The most beautiful cities of Croatia
Croatia has taken the best that European nature and civilization could give to the world. Transparent waters of the Adriatic washed the clearest beaches, cozy bays and rocky shores covered with thickets of age-old pines. The Plitvice Cascade Lakes, waterfalls of Krka National Park, healing thermal springs, and deposits of medicinal oil attract admirers of natural beauties and ecotourism. Croatian cities allure travelers no less: ancient medieval fortresses, marble palaces and churches, narrow paved streets and tiled roofs strike the imagination at first sight.
Top 10 most beautiful cities in Croatia
The most beautiful cities in Croatia can’t be named offhand: they’re all beautiful in their own way. Dubrovnik and Split are literally imbued with the spirit of the Middle Ages and authentic atmosphere: it is not for nothing that they became the setting for the famous TV series “Game of Thrones”. In the country’s capital, Zagreb, you can get lost in a maze of tangled streets, and then be surprised to find yourself at a rowdy party in a trendy hipster bar. Rovinj’s colorful houses bring travelers to the Mediterranean coast of Italy, and in Pula you can see the Coliseum in the true Croatian style. Tired of the hustle and bustle, you should head to Hum, officially the smallest city in the world.
- Dubrovnik is one of the three most beautiful cities in Europe.
- Pula – the Colosseum of Croatia
- Hvar – a picturesque beach resort
- Zadar – fantastic and technologically advanced
- Split – full of history
- Motovun – the truffle kingdom
- Trogir – small and cozy
- Rovinj – the most Italian in Croatia
- Zagreb – elegant and bustling
- Hum – the smallest city in the world
Dubrovnik – top of the list
Dubrovnik is not known as the Pearl of the Adriatic for nothing and is considered the main tourist magnet. According to UNESCO, it is one of the three most beautiful and best preserved European cities of the Renaissance period, second only to Venice and Amsterdam. Everything is beautiful here: the turquoise transparent Adriatic Sea, dizzying architectural monuments, cobblestone sidewalks of the winding streets of the old city, interesting cathedrals, palaces and fortresses. Fans of “Game of Thrones” series know the city as King’s Landing: for many years there have been fascinating tours of the filming locations of the iconic story.
Among the top popular places is the pedestrian street Stradun, which every self-respecting tourist must visit. Small, about 300 m long, it connects the castle walls, and the cobblestone sidewalk here is polished to a shine by hundreds of thousands of feet. Despite the fact that the street appeared in the XII century, it acquired its modern look only in the late Renaissance. The reason for this was a devastating earthquake in 1667, which destroyed many architectural monuments of antiquity.
At the beginning of Stradun is the hallmark of Dubrovnik – the Franciscan monastery, which combines Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance elements. One cannot ignore the monumental Rector’s Palace, the working residence of the princes, built in the XV century. An interesting legend is connected with the cathedral of Virgin Mary: it is believed that the money for its construction was given by the famous Richard the Lionheart. Like many others, the building suffered during the earthquake and after reconstruction it acquired baroque features.
Pula – a must for fans of antiquity
Pula has the status of the oldest city of Croatia on the Adriatic coast: the findings of archaeologists date back to the last era. The heyday of the settlement has reached during the Roman rule, although mentions of it can be found in the myths about the Argonauts: it is believed that they founded Pula during the journey. No wonder that today the town is a tourist magnet for lovers of antiquity.
The main treasure is the arena or amphitheater of Pula, reminiscent of the Roman Colosseum. The structure was erected in the I century AD and is the sixth largest ancient amphitheater in the world. Next in popularity, but not in beauty, are the Temple of Augustus, the Hercules’ Gate and the Triumphal Arch of Sergius, built in III-I centuries of the last era. You can admire the beauty of Pula from the observation deck of Kaštel castle, dating back to XIV century.
Hvar – interesting and beautiful
Hvar is the sunniest, longest and most picturesque island in the Adriatic. Nature has rewarded it with cozy picturesque bays shrouded in lavender scents. The island’s capital of the same name is included in the UN list of historic cities of the Mediterranean.
A must-see is the 16th century St. Stephen’s Cathedral with its bell tower, which offers a mesmerizing view of the surrounding area. Hvar is home to Europe’s oldest public theater of the same era and an interesting Franciscan monastery. The city is also famous for its vibrant nightlife: restaurants and nightclubs, where the parties do not stop until morning, the city is abundant.
Zadar – museums and eclectic
Zadar is an interesting option for fans of eclecticism. The ruins of Ancient Roman buildings, colorful houses of the XIX century and the central square in the spirit of the Renaissance are surprisingly combined here. The bell tower of the Church of the Holy Trinity stands out against the tiled roofs, and the Romanesque Church of the Virgin Mary is also worth a visit.
One can admire all this splendor by climbing up to the observation deck of the main City Tower. Zadar’s museums are known all over the country: the Maritime Museum, the National Museum, and the Ethnological Museum. On the waterfront there is a fantastic “Sea organ” and a contact dance floor: in general, it is better to see it once.
Split is a must for top tourist destinations
Split is Croatia’s second largest city and one of the most beautiful: its Old Town is under UNESCO protection. The splendid Diocletian’s Palace is considered to be the country’s calling card and one of its main attractions. The building, which looks more like a small town and covers an area of 3 hectares, was built during the heyday of the Roman Empire.
The palace is made of the famous white limestone which was quarried on the island of Brac. Interestingly, the same material was used to clad the White House in Washington. Also for the decoration of the palace were brought sphinxes from Egypt, and from Turkey – precious marble. Inside the castle, one can climb the bell tower of St. Duje, the observation deck of which offers a panorama of a fairy-tale town with tiled roofs, frozen against the azure sea. One of the main natural attractions, the Vranjace Cave, an underground kingdom of intricate mazes, is situated 15 km from Split. You can combine sightseeing with a beach holiday and in the evening go to a boisterous party on the picturesque central promenade.
Motovun is the truffle capital of Croatia
The small town of Motovun, with a population of barely a thousand, captivates travelers with its slightly gloomy charm. Its austere, time-darkened stone houses behind the ramparts form narrow, intricate streets, unspoiled by excessive tourist tinsel. Wandering through its quiet streets, where half-light always reigns, it’s as if you are immersed in the Middle Ages.
Despite its outward austerity, the soul of Motovun is surprisingly hospitable: the locals are distinguished by an extraordinary cordiality. Every October, there’s a truffle festival during which they hunt the delicacy mushrooms with dogs: pigs are kept away from such a valuable product. Motovun has even received the unofficial title of the “truffle capital” for its unusual festival. This is a great opportunity for tourists to try this rare delicacy for a fraction of the price. To burn off the accumulated calories, you can take a walk up the longest staircase in Istria, numbering 1,052 stairs.
Trogir – cozy and atmospheric
Trogir is a very cozy city with a soul of its own. The old town, like everywhere else in Croatia, consists of a labyrinth of cobblestone streets, surrounded by stone houses with tiled roofs, medieval castles, cathedrals and palaces.
Walking around here, it’s interesting to wander into a random courtyard where, against the ancient stone walls, residents break flower gardens or dry laundry. For tourists and their own entertainment, the townspeople often put on impromptu theater performances, parades and just parties, which further enhances the soulful atmosphere that reigns here.
Rovinj – a fairy tale with an Italian flavor
Situated in Istria, on an archipelago of 22 islands, Rovinj captivates with its cozy atmosphere, abundance of sites and the fusion of all possible eras in architecture. The town was founded as far back as the 7th century: the typical labyrinth of medieval streets, houses in Italian style and hundreds of types of exquisite window shutters create a unique and colorful atmosphere.
The old center with the main attractions is concentrated on a small peninsula. The dominant feature is the 57-meter high tower of St. Eufimia Church that can be seen from every part of the town. Its observation deck offers a beautiful view of the terracotta roofs and the rich blue sea: a sight worthy of the most pretentious tourists. The panorama opens up truly fabulous: it is not for nothing that the famous writer Jules Verne chose Rovinj as a prototype for the scene of his novels. Rovinj is also rich in festivities: in August there is the colorful Rovinj Fair, and in September the regatta and pilgrimage to St. Eufimia Church – both events attract thousands of sportsmen and believers.
Zagreb – Croatia’s famous capital
The capital of Croatia, Zagreb, is considered the largest city of the country, but by European standards it is rather compact: you can walk around all the important places in one day. It is worth to prefer walking: it allows you to get a little lost in the narrow streets of the Upper Town, seeing beautiful parks and palaces on the way.
It is impossible to pass by St. Stephen’s Cathedral, where since the XIII century representatives of the higher ecclesiastical and aristocratic nobility were buried. Nearby are the Bishop’s Palace and the Franciscan monastery, both founded in the same era. The Gothic Church of St. Mark, which stands out for its architectural rigor, also attracts attention. The main secular attractions are the Presidential Residence and the Parliament nearby. The pedestrian streets are particularly charming, flanked by cozy cafes and souvenir stores. It is worth a visit to authentic bars and cafes, where the local youth gather, or taverns serving freshly caught in the Adriatic Sea delicacies. Fans of shopping will also be pleased with the trip: outlet stores and shopping malls offer things by European brands with good discounts.
Hum – a Croatian record holder
Croatia has the world’s smallest city: officially, Hum is home to only 27 people, including the mayor. Hum was founded on the ruins of an old fortress in the XI century.
In those years, the settlement consisted of Hum Castle and a number of houses around it. Since then nothing has changed here, the citizens of the XXI century live in medieval scenery. It is a monument city with houses made of cobblestones blackened by time. The frescoes of the XII century which are considered to be one of the most significant in Istria, have been wonderfully preserved inside the buildings.
Top 15 the most beautiful places of Croatia
With more than 1,000 islands, with its crazy music and light festivals, impressive, rugged cliffs, and coastlines washed by the clearest and cleanest waters in the Mediterranean, Croatia is a tempting place for a summer vacation. Its incredible nature, stunning culture and mesmerizing architecture can be enjoyed all year round.
Huge tourist and recreational potential of Croatia allows to find an itinerary for all tastes. Here we have gathered 15 incredibly beautiful places to visit in Croatia in this unique, exquisite country.
Plitvice Lakes National Park
A cascade of waterfalls and a number of lakes with crystal clear blue water – all this is Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia. An exotic paradise with more than 160 species of birds, brown bears, squirrels and wolves. A lot of wooden paths will lead you through the most picturesque places, which, no doubt, you will want to capture in a photo. The park is included in the list of sites protected by UNESCO, so here you will not see garbage or other harm to nature. Your vacation in an ecologically clean place will be as comfortable as possible.
Read more about this unique place on our website topcafe.su in this interesting article.
Stradun, Dubrovnik’s main street
This place is also known to tourists under the name of Plasa. Stradun is one of the most famous and picturesque streets in the historic center of Dubrovnik. It is 300 metres long and connects the walls of the old town. A walk along the limestone paved road will present an unbelievable pleasure to all aesthetes, because all the houses, stores and coffee houses there are designed in the same style.
In general, the city of Dubrovnik is so unique, that this is the subject of a separate article. We could talk about its attractions for a long time. Therefore, within the framework of this article, we will not describe them, but suggest those who are interested to look at them on the most-beauty.ru website by clicking on the link.
Amphitheater of Pula – Pula Arena
The Pula Arena is one of the largest surviving Roman amphitheaters in the world. It is the sixth largest Roman amphitheater in terms of size. At the time when the amphitheater was used as an arena for gladiatorial battles, its capacity was 23 thousand people. Nowadays it is the center of cultural life of the city, a site of many events, exhibitions and concerts, including the Pula Film Festival in July.
Monuments from the Venetian era, fields of lavender and a beautiful harbor – this is Hvar, a bright, sunny and glamorous place among all that can be found in Croatia. Hvar has magnificent natural conditions for tourism and recreation: pristine nature and small pebble beaches with clear waters. The natural charm of Hvar Town attracts affluent travelers with its picturesque streets, chic restaurants and great photo locations. And excursions to ancient monasteries and temples will help you learn more about Croatian history and culture.
Diocletian’s Palace, Split
Diocletian’s Palace covers more than half of the Old Town (its area is about 31,000 m²). It is rightly considered to be one of the best preserved Roman ruins. Today, approximately 3,000 people live in the marble complex. In this area you can visit more than 220 buildings and many bars, stores, coffee shops. The palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is interesting to note that in 2013-2014, several episodes of the popular series “Game of Thrones” were filmed in the Palace.
Dubrovnik (view from above) – Dubrovnik from above
The best views of the city are from above! It takes just over 40 minutes to get to the top of Mount Srdj by cable car, and from there, from a huge platform with excellent infrastructure, the view is simply gorgeous. There is also a museum, a cross in memory of the bombing of Dubrovnik by the Serbian army, many cafes and restaurants.
Zlatni Rat beach, Brac
Beautiful beach with unusual shape of Zlatni Rat horns on island Brac can change its shape depending on the current. The white pebble beach, surrounded by pine trees, turns into a bright blue Adriatic Sea, which makes it a great place for all kinds of surfing. The western fringes of the beach are the favorite place of naturists.
Located in the depths of the bay an important maritime and commercial center, Mali Lošinj is the largest island town in the Adriatic. It is known not only for the fresh sea air and beautiful harbor, but also for the elegant Mediterranean architecture. The tourist infrastructure began to develop here at the end of the twentieth century, and reached the level of the world’s best resorts.
The Istrian peninsula, which is shaped like a drop, is also an interesting tourist destination. On its west coast the lovely town of Rovinj is situated. Dense cluster of cobblestone streets, magnificent squares and buildings in Venetian style make Rovinj one of the most attractive and cozy cities in Croatia. Its beautiful, postcard-perfect Old Town is crowded with glamorous bars, coffee shops restaurants and galleries, while in the harbor chic yachts line up with old fishing boats.
View of Zadar waterfront
The vibrant and memorable city of Zadar, decorated with the most modern art installations and a scattering of monuments, is a place where vacationers fall in love. However, appreciate this city for something else. The Zadar coastline is a unique attraction of Croatia. Here on the waterfront you can hear the incredible sounds. You may think you are at an organ music concert, but you are not. Topcafe.su also advises to pay attention to the monument of modern architecture – the Sea organ. The huge construction of 35 pipes of different diameter and length combined with the power of the coastal waves will play you an unforgettable melody.
The central historical part of Trogir – Historic City of Trogir
Surrounded by medieval walls and protected by UNESCO the historic city of Trogir is located on a small island and is a treasure trove of Romanesque, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Here the most fashionable bars and restaurants of Croatia compete for the best location in the center. At the same time, numerous outdoor cafes, which seduce visitors with fresh pastries and delicious coffee, are located along the long pedestrian streets and a wide coastal line, from where the magnificent scenery opens up.
Kornati Archipelago – Kornati Islands
The Kornati Archipelago is a holidaymaker’s paradise. The largest and most developed island is Kornati. Difficult to access, but picturesque, it always attracts crowds of tourists. The most interesting is its southern side, where are the slopes of Rasip and Mana, crevasses, numerous bays, as well as the amazing natural parks of Croatia.
Stiniva Beach, Vis Island
Included in the list of the best beaches in Europe “Best Beach in Europe 2016”, compiled by European Best Destinations. Stiniva on Vis Island is a secluded white bay sandwiched between high rocky cliffs and clear turquoise waters only found in nature. It is located near the village of Žužec, where several picturesque paths easily lead to the beach.
Such bays are not uncommon here. On topcafe.su there is a fascinating article about the top 7 fascinating grottoes in Croatia.
The amazing Visovac Monastery with centuries of history is located on a tiny island in the middle of a lake within the Croatian national park of Krka. Undoubtedly, it is an architectural structure that is definitely worth seeing. This is a truly sacred place, where a tourist can rest his soul. Here you can see unique collections of paintings and historical relics.
The fortified city of Motovun
Hundreds and thousands of people visiting Croatia tend to spend time on the beaches and marvelous coastline, but few know that there is much more than beautiful scenery to see inland. One such place is Motovun, a strange walled ancient town perched on a hilltop and hidden in a thicket of bushes. This town is characterized by many stories and legends about the giant patrons, their way of life and the wars in which they participated. In the center of this town is the longest staircase in Istria – it has 1,052 steps.
Thus, every tourist can find in this wonderful country itinerary, according to their preferences in recreation. Well, the fans of “Game of Thrones” simply have no right to leave Croatia without visiting the main filming locations of the favorite TV series. Among the most famous are: Minceta Tower (the walls of Dubrovnik) – used to depict the Chamber of the Immortal; Kaštel Gomilica; Diocletian’s Palace in Partition; and Dubrovnik Old Town and the surrounding city that illustrated King’s Landing, Qarth and the Bay of Workers.
We showed only a small part of all the beautiful places in Croatia, but we still have many beautiful pictures to show you.
Split is a very beautiful city that we forgot to mention in the main article. It is located on a peninsula and is one of the main attractions of the country. You can find out about the most beautiful places in Split on topcafe.su.