The Best Things to do in Croatia: Our Ultimate Guide

Touring Croatia can be the experience of a lifetime. Lying on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, Croatia is famous for its beaches, rivers, and lakes. Its extensive, 2,000 kilometers coast has more than 1,000 islands, making it a favorite destination for those looking for adventure, nature, and beautiful seas to sail. The country Croatia is known as one of the sunniest destinations in all of Europe and is famous for its people, traditions, food, and culture. Almost every city and town within its borders has a story to tell. Pula is home to one of the three remaining intact Roman coliseums globally; Porec is filled with sites that date back to Roman times; Korcula is rumored to be Marco Polo’s birthplace, and Dubrovnik is surrounded by defensive stone walls that date back to the 12th century. 

Above all else, Croatia is rapidly becoming known as the perfect beach destination and ideal for island-hopping. Each island has a different offering, so whether you want to have a luxury experience on Hvar island, go clubbing in Pag, drink cocktails by the water in Lošinj, or eat delicious cheese and drink wine on Korčula, there is an island off the coast of Croatia waiting for you. 

Before we talk all about the best things to do in Croatia, let’s look at some essential information that you need to know before traveling:

  • American citizens don’t need a visa to enter Croatia. 
  • Although the official currency in Croatia is the Croatian Kuna, both US Dollar and Euro are accepted in the country. 
  • Croatia has its own amphitheater, which is almost exactly like the Colleseum in Rome. Although it is over 2,000 years old, the Pula Arena is well-preserved and a spectacular sight to see. 
  • Croatia is the best place in Europe to go truffle hunting and is home to the largest truffle in the world, according to the Guinness World Record Book. 
  • Croatia is home to the world’s smallest town, called Hum. 
  • The country is known for its tradition of beautiful lacemaking, which has been added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Lacemaking from Pag is considered the best in the country so if you do visit the island, make sure to buy a piece or two. Another traditional Croatian product added to the UNESCO Intangible Heritage List is the Hrvatsko Zagorje’s wooden toys.
  • One of the best things to do in Croatia is to eat! Although Croatian food has some outside influences (like Italian, Austrian and Turkish), their cuisine has distinct interpretations and tastes. Some dishes you must try are black risotto, Boškarin, Buzara (mussels), Fritule (donut-friend pastries), Istrian ham, truffles, and Pag cheese. 
  • Do you want to explore the islands of Croatia? Why not charter a yacht? Yachting is the best way to move among the islands and enjoy the beautiful landscapes. 

How to Get to & Around Croatia

There are flights to Croatia departing from many major American cities and arriving in the three main Croatian airports in Zagreb, Split, and Dubrovnik. There are few direct flights to Croatia, so be prepared for a stop-over or two before reaching your final destination. 

The most popular area for tourists is the Adriatic coast of the country, where you can visit the coastal cities of Split and Dubrovnik and the many Croatian islands on the Adriatic Sea. Chartering a yacht in Croatia is the best option for transportation. Yachting allows you to explore the coast, move freely from one city or island to another, and, best of all, avoid all of the summer crowds. Croatia is known for its islands, so there is no better way to explore than on a boat. And instead of opting for tourist boats that have rigid schedules that are often canceled or delayed, a trip on a yacht gives you peace of mind—something everyone wants on their vacation. 

Picture picking up a bottle of delicious white wine from Korčula before jetting off to a small deserted island nearby to enjoy a glass while watching the sunset. Or why not explore the coast and visit isolated islands during the day before heading over to Brač to dance the night away. A charter trip gives you the freedom and quiet you are looking for during your vacation. Yachting also combines that freedom and tranquility with the luxury of staying in a hotel or resort. Are you ready for a lifetime experience? Learn more about chartering a yacht in Croatia here [include a link to your services].

Best Time to Visit 

Summer is the best season to visit Croatia. Summers mean hot weather, perfect if you want to enjoy the beaches, go swimming, sail, and see the islands. During the summer months, primarily during July and August, the temperature reaches around 86°F. The best things to do in Croatia happen during the summer months, including concerts, festivals, and cultural events, like the Night of the Full Moon in Zadar. 

You can technically sail along the Dalmatian coast from April to October, but the best times to sail are in autumn and spring, also known as the shoulder seasons. During these times the prices are lower and the summer crowds have largely disappeared, allowing you to fully enjoy what Croatia has to offer. 

During the spring season, which runs from May to June, the prices in Croatia are not only lower, but the days are steadily growing longer and the temperatures are rising. Spring is the perfect time for sailing as temperatures vary from 70°F to 79°F. Then there is the autumn season which runs from September to October. Just like spring, the days during these months are beautifully warm and enjoyable. Seasonal winds are also more reliable during the shoulder seasons, which means that your charter can take advantage of the wind more often. 

The low season starts in November and goes until April. The days are rainy during autumn and winter, but it’s still possible to experience sunny days. There are almost no tourists from November to April, so the prices are lower, however, if you do plan on sailing in Croatia, then the low season is not the best time to visit. 

What to Pack

As the main tourist attractions are the beaches and islands on the Adriatic coast, casual and light clothes are the best option to bring to Croatia. It is always good to have something cool to wear when partying and something more formal for a romantic evening in a restaurant. We recommend packing: 

  • T-shirts, shorts, skirts, and dresses
  • Flip-flops, walking shoes, and sandals
  • Swimwear and water shoes 
  • Protection from the sun, including a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen
  • A light jacket and pants for cooler evenings
  • Bug Spray
  • Waterproof case for your phone or camera
  • Adapters and converters for your electronic devices

The Best Things to Do in Croatia 

Due to its beaches and islands, the Adriatic coast is the most appealing area for tourists in Croatia. There are also famous coastal towns that are a must-see and have rich historical backgrounds, whether on the continental coast or on the islands. Here are some of the best things to do in Croatia. 

Things to do in Split

Split is the largest city in the region of Dalmatia and the Adriatic coast. Being the second-largest city of Croatia, Split is a modern, cosmopolitan city built upon more than 1,700 years of history. Its antiquity can be seen in the Old Town, which has earned it a place on the UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list. The city of Split was actually founded as the Greek colony of Aspálathos in the 3rd or 2nd century BC. As it is an ancient city, there are a lot of historic spots to see. The Old Town is itself an attraction, so make sure to take a walk around to soak it all in before eventually sitting down in one of the many cafés or restaurants. 

Some of the best tourist spots in Split are:

  • Diocletian’s Palace: built-in 305 AD for the Roman Emperor Diocletian, the Palace is located in the heart of the Old Town and is also listed as a World Heritage Site. Its immense walls surround a 10-acre area of temple ruins, apartments, museums, hotels, markets, coffee shops, modern boutiques, and even an ancient cathedral all connected with pedestrian-only cobblestone alleys. Today, more than 3,000 people live and work within the palace, and it is a must-see if you are visiting Split. 
  • St. Domnius Cathedral: if being the oldest cathedral in the world is not already a good reason to visit, St. Domnius Cathedral’s Bell Tower, also built in the 7th century AD, has one of the best views of the city. 
  • Klis Fortress: the fortress was built by the Illyrians to fight the Roman conquerors and is famous for the siege by Augustus against the Illyrian revolt. Being a strategic military spot during the Mongol siege and the Venetian rule upon Split, Klis Fortress was destroyed and reconstructed many times. The ruins of that ancient battle site offer a panoramic view of both the city and the Dalmatian Coast. It has also served as a filming location for the popular TV series Game of Thrones.
  • Split Archeological Museum: one of the best in Croatia, this museum has over 150,000 historical items, including ancient weapons, Roman glass, carvings from Salona, and Greek ceramics from the Hellenistic period.

Besides the historical buildings and museums, there is a beautiful promenade near the sea called Riva, where you will find many cafes, bars, and restaurants. If you appreciate wine and wish to experience the Croatian variety, consider visiting the Putalj Winery, which is located near the city. If you are looking for an organized tour, make sure to make a reservation. Another good option is the Zinfandel Winery, which is located in the Old Town. 

The most popular beach among tourists in Split is Bačvice. You can also visit other beaches nearby, like Jezinac Beach, Ovcice, and Firule. They will probably be quieter than Bačvice. Another attraction is Marjan Hill, where you will find another good view of the city. Those interested in nature and ecotourism can visit the National Park in Krka, named after the river and best known for its many waterfalls. The Plitvice Lakes National Park can also be reached with a day trip from Split.

Things to do in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is another coastal city on the Adriatic Sea and is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site due to its ancient walls, fortifications, and churches. The city’s splendor made the English poet Lord Bryon call it “The Pearl of the Adriatic.” It is a favorite Mediterranean tourist destination, and it is known as one of the other filming locations for Game of Thrones. You can even take a tour based on the scenarios of the series. 

The city of Dubrovnik has a long historical past that goes back to the 7th century when the Croat town merged with the Greek colony known as Ragusa. For many centuries, the city was best known as Ragusa, which became its historical name. Ragusa took prominence as a maritime commercial city from the 9th century to the early 13th century, when it fell under the control of the Venetian Republic. At the time, Ragusa became the capital of the Republic of Ragusa, an aristocratic maritime suzerainty under the control of Venice during the 13th and 14th centuries. The Republic of Ragusa ended in 1808 when its territory fell under the control of Napoleon. After the fall of the Republic of Ragusa, the city eventually adopted its Croat name, Dubrovnik. 

As you can probably tell, Dubrovnik is another top destination for historical tourism. Its Old Town is charming and has an impressive main street called Placa, which intersects with many ancient buildings. In the Old Town, you will find the Church of St. Blaise and Orlando’s Column, inaugurated in honor of the medieval knight who defended the city against a Saracen siege. It is now a symbol of Dubrovnik’s freedom.

Some historical points to visit are:

  • City Walls: built from the 7th to the 15th century, the walls appear on Game of Thrones and offer stunning landscapes of the Adriatic Sea.
  • Dubrovnik Cathedral: this baroque cathedral has an impressive collection of masterpieces from Croatian and Italian artists, including a triptych from Titian depicting the Ascension of Mary. 
  • Lovrijenac Fort: the 11th-century fortification is the epitome of Dubrovnik. It is the place where the summertime festival takes place, which includes a performance of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
  • St John Fortress: built to defend the city against pirates, the Fortress has an aquarium and a maritime museum.
  • Franciscan Monastery: this 14th-century monastery built in Romanesque and Gothic architecture has a vast collection of books and manuscripts and is one of the oldest operating pharmacies in the world.

Besides the historical attractions, Dubrovnik also has plenty of natural beauty to offer. You can take the cable car to the crest of Mount Srđ, where you have the best landscape of the city and the surrounding nature. You can also enjoy it from the sea, while sailing or kayaking. 

If you are doing so, take the opportunity to visit Lokrum Island, a green-covered island with an old monastery that serves as a restaurant during the summer. Dubrovnik also has a beautiful 15th-century park called Trsteno Arboretum, with rich vegetation and a beautiful garden house with sculptures and fountains. Of course, there are many beaches to visit in Dubrovnik, such as Lapad beach, with many bars and restaurants nearby, and Banje, a beach with a stunning landscape and a famous lounge club.

Things to do in Croatian islands

With more than 1,000 islands to explore, there are various things to do in the Croatian islands. Tourists can visit the small, deserted islands, but some larger islands have entire cities and unique attractions.

Here are some of the best options: 


  • Hvar: popular among celebrities, Hvar is best known for its luxury hotels and restaurants. The old center of Hvar town is also a historical must-see, having the largest old square in Dalmatia, St. Stephens Square. It is surrounded by ancient architecture, including the Cathedral of St. Stephen.
  • Vis: here, you find a singular nature attraction, the blue cave of Biševo, a place of extraordinary beauty, which is one of the main tourist spots in the Adriatic Sea. The blue cave got its name due to the iridescent blue, glowing effect of the sunlight getting into the cave through a natural opening on its ceiling that reflects on the water. 
  • Korčula: named after its dark forests, Korčula is now famous due to its fine white wine and the historical center of Korčula Town, where you will find the birthplace of Marco Polo.
  • Brač: this island has one of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia, the Zlatni Rat, famous for its distinct shape, looking like a horn. The name literally means “golden horn” or “golden cape” in Croatian. 
  • Rab: this small, calm island is a nudist-friendly paradise, a tradition started by King Edward VIII.
  • Kornati, Mljet, and Brijuni: these islands have been turned into national parks, with plenty of nature, incredible sea life, and heavenly landscapes.

One of the best things to do in Croatia is to visit the islands, and sailing around them is one of the main tourist attractions in Croatia. The Adriatic coast of the country is a paradise for yachting, kayaking, and sailing. We strongly recommend that you visit the islands. It can take most of your trip, so chartering a yacht is the best way to enjoy that time on the coast and the islands.

Chartering a Yacht in Croatia

With many different islands to visit, chartering a yacht in Croatia seems like the obvious choice. A private yacht charter is one of the most socially distanced vacations you can go on. The best part? You can unpack your bags once and wake up somewhere new every day. How exciting is that? The yacht will bring you to secluded coves and anchorages to snorkel, swim, and even get up close and personal with some sea life. Is there anything better than waking up every morning at a new location and exploring everything that Croatia has to offer?

Chartering a yacht in Croatia offers a unique off-the-beaten-path type of voyage that allows you to explore peaceful anchorages, historic ruins, fisherman villages, and resort towns that are often hard to get to by other means. Sailing the Adriatic sea also means that you can enjoy the beaches, frequent the restaurants, go shopping at all the local markets—all while avoiding the hustle and bustle of the peak season crowd. 

Many people think that chartering a yacht is out of their price range. However, this is not necessarily true. It all depends on your needs and wants. We have a personal chef that can customize a menu based on your preferences and any food allergies or dietary restrictions that you may have. Many of our yachts are stocked with water toys like stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, and a dinghy that can be used for tubing, water skiing, and wakeboarding. We also can include the option to scuba dive from the yacht. Other less common amenities still available on some yachts include an e-foil board, seabob, sea scooters, snuba, and kiteboarding. If you’d like, there is even an option to have a hot tub or jet ski on one of our bigger yachts. 

If you are interested in learning more about chartering a yacht in Croatia, let us know your dates, budget,  and the number of guests, and we would be happy to walk you through the process.  A catamaran that sleeps six people and has a captain can be as low as $10,000 per week. When you add a captain and all meals and drinks to make it all-inclusive, the rates start around 15k then go up to 50k or more depending on the degree of luxury you want. 

And that is our list of the best things to do in Croatia. Don’t wait to make your dreams come true. Come live the historical experience and heavenly views of Croatia without any worries. Sail the Adriatic Coast with a yacht and have the time of your life!

Please rotate your device
Your device viewport is currently too small to display this website
Tap to dismiss this warning