Our research is editorially independent but we may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

16 Best Things to Do in Croatia

Croatia is quickly becoming one of the world’s top tourist destinations. From ancient fortified cities to alluring islands, the scenery, history and culture are unbeatable. Of course, it’s also been in the spotlight in recent years as a filming location for HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” This travel destination is an absolute paradise for nature lovers, foodies, romantics, and even families with kids. While you’re there, be sure to put some of these things to do on your list.

Stroll Through Plitvice Lakes National Park Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
Credit: Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia by bigstock.com

Stroll Through Plitvice Lakes National Park

Fantasy comes to life at the naturally stunning Plitvice Lakes National Park, which is often named among the world’s most stunning places with its magnificent waterfalls and interconnected lakes with crystal-clear waters in varying shades of emerald and turquoise. The water flows over the chalk and limestone as it has for thousands of years, creating barriers that result in natural dams forming the cascading falls, rivers and caves.

Go Sea Kayaking in Kornatis sea kayaking in Croatia
Credit: sea kayaking in Croatia by Bigstock.com

Go Sea Kayaking in Kornatis

Paddling the coast of Croatia is an incredible experience, gliding across the brilliant blue waters. One of the best places for sea kayaking is in Kornati Islands National Park, home to nearly 150 islands, rugged cliffs, hidden coves, caves and pristine beaches. For the best experience join a tour with an outfitter like Go Explore Croatia. You can camp and spend your days kayaking to islands that were used by herders for some 2,000 years.

Take a Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruise with Unforgettable Croatia, Hvar Island, Croatia
Credit: Small ship cruise with Unforgettable Croatia, Hvar Island, Croatia by unforgettablecroatia.com

Take a Small Ship Cruise

Small ship cruising has become increasingly popular, and for good reason. These more intimate vessels have the ability to sail to destinations around the world, including Croatia, one of the most beautiful places on the planet for a cruise. Unforgettable Croatia takes small groups of passengers for an intimate experience on sleek luxury vessels that can reach smaller ports that large ships just can’t reach, while the exceptional crew to passenger ratio provides a much more personalized experience. You can take an island-hopping cruise visiting famous isles like glamorous Hvar, unspoiled Vis and lush Mljet, as well as visit captivating medieval cities like Split and Dubrovnik.

Visit Game of Thrones Filming Locations in Dubrovnik Dubrovnik bay and historic walls
Credit: Dubrovnik bay and historic walls by Bigstock.com

Visit Game of Thrones Filming Locations in Dubrovnik

Speaking of “Game of Thrones,” you might want to spend a few days in this city exploring all of them if you’re a fan of the series. Its medieval Old Town has been used extensively as Kings Landing since the second season. You’ll recognize lots of places you’ve seen on screen, like the walls used for the battle of Blackwater, for tournaments, walking shots and the market. The entrance to the Old Town referred to as Pile Gate, appears frequently in the first few seasons, and the Jesuit Steps have become some of the world’s most iconic as the place where Cersei took her “walk of shame.”

See The Greeting to the Sun and Sea Organ in Zadar The Greeting to the Sun installation on the Zadar waterfront in Croatia, an installed lighting that produces a show of light in the rhythm of the waves.
Credit: The Greeting to the Sun installation on the Zadar waterfront in Croatia, an installed lighting that produces a show of light in the rhythm of the waves. by Bigstock.com

See The Greeting to the Sun and Sea Organ in Zadar

Zadar is one of the best places to visit in Croatia and has become especially famous for its pair of light installations, the Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun located along the waterfront.  The Sea Organ is a mysterious installation created by artist Nikola Bašić made up of 35 pipes fitted into the pavement, emitting unworldly noises with its tones and strength powered by the waves. The Greeting to the Sun is a 72-foot-wide representation of the solar system driven by the sun. At sunrise, its cells beneath the glass panels create enough electricity for it to illuminate. At sunset, the cells have enough power to light up the waterfront. The city also hosts a glorious historic center with  16th-century Venetian city walls and marble streets.

Go Wine Tasting on Pelješac Peninsula Pelješac Peninsula
Credit: Pelješac Peninsula by bigstock.com

Go Wine Tasting on Pelješac Peninsula

Wine enthusiasts won’t want to miss visiting the Pelješac Peninsula, the country’s primary wine region. There are many wineries and wine cellars that can be toured, all including tastings, of course. You might want to embark on a wine tour to visit several, which often include the opportunity to enjoy local cheeses, parma hams and olive oils along with the local-produced wines.

Wander Through the Birthplace of Marco Polo in Korcula Town beautiful Korcula Island, the alleged birthplace of Marco Polo in Croatia
Credit: beautiful Korcula Island, the alleged birthplace of Marco Polo in Croatia by bigstock.com

Wander Through the Birthplace of Marco Polo in Korcula Town

Korcula is best-known for being the alleged birthplace of Marco Polo, but it offers many delights that make it well worth a visit, including just wandering through the fortified Old Town, nicknamed “Little Dubrovnik” for its medieval architecture and walls. Visit the cathedral and the Marco Polo gallery, and also take time to explore its picturesque hamlets and charming fishing villages dotted along the coast. It also produces famous white wine, considered the crispest in Croatia, made from the posip grape.

Witness the Ethereal Blue Glow in Magical Blue Cave on Bisevo A boat tour through the magical Blue Cave on Bisevo Island, Croatia
Credit: A boat tour through the magical Blue Cave on Bisevo Island, Croatia by Bigstock.com

Witness the Ethereal Blue Glow in Magical Blue Cave on Bisevo

The tiny island of Bisevo offers an experience that’s truly an out-of-this-world natural phenomenon. Only accessible by boat tour, leaving from Split or the nearby island of Vis, it’s hidden beneath the limestone rocks that form the island.  As you clear the dark corridor, the marvel of the Blue Cave presents itself, leaving most awed with the many shades of blue and silvery sea bottom, which can only be experienced when conditions are just right, typically late morning through early afternoon.

Pick Up Fresh Lavender Products on Hvar Lavender souvenirs from Croatia
Credit: Lavender souvenirs from Croatia by Bigstock.com

Pick Up Fresh Lavender Products on Hvar

Hvar Island is known for many things as one of the most popular of the Croatian islands, from its superyacht-filled harbor to its high-end hotels and fine dining restaurants, alluring Old Town and fragrant organic lavender fields, among others. Here visitors can watch lavender demonstrations and purchase all sorts of lavender products that make for ideal gifts or souvenirs of your time in the country.

Take a Step Back in Time at Diocletian's Palace Diocletian's Palace built for Roman Emperor Diocletian in the historic center of Split, Croatia in the 4th century
Credit: Diocletian's Palace built for Roman Emperor Diocletian in the historic center of Split, Croatia in the 4th century by Bigstock.com

Take a Step Back in Time at Diocletian's Palace

Croatia’s second-largest city lies along the Dalmatian Coast with its historic core filled with stunning Renaissance and Gothic architecture. Split was birthed when Emperor Diocletian chose the spot to build his ultimate retirement destination. His walled palace was constructed to his exacting standards between over the late 3rd and early 4th century, with the maze-like complex more like a small city itself. It features marble walkways and buildings that house cafes, shops, bars, lively markets and chic apartments, built from the barracks where the emperor’s soldiers once lived.

Visit Croatia's Most Beautiful Beach: Zlatni Rat Zlatni Rat Peninsula and Zlatni Rat Beach, AKA the Golden Cape, Croatia
Credit: Zlatni Rat Peninsula and Zlatni Rat Beach, AKA the Golden Cape, Croatia by Bigstock.com

Visit Croatia's Most Beautiful Beach: Zlatni Rat

Zlatni Rat peninsula on Brac island is home to Croatia’s most beautiful beach – a stretch also frequently named among the world’s most stunning. The “Golden Cape” as its often referred to, is made up of fine white pebbles, moving and changing shape depending on the winds and the currents.

Go Whitewater Rafting on River Mreznica Lakes National Park,
Credit: Lakes National Park, by bigstock.com

Go Whitewater Rafting on River Mreznica

Whitewater rafting is a popular activity for Croatian tourists, and one of the best places to get an adrenaline rush is the River Mreznica. It’s near Zagreb and relatively easy for beginners. Most rafting trips here take about four hours and pass by waterfalls. A couple of other great places for rafting are the Cetina River in Central Dalmatia and the River Dobra about 70 kilometers from Zagreb.

Go Sailing Along the Coast Island Losinj
Credit: Island Losinj by bigstock.com

Go Sailing Along the Coast

Even if you don’t consider yourself a big “boat person,” sailing along the coast of Croatia is a must. There are more than a thousand postcard-perfect islands here, and there is no way to see them unless you get out on the water. It’s easy to find a local charter company to take you out or rent a boat to you.

Relax on the Beaches at Makarska Riviera Selce, Croatia
Credit: Selce, Croatia by bigstock.com

Relax on the Beaches at Makarska Riviera

It just doesn’t make sense to visit Croatia without spending a good portion of your time at the beach! The Makarska Riviera is one of the best beach areas if you love hidden coves, white pebble sands, and turquoise blue waters. One of the other most popular beaches is Zlatni Rat Beach, which is on Brac Island and nice and sandy for sunbathing.

Go Olive Oil Tasting in Rabac Dubrovnik, Croatia
Credit: Dubrovnik, Croatia by bigstock.com

Go Olive Oil Tasting in Rabac

Olives have a long history in Croatian culture, so why not go on an olive oil-tasting tour while you’re here? The Belic Family produces olive oil in Istria under the brand, Oleum Viride. This is a great place to do a tasting because there are nearly a dozen different varieties to try.

Visit the Museum of Broken Relationships Museum Of Broken Relationships, Zagreb
Credit: Museum Of Broken Relationships, Zagreb by bigstock.com

Visit the Museum of Broken Relationships

Anyone who’s been unfortunate enough to go through a breakup will get a kick out of visiting the Museum of Broken Relationships. This museum grew from a traveling exhibition that featured objects left behind after lovers parted ways. Today it’s located in Zagreb in the baroque Kulmer palace and takes visitors on an emotional journey with every exhibit. Exhibits here feature everything from wedding dresses to glass figurines, cell phones, and fuzzy handcuffs.

Travel Deals

Air & 12-Day New Zealand Vacation w/ 7 Tours

$3549+

Save 30-77% | Business Class Deals on Top Airlines

$1995+

Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana All-Incl. Resort | Dominican Republic

$442+ pp/pn

Hyatt Zilara Cancun All-Inclusive Resort | Mexico

$392+ pp/pn

Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall All-Inclusive Resort | Jamaica

$381+ pp/pn

9-Day Poland Tour | Save $150 Per Couple

$1524+

Air & 12-Day New Zealand Vacation w/ 9 Tours

$4599+

N. Europe Cruises | Up to 45% Off + Credit up to $300

$549+

Fontainebleau Las Vegas | Daily $50 Food/Drink Credit

$216+

Riu Palace Costa Rica | All-Incl. w/ Free Airport Shuttle

$149+ pp/pn

Aruba | Riu Palace Antillas 18 & Over All-Inclusive

$293+ pp/pn

Jamaica | Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall All-Inclusive Resort

$339+ pp/pn

Air & 9-Day Norwegian Fjords Tour | Up to $300 Off

$2699+

15-Day Central Europe Tour | 5 Beautiful Countries

$2399+

Air & 8-Day Lisbon to Madrid Escape Guided Tour

$1799+