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What to see in Croatia? This picturesque little country can add to your personal experience. All the sights of Croatia are full of attractive charm, be it the emerald beaches of the Adriatic or architectural monuments. Interesting and informative trips are organized according to the principle “closer to nature”. The amazing ecology of the country, the unique field of medicinal oil, mineral springs and gourmet cuisine – all this gives a great opportunity to relax and truly merge with nature. Perhaps acquaintance with previously unknown reserved beauties will open a new world for you.
What to see in Croatia in the first place
Especially for those who want to make their holidays on the Adriatic coast the best of their lives, we have compiled a list of places where guides in Croatia most often bring tourists. In the descriptions you will find key information, and thanks to the photo you will be able to understand whether it is worth spending your time and money on visiting a particular attraction.
1. Diocletian's Palace (Split)
Diocletian's Palace – the first personal castle in Europe
This unique architectural monument of the Roman Empire was erected by Emperor Diocletian. The time of his reign is from 284 to 305 AD. e. In 1979, the palace was included in the UNESCO heritage list. The palace is well preserved, but in excursions it is most often referred to as a kind of city within a city. The fact is that this palace of Diocletian occupies a huge area of 3 hectares.
Life goes on behind the walls. There are cafes, hotels waiting for tourists, local shops sell a lot of souvenirs and beautiful things.
According to legend, Diocletian ordered to start work on the palace just before his abdication. It should be noted that the emperor loved and appreciated luxury. The last years of his life were spent in the most comfortable conditions, he lived surrounded by exquisite interiors filled with expensive decor and all kinds of luxury.
However, immediately after his death, the palace lost its status and gradually fell into disrepair. Later, local residents began to move outside the fortress walls of the palace, fleeing the raids of the barbarians.
Official website: http://diocletianspalace.org/
2. Cave Vranjaka (Kotlenitsa)
Vranjaka Cave Underworld
The cave is located on the slope of Mount Mosor. It is rightly called the most colorful cave in the country. Guides are professionally trained, so tourists are guaranteed a qualified story about this unique natural phenomenon. The fact that the cave is more than 3,000 years old already deserves the attention of travelers. It was discovered after the earthquake of 1903.
The entrance to the Vranzhak cave has been ennobled, here you can even see a stone staircase, but in general it is perceived as a chaotic heap of gloomy stones. The cave was opened for inspection in 1929. Since then, little has changed in her. Stone outgrowths stretching from all sides, bizarre outlines of stones – all this has been preserved in the same form in which the cave was at the time of discovery.
In 1963, the Vranzhaka cave received the status of a geomorphological monument. This means that this area is characterized by an unusual relief of the earth's surface. There are access roads to the cave, and in 2001 the lighting system was completely changed here.
3. Amphitheater (Pula)
Ancient Roman Amphitheater in Pula
The tiny Croatian town of Pula is very cozy and hospitable. It gained world fame because of the Roman amphitheater, built in the 1st century AD. e. It has not been preserved in its original form, but it is all the more pleasant to touch the dilapidated walls of an ancient structure. The amphitheater has huge dimensions: 133*105 meters. At the same time, more than 20,000 spectators could be accommodated here.
Vek was not spared the amphitheater, but local authorities, considering it the greatest attraction of Croatia, are constantly carrying out reconstruction support work. The arena was used for gladiator fights, which were banned only in the 5th century by Emperor Honorius. Later, the grandiose platform was used for trading rows and even for cattle grazing.
The global reconstruction of the arena was carried out in the 19th century according to the project of the architect Pietro Nobile. The work was carried out under the auspices of the Emperor of Austria Franz I.
Today, military parades and official events are held here. The local authorities protect the attraction in every possible way, so “taking a pebble as a keepsake” is strictly prohibited. The Colosseum is one of the must-see places in Croatia.
Official website: http://www.ami-pula.hr
4. National Park Krka (Sibenik)
Waterfall in Krka Park
If you decide what to see in Croatia, be sure to include the Krka National Park in your itinerary. My heart skips a beat at its beauty. The park consists of 7 connected waterfall cascades. Water falls from a small height, so it does not pose a danger to tourists. The waterfalls are located in Northern Dalmatia and are among the most beautiful sights in Croatia. The view from the bottom of the cascade of waterfalls is so beautiful that it is impossible to take your eyes off it.
From all sides, a virgin forest, untouched by man, approaches the waterfall. Logging is prohibited here, and the river itself surprises with its azure hue and purity. The park has preserved a unique ecological system. It was formed largely due to the full-flowing river Krka. The river defines the wealth of this park. It swiftly rushes between limestone rocks, on which there is lush vegetation.
Krka National Park is an object of tourist infrastructure. All conditions for inspection are created here. Suspension bridges allow you to admire the landscape, friendly guides are happy to talk about the history of this place. In the park, in particular, there are more than 200 species of birds. Golden eagles are the pride of the locals.
Many paths have been laid through Krka Park, so moving around is easy and pleasant. The highest waterfall is 45 m high, and the lowest is 8 m. The overall composition looks divine and is accompanied by the delightful sounds of falling water.
Official website: http://www.np -krka.hr/en/
5. Golden Horn Beach (Central Dalmatia)
Beach “Golden Horn” is one of the ten best beaches in the world
A beach holiday in Croatia is a whole philosophy. Any of the beaches is environmentally friendly and safe. In addition, they are among the sights of Croatia, as they are located in ecologically favorable areas and are equipped with a rich tourist infrastructure.
The Adriatic Sea itself, washing Croatia, gives the country a fabulous touch. It is very salty, and its healing properties are innumerable. Golden Horn is the most beautiful local beach.
Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it constantly changes its shape. It depends on the wind load and the sea current. It can change direction, thereby correcting the outline of the beach. Swimming in the sea is one of the most popular activities here. However, in addition to this, tourists are offered swimming on jet skis and water skis.
In addition, the Golden Horn is a place where lovers of windsurfing and scuba diving gather. But no matter how many civilized pleasures they offer tourists, they prefer the happy opportunity to be alone with the golden sand and the sea.
Feel the atmosphere of Croatia in this beautiful video!
6. Gornji Grad (Zagreb)
Zagreb's most charming area
Gornji Grad in Zagreb is one of the sights that many tourists seek to visit in Croatia. In translation, the name means “upper city”. Gornji Grad is a district of Zagreb, but, in fact, it is a small city within a city with its own established infrastructure. It has hotels and inns where you can comfortably settle down to see all the sights.
In particular, the architectural sights of Croatia are literally concentrated in Zagreb. Here you can get acquainted with the Roman Cathedral or with the beautiful building of the Croatian Parliament. On the territory of this district of Zagreb there is also the largest cemetery – Mirogoj.
7. Lokrum Island (Lokrum)
Lokrum Island is also nicknamed “Cursed”
A small island in the Adriatic Sea is the dream of many travelers. To visit here during the beach season means to give yourself an unforgettable experience. The locals call the island magical, it is so beautiful. From the outside, it looks like a patch of velvet green, surrounded on all sides by the emerald sea. Seven hundred meters from the island is the city of Dubrovnik, from which pleasure boats depart hourly. The island is a magnificent natural landmark of Croatia.
There are no inns or hotels on the island. It is also impossible to see any shops here. The cafe is presented in a single copy, and it works only during the day. What explains such infrastructural features? The fact is that the island is a national reserve. Are you still thinking what to visit in Croatia? In no case should you leave this amazing island with the Benedictine monastery outside the scope of your trip. This architectural landmark of Croatia was built in 1023.
It was erected as a gratitude for the salvation from the once raging fire. The monks lived peacefully in this monastery until the French captured it in 1806. The invaders immediately decided to demolish the monastery and build Fort Royal. The monks humbly accepted the decision of the French, but cursed everyone who would be on this earth. They sailed away in an unknown direction at night, and the three French nobles who took part in their exile died one by one.
The subsequent rulers of the island, acquiring it, could not find their happiness here. For example, Captain Tomashevich, who bought the island, quickly went bankrupt. Another owner of the island – Maximilian – died in Mexico. All subsequent owners also had an unenviable fate.
Locals still believe that the wax from the candles, which dripped onto the ground when the monks sent their curses, still punishes the newcomers. The only people who feel good here are the tourists. Perhaps because they only come to admire the local beauties.
8. Plitvice Lakes Park (Northern Dalmatia)
The power and beauty of nature in the park
Picturesque lakes are a natural landmark of Croatia and are among the top most beautiful places on the planet. Since 1949 they have been included in the UNESCO register. Attracting tourists to the lakes is carried out within the framework of a special state program. She has been working since 1983. Since then, a lot of swimming equipment has been purchased here for water excursions and many hiking trails have been arranged for tourists. There are several hotels in the park where tourists can comfortably stay.
At the end of the last century, interest in the lakes was so high that the Empress of Austria Augustina Karolina and her husband Emperor Franz 1 visited the park. Plitvice Lakes Park is the attraction that lovers of beautiful places seek to see in Croatia. It is located at an altitude of 1200 meters above sea level. The ecological situation here is the most favorable. On the territory of the park, forests untouched by deforestation grow with rich flora and fauna.
For tourists, a special tourist electric train runs through the park. It is undesirable to go deep into the thicket of the forest on the territory of the park on your own, since it is a habitat for various animals that are not always disposed to communicate with humans. The riot of colors and shades of nature always delight tourists. The hue of the water in the lakes changes during the day depending on the lighting.
The lakes are very deep. Moreover, their depth begins directly from the shore. The history of waterfalls in the park is interesting. Almost every year a new waterfall appears here, so the lakes are always full of clean water. Since swimming in the park is prohibited in the lakes, they retain their original purity.
9. Hvar Island
Hvar – sunny island of the Adriatic
Among the sunny sights of Croatia, the island of Hvar occupies a special place. It is interesting because it is the longest. The uniqueness of the geographical location provided the island with maximum solar coverage. This is a very beautiful place. It belongs to those places that should be visited in Croatia not only because of the mild climate, but also because of the lush subtropical vegetation.
The capital of the island has the same name – Hvar. The length of the island reaches 68 km, and its area is 300 square kilometers. Tourists tend to visit this place in June. This is the season for purple lavender and pink oleanders. In June, the island is fantastically beautiful and filled with fragrant aromas.
10. City of Rovinj (Istrian peninsula)
Medieval Rovinj is considered the pearl of Istria
The city of Rovinj is a truly fabulous landmark of Croatia. The style of many eras can be traced in its architecture, and the climate is so mild that it is comfortable to stay in it at any time of the year. The coastline of the city is adorned with islands of various sizes. Jules Verne mentioned this city in his works, and nowadays it is most often chosen by newlyweds as a honeymoon destination.
Therefore, if you have not yet decided what to see in Croatia, you can visit one of the beaches of the island. There are several of them here, and they all differ from each other: pebble, rocky or platform beaches. The city is known for hosting an international photography festival every year, as well as an international regatta. Along the promenade there are many stalls selling the famous soft ice cream.
Sights of Croatia: what else to visit while in Croatia
Sightseeing tours in Croatia are not for you or you want to visit really unique places? Then the following tourist sites are exactly what you need. A well-organized excursion and entertainment program will guarantee that the trip will make an indelible impression.
11. Prince's Palace (Dubrovnik)
The Prince's Palace – a monument of history and architecture of Croatia
What to see in Croatia? You will definitely be impressed by the princely palace in Dubrovnik, the architecture is so interesting in it. The building is built in the Gothic style, it is very strict. However, over time, the facade of the building was enriched with details in the Renaissance style. The beginning of construction work dates back to the 15th century. The palace (castle) was the working residence of local princes.
The main facade of the building is decorated with two side towers, which have been preserved to this day. Since, according to ancient tradition, the prince was not supposed to leave the building of the palace, all living conditions were created for him. On the territory of the palace there are auxiliary, utility and working premises. There is also a courtroom and a conference room, there is also an ammunition depot and an armory room.
In the 15th century, the gates of the palace were locked at night, and the keys to the city were kept in the castle. Over time, the castle was subjected to natural disasters, but each time it was restored. It was considered the residence of the princes until 1808, when the French established their own rules here.
Currently, the palace has been restored according to the project of the architect Onofrio della Cava. As for the statue crowning the upper part of the building, it was designed by the Italian Pietro di Martino. Today, tourists who are thinking about what to visit in Croatia are offered excursions to the Palace Museum, which is located on its inner territory.
12. City of Hum (Istria)
the walled city of Hum – the smallest city in the world
Among all the sights of Croatia, the city of Hum stands out for its small size. It even enters the Guinness Book of Records as the smallest city. At the same time, the modern look of the city was formed in the 11th century. Then a castle was erected on the ruins of an ancient fortress. Several houses were built nearby for residents of the future city.
It should be noted that in those days Istra belonged to the French kingdom. Count Ulrich I renovated several castles (including this one) on the border of his possession. Centuries later, Ulrich II handed Hum over to the Aquillian patriarch.
Until the 17th century, the castle was mentioned in all documents as a fortress. Today it is a city-monument and one of the sights of Croatia. Tourists here can see the Church of the Assumption of Mary, the clock tower, the Church of St. Jerome.
13. Sea Organ (Zadar)
Sea organ – a place of eternal concert
Among the sights of Croatia, interesting for travelers, is the Zadar peninsula. Its main city resembles a multi-colored mosaic made up of structures and buildings of various sizes. What is not here! The ancient Roman forum, residential buildings of the 19th century, the Church of the Holy Trinity, the Roman Cathedral of St. Anastasia … The colorful picture of the city is presented in different architectural styles.
Tourists are always interested in high-rise buildings dating back to ancient times, and modern hotels and restaurants adjacent to them. There are many hotels in the city, tourists feel at ease here. To attract travelers, local authorities often hold jousting tournaments.
But the main attraction of the city is the Morske orgulje organ. Art historians and connoisseurs highly appreciate the peculiar sound of this musical instrument. Acquaintance with the sights of Croatia will not be complete without hearing the sound of the organ.
14. City of Salona (Split-Dalmatia)
Ancient Roman ghost town Salona
In different centuries, the city of Salona was under the jurisdiction of different countries. It was originally founded by the Illyrians. However, in the fourth century BC, the city was conquered by the Greeks. In the first century BC, Julius Caesar established a Roman colony here. According to legend, the Roman emperor Diocletian was born in this city.
Until the 6th century, Salona was the center of early Christianity. Slavs and Avars destroyed the city around 614. However, the palace of Emperor Diocletian has partially survived to this day. The task was subjected to a global reconstruction at the beginning of the 20th century.
The initiator of the restoration work was the Croatian archaeologist F. Bulich. Being a major specialist in Roman sites, Bulich headed the archaeological museum in Split.
15. Korcula Island (Dubrovnik-Neretva region)
The history of the island goes back centuries. In the eighth century, the island of Korcula was inhabited by Slavic tribes. But until the 15th century, the island passed under different jurisdictions several times. In 1214, the status of the island was determined and the Korculan charter was issued.
But in 1420, the island finally came under the control of the Venetians. According to legend, the great traveler Marco Polo was born on this island. Currently, the island of Korcula is part of independent Croatia. This happened after the collapse of the country in 1990.
The island's economy is based on tourism and agriculture. Tourists will be interested to know that the wine-making traditions of the island are carefully preserved. Croatian wines “Grk” and “Poship” are known all over the world. They are made in the wineries of this sunny island, which is rightfully considered a natural landmark of Croatia. Next to Croatia is a country with stunning architectural ensembles of various eras and styles – Hungary. While in Croatia, think about visiting this country as well. Read about the sights of Hungary and get inspired for your next trip to Europe!