Hidden Gems In Croatia That’ll Make You Wonder Why You Haven’t Visited Yet

Okay, first of all, this is a very affordable destination. But between its beautiful beaches with exciting snorkeling opportunities, its breathtaking national parks, and its delicious food, there really aren’t many reasons why you shouldn’t go.

Its Game of Thrones allure has increased its popularity, and more and more visitors are going every year. Better go sooner rather than later!

Beaches With Crystal Blue Water

croatia beach
Photo: @sun.sea.croatia / Instagram
Photo: @sun.sea.croatia / Instagram

Croatia is known for its pebbled beaches, which are framed with crystal clear water. One of the most well-known is Zlatni Rat, or the Golden Cape. The tip of the beach is always changing its shape thanks to the elements. However, if you’re missing out on sand, you’ll also find shallow sandy beaches like Sunj Beach on Lopud Island.

It’s Small But Mighty In Its History

Diocletian's Palace
Photo Credit: @nextreveal / Instagram
Photo Credit: @nextreveal / Instagram

Croatia has been colonized by the Greeks and Romans, who left their mark with ancient treasures like the preserved amphitheater in Pula, and the Diocletian’s Palace in the heart of Split. In fact, a lot of the beautiful historical sites are still used today as concert venues and cultural hubs.

You Can Pretend You’re In Game Of Thrones For A Day

King's Landing
Photo Credit: @rachellynne_bernal / Instagram
Photo Credit: @rachellynne_bernal / Instagram

Many tourism companies offer Game of Thrones walking tours in the country as a new and exciting way to experience King’s Landing in Dubrovnik, Split, and Trsteno. Some tours take you specifically to filming locations and show you dedicated souvenir shops where you could even sit on the Iron Throne!

You Get A Lot Of Value For Your Money

money
Photo Credit: alex holyoake / Unsplash
Photo Credit: alex holyoake / Unsplash

Even though Croatia has been a member of the EU since 2013, it kept its currency, the kuna. So one dollar equals about seven Croatian kunas. To put it in perspective, a beer at all but the trendiest bars in Hvar will only cost the equivalent of a couple of dollars.

Delicious Food For Every Palate

food
Photo Credit: adolfo felix / Unsplash
Photo Credit: adolfo felix / Unsplash

Croatian cuisine is varied, depending on the region you visit. There are different styles, including Dalmatian food, Istrian cuisine, and Continental Cuisine (influenced by its neighbors Hungary, Italy, and Turkey).

By the coast, you’ll find fresh seafood, while traditional meals incorporate a lot of meat like lamb, veal, pork, and prosciutto. Make sure you try Cevapcici, which are basically delicious small sausages.

You Can Get Freshly Produced Wine With A View

wine
Photo Credit: kym ellis / Unsplash
Photo Credit: kym ellis / Unsplash

Croatia is home to at least 130 native grape varieties. Many of its wineries offer wine tours in beautiful trails. Some recommendations include the blond Malvasia and the ruby red Teran in Istria. Many wines from the country have won some rather prestigious awards in recent years.

If You’re A Coffee Lover, You’ll Find Coffee Heaven In Zagreb

Bijela kava
Photo Credit: @zenskisvijet / Instagram
Photo Credit: @zenskisvijet / Instagram

Locals take their coffee very seriously in places like Zagreb. It’s part of their culture as it’s where friends meet, people get hired, favors are asked, etc. You can try to order a Bijela kava, a white coffee made with an espresso shot and lots of warm milk, at one of the many cafés around the city.

You Can Visit A Very Quirky Museum: The Museum Of Broken Relationships

The Museum of Broken Relationships
Photo Credit: @bookmarkbelles / Instagram
Photo Credit: @bookmarkbelles / Instagram

This museum is located in Zagreb. Basically, it displays seemingly mundane and insignificant objects that actually somehow contributed to or are relevant to failed relationships with a caption. It explores the “love, pain, drama, irony, humor and reconciliation” of break-ups.

You Can Have Water Play Music For You With The Sea Organ

waterfall
Photo Credit: @jonatan pie / Instagram
Photo Credit: @jonatan pie / Instagram

You’ll find historic churches and Roman ruins in Zadar that are complemented with cool modern art installations. For example, the Sea Organ transforms waterside waves into melodies! It’s accompanied by the Sun Salutation, which creates light show visualizations of the Sea Organ’s melodies.

Plitvice Lakes National Park Is A Sight To See

Plitvice Lakes National Park
Photo Credit: kyrenian / Unsplash
Photo Credit: kyrenian / Unsplash

It is located only two hours from the city of Zagreb and is considered to be one of the most beautiful national parks in the world. This is thanks to its turquoise lake that contrast with its bright green moss. It has paved paths to make walking through it a breeze.

You Can Bop To The Beat At Its Music Scene

Ultra Europe
Photo Credit: @festival.mood / Instagram
Photo Credit: @festival.mood / Instagram

Croatia has quickly become a favorite for festival-goers and has hosted world-class festivals such as Ultra Europe, Outlook, Sonus, and Fresh Island Festival.

The festivals draw large crowds in the summer, and most take place right on the beach, which gives lots of space for dancing. If you love to party, you’ll also find boat parties and beach bashes.

It Offers Incredible Diving Opportunities

diving
Photo Credit: sebastian pena lambarri / Unsplash
Photo Credit: sebastian pena lambarri / Unsplash

Thanks to its clear waters, Croatia offers some of the best diving opportunities for all ages and levels of expertise. Not only can you see colorful sea life, but you can also discover sunken chips and Greek amphorae. Most towns and resorts will have diving clubs.

Why Not Try Some Island Hopping?

island
Photo Credit: hrvoje klaric / Unsplash
Photo Credit: hrvoje klaric / Unsplash

Island hopping is a great way to explore by sailing boats or catamarans, but it’s also a great opportunity to use kayaks. The Elaphiti Islands are quite close to each other and can be easily accessible by kayaks.

There are more than 1,000 islands that dot Croatia’s long coastline, most of them uninhabited, so take your pick!

The City Of Dubrovnik Will Leave You Breathless

Dubrovnik
Photo Credit: @visit_eastern_europe / Instagram
Photo Credit: @visit_eastern_europe / Instagram

There is a reason this city is dubbed the “Pearl of the Adriatic.” The best way to experience it is to get on top of the city’s walls. They go around the Old Town, covering a distance 1.2 miles, and give the most breathtaking view of the city’s beauty.

Get Fresh Produce At Its Markets

market
Photo Credit: gary butterfield / Unsplash
Photo Credit: gary butterfield / Unsplash

Markets are a key feature in the main cities of Zagreb, Split, and Dubrovnik. They are full of everything from fresh produce to wines and spirits, and you can even find some of the best honeys and olive oils. The best part is it’s all locally cultivated and packaged. You can also find more specialized fish markets.

Calling All Fashion People To Croatia, The Birthplace Of The Necktie

necktie
Photo Credit: lestriconautes / Unsplash
Photo Credit: lestriconautes / Unsplash

Bet you didn’t know that Croatia is the birthplace of the necktie. Now it’s now home to adventurous creators of contemporary fashion. Zagreb, especially downtown, is the fashion hub. In it, you’ll find new wave designs including contemporary wear and funky accessories.

You Can Go Back In Time To Experience Old-World Glamour In Opatija

Opatija
Photo Credit: @milinni_ / Instagram
Photo Credit: @milinni_ / Instagram

“During the Austro-Hungarian empire, Opatija was the playground for European royalty. Beautiful villas stand as a testament to a time when the capital of the empire, Vienna, emptied in the summer and the Viennese arrived to enjoy the refreshing winds and sea of the Gulf of Kvarner,” says Wanda S. Radetti, World Top Travel Specialist for Croatia.

You Can Find The Original Stones That Made The White House

Brac island
Photo Credit: @timotej / Instagram
Photo Credit: @timotej / Instagram

The island of Brac is famous for its beautiful white stone. Back in the day, it was used in the construction of Diocletian’s Palace, but more recently, it was used for the White House in Washington, DC.

You can reach this island by car by getting on the ferry from Split or Makarska, and be sure to explore the interior. You’ll find the island is also home to dozens of abandoned villages.

Hum—The Smallest City In The World

hum
Photo Credit: @7e.mania7 / Instagram
Photo Credit: @7e.mania7 / Instagram

Croatia is also home to the smallest city in the world. The city is called Hum, which is almost a muted sounded, how fitting. Although it is home to just about 24 people, it still counts officially as a city.

The Real Hidden Gems Are The Friendly Locals

locals
Photo Credit: davor denkovski / Unsplqwh
Photo Credit: davor denkovski / Unsplqwh

You’ll want to get to know the locals because they are some pretty friendly people. This is rooted in their mixed culture from places like Hungary, Austria, Venice, and the Mediterranean. The people are said to be warm and social, with a huge passion for soccer, style, family, and food.