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Top Things to Do in Croatia with Kids

With a wealth of beautiful beaches along the Adriatic, charming villages and magnificent cities with intriguing cultural sights, countless family-friendly activities, and mouthwatering cuisine, Croatia is an ideal destination for those traveling with children. This is a country with a culture that puts family front and center, so they’ll be welcomed with a smile everywhere you go. Plus, boredom is a word seldom heard here with so much to see and do for all ages. From the medieval Old City of Dubrovnik to lush national parks with waterfalls and island gems, you’ll find plenty, with these options some of the top things to do in Croatia with kids.

Walk the City Walls of Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik city walls

No visit to Dubrovnik would be the same without walking the ancient walls that surround the Old City. If you take your time, walking slowly while stopping at the various viewpoints, you can walk the 1.2-mile span in about 90 minutes. Unless your kids are too young to walk, they’re likely to enjoy following the path around, checking out the forts and towers, and peeking through the arrow slits. From the walls you’ll be able to see the endless blue of the sea and nearby islands on one side, and terracotta rooftops in the historical center on the other. If you go during the summer when the city is at its busiest, go early in the day to beat the crowds and heat.

Go Whitewater Rafting on the Cetina River

Aerial view of Cetina River

One of the best things to do for families is whitewater rafting on the aquamarine-hued Cetina River that flows through a rugged canyon flanked by lush and dramatic cliffs, forests, and soaring mountains. You’ll raft down class 2 and 3 rapids, for a ride that includes a combination of calm, deep water along with some steep drops and faster rapids that will spin you around and occasionally get you very wet. It’s sure to be filled with laughter and awe while you pass roaring waterfalls and some spectacular caves while the vibrant greenery provides a stunning contrast against the brilliant blue of the river. Safety instruction and all your gear is included. 

Cycle Around the Saltwater Lakes of Mljet National Park

Cycling in Mljet National Park
Mljet Monastery

Mljet National Park is lush and forested, located on one of the greenest islands in Dalmatia. A wide variety of outdoor activities can be enjoyed while surrounded by the picturesque scenery, including its two saltwater lakes. The color of the water ranges from brilliant turquoise to deep emerald and in the middle of the larger lake there is an islet topped by a 12th-century Benedictine abbey and church. A fun way to explore the lakes and surrounding woods is by bicycle. There are scenic paths winding through the woods and along the shorelines of the lakes, and bikes are available to rent at Mali Most where the two lakes are connected by a narrow channel, as well as in Pomena and Polace.

Take the Cable Car to Mount Srd

A Mother and child on Mount Srd overlooking Dubrovnik

From the summit of Mount Srd, you’ll enjoy a breathtaking view of Old City Dubrovnik and its walls, nearby islands, and the sparkling expanse of the Adriatic Sea. While you could hike, riding the cable car will be much easier on small legs. The trip takes just a few minutes, but the kids (and grownups) are sure to enjoy the ride. As it rises above the city, little ones are often amazed to see it become smaller and smaller. Plus, once at the top, there’s a fortress to explore that offers fascinating insight into the region’s military history. There are also observation areas, walking trails, and a restaurant, perfect for refreshments that can be enjoyed with the panoramic view.

Visit the Sea Organ in Zadar

Close up view of the Sea Organ
Zadar old town

Located on the Dalmatian coast, Zadar is the former capital of the Dalmatia region, renowned for Roman and Venetian ruins. The seaside promenade, or Riva as it’s called in Croatia, is always buzzing with locals and visitors alike. It’s also become renowned for a very unique art installation: the Sea Organ. It draws visitors from across the globe, making music using the power of the waves. Carved into the marble steps, the 35 organ pipes in various lengths and sizes, catch the sound of the waves that enter and escape through hollowed-out holes for a unique soundtrack. The kids are sure to be mesmerized and it can even make for an entertaining science lesson.

Go Snorkeling in Brijuni National Park

Brijuni National Park is spread across 14 islands, islets, and reefs with Veliki Brijun, the largest island, just a 20-minute ferry ride from Fazana on the mainland. With the remarkable clarity of the water and abundant sea life, its roughly 1,640-foot-long underwater trail makes it one of the top spots for snorkeling in Croatia while being suitable for kids, beginners, and all other experience levels. The educational trail offers the unique experience of visiting natural and archaeological sites beneath the water’s surface along with the chance to see a wide variety of fish species, sea urchins, and crabs. The experience is accompanied by expert divers who will point out the various sea creatures and the remains of a Roman villa.

Marvel at Waterfalls in Krka National Park

Manojlovac Waterfall Krka National Park
Krka Waterfalls

Krka National Park is renowned for its lush scenery with a turquoise river running through, numerous waterfalls, and lots of greenery, while also home to a wealth of wildlife, from the rare subterranean olm, a type of aquatic salamander to nearly 50 different animal species, including four that are endangered: otters, wild cats, wolves, and greater horseshoe bats. Most come for the waterfalls, particularly Skradinski buk which is one of Europe’s largest, but you might want to visit a lesser-known hidden gem too. Nestled in the forest, it’s a less-visited hidden gem despite being the park’s highest waterfall at 195 feet. It spills across various levels as it cascades over a rocky cliff and comes complete with crystal-clear pools.

Visit the Museums of Zagreb

Zagreb art pavilion

Zagreb is a city of museums with many that will keep the kids entertained. The Zagreb 80’s Museum is interactive, offering the chance to immerse yourselves in life back in the 1980s. Set up as an apartment designed to recreate the period, complete with fashions from the era you can dress up in. Be sure to sit in the Yugo car and snap some selfies too. The Museum of Illusions features over 70 exhibits that include fun experiences like the Anti-Gravity room while offering many great photo ops such as the Head on a Platter and Chair Illusion. While they may be targeted more for adults, other popular museums include the City Museum, Nikola Tesla Technical Museum, and the Archaeological Museum.

Walk the Trails of Plitvice National Park

Plitvice Lakes
Plitvice Lakes National Park waterfall

Plitvice Lakes National Park is a must-visit for any family Croatia vacation. One of the country’s most popular attractions, this UNESCO-listed site is also one of the best places to hike with big rewards without requiring a lot of effort. There are short and easy treks that take only about two hours to complete as well as longer, slightly more challenging options that can take a full day. Choose from eight different routes that wind through the woods, bringing views of the 16 interconnected lakes in brilliant shades of turquoise and over 90 waterfalls. Flat, beginner-friendly Trail C is a favorite, a 5-mile loop starting from Entrance 1 covering the Lower and Upper sections, with a scenic boat and train ride included.

Spot Peacocks on Lokrum Island

Lokrum Island peacock
Dead Sea Lokrum Island

Lokrum Island sits just outside of Dubrovnik’s city walls, a 10-minute boat ride away, or if you’re up for a paddle, there are kayak tours that will bring you there too. A small, uninhabited island and nature reserve, it makes for a fun half- or full-day out with beautiful scenery that includes idyllic beaches for swimming and sunbathing, and rocky cliffs where you’ll see locals leaping off into the sea. You’ll find many spots that are perfect for a picnic, like under the trees on the lawn near the monastery ruins where the island’s colorful free-roaming peacocks can often be seen. No matter where you are, you’ll hear their loud calls throughout the island.

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