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10 Must visit cities in Croatia - Explore cities in Croatia Today!

Must visit Cities in Croatia

Croatia is my home country, and one of the rare countries in Europe that has almost everything to offer, from outdoor mystery and secret places to even better cities such as Zagreb, Varaždin to coastal cities such as popular Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar and other!

This list will help you in discovering the perfect cities to visit in Croatia! Here you will find coastal cities with amazing beaches, great seafood, and interesting outdoor to indoor cities such as the capital city Zagreb and Hrvatsko Zagorje, which have some of the best food you will ever eat, so explore them all and create your perfect Croatian itinerary!

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What cities should you visit in Croatia?

Table of Contents

Zagreb

The capital of Croatia, and one of the cities with the richest culture and history in all of Croatia. One of the best things about Zagreb is that you can visit it at any time of the year, which makes it perfect for people whole like to travel during summer or during winter.

Girl posing in front of Croatian national theater in Zagreb
Girl drinking coffee at Ban Josip Jelacic square in Zagreb

For a recent number of years, Zagreb is one of the most popular Christmas destinations because it has won 4 of the last 5 years’ awards for the best Advent city in all of Europe, so be sure to check Zagreb if you have time.

Arrow with pink background icon

Learn all about Zagreb in this Zagreb travel guide

Dubrovnik

Probably the most famous Croatian city mostly because of the tourist scene that is there and all of the interesting things that you can see. Dubrovnik has a beautiful Old town that is surrounded by 16th-century stone walls that were featured in a lot of movies and TV shows.

View of old walls in Dubrovnik

Besides that be sure to visit Game of Thrones locations or go with the Cable car to the top of Srd Hill to see the aerial view of Dubrovnik and nearby islands.

Just a quick note: In the peak season from around May – October Dubrovnik is crowded and there is a massive amount of people, so be sure to prepare.

Plitvice Lakes National Park

If you ever visit Croatia, you will hear people talking about Plitvice Lakes National Park or in Croatian Plitvička jezera. Locate just next to Velebit and a 2-hour drive from Rijeka, Zagreb, and Zadar it is perfectly located to be one of the main tourist attractions of Croatia.

Lake and Waterfall view at Plitvice Lake
Orange and Brown leafs in Autumn at Plitvice Lake
Plitvice Lakes was added to the UNESCO World Heritage register in 1979. Mostly known for its walkways and hiking trails that wind around and across the water you will have a magical time walking around Plitvice, but besides that everybody is visiting Plitvice because of the main attraction of them all and that is the Great Waterfall which spans as high as 78 meters.

Split

Next to Dubrovnik and Zagreb, this is the most famous city in Croatia, with its beautiful beaches and amazing attractions, no wonder tourists are attracted to Split. Located in the lower parts of Dalmacija, Split looks like a small peninsula.

Aerial view of Riva in Split
You can find attractions such as Diocletian’s Palace, Saint Domnius Cathedral, and the most famous attractions in all of Split the Riva where you can have a cup of coffee, sit and look at the sea and relax.

Zadar

Similar to Split, but also very different Zadar, in my opinion, has a lot more memorable attractions to look at than Split. With attractions such as the Church of St Donatus, Sea Organ, Monument to the Sun, Land Gate, and much more. 

Church of Saint Donat in Zadar
Located just one and a half-hour drive from Split and in the middle of Dalmacija, Zadar is one of the cities that you have to visit if you are going to Dubrovnik or if you are going from Dubrovnik up to Zagreb.

Hrvatsko Zagorje

Very much different than the cities mentioned before, Hrvatsko Zagorje is not a city but a whole Croatian region. Located just north of Zagreb and an hour drive ride from it Hrvatsko Zagorje is full of nature and tradition of Croatia that you will rarely see in the more popular cities.

Roads and plain fields in Croatia

There you can find some of the most delicious food that you will ever taste such as Kulen, Čvarci, Mlinci with chicken, and much more. Some of the places that I recommend that you visit Trakošćan castle, Kumrovec, Marija Bistrica, explore the forests of Ivančica and Medvednica.

Rijeka

Once known to be as one of the main port cities in all of the Adriatic sea, Rijeka’s history dates a long way, and you can feel that when strolling around the city and looking at the buildings and all the attractions that it has. The main attractions of Rijeka are Trsat Castle, Rijeka Cathedral, and Korzo.

Stadium next to beach in Rijeka

Pula

The city that is mostly known for its small Arena, Pula has been a strategic prize for a host of power players, going back to the Romans.

Night view of Pula colosseum
This city with its natural harbor was developed in Augustan times, and a breathtaking amphitheater, temples, and a collection of arches have survived for 2,000 years. With such a rich history and great geographical location, Pula has become one of the top tourist destinations of Istra

Opatija

One of the biggest first tourist cities in Croatia, Opatija is known for its luxury and fashionable history with Habsburg-era villas that are located all over Opatija, which are stunning. If you want a quiet evening with your loved one, or just want to relax next to the sea, go for a quick stroll alongside Lungomare, it is totally worth it.

People standing at riviera next to sea in Opatija

Varaždin

Located in the Hrvatsko Zagorje and an hour drive from Zagreb, Varaždin is starting to wake up in the tourist’s eyes when talking about Croatia. A proud city with a lot of history and culture Varaždin features one of the most interesting and amusing museums in Croatia such as the Varaždin City Museum, and much more.

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Ten must visit Cities in Croatia

Hello! I’m Sara, a Croatian native. I’ve traveled all over the world and have knocked out some amazing cities and countries off my bucket list.

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