Like much of Europe, Croatia is a place filled with medieval cities and historic ruins, and over the years, it has become increasingly popular among those looking for beautiful natural attractions to go along with their historical tourist stops.
Whether you’re looking to visit all of the locations you saw featured in Game of Thrones, or you want to visit a museum dedicated to failed relationships, Croatia has just what you’re looking for.
The Blue Cave
The Blue Cave, sometimes referred to as the Blue Grotto, is a waterlogged sea cave on the island of Bisevo that—you guessed it—is extremely blue. At a certain time of day, the sunlight hits the sea surface through an opening, creating a reflection on the surface of the water that fills the whole cave with iridescent blue light.
The Zadar Sea Organ is surprisingly exactly what it sounds like: a musical instrument played by the sea. The architectural sound installation plays music by way of sea waves interacting with tubes located underneath the large marble steps.
Situated on the border between Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina, the Zeljava Airbase is an underground airport and military base that sits under the Plješevica mountain. It was once the largest underground airport but is now left to the elements.
Gregory Of Nin’s Big Toe
You can take in the entirety of Gregory of Nin when you go to visit him in Split, but what you really want to focus on is his big toe. Croatians are taught from an early age that rubbing Gregory’s toes will grant them their wish, and he has been credited with births, weddings, and riches.
Stiniva beach was voted Europe’s Best Beach in 2019 thanks to the pebbled shores and clear waters surrounded by amazing cliffs. Located on Vis Island, the beach can be accessed by boat or by hiking a 20-minute trail down to it.
Monument To the Revolution
The full name of this monument is the “Monument to the Revolution of the people of Moslavina.” The monument, located in Podgaric, is one of Croatia’s World War II monuments. The monument was commissioned by Yugoslavia’s long-time dictator Tito, who ordered the creation of a number of monuments at World War II sites.
It looks just like the Colosseum, but to see this Roman amphitheater, you’ll have to go a little way east from Italy. The Pula Arena is one of the six largest surviving Roman arenas left in the world and is the only remaining amphitheater to have four side towers and all three architectural orders entirely preserved.
St. Nicholas Fortress
St. Nicholas Fortress is considered to be one of the most valuable and best-preserved examples of defensive architecture in Dalmatia. In 1979, it was completely abandoned by the military and has been undergoing renovations and restoration since then. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017.
The Town Of Hum
Considered to be the smallest town in the world, the town of Hum has 30 inhabitants in total. It’s less than 20 kilometers from Buzet and can be accessed by car, bus, or even on foot if you want to get the best view of the sights.
Zagreb’s Museum Of Broken Relationships
If you’ve already given up on love and are looking for other like-minded people, Zagreb’s Museum of Broken Relationships is just the place for you. The museum is dedicated to failed relationships and is filled with personal objects of former lovers accompanied by brief descriptions.
Plitvice Lakes National Park
Beyond monuments and amazing architecture, Croatia is known for some fairly spectacular naturally occurring sights, such as Plitvice Lakes National Park. It’s known for its chain of terraced lakes that are joined by waterfalls and extend into a limestone canyon. Hiking trails and walkways are built through the park for visitors to walk along.
Stone Flower Monument
The Stone Flower monument at Jasenovac is built over the ruins of the former Jasenovac concentration camp to commemorate the victims killed by the fascist regime in Croatia. The “roots” of the flower are open, so you can head beneath the moment to see plaques that have been placed on site.
Greeting To The Sun
Definitely one of the more modern attractions of Croatia, Zadar’s Greeting to the Sun is a large circle of glass and solar panels that collects energy throughout the day so it can put on a light show at night.
Have you ever wanted to visit a place that has a collection of 500+ stuffed frogs doing things like playing sports or sitting in class? If you answered yes to that question, Croatia’s Froggyland should be at the top of your list!
Walls Of Ston
Known at one point as the European wall of China, the Walls of Ston are a series of defensive walls that surrounded and protected the city of Ston. It’s one of the longest preserved fortification systems in the world, with construction beginning in 1358.
Haludovo Palace Hotel
The Haludovo Palace hotel is an abandoned resort hotel on the island of Krk, north of Malinska. The hotel is named after the nearby beach and was constructed in the 1970s, but it hasn’t seen any guests since the early 2000s.
Nothing says “tranquility” like a Catholic monastery built on an island in the middle of a national park, right? Visovac Monastery has sat on Visovac Island in Krka National Park since the 14th century, only accessible to visitors by boat.
Sitting atop a hill in Northern Croatia, Trakošćan Castle looks like it’s something out of a fairy tale, but it’s a little more rundown than Cinderella’s castle thanks to years of neglect. The castle was built in the 13th century but was opened to the public as a museum in 1953.
The Pillar Of Shame
It just looks like any old stone pillar standing in a square in Zadar, but hundreds of years ago, the mere sight of the Pillar of Shame would have been enough to scare the troublemakers. It was a place of public punishment in the Middle Ages, which is how it earned its name.
Located on Medvednica mountain near Zagreb, the Villa Rebar was built in 1932 and became the home of Croatian dictator Ante Pavelic. An estate fire in 1979 left nothing but its stone foundation standing, which you can still enter to explore the secret tunnel system that runs beneath it.