Is Croatia worth visiting? The old town of Zadar is definitely worth a visit in Croatia.

Is Croatia Worth Visiting? 13 Awesome Reasons To Visit In 2024

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Visiting Croatia but not sure what it has to offer? Then read on!

Croatia has become one of Europe’s leading tourist destinations in recent years, but is it really worth visiting?

I’ve been fortunate to travel from the north to the south of this spectacular country and was very surprised by the natural beauty sites, the historical towns and the kindness of the people.

So I’m the ideal blogger to detail 13 awesome reasons to visit Croatia, listing the top places to visit, including the main cities: Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik and the best activities to do on the Dalmatian coast.

In a rush? My Top Tour Recommendations for Croatia:

Best Tour in Dubrovnik: Game of Thrones Tour
✅ Best Waterfall Tour: Krka National Park Tour

🏨 My Top Hotel Recommendations for Croatia:

Tequila Bar Hostel (Zadar)
Split Allure Apartments
Hotel Imperial Dubrovnik

Is Croatia Worth Visiting?

So is Croatia really worth visiting? Absolutely yes! It is just as scenic, historical and stunning as any other European country in my honest opinion.

Croatia is a fascinating country, known for it’s medieval old towns, beautiful beaches, breath-taking waterfalls, picturesque islands and so much more. With so many great places to visit, it’s hard to know where to start!

It’s very easy to travel around the country, with the top tourist destinations easily reachable from one another.

13 Reasons Why You Should Visit Croatia

So let’s discover all of the awesome reasons why you need to visit Croatia in 2024:

1. Go on a Game of Thrones Tour in Dubrovnik!

Dubrovnik is Croatia’s number one tourist destination and an absolute must when visiting. And if you’re a Game of Thrones fan then you’re in luck! A lot scenes from the fantasy series were filmed in the old city of Dubrovnik.

The King's Landing site in Dubrovnik, as seen in Game of Thrones.
The King’s Landing site in Dubrovnik, as seen in Game of Thrones.

Game of Thrones tours are all the rage in Dubrovnik! It’s an amazing experience to have a local guide show you all the places where famous scenes were filmed right before your very eyes. Definitely not to be missed!

➡️ Experience the real life locations of Game of Thrones!
Book your ticket for a Game of Thrones tour here

2. Check out the museums in Zagreb

Zagreb was my first stop in Croatia and I was pleasantly surprised to discover just how culturally rich it is. I strongly recommend the following museums if you visit this city in the north:

👉 Museum of Contemporary Art: Showcasing contemporary art from Croatian and international artists, this museum has many exhibitions on show to keep you busy for hours!

👉 Archaeological Museum in Zagreb: Located in the heart of Zagreb and features a vast collection of archaeological artefacts from Croatia and beyond.

👉 Nikola Tesla Technical Museum: If you’re fascinated by the life and works of Nikola Tesla then you have to visit this museum when in Zagreb! Tesla was born in an ethnic Serbian village which is now a part of Croatia.

3. Visit some of Croatia’s beautiful waterfalls

Croatia is famous for it’s stunning waterfalls! There are numerous national parks in Croatia and I took a day trip from Split to Krka to check out the waterfalls, which were a spectacular and a highlight of my tour:

📍 Krka National Park: This is one of the most famous places in all of Croatia, an absolutely beautiful national park that features a whole series of breath-taking waterfalls which is unmissable!

The stunning waterfalls at Krka National Park.
The stunning waterfalls at Krka National Park.

The park is located about an hour away from both Zadar and Split. There are tours available that drive you to the park and back and give you several hours at the site to enjoy the spectacular waterfalls.

I loved this tour, it’s a memorable day trip that I highly recommend!

➡️ See the breath-taking waterfalls at Krka National Park!
Book your ticket hassle free by clicking here

📍 Plitvice Lakes National Park: Another great waterfall park, which many say is actually better than Krka. This is a UNESCO Heritage site and is the oldest park in Croatia.

The Veliki Slap waterfall, also known as ‘The Great Waterfall’ is 256 feet tall and is the largest waterfall in the whole country.

📍 7 Waterfalls Trail: Located in Istria, close to the Slovenian border, this is a fantastic hiking trail with a total of seven beautiful waterfalls to admire along the way. It’s the perfect place to visit if you love a good hike!

4. Explore the medieval old town of Zadar

Zadar is a very historical city on the Dalmatian coast situated less than a couple of hours north of Split. The best part of Zadar is it’s old medieval town which you have to cross a bridge to access.

I really loved my time in Zadar; the old city is quite similar to Dubrovnik’s but on a smaller scale. Here are my top three recommendations to do in Zadar’s old town:

🏰 Climb to the top of the bell tower: the bell tower in the centre of the old town dominates Zadar’s skyline and it’s possible to climb the steps to the very top.

Once at the top there are amazing 360 views of Zadar which is not to be missed! I did this and was so taken aback by the views of the city and the Croatian coastline.

Incredible views of Zadar from the top of the bell tower.
Incredible views of Zadar from the top of the bell tower.

🎵 Listen to the sounds of Zadar’s sea organ: this is a fascinating experimental musical instrument which produces organ music according to the sea waves.

I had the chance to sit on the steps above the sea organ for a short while and was absolutely mesmerised by the sounds of the sea – it was such a cool experience!

Tourists experiencing music created by the sea waves at Zadar's sea organ!
Tourists experiencing music created by the sea waves at Zadar’s sea organ!

🕍 Narodni trg: this is the main square in Zadar’s old town. It features an 11th century old church, plus lots of other impressive buildings. Plus, there are lots of cafes to relax, people watch and admire the surrounding architecture.

Beautiful architecture at Narodni trg, Zadar.
Beautiful architecture at Narodni trg, Zadar.

5. Enjoy the great beaches!

Croatia has some of the best, most unique beaches in all of Europe! Split has some of the best beaches in the country and I recommend the following beaches if you’re in Split:

⛱️ Trstenik beach: Arguably the best beach in all of Split due to its immaculate condition. It’s a pebbly beach and has very clear waters. Perfect!

⛱️ Bačvice beach: This is the closest beach to Split’s city, making it really convenient to visit if you’re located centrally.

⛱️ Kašjuni beach: This is a really beautiful beach that is well protected from the wind and has lots of amenities, bars and cafes close by.

And if you’re visiting Zadar then I fully recommend a visit to Kolovare beach which is walking distance from the old town and is a lovely place to relax and enjoy the sun.

I took a walk from the the old city to Kolovare beach and loved how peaceful this area was – definitely recommend!

6. Split

As well as having lots of amazing beaches to visit, Split is a very interesting city in Croatia and another top tourist destination! The centre of Split is full of historical landmarks such as Diocletian’s Palace which dates back to the fourth century.

👉 Pro Tip: don’t miss (it’s pretty unmissable tbh) the statue of Gregory of Nin that guards the entrance to Split’s old town.

This is an impressive, 28 foot tall statue which is said to bring good luck if you rub his toe!

There is a huge debate as to which city is better to visit in Croatia: Split or Dubrovnik.

While Dubrovnik is many people’s favourite place, it is often overcrowded throughout the summer months, and Split is located more centrally in Croatia.

To be honest, I loved visiting both cities – Dubrovnik has some stunning views and I felt had more to do but was overcrowded.

Split on the other hand is definitely more peaceful but perhaps less impressive. My advice would be to visit both places if possible!

Beautiful Split!
Beautiful Split!

7. Go sailing!

If you’re still asking yourself: is Croatia worth visiting, then I have a suggestion that may persuade you – go sailing! Travelling via the Dalmatian coast on a yacht is arguably the best way to travel along the coastline.

While yacht hire is a popular choice (either with or without a skipper), you can also travel via deluxe cruise ship tours which are a plenty. Other options include renting a motorboat or even a catamaran if you’re feeling adventurous!

8. See the amazing Eye of the Earth!

About an hour north from Split is one of Croatia’s many natural wonders which is definitely worth a visit! The Cetina River Spring has a unique circular shape and turquoise colour which resembles a huge eye from a bird’s eye view!

The spring is 155 metres deep which you can swim in, but be warned – it’ll be very cold! This is a really amazing hidden gem in the heart of rural Croatia, making it a great day trip while visiting a major city such as Split.

9. Go Island hopping in Croatia!

Croatia has a whopping total of 78 islands along its coastline, and most of these islands are accessible via public ferry. I previously mentioned sailing in this list via a yacht or cruise, but a much cheaper option is travelling by ferry.

Zadar and Split are good options to start island hopping from as there are several ferry options from these cities to popular Croatian islands such as Hvar, Krk and Brač.

👉 Pro Tip: Check out Croatia Ferries for up to date timetables from different ports and to plan your island hopping adventure in advance.

With so many islands it’s difficult to know which ones to visit, but we’ll cover the best of the best later in this list.

10. Experience the local cuisine

Of course you have to experience the great food that Croatia has when visiting! Croatian cuisine is very unique as it has influences ranging from Mediterranean countries as well as Balkan traditional food and central European dishes.

I was very impressed with the quality of restaurants and food options available. Seafood is hugely popular and there are similarities to a lot of Italian dishes.

11. Visit the incredible Pula Arena

Pula is a lesser known city in Croatia, located in the Istria County region in the north.

It’s one of Croatia’s best kept secrets and is famous for Pula Arena, a Roman amphitheatre that is one of only six remaining Roman arenas in the world.

As if that wasn’t impressive enough, the Pula Arena is the only Roman amphitheatre remaining that has all four of it’s sides still intact. It is known as ‘the Home of Gladiators’ and is an unforgettable step back through time.

12. Hvar Island

So what are the best islands to visit in Croatia? Well, one of the most famous and popular islands worth visiting is Hvar Island. Hvar is an idyllic charming island village full of historical buildings, culture and great beaches.

It makes for a total change of pace to busy Dubrovnik or Split, and is a perfect getaway for a day or two. It’s also easily reachable from the mainland, with a ferry taking around an hour from Split.

13. Visit the Pakleni Islands

And my last recommendation in this list is to visit the amazing Pakleni islands when visiting Croatia. These islands are made up of about 20 small, uninhabited islets full of stunning scenery, beaches and serene bays.

This archipelago is situated southwest of Hvar and is the ideal place to relax. There are several waterfront restaurants here and it is also a popular spot for water sport activities.

If you really want to get away from the busy crowds then there’s nowhere else more secluded or beautiful than the Pakleni islands!


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    Getting Around Croatia

    As previously mentioned in this post, getting around Croatia is easy with several options available. In the list above I talked about how travelling around by sea is a great option, either by public ferry, renting a yacht or going on a cruise.

    But what are the other options available? Let’s take a closer look at the best options of getting around in Croatia:

    By Transit

    During my holiday in Croatia I relied on buses to get from one location to the next and all the buses I caught were on time and comfortable.

    👉 Pro Tip: I booked tickets easily online via Flixbus, and each journey was on time and comfortable – I’ve always found Flixbus to be very reliable whether in Croatia or other European countries.

    Travelling through Croatia via train is also a good option as the country has a very good rail network connecting all the major cities and to other European destinations as well.

    Train tickets are more expensive than bus tickets however, so choose wisely!

    By Rental Car

    Of course, there is no better way of experiencing the beautiful landscapes of Croatia than travelling by car. There are numerous scenic routes that go past Croatia’s coastline, making for memorable car journeys.

    And it’s very easy to rent a car in Croatia too. You can rent a car from any major airport in Croatia, saving time and hassle on waiting for shuttle buses or relying on taxis.

    🚙 Rent a car in Croatia
    Click here to rent a car easily at any airport in Croatia

    By Air

    And if you don’t fancy travelling by sea, train, bus or car, then you can of course travel across Croatia by plane!

    But to be honest there’s not much point travelling by plane from one Croatian destination to the next, as you can travel pretty easily with the other options listed in a short time.


    Best Time To Visit Croatia

    The summer months are the busiest period to visit Croatia, temperatures will be high and there will be a lot of tourists!

    A better option would be to visit at either the end of spring (around April to May) or in autumn during September or even October.

    There will be less tourists during these months and the temperatures will be more tolerable too.

    I visited in mid April and yes, places like Dubrovnik were overly crowded even then, but the temperature was in the early 20 degrees Celsius, which was lovely!


    Where To Stay In Croatia

    There are plenty of great places to stay when visiting Croatia! From affordable hostels to luxury boutique hotels, it all depends on your budget.

    Here are my three recommendations for places to stay in Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik with three different price ranges:

    📍 Budget Option (Zadar): Tequila Bar Hostel This hostel is a great option if you’re visiting Zadar on a budget. It is located very centrally, less than a kilometre from Kolovare beach and has fantastic reviews!

    📍 Mid Range Option (Split): Split Allure Apartments If you’re visiting Split and you fancy you’re own apartment for your stay then I recommend this place! Based centrally on a quiet street and it has top reviews!

    📍 Luxury Option (Dubrovnik): Hilton Imperial Hotel is the perfect place if you want to splash out on a luxury hotel while in Dubrovnik. This impressive, fantastic looking building is located right opposite the main entrance to the old town.


    Croatia FAQs

    Still not convinced if Croatia is worth visiting? Let’s take a look at some common FAQs about this awesome country:

    How many days should you visit Croatia??

    That all depends on how much time you can afford to spend there! I visited Croatia for a week but felt like I had just scratched the surface of discovering all that this fascinating country has to offer.

    It really depends on what you want to see and do. If you’re more of a nature lover and want to visit some of the natural beauty sites such as Croatia’s waterfalls or the Eye of the Earth, then factor in a few more days for your itinerary.

    I would recommend at least a week, ideally two weeks if you want to travel around and experience different parts of Croatia. If you only want to visit one of the main places like Split or Dubrovnik, then 3-4 days would be plenty of time.

    Is Croatia expensive?

    Croatia is considerably more expensive compared to it’s neighbouring countries. I was shocked at the price difference when I crossed the border to Bosnia & Herzegovina and also Montenegro.

    But if you compare Croatia to the likes of Italy, France or Spain then it is considered quite cheaper. If you visit one of the main cities such as Dubrovnik or Split then expect prices to be high in terms of accommodation, food and drink.

    Prices are not so bad in lesser known places, so if you have budget concerns then visiting smaller towns and villages which are just as interesting might be a preferred option.

    Is Croatia safe?

    Absolutely! Croatia is considered one of the safest countries within all of Europe. Of course there will always be incidences of theft in major tourist cities such as Dubrovnik, so you should always be aware of your belongings.

    But personally I felt very safe in Croatia and didn’t experience any problems with the locals whatsoever, they’re very friendly!


    Conclusion: Is Croatia Worth Visiting?

    In conclusion, yes, Croatia is definitely worth visiting! I honestly was surprised with just how beautiful and interesting I found Croatia to be, and really do rate it as one of the best destinations in all of Europe.

    Whether you want to go island hopping, discover medieval cities or get lost in nature, you are really spoilt for choice when it comes to things to do and places to visit.

    The people are also warm and friendly, it’s super easy to travel around and it has very nice weather too. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending a holiday in Croatia, it is worth visiting and then some!


    ➡️ Planning your trip? Here are my favourite resources:

    🏨 Accommodation: I recommend using Booking.com
    🚙 Rental Car: Use Discover Cars for the best car rental prices
    ❤️ Travel Insurance: I recommend using Visitors Coverage
    ✈️ Flights: Use Kiwi.com for the best prices on flights

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