Last year, Croatia was named by the New York Times as one of the hottest destinations in the world for the summer. And in 2018, tourism hasn’t cooled off. Croatia has always been relatively popular as a Mediterranean getaway and an alternative to Greece and Italy, and as you may know, it’s gotten something of a boost following its use as a major filming location for HBO’s Game Of Thrones. Now, it’s firmly established as one of the top travel destinations on the planet.
This is our look at some of the top things to do there, both in 2018 and in general.
Dubrovnik is the real highlight of Croatia in terms of the recent tourism surge, and it’s in large part because of its medieval Old Town. This is fun to explore for all kinds of different reasons, but if you only had time for one thing, it would be walking the old city walls or ramparts. This travel guide does a nice job of expressing what the experience is like, describing an hour-and-a-half walk around the perimeter of the city with ever-changing views. Fascinating from a visual and historical perspective alike, it’s become one of the true can’t-miss travel experiences in Europe.
With the world’s eyes on Dubrovnik and some smaller but similar cities throughout Croatia, many don’t even realise how beautiful some of the interior county is. Plitvice Lakes National Park is the perfect example - a broad natural expanse of forests and lakes that are more or less arranged in tiers. The area is now crisscrossed with bridges and walkways making it fairly easy to explore for both some outdoor activity and some of the prettiest sights in all of Croatia.
Pretty much all of Croatia’s coastline, including that on the numerous islands that belong to the nation, is irresistible. It also happens to be a fairly popular country for yachting. All of this can make you want to get out on the water yourself, and one way to do it is to take some lessons at a sailing school. As you might expect you have a few options in this regard, and there are several towns to start from. Split is another of Croatia’s top coastal destinations, however, and one that can definitely facilitate this kind of activity. If sailing isn't your thing, then check out more top things to do in Split here.
As far as historical landmarks go, Diocletian’s Palace is actually quite a treat to visit. After all, how often do you get to tour a palace that was built as a retirement home for a Roman emperor? That’s the case here, as Emperor Diocletian began construction of this still-standing structure in the early-4th century on the Dalmatian Coast. There are lots of interesting historical places to visit in Croatia (including the Dubrovnik walls), but this is among the most striking of them.
Casinos and tourism go together less and less these days because you can almost always find the games you’re looking for online - particularly in Europe. This gaming resource makes it crystal clear that numerous established companies are offering all kinds of authentic casino games that can be accessed even on mobile devices. However, in a place like Croatia it’s worth considering casinos and tourism have a history as much because of location as game selection. Case in point, the Hotel Mulino casino at Istria is among the more enjoyable modern attractions in the country. It’s an elegant but fun-filled venue perfect for a night out.
Speaking of nights out, the aforementioned casino isn’t the only option. As is natural for any European country that frequently welcomes foreign travellers, Croatia has a lot of great bars. Zagreb is arguably the best town of all for bar-hopping however, thanks to a range of different drinking venues ideal for exploration. And we’re not talking about ancient pubs and dark dive bars. You can also find some excellent wine bars (like La Bodega Zagreb) and outdoor spots (A Most Unusual Garden, which is the real name of a place). It’s a terrific evening town.
As with bars, sailing spots, and for that matter pretty towns, there are seemingly innumerable beaches to choose from when you visit Croatia. Stiniva Beach has been named one of the best in all of Europe, however, so who are we to argue? It’s the sort of beach you dream about, located on the island of Vis in a sort of valley cove where the cliffsides nearly shut off the surrounding sea but leave just enough of an opening for boats to come in and out of. The sand and water are both pristine, and though it’s now a popular spot, it can still feel like it’s a special spot adjacent to the real world rather than in it.
Another fabulous beach lies on Brac Island (which is a must-see in itself). If you want crystal blue and clear waters at a wonderful temperature, with sliver fish and beautiful views, then Zlatni Rat, the poster boy of beaches, on Brac island is a must see. You can hike to the highest point on the island to get a view from the beach from above and you'll see it's quirky shape.
If you love waterfalls, then you'll want to take a visit to KrKa waterfalls. Unlike Plitvice (Which is beautiful of course!), you can swim in Krka (if you don't mind little fish). There will be signs saying you can't swim, depending on the time of the year, but the waterfalls filled with people will tell you otherwise!
There are different areas to the falls, and some must-sees include, Skradinski Buk which has 17 waterfalls in total to explore, and over 800 species of wildlife to spot. Another favourite is Roski Slap, which comprises of 12 waterfalls. You even get a boat ride to the waterfalls which offers amazing views! You can find out more here.
Visit in Spring/Summer for the best views, and if you don't have your own transport, go via organised tour.
Whatever you decide to do in Croatia, we know you'll have an AMAZING time in this fantastic country.