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Best Cities To Visit in Croatia | Top 10 Croatian Cities

There are many beautiful Croatian cities and you may having hard time to decide which one to visit. Fortunately, I’ve done the work for you. Here’s the list of the best cities to visit in Croatia. Must-see attractions and insider travel tips included! Every city showcased here, has its own special charm and might be just the perfect place for your trip.

Most towns in Croatia are combination of ancient history and natural beauty. Culture lovers will enjoy numerous of stunning monuments and historical remains situated in cities all along the Adriatic coast. Over 50 music and film festivals are held in Croatia each year, mostly in coastal towns, during the spring and summer season.

You may be wondering, what else is so special about the best Croatian cites I’ve listed here? What do they have in common? A lot! Museums and parks, charming restaurants with delicious Croatian food and award-winning wines, vivid green-markets, lovely cafes and much more.

Despite the similarity, every city in Croatia is unique in so many ways. Regardless which one you choose as your travel destination ( or at least for a weekend getaway ), I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

TOP 10 BEST CITIES TO VISIT IN CROATIA

1. ZAGREB

Majestic city of Zagreb, capital of Croatia, is been often overlooked as a tourist destination, hosting almost exclusively business travelers. Most of the tourists were rushing to the shores of the Adriatic sea, unaware what Zagreb has to offer.

Fortunately, that’s been changing over the last few years and Zagreb has become one of the best places to visit in Croatia. This breath-taking city, located in the heart of the central Croatia, is full of amazing restaurants, 5 stars hotels, shopping spots, cultural monuments and other see-sighting attractions. Did you know that Zagreb Cathedral is the tallest building in Croatia?

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Best cities to visit in Croatia | Zagreb, Croatia ( image source : Flickr )
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Best cities to visit in Croatia | Zagreb, Croatia ( image source: Flickr )

2. SPLIT

Split is a Croatian city you should definitely visit. Situated in the central Dalmatia, this beautiful seaside town has a great location. Tourist often take day trips from Split to one ( or more ) nearby islands.

Diocletian’s Palace, 17 centuries old heart of the city, is a fascinating monument of the city’s turbulent history. Split has nice pebbly beaches surrounded by Marjan hill pine trees, as well as the famous sandy Bacvice beach. If you want to visit a beautiful historical city but you’re also looking for an active holiday with lots of fun options then Split is perfect for you.

Read more : Visit Split | 7 Things Not To Miss in Split, Croatia

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Best cities to visit in Croatia | Split, Croatia | Photo by Majana Engelbreht
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Best cities to visit in Croatia | Split, Croatia ( image source : Pixabay )

3. ROVINJ

What to say about the city of Rovinj that I haven’t said before?  I love Rovinj, its narrow streets, ancient monuments, red roofs,  pebbly beaches and numerous little galleries and cafes. It’s known as one the most romantic towns in the Mediterranean ( and I’m a sucker for romance ).

Rovinj is perfect for everyone who’s looking for a more peaceful summer holiday in a city of rich cultural and historical heritage. In my humble opinion, Rovinj is definitely one of the best cities to visit in Croatia. Anytime of the year.

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Best cities to visit in Croatia | Rovinj, Croatia

4. PULA

Pula is a maginficent city in Istria very popular among tourists and it is known outside the borders of Croatia by its recognizable symbol – amphitheater ( arena Pula ). It’s one of the best preserved amphitheaters in the world, originally designed for gladiatorial combat. Today it is a world-famous concert and festival venue.

I was about 6 years old when I visited Pula with my parents and saw the amphitheater for the first time in my life. I still remember that jaw-dropping moment.

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Best cities to visit in Croatia | Pula, Croatia

5. DUBROVNIK

Among the best Croatian cities listed here, Dubrovnik is the most popular one. Visitors from all around the world are captivated by Dubrovnik cultural heritage. This medieval town, called the Pearl of the Adriatic, is also a favorite filming location of Game of Thrones.

Apart from the fascinating sights and delicious Dalmatian cuisine, there are plenty interesting events organized through the year. To avoid crowds, best time to visit Dubrovnik is in June and September.

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Best cities to visit in Croatia | Dubrovnik, Croatia

6. HUM

Croatia my not have mega-cities, but it’s home to the smallest town in the world – Hum. Located in central Istria, with the population around 21, this ancient tiny town is almost 1000 years old. Since nothing has been built outside its walls for centuries, when in Hum, you may feel as if you traveled back in time. Hum is a a monument of medieval urban architecture and center of the old Slavic Glagolitic script.

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Best cities to visit in Croatia | Hum, Croatia ( image source: Flickr )
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Best cities to visit in Croatia | Hum, Croatia | Photo by Monica Gauš

7. RIJEKA

Rijeka is my home town and it deserves to be on the list of the best cities to visit in Croatia. Let me explain way. It’s because I love the spirit of this town, the atmosphere and the people in it. We have a saying here “Volim grad koji teče” – “I love the city that flows (runs)”.

Rijeka is a charming seaport city situated on Kvarner Bay, under the watchful eye of the Trsat fortress. It’s known as a gateway to Croatian islands and as one of the most important carnival towns in the world. By many right after Rio and Venice.

The Croatian National Theater Ivan pl. Zajc located in Rijeka, has ceiling paintings by famous Austrian painter Gustav Klimt. And you know what? Zajc was my maiden name. I do have a special bond with this city, just like the most people who live here. That’s the real magic of Rijeka.

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Best cities to visit in Croatia | Rijeka, Croatia

8. TROGIR

Historic City of Trogir is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Croatia. This remarkable town is situated on a small island between the Croatian mainland and the island of Ciovo. Due to its historic and cultural importance, Trogir is often called as a museum city.

The old town centre, surrounded by walls, is one of the best preserved Romanesque sites in this part of Europe. Settled just 27 kilometers from Split, Trogir is a great alternative base to the big city and a relaxing place to spend a couple of days.

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Best cities to visit in Croatia | Trogir, Croatia ( image source: Max Pixel )
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Best cities to visit in Croatia | Trogir, Croatia ( image source: Max Pixel )

9. ZADAR

Zadar is three thousand years old acient city, located in the center of the Croatian coast. It has two unique attractions – the sound-and-light spectacle of the Sea Organ and the Sun Salutation, both created by Croatian arhitect Nikola Bašić.

The city of Zadar offers diversity of experiences and it’s an incredible destination for any style of traveler. So if you are planning to spend you summer holidays in Dalmatia, make sure not to bypass Zadar. It’s truly one of the best cities to visit in Croatia.

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Best cities to visit in Croatia | Zadar, Croatia ( image source: Pixabay )
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Best cities to visit in Croatia | Zadar, Croatia ( image source: Pixabay )

10. MAKARSKA

Makarska is another coastal town in Dalmatia region, a centar of Makarska Riviera. It’s located on a horseshoe shaped bay under the Biokovo mountain and it’s known for its beautiful beaches, seafront promenade and fabulous nightlife. Makarska is one the most popular tourist destinations in Croatia, especially for families, young couples and adventure travelers.

Although Makarska is a small city, it’s very attractive for its stunning nature and mild Mediterranean climate. The center of Makarska is an old town with charming narrow streets, a main church square where there is a flower and fruit market and a Franciscan monastery, a protected cultural monument that houses an amazing sea shell collection.

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Best cities to visit in Croatia | Makarska, Croatia ( image source: Wikimedia )

Recommended Croatia Travel Guides

Lonely Planet Croatia (Travel Guide)

Rick Steves Croatia & Slovenia

I hope you enjoyed this article about the best cities in Croatia. Keep in mind that this is a top 10 list! There are many more Croatian cities to visit and explore. What is your favorite city in Croatia? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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