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.