Croatia Travel Guide
If you are in Croatia during the summer, most likely your first destination will be the Adriatic coast with its atmospheric walled cities and countless islands, but Croatia's capital and largest city, Zagreb, as well as other sights in the interior should also be on your list. A few must-sees in Croatia include the following stops:
Plitvice Lakes National Park. There are 16 lakes at this UNESCO site near the Bosnian border, arranged in a series of cascades. Thanks the effects of algae and mineral deposits, they have a dazzling variety of colors from greys to blues.
Dubrovnik. Another UNESCO heritage site, the town of Dubrovnik on the Adriatic peaked from the 15th to 17th centuries, when it was the capital of the independent Republic of Ragusa, a rival of Venice. It retains its medieval walls and streetscapes.
Split. The most famous sight of Croatia's second largest city is Diocletian's Palace, built in the 4th century, but many other buildings reflect the influence of Venice, which rules Split until the end of the 18th century.
Spot this popular bar in historic Groda, the city’s oldest neighborhood that centers on Svetog Stjepana (St. Stephen) Square, thanks to the all-white laundry and lanterns hanging outside.
When the sun sets, tourists pack into the cafés around Stradun. Natives, however, head farther afield, congregating along Bana Jelacica between Old Town and Gruz. The club of choice: the ever-popular Roxy.
For romantic views and convenient island-hopping, take the ferry one way down the coast (anywhere from 7 to 11 hours between Dubrovnik and Split), but for speed (and minor savings), ride the bus back in 4.5 hours.
A two-hour ferry ride from Split, Hvar has medieval hilltop monasteries.
Quite possibly the perfect beach bar, this hole-in-the-wall unfolds across a series of terraces hewn to the cliffs with nothing but a narrow railing between your table and the Adriatic. To reach it, walk through a tiny opening in the Old Town ramparts, marked by a sign that reads COLD DRINKS.
Dubrovnik is not the place for cutting-edge clothing and furniture boutiques, but Old Town is home to a handful of quirky stores—and a thriving gallery scene.
A massive renovation in the past several years has made the neo-Renaissance building near Banja beach the best place to gain perspective on Croatia's unique 19th-century artists; it houses more than 2,000 works by native painters and sculptors.
Take a 30-minute ferry ride from Split to this beautiful island. Spend the day sampling locally made cheeses and wines, and strolling along golden-sand Zlatni Rat beach.
This Hvar bar, restaurant, and lounge fronts the beach, where during the day visitors relax by sunbathing, swimming, and diving. More proactive guests opt for beach volleyball or a spa treatment in a palm-leaf-roofed bamboo hut.
This nearly 150-year-old traditional Milanese millinery shop still makes its impeccably crafted hats on the original molds.
Every old city in Europe has an Old City historic district—but Split has the only downtown actually carved from the carcass of an ancient Roman palace. When the emperor Diocletian split the Roman Empire in A.D.
Charter a gulet, a two-masted wooden sailboat that accommodates 8-16 passengers.
Winemaker Miljenko Grgic, better known as Mike Grgich, became famous for producing the Chardonnay that helped Napa Valley best the French in a 1976 blind tasting. He returned to his Croatian homeland to open Grgić Vina with daughter Violet in 1996.
With Cuban cigars and an open-air patio that evoke a Caribbean atmosphere, this Bojnice cocktail bar is situated in bustling Hubanovo Square.
There are 17 churches in the Old Town, but if you only have time for one, make it the Baroque, domed Dubrovnik cathedral. Titian's polyptych The Assumption hangs behind the main altar.