the most beautiful places in Croatia - bucket list

The most beautiful places in Croatia | Bucket List

Croatia is a beautiful country full of gorgeous nature reserves and old towns. What are the most beautiful places in Croatia? Check it out.

The most beautiful places in Croatia

Croatia is (in my opinion) one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. What to do in Croatia? Which places should you visit when you are in Croatia? 14 tips.

Plitvice Lakes National Park

Of course, Plitvice Lakes National Park should be on this list. This is perhaps the most beautiful place in Croatia and one of the most beautiful national parks in Europe. In the park, you will find dozens of waterfalls set between green trees and turquoise lakes. The wooden boardwalks in the park make it look even more beautiful. This is one of the most visited places in Croatia and that is very understandable. It is absolutely gorgeous and you get to see one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world.

  • Where to stay: Villa Knezevic, cozy guest house within walking distance of the park.


Although Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, is not the most beautiful city in Croatia, it still has many special and charming places. There are a lot of great restaurants (and eating out in Zagreb is a lot cheaper compared to the cities on the coast!) and there are also many fun things to do in Zagreb. For example, the colorful Saint Mark’s Church is stunning and from the Strossmayer Promenade, you have a beautiful view of the city.

  • Where to stay: Hotel Jägerhorn, great hotel in the middle of the city with a beautiful courtyard.
Saint Mark's Church - Zagreb

The islands

There are more than 1000 islands along the coast of Croatia and each one is more beautiful than the next. A visit to one or more islands is there one of the best things to do in Croatia. These are the most popular islands in Croatia

  • Krk – a large island in the north of the country with a varied landscape and charming villages.
  • Vis – an island in the south, perfect for sun lovers.
  • Hvar island – is located next to Vis and is known as a party island (but it is large enough to find some places to relax as well).

I myself stayed for over two weeks on the island of Ugljan near Zadar and visiting this island is also highly recommended. There are many cycling and hiking trails on this island, and it’s easier to meet the locals.


Dubrovnik is arguably the most touristic city in Croatia and for a reason. This well-preserved fortified city is a sight to behold. Because of Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik is more popular than ever since many scenes were shot here. Fans of the series should definitely go on a Game of Thrones tour in Dubrovnik.

In addition, it’s great to get lost in the narrow streets, view the beautiful churches, and a walk over the historic city walls is one of the best Croatia attractions.

  • Where to stay: Apartments Festa, nice apartments in the middle of the old town of Dubrovnik.


Pula is located in the very south of the Istrian peninsula. The city is over 3000 years old and you can clearly see that when you walk around. The biggest eye-catcher in the city is the Pula Amphitheatre, one of the largest surviving Roman arenas in the world.

Other places of interest in Pula are the Forum, the Temple of Augustus, and the Arch of the Sergii. In short, lovers of historic cities will certainly enjoy themselves in this beautiful Croatian city.

  • Where to stay: Preziosa, nice guest house in the center. Every room has a balcony.


Zadar is located on the coast in the north of the Dalmatia region and it is one of the best places to visit in Croatia. The city has a beautiful old center and the huge city walls are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. There are many beautiful sights in Zadar, such as the Old Forum and the Saint Donatus Church from the ninth century. In addition, there are also very cool modern artworks to admire, including the sea organ and Pozdrav suncu, a work of art with colored lights that you really want to see after sunset.

Krka National Park

Another national park that you really want to visit when traveling in Croatia is Krka National Park. It is located near Šibenik and was created by the river Krka. Between the steep limestone cliffs, you can admire some very impressive waterfalls here. In the park you can explore some beautiful trails, you can swim near some waterfalls and it is also possible to take a boat trip to the Visovack Monastery on a small island in the park.

  • Where to stay: Apartments & Rooms Formenti, beautiful rooms and apartments with a balcony or terrace in the pleasant village of Skradin.
Nationaal Park Krka - photo via Unsplash

Photo: Milada Vigerova | Unsplash


Krka National Park is therefore close to Šibenik, one of the most beautiful towns in Croatia that has not yet been completely discovered by large masses. It has a beautiful old city center full of narrow streets and stairs and there are also many beautiful viewpoints. The Saint James Cathedral is the absolute highlight. Take a slow walk around it to discover all the special (and a bit scary) details.


Rovinj is a city in the far west (in Istria) and is known as the most colorful city in Croatia. It has many Italian influences and most people speak Italian in addition to Croatian. Rovinj is a must-see in Croatia since it is a great city to get lost in, there are so many beautiful narrow streets with colorful houses. There are also many great (and trendy) places to eat or drink cocktails. Rovinj is therefore above all a very pleasant city to end (or start) your vacation in Croatia.

Rovinj in Croatia - photo via Unsplash

Photo: Vlado Sestan | Unsplash


Split is the second-largest city in Croatia after Zagreb and there is a lot to do! One of the main attractions in Split is Diocletian’s Palace. A well-preserved Roman palace from the fourth century and you really feel like you’re on a movie set here. It’s so impressive!

In addition, in the old city center (which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List) there are many other impressive buildings from the Middle Ages to see. Split is also a good base for a longer holiday in Croatia. From Split, you can make day trips to various islands and other beautiful cities from this list of most beautiful places in Croatia.


Twelve kilometers north of Split is the village of Klis. The most notable structure here is the fortress of Klis. This has long been used to protect Split, as it is very strategically located in a mountain pass. The fortress can be visited and from this place, you have a beautiful view of Split. The fame of Klis has been increasing in recent years, this is again due to the Game of Thrones series.

Klis in Croatia - photo via Unsplash

Photo: mana5280 | Unsplash


Of course, Trogir cannot be missed on this list of the most beautiful places in Croatia. Trogir is located near Split and has a beautiful old center on an island. This city center is again on the UNESCO World Heritage List and rightly so because it is incredibly beautiful. It is largely car-free and there are many narrow streets in which you can get lost. For the best view, climb the cathedral’s bell tower.

  • Where to stay: Villa Kaleta Rooms, cozy guest house in the old town with nicely furnished rooms.


Osijek is a city in the northeast of the country and is skipped by most tourists during a holiday in Croatia. However, there is plenty to see and do in Osijek! It is a very green city with many large squares and colored houses. In addition, Osijek is one of the best places in Croatia to try Croatian cuisine. There are many restaurants serving local delicacies.

  • Where to stay: Sobe Merlon, trendy B&B in a beautiful green location within walking distance of the center.
Osijek in Croatia - photo via Depositphotos

The beaches

Croatia has a long coastline (partly due to the many islands) and the country is, therefore, perfect for beach lovers. Along the coast you will not find many sandy beaches, they are mainly rocky beaches with many stones and pebbles. The big advantage of this is that the water is incredibly clear and you can see the fish swimming around you when you’re in the water. Every beach is different and it is a lot of fun to discover them!

Beaches near Trogir

Book a trip to Croatia

Did you feel like a trip to Croatia after reading this article? These are useful websites to book your trip:

  • Croatia has several international airports, for example in Zagreb, Zadar, Split, and Dubrovnik. Check Skyscanner to find the cheapest tickets.
  • Do you prefer to take the train? That’s a great idea! I chose this sustainable option myself. From the Netherlands, I first traveled by train to Salzburg, and then on to Zagreb. Check out the schedule and get tickets via Rail Europe. In Croatia itself, it is best to continue your journey by bus.
  • From my own experience, I know that Flixbus is good and cheap when traveling through Croatia. With this bus company, you can reach almost all (tourist) places.
  • Check for the best hotels, hostels, and apartments.
  • Check Rental Cars or Discover Cars for the best deals on rental cars in Croatia.
  • You can find great tours and tickets for attractions at Get Your Guide.
  • Don’t forget your travel insurance! Insubuy has good comprehensive travel insurance.

TIP! Want to see most of these highlights in one trip? Check out this amazing 3-week Croatia itinerary.

Read more about Croatia

Do you want to know more about the most beautiful places in Croatia? Then there are some great travel guides:

DK Eyewitness Croatia

Lonely Planet Croatia

You can also read more about a holiday in Croatia on this website. You might like to check out these posts:

Get inspired to travel!

Would you like to discover more beautiful places in Europe? Then you might also like to read these articles:

In addition, I regularly share fun travel stories and tips for the most beautiful destinations in my monthly newsletter. Subscribe here.

The most beautiful places in Croatia - Bucket list

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As a girl from a small town in the Netherlands, I always dreamed of traveling. I thought it would always be a dream, but nowadays, I travel 6 to 8 months a year and I hike thousands of miles on the most beautiful hiking trails. On this website you can read all about my favorite destinations.

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