25 Things to See and Experience in Croatia

At Kiva, we love to travel and we love to trade travel advice! I grew up in the former Yugoslavia and, as a child, spent my summers on the Croatian coast visiting my grandmother. I’ve been lucky to return many times as an adult, but I never tire of its charms and fall deeper in love with the country every time I visit. I’m excited to share 25 can’t miss experiences that will make any traveler's visit to Croatia unforgettable.

Croatia’s year round sun and 1,100 miles of Adriatic coastline make it one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. It’s dazzling architecture, deep cultural roots, unfalteringly hospitable people, and enticing cuisine solidify its status as a must-visit location for any traveler.

To do

1. Visit the wineries along the Peljesac peninsula, famous for their red wines Dingac and Plavac.

Photo by Flickr user snidely7

2. Treat your ears to a performance of klapa; a form of acapella singing that combines harmonization with nostalgic lyrics about life at sea.

3. Dance the night away at Pag or Makarska, Croatia’s most exciting nightlife spots.

4. Take windsurfing lessons in Viganj. The town’s varying winds make it an ideal spot for experts and beginners alike.

Photo by Flickr user Alex

5.Listen to the Sea Organ at Zadar’s shore; melodic sounds are created as waves lap at a series of tubes and whistles built into limestone steps.

Photo by Flickr user linssimato

6. Tease your taste buds and taste sea urchin. Divers scoop it from the sea floor to try the stunning, saffron colored roe inside.

7. Spend hours soaking in Croatia’s rejuvenating, crystal clear waters.

Photo by Flickr user Matt Hintsa

8. Rent a sailboat or take a boat tour and bounce between Croatia’s 1,000 lush, frequently uninhabited, islands.

Photo by Flickr user Yacht Rent

9. Go truffle hunting in Motovun forest, where you can follow a trained pig or dog as they search for one of Earth’s most elusive treats.

Photo by Flickr user Natalchuks

10. Enjoy Zagreb’s relaxed cafe culture; $1 buys you a drink, seat, and unlimited people watching.

To Eat

11. Make sure to enjoy some freshly caught and grilled fish, but be prepared; in Croatia it is served whole.

Photo by Flickr user brownpau

12. Get your hands sticky while eating mussels prepared buzara style; cooked in an olive oil, wine, garlic, breadcrumb, and fresh herb stew.

13. Indulge in palacinke, Croatia’s take on the crepe. It is on nearly every dessert menu and is served with your choice of local honey, fruit, or Nutella.

Photo by Flickr user Claire

14. Feast on janjetina s raznja- spit roasted succulent lamb that is cooked for hours over hot coals.

15. Try black risotto, a creamy and savory rice dish studded with cuttlefish and colored by squid ink.

Photo by Flickr user Geri Druckman

To see

16. Wander through the regal and stunning arena in Pula, the only remaining Roman amphitheater in the world that has all four side towers entirely preserved.

Photo by Flickr user Berns Thaller

17. Be awed by a traditional performance of Moreska. This intricate sword dance depicts Croatia’s struggle against Ottoman rule.

18. Do not miss Dubrovnik’s Old Town. This awe inspiring medieval city is the stuff of dreams; fortresses emerge from a sea of terracotta roofs and are framed by glistening Adriatic waters.

Photo by Flickr user Gavrielle Ludlow

19. Explore Plitvice National Park, a natural wonder that houses 16 cascading lakes and countless waterfalls.

Photo by Flickr user Tim Venchus

20. Stroll through Split, Croatia’s second largest city. It features gorgeous promenades as well as Diocletian’s palace, a dazzling Roman castle built in 305 A.D.

Photo by Flickr user Gabrielle Ludlow

21. Make sure to stop in Korcula, an endlessly charming Dalmatian island filled with ancient fortresses, natural beauty, and countless places to indulge your taste buds.

22. Visit Galesnjak (also known as Lover’s Island), a small, deserted island that is one of the few heart-shaped landmasses on Earth.

23. Stretch out on the glistening white pebbles of Zlatni Rat beach in Bol; it resembles a swan’s neck and changes shape with the mercurial tides of the Adriatic.

Photo by Flickr user Szabolcs Emich

24. Visit the untamed natural beauty of Mljet National Park, where you can let yourself be swept away by the slow current of the islands two saltwater lakes.

25. Don’t forget to feast your eyes on a luminescent Croatian sunset. If it’s your first of the trip, daydream about the adventure ahead. If it’s your last, start planning the day you can return to this stunning country.

Photo by Flickr user Darko Mares

About the author

Lana Radosavljevic

Lana was born and raised in Sarajevo, Bosnia. When war broke in the former Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, her family fled to Serbia and eventually settled in Sonora, CA. Lana earned a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Child Development from CSU Chico. During her time at Chico, she had the opportunity to volunteer in various settings, including mental health institutions, veterans’ homes, and preschools. Lana is currently working on her M.A. in Organizational Leadership from Brandman University and looks forward to completing her degree later this year. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, stand-up comedy, being outdoors, cooking, and (most of all) travelling and learning about other cultures. Lana’s passion is helping individuals in need and she is immensely inspired by Kiva’s mission and vision. She is extremely excited about collaborating with the Community Support Team and gaining knowledge about the inner workings of non-profits.