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Best attractions in Croatia: Top 15

What to see in Croatia? This picturesque little country can add to your personal experience. All attractions in Croatia are full of attractive charm, whether it is the emerald beaches of the Adriatic or the architectural monuments. Interesting and informative outings are organized according to the “closer to nature” principle. Stunning ecology of the country, unique deposits of medicinal oil, mineral springs and fine cuisine - all this gives a great opportunity to relax and really merge with nature. It is possible that you will discover a new world with previously unknown natural beauties.

What to see first in Croatia

Especially for those wishing to make a vacation on the Adriatic coast the best ever, we have compiled a list of places where guides in Croatia most often bring tourists. In the descriptions you will find key information, and thanks to the photos you will be able to understand if it is worth spending your time and money to visit this or that sight.

1. Diocletian’s Palace (Split)

Diocletian's Palace is the first private castle in Europe

This unique architectural monument of the Roman Empire was built by Emperor Diocletian. His reign lasted from 284 to 305 A.D. In 1979 the palace was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The palace is well preserved, but in tours it is most often referred to as a kind of city within a city. The fact is that this palace of Diocletian occupies a huge area of 3 hectares.

Behind the fortress walls, life goes on. There are cafes, hotels waiting for tourists, and a lot of souvenirs and beautiful things are sold in local stores.

According to legend, Diocletian ordered the start of work on the palace just before his abdication. It should be noted that the emperor loved and appreciated luxury. The last years of his life were spent in the most comfortable conditions, he lived surrounded by refined interiors, filled with expensive decorations and all kinds of luxury.

However, immediately after his death, the palace lost its status and gradually fell into decay. Later, locals began to move behind the fortress walls of the palace, fleeing from the raids of the barbarians.

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2. Vranjaka cave (Kotlenica)

The underground world of Vranjak Cave

The cave is located on the mountainside of Mosor. It is rightly called the most colorful cave in the country. Tour guides are professionally trained, so tourists are guaranteed a qualified story about this unique natural phenomenon. The fact that the cave is more than 3000 years old already deserves the attention of travelers. It was discovered after an earthquake in 1903.

The entrance to the Vranjaca cave is ennobled, you can even see a stone staircase, but in general it is perceived as a chaotic pile of gloomy stones. The cave was opened for viewing in 1929. Little has changed since then. The outgrowths of rock, extending from all sides, and the bizarre outlines of the stones have all been preserved as they were when the cave was discovered.

In 1963, the Vranjaka cave received the status of a geomorphological monument. It means that this area is characterized by an unusual relief of the earth’s surface. The cave is connected with the access roads, and in 2001 there was completely changed the lighting system.

3. Amphitheater (Pula)

Ancient Roman Amphitheatre in Pula

The tiny Croatian town of Pula is very cozy and welcoming. It became world famous because of the Roman amphitheater, built in the first century AD. It is not preserved in its original form, but the more pleasant to touch the dilapidated walls of the ancient structure. The amphitheater has huge dimensions: 133 * 105 meters. More than 20,000 spectators could be accommodated there at one time.

The centuries have not spared the amphitheatre, but the local authorities, considering it the greatest attraction of Croatia, are constantly carrying out reconstruction and maintenance works. The arena was used for gladiatorial fights, which were banned until the 5th century by Emperor Honorius. Later the grandiose site was used for trading rows and even cattle grazing.

The arena was globally reconstructed in the 19th century, designed by architect Pietro Nobile. The works were carried out under the patronage of Emperor Franz I of Austria.

Today military parades and official events are held there. The local authorities protect the sight in every way, so it is strictly forbidden to “take a pebble as a memento”. The Colosseum belongs to those places that you must visit in Croatia.

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4. Krka National Park (Sibenik)

Waterfall in Krka Park

If you’re deciding what to see in Croatia, be sure to include Krka National Park in your itinerary. Your heart sinks for its beauty. The park is 7 connected waterfalls cascades. Water falls from a small height, so it is not dangerous for tourists. Waterfalls are located in Northern Dalmatia and are among the most beautiful sights in Croatia. The view from below to the cascade of waterfalls is so beautiful that it is impossible to take your eyes away from it.

From all sides of the waterfall comes virgin forest, untouched by man. No logging is allowed here, and the river itself surprises with its azure hue and purity. The park has preserved a unique ecological system. It was formed largely due to the full-flowing river Krka. The river defines the richness of this park. It rushes between the limestone rocks, on which there is lush vegetation.

Krka National Park is an object of tourist infrastructure. There are all conditions for sightseeing. Suspended bridges allow you to admire the landscape, and friendly guides are happy to tell you about the history of this place. The park, in particular, is home to over 200 species of birds. The pride of local residents are golden eagles.

There are a lot of paths through the park Krka, so it is easy and pleasant to walk through it. The highest waterfall has a height of 45 meters, and the lowest one is 8 meters. The overall composition looks divine and is accompanied by delightful sounds of falling water.

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5. Golden Horn beach (Middle Dalmatia)

The beach "Golden Horn" is among the ten best beaches in the world

Beach holidays in Croatia is a whole philosophy. Any of the beaches are environmentally friendly and safe. In addition, they belong to the attractions of Croatia, because they are located in environmentally friendly areas and are equipped with a rich tourist infrastructure.

The Adriatic Sea itself, which washes Croatia, gives the country a fabulous touch. It is very salty and its healing properties are countless. Golden Horn is the most beautiful local beach.

Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it is constantly changing its shape. It depends on the wind and sea currents. It can change direction, thus correcting the shape of the beach. Swimming in the sea here is one of the most popular pastimes. However, besides this, tourists are offered to swim on jet skis and water skis.

In addition, the Golden Horn is a place where fans of windsurfing and scuba diving gather. But no matter how many civilized pleasures they offer tourists, they prefer all the happy opportunity to be alone with the golden sand and the sea.

Feel the atmosphere of Croatia in this beautiful video!

6. Gornji Grad (Zagreb)

The most charming district of Zagreb

Gornji Grad in Zagreb is among those sights that many tourists want to visit in Croatia. The name means “upper town”. Gornji Grad is a district of Zagreb, but in fact, it is a small town in the city with its own established infrastructure. It has hotels and hotels in which you can comfortably stay to see all the sights.

In particular, architectural attractions of Croatia are literally concentrated in Zagreb. Here you can get acquainted with the Roman Cathedral or the beautiful building of the Croatian Parliament. In this area of Zagreb is also the largest cemetery - Mirogoy.

7. The island of Lokrum

Lokrum Island is also nicknamed "Cursed"

A small island in the Adriatic Sea is a dream of many travelers. To visit it during the beach season, is to give yourself an unforgettable experience. Locals call the island magical, so it is beautiful. From the side it looks like a plot of velvet green, surrounded on all sides by emerald sea. Seven hundred meters from the island is the town of Dubrovnik, from which hourly boat trips depart. The island is a magnificent natural landmark of Croatia.

There are no hotels and hotels on the island. It is also impossible to see any stores here. There is only one cafe, and it is open only during the day. What explains these infrastructural peculiarities? The fact is that the island is a national reserve. Are you still thinking what to visit in Croatia? Beyond the scope of your trip, you can not leave this amazing island with the Benedictine monastery. This architectural landmark of Croatia was built in 1023.

It was erected as a gratitude for the salvation from the once raging fire. Monks lived peacefully in this monastery until in 1806 it was captured by the French. The invaders immediately decided to demolish the monastery and build Fort Royal. The monks humbly accepted the French decision, but cursed anyone who would be on the land. They sailed off in an unknown direction at night, and the three French nobles who took part in their exile died one by one.

Subsequent rulers of the island, acquiring it, have never been able to find their happiness here. For example, Captain Tomashevich, who bought the island, quickly went bankrupt. Another owner of the island, Maximilian, died in Mexico. All subsequent owners also had an unenviable fate.

The locals still believe: the candle wax that dripped on the ground when the monks sent their curses still punishes the aliens. The only people who feel good here are the tourists. Perhaps because they come only to admire the local beauties.

8. Park “Plitvice Lakes” (Northern Dalmatia)

The power and beauty of nature of the park

The picturesque lakes are a natural attraction in Croatia and are among top most beautiful places on the planet. Since 1949 they are included in the UNESCO register. Attracting tourists to the lakes is carried out under a special state program. It began operating in 1983. Since then, many watercrafts for water excursions have been purchased here and many hiking trails for tourists have been arranged. There are several hotels in the park where tourists can stay comfortably.

At the end of the last century, interest in the lakes was so high that the Empress of Austria Augustine Caroline and her husband Emperor Franz I visited the park. The park “Plitvice Lakes” is the attraction that lovers of beautiful places tend to see in Croatia. It is located at an altitude of 1200 meters above sea level. The ecological situation here is the most favorable. On the territory of the park grow untouched forests with rich flora and fauna.

For tourists in the park ply a special tourist electric train. On your own go deep into the woods in the park is undesirable, because it is a habitat for various animals, which are not always ready to communicate with people. Lush colors and shades of nature delight tourists invariably. The hue of the water in the lakes varies with the day, depending on the light.

The lakes are very deep. And their depth starts directly from the shore. Interesting is the history of waterfalls in the park. Almost every year a new waterfall appears here, so the lakes are always full of clean water. Since bathing in the park is prohibited in the lakes, they keep their pristine purity.

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9. Hvar Island

Hvar is a sunny island of the Adriatic

Among the sunny sights of Croatia, Hvar Island holds a special place. It is interesting because it is the longest. The unique geographical location has provided maximum sunshine to the island. This is a very beautiful place. It belongs to those places that should be visited in Croatia, not only because of the mild climate, but also because of the lush subtropical vegetation.

The capital of the island has the same name - Hvar. The length of the island reaches 68 km and its area is 300 square kilometers. Tourists tend to visit this place during the month of June. It is the time of blossoming of purple lavender and pink oleanders. In June, the island is fantastically beautiful and full of fragrant aromas.

10. The city of Rovinj (Istria Peninsula)

Medieval Rovinj is considered the pearl of Istria

The city of Rovinj is a truly fabulous attraction in Croatia. Its architecture is stylistic of many eras, and the climate is so mild that it is comfortable at any time of year. The coastline of the city is decorated with islands of different sizes. Jules Verne mentioned this city in his works, and nowadays it is most often chosen by newlyweds as a destination for a wedding trip.

Therefore, if you have not decided what to see in Croatia, you can visit one of the beaches of the island. There are several of them, and all of them are different from each other: pebble, rocky or platform beaches. The town is known for the fact that every year there is an international festival of photographers, as well as the international regatta. Along the waterfront there are many stalls selling the famous soft ice cream.

Attractions in Croatia: what else to visit while in Croatia

Sightseeing tours in Croatia are not for you or you want to visit really unique places? Then the tourist sites listed below are just what you need. Competently organized sightseeing and entertainment program will be a guarantee that the trip will make a lasting impression.

11. Rector’s Palace (Dubrovnik)

The Princely Palace is a monument of history and architecture of Croatia

What to see in Croatia? You will definitely be impressed by the princely palace in Dubrovnik, so interesting is the architecture in it. The building was built in the Gothic style, it is very austere. However, over time, the facade of the building was enriched with details in the Renaissance style. The beginning of construction works refers to the 15th century. The palace (castle) was the working residence of local princes.

The main facade of the building is decorated with two side towers, which have been preserved to the present day. Since, according to ancient tradition, the prince was not supposed to leave the palace building, all conditions of residence were created for him. On the territory of the palace there are auxiliary, household and work premises. There is also a courtroom and a conference room, there is also a storage room for ammunition and an armory.

In the 15th century, the palace gates were locked at night, and the keys to the city were kept in the castle. Over the years, the castle was subjected to natural disasters, but every time it was restored. It was considered the residence of the princes until 1808, when the French imposed their rule here.

Today, the palace has been restored by the architect Onofrio della Cava. As for the statue that crowns the top of the building, it was designed by Italian Pietro di Martino. Today, tourists thinking of what to visit in Croatia are offered excursions to the Palace Museum, which is located in its internal territory.

12. City of Hum (Istria)

The medieval street of the fortress city of Hum, the smallest city in the world

Among all the attractions of Croatia, the city of Hum stands out for its small size. It even enters the Guinness Book of Records as the smallest city. However, the modern look of the city was formed in the 11th century. At that time a castle was built on the ruins of an ancient fortress. Nearby were built a few houses for the residents of the future city.

It should be noted that at that time Istra belonged to the French kingdom. Count Ulritz I renewed several castles (including this one) on the border of his possessions. Centuries later, Ulrich II placed Hum at the disposal of the patriarch of Aquila.

Until the 17th century, the castle was mentioned in all documents as a fortress. Today it is a monument city and one of the attractions of Croatia. Tourists here can see the Church of the Assumption of Mary, the clock tower, and the Church of St. Jerome.

13. Sea Organ (Zadar)

Sea Organ - Place of Perpetual Concert

Among the attractions in Croatia of interest to travelers is the peninsula of Zadar. Its main city resembles a multicolored mosaic made up of multiform structures and buildings. What just is not there! Ancient Roman Forum, residential houses of the 19th century, the Church of the Holy Trinity, the Roman Cathedral of St. Anastasia. The colorful picture of the city is presented in different architectural styles.

High-rise buildings from ancient times and the neighboring modern hotels and restaurants are always of interest to tourists. There are a lot of hotels in the city and tourists feel at ease here. To attract travelers the local authorities often organize jousting tournaments.

However, the main attraction of the city is the Morske orgulje organ. Art historians and connoisseurs give high marks to the distinctive sound of this musical instrument. The acquaintance with the sights of Croatia would not be complete without hearing the sound of the organ.

14. City of Salona (Split-Dalmatia)

The ancient Roman ghost town of Salona

In different centuries, the city of Salona was under the jurisdiction of different countries. It was originally founded by the Illyrians. However, in the fourth century BC the city was conquered by the Greeks. In the first century BC, Julius Caesar established a Roman colony here. According to legend, the Roman Emperor Diocletian was born in this city.

Salona was the center of early Christianity until the 6th century. The Slavs and Avars destroyed the city around 614. However, the palace of Emperor Diocletian has partially survived to this day. The building was subjected to global reconstruction in the early 20th century.

The initiator of the restoration work was the Croatian archaeologist F. Bulic. As a major specialist in Roman sites, Bulić headed the archaeological museum in Split.

15. Korcula Island (Dubrovnik-Neretva region)

Korcula Island

The history of the island goes back centuries. In the eighth century, the island of Korcula was inhabited by Slavic tribes. But up to the 15th century the island was under different jurisdictions several times. In 1214, the status of the island was determined and the Korculan statute was issued.

But in 1420 the island finally came under the control of the Venetians. According to legend, the great traveler Marco Polo was born on this island. Currently, the island of Korcula is part of independent Croatia. This happened after the dissolution of the country in 1990.

The basis of the economy of the island is tourism and agriculture. Tourists will be interested to know that the wine traditions of the island are carefully preserved. Croatian wines “Grk” and “Posip” are known all over the world. They are made in the wineries of this sunny island, which is rightly considered a natural attraction of Croatia. Near Croatia is a country with stunning architectural ensembles of different epochs and styles - Hungary. While in Croatia, consider visiting this country as well. Read about sights of Hungary and get inspired for your future journey around Europe!