Croatia - The Top 10 General Attractions - Global Storybook

Croatia: The Top 10 General Attractions

Ivan Pavković

Ivan Pavković

Ivan Pavković is the Local Contributing Writer at Global Storybook (Croatia).

Pozdrav! My name is Ivan and I live in Zagreb. I am currently studying Finance at the University of Zagreb. In my spare time, I am also a Freelance Writer and a Digital Marketer.

You can describe me as a tech enthusiast who loves to watch and play sports (basketball and football mostly) and loves to watch movies (comedies and thrillers).

Croatia may be small but it has a lot to offer. I will do my best to prove it through my articles!
Ivan Pavković

Despite Croatia’s seemingly small size – it has a lot to offer.  A number of cities in Croatia have a long and fascinating history, full of ancient traditions that date back to the Roman times.  Stunning, unspoiled nature, more than a thousand gorgeous islands, indented shores are just a few main things that characterize the country’s beauty today.  In this article, I will guide you through some of the prime attractions that you should not miss on your visit to Croatia.

Plitvička Jezera National Park

One of the most popular sights in Croatia is the Plitvička Jezera National Park, known in English as Plitvice Lakes.  Its good geographic location allows you to reach the park from Zagreb or Rijeka in one hour drive.  Upon stepping inside the Plitvice Lakes, you can enjoy the magical beauty of its 16 lakes with cascading waterfalls.  Which is also one of the main reasons why this stunning park was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.

Another great way to experience Plitvice Lakes is by a boat or a panoramic train.  Anyone who loves active holidays will like it here, since one can go hiking in the Summer and skiing in the Winter.

In addition, visitors can enjoy some authentic regional delicacies at the Lika House, Borja or the Poljana restaurants.  For the closest accommodation, search the nearby places, which are only a few kilometers away from the Plitvice Lakes National Park.

  • Address: Plitvička Jezera, Ličko-Senjska županija
  • Time required: 2-6 hours
  • Hours of operation: 7:00am – 8:00pm
  • Price: 30-180 HRK, based on age and season
  • Official website: http://www.np-plitvicka-jezera.hr/en/

Krka National Park

The Krka National Park is located between Skradin and Šibenik.  This Park is open to visitors all year round and offers a large number of engaging activities, including well-kept hiking trails, a 3-km long bicycle lane which stretches from Skradinski Most to Skradinski Buk, plus boat excursions.

The most famous sights inside the Krka National Park are its amazing waterfalls – Skradinski Buk and Roški Slap.  You can also watch a demonstration of some old ethnic traditions at the Vodenice, which dates back to the 19th century.

Make sure to try one of the Croatian specialties in one of the numerous restaurants inside the Park.  Unfortunately, there are no accommodations on site and camping is forbidden, though private apartments can be found a few kilometers away from the park, around Šibenik and Skradin.

  • Address: Lozovac, Šibensko-Kninska županija
  • Time required: 2-6 hours
  • Hours of operation: 8:00am – 8:00pm
  • Price: 30-200 HRK, based on age and season
  • Official website: http://www.np-krka.hr/en/

Dubrovnik’s Old Town

Dubrovnik is located in the Southern region of Croatia.  It is surrounded by 3 Elafites – the islands of Lopud, Lokrum and Koločep, near Trsteno and Orašac.  The city was founded in the 7th century, though its baroque styles dates to the 17th century.

Since Dubrovnik is under UNESCO’s protection, the entire city is a one grand, open-air museum.  The most popular cultural monuments are certainly the Palace of the Rector, the City Walls, the Lovrijenac, the Orlandi Column, the St. Ignatius Fortress, as well as numerous others.  On Stradun (the main street in Dubrovnik), a traveler will find anything that he or she can dream of – from interesting shops and souvenirs, to numerous delicious and authentic restaurants.

Stradun is also one of the main veins where numerous entertainment and nightlife options are.  Some of its most popular clubs are the Latino Club Fuego and the Culture Club Revelin, where a number of famous DJs play music all night long, especially during the Summer.

In addition, if you will have an opportunity, try to attend one of the city’s popular events, such as the Dubrovnik Summer Games, held between the 10th of July and the 25th of August (in 2018), or the Dubrovnik International Film Festival where you might have a chance to meet some famous movie or music stars.

Paklenica National Park

Located only 45 km away from Zadar and Karlobag, there is the beautiful Paklenica National Park.  Although it’s one of the smallest national parks in the country, it has a lot to offer for its tiny size.  To get the full experience of Paklenica, and its amazing flora and fauna, you can go on a hike along its numerous trails, or even ride a bicycle on one of its 200km long lanes.

Besides, the Paklenica Mill, the Manita Peć Cave, the Educational Center of Mala Paklenica, as well as the Ethno-House Marasović are definitely worth a visit too.  Also, be sure to check out Lugarnica, a forest house located 400 meters above the sea level, along the main path of Velika Paklenica.

To complete your experience, do not forget to stop by the Camp National Park, which is a must-see for any adventurers, plus families with children, because of its stunning beach side.

  • Address: NP Paklenica, 23244 Starigrad-Paklenica, Zadarska županija
  • Time required: 2-6 hours
  • Hours of operation: 8:00am – 8:00pm
  • Price: 50 HRK
  • Official website: http://www.np-paklenica.hr/en/

Pula Arena (Pulski Amfiteatar)

Pula Arena is one of the best-preserved ancient monuments in Croatia, which dates back to the Roman times.  The famous Roman emperor August built this arena around the 1st century AD.  It could seat over 26,000 spectators at the time of its completion.

The Arena was widely used for the gladiator and animal fights and there was no entrance fee.  It’s worth mentioning also that its seating arrangement was divided by a strict social hierarchy of wealth, reputation and status during those times.

At the beginning of the 5th century, gladiator fights were banned permanently and as the result the amphitheater was slowly abandoned.  After the Romans left, it became a public property.  Many centuries later, it is still one of the favorite attractions of travelers, artists, and architects alike, in Croatia.

Nowadays, this amphitheater hosts a large number of festivals and concerts, though mostly during the Summer, due to its lack of cover.  You can visit it anytime during its operating hours, as well as walk around the entire place.  So if you ever find yourself around the town of Pula, be sure to stop by this fascinating historic sight.

  • Address: Flavijevska ul., 52100 Pula, Istarska županija
  • Time required: 1.5-2 hours
  • Hours of operation: 8:00am – 9:00pm
  • Price: 40 HRK
  • Official website: http://www.pulainfo.hr

Diocletian’s Palace (Dioklecijanova Palača)

The Diocletian’s Palace is located in Split.  The Roman emperor Diocletian, built it here as his retirement home.  Hence he spent his last years living in this palace.  After his death the Romans left, and the Palace became desolated for several centuries.

In the 7th century, the local residents fled to this palace to escape and hide from the invading barbarians.  Since that time the Palace has remained occupied.  A large number of locals made it their home, and have also set up their own businesses within the palace, its basement quarters, and even inside its walls.

As of today, numerous shops, restaurants, and even some homes, can still be found within its walls.  The Palace is located near the Split’s city center, and it’s one of the most fascinating things to see in Split.

  • Address: Dioklecijanova ul. 1, 21000 Split, Splitsko-Dalmatinska županija
  • Time required: 1-3 hours
  • Hours of operation: 8:00am – 9:00pm
  • Price: 80 HRK

The Town of Hvar 

In addition to Starigrad and Jelsa located on the island of Hvar, its largest city is also called by the same name – Hvar.  This town is rich in cultural heritage and has a lot of interesting, historic monuments, though it’s also one of the favorite places for the young people who like to party.

Some of the must-see sights in Hvar are the Fortica Fortress, the Hvar Cathedral, the Hvar Theater, the Franciscan monastery, as well as the Benedictine monastery.  On the Hvarska Riva (the main street) and the St. Stephen’s Square you can also find a large number of restaurants offering rich gastronomic delights.

Some say that this city never sleeps and you can easily spend an entire night out in clubs, such as the Carpe Diem, Venerand, Hula Huli and Kiva Bar.  And that is one of the main reasons why many young people from all over the world flock to Hvar during the Summer.  For those who prefer a quieter holiday, the town of Hvar offers numerous musical and folklore performances, which are often held in beautiful venues outside, in the open.

  • Address: Hvar city, island of Hvar, Splitsko- Dalmatinska županija
  • Time required: 4-8 hours (to visit the city center)
  • Hours of operation: 24/7
  • Price: free
  • Official website: http://www.tzhvar.hr/en/

Vransko Lake (Vransko Jezero

One of the most mysterious natural phenomena of Croatia can be found in the Vransko Lake, located on the island of Cres.  This lake is famous for the fact that though it’s a freshwater lake, its bottom is below the sea level, where the sweet and salty water usually do not mix.  The lake is located in the center of Cres, and it shouldn’t be confused with the Vrana Lake (Vransko jezero) located near Biograd and Sibenik.

When visiting the Vransko Lake on the island of Cres, you will not only be able to enjoy the beauty of the Mediterranean vegetation, but also see a lot of birds, because this place is famous for its ornithological value.  There’s also a special gem for the adventurous kind – you will be thrilled by an opportunity to see an enchanted castle located at the bottom of this 76 meters deep lake.

To this day, there are numerous myths and legends which surround the Vransko Lake.  You can learn them from the local residents – while visiting some traditional restaurants, or staying in one of the apartments in the nearby town of Cres.

  • Address: Vransko jezero, Cres, Primorsko-goranska županija
  • Time required: 2-4 hours
  • Hours of operation: 8:00am – 4:00pm
  • Price: 40 HRK
  • Official website: http://www.pp-vransko-jezero.hr/en/

Zadar’s Sea Organ (Zadarske Morske Orgulje) and The Greeting to the Sun (Pozdrav Suncu)

The modern icon of the city of Zadar is the famous Sea Organ, a unique architectural wonder that was recently built below the sea level.  The sea waves, streaming and passing through the musical pipes located in the water, create an incredible sound, a so-called “sea music”.

At the very top of Zadar’s peninsula, there’s an interesting monument, made by the same architect, Nikola Bašić, and built in the same year.  The “Greetings to the Sun” as it’s called, consists of three hundred multilayers of glass panels, arranged in a 22 meter diameter, set on a foot level.  This represents all the planets of the Sun’s system and their paths.  Zadar is famous for its beautiful sunset, which is one of the main reasons why it was built here in the first place.

  • Address: Obale kralja Petra Krešimira IV, Zadar 23000, Zadarska županija
  • Time required: 1-2 hours
  • Hours of operation: 24/7
  • Price: free

Brijuni National Park

If you ever visit Pula, Poreč, Rovinj or any other part of the Istria region, then you must stop by the beautiful Brijuni National Park.  Brijuni had been favored by the former Yugoslavian president, Josip Broz Tito, who had built a Summer Residence there.

In the recent years, this place has become a popular destination for sailors, who are often accommodated on the St. Nicolas Bay, courtesy of the park’s concierge service staff.  Though anyone who reaches the island via public transportation will find a ton of fun, sport-related activities, such as golf and tennis.  There is also an amazing safari park which you can explore by hopping on a scenic train ride, available here.

As to the accommodations in Brijuni – you can stay in one of the local villas or hotels, or even rent an apartment in the nearest town, Pula.

Brijuni National Park, Croatia - Global Storybook

  • Address: Brijuni, Istarska županija
  • Time required: 2-6 hours
  • Hours of operation: 8:00am – 9:00pm
  • Price: 125-200 HRK
  • Official website: http://www.np-brijuni.hr/en/

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