Places to Visit in Croatia

Saturday, February 17, 2018

You have heard much about this country, but you don’t know what places to visit in Croatia?

Croatia is an Eastern European country, an ex-Yugoslavian state, and a place designed for tourism. With 1, 200 islands, a long coast to the Adriatic Sea, natural parks, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and very old history, Croatia attracts people from all over the world. There are so many beautiful places to visit in Croatia that you have to plan a very long journey.

The country is a European Union member but is not part of the Schengen Area. So, check the travel condition for your country before you go. However, it's very unlikely to have problems on this part. You won't have problems with the language either. People here often speak English and German.

The Croats came here in the 17th century, but they weren't the first people around. Archaeologists established that the area was inhabited from prehistoric times. Greeks and Romans ruled here for a long time, too, leaving a rich legacy in architecture and artifacts. Then came the Croats and established the Kingdom of Croatia. And then everybody wanted a piece of this beautiful country: Venetians, Ottomans, Austrians, Hungarians, Germans and Italians, Communists. Since 1991, Croatia has been an independent country with a quick development and a bright future.

Zagreb, the capital of Croatia

Zagreb is the historic capital of Croatia

The list of places to visit in Croatia begins with its capital. Zagreb is a beauty and is often compared with Vienna and Budapest due to its Austro-Hungarian architecture. Two major attraction points make the delight of tourists: Upper Town and Lower Town.

The Upper Town is famous for its Gothic style and its medieval air. Visit the Cathedral, with a 13th-century beginning and a 19th-century Neo-Gothic style. Don't miss a visit to The Old Gate, converted into a shrine to Virgin Mary. The portrait of Virgin Mary is considered sacred because it is the only thing in the city that survived the great fire in 1731.

The locals believe that a pray said here will be granted. The Lower Town is a relaxation spot after all the sightseeing in the Upper Town. Here are the shops, cafes, parks, and restaurants.

Zagreb holds the record of more museums per square meter than any other city in the world.

Dubrovnik, the pearl of the Adriatic

Dubrovnik is one of the most beautiful coastal cities in the world

Dubrovnik is not just another place on the list of places to visit in Croatia. It is one of the most beautiful places of the Mediterranean, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the most popular destination in Croatia. Situated at the Adriatic Sea, surrounded by medieval walls, Dubrovnik is called “The pearl of the Adriatic”.

Dubrovnik history started in the 7th century. Due to its great position, the city was visited and desired by many peoples. Their legacy is still present in the city, giving it more charm than ever.

Don't leave Dubrovnik before you see every single corner of it. The Old Town is stunning. Palaces, churches, a Bell Tower, Baroque architecture, an old port will convince you to take a picture at every step. Of course, you have to visit the city walls. They have 2 km and there are several forts on the way. And if you still want more reasons, maybe the fact that some parts of the TV movie Games of Thrones were filmed here will be enough.

It is impossible not to mention the beaches, the azure water and sea kayaking tours, and the cable car that will give you the best panorama of the city.

Split

A stunning and historic coastal boardwalk in Split

Split is a mix of old and new. The second largest city in Croatia invites you to see Roman architecture (like Diocletian's Palace), but also a modern and exuberant life.

Split was built around the Diocletian's Palace in the 14th century. St. Duje's Cathedral is another Roman legacy, beautifully mixed with a Catholic church. Make time for Jupiter's temple and Peristil square, too. After you check all the landmarks, go to the beach or enjoy the Mediterranean cuisine.

For the adventurous, Split offers sea kayaking, snorkeling, climbing, sailing, and 2,800 hours of sunlight every year. The modern items of the city, although controversial in some circles, add freshness and quality to the city. Split is vibrant, alive, and always in a good mood.

Pula

Pula is mostly known for its amphitheater

Pula is a very old town, founded by the Illyrians more than 3,000 years ago. It was then conquered by the Romans, inhabited by Slavs and Italians, and later on became the most important port of the Austro-Hungarian navy. Even James Joyce lived and worked here for several years. Today, Pula has large ethnic communities of Italians, Slovenes, Serbs, and Bosniaks.

As a touristic destination, Pula is known for its Roman architecture, including an amphitheater from the 1st century. Don't miss the Triumphal Arch of Sergius, the Temple of Augustus or the Roman Floor Mosaic.

Take advantage of the Adriatic Sea and reserve a day or two for Verudela Underwater Park, exploring beaches, and the Aquarium.

Krka National Park

Swimming in a crystal clear water of Krka national park

A national park on the list of places to visit in Croatia is a must. Krka National Park covers 142 km2 with unforgettable views. Its magnificent waterfalls include the Skradinski Buk falls, a complex of 17 waterfalls that surround an azure lake.

Swimming and trekking, bird watching (there are over 200 species of birds here), and visiting the Franciscan monastery situated on a small island are just some of the features in Krka National Park. To be sure you are not missing anything, book a boat trip.

Plitvice National Park

Walk through breathtaking nature in Plitvice national park

Plitvice National Park is the most famous national park in Croatia. It covers 295 km2 with wild forests and waterfalls, turquoise terraced lakes, and karst mountains. Plitvice National Park is accessible for the entire family, but swimming is not allowed. It is, after all, a protected area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the last remaining virgin places in Europe.

You have 18 km of wooden footbridges to guide you through a world of beauty. Green forests, butterflies, an incredible blue water, waterfalls and sequences of waterfalls will amaze and delight you.

So many great places to visit in Croatia

Croatia is the perfect touristic destination. Rich in history, blessed with a unique landscape, taking good care of ancient architecture, Croatia is the dream of every tourist. Adding the fact that is welcoming and relaxing, you couldn't wish for more.

Monica Radulescu a freelance writer for aSabbatical.com
Travelling is a joy. It's a way to become a better and wiser person. Mountain paths and road trips are my favourites.