Enjoy the best of Croatia with kimkim's handpicked activities. Experience Hvar's rich winemaking history that dates back to the ancient Greeks, or navigate the labyrinthine Old Town of Split, the unexpected home of Diocletian's 4th-century palace. Farther south, experience authentic Croatian culture firsthand with a visit to a family farm in Konavle, where you'll learn to prepare a traditional peka meal. And if you're a nature lover, don’t miss the hiking trails and scenic waterfalls of Krka National Park. Check out our recommended activities in Hvar, Split, Dubrovnik, and more for your Croatia adventure.
Best Experiences in Croatia
Once a secret destination of in-the-know travelers, Croatia is bursting upon the international scene. And for good reason: This tiny country on the shores of the Adriatic Sea has more than its share of natural wonders, beautiful coastline and picturesque islands.
Croatia’s coastline runs more than 1,100 miles. Add the shorelines of 1,185 islands, plus its inland lakes, rivers, lagoons, and waterfalls, and it’s clear that the country is a paradise for watersports enthusiasts. You can sail among the islands, kayak the inland rivers and lakes, snorkel or scuba off the Adriatic coastline or kitesurf, fish, or even bungee jump during a vacation in Croatia.
Croatia's culinary traditions boast influences from many other cultures, including Italy, Austria, Hungary, and the Balkans. You'll find rich foods in the north, truffle-infused fare in Istria, and seafood along the coast. Zagreb is a haven for markets and contemporary cuisine, and distinct wine regions cover nearly the entire country. You can go truffle hunting, taste olive oils, or shuck oysters, all while sipping unique heritage wine varietals that thrive in Croatia's harsh soils.
Croatia is a prime spot for history buffs, with numerous cultural influences from centuries of various rulers and empires. In Zagreb, enjoy "mini Vienna" with grand Austro-Hungarian architecture and museums depicting life from the Bronze Age to the time of Yugoslavia. Head west to Istria for true Italian vibes, or venture south along the coast and visit some of Europe's most historical relics, including Diocletian's Palace in Split and the walled city of Dubrovnik. Even the islands host an abundance of unique rural history!
Hvar Island encompasses everything visitors love about Croatia: golden beaches, emerald waters, lavender fields, craggy peaks, ancient towns, and unique cuisine. For these reasons, it's one of the most popular islands. On Hvar, you can hike on medieval trails to scenic vistas, explore villages founded by the Greeks, go wine tasting, kayak to secluded coves, and visit neighboring islands. When hungry, eat a traditional meal cooked in a peka and take advantage of Hvar Town's buzzy nightlife.
Croatia's distinct shape, coastal location, and dynamic history have created a unique and diverse culture. So, whether you're hunting truffles in Istria's countryside with its Italian vibes or castle hopping near Zagreb with its Austro-Hungarian grandeur, there's an abundance of cultural activities to enjoy. Dive deep into the country's culture by meeting with the locals, taking day trips to smaller towns and cities, and eating traditional cuisine.
Croatia is a family- and kid-friendly destination, filled with hiking, paddleboarding, castle hunting, and plenty of beach time. The country's culture works well for families of any age, as it's slow-paced with tasty cuisine and activities that you can adapt to your interest. Discover waterfalls in national parks, go truffle hunting in Istria, or explore one of the numerous islands that dot the Croatian coastline. End each day with ice cream and a sunset.
Zadar is a vibrant seaside city in Northern Dalmatia with roots dating back to the 9th century BCE. Discover influences from the Romans, Venetians, and Slavs, plus archeological gems, such as the Byzantine St. Donatus Church, and modern creations like the sea organ. But what makes Zadar so special is its location among several of Croatia's best natural environment, including Paklenica's canyons, Kornati's archipelago, Plitvice's waterfalls, and Sjeverni Velebit's craggy peaks.
Many travelers skip Croatia's vibrant, youthful capital in favor of the coast, but Zagreb perfectly complements any Croatian itinerary. With grandiose Austro-Hungarian architecture, a never-ending calendar of festivals and events, the best coffee scene in the country, and nearby hiking and skiing, there's plenty to see and do in buzzy, authentic Zagreb.
Istria is Croatia's largest peninsula, sitting in the country's northwest corner near Italy and Slovenia. Throughout the centuries, it's been ruled by the Venetian Republic, Italy, and the Austrian Empire, to name a few. With so many different cultural influences, you have a unique and scenic landscape filled with olive groves, vineyards, forests with truffles, beaches, Roman ruins, grand villas, fishing ports, national parks, and more.
Split is Croatia's second-largest city, complete with a vibrant waterfront promenade, ferry connections to the Dalmatian Islands, and an Old Town nearly enveloped by the 4th-century Diocletian's Palace. In one day, you can explore the city's original Roman cellars, relax on a quiet beach along Marjan Park, discover the Illyrian Kliss Fortress, and nosh on fresh seafood. Enjoy your days meandering the marbled streets or hiking, kayaking, or taking day trips to the islands, national parks, and nearby medieval villages.
Korčula isn't just beloved by tourists; it's also a favorite among Croatians. This is because Korčula combines the best of the country with its rich history, incredible scenery, and distinct culture. Enjoy lazing on secluded beaches, wine tasting across the island, kayaking along the shore, wandering the charming streets of medieval towns, eating makaruni (the island's signature pasta), and watching traditional Moreska dances, all in the same day.
With a diverse landscape filled with rocky mountain peaks, jagged cliffs, rushing rivers, and endless coastline, there's always something active to do in Croatia. Explore the country's idyllic scenery by paddleboarding through archipelagos, hiking to hidden viewpoints, kayaking along the coast, or cycling through vineyards. In addition, Croatia has some of Europe's most beautiful national parks, all perfect for an active outdoorsy itinerary.
With a stunning coastline weaving down the Adriatic Sea and more than 1,000 islands, you can bet Croatia is a beach destination. In the north, you'll find stretches of pebbles hugging the Istrian peninsula and the many islands off the coast of Kvarner. In the south, spend your time island hopping (and beach hopping) in Dalmatia, discovering some of Europe's most scenic sandy corners, including the famous Zlatni Rat (Golden Cape) on Brač Island.
The history of Dubrovnik's walled city runs deep, back to the 7th century CE and Middle Ages, when it was a wealthy and independent republic. Step back in time as you wander the labyrinth of twisting alleyways and take in the views from atop the walls. Explore Gothic churches, 600-year-old synagogues, marble monuments, and a string of local beaches. Excursions along the coast, hikes into the hills, and adventures to small towns all compliment local food, wine, and legendary sunsets.
One of the most popular activities in Croatia is sailing, which should come as no surprise considering the country's long and narrow shape hugs the Adriatic Sea. With over 3,000 miles of coastline and more than 1,000 islands, the country is a prime spot for sailing excursions. So whether you're looking for day trips to the archipelagos or an entire itinerary sailing from spot to spot, you can find it in Croatia. Discover islets, caves, lagoons, and rugged coves all by boat.