Croatia’s hub of cultural and culinary delights is its capital, Zagreb. The city has interesting art culture and a variety of galleries, including the Museum of Contemporary Art. Much of the city’s architecture harks back to the days when Croatia was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Get a sense of Zagreb and Croatia’s history in the numerous museums before a break in one of the city’s trendy cafés or a feast of meats and cheeses with a local beer.
Explore the southern Dalmatian coast on the clear waters of the Adriatic Sea. Spend a few days visiting historic oceanfront towns, enjoy beach parties and nightlife and go island hopping. In summer the whole coast features festivals and live music.
Discover the historic city of Dubrovnik, its Baroque buildings and ancient monasteries watched over by the medieval Dubrovnik Castle. The town has luxury hotels with private beaches, glamorous bars and hiking trails with panoramic views over the Adriatic Sea.
Don’t miss the Roman and Venetian architecture in Zadar and its incredible sunsets over blue waters, celebrated every evening with a sound-and-light show. Farther north, enjoy a concert at the Roman amphitheater, the Pula Arena. Escape to the sandy beaches and tranquility of the car-free Elaphiti Islands. Along the coast, seafood is the specialty, with menus featuring slow-cooked octopus, fresh eel and oysters, paired with local wines from the Šibenik region.
Croatia offers numerous outdoor adventures. Hike through forest to the waterfalls and pools of Plitvice Lakes National Park or challenge yourself on the 35-mile (57-kilometer) Premužić Trail starting in the town of Zavižan and running through wooded mountain terrain. Go birdwatching in the wetland habitats of Lonjsko Polje Nature Park southeast of Zagreb. In the inland regions, enjoy hearty spit roasts and slow-cooked game meats.
Croatia’s natural beauty and low-cost tourist activities and accommodations make it an accessible and fun destination for everyone, from those on a strict budget to travelers wanting to live more luxuriously.