes is the most visited attraction in Croatia.

birds eye view of the Plitvice lakes in Croatia. Worthy of a adding to your Croatia bucktet list. A wooden walk way brdige meandering through waterfalls and trees. The trees are vibrant green and the water is turquoise blue.
Plitvice Lakes | Canva

The Old Town of Dubrovnik & The City Walls

The Old City of Dubrovnik has been dubbed the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’, this, in part, is down to the city’s iconic walls. Viewed from above, the circular shape of the city gleams white in the bright sun. The now dry moat was once filled with the sapphire coloured sea, surrounding it giving the city the look of a pearl.

The Old City Walls stretch for approximately 1940 metres (6365 feet) and with the majority of the wall still intact, the Dubrovnik City Wall Walk is one of the most iconic Croatia landmarks, and must-do thing in Dubrovnik. 

It’s easy to see why Dubrovnik was used as a backdrop to the Game of Thrones series. (if you’re an avid fan of the series, it’s certianly worthwhile checking out this Game of Thrones city tour to see all the iconic sites). The walls are intersected by look out towers complete with portholes and turrets which demonstrates how important the city walls were in defending the city. 

The oldest parts of the wall dating back to the 13th century, with additions and repairs made after earthquakes and war. Dubrovnik Old Town, along with the City Walls, became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. 

In 1991, during the breakup of Yugoslavia, the walls and iconic city were heavily shelled, causing detrimental damage to and destroying large chunks of the walls. After the war, major, yet careful reconstruction and restoration took place to bring the city back to its full glory and putting it to the top of most people’s Croatia to do lists.

The wall walk gets extremely busy, so it’s a good idea to buy your admission in advance to skip the line and bypass the queue.

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Dubrovnik City Walls | Canva

Diocletian Palace, Split

Recommended by Milijana Gabrić from World Travel Connector

Amazing Diocletian Palace in Split is one of the best-preserved ancient Roman palaces in the world and the heart of the city making it one of the best things to see in Croatia.

The historical core of Split lies within the walls of the 4th century Diocletian Palace. The incredibly beautiful historical complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian is a must-see UNESCO World Heritage Site, especially if you are short with time and want to see the best of Split in one day

The colossal palace was a summer house and a retirement residence of the Roman Emperor Diocletian who preferred Split more than Rome. The Diocletian Palace is one of the most unique Roman palaces ever built. One wing of the palace served as the splendid emperor’s residence and the other wing as a mighty station for a military garrison. The magnificent palace was built with high-quality Croatian, Italian and Greek marble, and decorated with Egyptian columns and sphinxes

Brilliant Diocletian’s Palace covers 30.000 square meters featuring the impressive central square called Peristyle, monumental Cathedral of St. Domnius (originally Diocletian’s mausoleum), the ancient Jupiter’s temple, the seafront emperor’s apartment, fantastic Vestibule, fortes, four towers, four gates on every side and ancient cobbled alleys. 

Today a few thousand people live within the walls of the majestic Diocletian palace. Needless to say, some of the coziest coffee and wine bars, the best restaurants and bistros, and the loveliest small shops in Split are within the walls of the ancient palace as well. And just to add, the amazing place was a filming location of fantastic Game of Thrones, fans of the series will love the Game of Thrones location tour of Split

So, if you are planning to visit Croatia, put magnificent Diocletian Palace on your Croatian bucket list!

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Diocletian's Palace, Split | World Travel Connector

The Island of Vis

Recommended by Shweta Singhal from Zest In A Tote

Naturally, one of the best places to go in Croatia, are the islands. With more than 1000 of them along the coastline, you are spoiled for choice. After sightseeing in Hvar, we took a ferry to Vis – the farthest inhabited island in the Adriatic Sea. From 1950 until 1989, Vis island served as the Yugoslav National Army’s base, out of bounds to foreign visitors. This has ensured its authentic and rustic feel.

Vis is not on a direct ferry route from either Split or Dubrovnik, so do check the ferry routes and timings carefully. You could stay either at Komiza village or in Vis town. You could easily spend a few days living the laid-back island life – think with pristine beaches and eating at locals spots.

For the more active and adventurous, there is cycling which is hugely popular on the island. Because of this unique history, Vis island has many interesting sites that can be visited as part of a Military tour. The Military Tour includes a visit to a nuclear bunker and I highly recommend this, if you are not claustrophobic! There are many other sites built during the reign of Tito in erstwhile Yugoslavia.

For the best view on Vis island, go right on top of Mount Hum. You will thank me later for the panoramic vista!

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Vis Island | Zest In A Tote

Sibenik Old Town & St James Cathedral

Recommended by Veronika Primm from Travel Geekery

This is arguably one of the most visually stunning destinations in Croatia. Sibenik belongs to the most historical and charming cities in Dalmatia and is conveniently located right on the coast. Apart from splashing in the Adriatic Sea, you should dedicate your time in Sibenik to local exploration. You’re guaranteed to fall in love with Sibenik’s Old Town, especially if you enjoy history.

The Old Town starts at the Square of the Croatian Republic (Trg Republike Hrvatske) where the no. 1 landmark is located: the St. James Cathedral. This UNESCO-listed masterpiece from the 15th century cannot be missed even if you tried.

The cathedral combines the original Renaissance style with Gothic features. White and clean on the outside, it becomes strikingly more Gothic the moment you enter. Interlocking stone slabs were used for its construction, even for the Cathedral’s dome. The architect George the Dalmatian created his magnum opus using techniques he learned during his studies in Venice. Quite fittingly, a statue of him stands right next to the Cathedral, so he can keep an eye on it forever.

But Sibenik Old Town is not just about the Cathedral. The beautiful stone-tiled area features a number of small picturesque churches. Especially the Church of Saint Barbara and the church of Saint John cannot be missed.

If you walk up a few stairs, you can get to the St. Michael Fortress, which is the lowest one of three fortresses in the city. It marks the northern edge of the Old Town and there are wonderful views of the Cathedral and the sea below from it.

Any Game of Throne fan must visit Sibenik since many scenes of the first season were shot in the town.

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St James Cathedral, Sibenek | Travel Geekery

Lokrum Island Sunset Kayaking

If you’re visiting the south of the country, then I highly recommend adding Lokrum island to your itinerary for Croatia. 

The island is just a stone’s throw from the stunning city of Dubrovnik. So close, in fact, you could even row a boat over the mere 600metres or catch one of the quick 15-minute ferry boats from the port. One of the best ways to see the island, as well as the city of Dubrovnik, is at sunset on a kayak while viewing from the surrounding coves.

One of the best things to do in Croatia in Summer, during the intense heat, is to head for the shade in the national parks. Not only will Lokrum island be a welcome break from the sun, but also the bustle of the crowds in Dubrovnik’s city. The whole island is a nature reserve, covered with plenty of shaded walkways and places to sit and relax under the gigantic and fragrant pine, olive and cypress trees.

There are only a handful of buildings on Lokrum island, the first you will see is a cute little cottage at the entrance, and where the ferry boat docks and departs from. Two other notable buildings are the remains of the Fort Royal and the Benedictine Monastery. As you wander around, you’ll find colonies of friendly and cute rabbits that will come and eat out of your hands.

Although you could see most of the highlights of the island in a whirlwind, you could make this into an easy day trip from Dubrovnik and whittle away a whole day here. There are ample sunbathing spots, including a nudist beach! 

Like with everything in nearby Dubrovnik, you’ll also find references to Games of Thrones dotted about. Parts of the island were used as filming locations and backdrops to the series. At the time of writing, the museum under the Monastery housed one of the props, a giant throne.

View of Dubrovnik City Walls from a Kayak at sunset
Sunset Over Dubrovnik

Mljet National Park

Recommended by Martha from May Cause Wanderlust

Just off the coast of Croatia, north of Dubrovnik, there’s a lush green island called Mljet. And at the western end of the island, there’s a National Park containing two stunning green lakes. And in the middle of one of the lakes is a tiny islet on which is a former Benedictine monastery. An island within an island! It really is the stuff fairy tales are made of – and it’s a gorgeous day trip if you are sailing in the Dalmatian Coast.

The town of Pomena is the entry to the National Park and one of the most picturesque attractions in Croatia. From there you can walk or cycle around the first lake, Malo Jezero. The water here is such a bright turquoise colour! Where the two lakes join, at Mali Most, you can catch a boat that will take you across the larger lake, Veliko Jezero, out to the monastery island.

The island is called Sveta Marija and its monastery was built in the 12th Century. You can explore the grounds and grab a bite to eat in a restaurant that is now in the former monastery building.

Alternatively, you could hire kayaks and enjoy paddling on the clear, still water – or take a hike into the hills around the lakes. There’s plenty of choice in Mljet National Park!

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Mljet Island | May Cause Wanderlust

Dicover the Hidden Shipwreck Cove

Recommended by Kat from Wandering Bird

If you’re heading to Croatia, you need to add the hidden shipwreck lagoon to your bucket list. This is one of the most unique things to do in Croatia, as this cove is not very well known, although daily tours are arranged to it from nearby towns. The cove is found near the pretty town of Jablanac, to the northwest of the country. There is parking nearby and, if you’re motorhoming or campervanning in Croatia, there is a great overnight spot just up the hill.

Once parked, walk to the harbour of Jablanac, put the sea on your right and start walking out of the town. You’ll see the path around the cliff just as the harbour ends; take this. It’s fairly flat and gravelled, it is a good 20 minute walk accompanied with fabulous views.

You’ll pass through a couple of small tunnels and then suddenly emerge into the hidden cove. Because of its secluded location, this is one of the most cool places in Croatia,

TOP TIP: Usually, there is a small charge to spend time here, however, the man in the payment cabin goes home between 5-5.30. If you’relucky enought to arrive afer charging hours, that you can enjoy a long time here for free, and more importantly, without any other visitors. It’s worth noting that there are no toilets or facilities, so make sure you bring everything you need with you.

As you walk further into the cove, you’ll see the shipwreck really close to the surface of the water. This is an old WW2 German ship that sunk during a storm. This is certainly one of Croatias’ hidden gems.. You are allowed to swim and snorkel around the shallow waters of the wreck, but be careful not to get caught.

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Shipwreck Cove | Wandering Bird

Zadar Promenade, The Sea Organ and Sun Salutation

Recommended by Kat from Biker Girl Life

Croatia is a fantastic place to explore, with so many incredible places to visit. The problem is, that can easily mean you miss something! .

One of the most popular places in Croatia is the waterfront city of Zadar. If you’re heading to Zadar, which you should, because it’s beautiful, then make sure you take the time to visit the unique and slightly quirky Zadar Sea Organ and Sun Salutation monuments.

This ‘Sea Organ’ is literally built into the stone steps around the side of the harbour. As the waves lap against the stone, they cause different pressure to be sent down tiny tubes, which then cause a sound to be emitted from holes at the top of the steps- causing it to play exactly like an organ.

The sound is subtle, you won’t need earplugs, but it’s incredibly relaxing. Even better, it’s totally free to experience and enjoy; you can spend several hours sitting on the steps listening to the music, eating ice cream and watching the city move around you. 

There’s plenty of parking in Zadar and if you’re motorcycling in Croatia you can enjoy free parking, so take the time to explore the other attractions of the city before you leave. 

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Sea Organ, Zadar | Canva

Hvar Island and the Old Town

Recommended by Martina from Places of Juma

If you’re looking to plan a trip to Croatia, be sure to add Hvar Island to your itinerary. It’s one of the most beautiful places in country, and especially Hvar Old Town is a must-see during any trip. Taking a city walk through the historical centre, you can expect to see many interesting attractions, including picturesque squares and a picture-perfect ambience at the enchanting harbour. Here, you’ll also find one of the top things to see in Croatia, the Cathedral of St. Stephen, the City Loggia with the bell tower next to it, and the 13th-century Armory.

Equally as wonderful, are the picturesque alleys that lead across the old town and up to the fortress hill. At the top, you will be amazed by the Fortica Španjola, a beautiful Spanish fortress from the 13th century and the landmark of the island of Hvar. It is located in the old town at about 90 meters above sea level and offers an incredible view of the deep blue sea, the offshore island world and the red rooftops.

In any case, don`t miss to plan some time for culinary delights and the local wine!

There are numerous good restaurants in the old town, serving the best Croatian dishes and excellent wines which are made directly on the island. In the evening, the cool bars fill up and the nightclubs of the old town invite you to a party.

|   Book Now: Hvar Wine Tasting Tour |

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Hvar Old Town | Places of Juma

The Costal City Pula and its Roman Amphitheatre

Recommended by Cosette from KarsTravels.

Pula is a city that should be on any itinerary for Croatia. It’s located at the southern point of the Istria Peninsula, in northwest Croatia. Pula is rich in Roman remains, which makes it one of the best destinations in Croatia for lovers of ruins. The most important one being the Roman amphitheatre, also called the arena.

The amphitheatre was built in 1AD during the reign of Emperor Augustus. It’s large enough to seat over 20.000 spectators. They could watch gladiators perform or people being thrown in front of wild animals. Thankfully, that’s not what modern-day spectators get to see at the arena. The amphitheatre is the percet venue for performances of opera, classical music or pop music.

The amphitheatre is visitable during the day. Wander around the arena and visit the dungeons for exhibitions about wine and olive oil in Roman times.

The Pula Arena is the 5th largest in the world. It’s 132 by 105 meters in shape and 32 meters in height. Other Roman remains in Pula are the forum, the arch of the Sergii, the temple of Augustus and the gate of Hercules.

There are several parking lots in the city centre, close to the Roman remains, so perfect for exploring Pula. A little further away, but right at the sea is Camp Arena Stoja, a great campsite in Croatia.

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Pula Amphitheatre | Canva

Makarska for Adventure Sport, National Parks & Beaches

Recommended by Deborah from Passport the World

Makarska is a lovely town and beach resort, located at the foot of the Biokovo Mountain range. It is part of the Makarska Riviera, a stunning coastline along the Dalmatian coast in Croatia. Besides beautiful beaches and a pretty city centre, the area offers activities such a hiking and mountain biking, which makes it the best place in Croatia for outdoor enthusiasts.

One of the best things to do in Makarska town is to stroll around the waterfront promenade, explore the streets of the centre, and visit the little church of Katedrala St. Marko. The centre is a maze of little streets with so many restaurants and bars, that it is hard to choose from. It is also worth going for a short walk to the St Peter monument, on the other side of the bay. Especially in the evening, you have a beautiful view of Makarska, with hundreds of lights. 

If adventure sport isn’t your thing, then Makarska is also famous for its surrounding beaches and there are many. The closest beach to town centre is the 1500-meter-long city beach, situated in Donja Luka Bay, about a 10 minutes walk. Another beach you can’t miss is located in The Osejava Forest Park, named Nugal Beach. You’ll find high rocks, pine forests and incredible colours of blue and green. It can only be reached by a short hike!

If you have more days to spend, make sure to visit the Biokovo Nature Park, offering many hiking and cycling possibilities. Don’t feel like hiking? You can drive all the way up to the Biokovo skywalk, a glass-floored, viewing deck on the edge of a mountain, with incredible views. You won’t find a better place to take pictures of the Dalmatian coast!

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Makarska | Passport the World

Explore Klis Fortress

Recommended by Daria from The Discovery Nut

If you’re wondering what to see in Croatia, that’s a bit of a hidden gem, then you’ll love this idea. Located near Split, Klis fortress is one of those landmarks that are perfect for curious traveler who wants to get off the beaten track. The historic records of Klis date back to the second century BC, when the area was settled by the Illirian tribe called Delmati who built this fortress. 

The fortress is perched above the village of Klis, about 20 minutes north of Split and provides incredible panoramic views of Split and surrounding areas. Although this landmark is popular with domestic tourists, in recent years it has also gained popularity among international tourists.

The Game of Thrones is partially responsible for this new fame, with scenes of Meereen and Daenerys being filmed here in 2014. Still, this fortress sees surprisingly few visitors, perhaps due to its location away from Old Town Split that requires a commute by bus. 

This wonderful historic landmark is still a bit of a hidden gem without hordes of tourists. Whether you are a die-hard Games or Throne fan visiting this fortress for this reason, or nature or history buff looking to get a glimpse into Croatia’s history, you will love this place.

The Klis fortress is open every day from 8:30 AM until 8:30 PM. Always make sure to check the exact hours ahead of your visit, as there could be some seasonal changes to the opening hours. 

|   Book Now: Klis Fortress Entrance Ticket |

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Klis Fortress | The Discovery Nut

Zagreb, The Capital of Croatia & Mirogoj Cemetery

Recommended By Emily from Wander-Lush

One of the top things to do in Croatia, naturally, is to visit the nations capital. And, though it’s by no means on the well-beaten tourist trail, the historic Mirogoj Cemetery (Groblje Mirogoj) in Zagreb is more than worthy of a place on your Croatia bucket list.

Set on the northern outskirts of the city, Mirogoj is a hauntingly beautiful national landmark. It was constructed between 1876-1929 and is considered one of Croatia’s finest examples of Neoclassical architecture. Designed by German architect Herman Bolle, the complex consists of open green spaces and rows of Italian-style arcades, interspersed with pavilions, domes and small chapels.

Some of Croatia’s most illustrious artists, writers, scientists and politicians (of every ethnicity and creed) have been laid to rest in Mirogoj over the years. For this reason, it’s considered the national pantheon.

As you walk under the walls of ivy amongst sweet sculptures and crumbling columns, you feel transported to another world. If you’re visiting Zagreb in the winter months, you’ll likely have the cemetery all to yourself, which only heightens the feeling. The atmosphere is certainly solemn, but there’s joy to be found in the elaborate gravestones, many lovingly tended by descendants or admirers.

This is an active cemetery and should be approached with respect, but rest assured it’s commonplace for visitors to wander the grounds and admire the heritage architecture. Photography is permitted. Mirogoj is free to enter and can be reached by city bus from the Kaptol district in around 30 minutes.

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Mirogoj Cemetery, Zagrreb | Wander-Lush

The Artesan Town of Groznjan

Recommended by Džangir from Dr Jam Travels 

If you’re looking for off the beaten track places to see in Croatia, you’ll love Groznjan. Grožnjan is a small town with just 150 inhabitants. It is located on peninsula Istria in the northwest part of Croatia, just half an hour ride from coastal cities Umag and Novigrad. From a position on top of the hill, one can experience a great view of surroundings with olive groves and vineyards.

This walled town has a long history. There were Ancient Romans, later Venetian republic. Austro-Hungarian Empire, Yugoslavia, and today modern Croatia. The most remarkable building inside the walls is an 18th century Church of St. Vid, Modest, and Krešencije with a 36-meter high bell tower that dominates the valley. But the town is famous for its population of artists. 

In the ’60s, this almost ghost town was slowly taken over by artists that started squatting in empty houses. Today there are 20 galleries and art events like an annual painting festival, the Ex Tempore during summer, or Jazz festival Jazz is Back in the second half of July. So if you are on vacation in Istria and would like some change from the coastline visit this place, walk on cobbled streets while enjoying art exhibitions, music, some nice wine, or one of the sweet local pastries called fritule. Groznjan is certainly one of Croatia’s hidden gems.

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Groznjan | Canva

Zadar's Ancient City Walls

Recommended by Jacoba from Op Reis Met Co

One of the top must see places in Croatia is the historical city centre of Zadar. It’s absolutely stunning, with cobbled streets, medieval squares, and even a Roman forum from the 3rd century. 

About half of the old town is surrounded by old city walls, which are actually on the UNESCO world heritage list. The walls were built in the 12th and 13th century and they were impenetrable, they defended the city for a long time. On the walls, you can still see some of the old city gates. 

The most beautiful gate is undoubtedly The Land Gate, which was built in 1543 and was used to be the official entrance to the city. In the centre of this gate, you can see a statue of the winged lion of Saint Mark. This is the symbol of Venice and it reminds you that Zadar used to be part of the Republic of Venice. Other gates are the Sea Gate and the New Gate. 

Nowadays, the walls are mostly used as a park. For example, on the eastern side of the old town, there’s a big promenade on the walls. Here you can find some information panels about the history of the city walls and relax on one of the benches. It should definitely be on your Croatia bucket list.

|   Book Now: Zadar Guided Tour |

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Zadar | Canva

Explore 'mini Dubrovnik': The Old Town of Korcula

Recommended by Baia from Red Fedora Diary 

Korcula Town, often affectionately called mini-Dubrovnik and should be on everyone’s Croatia bucket list itinerary. Encircled by ancient walls, Korcula town is located in the cetnre of Korcula island. It is also believed to be the birthplace of the famous explorer Marco Polo

Even though the town is relatively small with few attractions to visit, it makes a great getaway destination from overcrowded Croatian cities. During the summer months, one can enjoy pristine waters and sandy beaches with a scenic fortified town in the background. 

One of the main things to do in Korcula is to visit Marco Polo’s house and his museum to learn more about his life and adventures around the globe. Afterwards, wander through the narrow cobblestone streets and pay attention to the architecture before you climb the steep stairs to the Bell Tower for some sweeping views of the town and the Adriatic sea. 

In the evening, sit down at the outdoor cafe to indulge in Croatian cuisine and try local wine called Grk made from the white grape variety of the same name. If visiting wineries is your passion, you can even take a day trip to Lumbarda, where those grapes that make the local wine are grown

It’s easy to get to Korcula town from any central city of Croatia. Daily ferries are running from Split, Dubrovnik, and nearby islands of Brac and Hvar. During the peak seasons, ferries even run twice a day. However, in the shoulder or low season, check the ferry schedule in advance. Korcula is certianly a must-see in Croatia.

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Korcula

Rovinj and the St. Euphemia Church

Recommended by Lori from Travlinmad

Unarguably, one of the most beautiful places in Croatia, is Rovinj, the city is named after the patron Saint of Rovinj and home to the Baroque Church of St. Euphemia which towers over the coastal city in Istrian Croatia. The Old Town of Rovinj bears a strong resemblance to Venice, which makes sense considering the Venetians ruled here for over four centuries.

The three-nave church of St. Euphemia is perched high on the hill overlooking the town and was constructed in 1725 over the remains of an earlier structure. Next to the church is a 200-foot campanile bell tower modelled after St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, and is easily the most recognizable landmark in every photograph of the city.

Surrounded by the city’s original 12th-century wall, the church is a  must-see in Rovinj and is an easy walk up the hill. Climb the tower for the best view of the city or catch your photo op from the port of Valdibora at sunset.

Two of the more notable parts of the church to see are the sarcophagus behind the altar in which relics of St. Euphemia are kept. From the outside, look up and you’ll see the statue of St. Euphemia on the top of the bell tower, which revolves on its axis with the wind.

The Church is often at the centre of community and family events in Rovinj. If you’re lucky enough to catch a wedding in progress, you may even be invited to join in the celebration!

|   Book Now: Rovinj Walking Guided Tour |

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Rovinj | Canva

Party at the World Class Music Festivals at Zcre Beach, Novalja

Recommended by Kerry Hanson from Adrenaline Junkiez

If you’re after somewhere with an abundance of things to see and do in croatia, head to Novalja. There is no doubt that Croatia is a beautiful country, but did you know that it is also a hub for many international and world class music festivals? Novalja in Croatia is a music hot spot with revellers travelling far and wide to see their favourite DJs and artists. 

Novalja is a district found in Pag, on the Adriatic part of the Croatian Sea. While this area is still a popular holiday destination, for festival-goers, the place to be is at Zrce beach close by. Like a lot of other beaches in Croatia, Zcre is a pebble beach, approximately 2km long. 

In peak summertime, Zcre coastline is alive with different events that cater to all types of musical tastes. Residence to 3 superclubs; Aquarius, Kalypso and Papaya, you can see why the location is so prominent. Expect lights, smoke machines, lazers and pool parties, just to name a few. There are also several beach bars and food places across the beach where you might be able to hear the music without actually buying a ticket! 

When you’re not partying on Zcre beach, Novalja itself is an attractive town with several shops, bars and restaurants. There are also several fun water activities you can enjoy. If you’re someone who enjoys music festivals, add Zcre beach to your Croatia bucket list. 

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Music Festivals at Zcre Beach | Canva

The UNESCO City of Trogir & The Cathedral of St Lawence

Recommended by Alice from Adventures of Alice

While planning our trip and thinking of things to do, Croatia hosts an abunadnce of UNESCO destinations. The city of Trogir is one of them.

In the heart of the city you’ll find Trogir Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of St. Lawrence, is a Roman Catholic Cathedral. It was constructed in Romanesque-Gothic, in Trogir, Croatia. 

The building itself is known as a Basilica, which is a title of honour given to church buildings that hold a certain status of importance, such as being a well-known international place of worship or being a place known for its antiquity. The building is a very important monument in Trogir and was given the World Heritage Site title in 1997 as a mark of its importance.

There are so many things to do in Trogir itself, it’s a must-see place if you are visiting Croatia. It is a UNESCO world heritage site and is contained within medieval walls. Its history dates back 2300 years. There are many places to see there such as shops, cafes and stone palaces and they are all surrounded by medieval walls. Plus, the architecture in the city is amazing, including the Cathedral of course, which features loads of carvings and statues.

For even more incredible views, you can also climb to the top of the Cathedral, which is 150 feet tall, to see the stunning views from above.

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Trogir | Canva

Chase Waterfalls at Krka National Park 

Recommended by Lyndsay from The Purposely Lost

Wondering about the best places to go, Croatia has numerous outstanding national parks.

Krka National Park is a must for any Croatia bucket list. Located outside the city of Šibenik, Croatia, the more than 109 km² protected area is named after the Krka River which flows through the region. The lower portion of the Čikola River also winds its way through the park. 

The park is home to some of the largest quantities of lavender in Europe, and more than 800 other types of flowers, trees, and plants can be found here. There are also several preserved landmarks within the park, like the remains of the Krka Hydropower Plant, the Franciscan Monastery of Our Lady of Mercy on Visovac Island, and the Krka Monastery. However, when you visit Krka, you’re coming to see the waterfalls

Along with Plitvice Lakes National Park, Krka National Park has some truly magnificent lakes and waterfalls throughout. Skradinski buk is the longest and most popular waterfall to visit. It’s easily accessible from the Lozovac entrance into the park, and you can get up close by walking along the designated paths over the water. If you want to explore more of the park, there are more than 22 marked walking trails and 470 kilometers of biking trails through Krka. The Krka National Park a must do in Croatia for anyone who loved to chase waterfalls.

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Krka National Park | The Purposely Lost

Walls of Ston

The defensive Walls of Ston originally consisted of over 7km of stonework. Today about 5km of the walls still stand and surround the town.

Construction on the walls started in the mid-1300s, although not all of it survives to this day, it’s still one of the longest and most well-preserved defence walls in the world.

At the time of completion in the 1500s, the wall consisted of 40 towers and 5 fortresses. Today 20 of these towers survive dotted along with the pentagonal shaped structure.

You can walk along sections of Stons’ Walls which undulate up the hillside. The views from the uppermost section of the wall look down over the salt mines and muscle farms.

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Walls of Ston | Canva

Canyoning in the Cetina Canyon

If you’re an adrenalin junkie, then canyoning in the Cetina Canyon needs to be on your Croatia Bucket List.

The turquoise waters of the Cetina River meander between the steep cliffs of the Cetina Canyon, making it an ideal place for white water rafting, climbing, kayaking and canyoning.

Throughout the adrenalin rush day, you’ll get ample time to jump into the cool waters, scramble through caves and dash under waterfalls.

Golden Horn Beach 'Dream Beach', Brac Island

Although Croatia is blessed with kilometres of coastline, most often, the beaches are pebble or sharp sand. It’s not often they are the white soft sand.

If you’re after the most beautiful beaches in Croatia, then head to Brac Island and the town of Bol. Here you find wide stretches of the most stunning, soft golden sandy beaches.

One of the best is known as Zlatni Rat or Golden Horn. It’s often dubbed as ‘dream beach’. Visit it, and you’ll know why!

The island of Brac can be easily accessed from both Hvar island and Split.

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Dream Beach | Canva

Final Notes on Croatia; Best Places to Visit

If you’re planning your trip and wondering what the best things to see in Croatia were, I hope this article gave you tons of inspiration.

I’d like to thank all the contributors to this article who made it possible for me to create this pretty epic Croatia bucket list.

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If you loved this article on the must-see Croatia landmarks and destinations, or know someone that will, then please share and pin it for future reference?

If you have any questions, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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Becki from Meet Me In Departures

Adventure travel blogger with a big addiction to the World. An ex-rat-racer who was fed up with sleep-work-eat-repeat materialistic mentality that plagues modern living. I love anything to do with off-beat travel, abandoned places, temples & ruins, street art, wildlife in its natural habitat, adventure sport.....basically anything but the 9-5!

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. These all look amazing, but I’m a sucker for national parks. I would love to go to Mljet National Park! And I’d definitely take the kayak option to explore the waters 🙂

    1. Yes, the same. I love cities and the history that comes with them, but equally, I’ll never ditch the fact that I’m a country bumpkin at heart and love to get out into nature. I can 100% couch that Croatia has some of the most beautiful National Parks in southern Europe.

  2. Croatia is super high on my list – I was actually supposed to go last spring but it fell through. I’ll definitely be keeping this guide handy for when I finally get there!

  3. My favorite part of Croatia was meeting all the street cats in Dubrovnik, They are so sweet. I wish there wasn’t such a problem with overpopulation.

    1. Yes, the Dubrovnik’s Street cats are absolutely adorable. I took so many photos of them when I visited the city, I really should write a post purely dedicated to them!

  4. I’d really love to visit Croatia! I’ve read a lot about Dubrovnik, but I’d also love to visit some of the other places on your list. I really hope I can visit soon, it looks beautiful.

    1. Yes, it’s a beautiful country. Dubrovnik is the destination that seems to get all the glory, but there are so many other worthwhile places to visit. You’re going to love it!

  5. Croatia looks like an amazing place to visit with so much natural beauty, castles & cities. I think I will need several months there to make my way through this list. Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Yes, I agree. I think on a short trip you could scratch the surface, or cover a small region in-depth, but there is so much to see in Croatia that you’d need several months to do it justice.

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