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What to Do in Croatia & Everything to Know For Visiting

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Do you plan on traveling to Croatia? Well, we're here to share everything from where to go in Croatia, to how to get to different cities, and from getting around, to what to do in Croatia.


With picturesque orange roofed towns surrounded by vibrant turquoise waters, delicious food, and fun vibes, it's seriously impossible not to fall in love with this country.


We're traveled all of Croatia from top to bottom, and just adored one place more than another. The people are great, the cuisine is fresh, and they have excellent handicrafts. From picturesque towns to mind-blowingly gorgeous nature, we know you'll be impressed with this place just as much as we were. Are you ready to learn more? Well, here's everything you need to know for visiting Croatia.

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Where is Croatia?

Croatia is located on the western most part of Eastern Europe, along the Adriatic Sea. This Balkan country is very close to the Mediterranean, particularly Italy, which is only separated by the sea.


Croatia borders Bosnia & Herzegovina to it's east, and Serbia to its north east. It also borders Montenegro to its south, and Slovenia and Hungary to its north. Additionally, the most north western corner of Croatia borders Trieste, Italy.

where is Croatia

Croatia borders Slovenia, Montenegro, Italy, Hungary, Serbia, and Bosnia & Herzegovina.


How to Get to Croatia

Being such a long country, there are quite a few ways to travel to Croatia. Here are the different options for visiting.


Flying to Croatia

If you are traveling from Western Europe or another continent, flying may be your transportation of choice.

 

Where Do You Fly Into for Croatia?

The biggest/ most popular airports in Croatia include Split, Zagreb, and Dubrovnik.


If you don't have a specific city picked out, or are planning on visiting different areas of the country, then we suggest using Skyscanner. You can put your start location and final destination as Croatia, and it will show the cheapest city to fly into.


Can You Fly Direct from the US to Croatia?

Yes, you can fly direct from the US to Croatia! There are direct flights from Newark to Dubrovnik with United Airlines.


There are cheaper ways to get to Croatia though, if you choose to have a layover in another city in Europe.


Search for a flight to Croatia:

Driving to Croatia

If you are coming from Italy, Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Hungary, Serbia, or Montenegro, the easiest option will be to drive to Croatia.


Crossing the land border is rather easy, and having a car while in Croatia is super helpful if you're planning on exploring different areas of the country.


Other Ways to Travel to Croatia Via Land

If driving isn't your thing and you're still close enough to travel via land, then there are two options. Being that there are not trains, you'll want to either take a bus or a Bla Bla Car. Buses are available to the cities of Zagreb, Split, and Dubrovnik.


You can take a buses from either Mostar or Kotor to Dubrovnik if you're visiting the South. If you'd like to travel to Zagreb, you can take a bus from main cities such as Vienna, Liubljana, Budapest, or Belgrade. Split is kind of in the middle, so it is usually an extension from the buses that are stopping in Zagreb or Dubrovnik.


Personally, our favorite is Bla Bla Car. This is an app used widely throughout Europe, and connects travelers are drivers.


This isn't like Uber, but rather a carpooling service. For example, if someone has plans to drive from Belgrade to Split, they will post their trip, and you can join! Just plug in your dates and cities to check if that route is being offered by anyone. It is cheaper than buses usually, and helps the driver pay for some of their gas.


Want to book your transportation in advance? Here are some of the most popular routes:


Sailing to Croatia

Being that Croatia is located along the Adriatic Sea, you can also reach here by boat! They both run from Italy, through the company of Jadrolinija. From April to October there is a route from Bari, Italy,  to Dubrovnik, and another one from Ancona, Italy to Split.

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Entry Requirements for Croatia

Traveling in Europe can be a bit confusing, as there are different requirements for every country, within the EU, as well as within the Schengen Zone. That's why we're here to clarify a few things.


Visa Requirements for Croatia

In many European countries, the "90/180" rule applies for those that are not European. This means that in a 180-day period, tourists can only stay in the Schengen Area for 90 days in total.


Some countries are in the EU, but not part of the Schengen Zone, while some are in the Schengen Zone but not part of the EU. Some are in both of them, and some are in neither. This can be super confusing when trying to calculate your travels! 


The good news is though, that although Croatia is part of the EU, they aren't actually part of the Schengen Zone. This means that you can freely travel here even if you've already expired your 90 days in the Schengen Zone (which is precisely what happened to us). Tourists are able to travel to Croatia visa free for a total of 90 days within a 180 day period, despite whatever other European countries that have visited prior.


Covid Entry Requirements for Croatia

While the entry requirements to enter and stay in Europe may get confusing, luckily when it comes to Covid, it is not! Croatia is now open to all travelers, with or without being vaccinated. There are also no longer any rules about wearing masks, and basically no one wears them at all anymore.


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Local Adjustments for Visiting Croatia

Whenever traveling somewhere new, there are things that you may forget about. These may be different from where you are coming from, and are what we call local adjustments. Here are a few of them to have in mind while traveling to Croatia.


What Language is Mostly Spoken in Croatia?

The official language in Croatia is Croatian. Croatians really appreciate when you try to speak even a few Croatian phrases, so we definitely suggest learning the basics. That being said- there's no reason to stress, as almost everyone speak English too.


Currency: Does Croatia Use the Krona or Euro?

The currency used in Croatia is the Kuna. Currently (December 2022) the exchange rate is 7.5 Kuna to every USD or euro. The country is expected to change to the euro actually by the beginning of 2023.


Update: Croatia now uses the euro. Due to this, prices have also seen in increase overall.


Credit cards are accepted in many places. We do suggest carrying a bit of cash for tips, as well as drinks if you are going out.


What Plug Adapter Do I Need for Croatia?

Croatia uses the same plug types as the rest of Europe, which are types C & F. The standard voltage in Croatia is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.


Is the Water OK to Drink in Croatia?

The tap water all over the country of Croatia is potable. Many restaurants will automatically bring bottled water when you ask for water. It can get quite expensive, so we always ask for tap water. It's pretty hit or miss, as some restaurants will gladly give it to you, while others will refuse.


We definitely suggest carrying a reusable water bottle, as there are many cities that have free fountains with drinking water for you to fill up.


Is it Customary to Tip in Croatia?

The tipping culture in Croatia is typically 10% of the bill. Some of the more touristy spots (such as Dubrovnik) you'll find people tipping a bit more, but t's definitely not necessary. Also make sure to check your bill, because sometimes in nicer restaurants they will already include the service charge.


If you are taking a tour, it is highly encouraged to leave a tip. Also, if you sign up for a free walking tour, it is assumed that you will leave something, so please support the hard working locals with at least 20-30 Kuna.

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What to Do in Croatia: The Best Places to See

This country has so many great cities and locations to offer. If you're wondering where to go in Croatia for your trip, then we're here to help you choose from some of the top places to visit.


Where to Go in Croatia: The Most Popular Spots

When choosing where to go in Croatia, there are several great destinations. Here is a list of where to go in Croatia according to the most popular spots in the country.


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what to do in Croatia pin
what to do in Croatia pin

Split

Commonly mistaken as the capital, Split is one of the most well known and highly visited places in Split. Perfectly located in the center of Croatia along the coast, this is an excellent place to base yourself while staying in Croatia.


Split has a super vibrant nightlife, tons of history, and is extremely well connected to other islands and cities throughout the country. We spent 5 days here, and could have easily spent another 5.


Split, where to go in Croatia
Split, what countries in Eastern Europe to visit

Split is the most well connected city in Croatia.

Dubrovnik

If you're wondering what to do in Croatia for your first time visiting, then a visit to Dubrovnik should be at the top of the list.


This medieval city is one of our favorites in Europe, and for good reason. It is simply stunning, it has plenty to do, and is beaming with history. I've been 4 or 5 times now, and I really never get sick of ever coming here.


things to do in Dubrovnik, churches
Dubrovnik, where to go in Croatia
port of Dubrovnik, where to go in Croatia

Dubrovnik is one of the most beautiful medieval cities in Europe.


Located at the southern tip of the country, you can easily visit here from either Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, or even Italy. We highly suggest starting or finishing off your Croatia trip with the city of Dubrovnik.

Cable Car, things to do in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is so picturesque from above.

Do you want to learn about all of the great things to do in Dubrovnik, and what to expect? Simply click below to read our full article of this great city!

Zadar

This popular cruise port is actually the oldest continually habituated city in all of Croatia. Located along the Dalmatian coast, it is about 2 hours north of Split. Explore the cute downtown area, check out the sea organ, and watch the seaside light up with the "Greeting to the Sun" colorful light installation.


Zadar sea organ, what countries in Eastern Europe to visit
Zadar, what to do in Croatia

Want to prebook your transportation to Zadar? Here are a few popular routes:

Rovinj

While most flock down to the south of Croatia, some of the best gems of the country actually lie all the way in the north. Rovinj is a prime example of that.


This stunning village emulates exactly what you'd expect when you think of Croatia- charming alleyways, turquoise waters, and incredible seafront restaurants. We stayed here for just an afternoon, and really wished we had spent a few days!

Rovinj, what to do in Croatia
Rovinj, what to do in Croatia
Rovinj, what to do in Croatia
Rovinj, what to do in Croatia

Rovinj is a stunning city located in the northwest of Croatia.

Pula

You may have thought that the only colosseum worth visiting is the one in Rome, but think again! Pula is another great city located in the north of Croatia, and is just a short ride away from Rovinj.

Pula, hidden gems of Eastern Europe

We suggest coming here for a few hours to enjoy the stunning colosseum, and to grab a bite to eat before heading to the nearby national park.

Pula, what to do in Croatia
Pula, hidden gems of Eastern Europe

Pula has a colosseum, but is much less crowded than Rome.


Want to prebook your transportation to Pula? Here are a few popular routes:

Hvar

Hvar is the perfect mix of paradise beaches, historical towns, and celebrity-style night life. This island is another short ferry ride away from Split, and is worth at least a few days to explore all that it has to offer. Want to see why we loved it so much? Just check below for our full article about this wildly beautiful party island.

Hvar, where to go in Croatia
Hvar, where to go in Croatia

Brac

The island of Brac may just have one of the most stunning beaches in Europe. Home to Zlatni Rat (golden horn beach), this is a popular day trip from Split. We rented a car here and explored the cute villages, great viewpoints, and the cutest olive oil museum. Want to learn more? Just check down below for our full guide.


Zlatni Rat beach , what to do in Croatia
Zlatni Rat, hidden gems of Eastern Europe
Zlatni Rat, hidden gems of Eastern Europe

Zlatni Rat is one of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia.

Zagreb

You didn't think we'd make a list of where to go in Croatia without mentioning the capital right? Unlike most countries, Croatia's capital is much less visited than the rest of its cities.


This is because it is located inland. Therefore, is doesn't have the allure of the glistening waters, picturesque towns, and beautiful islands surrounding it. But does that mean you should skip it? Definitely not!


Zagreb is the cultural center of Croatia, and has tons of fun museums, and some great festivals. Want to learn more? We have a full article that you can check out below.

Zagreb, where to go in Croatia

Zagreb is not the most popular capital, but it still has plenty to offer.

Where to Go in Croatia: Nature

Now that you know which cities and islands to check out, here is where to go in Croatia for the best nature.


Plitvice Lakes

One of the top things on our list of where to go in Croatia (especially for first timers) is to check out the stunning Plitvice Lakes! This is more than just a few bodies of water.

Plitvice Lakes, what to do in Croatia

Plitvice Lakes are one of the most stunning places to see in all of Croatia.

It's a series of turquoise lakes and cascading falls that fill an enormous park, where you could spend hours upon hours exploring. There are a total of 16 lakes, 12 of them being the upper lakes, and 4 that make up the lower lakes. Located in Central Croatia, this is a great day trip from either Zagreb or Zadar.


Want to know everything you need to visit? Check out our full travel guide on Plitvice Lakes below!

Krka Waterfalls

This is another popular set of waterfalls in Croatia, with 7 in total. Located halfway between Zadar and Split (an hour from each), this makes the perfect day trip.


Unfortunately, you can no longer swim here, for protection of the natural environment at Krka. However, there are trails that go around the lakes so that you can admire the falls.

Krka waterfalls, what to do in Croatia

Krka Falls are one of the most amazing natural beauties of Croatia.

Want to book a tour to Krka Waterfalls? Here are a few different ones to choose from:

Cetina Spring

If you're wondering where to go in Croatia for the most epic drone shot, then Cetina Spring needs to be on your list. Also known as the "dragon's eye" Cetina is a cold water spring that resembles the eye of a dragon from above.


The water is a shockingly low 2-4 degrees Celsius, and despite the pain we endured to take the shot below, it was definitely worth it.


Cetina Spring, what to do in Croatia
Cetina Spring, what to do in Croatia
Cetina Spring, what to do in Croatia

Cetina Spring is our favorite natural spot in Croatia.


Note: If you plan on doing the same, we suggest bringing a float to go into the middle.


Where to Go in Croatia: Lesser Known Gems

Now that you know where to go in Croatia for hotspots, let's get into some of the hidden gems, or lesser known places. Here is a list of where to go in Croatia a bit off the beaten path.


Makarska

Located just an hour south of Split, and 2 1/2 hours up the coast from Dubrovnik, this town is normally overlooked by first time tourists. However this beach town with its mountain backdrop is simply stunning.


Makarska has plenty of shops lined up right in front of the water, waterfront restaurants, and fun water activities to offer. They also have plenty of boat excursions, as well as a port for ferries to different islands.

Makarska, where to go in Croatia

Makarska has mountains as a backdrop.

Want to prebook your transportation to Makarska? Here are a few popular routes:

Vodice

Also an hour from Split, Vodice lies just up the coast from this popular Croatian city, as well as just 1 hour south from Zadar. Vodice is the perfect stop while traveling from Zadar to Split, or vice versa.


The small beach town has some cute cafes, shops, and these awesome hexagonal concrete platforms where tourists and locals alike set up and sunbathe.

Vodice, where to go in Croatia

These hexagons are perfect for allowing locals and tourists soak up the sun.

Want to have your transportation prebooked? Here are a couple options:


Looking to stay a night in Vodice? Simply check out the map below:

Booking.com

Tribunj

Just a couple kilometers down the beach from Vodice, you can find an adorable hidden gem of a town. Tribunj was actually recommended to us by our friend from Split, who has a friend living here.


This charming town is a small island connected by a bridge, where you can enjoy walking the quaint streets and grab a delicious meal. Head to Stray Cat for a drink, and the owner's cousin's restaurant for some fresh seafood.

Tribunj, where to go in Croatia

This island is connected to the mainland by a tiny bridge.

Sibenik

Now let's keep heading bit down the coast for another impressive city. Sibenik is actually much bigger than some of the other quaint villages we mentioned.


Located on the water, this place is full of restaurants, shops, and great architecture. It's known for its 15 century cathedral, 14th century palace, and for being the gateway to the Kornati Islands.


Primosten

Just bit further down the coast we have another adorable city that is a round peninsula full of orange roofed buildings. Primosten has beaches on each side, and the inside has cute streets full of shops with local handmade goods.


Make sure to check out Gift Shop Olive for hand crafted products made from olive trees, as well as the white marble jewelry.

Primosten, where to go in Croatia
Primosten, where to go in Croatia

Primosten is even more stunning from above.

Korcula

This island is the perfect mix of ancient history and coastal bliss. Like many other beautiful islands in Croatia, you'll be able to enjoy beautiful orange roofed buildings, narrow walkways, and glistening turquoise waters. Korcula can be visited by bus or ferry from Split, Orebic, or Dubrovnik.


Kornati Islands

This archipelago is known for its oddly dry terrain, and can be visited on a tour from Zadar or Sibenik. This national park has 89 islands, islets, and reefs, making it super interesting to explore by boat excursion.


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Ready to explore the Kornati Islands? Here are some day trip excursions that you can take to see them:

Mljet

This is the southernmost and easternmost island of the larger Adriatic islands. Mljet is known for its delicious wine, olives, and goat cheese. Covered with dense forest, this island is super underrated and yet to be discovered by many tourists.


Want to take a trip here from Dubrovnik? Here are some awesome boat tours we found:

Trogir

Just a half hour outside of Split lies a fairytale town called Trogir. With its large castle and seaside restaurants, this is the perfect place to enjoy a day trip or at least a nice afternoon. Get lost in the historic town, climb the ancient tower, or enjoy the beautiful harbor.

Trogir, where to go in Croatia

The view from the castle in Trogir

Want to prebook your transportation to Trogir? Just click the links below:


Losinj

Located in the northern Adriatic Sea, Losinj is known for its lush vegetation and stunning shorelines. If you're looking for where to go in Croatia for less crowds and equally stunning nature, then this should definitely be added to your list.


Want to visit Losinj? Here is the ferry that you can book to get there:


Porec

Located all the way in the north west of the country, Porec is another stunning village to check out if you're visiting Rovinj. Lined with cute boutique shops and adorable cafes, the vibe here is captivating and will leave you wanting more of quaint Istria.


Make sure to check out the trundle shop in own, which is family owned and also offers tours of their entire process.


Prebook your transportation to Porec:

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What to Do in Croatia

Now that you know where to go in Croatia, let's check out all of the fun activities you can do! If you're wondering exactly what to do in Croatia for an epic trip, then here is a list of some awesome things to do throughout the country.


Get Lost In the Charming Towns

Croatia just may be one picturesque when it comes to its towns. Large clusters of orange roofed buildings surrounded by glistening turquoise waters can be found all over, and many of them are pedestrian only.


Simply wandering the quaint alleyways and soak up the vibe of this beautiful country is exactly what to do in Croatia once you get anywhere new.


streets of Jelsa in Hvar
towns in Brac
Rovinj, what to do in Croatia


Dive Into the History

Not only are the towns here super charming, but there is so much history throughout Croatia. Dating back to the 7th century, Dubrovnik is a great example of a place you'll want to dive right in and learn all about its history.


Head over to Pula and you'll find an ancient colosseum that dates all the way back to 27 BC! Make sure to take at least one walking tour in whatever city you choose to travel to.


Go Island Hopping

Did you know that Croatia has a total of 1,244 islands and islets in total? Well, although only 48 are inhabited, we can promise you that you'll ever get bored from all the beauty out there. There are so many stunning islands in Croatia- some that we mentioned already, and plenty of other small ones that you can visit. 


We highly suggest spending at least a night or two staying on one of the islands such as HvarBrac, or Korcula. There are plenty of ferries serving a great deal of the islands, boat tours, or private charters that you can get to check some of them off your list.