Best Cities to Visit in Croatia

Croatia is a beautiful southeastern country in Europe. With more than 1,000 islands, there are plenty of places to explore whilst visiting here. The area is renowned for its stunning scenery, dramatic landscapes and historical towns and cities. 

Whether you’re seeking to uncover all of Croatia’s hidden gems or would prefer to be in the midst of the cities, there is something for all. The Mediterranean climate provides excellent weather to make the most of all of the country’s highlights. From lounging on the pristine beaches to hopping between islands, you are sure to be impressed by all that Croatia has to offer. 

If you’re planning a trip to Croatia, you’re likely wondering what cities are best to visit. Luckily for you, we have all the information you need below. Keep reading to learn more about this beautiful country, alongside the top cities and attractions to see whilst visiting.

Zagreb

St. Mark's Church, Zagreb
Zagreb

It only makes sense to kick start the best cities in Croatia with the capital, Zagreb. This bustling city is the place to be for all types of holidaymakers. With a vibrant, cultural centre, exceptional art scene, interesting museums and much more, you will find plenty to do here for the whole family. 

If you’re seeking cities in Croatia with lively nightlife, then Zagreb is the place to go. With energetic bars and streets brimming with entertainment, you are sure to find somewhere to make the most of the night scene here. It is also one of the largest cities in Croatia, making it the perfect area to spend a few days strolling around all the sites. 

Whilst visiting Zagreb, it is worth stopping off at the lovely neighbourhood of Gornji. Here you will find quaint cobblestone streets and a plethora of lovely shops and cafes. This provides the perfect contrast to that of the bustling city centre. 

The city also boasts Habsburg heritage, alongside plenty of Balkan cultures, making Zagreb a particularly interesting place to visit. Spend some time marvelling over the impressive Cathedral, boasting mighty towers and unique architecture. For those who want to check out the natural surroundings, Plitvice Lakes is located nearby. Here you will find a national park brimming with stunning greenery and breathtaking lakes. 

No matter how you choose to spend your time in Zagreb, you are sure to be impressed by all that it has to offer. From attractions for history buffs to shops in abundance, plus vibrant bars and cafes, there is something here to suit a wide range of holiday types.

Sibenik

Sibenik
Cathedral of St. James, Sibenik

The city of Sibenik is located in central Dalmatia, boasting exceptional coastal vistas. This is where the Krka river flows into the Adriatic Sea, providing the perfect blend of city life and seaside panoramas. 

Sibenik isn’t as popular among tourists as some of the other hubs in the country. With this in mind, it provides the perfect place for those looking to explore a city without the busy crowds. Its location next to the sea also makes Sibenik one of the best beach cities in Croatia, great for anyone hoping to spend some time on the sandy shores. 

Its picturesque town and winding alleys make Sibenik a particularly beautiful city to visit. Spend some time checking out the stunning architecture at the Town Hall and then head to St Michael’s Fortress to uncover some of Croatia’s fascinating history. 

Perched on the side of a hill overlooking the stunning coast, Sibenik provides visitors with an exceptional place to explore. With four old fortresses to scour, plus many lovely shops, bars and cafes, you are sure to find something for all when visiting this beautiful Croatian city.

Pula

Pula
Hawaii Beach, Pula, Croatia

Situated along the Istrian Peninsula is the beautiful city of Pula. The area is mainly known for its ancient amphitheatre, and whilst this is certainly an attraction to check out, there are so many other parts of the city worth exploring. 

For anyone seeking the most beautiful cities in Croatia, Pula should be on your list! Boasting pristine beaches, breathtaking coastal vistas and streets brimming with history, there is beauty at every corner of the city. This is the ideal place to go for anyone seeking a mix of lovely sands and an authentic Croatian metropolis. 

The city dates back to the Neolithic Age, making Pula a place steeped in history. From the outstanding amphitheatre to the impressive Kastell fortress, there are tons of historical findings here. 

If you would prefer to spend your time making the most of the shops and restaurants in Pula, there are more than enough to satisfy your needs. While the centre boasts plenty of historical architecture and quaint streets, there is also a more commercial part of the city. Here you will find some great shopping places, alongside a beautiful environment to enjoy a bite to eat.

Osijek

MV My Wish - Cruise Croatia
Wine and truffles, generic, Croatia

If you’re looking for cities to visit in Croatia with lots to do and see, Osijek is a great option. The city is one of the bigger hubs in the country but tends to attract fewer crowds than the likes of Split and Dubrovnik. 

Perched on the border of Hungary and Serbia, Osijek is a place brimming with history and cultural attractions. Wander through the streets and marvel over the interesting mix of architecture here. Or spend some time trying out the many cafes and restaurants on offer. There is a great selection of things to see and do, and with less hustle and bustle it makes for a great city to explore with the family. 

There are also plenty of wine bars throughout Osijek, perfect for those seeking a place to sit and relax whilst watching the world go by. No matter where you choose to go, you are sure to uncover some interesting sites and lovely hidden gems in this beautiful metropolis.

Dubrovnik 

Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is undoubtedly one of the most popular cities in Croatia, and for good reason! It is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site, providing visitors with plenty of interesting attractions to explore. There are so many historical places in Dubrovnik, it is hard to know where to start. 

Check out the Old Town of Dubrovnik where you can wander the ancient city’s walls. You can stroll through old stone alleys and take in the picturesque town, brimming with authentic Croatian architecture. 

For anyone hoping to catch a glimpse of some of the country’s best views, a trip to Lovrijenac Fortress will do the trick. Here you can explore a historic site, all whilst taking in the stunning vistas over Dubrovnik’s Old Town and Mount Srd. 

Many tourists also choose to hop on a boat trip to Korcula from Dubrovnik. This provides an excellent day out, away from the lively city. Upon arriving on the island, you are met with stunning coves and beautiful turquoise waters, allowing you to experience some of the best that Croatia has to offer. 

There are so many other things to do in Dubrovnik, like exploring the many shops, bars, restaurants and cafes, enjoying the lively nightlife or simply relaxing and watching as people go about their day. However you choose to spend your time here, you won’t be disappointed by all that this gorgeous city displays.

Split

Split Promenade Mobile Banner
Split, Croatia

Much like Dubrovnik, Split is another of Croatia’s most frequented cities. It is the second largest in the country, providing visitors with a plethora of things to do and attractions to see. Whether you’re seeking an authentic trip to one of Croatia’s historical cities or would prefer to dance through the night, there is something for everyone here. 

Split provides visitors with bars, shops, and restaurants in abundance, all of which are littered throughout the quaint alleys. Spend some time exploring the streets to uncover some of the best eateries that Croatia has to offer. 

Another prominent highlight in Split is Diocletian’s Palace. You can wander the ancient site and even explore its mysterious underground chambers. The attraction is brimming with much of Croatia’s fascinating history, perfect for anyone hoping to learn more about this wonderful country. 

Its position on the coast makes Split a favoured destination for many. With so much to do in the city, alongside stunning beaches nearby, you get the best of both worlds when visiting here. However, it is important to note that the area can get very busy during summer, so it’s best to plan and book any sightseeing beforehand.

Zadar

Zadar waterfront

Another of Croatia’s Dalmatian cities is Zadar. The area is brimming with historical sites and fascinating architecture. Wander around St Mary’s Convent, check out Roman ruins, or marvel over ancient churches. There is so much to see and do in Zadar, you will find yourself needing more time here! 

After you have spent a moment soaking up the history and sites in Zadar, enjoy the vibrant nightlife that the city has to offer. With lively bars and cafes scattered around the streets, you won’t be stuck for choice. 

With more than 3,000 years of history here, alongside its spectacular position on the coast and many places to dance and party, it comes as no surprise that Zadar is favoured by so many. Whether you’re seeking somewhere brimming with adventure, or would prefer to lounge on the sandy shores, you will find it all in this magnificent Croatian city.

Varazdin

Castle in Varazdin
Cruise Croatia, Croatia

Varadzin is the former capital of Croatia, making it somewhere worth visiting. Here you will find exceptional baroque buildings and interesting architecture throughout. With palaces and grand structures scattered around Varazdin, the area gives off a real sense of luxury. 

There are also plenty of historical findings in Varazdin. From beautiful churches to lavish castles, you will find somewhere worth exploring. After you have marvelled over all that the city has to offer, relax in one of the many bars, restaurants or cafes all whilst indulging in fantastic Croatian cuisine. 

Summary 

Zlatni Rat Beach, Brac
Trogir old town

Croatia is brimming with magnificent cities to suit a range of holiday itineraries. With places like Dubrovnik, Pula, Split and Rovinj all offering unrivalled beaches, you get the best of both worlds when visiting these popular parts of the country. Not only are the cities rich in history and fascinating culture, but some are less frequented by tourists. This allows for the perfect place to enjoy some seclusion and tranquillity. Whatever type of city break you’re looking for, Croatia won’t disappoint! 

A great way to see more of Croatia’s beautiful cities in one trip is by cruise. Cruise Croatia has a stunning range of small ships that will take you to the best places in the country. This way, you get to explore all that the municipalities have to offer whilst staying on a luxury boat.