25 Things To Do In Croatia

- This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure.

A crescent-shaped country on the Balkan Peninsula, Croatia is known for its stunning nature, crystal blue Adriatic Sea, rich culture and fascinating history. This small country has around four million people spread across three regions and 78 islands. The regions are Slavonia in the northeast, Istria in the northwest, Dalmatia along the entire coast and the capital, Zagreb, in the heart of the country.

Each region is unique and diverse in its traditions, food and nature, and you will find so many exciting things to do in Croatia. I come from Croatia, and I still find something new and exciting every time I go back. So here are my top picks.

Croatia

25 Things To Do In Croatia

1- Explore The Walls of Dubrovnik

things to do in dubrovnik croatia walls
Exploring Dubrovnik’s walls is one of the things to do in Croatia you need to tick off your bucket list.

Game of Thrones lovers will enjoy visiting the Walls of Dubrovnik.

Known as Ragusa, Dubrovnik belongs to the region of Dalmatia on the Adriatic Sea in southern Croatia.

Between the 14th and 19th centuries, Dubrovnik was an aristocratic maritime republic known as the Republic of Ragusa.

In 1979, this site was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in recognition of its outstanding medieval architecture and distinctive Old Town surrounded by the Walls.

The Walls of Dubrovnik are 1940 m (6,360 ft) in length and 25 m (82 ft) in height, containing six fortresses (Lovrijenac, Revelin, Minceta, Bokar, St John and St Lucas).

All were filming locations for King’s Landing, a fictional city in Game of Thrones, the popular fantasy series.

So, put Dubrovnik on your list of things to do in Croatia if you want to walk the path of your favourite GOT character or take a photo where your favourite scene was filmed.

2- Go Wine Tasting On The Pelješac Peninsula

The Pelješac Peninsula is one of the best wine-producing regions in Croatia because of its rocky, barren hills and bright sunshine, perfect for cultivating grapes.

The culture of growing grapes dates back 4,000 years and stems from the ancient Greeks.

The most famous wine is Dingač, both white and red, produced around Potomje.

Other local treasures of red wine are Postup and Plavac Mali, where recent DNS tests have discovered that California’s famed Zinfandel grape is closely related to Plavac Mali.

The price of wine varies depending on the winery and the type of wine, but you can find excellent wine for around 10 to 30 Euros.

Wine cellars aren’t hard to find as there is only one main road through the peninsula, and the cellars are well signed-posted.

There might be a chance of meeting an English-speaking cellar owner, but if not, Croatians are known for their expressive hand gestures.

There are several English-speaking tours you can book and enjoy your wine tasting in a relaxed way.

3- Learn About Salt History At Solana Ston

things to do croatia ston aerial view
Paying a visit to the Ston saltworks is an interesting thing to do in Croatia.

Solana Ston is the perfect place to answer those questions if you’re curious about how salt is made.

Located in the south of the Pelješac peninsula, the fertile fields and abundant water tell a story.

Solana Ston dates back to Roman times, two thousand years B.C. when Illyrians and Greeks made salt.

The area was called Stagnum-Stamnum, which means stagnant or still water.

From 4000 years ago until today, salt has been produced in the same way, only with the sea, sun and wind.

Solana Ston consists of 58 pools, divided into five groups, as the process takes five stages and about two months to produce the salt.

These salt pans are the largest and oldest in Europe.

After visiting saltworks, treat yourself to amazing oysters in Mali Ston, where they are farmed, nearby on the upper side of the peninsula.

If you visit the area in March, you will be lucky enough to indulge in oysters and local wine at the Festival of Oysters.

4- Explore Nature In Mljet National Park

things to do in croatia mljet small island in the park
For nature lovers, one of the things to do in Croatia is to visit Mljet National Park.

Mljet National Park is on the island of the same name and borders two saltwater lakes, Big and Small Lake.

Besides the lakes, other attractions are the villages of Goveđari, Polače and Pomena.

You’ll find the small island of Melita with a former Benedictine monastery, now a cafe and restaurant, in the centre of the Big Lake.

Activities like cycling, kayaking, swimming (the water is warm!), and scuba diving are popular activities.

Entrance fees depend on the season and the only way to get to the national park is by boat from Split, Dubrovnik or Pelješac.

Stay a few more days on Mljet to see Odysseus Cave, an egg-shaped cave on the island’s southern coast, near the village Babino Polje.

According to the legend, Odysseus was shipwrecked near the cave and was trapped there for seven years by the nymph Calypso, who ruled the island.

Visit the cave around noon as the sunlight creates a spectrum of colours in the sea, making it the perfect time to take photos.

5- Visit The Caves Of Vis Island

Two hidden gems of Vis Island are the Blue and Green Caves.

Blue Cave is famous for its shimmering sea water with silver-blue light, while Green Cave, as the name implies, is green-coloured due to green algae growing on the ceiling and the cave walls reflecting down into the sea.

The caves are on the islet Ravnik, on the southern side of Vis Island.

The depth of the caves varies from three to five meters.

As you enter the Blue Cave, you’ll see a fissure on top of the cave in which a beam of light shines through onto the sea and reflects from the cave’s floor.

According to local folklore, if you dive through the beam of light, you will live for one hundred years.

6- Soak Up The Sun At Hvar Island

things to do croatia aerial viewi of Hvar Island beach
Spending time on the beach at Hvar Island is one of the fun things to do in Croatia while on vacation.

The queen of Croatia’s islands, the island of Hvar (not to be mistaken with the town of Hvar), is one of Croatia’s sunniest islands, averaging around 2800 hours of sunshine a year.

Hvar is one of the Adriatic coast’s largest islands and combines traditional lifestyles with modern living.

Besides crystal clear sea, rustic architecture, and wild nightlife, the landscape is rural, with lavender fields, ancient olive trees and vineyards.

It’s the longest island along the Adriatic coast, measuring 80.46 km (50.95 miles).

If you take a few days to explore Hvar, you must visit Pakleni Islands, just a short distance from Hvar Town, where the deep blue sea, hidden bays and secret caves are waiting to be explored.

7- Go Rafting On The Cetina River

crazy things to do in croatia
For those who love adventure, one of the things to do in Croatia is to go rafting along the Cetina river canyon near Omis.

Rapids, waterfalls, caves and rivers are some of the natural delights you’ll find in the canyon of the Cetina River.

Because of its location in Central Dalmatia, halfway between the towns of Split (which is 20 km/12.5 miles to the north) and Makarska (35 km/22 miles to the south), surrounded by mountains and river, Omiš is the perfect destination for that adrenaline hit.

A popular rafting adventure takes you on a section of the Cetina course, starting from the village of Penšići, past impressive cliffs and waterfalls, and ending at Radman Mills.

8- Step Back Into History At Diocletian’s Palace In Split

things to do in split croatia waterfront aerial view
Exploring the charming city of Split is another of the top things to do in Croatia.

In the heart of the charming town of Split is one of the best-preserved monuments of Roman times.

The Diocletian Palace started off as a combination between a Roman military camp and a luxury villa.

It was split into four sections and had two main streets.

Over the centuries, palace inhabitants and the people of Split adapted parts of the palace to suit their requirements.

Although the inside of the buildings, as well as the exterior walls and towers, have significantly changed from their original appearance, the structure of the Imperial Palace has largely remained the same,

Entrance to the palace is free because it covers a large part of the city but you have to pay to enter the buildings.

9- Explore Šibenik

things to do in croatia for kids sibenik aerial view of orange rooftops
If you’d like to explore a smaller city, one of the best things to do in Croatia is to pay a visit to Sibenik.

I may be biased because Šibenik is my hometown but I can say it’s one of the most beautiful small towns on the Croatian coast.

With only 40,000 citizens, it offers you an incredible cultural, nature and food experience.

Aside from Dubrovnik, Šibenik has some of the most fascinating fortification systems in Croatia.

The four fortresses – St John, St Nicholas, St Michael and Barone – all have breathtaking panoramic views.

St John was built in the 17th century to defend the town against Turkish invasion.

St Nicholas Fortress is at the end of St Anthony Channel and is part of the UNESCO-protected ‘Venetian Works of Defense’ built between the 16th and 17th centuries.

There is no landing or seaside entrance but soon, there will be a boat line from Šibenik Riva to the fortress.

Fortress Barone’s high-tech museum gives visitors a view of the old Šibenik and the war with the Osman Empire using augmented reality technology.

St Michael’s Fortress is the oldest fort in Šibenik and has a permanent open-air stage with more than 1000 seats, providing incredible acoustics and a beautiful panoramic view.

Summer months are packed with a number of concerts, so if you want to enjoy a musical symphony under the open sky, this is the place to go.

10- Listen To The Music Of The Zadar Sea Organ

things to do in zadar croatia
One of the fun things to do in Zadar Croatia is listening to the music of the Sea Organ. 

Have you ever heard the sea singing?

The Zadar Sea Organ is a massive and unusual musical instrument in Zadar that creates music through the crashing of the ocean waves.

The organ stretches along 230 ft (70 m) of the coastline of the Adriatic Sea and pipes are installed within the cement steps.

Each pipe produces a different chord and is connected by narrow channels.

As the waves crash into the steps, the water pushes air through the pipes creating a whistling sound.

The Zadar Sea Organ is on the coastline and free to visit, so make sure not to miss a breathtaking sunset with the sound of the ocean playing this unique musical instrument.

11- Sail Around Kornati National Park

fun things to do in croatia water and blue sky
For those who revel in being outdoors, one of the things to do in Croatia is to get out amongst it at Kornati Islands national park in Dalmatia.

Kornati National Park is a nautical paradise with 89 islands, islets and reefs.

The two parts, Upper and Lower Kornati, including the largest island of Kornat (from which the archipelago got its name), is a natural wonderland of caves, grottos, vineyards and olive groves.

The wildlife and marine life will leave you wanting more. Beautiful coral, molluscs and rare species of algae will give you unforgettable swimming or snorkelling experience.

Rent your own boat, go on a private charter or do a full-day kayaking experience around the waters of these mostly uninhabited islands where you can drop an anchor and spend the night on the boat under the stars.

12- Enjoy The Waterfalls Of Krka National Park

things to do in croatia monastery
The charming Visovac Monastery is also in Krka National Park and is another thing to see in Croatia.

Swim under the waterfalls of Krka National Park, 10 km inland from Šibenik. Named after the Krka River, the park’s top attractions are its magnificent waterfalls, including the famous Skradinski Buk falls and Roski waterfall.

Nature and history are what you will find in the national park, you will learn a bit of Dalmatian history and tradition, like how they prepared flour in the water mills or washed clothes back then.

13- Go Hiking On Velebit Mountain

things to do in croatia soaring mountains
Looking for cool things to do in Croatia? How about hiking in Velebit?

UNESCO-World Heritage Velebit is part of the Dinaride mountain range and is Croatia’s largest mountain.

The Velebit hiking trail starts in Zavižan and is around 100 km. It takes about nine days to do the entire route.

It’s divided into nine parts of equal length, depending on the possibilities for spending the night, making it a perfect way to escape from civilisation, recharge the batteries and meditate a bit in nature.

14- Discover The Beauty of Plitvička National Park

croatia things to do autumn colours at Plitvice
Exploring Plitvice Lakes is one of the wonderful things to do in Croatia at any time of the year but especially in autumn.

Plitvice Lakes was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1979.

Located roughly between the capital Zagreb and Zadar on the coast, visiting the lakes is one of the things to do in Croatia you cannot miss.

16 lakes are connected by a series of waterfalls and set in deep woodland populated by dears, bears, boars and rare bird species.

There is quite an altitude difference between the waterfalls, with the highest point at 1,280m (4199 ft) and the lowest at 380 m (1246 ft).

If you’re looking for a romantic holiday for two or to spend quality time, this is the place to be.

15- Attend The Motovun Film Festival

best things to do in croatia charming street in motovun
If learning about a place’s history gets you excited, then exploring church in the historic town of Motovun is one of the things to do in Croatia.

Motovun Film Festival is a popular cultural event in Croatia and one of the best-known film festivals in southeastern Europe, devoted to international independent films.

It is exceptional because it reflects esthetical, thematical and geographical diversity.

To promote regional films, MFF includes Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Slovenia and Montenegro.

Motovun Shorts presents 25 films up to 20 minutes in length. With all the retrospectives and side programs, more than 100 films are screened.

The festival takes place within the walls of the small medieval town of Motovun, nestled on a hilltop close to the Adriatic coast.

The atmosphere is relaxed, without red carpets, enabling direct contact between filmmakers and the audience.

One of the fun things to do in Croatia is to enjoy watching movies under the starry sky while enjoying creative and relaxed festival vibes.

If you are a camping fan, you also have that option.

The festival lasts five days and is in July. Individual tickets cost around four euros while a set of 10 tickets with 10 different screenings cost 30 euros and includes a free stay at the festival campsite.

16- Discover The Secrets Of The Euphrasian Basilica

On Istria’s west coast, the small town called Poreč grew even before the arrival of the Illyrian inhabitants of Histri.

The most valuable of Poreč’s historical monuments is the episcopal Complex of Euphrasian Basilica, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It’s a fine example of Byzantine architecture and was constructed over the remains of a tri-naval basilica that dates back to the first half of the 6th century, during the period of Bishop Euphrasius, whose name it bears.

The episcopal complex includes a basilica, a sacristy, a baptistery and a bell tower.

The basilica is open all year with fees of around 7 euros for adults and three euros for students and children.

17- Visit The Smallest Town In The World

things to do in croatia hum cobbled streets
Another thing to do in Croatia is to visit the charming town of Hum.

Recognised by the Guinness World Records, Hum holds the title of the smallest town in the world.

14 km (8.3 miles) from Buzet, west of the Učka mountains, this town has 30 inhabitants and two streets where you can find well-preserved monuments and buildings.

There is also an impressive street called Glagolitic Alley decorated with giant stone sculptures bearing Croatian Glagolitic script, which gives you an insight into the writing used while Croatia was part of Yugoslavia.

If you find yourself in Hum, it’s obligatory to try Humska Biska or rakija, an alcoholic drink made of mistletoe and other herbs guaranteed to cure all diseases.

18- Taste Olive Oil In Vodnjan

best things to do in croatia colourful buildings in a square
One of the fun things to do in Croatia is exploring small towns like Vodnjan.

Do you need more monosaturated fats in your body, improve your level of antioxidants, guard against heart diseases or make your bones healthier?

I have two words for you, olive oil.

Istria’s olive oil has earned a place in the Flos Olei guidebook, which is a list of the world’s top olive oil producers.

The guide has named Istria as the best quality olive oil region in the world for the fifth year in a row.

The unique taste and unbeatable quality of Istrian olive oil are due to the geography of the heart-shaped peninsula, climate conditions, fertile soil and methods of the local producers.

The best place to visit is Vodnjan, a small village located 20 to 25 km south of Rovinj, where you can find a few local producers.

19- Explore Mines And Art In Labin

top things to do in croatia steps and colourful buildings
If you’re looking for lovely things to see in Croatia, you’ll want to put Labin, a little town in Istria on your to-visit list.

Labin is a town of visionaries on the southeastern coast of Istria, full of inspiring stories and rich mining history.

Mining has been Labin’s main industry for decades and you can learn about this history in the Labin City Museum.

The strike and self-government of Labin miners, known as the Labin Republic, lasted for only a month, however, it’s considered one of the first riots against fascism in Europe.

The history of mining is incomplete if you don’t visit Rasa, the youngest town in Istria, five km away from Labin.

To complete your mining trip, head to the central square in Labin’s Old Town to dine on homemade gnocchi, fuži or pljukanci (homemade pasta), Labin pašutice (homemade pasta) or pizza with famous Istrian truffles.

20- Step Back Into History At The Pula Amphitheater

things to do in pula croatia
If learning about a place’s history gets you excited, then exploring Arena Pula is a top thing to do in Croatia.

Built under by Emperor Vespasian (between 27BC and AD67), around the same time as Rome’s Colosseum, Pula Amphitheater is one of the world’s largest Roman amphitheatres.

Today it’s the best-preserved ancient monument in Croatia, still used for performances with up to 20,000 spectators.

It is located outside of Pula’s old city walls and easy to reach on foot, where you have availability of booking daily or evening tours.

There is an admission fee to be paid at the entrance, which is usually around 10 euros.

21- Have Fun At The Rijeka Carnival

things to do in croatia in july aeriel view of Rijeka's waterfront on a sunny day
Looking for cool things to do in Croatia? Head to the waterfront city of Rijeka.

Rijeka Carnival is the largest carnival in Europe and is regularly named one of the top 10 events in Europe. The Sunday Times ranked it as one of the 24 most exotic events in the world.

Usually, it begins on 17 January, which is the day to remember St. Anthony the Great, a Christian monk from Egypt.

His horn sounds throughout the city and officially marks the start of the carnival season, which lasts the whole month.

However, it is the four days before Ash Wednesday when the main carnival activities occur.

The Parade is the most popular, which takes place on Sunday before Ash Wednesday.

If you want to experience an amazing mixture of tradition, colour, parties, parades, laughter, dancing and good food, put on your favourite costume and let the magic sweep you away.

22- Eat Your Way Through Samobor

coolest things to do in croatia aerial view of the ruins
Exploring the Samobor fortress ruins is another of the top things to do in Croatia after you’re eaten your way through the town.

Samobor is a small town in Croatia’s north, 25 km (16 miles) from the capital Zagreb and a lovely destination for a foodies day trip.

One of the biggest drawcards is its food.

The town is famous for its kremšnita cream cake and even though you can taste it anywhere in Croatia, the best is made in Samobor.

It’s also famous for Greblica, a thin savoury cake with a cheese and chard filling.

Samobor’s doughnuts are popular during carnival and try mustarda (Samobor mustard).

For drinks, seek out bermet, an aromatic wine.

After all that food, go for a walk or rent a bike to explore the city. The city is not big, but besides beautiful nature and medieval streets, visit Samobor Castle and museum.

23- Attend Špancirfest In Varazdin

things to do in croatia varazdin
Looking for cool things to do in Croatia? Visit Varazdin during Špancirfest.

Špancirfest is the biggest, most diverse and longest-running festival in Croatia.

It’s a free street festival with concerts, street performances, creative workshops, activities for children, plays, exhibitions, rich gastronomic offerings and dance.

It’s been held every year since 1999 and lasts for 10 days.

It begins at the end of August and ends at the beginning of September.

Every year brings something new and original where the main goal is to make a connection between performers and visitors.

It all happens in Varaždin, a town in the north of Croatia which offers dozens of other activities when you aren’t participating in Špancirfest.

24- Explore Zagreb

things to do in zagreb croatia cathedral
Wandering around Zagreb is one of the top things to do in Croatia, especially if you love history.

This is the city I call my second home, where I spent the best six years of my life.

Zagreb is very European, full of young people and spirit, good vibes, well connected and the perfect size.

I could write several pages about what to do and what to visit, but this time I will give only the highlights.

Ban Josip Jelačić Square is a central point, hub of transportation and meeting point under the famous clock.

The Cathedral of the Assumption, Tkalčićeva street, Upper town and St Mark’s Church hide fascinating histories in the city centre.

Nature lovers will enjoy Jarun, Maksimir or Bundek Park for a morning run or an afternoon coffee with friends and family.

If you want something with a faster pace, I recommend a hike on mountain Sljeme.

My favourite museums are the Museum of Illusion and the Museum of Broken Relationships.

25- Museum of Krapina Neanderthals

This museum is at the Hušnjakovo site in Krapina in northern Croatia, next to the world’s most famous Neanderthal man site and the first paleontological natural monument in Croatia.

If you want to learn the history of Krapina’s prehistoric man, known as Homo Sapiens neanderthalensis, this is a perfect place to go and combine some fun with the family.

Previous articleWhy Christmas Island Is Australia’s Galapagos
Next article20 Things To Do In Ixtapa
cropped marjana gulin.jpg
This is Marjana, but friends call her Mare. Like sea, wild, powerful and often unpredictable. She is a Croatian baby, born and raised on sunny coast of Šibenik. Her journey started 2018 in Spain when she decided to leave her first footprint outside of the comfort zone and never look back. All the amazing humans she met and life stories she heard immersing herself in different cultures left a mark on her. After graduation she moved to Belgium, got some new life stories and experiences, but pandemic decided to change her plans so few months later she landed a job in Malta. Now, two years later she is still sending postcards from sandy sunny beaches drinking cocktails and enjoying in island life. She is just one of the lucky ones who realised that life has something more to offer than staying in your comfort zone.