What to Pair With Croatia? What’s Next?

Pictures of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia and text "where after Croatia?"

Are you planning a trip to Croatia but don’t know where to go before or after finishing your Croatian itinerary?

The great news is that Croatia is surrounded by beautiful neighboring countries full of surprises and hidden gems.

Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia are great next destinations after finishing Croatian itineraries as both countries are close and allow you to see and experience things you couldn’t in Croatia.

While it’s best to have a car or rent one, It’s also possible to visit these destinations by bus or train from Croatia, but a car will make you flexible so that you can admire some hidden gems on the way (and trust me both countries are full of them and you will be exploring them as you travel).

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a land full of mountains, rivers, lakes, medieval villages, rustical towns, and intact nature and the warm hospitality of its people is second to none.

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s border is very close to popular Croatian tourist destinations down the coastline, and if you organize an itinerary with visiting Plitvice Lakes or Nikola Tesla’s house in Smiljan, you’ll be in Bihac in like 20 minutes. From there you can continue to Mostar and Sarajevo and then complete the trip.

In Sarajevo, the capital city, you can stroll through the charming Ottoman-era streets of Baščaršija, where the scent of traditional Bosnian cuisine fills the air. The delicious Bosnian food with Turkish roots is guaranteed to win your heart and it’s so different than Croatian food, so it will be a lovely change after you get used to Croatian fish specialties.

Visit old coffee bars where they serve you traditional Turkish coffee with a cigarette and a match and sweet rahat lokum on a steel plate and let yourself loose until you no longer perceive time.

Just as I wouldn’t recommend you hurry your Croatian itinerary, I wouldn’t recommend either for Bosnia.

If you are short on time you don’t want to visit too many places across the country but rather explore the soul of Sarajevo in a multi-day itinerary, and take time to immerse yourself in the tradition and the monuments of the past.

For those thirsty for history, the iconic Latin Bridge, where the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand triggered World War I is just one of the historical monuments, and trust me you’ll find many more.

Next, if you have time, take a journey to Mostar and visit the world-famous Stari Most (Old Bridge) spanning the turquoise waters of the Neretva River. Witness the mesmerizing ritual of bridge diving, where daredevils leap from the bridge into the icy depths below.

Nature enthusiasts will be enchanted by the emerald-green waters of the Una River in the picturesque town of Bihać, perfect for rafting and kayaking adventures. Explore the lush forests and cascading waterfalls of the Una National Park, a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and wildlife lovers alike.

Whether you’re sipping traditional Bosnian coffee in a cozy café or exploring ancient medieval castles, Bosnia and Herzegovina invites you to discover its rich tapestry of culture, history, and natural beauty, and trust me, if you loved it in Croatia you will love it in Bosnia too!

Bosnia and Herzegovina has just begun writing its tourist story, so if you dare to explore other less-known destinations in this beautiful country you will have an opportunity to see how locals live and avoid busy crowds, and trust me when I say that there will be hardly any place where you won’t be welcomed with a warmth in heart (Bosnians are truly special when it comes to hospitality)!


Slovenia is a small country with some awesome attractions such as Lake Bled, Postojna Cave, and Predjama Castle. If you are finishing your trip in Istria or near Zagreb, Slovenia will be an excellent next go-to.

You can begin your journey in the capital city of Ljubljana, where historic architecture blends seamlessly with vibrant street art and bustling markets.

The town and the river in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Take a stroll along the scenic Ljubljanica River or ascend to the majestic Ljubljana Castle for panoramic views of the city below.

I love the fresh air and cooler temperature of Ljubljana in the summer, as it’s difficult to find such refreshments near the Croatian coast.

Next go to Lake Bled, a fairytale island adorned with a medieval church and a view of the Alps in the background. Embark on a romantic boat ride across the crystal-clear waters or hike to the clifftop Bled Castle for sweeping vistas of the Julian Alps.

And finally, venture into the underground wonderland of Postojna Cave, one of the largest karst cave systems in the world, where you’ll encounter otherworldly rock formations and mysterious subterranean creatures.

Predjama castle in Slovenia

9 kilometers from the cave, stands a marvelous renaissance Predjama castle, the world’s biggest castle built in a cave mouth connected with multiple cave tunnels that lead to a forest on the other side of the mountain.

After all the journey behind you, you will need to relax and what’s a better opportunity to relax than in the soothing thermal waters of the Šmarješke, Rogaška, or Terme Olimia spas, which are renowned for their healing properties and luxurious amenities?


Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia are the next logical destinations if you still have time left before or after completing your Croatian itinerary.

Both countries are full of attractions and hidden gems worth exploring on their own, and I couldn’t cover everything I’d recommend in this single article.

You might be surprised that I didn’t mention Italy, but that’s because the most beautiful attractions in Italy just like the Italian culture require a dedicated trip, and a trip to Italy after Croatia isn’t that close and convenient.

Good luck on the road and don’t forget to plan your itinerary because it saves time and money and ensures you’ll have a great time!


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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