25 Best Things to do in Croatia

December 31, 2020 by Mia Russell


Basking in the Mediterranean sun between the Balkans and central Europe, Croatia with its spectacular island-flecked coastline, gin-clear waters, rich cultural legacy, and breathtakingly beautiful lakes is undoubtedly the jewel of the Adriatic.

Rising like a phoenix from the ashes of the War of Independence in the late 1990s, Croatia has become one of the top tourist destinations in Europe, and it’s not surprising why. The Dalmatian coastline is dotted with 1,244 islands surrounded by white, pebbly beaches and crystal-clear waters. It’s a sailing paradise with myriad little bays to spend the day swimming, snorkeling, diving, or kayaking, and islands like Hvar and Korčula have magical medieval buildings and buzzing nightlife.

The mainland is speckled with bustling cities and quaint villages, many of which have ancient buildings from bygone eras from Venetian palaces and early Slavic churches to Napoleonic forts and Viennese mansions. Dubrovnik is a glorious medieval-era old town set on the water, while Spilt is home to the magnificent 1,700year-old palace of the Roman emperor Diocletian.

Croatia’s natural landscapes are just as alluring. The limestone karst Dinaric Range stretches from Italy to Albania with rugged peaks, forested canyons, and picturesque lakes. The Plitvice Lakes and the Krka National Park boast some of the most spectacular lakes and waterfalls in Europe, and the Kornati National Park features dramatic moonscape-like islands and amazing marine life.

Add to that an array of activities to enjoy from sailing, scuba diving, and skiing in the winter to hiking, white-water rafting, and rock climbing; delicious local cuisine; and world-class olive oil and wines, and Croatia becomes one of the most amazing countries to visit.

Here are some of the best things to do in this beautiful Balkan country.