It’s easy to see why Croatia is a gem of Central Europe. Beautiful blue coastlines, historic castles and buildings and more than 1,000 islands welcome visitors with open arms. You could easily spend weeks wandering the fishing villages, rolling waterfalls and lush mountains that line the country.
But if you don’t have weeks to wander the country, don’t fret: We’ve rounded up some of the best travel experiences the country has to offer. Here are four things to put at the top of your Croatia travel list.
Step back in time with a visit to the historic city of Dubrovnik, with its coastal views and surrounding stone walls. While Dubrovnik is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, it also boasts plenty of luxury hotels and high-end dining experiences. The real draw of Dubrovnik, though, is the stunning examples of Croatia’s historic architecture. Medieval buildings, Baroque churches and Renaissance-style monuments are all pristinely preserved in this historic town. Combined with the walls of this fortress city, the historic architecture has earned Dubrovnik a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
See the contrasts in the capital city of Zagreb
With its historic landmarks and modern energy, Croatia’s capital city of Zagreb is a study in contrasts. The cobblestone streets and towering buildings of the old city transport you to Croatia’s olden days, while attractions like the Museum of Contemporary Art maintain an urban vibe in Zagreb. Aside from taking in both the old world and the new, you can also escape the city’s bustle in green spaces like Maksimir Park, where you can pack a picnic and stroll through the forest, or Medvednica, a nearby mountain that offers hiking and cycling.
Spend a day on Plitvice Lakes
With 16 sparkling lakes that cascade into one another, Plitvice Lakes National Park is easily one of the most scenic spots in all of Croatia. This UNESCO World Heritage Site offers plenty of photo opportunities, with teal lakes, rolling waterfalls and lush greenery setting the scene for a relaxing day spent enjoying the natural wonders of Croatia. Pack your hiking shoes to explore the park via wooden walkways along the roaring falls.
See the Sea Organ in Zadar
The coastal city of Zadar offers a one-of-a-kind way to enjoy the beauty of the sea: through music. The Sea Organ may look like a run-of-the-mill boardwalk at first glance, but as waves roll against the pipes under the surface steps, the air is filled with the beautiful and relaxing sounds of the sea. Spend some time sitting on the steps and enjoying the tunes before exploring the cafes and ruins of Zadar.
(Main image: dyonis)