The Best Cities in Croatia For Walking

Croatia is small and best enjoyed on your foot, as usually, you will find everything important within the city’s main zone.

From the bustling streets of Zagreb to the picturesque coastal paths of Dubrovnik, each city offers a unique tapestry of experiences waiting to be discovered step by step.

You will notice how every corner tells a story, just like every new step writes the history.

If you are like me who loves cities with long streets and old town centers you can explore for hours, you will like it here in Croatia!

Zagreb: Croatia’s Capital Gem

Zagreb, the vibrant capital of Croatia, stands as a testament to the country’s rich history and dynamic culture. Its Upper Town is perfect for exploring on foot, but the whole city has so many walking trails and it’s ideal for exploring without a car.

Start with Gornji Grad

Zagreb’s historic Upper Town, known as Gornji Grad, captivates visitors with its medieval charm and cobblestone streets.

Accessible by the funicular that connects the Lower and the historic Upper Town first settled in the 11th century and stretched between two hills, Kaptol and Gradec is a network of medieval streets perfect for walking and exploring, as its medieval attire captivates attention and hearts.

Here, iconic landmarks such as St. Mark’s Church with its colorful tiled roof and the historic Lotrščak Tower offer glimpses into Zagreb’s storied past.

Wander through the winding alleys of Tkalciceva Street, lined with cozy cafes and boutique shops, and immerse yourself in the city’s lively atmosphere.

Visit Donji Grad next

After exploring the Upper Town, take the funicular or walk your way down to the Lower Town.

One of Zagreb’s most appealing features is its pedestrian-friendly layout, designed for leisurely strolls and exploration.

Ban Jelačić Square, the bustling heart of the city, serves as a central hub where locals and tourists converge amidst a backdrop of historic buildings and vibrant street life.

From here, meander along the tree-lined avenues of Lenuci’s Horseshoe, a series of interconnected parks and squares that showcase Zagreb’s green spaces and urban planning prowess.

Once you are done with the urban bustle, retreat to Zagreb’s tranquil parks and gardens, where nature beckons just steps away from the city center.

Mirogoj Cemetery, a masterpiece of architectural and botanical design, offers a serene setting for contemplation and reflection. For panoramic views of the city and surrounding landscape, ascend to the summit of Medvednica Mountain, where ideal hiking trails and scenic overlooks await you.

Split: Where History Meets the Sea

Split, nestled along the Dalmatian coast, is a city where history seamlessly merges with the breathtaking beauty of the Adriatic Sea.

As the largest city in the region, Split boasts a rich tapestry of historical landmarks, vibrant culture, and stunning waterfront vistas that make it a must-visit destination for travelers exploring Croatia on foot.

UNESCO-listed Diocletian’s Palace and Old Town

Wander through the labyrinthine streets of the Old Town, where ancient ruins and medieval structures coexist with bustling cafes and lively markets until you get to the heart of Split, where the magnificent Diocletian’s Palace lies, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its ancient Roman architecture and intricate stone carvings.

Explore the hidden courtyards and hidden passageways of the palace complex, where echoes of history resonate at every turn.

Waterfront promenade and bustling city center

Split’s picturesque waterfront promenade, known as the Riva, serves as a focal point where locals and visitors alike gather to soak in the Mediterranean ambiance.

You can stroll along the palm-lined promenade, dotted with outdoor cafes and lively street performers, and admire panoramic views of the azure Adriatic Sea.

Visit the islands and coastal paths

From Split, you can embark on an island-hopping adventure to nearby destinations such as Hvar, Brac, and Vis, where secluded beaches, pristine coves, and historic villages await exploration.

For outdoor enthusiasts, the Marjan Hill Nature Park offers a network of hiking and biking trails with panoramic views of the city and surrounding islands.

Whether wandering through ancient ruins or basking in the beauty of the Adriatic coastline, Split captivates visitors with its enchanting blend of history, culture, and natural splendor that is truly authentic.

Dubrovnik: The Pearl of the Adriatic

Dubrovnik, often referred to as the “Pearl of the Adriatic” stands as a timeless masterpiece of medieval architecture and coastal beauty.

Nestled along the rugged coastline of southern Croatia, Dubrovnik enchants visitors with its ancient city walls, cobblestone streets, and breathtaking vistas of the azure Adriatic Sea.

Dubrovnik is the epitome of a city that is meant to be explored on foot!

Iconic city walls and panoramic views

The crowning jewel of Dubrovnik is its majestic city walls, which encircle the historic Old Town and offer sweeping views of the Adriatic coastline.

This is the perfect place to embark on a leisurely stroll along the fortified walls, which stretch for over a mile and provide a glimpse into Dubrovnik’s storied past.

Admire panoramic vistas of terracotta rooftops, shimmering seas, and distant islands as you traverse the ancient ramparts and let your imagination get you back to the old days of the Dubrovnik Republic.

Walk the cobblestone streets

Step back in time as you wander through Dubrovnik’s maze-like streets, where centuries-old buildings and hidden courtyards beckon exploration.

Lose yourself in the labyrinth of narrow alleys and stone staircases that wind their way through the Old Town, revealing hidden gems at every corner.

As you walk you will discover quaint cafes, artisan shops, and historical landmarks nestled amidst the city’s timeless beauty that will charm you and make you take multiple turns through the same alleys just for one more breath of the atmosphere!

Explore serene parks and gardens

Escape the bustling streets of Dubrovnik and retreat to the city’s serene parks and gardens.

Visit Gradac Park, perched atop a rocky promontory overlooking the sea, and revel in the tranquility of what is ahead.

After a pleasant walk through the parks, take a short ferry ride from the city center and explore the botanical gardens of Lokrum Island, where exotic flora and fauna flourish in a pristine island paradise.

Dubrovnik’s timeless beauty and captivating charm make it a premier destination for travelers seeking to explore Croatia’s rich history and coastal splendor on foot.

From the towering city walls to the tranquil gardens, every corner of Dubrovnik tells a story waiting to be discovered by those who wander its cobblestone streets.

Rijeka: Vibrant Port City

Rijeka, nestled along the Kvarner Bay, stands as a historic port city that serves as a gateway to Croatia’s northern Adriatic coast.

With its rich maritime heritage, cultural diversity, and scenic waterfront, Rijeka offers visitors a captivating blend of history, architecture, and natural beauty.

Rijeka has always been an industrial city, and while tourism wasn’t always a priority, it was a place where many cultures were first introduced in Croatia.

As Croatia’s largest port, Rijeka buzzes with activity, welcoming ships and visitors from around the world. In Rijeka, you will find historic warehouses and modern marinas, lively market stalls, seafood restaurants that line the promenade, and so much more you can find in the article about my hometown, Rijeka.

The city is built on hills, but the town is perfect for exploration on foot, and there are 561 steps you will have to pass to get to another interesting part of the city, Trsat with the old castle and Church of Mary of God of Trsat.

After walking through Trsat and the town, you can go to the coastline and continue towards Opatija by following the iconic 12 km long walking seaside route Lungomare.


A few kilometers after Rijeka, the wonders of Opatija have been a favored retreat for aristocrats and artists seeking respite for a long time.

Opatija’s picturesque seaside promenade, known as the Lungomare, is where elegant villas and lush gardens line the pristine coastline.

Admire the grandeur of the city’s iconic landmarks, such as the Villa Angiolina and the Maiden with the Seagull statue, which epitomize Opatija’s opulent architectural heritage.

While you are walking the 12 km Lungomare, discover hidden gems such as Opatija’s grandiose gardens, and the Croatian Walk of Fame.

Pula: Where Roman Ruins Await

Pula, situated on the southern tip of the Istrian Peninsula, is a city steeped in history and adorned with ancient Roman ruins. As one of Croatia’s oldest settlements, Pula offers visitors a glimpse into its storied past through its impressive architectural marvels and picturesque coastal landscapes.

Pula is ideal for exploration by walking, and there’s so much to explore.

Pula Arena and other ancient landmarks

The crown jewel of Pula’s Roman heritage is the Pula Arena, one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheaters in the world. Dating back to the 1st century AD, this iconic structure once hosted gladiatorial contests and spectacles for thousands of spectators.

After the Arena, you will feel the true ambiance of Pula as you stroll along its scenic waterfront promenade, where fishing boats and yachts bob in the shimmering waters of the Adriatic Sea.

In Pula, the echoes of ancient civilizations resonate through its cobblestone streets and archaeological wonders, so try to imagine how the life of Romans thousands of years ago looked like when they walked the same cobblestone streets as you do today.


In conclusion, Croatia has plenty of walkable cities that beckon travelers to explore its rich history, culture, and natural beauty on foot.

From the medieval streets of Zagreb to the ancient ruins of Pula, each city offers a unique tapestry of experiences waiting to be discovered.

The mission of this article was to showcase how some cities are ideal for walking and exploration on foot.

Today, there are plenty of big cities that require a vehicle to be discovered, and while it’s true that a car indeed helps discover some hidden gems and travel faster from one location to another in Croatia, Croatian cities are best enjoyed by slowly walking and using imagination to paint the picture of how the life once looked in the same streets you are passing.


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.

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