Croatia is one country I’d always wanted to visit! I mean, who wouldn’t, right? To be honest, I was kind of concerned that I’d overhyped it all in my head and was worried about being disappointed once we arrived. How wrong I was! Croatia lived up to (and was even more) amazing than I could have thought. With so many beautiful Croatian towns and cities to see, I was spoiled for choice…
… and that’s before we’ve even discussed the stunning Croatian islands!
Anyway, before I lose tangent and only natter on about the islands, I wanted to let you gander at the prettiest and most beautiful Croatian towns and cities you should visit.
But don’t be fooled! Even if you do visit Croatia on a city break, you’ll be a hop, skip and jump away from some stunning natural parklands, coastlines and dramatic mountains that seem to just hug the cities.
Take a look at the most beautiful Croatian towns and cities you must visit. You’re going to love the whole country! 🇭🇷
Another gorgeous spot on the Istrian Peninsular, Poreč is a great little spot to visit in the warmer summer months (though, the heat is definitely not essential). Once there, head inside the Euphrasian Basilica, explore the Round Tower, the historic old town and see the dramatic caves of Jama – Grotta Baredine.
You’ll get a guide to take you around, so there’s no fear of getting lost once inside the caverns!
Sitting almost at the head of the Istrian Peninsular, Pula is a coastal city that’s a great first stop into Croatia (especially if you’re driving over from Trieste in Italy).
One place you have to see is the incredible amphitheatre. In my eyes, it rivals that of the Colosseum in Rome and Nimes – it’s gorgeous. If that’s not enough history for you, pop into the Temple of Augustus and see the Gate of Hercules. It’s a city steeped in history and one of the beautiful Croatian towns and cities you’ll love to explore.
Zagreb is one of the largest cities in Croatia and quite a distance from the long coastline that always looks so inviting. Now, that shouldn’t put you off – far from! The best thing about Zagreb is its gorgeous buildings and multi-cultural charm.
Heavily influenced by its Austrian and Hungarian neighbours, the city is filled with historic and gothic cathedrals and the incredibly beautiful St. Mark’s Church.
Whilst in the city, don’t forget to visit the neighbourhood of Gornji Grad that’s filled with narrow little streets, cobbled alleys and a whole heap of little shops and cafes. For a great walk, take the funicular to the top and walk back down through the historic stone gates.
If you’re looking for some good photo opportunities, pop into the Lotrscak Tower. (especially at midday when the canon is fired). You’ll have an amazing view over Zagreb.
On the shoreline of mainland Croatia, šibenik is perched relatively close to the Kornati Islands (just in case you’re heading there). Make sure to wander around the town, see the beautiful Town Hall and explore St Michael’s Fortress within šibenik itself.
For a tasty bite, pop into Pellegrini that serves some of the best-grilled fish and local shellfish. Just make sure you reserve a table in advance (especially in the evenings).
Split was our first port of call in Croatia and what a welcome we had! I swear this city is gorgeous. Not only do they have a deep and very present history, it’s also one of the best port cities to hop on a boat and explore some of those Islands (like Hvar and Brac) that I go on about.
When wandering around the city, pop into the effortlessly gorgeous Diocletian’s Palace and its underground chambers and take a bite of frogs legs (which, I know everyone says – but tasted like a greasy chicken).
Over the last few years, Dubrovnik has become an increasingly popular city to visit, especially in those glorious summer months. Now, the heat can be quite intense in the midst of Summer, so if you don’t like the heat it might be best to plan a trip in Spring or Autumn instead?
Once you’ve arrived in the city, head around the ancient city walls and potter around the old town with its exposed brick buildings and harbour.
After exploring the old town, head out on a small boat to Korcula Island which is the best place to spend a day exploring its turquoise coves and seafood eateries. If you’re feeling more adventurous, hire a bike (or moped) and zip across the islands through its little lanes. You won’t regret it.
Perched on the Dalmatian coastline, Zadar is a city that’s steeped in history – much like Zagreb. Though, unlike the Austro-Hungarian influences in Zagreb, Zadar’s history has been shaped the Venetians (that seemed to conquer as far south as the island of Crete (in modern day Greece) and the Romans (yup, they got almost everywhere in Europe).
Once in Zadar, make sure to explore St Mary’s Convent (that’s almost 1,000 years old), see the City Gate and explore Paklenica National Park – it really is one of the stunning and totally beautiful Croatian towns and cities
Another of Croatia’s larger cities, Osijek is often overlooked for its siblings Dubrovnik and Split. Yes, Osijek might be smaller than some of the bigger cities but it’s a great little place to explore for a weekend away.
Make sure to grab a tipple in one of the city’s many wine bars, see SS Peter and Paul and Gajba for some local craft brews.
Rijeka is one of Croatia’s more northernly cities that’s nestled right on the Adriatic Coast (facing Italy. Now, lots of people use Rijeka as the ‘starting point’ to explore the gorgeous Croatian islands but you can also spend a good few days exploring the city and its surroundings too.
Once in the city, pop over to promenade (especially around dusk) where locals and visitors fill the area for some tasty treats, a coffee and to watch the last few glimmers of the sun.
Make sure you also visit Trsat Castle, wander down Korzo with all its little shops and visit the central market for everything from tasty chocolate treats to thrifty goodies to go home with. On, and don’t forget to visit the Islamic Centre too – the whole building is incredible.
Perched along the banks of the river Danube, Vukovar is a lovely little city that’s great to see when you’re visiting the eastern regions of Croatia. Now, the city has had a rather bumpy history, we can be explored more within the Municipal Museum and the Vucedol Cultural Museum.
If museums aren’t your thing, head out into the gorgeous countryside that surrounds the city. Just remember to take your passport if you cross the river as you’ll end up in Serbia and will have left Croatia.
Rab is both a small town and the name of the island in which it calls home. Perched on the coast between Pula and Zadar, Rab is a gorgeous town to visit whilst calling off at some Croatian islands. It really is one of the beautiful Croatian towns and cities you should visit.
Once you’ve docked on the island, pop over to the Tower of St Christopher, explore the old town charm and head over to Again Vrtovi for the tastiest grub on the island. Just make sure to try their scallops – you won’t regret it.