Are you thinking about where you should go when you visit Croatia?
Croatia is a popular destination for vacations and trips. It’s so popular that in the first half of 2019 alone, 6.5 million tourists had already visited Croatia. Given the country’s ancient and rich history and culture, it’s no surprise.
If you’re looking for the best cities to visit in Croatia, you went to the right place. In this list, we’ll talk about the top 7 cities in Croatia every visitor needs to visit for the ultimate Croatian experience.
Let’s begin with the capital city of Croatia and the largest, Zagreb. There’s no denying that this is a must-visit for everyone who’s coming in to see Croatia. It stands along the Sava river and is rich with historical sites.
Found in the northwest and far from the coastline, Zagreb offers a hundred sites for you to see and visit. Its strongest charms lie in its multi-cultural influences. You’ll see these bits in the breathtaking cathedrals, streets, and even in its stone gates.
Visit the Gornji Grad and experience what it’s like to walk down narrow streets and cobbled alleys. Head over to the Lotrscak Tower to get an amazing view of the city. If you hear cannon fire, it’s only the Gric cannon, signaling that it’s midday.
Dubrovnik is one of the best cities in Croatia and a must-see for all visitors. Some describe it as the Pearl of the Adriatic because of its picturesque setting and rich culture. Sitting at the base of Mt. Srd, Dubrovnik features ancient buildings, narrow alleys, and an Old Town ambiance.
If you’ve seen the Game of Thrones, you may recognize some of the locations in the city. Check out the city on a Dubrovnik Cable Car. Make your way to the Buza Bar before dusk and settle in for a great view of the setting sun.
Get out of the sun and learn a thing about the city or two when you head into a museum. Read more about Dubrovnik and discover more about the city’s long and rich history. If you want to avoid the summer heat, visit Dubrovnik during the autumn or spring.
If you want to get away from the crowds and the city, go to Mljet National Park. Since it’s on an island, you’ll need to hire a catamaran or ride a boat. You can also get on a kayak and make your way to several caves around Lokrum Island and some “secret” beaches.
Once a major Habsburg military base, Osijek is the main city in Slavonia. You’ll find the bulk of the main streets and landmarks in the city’s Upper Town. It’s the best place to go sightseeing since the Croatian National Theater and the St. Peter and St. Paul Churches are there.
If you’re looking to snap a great panorama, go to the River Drava. It’s also a great place for a waterside stroll for the group. If you want a romantic dinner, get in the restaurants that operate on moored boats.
The desserts in Osijek are rich with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. This is because of its Habsburg and Hungarian heritage. Go into one of the café-restaurants by the river to snack on some of Croatia’s best dessert foods.
Split is the second-largest city in Croatia and is one all visitors must see during their visit. Once the palace of Roman Emperor Diocletian, the city of Split progressed and grew into what it is now. One of its main features includes the Riva waterfront lined with palm trees and tons of cafes.
Pop into Diocletian’s 4th-century palace and explore its underground chambers. If you want a change of view, hope onto a boat and travel to the nearby islands Hvar and Brac. If you want a stroll in nature, head over to Marjan Hill at the west end of the Split Peninsula.
Fifty miles north of Zagreb stands the charming city of Varazdin, a former capital city. It’s rich in and known for its baroque and rococo architecture. Mass tourism has yet to touch the city and so you can expect smaller crowds on the streets.
Because of its architectural aspects, many also call Varazdin the Croatian Little Vienna. It has similar architecture, districts, and urban plans with Vienna. Also, note that the Austria-Hungarian Empire’s legacy stands in Varazdin.
It has a ton of museums for you to see, including the World of Insects museum. If you’re visiting Croatia in late September to early October, check out the Varazdin Baroque Evenings music festival. Varazdin is one of the best cities to visit in Croatia, especially if you want to avoid the crowds.
Thanks to its seaports, the city of Rijeka is the third-largest city in Croatia. When you visit Rijeka, you can see some of its ancient roots intermingling with the urban sprawl. It also has parts where most of its ancient fragments still stand firm.
Enjoy the city’s Roman, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture. If you want to explore the Croatian islands, Rijeka is a great place to start. It’s one of the northern-most cities that offers a great view of the Adriatic Coast.
Some of the most popular places to visit include Trsat Castle and the Islamic Center. You can also go to the central market for a variety of chocolate treats for your trip back home. Also, Rijeka’s nightlife is most alive during the summer.
Do you want to see a Roman-style amphitheater that rivals the Colosseum in Rome? Do you want to check out the Temple of Augustus? Is seeing the Gate of Hercules something you want to finish in your bucket list?
Finally, to end our list of the best cities to visit in Croatia, we have the City of Pula.
It’s a great city to stop into if you’re coming in from Italy. You can drive right over from Trieste and cross into Croatia.
Pula is the largest city in Istria County and it has a very long history. It has all the sites we mentioned earlier plus many modern leisure pleasures. For example, the Aquarium Pula is the biggest one in the country with views of marine life from the Adriatic Sea.
Enjoy swimming or windsurfing in this coastal city. From Pula, see the breathtaking Brijuni islands in the Croatian National Park. Film lovers must visit Pula in summer to experience the Pula Film Festival.
Explore the Best Cities to Visit in Croatia!
Those are the top 7 cities in Croatia every visitor needs to see.
The Croatian countryside is beautiful. If you’re looking for natural sites, you can also visit its national parks. However, that’s a different list you’ll have to watch out for.
That’s it for our list of the best cities to visit in Croatia. If you want to know more about travel and culture from around the world and read more exciting content like this, check out our other guides now.