Reasons to Visit Croatia (& What It’s Famous For)

Croatia is a small country, but it’s famous for many things and it’s a growing tourist hotspot ideal for vacations and exploration.

Croatia is among the top travel destinations for vacations with a peak number of almost 21 million tourist visits in 2019.

In this article, I’ll share famous things about my country and recommend various points of interest you can be part of if you decide to visit Croatia one day.

So, let me show you what Croatia is famous for and why it’s a good choice for a visit whether you are young, old, middle-aged, or have a family.

Croatia is safe for all visitors!

Let’s begin with the most important fact, Croatia is among the safest countries in the world.

Crime rates are low, it’s very safe for walking on the streets even during the night, scams are rare and there are minimal natural dangers.

Knowing that a country is safe, makes everything nicer.

Stunning Coastline

One of Croatia’s main attractions is its stunning coastline along the Adriatic Sea. Stretching over 1,100 miles, it is adorned with pristine beaches, hidden coves, and crystal-clear turquoise waters. The Dalmatian Coast, with its charming cities like Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar, and Trogir offers a perfect blend of history, culture, and natural beauty.

Picturesque Islands

Croatia is home to 1244 natural formations on the sea, of which 78 are islands, 524 are islets and 642 are cliffs and reefs. While there are both inhibited and uninhabited islands, each comes with its own unique charm.

From the glamorous Hvar Island known for its vibrant nightlife to the tranquil Mljet Island with its untouched nature and national park, there is an island for every taste.

Exploring the secluded bays, ancient ruins, and charming fishing villages is a true delight.

From walking and exploring hidden nature spots to indulging in organized tours, you’ll never get bored of what the Adriatic Sea offers.

Island hopping is an extremely popular activity during warm summer days when the Adriatic Sea becomes the top destination in Europe.

Islet near Hvar in Croatian Adriatic sea
Islet near Hvar

National Parks and Waterfalls

Nature lovers will be mesmerized by Croatia’s national parks. Plitvice Lakes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, features a series of cascading lakes and waterfalls surrounded by lush forests.

Krka National Park is another gem, known for its magnificent waterfalls and the opportunity to swim in crystal-clear waters.

Risnjak and Paklenica National Parks are rich in mountainous terrain ideal for hiking and climbing, while the natural beauties and various plant and animal species enrich the experience.

All Croatian national parks are worth visiting, but the Plitvice Lakes National Park is the most popular National park in Croatia for its unique trails and a magical natural world full of waterfalls that looks straight out of fairytales.

Perfect climate

Croatia has mild winters and warm summers with just enough rainfall and refreshing ozone.

While the weather can bit a bit harsher in the continental region such as around Zagreb and in Slavonia, the shoreline of Croatia enjoys the beautiful Mediterian climate which creates almost perfect life conditions.

Thus, it’s not a surprise that Croatia is rich in vegetation, natural wonders, and great food that is made from locally manufactured ingredients.

Moreover, Croatia is known for its long sunny days, as the island of Hvar has a record 2843 sunny hours in a year, taking place as the sunniest island in the Adriatic Sea.

Delicious Cuisine and Wine

Croatian cuisine is a delightful fusion of flavors influenced by its neighboring countries and historical influences.

What’s so special about Croatian cuisine is that you’ll find a great variety of dishes inspired by different cultures and history as you travel through Croatia from region to region.

Croatian cuisine offers a wide array of traditional dishes that will satisfy any food lover. From hearty meat stews of continental Croatia like Čobanac to savory pastries like Burek which came from Bosnia to iconic sea dishes of Dalmatia, there are so many fascinating dishes you must try!

I knew that if I ever begin to explain Croatian cuisine that it would take a dedicated article to explain the richness and gastronomic delights of Croatian food.

Check it out, I worked hard to choose the top dishes out of so many candidates.

Wine Regions and Vineyards

Croatia has a long-standing tradition of winemaking, and its vineyards produce a wide range of high-quality wines.

The regions of Istria and Dalmatia are particularly known for their vineyards and wine production.

Take a wine tour and sample the local varieties, such as Plavac Mali and Malvasia, to truly experience the flavors of Croatia.

Enjoying Croatian wine along with one of the famous Croatian dishes in peaceful surroundings in intact nature is the recipe for the perfect vacation, especially if you call yourself a gourmand.

Rich Historical and Cultural Heritage

Croatia has a fascinating history and a rich cultural heritage that can be seen throughout the country.

From the neandertal villages to Roman Colloseums in which gladiators fought for the respect of the audience, you’ll find so many historical points of interest almost everywhere in Croatia.

Medieval Cities and Castles

Walking through Croatia’s medieval cities is like stepping back in time. Dubrovnik, often referred to as the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” is renowned for its well-preserved city walls and stunning Old Town.

It’s not a surprise that the popular tv series Game of Thrones was filmed in Dubrovnik.

Zagreb, the capital city, offers a blend of old-world charm and modern vibrancy.

Zagreb, Croatia

Exploring ancient castles, such as Trakošćan and Veliki Tabor, provides a glimpse into Croatia’s medieval past.

If you continue your journey from Continental Croatia down to the sea, you’ll bump into numerous medieval villages, old towns, and well-preserved castles.

Trakošćan castle in Croatia

From feudal fortresses built between the 14th & 19th centuries in old towns such as Varaždin to the huge castles built by the shoreline in the area of Kvarner that served in Napoletian wars and as the first line of defense against Turkish invaders, just touring these medieval attractions is a good enough reason to visit Croatia.

Cannon in a fortress in Hvar, Croatia
This cannon was used to protect Hvar from invaders

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Croatia is home to several UNESCO World Heritage sites, showcasing its historical and architectural significance. The Diocletian’s Palace in Split, built by the Roman emperor Diocletian, is a remarkable landmark.

The Diocletian's Palace in Split
Diocletian’s Palace is a historic monument to the great Roman empire

The Euphrasian Basilica in Poreč, with its stunning Byzantine mosaics, is another must-visit site for history enthusiasts.

The Roman Colosseum in Pula, Istria is among the 5 preserved colosseums in Europe where activities such as film festivals and musical performances still take place.

The Roman Colosseum in Pula, Istria
Colosseum is still in a good shape

Let’s dig back into the past a little bit further and talk about the animal bones that originate from 125 000 BC and big Neandertal findings in Krapina.

Neanderthal man from Krapina, Croatia

The dove of Vucedol, a ritual vessel made from clay is one of the best preserved findings of Vucedol culture which comes from 3000 BC.

Moreover, the Iliric tribes that populated the regions of Kvarner and Dalmatia also left their signs and ancient ruins that can still be found today.

So many nations and forgotten cultures used to inhibit the area of Croatia, and it’s not uncommon for archaeologists to dig out other meaningful ruins and artifacts from the excavation sites.

Traditional Festivals and Folklore

Croatia takes great pride in its traditional festivals and folklore, which celebrate the country’s rich cultural heritage.

I have written about Croatian folklore tales where I mentioned mythical creatures and more!

The Dubrovnik Summer Festival, held annually, showcases various performing arts, including theater, music, and dance.

The Sinjska Alka, a medieval jousting tournament in Sinj, is a thrilling event that has been held for centuries.

It’s safe to say that every city and bigger village has some kinds of events during the summer and the events don’t stop throughout the rest of the year.

So, whether you plan to visit Croatia during the warm summertime, or outside the season, you’ll find plenty of interesting events if you know where to look for them.

I will try to mention every single event worth visiting, points of interest, and more in the articles you can find on this blog, but you can always visit Croatian agencies and seek more information or send me an e-mail.

Ultra Europe Split Festival

Ultra Europe Festival in Split, is the most famous music festival in the region which attracts people from all over the world.

It’s not uncommon for people to pass 3000km just to be part of the crazy party nights, have unlimited fun, and share positive vibes with 160 000 people in front of the massive outdoor stage.

Source:, 2023.

This festival is a must-visit for everybody who loves techno-electrical music as this festival is recognized among the biggest and most phenomenal in the entire world.

Growing up in Croatia, I first heard of Ultra 10 years ago and never thought it would grow into something that spectacular, but it happened and became a real hit.

Ultra is the haven for young generations who want to forget about the hardships of everyday life and spend days during summer vacation on crazy, mindless parties which seem almost out of this world.

Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla, the man responsible for modern electricity which powers our computers and mobile phones was born in Smiljan, Croatia back in the days of Yugoslavia and after the lack of opportunities in this area of Europe, he moved to the U.S.

There are so many tales about Nikola Tesla, but I am sure you have already heard a lot about this genius who truly changed mankind.

Dog breeds

Croatian sheepdog, Tornjak, Posavac and Istrian hounds are some of Croatian dog breeds, but ultimately the Dalmatian is the most famous one.

Dalmatians, first mentioned in 1374 by a Croatian bishop as the hunting dogs from the region of Croatian Dalmatia got famous after Disney’s movie 101 Dalmatian.

Dalmatian is a truly unique-looking dog due to its white coat marked with black colored spots.

The Necktie

Did you know that the necktie originated in Croatia?

While the French played a major role in the development of worldwide fashion and of the necktie, they got inspired by traditional knotted neckerchiefs the Croatian mercenaries wore as a part of their uniforms when they hired them in the 17th century for the Thirty Years’ War.

The point of these knotted neckerchiefs was to hold the rest of their clothes in place, so out of lucrative functionality, the cult fashion piece was born that nowadays fulfills billions of suits worldwide.

That’s where the name cravat came from, and then in the last century, the fashion industry further tailored the models to fit modern standards.

Famous inventions


Type of a pen Slavoljub Penkala invented
Penkala pen

The first mechanical pencil was invented in 1906 by Slavoljub Penkala, a Croatian engineer and inventor.

Penkala also had many other popular inventions such as a rotating toothbrush, laundry detergent, and thermos bottle and he built the first aeroplane in 1910 in Croatia.

Truly an outstanding and versatile man.

The Parachute

In 1617, inventor, philosopher, polymath, and lexicographer Faust Vrančić, for the very first time in history came to an idea to stretch fabric over a wooden frame to make a parachute.

Allegedly, he tested it himself by jumping from a tower in Venice.

The Torpedo

In 1861, Croatian inventor Ivan Lupis invented and manufactured the first torpedo designed for attacking ships.

Later, Robert Whitehead, the famous British engineer continued his work and got it to the next level by perfecting it.

The torpedos were manufactured in Rijeka, Croatia and the invention became a hit when armies from 19 states accepted it as their weapon to go for the navy.

Today, it’s still among the most important weapons modern navies use.

You can still visit the ex-factory and the launching gate in Rijeka, it’s not in the best shape but it’s still there.

The Airship

David Schwarz, the Croatian aviation architect made the first airship in 1897.

However, due to David’s sudden death, all credit went to Ferdinand Zeppelin, and thus the invention was named after him.

Zeppelins were super popular back in the day, but due to safety issues, they were banned in 1937 after the accident when Zeppelin erupted in flames above New Jersey.

Supersonic Photography

In 1887, Peter Salcher, a professor of physics at the Naval Academy in Rijeka produced the first supersonic (ultrafast) photography which was used to track the trajectory of a bullet in flight.


In 1891, Croatian Ivan Vučetić, a criminalist who was employed in the police force was one of the founders of dactyloscopy which revolutionized solving of criminal cases.

Croatia is a sport nation

Croatia is a small nation, but it produces amazing athletes.


Luka Modrić, Croatian football player
Luka Modrić. (2023, June 21). In Wikipedia.

Football is more than just a sport in Croatia; it is a way of life.

The national team’s success in international competitions, such as the FIFA World Cup, has ignited a wave of passion among Croatians.

We Croatians are proud of our football starts such as Luka Modrić, Joško Gvardiol, Ivan Perišić, Dominik Livaković, and Mario Mandžukić who every time show their lionhearts in the stadium.

While football might be popular across the globe and many states are proud of their successful national teams and players, Croatia is a state with less than 4.5 million people who constantly beats the odds.

In Russia FIFA World Cup 2018, Croatia won the Silver medal, in 2019 in Latvia UEFA U-19 Futsal Euro we took home another Silver medal, and recently in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar took home the Bronze medal.

While we are still in the hunt for gold to be the world champions, the Croatian football future looks quite promising.

Such results might be surprising for such a small nation, but there are also many Croatians in other sports who achieved world-level recognition only proving that the sport is in our genes.

UFC and Pride FC

Back in the glory days of the Pride Fighting Championship, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipović was known for his ruthless victories among elite fighters such as Fedor Emelianenko, Mark Coleman, Wanderlei Silva, and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.

Cro Cop was among the first Croatian fighters who reached worldwide glory in fighting sports.

If you ever watched his fights you know about the statement “Right leg sends you to hospital, left leg sends you to cemetery”.

Recently, UFC’s Stipe Miocic became the greatest heavyweight in history, and he is an American-born fighter with roots in Zadar, Croatia.

Stipe Miocic , American fighter with Croatian roots
Stipe Miocic. (2023, July 12). In Wikipedia.

Stipe is a legend, a phenomenal fighter, an underdog who beats the odds like it’s in our blood, and a great human which is backed up by the fact that during his UFC champion reign, he was an all-time firefighter.

Final Take

Here we go, I hope I mentioned most of the interesting facts about Croatia and managed to depict its beauty in your eyes.

Croatia is full of great people who’ll welcome everyone no matter where they come from, so don’t hesitate and visit Croatia when you get some spare time.

Croatia is at its peak during the summer months, especially in July and August, but you can also visit Croatia in autumn, winter, or spring when there are fewer people.

While top tourist destinations are down the coastline and on islands, the mountainous and continental Croatia has its beauties that aren’t so popular, yet they should be.

No matter the season, I am sure you’ll have a fantastic time here!


Dino is a local who has spent 27 years of his life in Croatia. He's here to provide you with useful information and some local guidance.

Recent Posts