Best places to stay in Croatia
Best for couples
Dubrovnik is the southernmost city in Croatia, located close to the border with Montenegro. It is the most well-known city in Croatia, and every year thousands of tourists flock to stroll the cobblestone streets and walk the city walls of Dubrovnik. Nicknamed the Pearl of the Adriatic, visiting Dubrovnik truly feels like finding a lost paradise. Snuggled between the Adriatic Sea and Srđ mountain, the walled medieval town of Dubrovnik is a destination that offers something for every type of traveller.
Historically known as Ragusa, Dubrovnik ruled as a free state from the 14th to 19th century. Today, you can walk the walls and climb the guarding fortress that preserved its independence throughout the centuries. Couples will love strolling the cobblestone streets and romantic, candlelit seafood dinners in the seafront restaurants. For the best view of the city, take a cable car to Srđ mountain and enjoy the most spectacular sunset.
Read more about where to stay in Dubrovnik.
Best place for nightlife
Makarska is a popular beach town, lodged between the majestic Biokovo mountain and long pebbled beaches along the crystal, clear Adriatic sea. Despite not having an airport, Makarska is worth a drive. With more affordable prices than its neighbouring large towns, it became a number one beach holiday destination for locals and youth all over the region. Its long promenade, shaded by pine trees along the beach, is dotted with bars, restaurants and shops that draw visitors as the night falls. Partygoers can choose among many clubs and bars along the Makarska coastline.
There is more to Makarska than just beaches and nightlife. To escape the crowds, make your way to the tranquil nature surrounding the city. Hikers will enjoy hiking Biokovo mountain and Biokovo Skywalk for spectacular views of the Croatian coast. Alternatively, St. Peter’s forest park offers a stunning view of the city and the mountain behind it.
Hotels in Makarska
Best place for a month
Split is the second-biggest city in Croatia and the largest coastal city. It is conveniently located at the midpoint of the Croatian coastline, making it a perfect place to base yourself for a month and discover the region.
The importance of Split as a cultural and commercial intersection dates back to Roman times. You can find impressive Roman monuments reminding of that grand period in this city's history throughout the city, with the majestic 4th century Diocletian's Palace as the centrepiece.
Split is a vibrant city that is lively throughout the year with many bars, shops and activities to choose from. Park forest Marjan is the green heart of the city and a place to escape the crowds and enjoy the tranquillity of nature and stunning view of the city. Split is a perfect base for day trips to neighbouring islands, such as Brač, Hvar or Vis, and cities like Trogir and Šibenik.
Read more about where to stay in Split.
Best place for nightlife and beaches
The University town of Zadar is located on the coastline, just a 3-hour ride from Zagreb. Zadar offers a perfect combination of a bustling seaside town's daily life and a relaxing beach vacation. The cobblestone streets of the Old Town hide many tourist attractions, including the unusual St. Donat’s Church, remains of the ancient Roman forum and a contemporary art installation, Sea Organ, that utilizes sea waves to create unique melodies.
It’s been said that Zadar has the most spectacular sunsets, which inspired the construction of the Greeting to the Sun - a monument that consists of solar panels that create a colourful light show at night. You can visit two nearby national parks from Zadar - the unusual Kornati islands and Krka waterfalls. Just like other coastal destinations, Zadar is a fantastic beach destination with many beaches, beach bars and nightclubs along the coastline.
Read more about where to stay in Zadar.
Best place for a beach holiday
As the third-largest Croatian island, Brac offers a unique seaside holiday experience. Its diverse landscapes include long sandy beaches, hidden coves, the highest peak among the Adriatic islands, and ancient Roman and Glagolitic ruins! Brac is best known for its horn-shaped sandy beach Zlatni rat, which became a symbol for idyllic beach holidays in Croatia - soft, white sand, lush green pine forest and turquoise, clear water.
Brac is easily accessible from the mainland by ferry from Split and Makarska. The best way to explore the island is by car to discover all the hidden coves along the coastline. Visit the east coast for an authentic island experience and hidden coves, or enjoy the sandy beaches and nightlife in the south. Hiking enthusiasts will enjoy conquering the highest peak of the Adriatic - Vidova Gora, while gourmands will appreciate tasting local wine, olive oil and seafood.
Read more about where to stay in Brac.
Best place for nightlife
Located south of the Brač island, lies Hvar - the longest and the fourth-largest Croatian island, often named one of the most beautiful islands in the world. It is not difficult to see why, with its pristine beaches, charming old town and lively nightlife, Hvar is quickly becoming a must-stop destination on every jet-setter's wish list. You don’t need to be on a sailing trip to visit Hvar, as you can quickly reach it by ferry.
Hvar has gained a reputation for being a high-end, luxurious beach destination, while being famous for its vibrant nightlife at the same time. This unique combination means that its ports are busy with yachts, while beach bars and clubs are filled with young party goers sipping cocktails and dancing until sunrise. But Hvar is not just bars and clubs, the stone houses and cobblestone streets of Old Town call to be explored. The Venetian Fortress overlooking the town offers stunning sunset views.
Read more about where to stay in Hvar.
Best place for couples
Located on the western coast of the Istra region, Rovinj is a charming seaside town, ideal for couples looking for a romantic getaway. Couples can choose between many hotels offering luxurious spa experiences, seafront restaurants for romantic candlelit dinners and wine-tasting tours in the region. Cobblestone streets of the Old town lead up to the stunning Church of Saint Euphemia, with a terrace that offers spectacular sunset views.
The picturesque old town is within walking distance of some stunning beaches and a tranquil park forest, Zlatni Rt. Rovinj is perfectly located to visit the whole Istrian peninsula. A great couple's activity is a day trip to the Istrian vineyards, the most popular being Kozlović vineyards close to Buje. Hilltop villages of continental Istria, Grožnjan and Motovun, are fantastic day trip ideas for everyone looking to discover a different side of this popular coastal region.
Hotels in Rovinj
Best place for a week
Located in the south of Istria, Pula is a perfect place to base yourself for a week to discover this magnificent region. Pula is a city with a long history and incredible nature, with fantastic beaches and two protected nature areas - Nature Park Kamenjak and National Park Brijuni.
As the biggest city in the region, Pula has many shopping, eating and drinking options, and is lively year-round. History enthusiasts will enjoy tracing the great Roman past of Pula, with ruins scattered all around the city. Visit one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheatres - Arena, find all the ancient gates of the city and explore the underground tunnels beneath the Old Town.
Pula has many fantastic beaches to spend a day swimming in the Adriatic Sea. A popular family activity is a visit to the Brijuni National Park, where children will enjoy finding dinosaur footsteps and seeing the animals in an open-air zoo.
Hotels in Pula
Best place for families
The capital of Croatia, Zagreb, is one of the most underrated European capitals. It is a city full of culture and history, with architecture reminiscent of Vienna or Budapest. Unlike most coastal destinations in Croatia, Zagreb is lively throughout the year, especially as December rolls around and Advent in Zagreb takes place. Zagreb’s Christmas Market was voted the best in Europe three years in a row.
Culture lovers will enjoy many of Zagreb’s museums, theatres and galleries. Families with children will love to spend a day in the Maksimir ZOO. Hiking Sljeme mountain is a popular weekend activity among the locals, and the view from the top is stunning.
Moreover, Zagreb is a great base to discover the less-visited northern Croatian regions. Make a day trip to the neighbouring town of Samobor or explore the Krapina Neanderthal site, one of the best archaeological sites in Europe.
Read more about where to stay in Zagreb.
Best place for a week
Located in the east of Croatia lies Osijek, on the Drava River, close to the Serbian border. It is the fourth-largest city in Croatia and the economic and cultural centre of the eastern Croatian region of Slavonia. Osijek is a bustling town with many bars, restaurants and shops to explore.
Slavonia is unjustifiably the least-visited Croatian region, which makes it a true hidden gem and a perfect place to relax away from crowds.
Slavonia is the most underrated wine region and home to some of the best wineries in Croatia. Book a wine-tasting tour in Belje, or make a day trip to the southernmost point of Croatia, the small town of Ilok and their local winery. Also known as the European Amazonia, Kopački rit nature park is a truly unique place to visit for every nature lover. It is one of the best-preserved intact wetlands in Europe and a great place for bird-watching.
Hotels in Osijek
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