Helpful guides for travel in Croatia to help you get the most out of your trip, from first-hand experience!

Things You Need To Know Before Visiting Croatia

Things You Need To Know Before Visiting Croatia

Croatia has been moving up on everyone’s travel lists thanks to its beautiful landscape and impressive architecture. Located on the Adriatic Sea with a Mediterranean climate, Croatia is rich in history and activities for every traveler! With over 1,000 islands, 8 national parks, and UNESCO World Heritage sites and traditions, you’ll definitely want to add Croatia to your list as well! Check out everything you need to know before visiting Croatia to get the most out of your travel!

An outdoor hallway in an old Croatian building, with brick walls and a painting

Table of Contents

Not sure what Croatia has to offer? Check out Why You Need To Visit Croatia this year!

1. Is Croatia Safe For Travelers?

Just to clear your worries from the start, Croatia is very safe for travelers. Of course, crime can happen everywhere, but this is not a country where you will need to necessarily be on the lookout for someone following you or trying to pick-pocket you.  With that being said, always be aware of your surroundings, and don’t act in a way that will draw a lot of unwanted attention to yourself. 

2. Best Time To Visit Croatia

Croatia is almost always shown with the perfect turquoise water and beaches under the sun, but the summer months can be packed, and the winter can be not as ideal. The shoulder season is the best time to visit Croatia, which is May & June, or September & October. The attraction of Croatia as a holiday destination has made the summer months too populated to enjoy the scenery, and the winter gets quite cold and rainy!

The peak season is July & August, and tourism companies take advantage of this. Everything from ferry rides, national park entrance fees, rentals, etc. go up in price 2-5x what they are normally! This is another reason to avoid traveling to Croatia in the middle of summer.

3. Currency

As on January 1, 2023, Croatia has abandoned its currency of the Kuna and adopted the Euro. With this change, Croatia also joined the Schengen region, which is a shared border visa so travelers can move freely throughout, but cannot stay within the Schengen region for more than 90 days in a 180-day period.

Croatia has been a haven for backpackers in Europe to get out of the Schengen for 3 months until they can re-enter, so tourism may decrease a bit from travelers on this rotation.

Woman swimming in the Adriatic Sea of Croatia

4. Affordability

Speaking of currency, Croatia has commonly been known to be a very affordable country to visit.  And while it’s not expensive, prices are definitely rising.  The increase in tourism has allowed the country’s economy to bloom and grow comparable to its EU neighbors. However, if you’re looking for a Mediterranean destination, your other options are much more expensive! All the more reason to check out Croatia before prices are comparable to Greece or Italy.

5. Carry Cash

While traveling around Croatia, make sure to keep some cash on you! Not all places take cards, so cash is necessary for some purchases like a vendor or small restaurant.  At restaurants, while tipping is not expected, it is appreciated, however, you will never see a line on the receipt to leave a tip if you pay with a card, so keep a few extra euros on hand. 

6. Culture

Croatians are often viewed as reserved people with thick shells. They may not make eye contact on the sidewalk or say hello (don’t take it personally), but once you start to talk with a local and get to know them, they open up and make you feel the most welcome! 

The country has a strong Catholic influence, so be sure to be respectful of their religion, and dress appropriately! Too many tourists walk around town in a bikini, which is definitely not appreciated by the locals.

7. Language

If you expect to go to Croatia and pick up the local language, good luck! Croatian is definitely not easy, but props to you for whatever you do pick up, and it will go a long way with the locals. A friend shared the advice “when you speak in someone’s second language, you speak to their brain, but when you use their first language, you speak to their heart”. 

A few basic phrases to know to include good day (dober dan), good morning (dobro jutro),  thank you (hvala), and please (molim).

8. Croatian Food

Simply put, the food in Croatia is amazing. They have fresh seafood and an Italian influence in a lot of their traditional dishes. Not to mention, Croatia is a hotspot for harvesting truffles, a delicacy around the world. Nothing pairs better than a truffle oil pizza than a glass of local wine! Croatian is definitely a meat and dairy heavy cuisine, so be prepared to all the vegetarians and vegans out there. 

Affordable drinks in Croatia

9. Restaurants

When you are eating out, most restaurants are more casual than what you may find in other parts of Europe and the US. Unless a table has a reserved sign, if it’s open you can seat yourself and a server will come to you. Once you get your food, don’t expect your server to come ‘check in’ like they do a dozen times in the US. If you need something, get their attention with eye contact or a simple gesture and they will be right over! 

Tipping culture is very relaxed in Croatia. Tips are never expected, but always appreciated! Many people will just round up their bill, but around 10%-15% is a great tip if you loved the meal! Remember, tips can only be paid in cash so keep a few extra euros on you!

See how your Croatian vacation will work with this One Month Budget in Croatia. 

10. Getting Around Croatia

In general, the cities of Croatia are extremely walkable, especially since they were constructed centuries before cars were invented. If you’re looking to explore outside of the cities, you can either rent a car, go on a planned tour, or take public transport. The assumption that ‘you can get anywhere in Europe on a train’ does not apply here, but they do have reliable buses and ferries! Check out the Jadrolinija ferry line to take a ride along the Dalmatian Coast.

11. Book in Advance

For any excursions you are looking to do, definitely do your research and book in advance! This is especially true if your traveling in the peak season. As I mentioned, it’s a zoo in summer so things book up far in advance, and can even get pretty full in the shoulder seasons!

Summary - Things You Need To Know Before Visiting Croatia

Croatia is a country known for its picturesque landscape, never-ending coastline and rich history. Its affordability and ideal climate has drawn in tourists from around the world to relax on the beach or tour a medieval castle. It is safe, affordable, easy to navigate and get around, with amazing food and things to do for every traveler. Croatia’s recent adoption of the euro may make prices go up even further, so you better add Croatia to your travel-list and check out what this beautiful country has to offer soon!

What other destinations are on your bucket list? Find your Travel Inspiration here. 

Posted by Taylor Mallaber in Croatia, Destinations, 0 comments
Things To Do In Split, Croatia

Things To Do In Split, Croatia

Split, Croatia is a popular destination for travelers and locals for the stunning architecture of the old city, and the stunning beaches and coastline that look out to islands in the Adriatic Sea. The city is affordable and easy to get around, especially for tourists and digital nomads! This is a great destination for solo travelers, new travelers, and digital nomads for the infrastructure that is designed for tourists, the easy-going culture, and the beautiful location that anyone could get used to. Since Croatia is becoming a much bigger hotspot for tourists, it is best to go during the should-seasons of April & May, or September & October. Check out the best things to do in Split during your travels!

Historical buildings in the city of Split, Croatia

Table of Contents

Check out the benefits of Slow Travel and incorporate the principles into your next trip!

Explore The Old City

As soon as you arrive in Split, Croatia, you will see that there is a magical atmosphere in the Old City around the Diocletian Palace. Originally constructed in the 3rd century by the Roman Emperor Diocletian for his retirement, this city has stunning architecture, picturesque views in every direction, and a smell of eggs (wait, what?) The town was originally built here for the healing properties of the sulfur spring in the port, which has a particular egg smell in some specific areas. Take a walk along the water’s edge and see if you can see where it is boiling up!

Diocletian Palace & Bell Tower

The Diocletian Palace is an extraordinary construction, with a history that expands centuries. The gates on the city wall act as a portal that will transport you back in time, as you are suddenly meandering cobblestone streets and twisted alleyways. 

The streets are filled with shops, restaurants, and mouth-watering gelato, but as you enter the palace center, you’ll know you’ve made it. A massive bell tower looms over the plaza, as you stand between it and the Temple of Jupiter, in awe. 

The 57-meter Bell-tower is well worth the walk up the spiraling staircase, but for those with a slight fear of heights like me, it may take a few breaths to get to the top! You will get a great view of the city and marina, for only €5! 

Diocletian Bell Tower in Split, Croatia

Open Sky Vestibul

As you come through the center of Diocletian’s Palace, you will have two options to get back to the waterfront; one option will go down the stairs into a very alluring dungeon-like tunnel, which you also need to check out, but the other option will take you to the Vestibul. As you go up the stairs you will suddenly find yourself in a circular chamber construction that opens up to the sky. The construction is mesmerizing and feels like a sacred space that opens to the heavens.

There is also a quartet singing group that moves throughout the city, and if you’re lucky enough to catch them here in the Vestibul, you may confuse it for the singing of angels as their voices resonate in this chamber! 

Vestibule in Split, Croatia

EIE Vintage Clothing Shop

What’s traveling to a beautiful and historic city without a little shopping? While walking through the weaving alleyways of the old town, you can’t miss the EIE Vintage shop! The owner has a contagious energy and zest for life, with the grooviest collection of clothing from her friends, family, and travelers that are passing through. She knows the story of each piece of clothing, including where it is from, and who donated it. I’m currently writing this post in her mom’s cable-knit sweater in the wintery mountains of Austria, feeling so thankful and more connected to my clothing! This was also a great place for us to donate some of the clothes that we weren’t going to bring on to our next destination! 

EIE Vintage in Split, Croatia


What would a visit to Croatia be without stopping at any of the beaches that are scattered along the coastline? It’s a great place to read a book, take a dip or just sit back and watch as the boats go by. The beaches are dotted along the coast of Split where ladders are built into the rocks as an invitation to soak in the salty water. The beaches themselves are a bit rocky, so be sure to bring a towel to lounge on, and don’t forget your ‘reef-safe’ sunscreen! The water is warm (almost) all year, and we loved swimming and soaking up the sun in October & November when we visited. 

Bacvice Beach

Considered the ‘main’ beach in the city of Split, Bacvice Beach is just a short walk from the city center. This horseshoe cove is a swimming safe haven and great for beach games with friends. The beach lines a boardwalk of restaurants and cafes available to grab a bite while you’re soaking in the sun. 

There are a lot of access points to enter the water, and if you continue to head east you’ll hit a few more beaches to check out! Just up the hill from Firule Beach, there is a park where you can find some shade and watch the waves from a vantage point. 

Beach in Split, Croatia

PLaza jezinac


Jezinac Beach is an easy walk from the city center and a great place to pull your car up for a beach day. To get there you walk along a beautiful concrete pathway from the park, and past a marina where you can see beautiful boats coming and going. This beach doesn’t have much blocking it, so the waves come in a bit rougher than at Bacvice, and it gets deep quite quickly! A great place to swim or lay back and hear the waves crash against the shore. 

Kasjuni Beach

Kasjuni Beach is a bit further walk, located on the southwestern portion of the Marjan Hill area. Accessible by foot, car, or bus, this beach has a crystal clear blue cove that is protected by the waves from a man-made palm-covered extension. 

In the summer there are two beach restaurants to grab a beer or a burger, but they were closed in October when we arrived. While standing near the dock, see if you can spot Karepic’s Tower looking at the cliffside! 

If you continue following the beach west, you’ll come to a Nude Beach area, marked by a few painted rocks. This area is relaxed and private as it continues down to reach massive boulders that follow the coastline. 

Kasjuni Beach in Split, Croatia

Marjan Hill

The Marjan Hill is where you will get the best views of Split, Croatia in every direction. This area is a nature lover’s haven to walk along the trees, take in the endless horizons and learn some history along the way! While I was in Split for 1 month, my partner and I would visit the hill almost every day, to do some yoga, go for a run, journal or catch the sunrise/sunset. To get to the base you’ll have to climb a massive staircase, but so worth it to get away from the crowds that come in on the weekends!

Teraca Vidilica Cafe

For anyone looking to take in the best view of Split, Croatia, you will need to make some time to grab a drink and sit back at the Teraca Vidilica. Located on Marjan Hill, this restaurant looks out over the city and port to the mountains that enclose the opposite side of the valley. There is a viewing platform next to the restaurant, but this is a view you’ll want to stay for a while and enjoy without other tourists lining up to snap a photo. This is also a great spot for digital nomads looking to get some work done with a spectacular view and great wifi! My partner and I came to this cafe almost every day to work and enjoy a fresh Croatian beer and the best view in town. 

St. Jerome Church

If you’re up for a beautiful walk, you need to explore St. Jerome Church and Karepic’s Tower. Located on the southwestern cliff-side of the hill, these constructions will amaze you, especially since they were constructed in the 13th century! At the end of a hairpin tin on a car road, you’ll find a dirt path that extends to follow the cliff line, and very shortly you will come across St. Jerome’s Church. The church is still used on Christmas Eve where a small group gathers to celebrate together, and unfortunately, you can’t go inside to explore. After you get to St. Jerome Church, continue down the path until you come back to a road. From here, turn right and you’ll see on your right-hand side Karepic’s Tower! 

Initially, we saw this tower from Kasjuni Beach and felt determined to check it out. Once we got to St. Jerome’s Church and the cave construction pictured below, we didn’t even realize that there is another tower constructed into the cliff! Check it out for yourself and see if you can find the tower on the hill.

St. Jerome's Church in Split, Croatia
Church at St. Jerome's Church in Split, Croatia

Vhr Telegrin (The Top!)

After accomplishing the seemingly never-ending steps and passing the local zoo, you’ll come to the top of Marjan Hill where a Croatian flag and cross tower over the stunning scenery. There is a big observation deck and small trails that lead to more private and peaceful benches. A great destination for sunrise or sunset, and well worth the walk! The best part is this is just the start of everything you can explore on Marjan Hill. Keep walking and you’ll come across a Botanical Garden, a Labyrinth, and Baba Marta’s House

Marjan Hill in Split, Croatia

Klis Fortress

Overlooking the valley with views of the Split metropolitan stands a historic fortress that has over 2,000 years of history. The fortress was first constructed by the Illyrians, and later used by the Romans, Ottomans, and Austro-Hungarians and has been the seat for numerous Croatian kings! The history is fascinating, the views are outstanding but the best part is that you can explore it freely. No tours and no lines as only 15,000 people visit the fortress a year! When we visited on a perfect day in November, there were only a handful of people we saw in the distance, so we were able to freely explore. Pro Tip: bring a bottle of wine and fancy goblets for the best glass of wine you’ll ever have!

The fortress is easily accessible from the city, only 40 minutes on bus 22 which leaves from the HRK National Theater Station. Do be aware that some buses are on a different schedule in the off-season, so check with the clerk at the station if the bus is running so you can catch it on time. The Fortress is open daily from 10:00-17:00 and only costs €8!

Ferry Trip To Hvar

If you’ve walked around Split enough and you’re looking for a change of scenery, catching a ferry over to Hvar Island is an easy day trip and super affordable. You have 2 options to explore Hvar; take a ferry from Split and explore everything on your own, or go on a tour so you can sit back and enjoy the planned excursions! The ferry disembarks in the town of Hvar, which is a rustic town center that backs up to a Spanish Fortress. 

The town is definitely worth exploring, and the fortress can be explored for just €4 but may be closed in the off-season. Hvar Island is also home to some incredible beaches, each with something to offer depending on what you’re looking for! But the main reason why Hvar is on so many travel Bucket Lists is because of the party scene. If that’s something you’re into, be sure to book a place to stay since there are no late-night ferries back to Split! If it’s not your thing, there is so much else to see on the island.

Although we didn’t take the chance to explore Hvar and the nearby islands, we definitely regret it! In hindsight, we would have taken a paid tour to explore the Blue Cave on Bisevo Island and the Green Cave on Ravnik Island. The boats enter sea caves where sunrays illuminate the cave with a stunning blue/green color. 

Hvar island is a great place to explore near Split, Croatia
Source: Hvar Tours

Krka National Park

Krka National Park is only a 1.5-hour journey from the city of Split, with many options via public transport, with guided tours, or you can explore it at your own pace. The entrance fee differs drastically between off-season at only €4, to peak-season at €26! No matter how you get there, you will start at Skradin where you will catch a ferry to Skradinski Buk waterfalls. If you do choose to go on a tour, make sure the park entry fee is included with the price, because it isn’t always, which can be a surprising cost! 

Krka National Park is one of the most popular day trips from Split, so if you’re traveling in peak season, be sure to make your plans early before it all books up! Another option is taking a trip to Plitvice Lakes National Park, which is a famous destination for its beautiful waterfall, but it is a 4-hour journey from Split! Of everyone we talked to that had been to both, almost everyone prefers Krka National Park more, even though you cannot swim at Krka anymore. Since 4 hours is quite the journey to make in a day, take advantage of more of your time while traveling and check out Krka National Park.

Krka National Park from Split, Croatia
Source: Viator

Read More - If you're still not convinces, check out Why You Need To Visit Croatia! 

Summary - What to Do In & Around Split, Croatia

Whether you’re in Split for a few days or a few months, you will never run out of things to do in this beautiful and historic city. You can explore the city center on foot, experience the magnificence of the Diocletian Palace, or get lost on Marjan Hill among the trees. There are endless churches including St. Jerome Church, which was constructed in a cave on the cliff side, and even more beaches! Within a short drive from the city, you can get to the many islands including Hvar’s Blue Caves, or check out the waterfalls at the national parks of Krka and Plitvice Lakes!

Split is a clean and friendly city that is easy to explore. It is affordable with breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea that you cannot miss on your European travels.

Read More - What other destinations are on your bucket list? Find your Travel Inspiration here. 

Posted by Taylor Mallaber in Croatia, Destinations, 0 comments
A Detailed One Month Budget in Croatia For Travelers

A Detailed One Month Budget in Croatia For Travelers

Croatia has become a destination for travelers and digital nomads globally for good reason. The impressive coastline and historic architecture will have something to do for everyone, and the cost is definitely affordable for a European country. This post will go over a traveler’s one budget in Croatia, including accommodation, food, transportation, excursions, and other life expenses!

Check out what a life looks like for a one month budget in Croatia!

White building with terra cotta roof tiles on the coast of Split, Croatia

Table of Contents

Check out all of the reasons Why You Need To Visit Croatia this year! 

Accommodation Budget In Croatia

Croatia has recently become a tourist hotspot destination as people are drawn to its crystal blue water, never-ending coastline, and jaw-dropping architecture. You can find various accommodation types from hotels, hostels, Couchsurfing, Airbnb, campsites, and more!

Our accommodation is what determines our trips since many Airbnb hosts have a crazy good deal for any stay over 28 days, especially in the shoulder- and off-seasons. On average, our Airbnb’s cost a total of €751 for the month. Since my partner and I share living expenses, we were able to split this cost, making it even cheaper. We spent €433 each in Split, Croatia, and €317 in Pula, Croatia which gave us plenty of time to really explore the area. We prefer to move slowly so we can explore, save money, and maintain some of the regular aspects of our life like working and even joining a gym in the areas we live for the month!

Hotels in Croatia range from about €75-150 a night, while hostels are between €25-40 for a single bed. Hostels are a great option, but Airbnb’s can be split the more people you have so find some travel buddies and save big time!


751 Monthly
  • Airbnb

Tip - Traveling with another person is a great way to cut costs on accommodation and transport! Find yourself a travel buddy to save!

Food Budget In Croatia

Croatia is known for its incredibly fresh seafood and pizza that is comparable to Italy’s (unless you ask an Italian). Since we are traveling on a pretty conservative budget, our goal was to keep our individual food budget below €400 per month, which was pretty easy in Croatia! We were able to treat ourselves to some nice dinners but mostly cooked at home.

There are great options for grocery stores, Spar being the most popular, and most town and city centers have a daily fresh market where you can pick up produce, meat, and bread. On average for the month, we each spend €278 on groceries.

No matter where you visit, there will be plenty of restaurants and cafes in a historic setting or with incredible views. Restaurants are typically a seat-yourself style and don’t expect the servers to come over to your table constantly to check in. If you need something, just get their attention and they will be there to serve you! Tipping is also not required, but if you enjoyed your experience, 10-15% would be a great tip to leave! You can get a sandwich from a deli or a slice of pizza for as low as 2, whereas a mid-level meal out could be about €10-15. We spent about €75 each for the month on restaurants and cafes

Cafe bars are a big part of Croatian culture like much of Europe. Most cafes offer a selection of alcoholic drinks, where people socialize and drink beers at 10 am, unlike your typical coffee shop in the US. As digital nomads, we frequented these cafes to get some work done and had a drink or two with some pastries throughout the day for about €4. 


354 Monthly
  • Groceries
  • Restaurants
  • Cafes
Plate with breakfast toast containing eggs, avocado, bacon, and various vegetables

Transportation Budget in Croatia

Getting around Croatia is fast, easy, and affordable. While in the country for 2 months, we were able to rely a lot on public buses and ride-share apps to get around. Public buses are readily available and easy to use and cost just a few euros for a ticket. However, we did have some issues where the bus timetable wasn’t accurate for off-season travel! So definitely give yourself plenty of time to figure it out, and have a backup option.

Uber was popular in Split, but in Pula, we only found drivers on the ride-share app called Bolt which was super affordable and easy to use. This is only necessary for transporting all of your bags when you arrive and leave or for further trips. Like most European cities, Croatian cities and towns are constructed so that most things are walkable, which is free, good for you and so beautiful to take it slowly and be engaged with the area.

We also rented a car for a few days while in Pula to do an Istria road trip. Since we were there in the off-season, the rental car was only €17 a day! We paid a total of €44 for 2 days with a car including the rental price, fuel, and tolls. 

Please Note: this budget doesn’t include the transport to Croatia, or to the next destination! While this is a crucial part of the travel budget, it can vary so much depending on the location so definitely check out those costs before committing to any travel.


108 Monthly
  • Public Transport
  • Rental Car

Excursions Budget in Croatia

There is so much to explore in Croatia, from boat tours along the coast, entry into some historic forts and palaces, and the many National Parks to explore. Luckily, a lot of Croatia’s beauty can be enjoyed for free if you’re a budget traveler.

Depending on where in Croatia you’re visiting, and what you are looking to do, a lot of the beauty for us was nature. In Split, we spent plenty of free days exploring the city’s beaches and Marjan Hill to get the best views of the city. Most of the old city can be accessed for free, but we did spend €5 to enter the Bell Tower in the center of Diocletian’s Palace (definitely worth it). We also took a day trip to walk around the historic Klis Fortress on the outskirts of the city, which was only €10 to enter (we even brought our own wine to enjoy at sunset)! Check out the best things to do around Split

We did a lot more paid excursions and day trips in Pula, starting with Brijuni National Park which was about €22 for the ferry ticket to the island and entrance fee. The Galebijana Sea Cave is something you cannot miss, which we explored on sea kayaks from €27 each! The city itself has a lot to explore, including a Roman Arena, an old fort, and an underground bomb shelter, which was €24 for entry. 

Although we only spent average €40 each on average, we were in an exceptional budget mode since this was our first stop. Looking back, there are a few things that I wish we did, like taking a trip to Plitvice Lakes, or a ferry out to Hvar, so I set the monthly budget to €60 to give a better idea of what it would cost to do a lot more!


60 Monthly
  • Entry Tickets
  • Exploration

Life Expenses

This section isn’t Croatia-specific, but it is important to make note of the other monthly expenses you may have that will eat a chunk of your budget. This includes Health Insurance, Renter’s Insurance, a Mobile Phone plan, and various subscriptions for music, apps, and a VPN.

The biggest expense is health insurance, which luckily I’m still on my parent’s plan (yay for being 25)! However, I took into account my boyfriend’s plan since this is an expense for most people, which is emergency medical costing around €50.

We each also have renter’s insurance, which costs about €14 a month and will cover up to 10,000 worth of items that get lost, damaged, or stolen while we are abroad.

For our cell phone,  we purchased a local plan with a physical SIM which is great for saving money while traveling. Check out what we did exactly for our Croatia phone plans. We typically get 15GB of data for around €17 a month.

Finally, some of the subscriptions I have total up to about €24 a month, which includes my DuoLingo Super, YouTube Music, Hosting platform for this website, and most importantly a VPN. If you are traveling and have any intention of using your computer or phone for personal things, I highly suggest using a VPN to protect your online information!

Life Expenses

105 Monthly
  • Insurance
  • Mobile Phone
  • Subscriptions

Total Expenses

1 Month Budget in Croatia
1,378 Monthly
  • Accommodations - €751
  • Food - €354
  • Transportation - €108
  • Excursions - €60
  • Life Expenses - €105

Summary - Detailed 1 Month Budget in Croatia for Travelers

Croatia is an affordable Mediterranean destination that has drawn attention from travelers globally. The blue coastline and impressive architecture makes it feel like a sacred place that should be on everyone’s travel bucket list. The country is definitely affordable for travelers and digital nomads, with prices varying heavily between the peak and off-season. Although you can budget yourself into a cardboard box without seeing much, life is meant to be lived. Save where you can (everything counts), but don’t skip out on opportunities to explore a beautiful new place when you have the chance. 

Read More - What other destinations are on your bucket list? Find your Travel Inspiration here. 

Posted by Taylor Mallaber in Croatia, Destinations, 0 comments
Why You Need To Visit Croatia

Why You Need To Visit Croatia

Croatia is a small country in the south-eastern Balkan region, filled with rich history, stunning architecture, magical beaches and a coastline that never ends. If you’ve been before, you know what I’m talking about, and if you haven’t, keep reading to see what you’ve been missing! These are the top 8 reasons why you need to visit Croatia this year!

Aerial view over the city center of Split, Croatia

Table of Contents

1. Beautiful Landscape

Croatia is a European oasis – known for its Adriatic Sea coastline and breathtaking inland waterfalls. Almost 10% of the country’s land is preserved and protected, with 8 National Parks you can visit anytime in the year! The country has low mountains and rolling hills covered in vineyards, forests and agricultural land. Since the country follows the Adriatic coastline so much, you can get to the coast with ease and jump into the sea at one of the many beaches – most of which have stairs and ladders built right onto the rock you can conveniently swim whenever you want! 

Waterfalls at Krka National Park
Source - Viator

2. Blue Water

Croatia has over 1,000 islands that run along the coast, and are easily accessible by boat with many options for tours. Many of the islands are scattered with ancient ruins, old towns that are still inhabited and hidden gems. Along the coast you can find sea caves, coral reefs and shipwrecks if you’re into Scuba Diving, and if you’re not yet – Croatia is a great place to learn! The water is a beautiful turquoise blue year round, although much cooler in the winter, it is still enjoyable! We went out on Sea Kayaks in mid-December, and were comfortable even being barefoot and getting a little wet! 

Tip of a kayak in a dark sea cave with turquoise water in Pula, Croatia
Sea Caves in Pula, Croatia

3. History & Architecture

Croatia’s history is among the oldest in the world, like most of Europe, with roots in the Roman and Ottoman Empires, as well as an Austro-Hungarian influence from the 1800s. The traces of heritage can be experienced in the towns and ruins that cover the landscape just waiting to be explored. 

The city of Split was constructed into a Palace for Roman Emperor Diocletiacian, where he spent his retirement in 305 AD. Meanwhile further North, the city of Pula on the Istrian Peninsula is home to a Roman Arena where gladiators fought to the death back in the 1st century (but now you can explore it for only 9 Euros!). 

It felt like every town had a prominent center with a massive bell tower overlooking the region – a true testament to the old culture of worship and community that still emulates in the region today.

Aerial view of the Pula Area, an ancient colosseum from the Roman Empire
Source - History Hit
Clothes hanging over the streets of Rovinj, Croatia
Rovinj, Croatia

4. Affordability

Croatia has been known as a perfect budget destination, and while that may have been true 5 years ago, the tourism has picked up and the prices have followed. You can still get a good meal in town for around 10 euros, and a day excursion to an island may cost you 25 euros. Although the prices have gone up in recent years, it is still more affordable than its comparable neighboring countries like Italy or Greece where things are definitely on the expensive side. With the adoption of the Euro, it is expected for prices to continue to climb, so you should get to Croatia before it is as visited as some of its Western Europe rivals! 

Read More - Check out this Detailed One Month Budget In Croatia For Travelers to see for yourself!

5. Ease Of Travel

Croatia is a great place to start your travels if you’re looking to get away from the Western Europe lifestyle but are not ready to fully send it into Eastern Europe and the Middle East. It is at the crossroads between the two continents, and surrounded by so many countries that are both in the Schengen and outside of it, so you can manage your 90-day ‘visa’ stays accordingly! Since Croatia is a popular tourist destination, which accounts for 20% of the country’s GDP, it was designed to support the needs of travelers. There is regular and reliable public transport in major cities, and plenty of tours and excursions to get out and explore!

In January 2023, Croatia joined the European Union, adopting the Euro and joining the Schengen Region. This is both a great thing and a bit of a bummer for those of us traveling on a budget. Croatia has gotten more expensive in recent years, which will likely continue on this trend with the adoption of the Euro, but it is also super easy to not deal with another exchange rate as you move throughout the rest of the EU. 

6. The People

Croatia has a dynamic influence from the surrounding cultures that have infiltrated the borders over the years. The north-western region is very Italian-influenced, while the southern and inland regions are more influenced by western Europe. Croatians speak Croatian, which definitely isn’t a language you’ll be able to pick up in a few short weeks, luckily over 80% of the population speaks English. However, Croatians really appreciate using their native tongue, and when tourists show a clear effort. Croatians are known to have a bit of a shell to outsiders, but after a little bit of conversation and mutual respect, they will open up to you like you’re family. Croatians can be the most hospitable people, and they definitely have a strong sense of nationalism! We were there when Croatia made it to the quarter-finals of the World Cup 2022, and the people gathered in the streets to celebrate and support their country. 

Crowd of soccer fans viewing the 2022 World Cup in Pula, Croatia
World Cup 2022 Viewing Party - Pula, Croatia

7. The Food

Croatians have a diet rich in seafood, meats, and grains. It has a Mediterranean influence and some of the best fresh seafood caught right in the Adriatic. One of the most well-known dishes is a black risotto with squid, or a delicious sea urchin, however for a more budget dining option, try their cevapi! It is a combination of beef, pork, and veal in a sausage, and is common in southeastern Europe. Due to Croatia’s Italian influence, their pizza is phenomenal. Most pizza restaurants have an item or two that includes truffle oil, which is a delicacy in most of the world, but a lot of the world’s truffles are found right here in Croatia! 

8. Game of Thrones

If you’re like most of the world and have been sucked into the HBO series Game of Thrones, then Croatia will remind you of what went down in King’s Landing and the City of Meereen (with a little bit of CGI of course). And if not, you can skip to the next section.

The city of Dubrovnik is the main filming location for King’s Landing, where the city walls still stand today. Although you can’t see silk traders sailing in and out of the bay, you definitely get the feeling that you’re somewhere in Westeros.

The image to the right was taken at Klis Fortress, a key filming location for the City of Meereen, where Slavers were staked along the walls as a reparation for the crimes they committed. GOT filming locations are all over the place in Croatia, and it’s no wonder since the architecture was constructed around the time where Game of Thrones takes place.

Klis Fortress in Split, Croatia
Klis Fortress - City of Meereen

WHEN You Should Visit Croatia

Now that you know why you need to visit Croatia, when is the best time to go? Croatia has recently become a hotspot as a European destination, especially in the months of June-August when parties and beaches are packed with tourists. While that is a ton of fun, it’s also much more crowded, and expensive and you may miss out on the serenity the country has to offer. 

Luckily, the weather in Croatia has the benefits of the Mediterranean, where it is warm between April – October. Between October – April, the coast gets quite rainy and overcast while inland may experience some snow. That’s why the shoulder seasons are the best times to visit Croatia to get great weather, without getting the drunk and crowded tourism season. Most attractions have a discounted rate in the off-season as well, so you will save a lot more than if you visit in the middle of summer!