Things to do in Croatia: the ultimate list

updated 9/16/2021
fb tw mail_outline

Find things to do in Croatia and be inspired for your trip with our ultimate list of top places to see and Croatia activities to try. To get an even better feeling for this wonderful country , check out the video. The information in this article is taken from The Rough Guide to Croatia, your essential guide for visiting Croatia. If you prefer the idea of a tailor made trip, get in touch and we can connect you with a local expert to plan and book your ideal holiday.

1 - Hike Plitvice Lakes National Park

Plitvice Lakes National Park is Croatia's top natural attraction. Take a look at our Ultimate Croatian Adventure which includes this bewitching landscape of waterfalls and lakes, framed by forest clad hills.

Plitvice National Park is the top natural attraction in Croatia © Denis Kichatof/Shutterstock

02 - Enjoy a concert at Pula Amphitheatre

The incredible amphitheatre in Pula is Ancient Rome’s greatest gift to the eastern Adriatic. And it goes on giving even today as a venue for stadium-style summertime concerts.

Pula Amphitheatre, Ancient Rome's gift to the Adriatic

03 - Sunsets in Zadar

Alfred Hitchcock raved about Zadar sunsets and you'll be bowled over too. Especially now the setting sun comes with sound and light effects created by the Greeting to the Sun and Sea Organ art installations.

Put Zadar sunsets on your things to do in Croatia list © xbrchx/Shutterstock

04 - Hvar island

The island of Hvar is unspoiled and indented with beautiful bays and coves. It's known as a glamorous celebrity haunt, but still has what it takes to enchant the seclusion-seeker. Sailing across Dalmatia adds Hvar to a tailor made Adriatic voyage.

Unspoiled Hvar enchants everyone who visits © Evgeniya Moroz/Shutterstock

continued below

05 - The Museum of Broken Relationships

This mould breaking museum in Zagreb explores human emotions from a very personal perspective. Yet manages to be witty, well designed and philosophical at the same time.

Zagreb explores darker things to do in Croatia © Globe Guide Media Inc/Shutterstock

06 - Try sea kayaking on the Dalmatian coast

It's said the Dalmatian coast is best enjoyed from the water. And sea kayaking is the perfect outdoor activity in Croatia to put that theory to the test. Or try out some alternative action on a Croatian adventure holiday tailor made by local experts.

Try sea kayaking on the impressive Dalmatian coast © lazyllama/Shutterstock

07 - Visit Cigoc to see nesting storks

continued below

Cigoc was the first place in Europe to be named a European Stork Village. You'll find charming timber built Cigoc in the Lonjsko polje wetlands. Visit in mid March for the arrival of the storks.

Spot nesting storks in Cigoc from early spring each year

08 - Sibenik

Sibenik was once the ugly duckling of the Adriatic. Then an urban makeover revealed stunning fortresses and medieval gardens. Now it's a good alternative to Split or Dubrovnik for short breaks.

Sibenik is now one of the places to see in Croatia © Hrvoje Bakovic/Shutterstock

09 - Walk the city walls of Dubrovnik

Walk its mighty walls as an introduction to Dubrovnik. The briefest of strolls serves as a reminder of why the ancient city played a starring role in Game of Thrones.

Dubrovnik one of the best places to visit in Croatia © SchnepfDesign/Shutterstock

10 - Discover the untamed Kornati Islands

The largely uninhabited Kornati islands are the Adriatic at its most untouched. Tourist facilities are limited to a few restaurants and yachting berths. Which only makes the islands more appealing.

Visit the Kornati islands to discover untouched Croatia © Ivan Pikunic/Shutterstock

11 - Varazdin

The perfect Baroque town, Varazdin sits on the Drava River in northern Croatia. Visit to see its opulent squares, crumbling palaces and a unique garden cemetery.

Visit Varazdin for Baroque architecture and art collections

12 - Taste Pag cheese

Pag island's uncompromisingly arid and sage-covered landscape produces distinctive, tangy sheep’s cheese. Visit local island dairies on Pag to try it for yourself.

Taste distinctive and tangy Pag cheese on Pag island © Natalia Bratslavsky/Shutterstock

13 - Hvar town celebrity hang out

Undoubtedly the swankiest resort on the Adriatic, Hvar Town is full of temptations. Expect Renaissance architecture, chic bars, glossy yachts and celebrities. You won't be disappointed. For a combo of glamour and heritage, consider a stay at Palace Elisabeth, the oldest hotel in Hvar.

Hvar Town, one of Croatia's glossiest island resorts © Kite_rin/Shutterstock

14 - Marvel at Skradinski buk waterfalls

Head for Krka National Park to marvel at the stunning series of Skradinski buk falls. Don’t forget to take your swim things for a dip in the water.

A great alternative to Plitvice Lakes National Park © ZM_Photo/Shutterstock

15 - Discover the Peljesac peninsula

Make for the Pelijesac Peninsula to explore rugged mountain scenery. It's also the area for quiet coves, unspoiled seaside villages, robust red wines and fantastic seafood.

16 - Diocletian’s Palace,Split

Of all the things to do in Croatia, visiting Diocletian's Palace in Split is high on the list. Once a Roman emperor’s pied-à-terre, it now forms the chaotic core of the modern city. Tempted to stay in Diocletian's Palace? Book Private Apartments in its historic heart.

Diocletian's Palace, one of many things to do in Split Croatia © Kirk Fisher/Shutterstock

17 - Celebrate summer with Croatia festivals

Almost every genre of music is covered in the Croatia summer-long festival calendar. From indie rock at InMusic to cutting-edge dance music at Tisno and dub-to-dubstep extravaganzas at Outlook, near Pula.

Croatia summer festivals have music for every taste © supergenijalac/Shutterstock

18 - Vukovar

One of eastern Croatia’s most compelling destinations, Vukovar combines contemporary museum attractions with sites commemorating the 1991 siege.

19 - Discover the culinary tradition of Peka

Slow-roasting lamb, octopus or other local ingredients under an ember-covered metal lid, known as a Peka, is the traditional Croatian route to a deliciously succulent meal.

Slow cooked succulence using a traditional Croatian Peka

20 - Rovinj

Rovinj is where Riviera town chic collides with fishing port charm. It's the most Italian of Istria’s coastal resorts and known for its Venetian-style houses and elegant piazza. Consider staying at Holiday Home Grisia IV right in the heart of Rovinj old town.

21 - Truffle days, Istria

The start of the truffle-hunting season is marked by festivities throughout Istria in September. Head to Buzet, where the world’s largest truffle omelette is scoffed by an army of celebrants.

Istria is the place to be for truffle season in Croatia © Alessandro Cristiano/Shutterstock

22 - See Trsteno in spring or summer

Head for Trsteno, just north of Dubrovnik in spring or summer. It's a beautiful coastal village and known for its magnificent Renaissance gardens.

The beautiful Renaissance gardens at Trsteno

23 - Explore the Elaphite Islands

The easy to explore, largely car free Elaphite Islands offer great hiking and plenty of peace and quiet. Look forward to unusually sandy Croatian beaches as well.

Lopud island is one of the best places in Croatia for relaxing © canvaspix/Shutterstock

24 - Taste local Rakija grape brandy

There’s nothing like a shot of rakija (grape brandy) to oil the wheels of an evening. Try herb-infused travarica or carob-flavoured rogačica for a truly heart and soul warming experience.

Don't leave Croatia without trying local Rakija grape brandy

25 - Walk the long distance Premuzic Trail

Walking is one of the easiest things to do in Croatia. But the Premuzic Trail is a serious hike. One the country's most exhilarating long distance route it takes in mountain ridges, dense forests and awesome views.

Walking on the Premuzic Trail is one of the lesser-known things to do in Croatia.

Ready for a trip to Croatia? Check out the snapshot Rough Guide to Croatia. Read more about the best time to go to Croatia, the best places to visit and best things to do in Croatia. For inspiration use the Croatia Itineraries from The Rough Guide to Croatia and our local travel experts. A bit more hands on, learn about getting there, getting around the country and where to stay once you are there.

We may earn commission when you click on links in this article, but this does not influence our editorial standards - we only recommend services that we genuinely believe will enhance your travel experiences.

Travel advice for Croatia

author photo
updated 9/16/2021
fb tw mail_outline

Planning on your own? Prepare for your trip

Use Rough Guides' trusted partners for great rates

Find even more inspiration for Croatia here

Ready to travel and discover Croatia?
Get support from our local experts for
stress-free planning & worry-free travels