Where to go in Croatia: Which city and which region to choose?

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Valery Aloyants


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You don't know where to go in Croatia for your stay or your next road trip? It is true that this Balkan country alone concentrates landscapes as varied as each other. Between the seaside with its thousands of offshore islands, the mountains of the Dinaric Alps or even bustling and historic cities ... it's hard to make a choice! so here's a little tour of the country which presents the main characteristics of the different regions.

Go to central Croatia

Central Croatia is the most populous region, probably due to its relief. It is located at the junction of two geographical units, made up of the Alps and Slavonia. A region relatively preserved by history, central Croatia is rich in heritage from all eras. Thus, a Neanderthal site was discovered in this region. Finally, due to the density of its population, central Croatia has magnificent churches, all influenced by both the East and the West. It is especially the cities that are worth visiting. Renaissance and Baroque style, most of them contain real architectural gems!

The town of Sisak

Visit Zagreb

Capital and essential place to go in Croatia, Zagreb only began to expand in the XNUMXth century, despite its millennial existence. It is a medium-sized city and as such, it is much more relaxing than cities like Paris or London can be. There are various theaters, galleries and many museums in Zagreb.


The Croatian capital will convince you of its charms, especially when you take a seat on a flowered terrace. And why not have a drink in Saint Mark's Square, true heart of the city, from where you can admire the Saint-Marc church? Zagreb also has marvels of military architectures, such as Medvedgrad fortress or Lotrscak Tower. Finally, the baroque architecture of Gornji Grad will not fail to amaze you, with in particular the national theater, very often represented in photos ... or even the Palais des Bans, that is, the Palace of the Former Kings, in which the current President of the Republic of Croatia resides.

When to go to Zagreb? Check out the weather trends!

The National Theater

But Zagreb is also home to many cultural centers, like any capital worthy of the name. So, take advantage of your stay to visit the Mimara museum or the Zagreb city museum. The history of the capital will not fail to amaze you! The Technical Museum also offers impressive collections of old mines and old planes.

Located a hundred kilometers from Zagreb, Plitvice Lakes National Park is a must visit in Croatia. Unesco heritage, this place is a pure wonder of nature!

Discover Varazdin

In Varazdin, the Sermage Palace is a must visit. Now a museum (the Prassinsky Sermage Palace museum), he exhibits very beautiful art collections. Varazdin also has a historic district from the XNUMXth century, as well as a superb cathedral. The altar is decorated with paintings in rich flamboyant colors. Do not miss the Spancirfest, a street theater festival that attracts many visitors every year!


Explore Dalmatia

Dalmatia corresponds to the entire coastal region located along the Adriatic coast. The great feature of this coast is its rugged nature: it results in many islands, which make the reputation of the country. However, don't expect to find only long sandy beaches. Indeed, most of them are rocky, wild, like the islands of Brac or Vis.

Brac Island

It is indeed this free nature that makes the charm of the Dalmatian coasts. If you want more flexible beaches, meet in Cavtat, a small seaside resort located in South Dalmatia, as well as on Mljet Island. About 40 kilometers long, it is in fact a protected natural park which offers an idyllic setting for walking.


Getting to Split

Split, on the other hand, benefits from the UNESCO label. Indeed, its historic center has been classified and therefore it is an interesting place to go in Croatia. While walking there, it is possible to admire and visit the Diocletian's Palace (XNUMXth century). Don't miss either Saint Domnius Cathedral, the oldest preserved cathedral in the world, built on the mausoleum of Diocletian. Finally, not far from there, you can admire a superb sphinx. Stroll through its small narrow streets or along the Riva, Split's waterfront.


Partir admirer Dubrovnik

A beautiful medieval city, Dubrovnik preserves an architectural and cultural heritage damaged by the wars of the 90s. Dubrovnik therefore benefited from a restoration program coordinated by UNESCO, given that its historic center had already been classified in the 70s. You will thus discover a number of buildings, including the Franciscan monastery museum. Also enjoy the Ducal Palace or the cathedral.


Even without this formidable heritage, it would still be worth the detour, if only for the colors it offers: parks and gardens are dotted with green, a city dominated by yellow and red, with charming pink tiles. A truly picturesque town which shines far beyond its own ramparts and which has largely earned its title of Pearl of the Adriatic. Visit Dubrovnik out of season and enjoy this Mediterranean gem!

Walking in Trogir

Trogir is also worth a visit if you don't know where to go in Croatia. Although existing since antiquity, the city did not take off until the XNUMXth century, but what a boom! The best artists were born in this city and we still find today an architecture of the Romanesque and Renaissance period. Thus, you can walk along its ramparts, but also visit Saint Laurent cathedral (XNUMXth century), or the fortress of Kamerlengo (XNUMXth century) which was used to store the gold of Venice.


Explore Istria

Istria, located in the northeastern part of Croatia, is the most touristic region of the country. Isolated by the Ucka Massif, the region offers a concentrate of culture dating back to the time when the region was under the rule of Venice and Austria-Hungary. In Istria, therefore, both Croatian and Italian are spoken. Some cities are worth mentioning for the framework they offer:

  • Rovinj the artistic, with its small alleys, its Saint Euphémie cathedral (XNUMXth century), bodes well for beautiful walks. Head in particular to its beaches.
  • Similarly, Motovun will not fail to charm visitors in search of nature and authenticity. Built on the hillside, on the Istrian mountain, it dominates a vast valley as well as an immense forest.
  • In Porec, you can visit the Euphrasian Basilica, classified by UNESCO.
  • Last but not least, in Pula, the city has a jewel of weight: a superb ancient amphitheater, dating from the Vespasian period. It alone testifies to the importance of the city in ancient times. While walking through the city, you will nevertheless have the opportunity to find other traces of the Romans, with a magnificent Triumphal Arch dating from the same period.

Crisscross the Kvarner

Located on the other side of the Ucka mountains, it is probably the most Croatian region of the country. Indeed, by its position set back from the sea, it has been very little invaded (with the notorious exception of Rijeka), and it is mainly Croatian kings who have ruled this region. The castle of Trsat testifies in particular to the strong presence of Frankorpan. Note for lovers of architectural heritage: there are many fortifications to discover throughout the walks in the hinterland.

The castle of Trsat

Mountainous region if there is one, the Kvarner has climatic stations, the best known being probably Opatija. This city was the first seaside resort in Croatia, and it still has a number of hotels from the XNUMXth century. You can still go there to practice health tourism. The coastal area also allows to see many islands. Thus, in Crès, you can contemplate the sea at your leisure, but also stroll through a preserved medieval quarter. Rijeka is another town in Kvarner. Very close to the sea, it was the object of much envy, and in particular that of the Austrians who built the port and other administrative buildings.

The promenade of Opatija

What if you go on a road trip to the heart of Croatia?

Are you planning to go to Croatia? What regions appeal to you the most in this country? Tell us all in the comments!

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