Croatia

About Croatia

Though it shares the Adriatic Sea with its more visited neighbour Italy, Croatia has an almost identical sense of Mediterranean culture, rich history, beautiful architecture and excellent food.

Most people begin in the ancient maritime trade city of Dubrovnik and for good reason. This beautiful city by the sea has everything: daily flights from most European capitals, fine transportation links on the ground, and lovely interesting sites to visit like the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin, Sponza Palace, the Aquarium, and the old Bell Tower near the city’s Ploče entrance.

The Dubrovnik Natural History Museum and Bukovac House is where you'll find the works of famous modern Croatian painters, and is also one of the city’s more popular attractions.

But there is more to Croatia than just Dubrovnik. Zagreb, the capital and largest, most modern city in the Croatian Republic, has a good dining scene and excellent shopping and nightlife.

Visit the ancient port city of Split for Roman ruins; Varaždin is a repository of Baroque architecture; and the Dalmatian Islands are particularly gorgeous sunbathing spots rivaling neighbouring gems like the Aeolian Islands. At the tip of Dalmatia is Zadar, known for its charming Old Town, Roman Forum and Archeological Museum.

Everywhere Croatian cuisine is convoluted, but it's mostly an amalgamation of Mediterranean fruits, vegetables and seafood with Eastern European starchy potato dishes and Turkish and Greek meze. Try it all and go back for seconds.

Croatia Travel Tips

  1. A good way to begin your exploration of Dubrovnik is via the cable car. The five-minute journey brings you high above the northern city walls to Mt. Srd, from where you can take in the city’s layout or snap photos of its cluster of red terracotta roofed houses by the sea.
  2. For a taste of modern Croatia, you have to go to Zagreb. Your first priority should be to purchase a Zagreb travel card, allowing you unlimited travel on the city’s public transport and discounts at most museums. Stop into Mali Medo for good local beers, or Velika Klet Obitelji Bunčić for authentic Croatian cuisine.
  3. The Dalmatian Coast is packed with beautiful towns and coastal hamlets to visit or use as a base. Zadar anchors the north, and is known for the Roman influence on its city, while Ražanac is a quiet fishing village with good seafood restaurants. Makarska is the main beach resort town where you will find a more robust nightlife and beach scene.
  4. In Dubrovnik, a meal at Gil's, a famous seafood restaurant perched on top of the city’s fortification walls, is entertaining, if rather pricey. It’s the place to be seen, and you come dressed up and turned out well or not at all. Thousands of top-shelf wines are on hand here, an eatery known for catering to the upper class and, at times, celebrity clientele. You can dress down at Defne, a restaurant that is ideal for its vast outdoor terrace and intriguing mash up of Eastern European meze, seafood and rustic beef dishes.
  5. Dubrovnik is bursting with lively, affordable markets where you can pick up souvenirs, food, clothes, antiques and necessities. Those worth visiting include the morning market in Gunduliceva Square, or the Gruz Market to see beautifully displayed fruits, vegetables and meats.

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