Things to do in Croatia: 20 beautiful places you must see
Croatia has wowed us with its breathtaking sights.
In this article, we will show you the most beautiful places to go in Croatia that you can't miss when you are on vacation here. You can expect incredibly beautiful, fairytale waterfalls, the mighty fortress wall of Dubrovnik, the stalactite cave Baredine, the most beautiful city in Croatia, and many other incredible sights to see.
Hi! We are Biggi & Flo
We are two adventurous travelers who are drawn to faraway places. On our travel blog, written with a lot of heart and soul, you will find exciting tips and reports on the topics of travel, outdoor and photography.Advertising notice: All links marked with * are affiliate links. If you order something through this link, we receive a small commission - nothing changes in the price.
The top 20 sights in Croatia
Honestly, it wasn’t easy for us to determine the most beautiful sights in Croatia. Because actually there are only highlights in Croatia. But here they come, the most amazing attractions that you should not miss and that will enrich your vacation.
- Krka National Park
- Pula Amphitheater
- Rovinj – the most beautiful small town in Croatia
- Plitvice Lakes National Park
- Diocletian’s Palace Split
- Cathedral of Zagreb
- Zadar Sea Organ
- Insel Krk
- Makarska Riviera
- Klis Castle
- Ston Fortress
- Nationalpark Brijuni
- Baredine stalactite cave
- Golden Horn of Brač
- Hum, the smallest town in the world
- Kornati Islands – Kornati National Park
- Blue cave on Biševo
- 19. Biokovo Nature Park – Skywalk
Map: All sights in Croatia at a glance
In our interactive map, you can find all the top places to see in Croatia at a glance. Have fun during your vacation in Croatia.
Dubrovnik is the most massive, impressive city I’ve ever seen. So it’s no wonder it’s number one of my top places to visit in Croatia for you. The most striking thing is the thick, mighty stone wall that surrounds the city for protection. The fortress in Dubrovnik was built in the 16th century and has survived wars and weeks of sieges.
The entire city is a photo spot, if I may say so myself. Huge sights aside, every alley, every corner, every cat, every step in Dubrovnik is photogenic and tells history.
Of course, you shouldn’t miss the highlights like the imposing city walls, Lovrijenac Fortress, the city harbor, the main street Stradun, the Rector’s Palace, the Church of St. Blasius, Dubrovnik Cathedral, the Dominican Church and the Franciscan Monastery, the cable car, and Lokrum Island.
By the way, many scenes of the famous cult series Game of Thrones were filmed in Dubrovnik. If you want to go on a sightseeing tour of the city to the filming locations and the places where the famous actors stood, then we have listed for you the filming locations of Game of Thrones in Dubrovnik
Tip: If you’re also a Game of Thrones fan, then maybe the Game of Thrones Jet Ski Ausflug (book here*) cool for you. Then you’ll see Dubrovnik’s fortress from the water.
2. Krka National Park
Krka Nationalpark is not from this world. If any place deserves to be called paradise, it’s this national park. It’s one of the best things to see in Croatia. In total, there are three main spots there that you should not miss.
In the very south is the entrance Lozovac. Here a bus takes you into the national park. In winter you can also go by car. The Skradinski Buk waterfall is the highlight in the south of the Krka National Park. You walk on wooden paths through a water landscape. Everywhere it splashes and flows.
Small waterfalls unite at the end to a large one – the main motif. But it’s worth following the created circuit in the park because you will discover at a distance of 2.5 kilometers some ingenious photo spots and beautiful waterfalls.
After that, we head north to the Roski Wasserfall. The big waterfall is located in the water. You can get very close to it with a boat tour, which is offered in the Krka National Park. Beyond that, a huge, fairytale-like area of small waterfalls awaits you. When you climb up 500 steps to a supervisory point, you will be overwhelmed by the beautiful landscape that opens up below you. By the way, there is another cave at the top, which you can also visit with a guided tour.
The biggest waterfall in Krka National Park is Manojlovacki slapovi. You can get there by a country road. The walk takes less than five minutes and you are at the viewpoint.
The entrance fee to the Krka waterfalls, i.e. to the national park, is 60 kuna per person (about 8 euros).
Powerful, very old, and incredibly huge – this is the Amphitheater in Pula in Croatia in Istria. The theater is the sixth largest in the ancient world. Moreover, it is one of the best preserved in the world. Since 81 AD, the structure has stood in the place where it still is today. The walls are huge – over 32 meters high. Even then, there was room for 26,000 people inside. The atmosphere must have been incredible when gladiator fights, animal rushed but also re-enacted sea battles took place here.
Be sure to visit the vaults under the amphitheater. There, where once the animals and the fighting equipment were kept, you will find an exhibition today. Besides huge amphorae – bulbous vessels – you will learn everything about the history of oil and wine cultivation in Roman times.
The Romans left their mark in Pula itself. At the time of Emperor Augustus, many buildings were made in Pula. From huge arches to the temple of Augustus in the middle of the city – you can still find some ancient sights. The Sergier arch was built between 29 and 27 BC. It has been preserved. We always find something like that very impressive.
Right next to the arch there is a café. There, at a table, sits the statue of James Joyce. He was a frequent guest in Pula. The castle of PulaPula in the middle of the city is also worth a visit. From the walls, you already have a great view of the city. But if you climb the tower, you will be thrilled. Because here you look down on Pula. The view of the amphitheater is magnificent.
By the way, you should also take a look at the air raid shelters under the city, the Zero street is located directly under the fort. You walk through widely branched corridors.
Our absolute photographer tip: enjoy the sunset directly at the amphitheater. You will be thrilled. by the way, a highlight in Pula is the ride at night with an illuminated, transparent kayak (book here*). It’s the perfect Instagram photo and an unusual fun thing to do. The same combo is also available with the SUP (book here*).
Here you can find many more highlights in Croatia. Here we have listed the resorts Porec, Vrsar, Novigrad, and Umag as well as great mountain villages in Istria. If you want to see Istria from the air, you might want to take a sightseeing flight over Istria (book here*).
Recommended travel guide for your Croatia trip
I recommend the following travel guide so that you can browse a bit before you start your vacation. As we all know, anticipation is the best joy. Have a look at Lonely Planet Croatia (get it here*) and also you should get Rick Steves Croatia & Slovenia (buy it here*).
4.Rovinj – the most beautiful small town in Croatia
The most beautiful small town in Istria and also in Croatia is Rovinj. We were absolutely enchanted by this place. Situated right by the sea, the town suddenly looms in front of us. In its center, perched on a hill above the town, is the huge steeple of the Church of St. Euphemia. It is the landmark of the city. From the top, you have a magnificent view of the sea. Rovinj is situated on a headland. From the air, the town looks even more impressive.
Besides the church, you should definitely walk through the narrow winding streets with the small, beautiful stores. Of course, a coffee with a sea view should not be missing.
Be sure to check out Rovinj, you’re guaranteed to fall in love with it too – just like we did.
5.Plitvice Lakes National Park
The Plitvice Lakes National Park is the largest national park in Croatia. It is also the oldest in Southern Europe. The national park has existed since 1949. In 1979, the Plitvice Lakes were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. They were one of the first natural monuments in the world. One million people visit the national park every year.
No wonder it can’t be missing from our top sights in Croatia. The largest lakes are called Prošćansko jezero and Lake Kozjak. In total, there are 16 above-ground lakes in the national park.
In the lower part of the national park, the big waterfall, Veliki slap, is waiting for your visit. This is where the Plitvica River cascades down. Veliki slap is also the largest waterfall in Croatia. The water masses fall 78 meters. In the north of the national park is the Galovački buk. It reaches a height of 25 meters.
You’ll love walking through the national park and taking lots of photos. Be sure to take a travel tripod for great waterfall shots.
6. Diocletian’s Palace Split
Split exudes Mediterranean flair. Here in Dalmatia in Croatia, the climate is also noticeably milder. Directly on the Riva, the main promenade of the city, huge palm trees are lined up.
This city spreads an incredibly beautiful atmosphere. The young women are absolutely stylish on the road, the cafes are very modern and furnished with that certain something, and the sights in Split are also worth seeing. No wonder the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the top sights in Croatia.
Be sure to check out the impressive, huge Diocletian’s Palace. It includes the huge cathedrale, whose steeple you can climb up. From up there, you’ll look down on Split’s rooftops and roof terraces. Especially the Vestibul, which belongs to the palace and used to be a kind of reception hall, is very impressive. But we were also fascinated by the imposing city wall with its mighty gates. Which sights in Split you should definitely see, you can find in our article.
From Split, you can also reach the popular vacation island of Hvar.by boat. Here you should visit the town of Hvar with the Spanish Fortress.
Tip: You can do the following activities around Split: Zipline through the Kozjak Mountains (book here*), family-friendly canyoning adventure on the Cetina River (book here*), kayak tour around the Split peninsula (book here*).
7. Cathedral of Zagreb
Of course, a visit to the Croatian capital is not be missed. Zagreb Of course, a visit to the Croatian Zagreb Cathedral. It’s the landmark of the city with its two towers and dates back to the 13th century. On the square in front of the church, the Kaptol, stands the Fountain of the Virgin Mary with the statue of the Virgin Mary.
Your city tour will take you past the Archbishop’s Palace, the Vegetable and Green Markets, and past Ban Jelačić Square, which connects the Lower Town with the Upper Town.
The Upper Town had its own city walls with four city gates in the 13th century. The Lower Town has existed since the 19th century.
8. Zadar sea organ
The Sea Organ of Zadar is unique and fascinating at the same time. It’s a must-see when you visit the port city on the Adriatic Sea. Besides the famous sea organ, you should also see other sights such as the church of St. Donatus from the 9th century, the church of St. Chrysogonus, and the four city gates.
You will also see the Roman Forum, the Priors’ Palace, the Archbishop’s Palace, the Arsenal, and the five fountains. These buildings characterize the city center and are absolutely remarkable. Be sure to stroll down Kalelarga or Široka ulica, the wide street. It will be worth it. In the evening you should pay a visit to the illuminated city bridge.
From Zadar, you can reach the famous vacation island of Dugi Otok. It is especially popular for its beaches. The beach Sakarun, Brbinjscica Bay but also the Velika Piramida Sali (Pyramids) as well as the freshwater lake Lago Mir are worth a day trip.
Above Zadar is the town of Nin. It’s famous for its Roman temple complex. It’s also home to the smallest cathedral in the world. The Sveti Križ (Holy Cross) church dates back to the year 800.
Above Nin is the beach Zrće, not far from Novalja on the island of Pag. Many parties take place here, such as “Springbreak Croatia”. Legendary is the Papaya Club with its jumbo cocktail Deep Diver.
9. Island Krk
We were very enthusiastic about the island of Krk Especially the beautiful coastal towns that are there. For example, the town of Krk itself with its imposing city walls and winding streets. But also the fashionable seaside resort Baška with its Caribbean-like beach Vela plaža Baška.
The seaside resort of Baška with its beautiful beach is a must-see when you are on vacation in Krk My favorite place on Krk is Vrbnik. Here you can find the narrowest alley in the world. But that’s not all. During my wandering through the small winding streets, I fell in love with the place. Malinska is also a beautiful place. So you see, the island of Krk is definitely worth a side trip. We liked it here very much.
From Krk, you can take a boat to the popular vacation island of Rab and to the island of Cres. Cres island is also worth a visit.
10. Makarska Riviera
White pebbles, turquoise water, and clean water quality – that’s what the Makarska Riviera in Dalmatia is known for. No wonder there is really a lot going on here in the summer. The beaches are absolute highlights in Croatia. No matter in which of the small resorts you make a stop, each place has a fantastic swimming beach.
I will now name the places Brela, Baška Voda, Makarska, and Živogošće. But as I mentioned before – actually every coastal beach here is a feast for the eyes.
The most famous and beautiful of all beaches is called Punta Rata and is located above Brela. Here you really have the feeling to have landed in the Caribbean.
By the way, the town of Omiš is the beginning of the Riviera. The beautiful, small village captivates with a castle, which towers conspicuously on a rocky spur. Directly behind the town begins a huge gorge. Be sure to take a walk through Omiš. But even if you feel like action, this is the right place for you. Rafting on the Cetina River (book here*), zip line (book here*) and other action adventures like via ferrata (book here*) are waiting for you here
11. Klis Castle
As we pass the huge rocky spur on the highway, we can already see it perched on top – Burg Klis. It is huge. How big, we realize only when we stand directly in front of its walls.
Due to its prominent and at the same time excellent location, the castle was nicknamed the key of Dalmatia. In the 9th century, the castle was redesigned but before that, it was already a structure on the rock. Besides Bosnian and Hungarian rule, the Turks also conquered the castle. Despite various sieges, one of the most important trade routes continued to exist here. The route led from Split via Klis to Sarajevo.
The castle is one of the top sights in Croatia. Now it’s even more popular because Game of Thrones was filmed there. It was the setting for the fictional city of Meereen, the city of slaves.
12. Ston Fortress
Croatia comes up with many superlatives. Ston fortress is the longest fortress wall in Europe. After the Great Wall of China, it’s even the second largest in the world. Awesome, isn’t it? Construction began in the 14th century. Three forts were connected with walls. It’s five kilometers long and is repeatedly interrupted by towers. There are 40 of them. Thus, the fortress had control over the Pelješac peninsula.
There was a reason for that. Because huge salt mines were operated here, which boosted the economy. You can still see the Ston seawater saltworks today by the salt marshes.
Today Ston is known for something else. Oysters and mussels are farmed here in the bay of Mali Ston. In Ston itself, you can also visit Fort Kaštio , a real insider tip. The walls are extremely imposing.
13. Nationalpark Brijuni
The Brijuni National Park was established in 1983. The island is under nature protection. A spa for the nobility used to be established here. In 1913 the first winter swimming pool was opened on the Austrian Adriatic – at that time Istria still belonged to Austria
Then, when Istria passed to Yugoslavia, in 1947 the Yugoslav state and party leader Tito took over the national park. He invited Hollywood stars. The ordinary citizen was not allowed to enter the island. Tito was given many exotic animals. Therefore, today you can still see an elephant, zebras, antelopes but also donkeys in the national park. The national park is one of the top sights in Croatia.
There is a dinosaur figure on the shore of the large national park island. Here you can find real dinosaur tracks.
Imagine that. It has been proven that many dinosaur skeletons have been found here on the Adriatic Sea, on the small islands.
Tip: Also in the National Park Cape Kamenjak: You can also find dinosaur tracks in the Cape Kamenjak National Park. In addition, there are also beautiful beaches. Here, too, a visit is worthwhile, for example to the monk seals at the southernmost point of Istria or to the rustic safari bar.
You can also find dinosaur tracks in the Cape Kamenjak National Park. In addition, there are also beautiful beaches. Here, too, a visit is worthwhile, for example to the monk seals at the southernmost point of Istria or to the rustic safari bar.
You can get there by boat from the beautiful coastal town of Fažana. We decided to take the island tour because we could see a little more than just the largest island. The tour by boat is worthwhile for you if you want to have an entertaining summary of the islands. If you only want to see the national park, then you should go to the big island.
14. Baredine Dripstone Cave
The Baredine Cave (Jama Baredine) is the first cave in Istria that you could ever visit. It’s still open to visitors today and is one of the top sights in Croatia. Our guide told us that the farmers here have always known about the cave. 132 meters deep it goes into the cave. After all, we get up to 60 meters under the earth in front of us. We can only recommend the guided tour. We learned a lot. Like that the stalagmites are transparent. If you hold a lamp, you can see that clearly. Our guide showed us with his lamp.
By the way, we had a private tour because in the off-season nobody else wanted to visit the cave. So we could look around in peace and ask many questions to the guide. In one hole you can look down. Here it goes down to 132 meters. Down there are two lakes, In the lakes lives a large population of Grottenolmen. This is a caudate that is blind and lives in the cave. It is white and resembles a mini dragon.
The landmark of the cave is the snowman, a huge, white, iridescent stalagmite. You can find him at the end of the cave.
15. Golden Horn of Bračč
One of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia is the Golden Horn of Brač (Zlatni Rat). And with that, of course, it joins our top sights in Croatia. You can get to the beach by boat from the city of Split, which is very close to Brač.
The Golden Horn gets its name from the fact that a white, fine pebble beach juts out several hundred meters into the sea. The pebbles are subject to constant change due to the sea surf and water currents. Thus, the Golden Horn sometimes juts out in one direction but can already look different the next year. This beach is subject to constant change. And that is exactly why it’s so exciting for visitors
How do you get to the Golden Horn? From Split, there are regular boats to Brač. But other towns also offer a day trip.
16. Hum, the smallest town in the world
The city of Hum has the official title of the smallest city in the world. Smallest city in the world
The medieval townscape is a feast for the eyes and invites you to explore. Especially the small stores in the alleys make you feel right at home. Here you can taste olive oil and wine.
When we were there, in the off-season, nothing was going on at all and we were able to look at the tranquil place in the most beautiful evening light.
17. Kornati Islands – Kornati National Park
The Kornati National Park includes 89 islands, the largest of which is called Kornat. The special thing about the Kornati is the limestone from which the soil is made. In addition, you will find huge cliffs in the national park.
The highest cliff reaches up to 90 meters into the sea. This is very impressive. Of course, the Romans were also present here. Today you can still see a Roman villa in Proversi, the Villa rustica, and a fish tank on the island of Svrsati, which dates back to the Romans.
On the island of Murter, in the village of Murter, you will find the National Park Administration. From here the trips to the other islands take place. You can reach Murter from the mainland by car. But also from the beautiful town of Šibenik boats leave to take you to the Kornati islands.
18. Blue Cave on Biševo
The Blue Grotto is a cave that is 24 meters long. In 1884 the grotto was discovered at that time. Since then it has been one of the top sights in Croatia. You can enter the cave by boat. Excursion boats dock in Mezuporat There you change to paddle boats to enter the cave.
19. Biokovo Nature Park – Skywalk
The Biokovo mountain range in Dalmatia is huge and well-known. Since 1981, a part of it, namely 30 kilometers of the mountain range has been included in the Biokovo Nature Park. The whole area is a karst mountain. This means that similar to Istria you will find huge caves and grottos. As well as one of the deepest caves in Croatia. The Amfora cave is 788 meters deep. Impressive, isn’t it? Right in front of the nature park is the Makarska Riviera, which makes the area one of the most popular vacation destinations in Croatia.
Also impressive is the Biokovo Skywalk. It’s also one of the top sights in Croatia. This is a viewing platform with a glass floor. This means: you feel like you are floating above the clouds.
Sveti Jure is the highest peak in Biokovo Nature Park and the second highest peak in Croatia. You can hike or drive up to it. It’s also one of the most popular attractions for vacationers in Croatia.
The entrance fee to the national park is 50 kuna, which is just under 7 euros. This includes access to the skywalk.
When we arrived in Trogir the sun was just setting and bathed the fortress walls, the city walls as well as the church towers in a warm light. As we strolled through the city at sunset, it grabbed us. This flair was just beautiful.
Rustic, old, very beautiful rows of houses. Narrow alleys. A city surrounded by water. The old town of Trogir is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Therefore, in our eyes, it must also get a place here in the top sights in Croatia.
Trogir was already settled by the Greeks in the 3rd century. Then it was completely destroyed during a siege in 1123. However, in the 12th century, the city flourished again. The stone bridge that leads to the historic city center already provides a nice flair when you arrive. Today you have to cross over a modern bridge into the city or take a small ferry. The bridge is under renovation.
Trogir’s old town consists of the best preserved Romanesque-Gothic complex. In total, you will find the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque eras. This mix is unique. We were very enthusiastic about Trogir.
I hope you enjoyed my sights in Croatia. We were impressed by the diversity of the country as well as the beautiful landscape, the great cities, and the unique, ancient city walls. Croatia is really incredibly beautiful and very worthwhile as a vacation destination.
Here you can enjoy beach vacations on beautiful beaches with crystal clear water, or experience exciting action. Everything is possible in Croatia.